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6The Tar Heel Thursday, August 1 9, 1985
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EreetFip to Loi
Con games never end. Here is one
of the latest, and I would like to know
what you think ought to be done
You get a letter or a telegram
or a bulk mail letter that looks
like a telegram. It tells you that you
have won a prize. It may say that
you have won one of several prizes.
Some of the prizes look pretty good.
All you have to do to get one of these
prizes is to come by and pick it up
and take" a "short" tour of some
property or listen to some other sales
Nothing new? You have been
getting those for years, haven't you?
You can even take a look at the list
of "prizes" and figure oui which one
everybody is going to win. .
But there is a new twist. A new
prize that everybody wins.
If you haven't already gotten one
of these letters or telegrams, it won't
be long. Be ready for it. The new
prize that is being offered is so
tempting. It sounds so good. Too
o Now leasing $435 a month
o Two bedroom unitsall appliances
o Washer and dryer connections
o On the bus line
o Approximately 2.5 miles from
o On Airport Road Look
Forest Apartments sign
o Model Open Daily 1 2-4
good to be true and it is. But it
almost fooled me. I wanted to believe
it so much. And it has fooled some
of my smartest friends.
What is this great new prize? It
is a vacation certificate not just
the certificate for two or three nights
in some hotel in Miami. That has
been around for a long time. No. The
new prize promises something like a
free seven-day vacation to London
(or some other distant desirable
place) "including airfare, accommo
dations and sightseeing tours for
two." . '
Who wouldn't jump at a chance
to go to London for free? What is
the catch? How can anybody afford
to give away thousands of such trips?
Or simplywhat is the catch?
There are a lot of different catches
one of them is a part of almost
every giveaway. Here are a few of
The vacation is for only ONE
person. But it said "for two." It sure
did. That meant only "sightseeing for
two." The second person pays full
fare for the airfare. Usually, the
second person has to go and pay as
a condition for the "free" trip for the
A large deposit is required.
Sometimes it is refundable; some
times it is not. Almost always, it has
to be sent to some unknown com
pany, at a post office box in a distant
city. Would that make you reluctant
to send the deposit? That is what it
is designed to do.
Delay. Even if the deposit is sent
in, some additonal information or
documentation will be requested
"before processing." Your passport,
a marriage . certificate, a certificate
from an employer confirming work
and salary, a copy of your tax return.
They never run out of things to ask
for. You would think that they really
don't want you to go. They dont.
The departure dates that you
request will not be available. Your
trip will only be available during a
period of a few weeks. That time will
be inconvenient. If the time should
suit you, they will reschedule to a time
when you will not be able to go.
Is that enough to discourage you?
It is enough. to make almost everyb
ody give up. Few, if there are any
at all, ever make the trip. That is the
way it is intended to be. These
vacation certificates are sold to sales
centers and other promoters for a
very low price about $15 each.
That covers only administrative costs
and profit for the companies that
print and issue the certificates. There
is nothing to cover the cost of any
travel. So these companies have to
discourage everybody or almost
everybody : from taking the prom
There ought to be a law.
Or should there be? I would like
to know what you think. Should the
government pass a law to make this
kind of vacation certificate illegal?
Should the law permit these certif
icates, but require full disclosure of
In 1 J
the problems up front? Or should the
government do nothing and let
everybody look out for themselves?
What should be done? :
Think about it. I think that your
answer will give a clue about what
your real political philosophy is. Let
TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK
Your name and address
Government should make these vacation certificates illegal.
The Government should permit the certificates and require
full disclosure about the negative aspects of the "gift."
The Government should not do anything about the
certificate. Let people take care of themselves and learn
to be careful in dealing with this kind of situation.
Other. Your comments: : ' '
Please mail the form to:
Copies 7 sCx
( Self-Service ) (
me know what you think should be
done. If you have already had an
experience with this kind of certif
icate, I would like to hear from you
: Write me at the summer Tar Hee
Box 49, UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapel
Hill, NC 27514.
co The Tar Heel
Chapel Hill, N.C. 27514
105 No. Columbia