Stodghill Says So

An opinionated posting on a variety of subjects by a former newspaper reporter and columnist whose daily column was named best in Indiana by UPI. The Blog title is that used in his high school sports predictions for the Muncie Evening Press.

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Location: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, United States

At the age of 18 I was a 4th Infantry Division rifleman in the invasion of Normandy, then later was called back for the Korean War. Put in a couple of years as a Pinkerton detective. Much of my life was spent as a newspaper reporter, sports writer and daily columnist. Published three books on high school sports in Ohio and Indiana. I write mystery fiction for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and others. Three books, Normandy 1944 - A Young Rifleman's War, The Hoosier Hot Shots, and From Devout Catholic to Communist Agitator are now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers. So are four collections of short mysteries: Jack Eddy Stories Volumes 1 and 2, Midland Murders, and The Rough Old Stuff From Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Read the Fine Print


Jackie received a check for $9.25 in the mail and hadn't done a thing to earn it. She got it because she has a Chase Bank credit card so its a good deal, right? Yes, until you read the fine print. By cashing it, some outfit called Buyer Advantage would automatically bill her credit card $69.99 for a semi-annual membership, then do it again every six months.
So what do you get for $139.98 a year? Well it's a little complicated. You get refunds, or you might say a discount, for the things you buy, but there is a $500 limit. A few items are excluded, however. These are motorized vehicles and their parts, live plants and annuals, food and beverages, services, jewelry, tickets, negotiable instruments, weapons, layaway items, and one-of-a-kind items. Oh, and things purchased at liquidation sales and going out of business sales.
You also get new purchase price protection with a $1,000 limit, but the above items are excluded. So are computer software, personal care products, tapes, records, CDs or other recorded media, printed materials, products for commercial use, art objects, forgeries or counterfeit items, collectibles or perishable items, and secondhand, used or damaged items.
So what the hell does that leave?
The point, I think, is twofold: always read the fine print and never trust anybody about anything.
It's strange when you really think about it. If a guy sticks a gun in your ribs and takes $139.98 out of your pocket he's eligible for quite a few years behind bars. But the above mentioned highway robbery is perfectly legitimate. Given a choice, I'd prefer the straightforward approach of the armed robber. He's upfront about it and doesn't resort to fine print.
How many suckers do you suppose will rush out and cash one of those checks? A lot of them or no one would bother working a scam like this. Chase Bank says it has nothing to do with this business. Oh, really? Didn't they provide the names of their credit card holders? They sure did.
Now if someone still believes this is a good deal, send me $139.98 and for a year I will offer the same advantages. The above listed items are excluded, of course. And that ripping sound was Jackie tearing up her $9.25 check.

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