It's sure unlikely that Grandpa or anyone in his family will buy a Buick or General Motors vehicle of any kind from the Nutley Buick dealer. Ever.
Too bad this promotion ended on a downside. How can you promise an 80-plus year-old man $450 of gasoline and tell him he has to buy $1,800 worth of gas to get his loyalty gas credit.
The franchise owner insisted that his customers are clamoring to get into the ClaimYourGas.Scam program.
If you get to Washington Avenue in Nutley, N.J., you should stop in and ask them about the program. While you're there, kick a few tires.
What do you think of a car dealer that sends a loyal customer a key to try and win free gas? Sounds too good to be true. Perhaps car dealers are at the point where they'll do anything to get customers on the lot?
Well, Grandpa went to the local GM new car dealer and, lo and behold, he 'won' the $450 worth of free gas. But there was a catch. There always seems to be a catch in a gimmick like this.
Sorry, they said, they were all out of certificates, maybe he could come back tomorrow and get it?
Sure. He's retired. He went back the next day and got a CLAIMYOURGAS.com form to fill out:
"You have been selected to receive Gas vouchers from the gas station of your choice. Please be sure to visit our policy page at ClaimYourGas.com for complete instructions on how to redeem your Gas vouchers for gasoline gift cards."
So, he didn't really win $450 in gas for his car, he won "Gas vouchers" for gas for his car. At least it's "from the gas station of your choice." That's nice of them.
The form noted: "If you are mailing in your ClaimYourGas.com certificate, please be sure to include: Your ClaimYourGas.com certificate and $4.50 for shipping & handling if not registering online.
"In the event any of these items are not included, your redemption will be delayed."
So, since Grandpa is not PC literate, he turned to us for help to claim his $450.00 in free gas from the gas station of his choice. After all, why should he pay $4.50 to claim the $450.00 in free gas, when we could fill out the form online?
Whatever happened to NO PURCHASE NECESSARY? Maybe that only applies to visiting the dealer and trying your lucky key, not to actually redeeming your 'prize'.
Online comes the fine print. Grandpa doesn't actually get a voucher for $450.00 for free gas. He has to spend $100 at that brand gas station and submit the receipts each month. When the folks at ClaimYourGas.com get his original receipts for the month, they will send him a $25 gas card to use at that station.
So, for 18 months ( 18 x $25 = $450), Grandpa has to spend $100, or a total of $1,800 on gas and services for his car, in order to redeem the gas certificate.
Maybe when they thought of this sales gimmick and the local car dealer bought into it, gas was about $4.00 a gallon. At that rate, you could go through $100 a month in gas pretty quick.
But now that gas is less than half that a gallon, and people have continued to drive less, and eliminate unnecessary trips (like to the local car dealer), it could take longer than a month to accumulate $100 in receipts from your local gas station.
Not to mention, that nowadays, not all gas stations do service work on cars - so those receipts will be harder to come by, too.
I think the entire promotion, from the car dealer to the nitwits in Arizona who implement this program is a losing gimmick. You can be certain that they expect the submitted receipts to be lost in the mail, or that would be the fate of certificates sent to you. They probably expect most of the "winners" to miss some part of the puzzle in the year and a half - receipt collection and submission process.
How can a company require a "winner" to spend $1,800 over an 18-month period on gas and services to claim their prize? And also to have to submit original receipts each month to qualify for redemption?
Grandpa should get himself down to the local car dealer that awarded him this $450.00 free gas prize and tell them what a rip-off it is. He should give them a chance to hand him the $450.00 in cash in exchange for the confounded receipt-submission system, and then that would end it as long as he got the equivalent of his prize.
But, you know, that guy was so happy to win something - even if he doesn't know how twisted and unlikely it is that he will ever receive the actually prize - that we don't really want to spoil his bliss with the hard reality.
With prizes like this, we'd sooner never buy another car at that dealer. Grandpa, he bought his last two brand new cars there. We'd like him to wait and see how his $450.00 prize works out before considering another purchase there.
If you've fallen for this malarkey, click this link NJ Division of Consumer Affairs, we're sure they want to know the whole story from as many of you out there as have been duped.
If you're happy with your prize and the hoops you have to jump through to claim it, let them know that, too.
Thank you for registering your gas certificate.
Below you will find a link to your redemption vouchers. They are in available to view on the website, as well as download in PDF form to store and print at your convenience. Everything is included to finalize and mail your monthly redemption vouchers and original fuel receipts to receive your Shell fuel gift card.
Simply print the pages and cut out your Fuel Redemption vouchers at the link below.
To read PDF documents you need Adobe Acrobat Reader which is FREE. If you don't have it go here: http://www.adobe.com/go/EN_US-H-GET-READER
Mail original (NOT PHOTOCOPIES) fuel purchase receipts totalling $100 dollars or more from different dates along with the corresponding calendar month Fuel Redemption Voucher to:
1839 S. Alma School Rd., Suite 200
Mesa, AZ 85210
You may purchase fuel at any Shell branded station. The actual name of the station/store does not matter, as long as the brand of fuel is the same brand for all of your original submitted receipts.
NOTE: We accept redemption for all brands of fuel.
If your brand of fuel or store/station does not manufacture a gift card will we issue a $25 VISA or AMEX debit card.
PLEASE READ - IMPORTANT: You must send $100 in ORIGINAL fuel purchase receipts with each redemption voucher. Your fuel receipts MUST BE from the SAME month of your Fuel Redemption Voucher.
Your original purchase receipts and redemption vouchers must be received monthly in accordance with the program Terms and Conditions in order to receive your $25 fuel gift card. The following schedule applies:
1.) If your Fuel Redemption Voucher and original purchase receipts are received by the 25th of the month in which the fuel purchase(s) took place, you'll receive your $25 fuel gift card within 4 - 8 weeks.
2.) If your Fuel Redemption Voucher and original purchase receipts are received after the 25th of the month in which the fuel purchase(s) took place, you'll receive your $25 fuel gift card within 8 - 12 weeks.
You must purchase the same brand of fuel each month. Your fuel purchases can be made at any station carrying the fuel brand of your choice when activating your Claim Your Gas Certificate.
Your Fuel Gift Card can be used to purchase anything the fuel store/station sells including MORE fuel.
Should you require more assistance please visit and read the Frequently Asked Questions at http://www.claimyourgas.com/main/faq and if you don't find your answer there please write email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Again, WELCOME to ClaimYourGas.Com. We look forward to serving your needs now and in the future. Enjoy your Fuel Gift Cards!
From Your Friendly ClaimYourGas.Com TEAM
Copyright © 2008 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. Photos and content may not be used for commercial purposes without written permission.