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Email Henry Platt
Email L. Henry Platt, Jr.
  Henry Platt

IMAGINE: A NEW CAR FOR JUST $500.00 (plus s&h )

Yes! I will sell you a brand new Ford Focus for just $500.00 plus $20,000.00 for shipping and handling.

Forty years ago (or slightly more) several teen-aged boys earned a lot of money giving things away free (for just 25 cents to cover shipping and handling. These boys could clear $20.00 a day after school working at home in Garden City, Long Island, New York. Their only cost was the 3 cent stamp. Product and television advertising were free.

Frequently you may see a product advertised on television for just $14.95 (plus s&h). You recall seeing the item in the store for $18.95 plus tax. Closer examination shows that $14.95 plus $5.95 is more than $18.95 plus $1.25 (6 1/2% sales tax).

I propose that any item advertised on television or radio stations governed by the FCC must be advertised at a delivered price when that delivery charge is fixed. That plastic flower kit for $19.95 plus $5.95 shipping aid handling would have to be advertised for $25.90 delivered. Automobiles could still be advertised "plus tax and registration" because these fees can vary for several reasons.

What is even more disconcerting is when the customer has paid for the plastic flower kit with a credit card -- and is surprised and alarmed when the bill comes for $25.90 two weeks later.


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© L. Henry Platt, Jr.