The Checkout

Ticket Buyers Beware

I went to order movie tickets online the other day--and almost fell for one of those promotional offers that would have cost me a lot of money, far more than the $10 discount I thought I was getting on my next ticket purchase. So this is a ticket-buyer beware notice: Be careful on what you click!

The promotion was on Fandango. Who wouldn't want to save $10? Of course, I clicked yes. It was only when I was finalizing my ticket purchase that I learned the $10 coupon came with strings--costly ones. By accepting the coupon, I would be signing up for Reservation Rewards, which would automatically bill my credit card "just $10 a month."

Reservation Rewards says it offers all sorts of discounts at retailers, theme parks and restaurants. Maybe it does, and maybe it's worth $10 a month. But I, for one, have my doubts and would certainly prefer to know the details before I agree to having my credit card dinged. Sure, the offer comes with a 30 days free trial--all you have to do is call to cancel if you don't like it. But that's the rub! Most people don't do that, and they get stuck with the charges for months, sometimes for years, before they scrutinize their credit-card bills and catch the fees.

I can't tell you how many complaints I've gotten from readers about these programs over the past few years. To Fandango's credit, when you try to get your $10 coupon, you have to actually enter your e-mail adress to verify you're signing up for the rewards program. That should hopefully limit ticket-buyers from signing up without knowing it. But similar offers on other sites are not so obvious. So beware, no matter what you buy!

By  |  January 3, 2006; 10:30 AM ET Consumer Tips
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For some time now I have had to pay twice the purchase price when buying electronics such as appliances or computers etc. Sometimes I don't get those rebates back as promised. Isn't there some law about using other people's money with no interest at all. How can this legally go on. Both Best Buy and Circuit City have not sent rebates back in years.

Posted by: | January 6, 2006 6:46 PM

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