UNI Travel Scam – Happy Birthday Indeed

Scam - Attractive Outer CoverI just received a pleasantly appointed piece of mail that, when I opened it, turned out to be yet another scam.

The brightly colored balloons on the outside of the “tear along perforations to open” card did not disguise the fact that there is no “from” address on the outside.

Opening the card a little slip of paper drops out that is mocked up to look like a US Airways boarding pass.
Scam - "Boarding Pass"

Scam - Backside of "Boarding Pass"Tellingly, on the reverse side of this I see that UNI Travel is “NOT A TIME SHARE COMPANY”. Well, thank goodness! I see the disclaimer goes on to indicate that, in spite of their brands being splashed all over the inside of the card, “This promotion is not sponsored by, or affiliated with Spirit Airlines, US Airways or Budget Rental Car, but they are major suppliers” (emphasis mine).

The letter itself offers to fill my birthday (which is coming soon if you want to go to my Amazon wishlist and buy my something 🙂 ) with happiness.

This is such a typical scam that I really hope nobody falls for it, which is one reason why I’m posting it here and lampooning it.

On with the lampooning:

Have marketers given up all pretense at making an honest sale nowadays? I mean it seems that everything I look at, from new cars, to banking products to travel arrangements, requires a thorough understanding of that which each industry considers “Standard and customary practices” (“What? You didn’t realize that all these fees are charged in addition to the price we quoted you? Well, that’s just standard in the industry, you should know that.”).

I have to ask, is a criminal background *required* to enter into marketing or is it simply considered a valuable tendency?

Scam - LetterI like the part where “Our records also indicate if you respond within 72 hours you will also receive a complimentary 7 day Rent-A-CAR From Budget”, even though their “boarding pass” tells you Budget has nothing to do with this. Besides, *what records* are they talking about?

These people haven’t even realized that we’re using Eastern Daylight time yet… I hope they’re not doing anything that’s time sensitive.

Oh, and I like the fact that, the only way to find out what conditions and restrictions apply to this offer, I’ve got to call them…

The bewildered consumer (me, for one) is always baffled why something like the purchase of a house, which I am likely to do maybe a few times over the course of my mortal existence and each of these events will be separated by many years, has so many implicit and confusing caveats all of which I need to be on the alert for? I’m *going* to take out this loan, you’re *going* to make a small fortune off of me, I’ve already reconciled myself to this reality in seeking out a mortgage so I can have my house *now* rather than save up for 30 years before buying one. Is it really necessary to try to fleece me for all those other dollars while you have me sitting there, stressed out over one of the biggest purchasing decisions of my life. All you inspire is ill will and a complete lack of loyalty toward you on my part which *will* affect my loan decision the next time around.

Anyway, watch out for this miserable attempt to play on your emotions, it’s mean and it’s evil and it tells me that I won’t be doing business with UNI Travel.

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