The Daily Mail’s reader offers are the envy of the newspaper world. They always look good; they always capture the zeitgeist. So the thought of giving away a ‘free’ DAB radio worth £35, just days after scare stories about the cost of the digital switchover, must have seemed like a spiffing wheeze.
But sadly, all is not what it seems. Your ‘free’ radio most certainly isn’t ‘free’.
Where shall we begin? Let’s take Route One or, as the Mail calls it, ‘Priority Orders’. For this you need to collect 20 differently dated tokens, so let’s assume that you take the Mail from Monday (50p) to Saturday (80p), so you’ve spent £10.90 just to qualify. You then need to make a telephone call to register your interest (75p a minute for two minutes) and then also enclose a cheque for £26.70. So that’s £39.10 for a radio that’s ‘worth £35′. What a bargain.
So let’s tread the pauper’s path. For this, you need 60 differently dated tokens including eight that MUST (their caps) come from the Mail on Sunday. So that’s five days at 50p, one day at 80p and one day at £1.50. Your 60 tokens are going to cost you £40.40. Oh, and then there’s a cheque for £6.70 postage. So that’s £46.10 for a radio that’s ‘worth £35′. What a bargain.
It doesn’t stop there. DAB radios eat batteries, so you’ll need a rechargeable ‘ChargePAK’ at just £20, plus there’s the opportunity to purchase an ‘attractive’ case for your ‘free’ radio for another £20 (or just £35 for both).
So your ‘free radio worth £35′, with tokens, ChargePAK, case and phone call, could end up costing you a phenomenal £74.20. What a bargain. Mind you, you do get to read the Daily Mail every day.
I can see the ASA being all over this one, especially as there was no mention of any extra charges in Friday’s front page tease, and just a reference to ‘token collect’ on today’s blurb.