A Tax On Stupidity


Ever seen one of these scratch cards? They often seem to fall out of magazines or inserted into junk mail.

A scratchcard
A scratchcard

I usually just throw them straight into the recycling bin.  But, like the fool I am, I thought "Nothing ventured, nothing gained".  I could win some serious cash here...

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!
Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

If you can't read the small print, it says...

Calls cost £1.50/min from a BT landline & will last no longer than 6 mins.

Not having a land-line, I went for the mobile option

Sent texts charged at operator's normal rate, you'll receive 6 texts at £1.50 each

So, to try and claim your prize will cost £9.00 - assuming your texts are free.  Of course, it's not until you've spent the money that you find what your prize it.  Can you guess at what I "won"? That's right! The grand prize of £10.

Still, a profit of a quid for not doing much. Could be worse.  But wait! What's this?

SAE
SAE

In order to claim, I need to post the ticket off and include a first class stamp.  Even if I sent it off 2nd class, that would cost me 56p.

So now it costs me £9.56 to get £1. Hmmm.... still, I can enjoy getting a crisp tenner through the post.  Maybe even a cheque or postal order.  What larks.

But, no.  After a few weeks of patiently waiting by the letterbox, I received this letter from "Purely Creative".

The Letter
The Letter

Well... There are a couple of issues with this letter.  Firstly there's no place to enter my banking details! Secondly, there's another cost.

Best case scenario, I spend an extra 25p on a second class stamp - my total expenditure is now £9.81.  Giving me a profit of 19p.

Worse still, if for some reason I want a cheque or postal order sent to me it will cost me between 25p or £1.10.  Either scenario pushes me into making a loss from this wretched scratch card.

I suspect at this point, most people give up.  Is it worth the hassle of filling in a form and posting it in return for eleven pence?  Probably not.  I'm half tempted to send it off just to get something out of them - but I'll probably end up on endless junk mail lists.

I knew there was a reason I binned these scratch cards in the past.

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3 thoughts on “A Tax On Stupidity

  1. The two steps to these cards are:
    1. Find the same "scratch card" from another magazine (sometimes you end up with two anyway).
    2. If the symbols are the same on both cards you have won the worst prize listed on the back. If they are different, find a third card and submit the card which is unique.

    Of course the easiest method is just to bin them everytime.

  2. Ah, another fan of these cards! I've persevered in the past and - after a complaint to Trading Standards - got some cash. Out of curiosity (they claimed stuff had been lost) I'm trying again with two other cards.

  3. LOL I wonder what would happen if you send it back with your bank details (written where.. mm interesting challenge).

    So you're going to give in and accept the loss, ai?

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