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Sleaze by any other name. MG2, Tri Star, Orion Systems, whoever. - Vakkotaur

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June 25th, 2007


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01:51 pm - Sleaze by any other name. MG2, Tri Star, Orion Systems, whoever.


I mentioned the MG2 sleazeballs before. In the followups, it was revealed that these jokers are also Tri-Star and push Tri Star Home Care Products (vacuum cleaners).

Well, another Bingo card arrived in the mail. It's from Orion Systems in Loveland CO with a postmark from Advanced Direct Marketing, Inc. also in Loveland, CO.

This time I scanned the card for folks' entertainment and perhaps enlightenment. The images are 800 pixels wide, so they're hidden behind the cut.


Here's the front:


And the back:


And in case you were wondering, BINGO!


Gee, I wonder if those numbers ever change. Probably not. They don't need to. The pattern (X here) doesn't need to change either.


Again, everyone is a winner. It says so, "You are guaranteed to win one of the prizes listed on the back of this card." But take a look and you see that:

1 gets $5,000.
51 get an XBox 360. ($399)
223 get an iPod Video. ($249)
25,925 get a nineteen piece cutlery set. ($36)
and...
473,800 get a certificate for 3 days/2 nights accommodation. (Not sold retail, so no monetary equivalent.)

One can only wonder what sort of accommodations that certificate is good for and what hoops must jumped through for it to be honored. That there is no retail value suggests that it is pretty much worthless. That's after the very likely demonstration of the vacuum cleaner. "You may be asked to view Tri Star Home Care Products." is in the fine print. And if you do actually win the $5,000 grand prize, they get to use your likeness in future promotions.

The number to (not) call is: 1-800-667-3548 or 1 800 667 3548 or 18006673548 or 8006673548. There, now search engines can find this entry by phone number.

There is no arithmetic test to serve as a lottery disclaimer with this card. Since every card is a "winner" there is no chance, and so no lottery as such. Again, it's legal though hardly ethical.


Current Mood: annoyedannoyed

(30 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:nefaria
Date:June 25th, 2007 06:59 pm (UTC)
(Link)
My wager is that the "free" accommodations are granted only with the purchase of a massively-overpriced airplane trip, or are somehow locked in to the purchase of something very expensive.

I remember reading about a "free" luxury cruise which was actually a ride on a car ferry. I bet the going rate for the ferry was slightly less than the postage and handling required to redeem the prize.
[User Picture]
From:rillaspins
Date:June 25th, 2007 07:14 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Amazingly, my sister just priced the ferry across Michigan to Wisconsin a month ago. For the car, 2 adults and 2 children, it was cheaper buying plane tickets, fly into Minneapolis, rent a car, and drive to Wisconsin.

The hoops I've seen for this type of gimmick is that you have to sit in a high pressure time share orientation.

From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 30th, 2007 10:41 pm (UTC)

bingo

(Link)
Geez, you must have a pathetic life if this is all you have to worry about. Get a life
[User Picture]
From:vakkotaur
Date:July 31st, 2007 05:20 pm (UTC)

Re: bingo

(Link)

I'll just note that this person took the time to comment on this entry, and did so anonymously.

From:(Anonymous)
Date:September 8th, 2007 05:54 pm (UTC)

lol

(Link)
my mother in law just got one lol and we invite them over,
to aggravate the sales man to death.
i love to torment dumb people lol







http://www.myspace.com/minkastar
From:(Anonymous)
Date:December 18th, 2007 05:46 am (UTC)

Mg2 Bingo Scam

(Link)
I just got a similar bingo card in the mail today. Upon scratching it i got the box around the outside of the card so i immediately called the # even though i knew in the back of my head it had to be a scam. Somebody said the word scam when the lady was on the line and as soon as she knew we were on to it she hung up on me. And to top it off when i called back to see why she hung up she said i was disqualified from the contest and hung up again. lol it was priceless but a word to the wise, dont get excited, don't even bother scratching it unless your really bored.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:February 15th, 2008 05:50 pm (UTC)

What do you think about this...

(Link)
Hey, I just got one of those Bingo cards in the mail and I got the BOX which supposivly is the hardest get... but, I had a bit of skepticism... what do you suggest I do?
[User Picture]
From:vakkotaur
Date:February 15th, 2008 05:55 pm (UTC)

Re: What do you think about this...

(Link)

What you do is entirely up to you. If you really want to deal with the sales pitch in the hope of getting something, nobody will stop you. But I wouldn't hold my breath expecting to get anything great.

From:(Anonymous)
Date:April 4th, 2008 04:46 am (UTC)

Phew!

(Link)
I'm glad this post came up in google when you look for MG2 or EXL. Of course, just like everyone else I won on the second card with a box which is supposed to mean $5,000 cash. I guess the card I was sent was an over sight because there was no number stamped on the back. So I googled the company to see what was up, maybe find a number to call and ask what kind of company MG2 is. They don't even seem to have a website. What a bummer, I thought I had finally won something.
[User Picture]
From:vakkotaur
Date:April 4th, 2008 12:04 pm (UTC)

Re: Phew!

(Link)
I find it rather amusing that this company tries to hide somewhat and the result is that people find this post instead of a corporate web site.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:May 22nd, 2008 04:49 pm (UTC)

WARNING EVERYONE

(Link)
This MG2 TriStar is a bullshit with all other stuff that they been saying. Please everyone dont buy anything from it and it's a scam. They had scam me for my time,gas,my own car,cellphone charged and lots more. I posted this up so to let all of you to read how they soo... gay and one more time Please read my add and beware of MG2 PLEASE!!!

P.S.
I worked for them so i know everything about them again What out for thing you buy from people
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 13th, 2008 10:07 pm (UTC)

Re: WARNING EVERYONE

(Link)
So I'm thinking of buying this vacuum but in light of all the people here criticizing Tri Star, MG2, and their scam of a lottery I found myself rethinking my decision. Scam lottery aside, does anyone know if the actual MG2 vacuum really that good and if it's worth that much money? I am especially directing this to the person above who said he/she used to work for Tri Star.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 17th, 2008 07:24 am (UTC)

Re: WARNING EVERYONE

(Link)
Have you had one of the reps come to your home and show you? This is the first i have heard of the lotto scam. But, I have seen and done the show as I am a new rep. It works I have seen it and to judge the company and deciding without seeing the product in use isn't fair. To you or Tri Star. I can't say the way they work is wrong either. Their show is oriented for the type of product that is being sold. Your already interested so they just need to show you why this product is better than any other one. Just like a shoe salesman is trained how to show you why these shoes are better than the others, since you have already crossed the idea that you may want new shoes. After all you did go into the store just like, how you said you may want a rep to stop buy your home to show you the MG2. Your already interested, see the show then decide. What you will see is what you will get.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:October 31st, 2008 07:53 pm (UTC)

Re: WARNING EVERYONE

(Link)
2 people who posted on this page have claimed to work or have worked at this company. Why don't they have a website? It seems likely that there is no desire to sell you a quality vacuum, only a desire to mislead people and generate money from them.

This company operates in the shade. When I buy or consider buying any product, I like the sale to be transparent and honest. I wonder if you even need to prove that you scratched the card or if it is just a gimmick to get you to call their local office.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 14th, 2008 09:55 pm (UTC)

Re: WARNING EVERYONE

(Link)
YOu may be a new rep, however you arent going to get many clients when the people on the other end of the phone are rude. Unless you are one of them. Here is another thought. I go to work and work hard i do not need to come home for Junk in my mail box with false promises, If i am looking for a product i will do it on my own. YOU ARE JUST AS BAD as telemarketers phoning when i am putting my kids to bed or spending time with my family.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 24th, 2008 05:26 pm (UTC)

Re: WARNING EVERYONE

(Link)
https://www.tristarvacuumscanada.com/index.php
[User Picture]
From:vakkotaur
Date:November 26th, 2008 12:12 am (UTC)
(Link)
Ah, they do have a web site. Curious that the web address isn't on the mail piece, isn't it?
From:(Anonymous)
Date:February 18th, 2009 11:02 pm (UTC)

Re: WARNING EVERYONE

(Link)
This looks like a straw man argument... for those that don't know see [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man ]

And then what follows... is an argument about how "unfair" it is to judge a company without seeing it's product. Wow you lie and deceive to get us to see your product... it must really be worth seeing must it? Say we do see it, then what? Only an idiot wouldn't expect more lies and deception.
[User Picture]
From:vakkotaur
Date:February 18th, 2009 11:11 pm (UTC)
(Link)
It does indeed seem quite fishy that a product needs to be promoted in less than forthright manner.

One thing I would recommend, for any vacuum cleaner sales demo, is that after the usual demo is done (where it's shown how much dirt the sales vacuum cleaner picks up after a bit of carpet has been vacuumed by the model one already owns) to do it in reverse. That is, vacuum a section of carpet with the promoted vacuum cleaner and then see what the old vacuum can pick up that the fancy new one left behind. That would be a very interesting comparison to make. I suspect it's one that the vacuum salesperson would very much like to avoid.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:December 17th, 2008 03:37 pm (UTC)

what a waste

(Link)
I got this card last wednesday, scrachted and WON just like everyone else.
Called the 1866 number at the back of the WINNING card, a lady picked up, took my name+address and phone number and said a representative of MG2 will come by on Saturday to demonstrate their product, and they will bring one of the gifts listed on the back of this card with them. Anyways, on saturday, no one shows up, I called them and the lady said someone will be comming later on that day sometime around 5:30 - 6:00 ----> no one shows up.
Yesterday, I called the 1866 number again, and the lady told me she will call me back in a bit ----> no one calls.
I just called 10 minites ago, the lady quickly said the promotion is over and hung up, i called again to yell because she didn't let me finish talking, but she's not picking up. I'll call the lady in a day or two, to yell at her.

what a waste!!
From:(Anonymous)
Date:February 21st, 2009 03:57 am (UTC)

Re: what a waste

(Link)
If people were so eager to post something positive about the Tri Star product, it would be 10,000 good to every one bad!! Lets be realistic every company and Profession has good and bad people, here's an exapmle Bush vs Oboma. Every company has complaints! And by the way if the called u and said we would like to come show u our vacuum and give u a $5 bill for ur time u would not do it would u? So yes its us the people that have crated the forced them to act this way!!
[User Picture]
From:vakkotaur
Date:February 21st, 2009 04:12 am (UTC)

Re: what a waste

(Link)
If they called, they'd be violating Do Not Call.. the thing that the contest card gimmick is designed to get around. Curiously, Hoover and Dirt Devil and Bissel somehow don't feel pressured by "us" to need to do this.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 27th, 2009 03:10 pm (UTC)
(Link)
This is hilarious...I've received a couple of these in the mail, and both haven't even had a phone number to call if you were dumb enough to call in the first place. Whoever was in charge of my area sure screwed up lol
From:(Anonymous)
Date:May 17th, 2009 08:01 am (UTC)
(Link)
I work in the justice system and I seem to get more honest information from the convicts. This is to say that sadly they are more upfront about what they do than this company. I am used to sifting through a story to get accurate information and the hairs on the back of my neck are standing up as we speak. I have no more faith in this card than I do in the inmates. In fact...I am going to give 1 to them tomorrow. We'll see who is the master...them or the person selling the product.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 9th, 2009 03:59 pm (UTC)

I got one too!

(Link)
They have them here in Canada too. MG2 looked sketchy to me as there is no company name on the front of the card ( and you really have to search for it on the back. so I googled it and your blog was the first thing to come up.
thanks for the info ... now I don't have to call to hear the pitch ( which I would have expected to be lame as I, like yourself, DO read and see that you would have to agree to a presentation) no thanks
but thank YOU! :)
From:(Anonymous)
Date:September 28th, 2009 05:16 pm (UTC)

Re: I got one too!

(Link)
NOW they are in the (705) area code... north eastern Ontario Canada. I too googled MG2 and was fortunate to be directed to this site. THANK-YOU, Vakkotaur, for not adopting the, ever- prevalent apathy that has been slowly smothering our social responsibility consciousness. THANK-YOU to EVERYone who contributed to this reveal ... even those who rose to the defense of these unethical practices ... we need input for the whole picture to register the imbalances in life. As a social worker, EVERY bit of info helps in the battle against preymail. Thanx everyone!
From:(Anonymous)
Date:June 28th, 2010 05:27 pm (UTC)

Re: I got one too!

(Link)
I got a scratch card in the mail two weeks ago! Called the company up and set up the appointment for the demonstration. The rep came out on a Friday night and seemed like a clean cut honest kid. Did a great demo on the new vaccuum. We ended up getting the travel certificate which gives us two nights free hotel/resort stay and there's tons of areas that me and my wife travel to! We're honestly thinking about buying the Tristar! We looked up the company at the BBB and they panned out with no complaints. The company is in the local yellow pages and after researching the company name, they have been at that same location for 6 years. I've read great reviews on the Tristar, and lots of negative reviews from people who havn't participated in the demo or didn't get a prize. As far as me and my wife can tell, it seems to be an advertising campaign. Like someone said earlier, a way to get around the Do Not Call laws. A good experience over all! We will be buying one very soon and giving our Bissel to my sister in-law.
[User Picture]
From:vakkotaur
Date:June 29th, 2010 01:06 pm (UTC)

Re: I got one too!

(Link)
I have to wonder. How many folks do web search (or happen across some odd old blog post) a couple weeks after getting a piece of mail about whatever it is... and remember it.. and comment on it - to a seemingly researched level?

Not that it couldn't or doesn't happen, but... this does seem quite odd indeed.

From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 10th, 2010 10:14 pm (UTC)

Tristar

(Link)
I work for a Tristar office (not in colorado), and have to say i'm a little shocked. First, let me say that everything you need to know is on the card. It even says you may be asked to view a tristar product. I'm sorry if you didnt take the time to read it, but that's not tristar's fault is it? Certainly we are not coming out and saying "do you want to see a demonstration of a high end vacuum?", but we do tell you on the card and on the phone that we want you to look at our product. Now I'm not going to say that every person that ever worked for tristar was an upstanding person, but then what company can? The truth is evrey company has good people and bad people in it. I humbly apologize to all of you that had a bad experience with our company or its affiliates. Tristar is a awesome company that provides people not only with superior cleaning appliances, but also offers people a way to get into business for themselves, without a huge financial investment. I have been selling Tristars for over 4 years now. I live in a mostly rural area so I run into some of my customers at the store, and of course I see them when they come in for their yearly servicing, and I can tell you not one of them has ever had anything but praise for the Tristar. Now I'm sure after 4 years I have a customer or 2 that is unhappy, but that doesn't mean I did anything wrong to them. I showed them a product and they decided to buy it. That's what America is all about, building a better mousetrap. Do you get mad at the TV because it plays commercials? I ask all of you this:Does your company show their product in a worst case scenario(full of dirt) and then back it up with lifetime warranties and free lifetime servicing? Can your company boast an average product lifespan of 42+ years? Sure a Tristar is expensive to purchase, but over a lifetime it costs very little. Please dont conpare the price of a storebought designed to last a year(with a 90 day warranty) to the price of a machine designed to last 40 times that long. If the price is 40 times more than maybe its overpriced. Anyway I dont expect many of you to see it my way but I wanted you all to know that the company I represent is a good company full of hard working people,that make the world's best cleaning system. As a whole, we are not trying to "do" anything bad to anyone. We are simply trying to something good "for" you. Anyway, once again I am very sorry for any bad experiences some of you had. I truly wish I could have been your salesperson, so I could show you this amazing american made product. I wish you could see what I see when I look at a Tristar. I will end with this little tidbit:If your car would last 40 times as long as the average car did, could be driven harder with less wear and tear, and would be taken apart, inspected, cleaned and put back together like brand new every year, would you be willing to pay more for it? I bet you would. That is all I am asking my customers to do. Invest in something that will last instead of spending on something that won't.
[User Picture]
From:vakkotaur
Date:August 11th, 2010 05:37 am (UTC)

Re: Tristar

(Link)
[...]i'm a little shocked. First, let me say that everything you need to know is on the card. It even says you may be asked to view a tristar product. I'm sorry if you didnt take the time to read it, but that's not tristar's fault is it?

Nope, it isn't, because unlike your assumption, I most certainly did read it. Which, had you followed the the link to the earlier posting you would have known.

A "product" is very non-specific? Why the need for that? As for "full of dirt".. it's a vacuum cleaner. If it's NOT full of dirt, it isn't working. Hardly a big point.

As for the unrelated argument, "Do you get mad at the TV because it plays commercials?" How many new TVs without MUTE buttons on the remote have been sold in last 10 years? Not many, I expect. There's a reason for that. It's not that commercials are in and of themselves evil or unnecessary. It's that all too many are just plain annoying and have earned the treatment of being ruthlessly ignored ("Apply directly to.." not anyone?) whereas all too few are actually clever and amusing. Those few get talked about in positive ways, "Hey, did you see..." Or to keep in the 'Bulk Business Mail' category, there is this reply I made to another commenter. It simply compares two pieces of mailed advertising. One from MG2/Tristar and another from CitiCorp & American Express (with which I do no business) and Citi/AMEX come out looking better - and banks and credit and companies are not apt to be considered paragons of virtue.

You give lots of praise and supposed great points to the vacuum cleaner. Why not tell people right off? Why the gimmicks that are clearly intended to trick people into calling for the chance at some 'prize'? It screams, "We're using this to get around DO NOT CALL."

Edited at 2010-08-11 05:58 am (UTC)

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