Don't Waste Your Money: Free TV promotion leaves couple fuming - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Don't Waste Your Money: Free TV promotion leaves couple fuming

(Source: AP Images/Don't Waste Your Money) (Source: AP Images/Don't Waste Your Money)
(Don't Waste Your Money) -

If you've ever considered buying something because of a free promo deal, like a $100 gift card or even a free TV, beware.

Michael and Jackie Commins are making their fourth trip to their local AT&T store.

"It just seems like we get the runaround," he said.

They are trying to get the free Samsung HDTV they were promised when they switched  to AT&T wireless.

"On the display it said 'you qualify for a free TV if you switch to AT&T and have Direct TV,'" Commins said.

Sign Up, Then Nothing

So the Commins made the switch, then - to avoid mistakes - asked the salesman to submit the request. Smart move.

"That's why we let the salesperson fill out all the paperwork that needed to be filled out," he said.

But 3 months later, still no TV, and no one at the AT&T store knew what happened to it.

"This person said everything  was in order, and we would be hearing from Samsung and receive the television," Commins said. "We have yet to receive the television."

How to Protect Yourself

We receive complaints every week about promotions gone awry.

Maybe it's a free gift card for switching your cable service, maybe it's a free set of tires for your car. How can you protect yourself and be sure you get what's promised? says when applying for a promotion:

  • Save copies of all paperwork
  • Take pictures of signed forms with your phone
  • Write down the names of everyone you deal with
  • Look for loopholes that could disqualify you. For instance, you may need to pay on time every month for 6 months in a row to get the freebie

We contacted AT&T's corporate offices, where a spokeswoman promised a full investigation. A week later, the Commins are happy to report, their free TV finally showed up.

The Commins, meantime, say it's all been "very frustrating."

So make sure you keep a record of everything with a promo deal, so you don't waste your money.

Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.

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