Freebie fusillade


Call it a business gimmick or a sales strategy. The marketing ‘dadas’ keep bombarding us with a barrage of freebie offers everyday. And most of us — the ‘bakras’ just fall for the bait, hook, line n’ sinker. And, I’m no exception!

Just sometime back, I received a telephone call saying, I’m among those ‘selected’ few, chosen to collect a ‘special’ gift, at a ‘specific’ place. With heart hammering with high thrill, when I reached the specified place, imagine my shock, when I was subjected to a severe spiel by a smartly-attired, silver-tongued sales-executive, who was busy selling holiday packages to credulous customers! This fella didn’t even allow me to have a word in edgeways.

When a garrulous person like me was reeling under his verbal assault, one can well visualise the predicament of other ‘bakras’, who were buttonholed by many such sales-executives, scattered all around. Truly, it had been a mammoth task to have ourselves extricated from the clutches of their business chicaneries. Finally, the gift that we bagged was some low-end fruit bowl — this for having spent a long time and energy by going there.

And then there was a ‘special gift’ offer once, at a newly-opened beauty salon, for all those who got their tresses styled, during that particular week. One of my friends wanted to have a shot at it, and I strung along to watch the fun. Well, after the hair was styled, when my friend peered into the mirror, she let out a loud shriek. For, she had acquired the look of a badly-plucked chicken! Only then had she realised the beautician was a greenhorn at hairstyling. The gift that my friend obtained, for the irrevocable damage, was some chintzy hair-band!

Yet another friend of mine, who’s madly after exotic-looking coffee mugs, once had bought off six bottles of some food drink as with each bottle, a mug was given gratis. By the time she could use two bottles, the other four bottles had overshot the shelf life. This ain’t all. She used to develop a queasy feeling, just by casting her eyes on that drink. Twice she had thrown up too, after having guzzled that beverage. “Should people pay to puke”, I had wondered.

Really, it amazes one to behold the torrent of tantalising offers at every place. Buy a snazzy-jazzy car, get a refrigerator free. Buy a refrigerator, get a mixer-grinder free. Buy a mixer, get a frying-pan free. Buy a frying-pan, and get a teacup free! Seeing this freebie fusillade, I silently hope that all these tricksters get blown over by a tornado some day!

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