Recently I heard on the radio an advertisement encouraging consumers to pay their Indah Water bill early with the promise that those who pay their bill in advance will be given a gift. For those who are unfamiliar with this company, it manages all the sewage in Malaysia. On the surface, this is very attractive, those who pay early will be awarded. However, when we checked with the company it seems that there are several conditions. First the gift is an umbrella but it will be given only on Mondays and only to the first seven paying customers. We think that the advertisement is extremely misleading.
We had a similar experience with a promotion by the Chicken Rice Shop several years ago. The company advertised that they were giving away free lunches between noon to 1 pm. My parents brought my children to one of the outlets. They arrived early - around 11:30 and was told to come back at noon. However, when they returned at noon, they were told that all the free mails were already given out.
Both examples above are promotions that are counterproductive. Instead of attracting customers, they push away customers. In fact, my children were so upset with Chicken Rice Shop that they avoided it for several years. We finally ate there when we received some discount coupons to the establishment several weeks ago. I do not understand why business would carry out such campaigns. They would be better off if the campaigns are never carried out. These kinds of campaigns tend to create ill feelings and some consumers have long memory.