Saturday, December 12, 2009

Cash4Gold: How much is more?

American television is filled with commercials for companies that will turn your old gold jewelry into cash. You just send it in, and they send you a check, with no obligation to accept the deal.  It sounds straightforward enough, but the ads are a little misleading.  At the moment, Cash4Gold says it's offering a 25 percent bonus over its usual rates, presumably to entice consumers to try and grab that extra cash.  Yet in general, such claims are too vague to mean anything; you have to ask, "25 percent more than what?"  Cash4Gold never says what its regular rates are, nor do it say how often its regular rates change.  This is an important issue, since the price of gold has risen by 37 percent in the last year.  If consumers are getting 25 percent more than they did this time last year, Cash4Gold is pocketing the other 12 percent... but there's no way to know from the ads.

AT&T versus Verizon: Apples and oranges?

Verizon has been slamming AT&T in its television commercials with claims that AT&T's third-generation wireless network offers far less coverage than Verizon's.  The Verizon coverage map for the United States certainly looks a lot more comprehensive than AT&T's.  But now, AT&T is responding with ads showing another, much more flattering map of its coverage (and the actor Luke Wilson running down a long list of the cities that the map includes).  The AT&T commercials, however, do not specify that the coverage is on a third-generation network; it looks as though AT&T's claims may rest on its garden-variety mobile phone network.  Is AT&T really countering Verizon's ads in such a disingenuous way?  Wait for the next round to find out.