The Point

When a company offers you something for free, there may be strings attached. I was reminded of this the other day when I picked up an offer for a sweepstakes. The grand prize winner would get a new car. Sounds harmless, right? What could go wrong?

Before I completed the form, I decided to read the mailer a bit closer. By entering the contest, I was consenting to have my personal information shared with other companies who want to sell me stuff. My consent would also include permission to call, text and email me with unrelated solicitations. Finally, the entry form stated I agree to waive any rights I may have to remedies for damages. Damages? What damages?

So, this got me thinking. When a seemingly innocent contest form contains a whole bunch of legal language about waivers, forfeitures and warnings, you should be a little suspicious.

This isn’t the way your Credit Union does business.

Doing business better

We believe companies shouldn’t take advantage of their customers. I know that sounds shocking. But you have to figure that when the other side writes an agreement, it’s usually not prepared with your benefit in mind. Keep a healthy bit of skepticism handy.

Businesses should write agreements in language you understand. If you don’t understand the meaning of an agreement’s conditions, ask the provider to explain. If the explanation doesn’t make sense, take a moment to think about the consequences of signing.

Companies should see to it that each party gets the same rights and privileges. When we read an agreement that disadvantages the Credit Union, we’re leery. After all, who wants to do business with someone trying to outsmart you?

The credit union way

As a cooperative, your Credit Union acts and thinks differently. Members own the Credit Union. This means I work for you. It would be foolhardy to try and pull the wool over the eyes of my bosses.

When it comes to the offers you receive from the Credit Union, you should expect a fair deal and no shenanigans. This is how we do business with members every day. You deserve honesty with every transaction.