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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

I understand Capitalism.  I embrace greed when it brings out innovation, excellence and a strive to beat the competition.  To make another buck, to finish in first place, or to win the trophy – I applaud how we are inspired and driven by these motives.

But it shouldn’t include cheating, deception or intentionally misleading people.

One example is how some companies send out invoice-looking statements to people for services they get for free.  Or postcards that offer to save the homeowner hundreds of dollars on their property taxes if they hire them, but all they do is file a homestead exception, which the homeowner can do themselves for free.  It just feels wrong, sneaky and cheaty.

I got another example in the mail this past week.  It’s a 4-page letter that consists of

  1. Mostly nothing on the first page (date, addressee, sender)
  2. Blank second page
  3. A third page containing a Notice of Privacy Policy that looks just like every other privacy policy notice you get from every possible company you do business with about what they collect, what they disclose, yada yada yada.  This same page also said in bold type “This Notice is for information only. No action on your part is required
  4. A fourth page, below the fold, letting me know that I may be entitled to a refund of unearned credit insurance if I paid off a loan early

Let me ask you — after the first three pages, would YOU have gone to the fourth page?  I almost threw this letter away, and I believe it was the intent of ANICO (American National Insurance Company) to craft this letter in such a way that most people DO throw it away.  They owe me money, and I bet they’re only required to send a notice of the refund, and if people don’t respond, the company keeps the money.

That?  is sneaky.

You know what else?  The website they list on the fourth page doesn’t work.  They point you to www.anico-cid.com/refund but that page doesn’t exist.  You have to go to http://www.anico-cid.com/refund.htm.  Yet another mark in the “sneaky” column.

When I called the number to tell them about the website, the person on the phone said “maybe you have to try to browse around the site to find it.”  Yeah, lady.  I’m sure that’s what I have to do.

In order to get the refund, I need to submit some paperwork, including the page that states “no action on your part is required.”

I’d like to find out how many of these notices result in a tidy profit for the company because they’re hiding them deep within privacy policies that people are already trained to throw away.

And lo, the people did comment thus:

16 Comments

  1. Ren says:

    What’s the matter with you? Don’t begrudge their right to make a profit. You socialist!!

  2. Finn says:

    Brace yourself, I’m going to say a dirty word: regulation.

  3. Sybil Law says:

    That surely is some serious BS right there…

  4. martymankins says:

    Sometimes it’s the addition of more paperwork that allows us to enjoy that little bit of extra.

    Although this could be the case of the prize in the cereal box. The only difference here is that the box usually tells us in a bright graphic that there is a toy inside after we open it.

  5. dmarks says:

    Paper spam should be treated like email spam, and for both there should be a stiff fine for every piece of it.

  6. dmarks says:

    Ren: Socialism would be far worse, true.

  7. Mike G says:

    Hey, I was curious, your anico notice is similar to one I got and I was trying to find out if it’s a scam or if they really pay. I checked RipOffReport and a searched on the company name and it sounds legit but I’m not sure. Did you have any luck? I live in Texas:
    http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/settlements/08180/anico-insurance.html

  8. adrienne Bunker says:

    I just got the EXACT same letter! Actually, my husband was throwing it away and I checked to make sure it wasn’t important. I am interested to know, what every happened with your letter???

  9. Fortiz says:

    i am also curious if this legit. This is the second letter that i have received from this company within three years and have not resonded to either one. Has anyone received a refund from these people?

  10. Sherry Lee says:

    I received this letter the other day. I decided to act on it. Couldn’t hurt because at least they didn’t ask for money. When I went to fax the number, it wouldn’t work, so I am going to mail it. However when I went on line, the mail-in address is different from my letter. I am sending it in anyway to the address they sent me. What I want to know is: did anybody act on this and get any money back?

  11. Leslee Williams says:

    GREAT NEWS PEOPLE. I am the kind of girl whom never gives up, so when I got the not (1) but (2) letters, for 2 vehicles my husband and I traded in last year, well this was a mission. The website is misleading. So I started digging and left a very detailed and not so nice message on their website. The next morning I received a very nice email and local phone # telling me exactly how to proceed. I emailed my docs, faxed my docs and snail-mailed them, too.
    Contact Renee Ware@ANICO.COM
    800-899-6502 ext. 2407
    281-535-2407 (Houston line)
    Fax docs to 877-334-1899
    She assures me a 7-10 day refund.
    Also note that this is for GAP insurance, Term Life Ins and Disability Ins. all of which are on your original sales agreement.
    I’ll let you guys know how it turns out.
    GOOD LUCK

  12. nathan says:

    i just called the number at the bottom of this letter. Hit 0 and spoke to a rep who told me what my refund would be. It’s a couple hundred bucks, so that’s not too shabby. I’d pursue this with confidence.

  13. Jared says:

    This is legit! I received a similar letter and the main reason was to notify of a company name change. I would be bet they are required to notify consumers about the possibility. I didn’t even know that I had purchased $900 of insurance at the time the auto purchase, and I am fairly certain I declined it (or they snuck it by me), becuase I never purchase any such insurance. I confirmed with the car dealership. Merry Christmas to me then! It is a lesson to triple-check any contract I sign.

  14. Katrina says:

    I was going through some old paperwork and just found that same letter. I was unsure about what to do but I followed this post and I’m going to follow through and see where it goes. Thanks to all, I’ll keep you posted.

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