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But It’s Only A Dollar

January 17, 2011

Some time ago, I pumped gas at Pilot Gas Travel Station (location PA 16509-6620) and on my printout receipt, it said I can redeem a cup of coffee.  I went in, poured my coffee and was told to pay more than a dollar.  They said “redeem” didn’t mean FOC, they redeem a 15% or 20% off the regular price.  I grumble something under my nose, took out the money unwillingly, paid and left.

The very next month, I got a similar receipt in Middleport in the state of New York.  This time I asked what the receipt meant and they said I can get a free coffee any size.  I was still a little skeptical.  I took the medium size, poured myself a cup of decaf coffee and was prepared to pay the NY state tax or something. “Nothing, you don’t have to pay anything.”

Today, I saw a BIG banner saying “Free Coffee, anytime, Jan 17 to Jan 31”.  It was one of those big billboard on Peach Street.  I boldly walked into a MacDonald still full of lunchtime crowd and stand in line.  When it’s my turn, I asked for “A free cup of coffee” and was immediately replied with “and would you like an order of Apple Pie to go with that?”  I looked around and then unabashedly answered “No.”

“How about some fries?”

“No” was the other answer which takes a lot more courage.  The cashier ringed me up, I carefully see the amount on the cash register and 0.94 and then when the cash register opened and closed, the total came out “$0”.  Phew!

I got my coffee and wonder why policies for “redeem” or free coffee are so different in different places.

My next bold task will be to think of ways to “cheat” the government and get more money back from my tax of 2010.  My brother “cheated” too.  He set up a fictitious company in Singapore that does nothing and  he can claim as “deduction” under “Business” for everything from postage to air ticket.

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