Money Carlo match-to-win mailer misleading to consumers
BATON ROUGE - In the last few days, mailers advertising big prizes have shown up in thousands of Baton Rouge mailboxes. One man thought he won a brand new ATV but tells 2 On Your Side he was offered a different, much smaller prize.
"We won," Cleveland Johnson said. "This is my first time ever winning anything."
The feeling corresponded with winning the lottery, but Johnson says that excitement quickly turned to disappointment and he feels misled.
"They baited me in saying that I won, but then offered me much less and tried to sell me a car at the same time," Johnson said.
Last week, Acadian Used Cars says 50,000 Money Carlo's were delivered to mailboxes in various Baton Rouge zip codes. Johnson received one of them.
He tells 2 On Your Side that he opened the mailer with big prizes up for grabs that include a Chevrolet Camaro or a Honda ATV. Johnson says he played the game revealing a winning prize. The instructions say to lift the tabs on the card and if the card has a matching pair, it's a winning card. Johnson's revealed all sevens and he thought he won a Honda 500 4x4 ATV.
He called the telephone number on the Money Carlo and a voice on the other end confirmed he was indeed a winner.
"Thank you for calling Acadian Used Cars event headquarters, congratulations you are a winner!"
Johnson visited Acadian Used Cars Monday to claim his prize and while there, ran into someone else who thought they had won an ATV.
"I said, 'wow, I wonder how many they have to give away,'" he said.
Instead of walking away with an ATV, Johnson walked away with a certificate for a 3-day/2-night vacation package from www.paradisevacationforyou.com which redirects you to a site www.premiumtravelforless.com.
"I didn't come here for a vacation," said Johnson.
The owner of Acadian Used Cars Mike Corsentino says he's sent out the Money Carlo's before. Corsentino could not confirm to WBRZ that someone has won the grand prize in the past but does say the used 2017 Camaro is on the lot for someone to win this year.
The Louisiana Attorney General says if you received a mailer like the Money Carlo, pay attention to the asterisk next to the word "win."
"The fine print. The devil's always in the details," said Jeff Landry. "You certainly should be a lot more thorough in looking at the documents or walking your way through whatever the solicitation is to determine whether or not it is what it says on its face."
The details say the odds of winning the grand prize is 1 in 50,000 and the odds of winning a 3-day/2-night vacation package is 49,996 in 50,000.
Comments about "misleading advertisement" or "prize promotion" are growing in numbers on Acadian Used Cars Facebook page.
Corsentino tells 2 On Your Side there's an absolute winner sent out for each individual prize and it's up to that winner to claim their prize. He also says it's great for business and brings more people to his car lot.
"Everybody's a winner, no matter what," he said.
Johnson is not too happy to hear about the odds and feels like he was misled.
"Because I won something but only in the mind," said Johnson.
Following his experience, Johnson says he won't be partaking in that vacation but he will be checking the mail a little closer next time.
The Money Carlo mailers were approved by the Louisiana Used Motor Vehicle Commission.