Spell Out Fulfillment Charges (148 words)
Disclose very clearly what the word "FREE" means in any offers of free products for which consumers only pay shipping and handling, advises The Direct Marketing Association (DMA), which recently published guidelines to assist direct marketers with establishing charges for shipping, handling and other fulfillment costs.
Additional recommendations in the report include:
> Determine what costs will be covered, and substantiate their method so you easily can respond to consumers, regulators or others who might inquire about charges.
> Prominently display and disclose exact charges in advance of the order.
> Provide an estimate range of costs before consumers sign up for any continuity program in which shipping costs may differ from month to month depending on the order.
> Use verbiage such as "shipping included" rather than "free shipping" when charges are built into the price of the product rather than listed separately.
For more information, visit www.the-dma.org.