Is National Grocery Stimulus a Scam?

By : | 4 Comments | On : December 21, 2011 | Category : Editorial

Is National Grocery Stimulus a Scam?

You may have heard about the “National Grocery Stimulus” on the radio. If you haven’t – it’s a short commercial claiming that they will give you $1000 in certificates to “research” what people buy. They advertise that there are no catches, and you can spend it on anything you want. As usual, the old adage is true – if it sounds too good to be true, it is.

I was originally intrigued by the idea because it doesn’t sound so far fetched. A research study could be done to see what people are buying in a time of economic crisis. But what made me suspicious is the amount – $1000. After doing some research, the ads were originally for $2000. Imagine being a scientist and trying to run a study where you have an open door for test subjects. Where are you going to get funding to give every single one of them $1000? So there had to be a catch.

They claim they are presented by Nelson research, possibly attempting to trick customers into thinking that they’re related to Nielsen Ratings, the guys who do tons of consumer research. Tricky tricky. Maybe it was an honest company with a strangely common name?

Nope.

Upon calling you’ll be asked for your credit card number. That’s pretty strange for a free program, now isn’t it? Its for “shipping charges.” The shipping charge is normally around $1.50, and then they start slinging subscription services to you in an attempt to get you to “try them out.” Each service can hit your bank account pretty hard – some people have reported charges of $79 or more based on my googling. If you choose to opt out, the shipping charge suddenly goes up to around $15.00. Strange how a charge for shipping, something completely unrelated to trial offers, suddenly changes when you opt out of those trial offers. That tells me that the shipping charge is a fake way to suck cash out of you. So they’re misrepresenting their charges. Big red flag.

But that’s not all they’re misrepresenting.

The program does not give people certificates to be used. You pay for a booklet of coupons. If you order them over the phone, you’ll be sent an assortment which you have no control over. So, like usual, if you eat a lot of whole foods you’re screwed. Now, you can sign up online and select coupons, but I’d expect your options are still the processed trash that people can usually find coupons for.

But this is still not certificates that can be used on anything as advertised. Plus, you have to keep going back for more if you ever want to get to that “$1000 in savings!” they advertise on the radio.

There are still more reports that to use the coupons, you have to redeem that at another website, which charges you money to do so. This is according to the BBB. If you’re curious you can check out the BBB warning here. You can also check out more reports by googling. Here is another one.

Remember folks, especially in times of need, there are people out there looking to con you out of your money. Don’t fall for it. You’ve worked too hard to not be skeptical about things like this. Always be cautious when people use buzzwords like “free” and “anything.” So, is National Grocery Stimulus a scam? I suppose it has some valid uses if you eat a lot of processed crap, and want to bleed out some cash for a few coupons. However, in my opinion, it walks like a scam, and talks like a scam. So, I’ll put it out there, yes, I think that the National Grocery Stimulus is a scam.

Caveat Emptor.

  1. posted by Colleen on December 21, 2011

    I heard this on the radio and called, which is something I normally don’t do, but who couldn’t use some grocery money? The guy asked what sort of foods I buy, and I said local whole foods and he told me the coupons wouldn’t be for that but that he was sure if I tried buying brand names I’d love them even more. Then he wanted to charge TWENTY dollars for shipping. So, I said NO. Mega scam.

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  2. posted by Matty on December 21, 2011

    Yeah, it sounded fishy but I was going to give them a call. But I started googling around and saw some of the horror stories people have posted about it – it definitely seems like a scam. What sucks is its obviously targeting people who are already in dire straits and need to save money any way they can. Very predatory, especially around the holidays.

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  3. posted by Jamo Lorswal on March 18, 2012

    So glad people are onto this. I was shopping on March 16th in a Goodwill store in Oakland California, I kept hearing the words “a thousand dollars” on the stereo so I began to listen. Get this: if we can get their original recordings it definitely says this ‘Please call now # then limit one per asshole.”

    I swear. I heard I shook my head went to the counter and asked the cashier if he had just heard what I heard and he said no but it is 96. something fm. wow I wish I could swear I heard it on my grandma but that wouldn’t be fair to four people. This is a typical gov/biz plan make no mistakes about it!

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    • posted by Kim on February 12, 2014

      It said “Limit 1 per household.” But funny story nonetheless. :)

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