Consumer alert
Local residents advised to be wary of promotions

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

NNSL (Sep 30/98) - Local RCMP are alerting residents of Yellowknife and surrounding areas of three unauthorized sales practices reported to be happening in the capital city.

Two of the practices surround the issue of BINGO scratch and win tickets.

Const. Jean Cormier said one BINGO card is distributed by MNR Productions Inc. of Abbotsford, B.C.

He said MNR reps distribute the cards, then hold the prize ransom for winners to listen to sales pitches for air filters and vacuums.

"We're not saying they're failing to distribute the prizes, but the number you have to call on the BINGO card to claim your prize is no longer in service," said Cormier.

"This is a legitimate company in B.C., but the sales rep didn't obtain the necessary licences to conduct business here and is ruining the company's reputation by not abiding by the rules."

The second BINGO game features a 1-900 number winners must phone to claim their prize.

There is no guarantee of what, if any, prize a caller has won and the call costs $3.99 per minute.

"We can't say they won't deliver a prize," said Cormier.

"But, the call will cost, on average, about $24 and I suspect most will receive a booby prize worth about $5 or something like that."

The third promotion is run by an unidentified meat company also without a licence to practice business in the city of Yellowknife.

"If you're going to sell any type of meat or food product in the N.W.T. coming from another province, you have to have approval from the health department.

"This company is not abiding by the rules and putting more risk on the consumer," said Cormier

The RCMP have been informed company reps contact residents by telephone to advise they are a new meat company promoting its product by giving out one-pound packs of meat.

The meat is delivered. However, it appears to be used as a tool by the representative to gain access to a home to promote other unauthorized sales.

"We want to make the public aware if approached by these companies, they have the right to request they produce their licences.

"If they fail to do so, residents should contact the RCMP and we'll look after the matter accordingly.

"We're trying to protect local consumers. We don't want any one to be victimized by anything like this."