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Boston's Better Business Bureau Hits 'Shoppers' Guide' Promotion

Dispute Advantages of Coupon Booklet

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An organization called North East Business Aids, Inc. is currently offering University undergraduates a coupon booklet entitling them to $60 worth of discounts for only $3.95.

The organization, whose home office is in Providence, R.I., calls its booklet the "Shoppers' Guide." It claims the advertising campaign is guaranteed.

Boston's Better Business Bureau, however, has cast doubt on this. Although "Shoppers' Guide" is not registered with them, the office knows quite a bit about its activities. "Bureaus all over the country have had difficulty with this type of promotion," a Better Business Bureau spokesman said yesterday.

According to this source, trouble arises when the booklets are oversubscribed. Thus, a merchant who has signed a contract to give away 1,000 free car washes is suddenly swamped by 5,000 coupon-holders, and he refuses to honor them all.

Advantages of the coupon book are limited in several ways. For example, a student must be over 21 to receive a $1.50 pair of earrings, and dry cleaning privileges are only extended on specific days.

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