We are now in the thick of a recession with seemingly no end in sight. Several companies have stepped forward to offer deals, freebies, or refunds to help customers during the tough time (or maybe just generate some free marketing for themselves). The promotions have also sparked fierce competition in the business world as companies try to outdo one another. From free grilled chicken meals to covered car payments, these companies have your back when the going gets tough.
1. Allied Home Mortgage Capital Corporation partnered with the non-profit Rainy Day Foundation to offer a special Homeowner Education and Loan Protection (H.E.L.P) program. As part of the program, Allied will pay up to six months of a homeowner’s payment if they lose their job within the first year of the mortgage.
2. JetBlue Airways promises to refund the cost of a ticket if a passenger is laid off before his or her trip. But read the fine print. Like many other recession deals there are a few catches. The deal is valid for tickets booked by Dec. 31 and the job loss must be involuntary.
3. Probably the first recession deal promoter, Hyundai launched its Assurance program last year with the promise to buy back a vehicle if the owner is laid off. The Korean car maker also recently unveiled a new promotion that allows buyers to lock in fuel prices at $1.49 a gallon for a year.
4. Virgin Mobile USA’s Pink Slip Protection plan waives up to three months of cell phone bills for the recently unemployed. In another effort to keep customers content with free offers, the company recently announced plans for a free music festival – Virgin Mobile FreeFest. The festival, planned for August 30 in
5. FedEx Office first began offering free resume printing for the unemployed last year. Office Depot followed suit. Staples put together its own deal, which included 30 free copies and 40 free business cards for job seekers.
6. There is such a thing as a free lunch after all. KFC, Denny’s and Arby’s have all handed out free meals within the past year. Demand for the free food was so high that long lines and food shortages angered some customers. Other chains have started offering lower-prices. Subway seemed to have sparked the fast food price war with its $5 foot-long deal. Pizza Hut, Quiznos, Domino’s, and others have followed suit with similarly-priced menu items.
7. Swedish home furnishings giant IKEA has always offered a free supervised play area for children of customers. These days people are specifically going to the stores, not to shop for a cheap couch, but to log on to the store’s free WiFi and take a breather from their kids.
8. Walgreen is offering free basic medical care for the jobless. Patients have to be clients of the Walgreen Take Care walk-in clinics before losing their jobs. They also can’t have health insurance.