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"Free hat" should mean "free hat"
Posted by on
STRONGSVILLE, OH, OHIO -- I just bought a Zebco 33 fishing reel for my grandson. A red tag attached to it said "FREE HAT" with no asterisk to alert me that it is not "free." My grandson (age7) loved it and was excited about the "free" baseball-style CAP. Alas, when I turned the attachment over to see how to order it, I found that Zebco wanted $5.95 for shipping and handling. Plus Zebco wanted the store receipt & UPC. With the 44 cent stamp, Zebco wanted me to spend $6.39 for a "free" CAP. That is not "free" and I can buy a comparable CAP at the local store for less.
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madconsumer on 12/26/2011:
often times, this is how they make money from these deals. the real shipping and handling is very low, and the $5.95 far covers everything with a profit at the end.
Jeff on 12/26/2011:
Its a shame but shipping prices are going up. Companies like to say "free" to make the sale, because they don't expect shipping charges to make it seem like its not free.
jeff on 12/26/2011:
I have a shirt that kind of pokes fun at this type of thing. Its says FREE LOVE in huge letters, and then says "with 5 proofs of purchase and mail-in rebate"
ontario_girl on 12/26/2011:
Technically, the hat is actually free, as they are not charging for it. They are charging for the shipping and handling, which is the cost of getting said hat to you. You are not actually paying for the item.
trmn8r on 12/26/2011:
Yes, but you normally can't get to the store for free, correct? It takes time and usually transportation costs.

"Shipping and handling" covers the cost of a box/bag, the employee's wages to handle it and deliver to the loading dock, and the shipping to you. $5.95 isn't bad for all that, but as mentioned above, the S&H is usually more than the company's total cost. Not much is free in life.
Old Timer on 12/26/2011:
I looked into that goo they sell on TV to stop water leaks. Two cans end up costing just under $40.00 when they are done with you. Far from the $19.95 they pitch in their commercials. I found something that works just as well at ACE for less than $5.00 a can. And it covered more area.

The extra $30.00 (two cans) you pay for the TV product is paying for all those TV ads.
trmn8r on 12/26/2011:
That sounds like a deal Old Timer. I've developed a few leaks of my own that could use attention - is that product approved by the FDA?
Old Timer on 12/26/2011:
Trm, the stuff I found was called BlueMagic Pure Rubber Coating and it came in a 15oz can. There is another one called Leak Ender that I was looking at but did not buy. The only problem I had was getting it to cure. But after a while it did cure OK. I just looked on the can but found no FDA info. It was on sale for $4.99. The regular price was about $10.

I think Spray'n'Seal is about the same stuff, but have only used it on our boat.
trmn8r on 12/26/2011:
Old Timer - thanks for that info. You did realize I was joking about the FDA, right?

"Leak Ender" might be just the ticket LOL!
cranky on 04/02/2013:
You can buy the same hat at that bass pro for $7.99
Robert Paquin on 06/12/2013:
I bought the rod and reel combo with free hat. I thought it was too good to be true and it apparently is. In Canada your company could be charged with false advertising resulting in a hefty fine. Very poor merchandising technique. No I will not be giving you any extra sales in the future either.
Ladyfishin on 06/26/2013:
Why not just attach the "free" to combo set and then it would be FREE! Just a suggestion. Bet it would increase sales
Tazz666 on 06/27/2013:
I just bought a Zebco call rod and reel today for a 13 year olds birthday.printed out their form for the hat,and found out it is not free.I will bring everything back to the store and buy a different company.
rose neal on 06/29/2013:
I want my free hat it was not with my pole
tazzz123 on 08/19/2013:
Just Attach The Hat To The Rod and Reel Combo!!!! Just Saying!!
Tammie wells on 03/06/2014:
I received free stuff in the mail and all I had to pay for was the stamp, it was a Pepsi promotion!!!! Matter if a fact it was a hat!!!! Come on Zebco it's not free!!!
Janice Summers on 04/28/2014:
I don't think someone knows what free means! My son also bought me a Zebco with the red tag on it saying free hat, also wanting the 5.95 and the receipt and bar code, and mail that and pay .44 cents which comes out to 6.39 I also was excited about a free pink hat! where is the freeness in this? Makes me want to take the fishing pole back and get the money. Free MEANS FREE ppl!!!!!!!!!!
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Free Hat
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
Bought two rod & reels for my granddaughters thinking they also will get a free cap to cover their heads. But when I go to see what I need to do to get their caps you have to send Zebco 5.95 for each plus send in store receipt plus buy a stamp on top of that. Now I will pay over 12.82 dollars more. Wow what a great offer Zebco.

Just keep those expensive caps I won't buy anymore of your great deals.
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Alain on 04/19/2013:
What you're describing (and I see that there is another review about these so called free hats) is not free. An "offer" like this is a really great way to tick off customers. They probably have a customer service number or feedback area on their web site. Give them some quick communication to let them know they blew it.
mark allard on 06/01/2013:
wow, free what? we just finished our yearly kids fishing derby. I gladly ready there rods and reels and clipped the tags off, which read "free rod". Then after about 150 or so I read the tag.What 5.95$ . what's free about that.
Brian on 07/18/2013:
Yeah, I thought the same thing.
Bought 2 rod combos. $12 for a couple of free hats. Forget it. I'm so ticked off, I'm bringing them back.
Isabel Jeff daughter on 07/23/2013:
On my fishing pole tag said FREE hat
James E Page on 03/25/2014:
Your rods are really good your customer service really sucks these so called free hats me and my girl bought two of your rods and thought we would get some free hats which your add said but that was a lie they are not free stop lying to your customers I hope your rods stop selling, what more have you lied about. Thanks for nothing.
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Zebco 733 Rhino Reel
Posted by on
URBANA, OHIO -- When I cast out my line I discovered that the handle of my 733 Zebco Rhino reel came off the reel and plunged into the deep also. Bye bye handle! All I can say: it was poor quality workmanship to cause a handle come off so easily. Why doesn't Zebco check out the tightness of the screwed on handle before selling it to the public?

A very disappointed Zebco customer.

henk 2845
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tnchuck100 on 05/22/2007:
Try contacting Zebco. Explain what happened. If you approach it right they might send you a new handle.

Here is their contact info:

Mailing Address:
6105 E. Apache
Tulsa, OK 74115


Monday thought Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. CST

Starlord on 05/23/2007:
I agree with chuck, but I should point out that I learned very young, that if a piece of gear has screws, or nuts, bolts, or other fasteners, or handles that might be mounted by a threaded part, check it, and tighten it before using it. I have never been completely comfortable with any device having all its parts properly tightened, so I make sure I check it myself before I trust it not to fall apart on me. I wish you luck, and reassure you that my dealings with Zebco have always been good, and they do care about customers.
Anonymous on 05/23/2007:
Take it back to the store and tell them it was a missing part.
chemman on 05/23/2007:
yeah, I would start with contacting Zebco, they are a good company and can probably help you out. Also, the reason it may have been sent out not tightened is because the handle is typically reversible and also usually folds down so as not to stick out and catch on things in transport or shipping. I don't buy a lot of reels but seem to remember almost all of them always come with the handles not quite tight because you need to lock it into place and determine which side you want the handle on.
Anonymous on 05/23/2007:
Bummer Henk, I think all of us that have gone fishing a few times have had something like this happen. Lines getting tangled or breaking and so on. Whether your are catching your meal or eating it, you have to be "proactive" about it.
Gentleben on 02/20/2008:
Hank I had a similar experience with an 11T classic , I lost my handle nut; contacted the folks in Tulsa at the Zebco store..Lady was real nice and friendly , send me 2 nutts free of charge .Now when I buy a new reel I take the handle nut off; add a little nail polish on the threads and tighten her up !! Good luck!!
Susan on 06/01/2014:
Just bought a rod and reel for the free hat would be nice, I go online and now they want me to pay shipping and I think I ship enough stuff the hat should be free for one thing and it probably cost them 1.50-2 bucks to ship. what a crock
Free should mean Free
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