Monday, December 05, 2005

Bodegas Fight Phone-y Cards

In an exclusive story in today's NY Post the paper is reporting that a brand of phone cards, called "Ligas Grandes," has been defrauding a largely Dominican customer base by failing to provide the number of minutes claimed on the face of the cards. The scandal here is compounded by the fact that the cards have been using the images of Dominican baseball stars like Pedro Martinez and Vladimir Guerrero, as well as Met GM Omar Minaya, to sell the cards to a gullible public.

The scheme was uncovered by the Bodega Association and, once spotted, was terminated by the group who discontinued the use of the cards by their member stores. Association president, Jose Fernandez, said that he was "inundated" by complaints and the situation was particularly unfair since "These people hardly have any money to survive. Because these ballplayers are famous, people buy them. We believe what they say."

In all likelihood there will be a lawsuit to recover the money that was allegedly taken and the Alliance will be working with the Bodega group to try to insure that justice is done for all involved. Of interest is the fact that, when apprised of the situation, Martinez and Met GM Omar Minaya, ordered the companies involved to "cease and desist" from the use of their names, an indication perhaps that the charges do have merit. Minaya's comment here is telling; "In light of the dispute, I asked [Ligas Grades Distributor] Nunez to remove my name and image from the card."