Free Calendars Cost Customers Money

1 decade 4 years 2 months ago Thursday, December 15 2005 Dec 15, 2005 Thursday, December 15, 2005 9:14:59 AM CST December 15, 2005 in News

Calendars from companies flood mailboxes this time of year, but some of them aren't as free as they seem.

Whether you want them or not, if you're a customer of Columbia Water and Light or if you work at MU, you'll get their annual calendars in the mail.

Rick Whelove started working at Mizzou 20 years ago. He remembers receiving the free holiday calendar for at least the last 10 years.

"Well, I know within the Mechanical Engineering offices, the secretaries and administrative assistant, they're always quite pleased to receive their calendars," said Wehlove.

The University of Missouri mailed 8,000 calendars this month. At $2 each, MU spends $16,000 annually on them.

Columbia Water and Light mailed 40,000 calendars this year. At 90 cents apiece, the department spends $36,000 per year on calendars.

But, with heating costs rising, could  that money help lower bills?

Columbia Water and Light says calendars are only a slight expense, and the department still tries to help customers financially.

"We do a number of things that we try to help our customers out, for conservation, for reducing their costs," said Dan Dasho, water and light director. "We spend well over $600,000 a year on those programs." 

The water and light calendar includes a contest for students to win money by submitting artwork for each of the 13 months.

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