What does it really mean if a business is going to give you something for “FREE”? In this economy today we all want something for “FREE”, and it catches our attention. Exactly what the business wants. But, I think with many businesses providing “FREE” services or products is a ploy to pull the potential customer in for a bigger purchase.

Wikapedia says “Free” is “Gratis” which is the process of providing goods or services without monetary compensation. It is often referred to in English as “free of charge”. It is commonly acknowledged that there are costs associated with everything, hence the term “There is no such thing as a free lunch”. However it is often practical for companies, producers, and service providers to provide certain things “FREE” of charge as part of a bigger business model or pricing strategy.

So you received a “FREE” soft drink with your hamburger. Or was the price of the hamburger $.25 more which covered the cost of the soft drink? You received a “FREE” car wash after you had your car serviced at your local dealer. Or, did you pay $3.00 more for your oil change? These are simple low cost examples.

But, I am starting to see more bizarre “FREE” items. At a dealer near my home this summer if you bought a KIA Sorento 4WD, you got a KIA base model car for “FREE”. Wow, how do they do that? OR, you buy a new $10,000 high efficiency furnace and get the air conditioning compressor for “FREE”.

Why am I talking about this as a MINES & Associates employee? We are providers of EAP (Employee Assistance Programs), Managed Behavioral Health Care and BizPsych Consulting Services and I am starting to hear about “FREE” Employee Assistance Programs. I ask how can this be offered for “FREE”? MINES has a large number of dedicated and highly trained therapists, case managers and counselors to make sure that your employees are assessed properly and their issues resolved quickly. These specialists don’t work for “FREE” so how could we provide a “FREE” EAP program… we can’t.

So next time you hear about “FREE” EAP programs ask where you are paying for it, or who is paying for it and make sure the EAP program provided is as comprehensive as a MINES EAP program. With 28 years of experience you can be assured of getting a quality program at a reasonable price. Our goal is to get your employees back to work without any worries or issues quickly to keep your productivity and efficiencies high and your business successful.

Check out our web site at www.minesandassociates.com.

Allan Benson
Director, New Business Development
MINES & Associates