The government is expected to report another 650,000 workers lost their jobs in March. And that's leading to a new corporate trend. From airlines to automakers, companies are offering freebies.
If you've been laid off and are looking for work, it's a terrible time to lose your car. And for the embattled automakers, it's an opportunity to make new friends.
"It's a way for Ford to give our customers peace of mind and to show customers that we have their back in good times and in tough times," Mark Fields, Executive Vice President of Ford said.
Both Ford and General Motors just released payment protection plans. For customers who lose their jobs, Ford will cover a year's worth of payments up to $700 a month. GM will cover nine payments at up to $500 a month. They hope that guarantee will convince people to buy cars - which is always the bottom line.
"We can only win if we get the job done in revenues," Fritz Henderson, General Motors CEO said.
The trend goes for health care too. Walgreen has a special deal for customers who are both unemployed and uninsured - but
The company is offering free family care at its in-store clinics. And there's something in it for Walgreen too. Managers hope the program will draw attention, and bring in business.
Other industries are offering freebies too. Jet Blue is dropping cancellation fees for passengers who lose their jobs. And Federal Express offered to print 25 free resumes for job-hunters. 24,000 people cashed in on the offer.
Marketers see it as a win win situation, good publicity for the companies, and a helping hand for Americans-when they need it most.