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International Star Registry Is A Ripoff

Posted By Jim On 01/07/2009 @ 12:10 pm In Personal Finance | 45 Comments

One radio advertisement I heard over and over again during the holidays was for International Star Registry, a company that offers the ability to “name a star after someone” for a low fee of $54.00. In addition to having the star’s new name “registered at the US Copyright office,” you get a certificate. For $54, all you get is a certificate, some star charts, and a map of your star circled in red. Pay a little more and you get a nicer frame. You can also get various charms and bracelets with your star’s official name and your name too.

It’s cute but the name isn’t official… check the fine print at the bottom of the page: “International Star Registry star naming is not recognized by the scientific community. Your stars name is reserved in International Star Registry records only.” It might be worth $54 to be able to name a star a particular name, so that every time someone mentioned it in the news you’d get a little shout out (“Look, John Smith is going supernova!”), but to have it only written down in some company’s book? C’mon.

$54 (plus shipping and handling) would be so much better spent on something else. Heck, despite my aversion to gift cards [3], I’d prefer a gift card to anywhere over a star named after me!

I must have heard this commercial two or three dozen times the week or two before Christmas and these guys have been in business forever, makes me wonder…

(in all fairness to people who did buy this and happen to read this, you do get a nice frame and it is a cool idea, but you aren’t getting a star officially named after you!)

(Photo derived from vorty [4])


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[3] aversion to gift cards: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/gift-cards-are-stupid.html

[4] vorty: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vorty/2882774675/sizes/m/

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