All right, today's current miscelleneous thing is the FREE iPod/iPod mini scam/scheme/whatever. I was lazy and just copied and pasted it from my Live Journal.
|All right, this post is rather long, but I would rather have a long post than an LJ-cut for this.
This particular post addresses a scheme/scam that is commonly found on ebay, and while continuously searching for that "great deal" on an iPod/iPod mini, I stumbled across this (which can be found HERE. For those of you that don't WANT to click on the link, just read below.)
Apple Ipod 15 GB Brand New 3rd Gen/IPOD MINI!
Just like me, you want an iPod. You want an iPod mini. You've been restlessly combing the Internet, hoping to find some website with a special, or some awesome deal on eBay. You keep seeing these auctions selling "information" on how to get an iPod for anywhere from $4 to $15 dollars, promising that a few bucks and a few hours is all it will take. Well guess what, I bought those auctions, I know what they're selling, and I am going to give it to you FOR FREE, right here, right now.
What these auctions are selling is not exactly a scam, which by definition is something, which does not work at all. It is instead what I call a scheme, a word which here means something that might actually work, but substantial effort will be required from you, and you could have accessed the information for free if you'd simply done a Google search using the proper words, and your purchase will benefit the seller much more than it will ever benefit you.
So, once you "win" this "auction," what are you gonna get? Well, there are a couple of versions of this going. The first one I would definitely consider a scam. You receive an address that supposedly belongs to some company that manufactures iPods, and you write to them and tell them you're a US distributor and would like to carry their product and you need a free or low cost sample. How far do you think that is gonna get you? SCAM.
Now, the other thing you might get, is what I call a scheme. See Paragraph 2 above again for the definition of a scheme. You are going to get the web address of a company. Without further ado, here it is: www.freegiftplanet.com . Now, before you go clicking over there, let's talk about what this is, and what you are going to have to do to get your iPod. Or, xbox, gamecube or a ps2 for 15 bucks. Or DVD's for like 2 bucks. Brand new console (ps2, xbox, etc) games for 3 bucks. All brand new, shipped from best buy. Here is the background information regarding what you are entering into:
There are 5 related websites. They are all sister sites, in that they're basically the same design and all work together with one another. They are:
Like i said, all of these sites are basically the same sites with the same offers (explained soon) but just offer different products to buy with your points. Points? Yes, here's how it works...
You get points by completing various offers supplied by the sites. They all feature the SAME offers, but different products, remember that. It doesn't matter which site you go to to complete your offers, and all your points work on all of the sites. It really only matters when you want to buy stuff, like your precious iPod. Games? Go to the games site. DVDs? Go to the DVDs site.
WHAT are these offers?! There's all kinds of offers, some are "worth it" more than others. Here's some examples of offers that, once you complete, you get points. Note that some offers require you to "use" the service or whatever for a certain time period. Theoretically, you can always cancel these after that, so that you aren't charged for anything after your trial period. Here are a few examples.
1. Sign up for an AOL trial, pick your screen name and all that, call AOL in 7 days and cancel, tell them you're moving out of the country, and after those 7 days, you get 600 points.
2. A lot of offers you sign up for (with bogus info if you want) and they charge you $1 service fee to your credit/debit card (see you must provide your credit card number. I don't like the sound of that!), but you get points instantly. Cancel what you signed up for after however many days it says you need to "keep" it for, and you're cleared of any obligation to what you signed up for. A lot of these give you 300 points instantly.
That's basically it. you sign up for these services and offers, make sure to write down what you signed up for so that you can cancel them after you wait however long so you don't wind up getting billed by AOL after that trial you signed up for ends (just an example).
So, what's it gonna take to get your precious iPod mini? TWELVE THOUSAND POINTS. 12,000 points. Why does Free Gift Planet exist? Are they just this company out there, that loves you and has a lot of money to buy great electronics and give them to you? What are you actually doing, when you complete these offers? You my friend are giving your name, address, and telephone number up to the world of marketing. Free gift planet will sell, use, and exchange this personal and contact information with other companies at an incredible profit, to send you marketing materials. Even if they didn't share it with third parties, they are paid by the people who bring you the "offers"--Free Gift Planet is serving you up to these advertisers on a platter, and they get paid handsomely for that, enough to give you an iPod and still laugh all the way to the bank. This may not seem like a big secret, or a big deal--but, if you're a kid, you can bet your parents are going to be kicking your butt once the phone starts ringing and all the crap you've signed yourself up for and then screwed up the cancellation of starts pouring in.
So, why are people attempting to SELL you this information, which you could have gotten for free? Probably because they paid for it, and theyíd like to get something out of it. Free Gift Planet also has a referral bonusóevery time someone signs up who gives their name as the referrer, they get bonus points. And, theyíre making COLD, HARD cash exploiting this free information.
So, what else do you need to know before you decide whether this is right for you? Here are a few other facts: Unfortunately, after you "complete" an offer (like signing up for an AOL trial), it becomes unavailable to you on THAT account (the account you signed up at 1 of those 5 sites). What's stopping you from making another account and buying more stuff? Nothing. But you'll need another credit card and shipping address when you do stuff like signing up for AOL. Some credit card companies like American Express offer an online service to generate a temporary one-time use credit card number that can be handy. This also can allow you to forget about canceling some things, since the CC# will go away and you won't be able to be billed. Debit cards do not have this feature. I donít know the web site by heart, but there is a site you can purchase a MasterCard or Visa with a pre-loaded amount on it, and, when itís gone, itís goneóthat would be PERFECT for this sort of thing.
Another potential problem is the frequent complaint that Free Gift Planet is in no hurry to ship your free gift, and may not have the item of your desires in stock when you qualify for it. You can bet you will be waiting weeks, and you could be waiting months for your precious item.
Here is a list someone has come up with of the best offers that are easy, offer the most points, and don't want you to do stuff like get a free whatever but pay the 6 bucks for shipping. Some offers are like that. That's ok, but why pay $16 for something that normally costs $100+ when you can get it for $10. This lists the name of the offer, how many points it gives you, and how much it costs to complete that offer:
AOL 600 Free
Simple Escapes 300 $1
Essentials 300 $1
Connections 300 $1
HomeWorks Plus 300 $1
NetMarket 300 $1
Complete Home 300 $1
Travelers Adv 300 $1
Clever Clubhouse 300 $1
Stamps.com 560 Free
Galleria 300 $1
Valuemax Savings 300 $1
Premier Health Pls 300 $1
Military Education 100 Free
24Protect Plus 300 $1
Trimlife Advanced 250 $1
AutoVantage 200 $1
TrimLife Plus 320 $1.95
Casino On Net 1600 depends on how much you win (or lose) i guess
Jackpot 20 Free
shopwise 20 Free
eBay 120 Free
EverSaver 20 Free
Total Points : 7410 Total $ : 15.95
Guess what, that's still not enough points for your iPod. And, you've invested a couple hours, opened yourself up to lots of junk mail, spam, and telemarketing. But, you're almost there! You can get a lot of points quickly by applying for and GETTING credit cards through the site-more on that later. These offers I've listed above are subject to change at any time, FYI.
Should you chose to do this, make sure to keep all the info you need so That you can cancel the offers you need to after however long. Keep all e-mail confirmations and records you can so that if somehow something doesn't get canceled and you get billed for something down the road, you can go back and show your records and get credited back.
Credit Card applications are not always approved (and no points added If not!) and generally make your credit score lower, so I recommend full understanding of this fact before filling out endless CC apps.
So, why did I give you all this for free? Because, Dorothy, it was available to you all along. All you had to do was go to Google, tap the keyboard three times, and enter free iPod. In fact, all of the information Iíve included in this little essay is already posted out there on the internet, in threads posted by people who participate regularly in Free Gift Planet. I don't want you to waste your time and money-I want you to get what you want. You know the more interesting question is, why was someone ELSE trying to sell you this information, for up to fifteen bucks?! Thatís outrageous. And, by giving you this for free, Iím certain Iím not keeping little elderly ladies from paying for their prescriptionsóIím convinced many of the people selling this information are kids sitting around eating Funyons giving out their parentsí address and phone number and screwing around on the computer when they should be doing their homework or earning money the hard way. I mean, I give Ďem credit for ingenuity, but, this has always been free information and Iím not violating anyoneís rights by giving it to you. Anyone who bought it was exploited. And, if you've sold this information on ebay and you're reading this and don't like what I'm doing, then ask yourself why you were selling FREE information in the first place. There's a sucker born every minute, and relax, you'll find another one.
Have a great day, and best of luck to you in your pursuit of a deal!
Ps. One offer I do know of is that if you buy your iPod mini from www.targetonline.com for $224.10 and you are a Northwest Airlines WorldPerks member, you can get 3 frequent flyer miles for every dollar spent-that's 750 miles! Just log into www.nwa.com first, and link through their web miles area to the Target website. They also offer a free docking station with the purchase, a $39 value. Now THATíS what I call a deal! IN ORDER TO GET THE $224.10 PRICE, you need to use a 10% off coupon code, of which I have a couple: TCAB2SAVETEN (expires 2/28) or TDAW2SAVETEN (expires 3/31). An iPod cautionary note you should be aware of is that the iPod comes with a built in battery you cannot replace yourself, and Apple will replace it for you for $100 when it ultimately gives out, in as little as 18 months, just like the battery in your cell phone ultimately stops holding a charge. see www.ipodsdirtysecret.com for more info