A company called Gratis Networks has set up a website called FreeiPods.com that is giving away free iPods. You get your choice of an iPod mini, a 15 GB iPod, or a $250 gift certificate to the iTunes Store. All you have to do is sign up, click on one of their offers, and then convince five other people to do the same. We smelled a scam in there somewhere and since our whiny emails to the company asking them to explain how exactly this worked went unanswered, we decided to just call them up to try and sort things out.
The company rep we spoke to insisted that this thing was for real and that they had already given away about 400 iPods to people.
So if FreeiPods.com isn’t entirely a scam, in the sense that they have been sending out free iPods to people, then what’s the catch?
Internet privacy certifier TRUSTe has done something it rarely ever does and asked Gratis Networks to remove TRUSTe’s privacy seal of approval from all of its sites. Why? TRUSTe says that Gratis Networks “violated promises involving the protection of children’s information and changed how it managed the private information of its customers without adequately notifying them.”
Plenty of people have complained about getting tons of spam after signing up for one of Gratis Networks’ offers, but this is the first time in at least two years that TRUSTe has brought down the hammer like this, so we’re guessing they must have done something worse than just selling their email list.
Internet Marketing Prays On The Laziness Of The American People
When will we as Americans finally learn that nothing in this life is Free.
FreeiPods.com will send you through a maze of offers each supposedly bringing you closer and close to your iPod mini. Catchphrases like “Your Almost There” or “Complete our Survey” never explaining to the user that they have to take a credit card offer and convince 5 of your friends to take one as well. But your friends do not receive anything unless they get 5 of their friends to go to the website and pick an offer. They play the odds that most Americans will sign up and then give up trying to actually fulfill this maze. The have given away 400 iPods out of the 100,000 registration they have collected in the last 6 months.
Unless you are hooked up with a blog or newsgroups where people collectively work together for the free iPods, don’t sign up to anything that says FREE ever with a real email. These companies “whore” out the data to no end. If you are ever really bored and what to see how quickly and how much your data gets distributed.
- Sign up to a new Yahoo account
- Go to Freeipods.com and sign up for the registration page
- Sit back for 24-48 hours and watch this mailbox get flooded with debt, mortgage, spyware, erectile enhancement and so on….
Please don’t sign up unless you know how the game is played and have the motivation to beat them at it.
You get what you pay for, dude. We tried to tell you;-)
P.S. – Don’t be lame and post your “free iPod!” spam in the comments.
Frank Wilson is a retired teacher with over 30 years of combined experience in the education, small business technology, and real estate business. He now blogs as a hobby and spends most days tinkering with old computers. Wilson is passionate about tech, enjoys fishing, and loves drinking beer.