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Inside the Free iPod Offer

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the TANSTAAFL dept.

Media (Apple) 396

jonathanhowell writes "David Lazarus, The SF Chronicle's tech guy, has an article in today's paper with an interesting investigation into the work you have to do to get a "free" (as in beer) iPod. I'm trying not to call it a scam, because it appears completely legal, if ethically challenged." From the article: "What it doesn't say is that the offer terms will expose you to reams of spam and marketing solicitations, that the user survey is actually a lengthy marketing ploy, and that the sponsor offers needed to qualify for that free music player will almost certainly cost you money."

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396 comments

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Obvious (0, Redundant)

AVacc (153305) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979732)

Well duh....

Re:Obvious (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11979771)

dmn't be ugly fikle mince sit ver der bun der snatch wqt me nw!

Get vit doewn vaby ves?

pu puken nar buken.

Re:Obvious (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11979865)

.. what did you expect?

Free Photo Ipod & Mac Mini (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11979890)

Click here to try it out and get you free Ipod & Mac Mini
FREE MAC MINI [freeminimacs.com]

FREE PHOTO IPOD [freephotoipods.com]

Re:Obvious (2, Funny)

Mr.Progressive (812475) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979892)

If this were Fark, I'd say it needed an [obvious] tag. That or, "I'd hit it". Whatever.

F u (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11979733)

FP

Wes

One comment.... (5, Insightful)

ebrandsberg (75344) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979739)

Duh, anybody thinking anything is "free" today doesn't value their time, other people's time, or their sanity.

Re:One comment.... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11979922)

Posting and reading on Slashdot is a valuable use of your time??

Re:One comment.... (4, Funny)

ebrandsberg (75344) | more than 9 years ago | (#11980007)

No, it's the sanity part that I fall short on. Which one do you fall short on?

Re:One comment.... (0, Flamebait)

natrius (642724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11980004)

Duh, anybody thinking anything is "free" today doesn't value their time, other people's time, or their sanity.

Or is a poor college student with three friends to sell out for an iPod Shuffle? I have less than $30 in my bank account, but thanks to these offers, I can be a hipster too! Thanks Gratis! [gratisnetwork.com]

FREE IPODS! yo (3, Funny)

shadowlordseth (416064) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979740)

I just drop mine on the ground, and have my employer buy me a new one.

Re:FREE IPODS! yo (3, Funny)

fideli (861469) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979809)

If I were your employer, I'd know that iPods survive drops to the ground quite well, and instead will fire you, and give the dropped iPod to a new employee.

Re:FREE IPODS! yo (2, Informative)

shadowlordseth (416064) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979861)

That is so cruel! It was an accident. I promise! I dropped it while copying our site to it. apparently while spinning, hard drives are more prone to crashes.

Re:FREE IPODS! yo (1)

templest (705025) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979977)

You know, if your employer gives you money for your work, and you buy it with your money, technically the employer bought it for you.
You know, the joke somehow relating to the fact that technically it's free, in terms of correlating the meaning of the word "free" as implied by the iPod "scam"?
But, I dunno... Maybe I just didn't get the joke?

TINSTAAFL, indeed (3, Informative)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979743)

As anyone who's read Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress [wikiquote.org] knows, the Loonies were schooled in survival, not proper English. "From the TINSTAAFL Dept" may be more proper, but the definition (according to the usual source [wikipedia.org] ) is "There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch". Sure, it's a double negative and ain't ain't a word. But I don't think you'll ever hear a Loonie say "There Is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch, by Jove" on their way to High Tea.

Or perhaps the editors left it that way so that us whiners would have something to bi^Wcomplain about.

Re:TINSTAAFL, indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11979832)

Yeesh, I'm sitting here aimlessly clicking to kill time until 5 pm. And I still can't help thinking you're the one with too much time on your hands.

Anyway, Heinlein sucks.

Re:TINSTAAFL, indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11979912)

I think you and I are the only 2 people on /. that think Heinlein sucks.

And we both posted anonymously.

Re:TINSTAAFL, indeed (2, Insightful)

mr i want to go home (610257) | more than 9 years ago | (#11980011)

Well, I might not say Heinlein sucks, but he certainly is a bigoted, womanising, condescending, self righteous pedophile mother-lover.

He's one author who's social views really offend me. Which is a shame because some of his writing is pretty good. Anyway - wayyyy off topic, but I don't mind saying it logged in because I'm happy that I've found other people who feel the same. Even if I don't know who you are.

Now, come get me mods!

Re:TINSTAAFL, indeed (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11979866)

If there's one thing Slashdot needs more of, it's bad grammer.

TINSTAAFL, old boy, and all that rot, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11979871)

Is your point that Loonies are as likely to speak proper English as they are to participate in High Tea?

From where I sit, any tea on the moon would be high tea.

Re:TINSTAAFL, indeed (0)

learn fast (824724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979893)

Or perhaps the editors left it that way so that us whiners would have something to bi^Wcomplain about.

Not only that, you used ^W instead of ^H.

Re:TINSTAAFL, indeed (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11979936)

Not only that, you used ^W instead of ^H.

^W is a standard shortcut (in Unix) to delete the previous word. If he had pressed ^H instead, he would have ended up with "bcomplain", which I'm pretty sure is not a word. The actual correct alternative, ^H^H, is getting a bit verbose.

Re:TINSTAAFL, indeed (1)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979897)

Or perhaps the editors left it that way so that us whiners would have something to bi^Wcomplain about.

Or, since they've now changed it to the way Heinlein intended (for whatever that's worth), maybe they started it out with the "I" to make me look like a fool. [checks mirror] Yep, it worked.

Re:TINSTAAFL, indeed (1)

Shiptar (792005) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979909)

TINSTAAFL TANSTAAFL Perhaps?

Re:TINSTAAFL, indeed (3, Interesting)

Pfhorrest (545131) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979919)

Not to be a grammar Nazi (I probably can't even spell grammar), but "ain't" is a word, it's just depracated in modern English due to frequeny misusage (such as in the TANSTAAFL acronym). "Ain't" (or an't) is a contraction for "am not", and thus the only proper usage of it would be in the form of "I ain't...". "Is not..." and "are not.." are misusages. But technically, I ain't making any major errors in this sentance.

(And for those actual grammar Nazis out there, yes, beginning a sentance with "but" or "and" is technically acceptable as well, so don't come bitching at me about that last sentance. Or anything else for that matter. This post is offered "as is" with no guarantee of grammar, spelling, or factual correctness. YMMV).

Re:TINSTAAFL, indeed (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979927)

When you take your friendly introductory Economics 150 class, the professors usually use 'TINSTAAFL', with an I.

Anyway, it seems to be 'corrected' to the improper-grammer form (however entymologically prefrable that version may be...)

Re:TINSTAAFL, indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11979952)

The editors changed it to TANSTAAFL (without an update notice, of course), so the parent comment now seems odd. Sigh.

Besides, it should have been, "TANSTAAFi".

Mods: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11979744)

Please waste a point to mod this down so I can have a turn.

Thnx

Re:Mods: (-1, Offtopic)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979816)

Please waste a point to mod this down so I can have a turn.

And me without mod points today! Darn!

Re:Mods: (-1, Offtopic)

shadowlordseth (416064) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979881)

Darn, I just posted. too bad. I LOVE modding people down. I AM ALMIGHTY, bow before me.

Not Me (5, Funny)

Zemplar (764598) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979748)

I'm glad I won't have to worry about falling for those stupid "Free iPod" scams. As soon as my Nigerian friend returns my savings "fiffty fould" I can buy as many iPods as I want!

Cool, eh?

Re:Not Me (1)

bostonsoxfan (865285) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979797)

Well my mommy told me not to take things from stangers.

Re:Not Me (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11979842)

Is it why you sucked your dad's cock for an apple?

Re:Not Me (1)

macintaz (851042) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979925)

Wait a minute that is my Nigerian Friend

but he promised me only "40 fold"

Damn I got ripped off

breaking news! (5, Insightful)

claussenvenable (820336) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979749)

people offering free expensive things are usually lying!

Re:breaking news! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11979880)

Or expect sex in return... I know I do.

Re:breaking news! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11979963)

Actually I have recieved my free ipod already! get yours now

Click here to try it out and get you free Ipod & Mac Mini
FREE MAC MINI [freeminimacs.com]

FREE PHOTO IPOD [freephotoipods.com]

I don't understand (1)

Eric(b0mb)Dennis (629047) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979750)

Isn't this a logical thing to think?

What, did you think some guy started a website to give out iPods to become cool or something?

Geeze, slashdot.. get a grip

Re:I don't understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11979964)

Geeze, slashdot.. get a grip

You seem to be under that mistaken belief that Slashdot is a single entity. There are so many of these Free iPod offers on Slashdot it drives me nuts. Here's one [slashdot.org]

No such Thing (-1, Offtopic)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979753)

Apple is not known for bargains, nevermind free stuff. Look at the prices of the iPod accessories, they are a complete rip off.

I bought an iPod way back thinking it was revolutionary. I should have waited, cause the market is now flooded with equally good products, Dell DJ, Creative Zen etc.

Equally good because the iPod showed them! (1)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979796)

If everyone says, "Damn I should have waited" then the market never materializes, the profit incentive never kicks in, and competition never makes any decent products.

IE, the world decides the Creative Nomad is good enough, the iPod tanks, and no "equally good products" are ever produced.

So I thank you for your sacrifice :)

Re:Equally good because the iPod showed them! (1)

0x461FAB0BD7D2 (812236) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979856)

If everyone says, "Damn I should have waited", it means they've already bought the product, and so the market has already materialized.

If the world decides the Nomad is good enough, and the iPod tanks, all that would happen is all products formerly known as iPod killers would be known as Nomad killers. However, demand is such that they will want more down the road. There is always a market; it just depends how far along the road you are willing to look.

Re:Equally good because the iPod showed them! (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979974)

If everyone says, "Damn I should have waited" then the market never materializes, the profit incentive never kicks in, and competition never makes any decent products.

You're exactly right. Luckily, there are "early adopters", many "early adopters" for geek gadgets are right here on Slashdot. They're generally categorized as having lots of extra disposable income, and they have a high demand for the newest and shiniest products so that they can be the first kids on the block with the toy. I'm not an early adopter. In fact, I wait until technology has matured at least several years before switching (ie: our business uses all parallel and serial port devices because they're tested and they're cheap). But even if I'm not an early adopter, or you're not, there always will be somebody who is.

But sometimes, early adopters can be misleading. There were lots and lots of early adopters for PDA's, but PDA's largely flopped once they hit the mass market. In that case, lots of companies lost lots of money because the initial analysis for such products looked good.

Re:No such Thing (2, Insightful)

gone6713 (807581) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979813)

I don't know if the iPod's competition would be qualified as equally good. Most have a couple of good features but none come close to the experience that has been called iPod.

Re:No such Thing (-1, Troll)

temojen (678985) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979827)

And by "equally good" you mean HD based media players that can play music in non-DRM encumbered formats, right? I'd consider that better, not equally good.

Re:No such Thing (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11979875)

It's amazing that when *Sony* does something completely stupid, and releases a player that requires DRM, everyone assumes that *Apple* must be doing the same thing.

At least, that's all I could think of, since anyone with actual information would know that the iPod has always had native support for MP3 and AAC, which are both industry-standard formats with no DRM.

Check out the SFGate Google Ads on the article (4, Insightful)

Hulkster (722642) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979759)

Currently showing "Overstocked iPod's", "iPod Blowout", etc. ... not surprising given the page content, but you gotta wonder if the iPod scammers are milking it with Google Adwords too?!?

Join my Folding@HOME Google Toolbar team [powder2glass.com]

I wrote about this a while back, too... (5, Informative)

Tuxedo Jack (648130) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979764)

And I dissected the bastards' EULA at length.

Read, if you're interested. [tuxedojack.com]

Simpler way (4, Informative)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979767)

TiVo has a TiVo rewards program. Sign up for a credit card and you get points with your purchases that you can use to get an iPod. If you pay the thing off every month, your iPod is free.

Besides the iPod, they also have Bose noise cancelling headphones, a Nikon digital camera, a couple types of new TiVo units, and some other lesser things.

Re:Simpler way (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979882)

The cool part about the iPod from TiVo is that it has the little TiVo guy engraved on the back...all but guaranteeing its collectability in the future.
Oh, btw....my TiVo rewards reference email addy is tivo@valdot.org :-)

Re:Simpler way (1)

k4_pacific (736911) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979981)

Yes, sign up now for the new Tivo(TM) Platinum No Hassle card from Capital One and start earning iPoints(TM) that can be redeemed for a new iPod today. Also, with our low introductory rates of just 1.9% for the first six months, you can transfer your existing balance and save money for more important things. Sign up for the new Tivo(TM) Platinum No Hassle card from Capital One today.

The new Tivo(TM) Platinum No Hassle card from Capital One. What's in your wallet?

People have sold their demographics for a lot less (5, Informative)

DavisNet (558626) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979769)

For an uninformed or disconected soul, the "chance" for a free iPod is well worth selling out your vital statistics. I'm always amazed at how easy it is to convice someone to sign on the dotted line, and it's offten only for a T-Shirt.
This organization simply raized the reward, and thereby made the hoops you must jump through more elaborate.

It's a pyramid scheme (4, Insightful)

kevin_conaway (585204) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979772)

Plain and simple. Same with all the other Free deals.

Whether you consider the Pyramid Scheme [wikipedia.org] a scam, is up to you.

Re:It's a pyramid scheme (2, Funny)

kidgenius (704962) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979835)

No, no, no. You have it all wrong. See, it's not a pyramid scheme. It's a MATRIX. It works _completely_ differently from those old "pyramid schemes". :-)

</sarcasm>

Whether you consider the Pyramid Scheme a scam (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11979864)

It depends on when you retire. Current retirees love them. Those that are 30-40 will surely consider them a scam when they try to get their Social Security.

Re:It's a pyramid scheme (4, Insightful)

Dmala (752610) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979883)

Whether you consider the Pyramid Scheme a scam, is up to you.

Whether you consider the Pyramid Scheme a scam depends on where you are in the pyramid.

How could this be? (1)

yo303 (558777) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979774)

What???? Don't tell me it's not true!

It sounded so legitimate.

Oh well. Even if I don't get a free iPod at least I 'm still getting my free flat screen monitor and my free digital camera.

yo.

Sorry to be pedantic... (1)

p-hawk42 (776574) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979775)

from the TINSTAAFL dept.

It's TANSTAAFL: There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. At least according to Heinlein.

Re:Sorry to be pedantic... (1)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979911)

Absolutely not!

Someone is merely talking with a very very nice swiss german accent pronouncing "zehn Tafel".

Yet another "duh" (0, Redundant)

DogDude (805747) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979781)

Don't bother to mod this as redundant. It is. What I'm wondering is who wouldn't think that there'd be a catch to getting a free $300+ gadget?

...which makes it a scam. (4, Funny)

j!mmy v. (613784) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979785)

iPod Shuffle: $99
iPod Photo: $349
wasting your time, money, and creating a new e-mail address because you got r00ked by a net dot scam: PRICELESS

"For everything else, there's legitimate commerce."

Nothing is free! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11979791)

And Sister Jean stole the files.

Worked for me (3, Informative)

L. VeGas (580015) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979793)

1. I used a throwaway email account.
2. I signed up for free AOL for broadband.
3. I put links on my personal website.
3. I cancelled AOL for broadband 2 weeks later.
4. I waited about 6 months.
5. They sent me an iPod.
6. A week later they sent me a t-shirt as well.

For every story like mine, there are a bucket of people that never got enough referrers. I think I got in early enough so that it was still a novelty.

Slashdot, can you help? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11979795)

I've been thinking about participating in one of those Nigerian money schemes can you tell me how they work?

Of course it costs you money! (2, Interesting)

DietCoke (139072) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979798)

As others have said, nothing is free.

Beyond that, is the deluge of spam and junk mail that you'll get worth saving a couple of hundred bucks? If you believe the studies that outline how much productivity (and thus time) is lost due to spam, it seems to me that you'll making a bad choice.

On the other hand, I'm probably not their target market anyhow. Enjoy the spam, folks - just don't bitch at me when you get it!

Free? As in beer? (2, Insightful)

exley (221867) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979806)

Are you sure about that, chief? Because I think it might be free (as in speech).

Why do so many Slashdotters insist on adding the "as in beer" or "as in speech" qualifier when it's patently obvious which type of "free" is being discussed? Oh yeah, because a lot of those people think they're really clever. In the words of Tyler Durden, how's that workin' out for 'ya?

Personally, I'm a big fan of free (as in beer) speech.

Re:Free? As in beer? (2, Funny)

Ibiwan (763664) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979877)

Now when you say "patently" obvious, do you mean as in Intellectual Property or Leather Shoes?

Re:Free? As in beer? (2, Funny)

dn15 (735502) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979980)

It's because saying "free as in XYZ" demonstrates what an excellent understanding the poster has of open-source licenses. Shut up and be impressed. :P

I DON'T LIKE SPAM!!!! (0, Offtopic)

avp0 (657007) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979818)

Spam spam spam spam
spam spam spam spam
Spaminy Spaaaaam Wonderful Spaaaam

Bloody vikings ...


(Like you didn't think of it)

I love it! (n/t) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11979931)

n/t

Sure. (0)

northcat (827059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979821)

Whatever. You get a free iPod. And you can always use an email ID created just for this. (yeah, you'll get spam in your house and phone, tough luck). And you have spend a few bucks and see a couple of ads to get a free iPod which cost a lot more than what you spent. Big deal. I wish I had something like this in my country.

Re:Sure. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11980020)

You can just sign off these house mails too using the MAIL PREFERENCE SERVICE :D

NO more spam!

Same for FAX PREFERENCE SERVICE, and PHONE PREFERENCE SERVICE. Everybodys a winner, and whiner :D

I dont even get those free pens with CapitalOne cards now :D I do sign up as Captain Kirk on company catalogues to get free Mugs and so on, handy for the kitchen :D

You can get a crapload of freebies if you look around :D AT NO COST. NO HASSLES. IF YOU KNOW HOW TO WORK THE SYSTEM.

Doesn't "free" have a meaning? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11979825)

From the SlashDot article:

I'm trying not to call it a scam, because it appears completely legal, if ethically challenged.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but if a person has to buy something, even from another company, to get a "free iPod", then advertising the iPod as "free" is false advertising, no? That makes me not so sure about that "completely legal" part.

Re:Doesn't "free" have a meaning? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11979884)

Anything, even tangentially related to iPods is a good thing, even when it's a bad thing.

Re:Doesn't "free" have a meaning? (1)

maird (699535) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979988)

If the other thing from the other company is worth what you pay for it then you pay nothing for the iPod. Arguably buying the other thing from the other company is "authentication" only for the free iPod. You did want that BowFlex, matching luggage and super-sized viagra shaped Rolex watch didn't you?

There is no free lunch (0, Flamebait)

FranksChickenHouse (852848) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979836)

Anyone too stupid to understand this, deserves what they get.

loaded topic (2, Insightful)

bad_outlook (868902) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979838)

I know seeing my sigfile makes this post look like irony, but it's on topic, and I'm posting cause I think this program is exactly as descibed in the article. Having said that, anyone who thinks their personal information *isn't* being passed around for $ right now by different 'marketing' companies is naive. Yes, if you sign up you get spam, but guess what? If you don't signup you get spam! Yes, it's a fact of life now, and is why we're all hopping from free email to free email; after time they become unuseable. Time will tell if Gmail will suffer the same fate, but spam prompted me to learn how to build a LAMP and have my own mailserver with spamassasin at home.

End of my story is; I have many friends who have gotten their free ipod. I don't look down upon them, they made an informed choice, something I'm making sure all ppl that sign up through me do. If you don't like it, fine, but again, I see no harm, as all of this crap is going on in the background anyway.

Sincerely
bo

this is news? (5, Funny)

xnerd00x (92166) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979840)

please mod this STORY down as "this is not news - just plain obvious"

At Least One Part Could Be Easy (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979847)

In other words, you're on your own out there, spamwise, and getting off the mountain of mailing lists you'll end up on will be a long walk indeed.

Use a disposable e-mail address just long enough to qualify. So many ISP packages these days include 6 free e-mail addresses. That could be 6 iPods right there.

Let the Flaming Begin. But! (A 'sob' story.) (5, Interesting)

Alaren (682568) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979850)

Well, everyone likes to bag on this stuff. It's a pyramid schme, it's evil, it's annoying, and so on and so forth...

Let me just say this. I don't have a lot of money, but my brother-in-law, a schoolteacher, has even less. He is a real music lover and wanted an iPod for a long time, but he could never afford one.

I convinced several members of my family (also pretty strapped for cash) to use Gratis' website (the "original" free iPod site I guess) and one of the no cost offers (yes, they often have those) and submit a dummy email address, which I created for them. (I admit, I tried putting the link in my /. sig for a while, but after a few flames I figured, hey, I've got family and friends and its for a good cause.)

Six weeks later, an iPod arrived on my doorstep. We cancelled our offers before any billing occurred, and I shipped the iPod to my brother-in-law, who was totally blown away. He was so excited. And all of this cost me and a few members of my family nothing.

Yeah, these programs can be annoying. But under the right circumstances (e.g. you have more time than money, or you know six people and only one wants an iPod), these programs can be a pretty fun way to get some nice things for people who can't otherwise afford them.

Just my 2 cents.

Free Photo Ipod (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11979860)

Here is a free photo ipod offer FREE PHOTO IPD [freephotoipods.com]

Free Mac Mini offer FREE MAC MINI [freeminimacs.com]

Now where's that sig... (1)

krunchyfrog (786414) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979867)

Free Ipod here!

legitimate offers (0, Troll)

VolciMaster (821873) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979876)

There is at least one legitimate group offering free iPods. Yes, they require you to complete sponsor offers, but they're a real company. One of the websites they run is: here [freephotoipods.com] .

I know how hard it is to get away from the spammers once they get a hold of you. However, this group is at least legit.

Worked for me (0, Offtopic)

cmstar (521171) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979888)

As someone else said, I also got in on it early and it worked for me. Your personal info is important, and there are hundreds of scams, but some do not sell your info. And as for spam. How much productivity is lost in creating a free yahoo account and then never ever checking it again? I won't try to refute any other argument. But as far as the spam goes. Yes, $300 iPod is well worth the 5 min. to set up an account to receive spam.

free iPod! (1)

Zepalesque (468881) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979898)

So, does anyone want a free ipod? Just go the my site, click the link and... oops - nevermind.

Not *the* Free iPod people (2, Informative)

Robotech_Master (14247) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979899)

Note that this article is not about the Gratis Networks freeipod offer, which was the first and most well-known, but about one of their more sleazy imitators. Here's another article [boston.com] that compares and contrasts a sleazy imitator to the original Gratis Networks.

Gratis Networks just requires you to do one single promotional offer--and get several of your friends to do the same. Unlike the fraudulent con game that most people are referring to when they say "pyramid scheme" (you know, the "send five bucks to everyone on this list and then add your name" type thing) no money changes hands between you, Gratis, or your referrals; the money is paid from the advertisers to Gratis. Click the link in my signature to find more info. It's legit. Granted, you're going to receive a lot of spam to the address you sign up for with, but that's what easily-available GMail addresses [isnoop.net] or disposable email address services like SpamGourmet [spamgourmet.com] are for.

Oh, and FYI, I received my free 20 gig iPod several months ago, and just got my free 27" Sony flatscreen TV last night. And I only need six more completed referrals to get my free Mac Mini...

Doctors have figured out the ipod for free (4, Informative)

acomj (20611) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979906)

The doctors wrote software that integrates the ipod.. And had their employers buy them ipods..

Pure Geuinus..

article 1 [silicon.com]

article news.com.com [com.com]

Free iMod (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979908)

I'm waiting for my chance at a free iMod. Something that will let me mod Slashdot posts up or down in a trendy, mobile package.

It worked for me (0, Redundant)

digitalgimpus (468277) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979916)

I participated in some offers from Gratis Internet, and it did work.

I got my free iPod
I got my free mac mini

They lived up to their reputation. You can see my blog posts on getting a free iPod here [accettura.com] . I did my best to cover every step... including the waiting.

What I found is you typically will wait about 3-5 weeks after you complete the requirements, until something ships.

But they do ship... and I have yet to pay a penny to complete an offer (there are typically 1 or 2 completely free ones).

I'm currently looking at getting a Sony PSP, so if you want to help make my bounty 3: Here's the link [freepsps.com] .

Duh... but also... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11979935)

Just to set the record straight, David Lazarus isn't the Chron's "tech guy"... He's their anti-business guy. Made a name for himself exposing big businesses' efforts to screw the common person and scam artists' efforts to screw the incurably stupid.

obviously i'm an advocate.... (-1, Offtopic)

Moonlapse (802617) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979943)

Because i did get a 20gig ipod AND a Nintendo DS. Have i gotten spam from it? No. At least as of recently ( a few months), there is a checkbox asking if you want emails sent to you, defaulted to no checks. Of course, i am talking about the Gratis Network. I'm certain other websites are less reputable and working off the success of freeipods.com, etc. Is it 'free'? No. You do need to participate in a pyramid scheme, and get a few friends to as well. In my case, it took 5 for the ipod, and 4 for the DS. Also in my case, i did a Real Rhapsody 14 day free trial for the ipod, and a $1 offer for the DS. The $1 offer actually got me a $20 gift card to Circuit city. All my friends i convinced also did $1 offers. The cancellation process was a 5 min 1800 call. So do i think it was worth it? Well duh. I got $299(ipod) + $149(DS) + $20 (gift card) for a total of $1. Of course, if you have friends who vehemently think its a scam you won't have much success. Of course, you can offer them $2 to sign up under you (which i did for 1 person) =] So no, its not 'free'. It takes up a little bit of your time. But you DO get your free* if you follow thru.

While we're on the subject... (-1, Flamebait)

Lethyos (408045) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979944)

Can anyone help me out with my Free Flatscreen [freeflatscreens.com] attempt? Thanks.

I know these people (1)

aristus (779174) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979946)

They are up in ft Lauderdale; one of my friends works there. The company is growing like crazy, and the CEO seems to have the aptitude to hire the right people and do what's needed to get them to work together.

I would not work for them any more than i would work for a traveling carnival, but keep in mind that shady != incompetent.

My experiences... (2, Informative)

bmooney28 (537716) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979951)

Disclaimer: I haven not tried hard nor received
my free ipod [freeipods.com] ...

But...

Several friends of mine have... Some have even gotten free flat panel monitors,
and even a free Dell Dimension 4000 system... Apparently, it helps to have
a popular website [randomdrivel.com] to promote it...
But the truth of the matter is that SOME of these free offers do exist... Wired
has published stories [wired.com] with mixed results...

Also, since signing up, I haven't noticed *any* increase in snail mail spam... I
did not give out my real phone number, and no credit card is necessary. My
throwaway gmail account has only 8 messages in it (and only 2 may be related...)
so who knows... I am a believer for the time being....


Wait, its NOT free? (3, Funny)

GatesGhost (850912) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979958)

and i suppose you'll also be saying those penis pills are a scam too...

Damn it (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979968)

Time does not = MONEY!

You can turn time into money, but you cannot get time for money. Hence time cannot be money. If you were going to sit watching porn for an hour and instead use the time to get a free ipod you just "made money". You used time to do it, but it didn't become money. You're work became money and you worked within that time.

So lets change it to Time + Effort = money k?

free ipods are a huge business (1)

mcguyver (589810) | more than 9 years ago | (#11979973)

As bad as this industry may be, the companies involved are doing very well. Gratis Networks, Netblue(yfdirect/yourfreedvds.com), and theuseful.com are all growing business with millions in revenue each month. With all the available money and the fact that a sucker is born every minute, these type of free offers are not going away anytime soon. What I fail to understand is how companies like netflix, ebay, and credit cards continue to pay for lousy inctivized customers.

Be skeptical allllll you want (1)

Konrad9 (784416) | more than 9 years ago | (#11980013)

The iPod connected to my firewire port that I got from Gratis laughs at you all.

Back before the net bubble...freepc (1)

LoverOfJoy (820058) | more than 9 years ago | (#11980018)

Back when people thought online ads would make tons of money I signed up for a free pc (compaq presario). The catch was having ads on the bottom of my screen. I signed up, got the computer and about 4 months later they were bought out by another company (I think emachines) and they told me how to remove the ads from my computer. I still have it. My son uses it for learning games.
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