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Free Laptop – My Horse

Written By: Michael Knight

Free Laptop – My Horse. ……. By Michael Knight www.cuddlysoftware.com

One of the perils associated with starting an internet business is taking the bait of what looks like a legitimate free offer and finding yourself hooked by what seems like a cunning phishing ploy.

So get a clue – get a “free laptop” and you’ll get a gazillion “free” emails that’ll swamp your inbox.

It’s confession time. “Free” is not. Especially when it comes to laptops.

I know a man – a very nave man – a very silly man – a man who shall remain nameless – who decided when he saw an email offer for a free laptop that he would like to have one. This silly person was in the throes of creating a new ebook – complete with audio tracks – as a gift for subscribers to his new newsletter. He was also mentally thrashing through a learning curve about keywords such as ebook software, free ebook software, talking ebook software, audio ebook software and suchlike. Spider-food he called it. But the task had been long and arduous, and perhaps that is why he went into brain fade mode.

He checked his email and saw a curious thing. Someone was telling him he could get a free laptop. Throwing caution to the wind, he went after it, following link after link, looking for that magic laptop hiding somewhere among all those amazing offers.All he had to do with each one was fill in a little innocuous form and click on the “next” button.

Thirty minutes later, he was nowhere near that promised pot of gold, and he was running out of time so he dropped out of the labyrinth and went back to serious work.

Now this was a work-from-home situation, and he was doing his utmost to start an internet business. He had a free Yahoo account, and it had been working very well for more than a year. He had been rather careful with it too, not using it too often for anything but business and a few personal email contacts. Plus the occasional on-line purchase which went very smoothly with his PayPal a/c.

But then he had a horse’s patooti moment and got envious of all those people who use laptops in airport terminals as they fly around the world making deals everywhere they go. Memory took him back to his own years as a globe trotting go-getter and his image of himself as a great entrepreneur over-rode his common sense. Avarice reared its ugly little head. He felt that a spiffy laptop would be a far better status symbol than a cat in his lap.

So he entered that “free laptop” solicitation.

In a matter of a few weeks, his Bulk folder was receiving over 100 emails a day offering everything from Viagra (which he thinks is ridiculous because he has retired from the stud stakes) to ringtones and Christian debt relief and credit rating checks and payday loans and real estate courses and on and on.

HUNDREDS of such emails. Many of them coyly telling him he was subscribed to their service because he had agreed to – because he had signed up with a “partner” of theirs. You should hear his hoarse horselaugh when he reads that!

Now, stung by his own foolishness, he starts the early morning on his computer by hitting the “empty” link alongside his bulk folder. Even so, some of this desperate email – it must be from desperate people, if they have to resort to such duplicity to try and stay in business – some of it now finds its way into his inbox rather than the bulk folder. So with a sneer of glee he occasionally designates these stray emails as SPAM – hoping the senders will be sent out of business sometime soon.

Yet he STILL gets offers of a “free laptop.” Even when he unsubscribes, some other sleazy hawker sends a similar free laptop offer within a matter of days – which gives you a clue to something really fishy under this entire stink. Unsubscribing may very well be a way of letting “them” know that you have an active email address – so they take your “unsubscribe” and milk your address from that, and use it in yet another campaign.

Do you think there is any way to prove they do that? Yes Be dumb enough to open a “free laptop” email, and you’ll find out for yourself.

Frankly, he says, this method of marketing, though it has the veneer of legitimacy is really little better than that other ludicrous offer that also pervades the Internet – you know, the one from the solicitor in Nairobi or London or Podunk Anywhere who is acting for the dead head of government or the former rebel general who left a billion dollars in a bank and he needs you to help him by transferring millions to your own account.

Yeah right….

The truth hurts…but sometimes… “free” is not free.
About the Author

About the author: Michael Knight, a professional writer since 1960, is author of “Deadeasy Live – See How It Runs,” (a review of talking ebook software) and editor of EZTALK – the world’s first talking newsletter. http://www.cuddlysoftware.com/deadeasy-ebook-software.htm This article may be reprinted provided this bio and link remain intact.

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