Paying the Price for "Free Stuff"

My grandson kept hearing the same commercial on his favorite radio station. ìWant a free electronic notebook, just go to this website.î There were testimonials and guarantees that this notebook was absolutely free. Karl was sure I was mistaken when I told him that there was some catch. ìPlease, please, Mimi, I need a notebook for school.î Please, please, can we just go to the website?

Being the indulgent grandmother that I am, I finally told him to write down the name of the website. I told him we would look at it and if I needed to buy anything, I would not finish the transaction. Notice how naÔve I was.

We went on to the website and it asked for my name, my email address and my telephone number. I thought I could write these in to continue and they would be erased if I did not accept the deal ñ whatever it turned out to be. We finally reached a screen stating that when I pressed ìAcceptî I was agreeing to have an insurance agent call me. I turned to Karl and said, ìThereís the catch. I wonít accept.î Karl was quite gracious and accepting of my decision.

I thought that was the end of it. It was not. The next morning, I had six email advertisements appear. And my telephone started ringing with all kinds of solicitations. When I protested that I was on the Do Not Call List, they told me that I had been approved for calls now.

After two days of excessive emails and constant telephone calls, I googled ìTelephone No Call Listî and the registry showed up. I entered my telephone numbers and email address. They sent me an electronic message asking for a confirmation. I confirmed. Peace at last.

Valuable lesson learned. Your information goes into they system even if you decline the offer.

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3 Responses to “Paying the Price for "Free Stuff"”

  1. Utterly frustrating, isn't it?

  2. Helen Colella says:

    Advertisers are quite clever these days, especially when they target the young. Kudos to Karl for understanding your conditions and your final decision. Kudos to you for setting a boundary and sticking to it.

  3. Wow. It's amazing how many ways consumers can be victimized, and I would never have guessed about this newest method. I'm glad you cleared it up.

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