Those darn free offers

I’ve received my free iPod, my free flat screen TV order has been sent to the vendor, and I’ve completed all of the tasks for the free desktop PC.

A couple of reminders.

If you sign up for an account, you’ll be taken through a whole series of marketing offers where you’re asked if you’re interested. The choices are Yes/No. Just choose No — these offers do not help you get your free stuff.

The object then is to get credit for an offer without spending any money. So far I’ve done the AOL Free Trial (for the iPod), Video Professor (for the Flat Screen), and Infone (for the computer).

I had no problems with AOL. I signed up and then a couple weeks later just called up to cancel. They give you a 45 day free trial, so there’s not really much of a clock you have to beat. But you do need to cancel!

Video Professor, on the other hand, was a bit of a pain. The credit for the free TV posted instantly, which was nice. They charge $6.95 shipping, which is supposed to be credited back if you return the first tape within 10 days. The tape never came. They cancelled my membership and said they were crediting back my $6.95. The future charges showed up on my credit card and I had to call up the bank to dispute them. In the end it worked fine and I won’t wind up paying any money, but Video Professor was just a pain.

The easiest by far in Infone, which I used for the computer offer. They credit the offer instantly, so no waiting and wondering if credit went through. And if you don’t ever use the service you don’t ever get charged. Plus they’re going to email you a $10 Amazon gift certificate just for signing up. Sweet!

Other potential offers are the GM Mastercard and the eBay credit card, neither one costs anything but I didn’t want to sign up for another credit card (and have an extra pull on my credit report when it wasn’t necessary).

eBay is another easy offer. Sign up for an eBay account and place a bid is all that you had to do. However, most people already have eBay accounts and they’re pretty good at disqualifying folks who are signing up for second accounts. I think this offer has been pulled from the various websites as I haven’t seen it in awhile. I already had an eBay account, so this one just wasn’t going to work for me.

Ancestry.com is another easy free trial offer. You’ll need to call and cancel this one just like AOL (though you have less time within which to cancel). I didn’t use this only because I signed up for an Ancestry.com trial in exchange for eBay Anything Points back when those were converting at better than 1:1 into American Airlines miles.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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