Tuesday, March 15, 2005


After reading a post about a guy who got a free Mac Mini from the Free Mac Mini scheme, I got inspired yesterday to try one of these services out so I could get something free too. My plan was to get a free iMac G5 and sell it on eBay so I could by a new phone (on eBay), the Tiger OS, CDs from Amazon, and a new iPod. The rest I would use to sign up for more offers. I was really excited and did a Google search for free iMac and found Product Test Panel. To avoid being inundated with spam on the email accounts I use regularly I signed into Yahoo with an old ID and reactivated my email account. Then I signed up for an account with the Product Test Panel and answered some survey questions.

Then the offers came. I was given a page with six offers, two of which I had to participate in to get my free iMac. I chose the Blockbuster DVD service and Literary Guild book club. Blockbuster DVDs cost $9.99 for the first month and the Literary Guild offered two books for $4. That didn't seem too bad, just sign up for two services for 15 bucks then get a $1200 computer.

Well, it was too good to be true because after clicking the "Next" button there were more offers. These six offers were slightly more expensive, the cigars were $24.99 and there was something else for $19.99. At this point I didn't bother to participate in two of these new offers, so I clicked on the "Next" button and there were three more offers. These final three offers were much more expensive and I still had to choose two. One was Direct TV for $59.99 for the first month, the other was an auto loan, and the last was Vonage VOIP.

This all was way too expensive for just one computer that I was just going to sell. I thought all I'd be doing was receiving spam and referring my friends and family. I get spam all the time why not get something in return? I should've did my homework on the company though. Others know about Product Test Panel and have written about their experiences before me. But my mom says they've been paid to say these things. Why can't I be paid too? I've cancelled my Blockbuster account and am trying to stop Literary Guild from sending me those books.