While waiting outside in the car for my wife come out of a store I heard over the radio an ad for Freelaptopnation.com. It reminded me of the ordeal I went through this past summer for one of those "free" laptops. I did cover this in a previous post several months back but I thought it was worth another look. I believe it's even the same website. I remember hearing it on the radio thinking well maybe because I heard this on the radio it has some legitimacy to the claim. Being an experienced internet surfer and computer user for several years I thought I was going in at least with some smarts. Boy was I wrong on both parts.
It began innocent enough going into the website. On the first level are some free or almost free trials or subscriptions you must sign up for. I remember trying to pick ones that would be easy to cancel or the least expensive. Then your on to the next level. Again I try to do the same thing and it gradually gets harder to do. You have to sign up for so many for each level. When you finish one there is no hint that another level is coming so when you click done they give you another level to go through which gradually gets more expensive and harder to find good deals. Many of them have you signing up for memberships or trials for things you really don't need. To be honest I got kind of wrapped up in what I was doing and didn't keep track of everything I signed up for. They even name levels like the "Gold" or "Platinum" to almost tease you into thinking your almost done. I think I spent at least two hours filling out forms and signing up for stuff and I think I got to about the third or fourth level before calling it quits. I finally said to myself what the heck is free about this? Along with a few other choice words my mother wouldn't be proud of. I wish that was the end of the story. I tried to cancel what I could remember I signed up for before I got charged for them. Unfortunately I missed a few and almost a month later I noticed some extra charges being drafted from my bank account. It happened at least two or three times. I usually called them up and tried to sound ticked off and asked as civilly but firmly that I cancel whatever service or membership I signed up for. It wasn't really there fault after all. In all cases charges were reversed and I did eventually get my money back.
Are these laptops really free? Not in my opinion. Though I didn't add up all expenses I'm sure it wasn't a super deal and if your paying for other items or memberships to get the laptop how is that free. I could save my money not buying into those things and buy a laptop for less hassle. Also I believe if you go in thinking you'll just cancel everything after signing up for stuff you might get burned . Many of the items require you to at least complete the free trial period or at least one pay period. So if you cancel something before meeting the requirement you get no laptop.
My suggestion is to avoid these if at all possible. They are not free. Should you try it write down every offer you sign up for and make note of the terms and requirements needed. Don't make my mistake and forget about them a month later when they start bouncing checks in your account. Though I don't think they are a total scam they do tend to leave some details out or at least make them hard to find. I just wanted to share my experience and perhaps help others avoid the same mistakes I did. There is a lot of truth to the saying "Let the buyer beware".