Thursday, 10 May 2007

Bottom of the food chain

Free Stuff websites. That's the bottom of the food chain.. and now I landed there.

Partly because my iPod was stolen many a year ago. But let me tell you more..

These websites work by offering a "free" price in exchange (there, it's no longer free) of you completing an "offer" from an advertiser and then referring X number of friends to the site, X being based on the gift you choose.

These sites do work, simply. The offer might cost me, anywhere between $1 - $20 or more, and if I sign up for a "subscription" to the advertiser, then more of course.

The pinch is that the "gift wanter" may just take up an offer. I'm sure there are kickbacks.
Now why am I blogging this in the tech side ?
Well .. I got lured, I have chosen an iPod as my free gift, I have to have 8 "friends" do the same thing, they go to the site and accept an offer. Then I get my iPod.

(Shameless link to "my" referral)

So here's the tech bit.

I chose the "advertiser" that had the most non-boring thing, which was a subscription $10/wk to mobile phone games. I made sure there was an opt out option .. (scoured the advertisers website first) .. and then went through the "sign up" phase.

I entered my mobile #, it sends an SMS asking me to confirm, I confirmed with OK.

The website, in the mean time is "waiting for" my OK SMS. The SMS obviously gets picked up because it moves to stage 2 which is "success" and sends me a "welcome SMS".

Now I go back to the gifts.freepay website and refresh my "you have not completed the offer" stage. ... No change.

Well .. I refreshed once or twice and then I went to help, help says to wait 1 - 15 days to see acknowledgement from the "advertiser" that accepted the offer. ... bummer...

Then, sure enough, an email arrives in my inbox which says my offer has been confirmed. There's the technology bit. I shouldn't be too surprised, but interestingly enough, it was server to server communication. ie, the mobile phone company notified the freepay website that my offer was accepted.

Anyways, click on my link, sign up. I get an iPod. ;-)

And this the title of this post.

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