Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Don't miss this great offer!!!!!

This morning I received one of those enticing adverts in my email: “Fill out this survey and receive a $500 Target gift card!”

Now, I wasn’t born yesterday. I know that no matter what I do, I will not receive a $500 Target gift card. The world just doesn’t work that way. Major retailers do not go out of their way to give me money. However, since I had some free time, I decided to see how long I could persevere with the survey before something forced me to quit.

Answer: 20 minutes.

First of all, it wasn’t really a survey. It was “About which of these terrific offers would you like to receive more information, i.e. endless e-mail and telephonic spam?” I clicked on two or three out of about 25 and dutifully filled in my name, address, and e-mail address. For the ones that required a phone number, I gave my cell number, because I never turn that phone on. So far, so good.

When that was finished, I hit “continue.” But did I move on to a new step in the process? No! Instead, I was taken to a screen where I was asked to choose among another set of offers — and there were all the ones I’d just passed up. I clicked “no” to all of them, then “continue.” But I could not continue. The program required that I check “yes” to at least one of these fantastic opportunities, or I could not continue toward completion and get my $500 gift card.

Hey there, genius. It’s not a survey if you tell me what my answers are supposed to be.

So I repeated the yes/no selection process about four times. Finally there seemed to be light at the end of the tunnel. All I had to do was sign up for two more splendid deals and I’d be in the winner’s circle. And here’s where it got ugly: it started asking for my credit card number. Well, I do not give out my credit card number online (or anywhere else) unless I’m dealing with a vendor I trust for a product I really want. So I attempted to bypass these incredible bargains to proceed to the finish.

Could not do it. I could not complete the “survey” without giving out my credit card number. So I closed all 35 pop-up ad windows — no exaggeration — and exited the loop. No $500 gift card for me since I’m such a big quitter, I guess.

But in the 30 minutes since bailing out, I have already gotten two calls on my cell phone and two spam e-mails (each of which wanted me to re-enter all the information I’d already supplied, for some asinine reason). So the magnificent offers are already pouring in.

And before anyone decides to chide me for taking the bait, remember two things: (1) I did this intentionally just to see what would happen — mission accomplished; and (2) I know most of your names and addresses, too. Give me too much lip and some fantastic opportunities could find their way to you very soon. ;-)


  • Hey cuz... I did the same thing one day not so long ago. Curiosity got the best of me & now I know why curiosity killed the cat! It's exhausting! Can't that be deemed a form of fraudulent advertising?

    By Anonymous Kacey, at 6:20 PM  

  • Hahah don't you love things like that. I once put my name wrong just to see and I've gotten SO much spam! I even got a phone call the other day.

    By Blogger Goofy Girl, at 7:02 PM  

  • that's why I have several email addresses...one for my FRIENDS and one I use when I shop or surf sites...that address is the "junk mail" address. Don't you just wish you could do that with the REAL mail?

    By Blogger Linda, at 11:42 AM  

  • I have the same thing... a real Yahoo address and a Yahoo address for all my Internet shopping, etc.

    By Blogger Ethelred, at 3:05 PM  

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