Free Laptop Offers Revealed

by Rod Dunne on June 14, 2010

in Articles, Hardware, Laptop

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The rise in free laptop deals on TV, radio and the internet seems like too good an offer to pass up. Here, we’ll look at the business model behind such programs so that you have a clearer expectation of what to expect from signing up.

Don’t forget to check out our related articles
on laptop backup software and replacing laptop hard drives.

After seeing these advertisements you would have to wonder how these companies are making their money by giving away free laptops. The business model is based on sales lead generation for marketing purposes – the cost of the free laptop computers is offset by selling on your information or your business to other companies.

By signing up to one of the offers, as with any type of offer, you are agreeing to the terms and conditions of the program. In this case, in return for a laptop computer at some later date you are usually (i) agreeing to providing a lot of personal information, (ii) are permitting the company to sell on your personal data to other companies and (iii) are willing to sign up to a certain amount of program sponsors offers.

Taking these one by one, if you enter into these programs then you should be aware that they may request a lot of personal information including health status, phone numbers and family details through a number of form requests. If you are fine with doing this, or play the system using false names/addresses/etc then this shouldn’t bother you.

When your personal data is subsequently sold on to other marketing companies they are then at liberty to contact you through email, phone calls, postal campaigns, etc. It is hard to gauge how many subsequent marketing firms may receive your data so the volume of calls/emails could really escalate. If you opt out of the scheme before you get a free laptop then the company should remove you from their marketing database, but it is dubious if your details are removed from the marketing firms to which your details were sold.

Finally, by taking on the offer there will be indirect costs. Aside from postage costs for the laptop computer you will be asked to sign up for sponsored programs for a set period of time. You should be aware that signing up to these programs could have some costs involved and minimum participation periods (with early-dropout charges).

You shouldn’t be put off these programs, as each will be different, so if you decide to get a free laptop then:

  • Do your research on the firm behind the offer.
  • Read their terms and conditions and privacy policy carefully.
  • Establish how much information they will be looking for.
  • Check the sponsored programs that you will be expected to sign up for (costs, minimal participation period, etc).
  • Establish when you will get your laptop notebook.

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