Free Laptop Computers: From Hoaxes To The Real Deal

by Rod Dunne on September 2, 2010

in Hardware, Laptop

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The web is awash with offers for free laptop computers these days. Some of these are legitimate student programs but many can be hoaxes and scams. Here, we’ll look at the small print conditions that these programs often have to catch out unsuspecting applicants.

There are many types of free laptop deals so it is only possible to highlight some of the more treacherous conditions you should watch out for.

Free Laptop Computers: A Generic Referee Type Program

The first type offer free laptop computers for applicants who (i) sign up to a sponsored/advertised program and (ii) get a set amount of colleagues (a.k.a. referees) to also sign up to the program.

The first setback with this is that the sponsored offer will cost money to join. The second is that not many of your friends will wish to sign onto the offer. This results in those chain emails being sent out in a vain effort to get the prerequisite amount of people to sign up. If any part of the condition fails then you won’t receive your free laptop computer.

Free Laptop Computer Program Variations: More Advertised Schemes/ More Info

Other schemes make variations on this type of program. Some will not request referees but will insist on you joining a larger number of sponsored schemes before receiving your laptop notebook. Each of these in turn has sign-up charges, early-exit costs and possibly even recurring subscription fees. It may not even be a product/service you are particularly interested in.

Another variation is to request more personal information from you when signing up. This may include financial history, health status, family information and other personal data. The information is then sold on to third-party firms as market research or (more commonly) sales leads.

If this happens, then you can expect your free laptop notebook to be overwhelmed with the volume of spam emails you will start receiving along with an increase in junk mail and sales calls. You should also consider the fact that you sign away your data protection on many of these programs so your details may be proliferated out to hundreds of companies.

Not all schemes for free laptop computers will be identical so you should take this advice to mind and inspect the terms and conditions of each program carefully. Look out for the additional costs and traps that can stop you receiving a free laptop computer.

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