No such thing as a free lunch?
September 24, 2004 10:16 AM   Subscribe

It's the latest buzz to sweep the internet--free iPods for signing up and referring five of your friend. There was plenty of skepticism at first, but when positive reports started coming in, the popularity of the site took off. But like any pyramid scheme, the people who are only signing up now are getting burned. And of course, won't someone think of the children?
posted by turaho (13 comments total)
Please note that I haven't linked directly to the site (no Pepsi Blue here), but I wouldn't be surprised if the Google ads on the right eventually point you the site I'm talking about.
posted by turaho at 10:18 AM on September 24, 2004

Recieving some spam now equals getting burned? It's not as if anyone has lost money, and signing up with an unused email address would seem a fairly obvious thing to do.

Apple not being able to meet demand sounds like a perfectly valid reason to me.

Also, those kids look rubbish. I'd pick none of them.
posted by toby\flat2 at 10:45 AM on September 24, 2004

They may be right about Apple not being able to meet their demand, but it's a lousy position to stand behind. If they had made an arrangement with Apple to do this, that's one thing, but if your business model relies on a supply chain that your supplier doesn't know about, you deserve what you get.

Imagine, for example, if I ran a business that gave out MeFi accounts to people who referred their friends for something, then bitched that Matt closed signups.
posted by mkultra at 11:01 AM on September 24, 2004

A much better pyramid scheme!
posted by Peter H at 11:07 AM on September 24, 2004

Pyramid Scheme Less Effective Than Promised
Thousands shocked by discovery that apex is much smaller than base
posted by ook at 12:10 PM on September 24, 2004

Where "latest buzz" here means "it's been around for a while"
posted by hattifattener at 12:22 PM on September 24, 2004

Naw, this is the best pyramid scheme they've come up with so far.
posted by soyjoy at 12:30 PM on September 24, 2004

I read an article about this a few days ago on Wired. I checked out and signed up for it using a throwaway mailbox. There's a few good offers up there, $20 for Blockbusters version of NetFlix, or $8 for a few pounds of gormet cofee. And getting 8 other people to sign up for a Samsung 17" LCD monitor or 27" flat panel television seems like a hell of a bargain.
posted by daHIFI at 12:31 PM on September 24, 2004

I just had to disabuse a friend of trying to use us to get her referrals the other day. This is driving me bonkers.

Throwaway email or not, spam affects everyone. I hate to be so fucking melodramatic, but sometimes it's necessary. Estimates currently are that up to 70% of global email will be spam by the end of this year (including mail that gets sent to your throwaway address). And this has so many side effects that I bet you haven't even thought about - I'm doing a law internship right now where I'm trying to find out how the ISP can legitimize spam blocking under the Telecommunications Act in Canada. Carriers are not supposed to interfere with content, and for damn good reason. But the ISPs have literally no choice here - spam is just killing them. And the amount of time we have to spend on it - my superior is on a national task force, there are endless discussions, etc. It's work for me, but frankly, I'd rather it wasn't a problem so that we could do other things instead.

Not to mention that it's a PYRAMID SCHEME. That needs to be bloody shouted from the rooftops some more. What if you sign up, get four friends to do it as well, so that there are five honking new, validated email addresses for the spammers to sell across the globe, and then you can't get a fifth - sucker. You're a sucker.
posted by livii at 12:53 PM on September 24, 2004

soyjoy - d&d pyramid scheme
posted by Peter H at 1:11 PM on September 24, 2004

The original pyramid scheme
posted by LimePi at 3:49 PM on September 24, 2004

It just occured to me that I'd like to add that soyjoy's entire food pyramid scheme is actually just the second tier ("safety") of my posted maslow's pyramid scheme, ;)
posted by Peter H at 3:54 PM on September 24, 2004

Yeah, that's what those Mediterranean peoples are all about: Safety.
posted by soyjoy at 7:40 PM on September 24, 2004

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