student life

How the promise of a free iPad drove me to purge my soul

The first thing you should know is that I live with my girlfriend who works, commutes and goes to bed very early. So I find myself with a lot of time for night surfing.

The first thing you should know is that I live with my girlfriend who works, commutes and goes to bed very early. So I find myself with a lot of time for night surfing. It’s not the transcendental meditative sort Patrick Swayze does in ‘Point Break’ though. It’s mostly watching YouTube clips and maybe a bit of porn.

Between these I came across a site called which provides you with a way to get a free iPad, or the gift of your choice. Okay, I’m in! I created my account, nothing too personal, name and address basically. Well they’ll need that when they send me my iPad.

The next step is to ‘complete an offer.’ These are things like signing up to love film for a month or gambling in an online casino. Not so much offers since all of them involve spending £10 minimum on something I don’t want. It’s a bit like those surveys you fill in online to earn points to make money to buy things, (which I’ve managed to avoid) but instead of filling in surveys you just buy things.

So here’s where I start doing a bit of research and as far as I can Google it’s perfectly legit. I didn’t want to complete an offer though, until I knew what stage three was. Stage three is referring 31 other people to also complete an offer (in my case any way, the smaller the gift you choose the fewer referrals you need and I went for a top of the line Ipad).  The site says ‘refer friends’ but this is not something you should do to a friend.

In the moment I thought to myself, I’ve got a lot of twitter followers, one or two readers of this magazine, maybe I could dupe a few of them into this. I tried to compose the least dicky  message possible in my head: ‘Hey guys,  I’m doing this thing where I can get a free iPad, all you have to do is place a £10 bet or buy love film, you’d really be helping me out, thanks.’ You see it’s impossible; it would take months of running around the internet like a modern day Jack Lemmon in ‘Glengarry Glen Ross.’

I got a weird feeling that I was about to start a new job as a PR rep for love film and get paid in green dots (one for each referral). I wouldn’t mind wearing a T-shirt with their logo on it that I could pass off as an ironic statement on advertising but this is too much. I got the feeling I was in a satirical sci-fi novel. I guess that feeling is what they call the freebie jeebies.

Funny side note, my girlfriend actually does work in PR and could probably afford to buy herself a new Ipad after doing about the same amount of work and yet she is sleeping soundly and I am up at 2am in front of the computer screen thinking I’m beating the system somehow.

I’m not saying this is a scam, I’m convinced that is possible to get a free Ipad out of the deal but the method is exactly the same as asking 31 people to just give you £10 then buying one, only you’d help out a few thriving businesses along the way.

So I gave up on freebiejeebies but the notion of a free iPad was already too deeply rooted in me. I checked freecycle, gumtree, craigslist, oddly no one was giving them away. I scanned my room for things I could sell to raise the money, an organ perhaps. 

Just before I started composing my email to Apple saying: ‘pleeeaase, I really want one.’ I set my mind back two hours, before I even knew I wanted an Ipad. I was fairly anti-corporate before I clicked that link and perfectly able to supress the nagging notion that Apple products could save my soul. I repeated my mantra ‘You can’t afford it. You can’t afford it’ and went to bed. I escaped this time but just barely.

I know when the new model comes out I’ll find myself here again so if everyone could please sponsor me £10 not to buy an iPad you’d really be helping me out. 

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