My Free iPodFree Is it a Scam?

Analysis, Tips & FAQ
for and Related Programs

The Skinny:

  1. Is it a scam? No
  2. Do you have to follow the rules? Yes
  3. Is it truly free? Depends

For details, read on...

The Essentials

The good news is that and its sister sites are not a scam. Why not?

What will I have to do?

  1. Open an account at or a sister site. Be sure to reply to the verification email.
  2. Sign up for and complete an offer from a national company like Blockbuster, AOL, BMG, Citibank, and many others. (Offers change from time to time--these are just examples) The offers are the typical fare--get so many weeks free, get 12 CD for the price of, get a discount off your first, etc. Be certain you follow the links within the website. (I took the Blockbuster offer and enjoyed watching the entire first season of Star Trek TOS.>
  3. Get other people to do the same. The number of people you need varies with the item.)

Can I get more than one iPod? Can I get anything else?

Only one item per address. But, FreePay actually runs several other websites, including four with different styles of iPods.

Issues & Answers

How do I get other people?

Just ask your friends. Some people post on online message boards, in blogs, etc. Some people build websites. This is the internet, after all--we all have millions of friends, now! Note: the offer is only available in the United States.

Sure, buddy. Sounds easy. Where's the catch?

Well, it's not quite that easy. Remember that just signing up for an account will NOT get you anything. You and your referrals must sign up for an account AND complete an offer. In a recent rule change, you now have only 90 days to complete all requirements--including having your referrals complete their initial offers. If you gather referrals from strangers via online advertisement, posting to boards, etc., expect only a small percentage to actually follow through to complete an offer. My experience has been that many folks will follow your link to see what it's about, sign up for an account to see the details, then never take it any further. That's fair; I've done it myself. It just means you'll have to be patient. Or, concentrate on friends and family you know will follow through.

How does Freepay make money on this?

For every successful offer completed, Freepay gets a kickback from the company making the offer. For example, if you complete an offer for a two-month trial subscription to Cold Cream of the Month, Cold-Cream-of-the-Month pays Freepay $xx. With enough offers accepted, Freepay gets enough to send you the iPod. In reality, Freepay has set the number of offers too low--six offers completed will not cover the iPod. But many people start the program, take an offer themselves, but never get enough referrals to take an offer. They never get a free ipod, and Freepay keeps the kickback without paying for iPod. This subsidizes the free iPods, keeping the number of referrals you need reasonable. Some people call it a scam, but it's more like offering a rebate expecting a certain percentage of buyers will not send in the paperwork. Regardless, as long as you fulfill the requirements, you will get a free iPod, and both Freepay and you are happy!

Are you sure it's not a pyramid scam?

Mathematically, it can eventually become difficult or impossible to find enough new referrals, that is, people who have not already signed up. Some people point to this fact and call it a scam. Perhaps. But others would say it means to get going as quickly as you can before the market saturates. Anyway, pyramid scams use your money to pay those who signed up before you. In this offer, you pay Freepay nothing. And even if you never get an iPod, you do get something from the offers you take. It's hard to call 12 CDs on your shelf (for example) a pyramid scam, even if you never finish the iPod requirements.

Are the offers you have to follow scams?

No, from the information I have. The offers are with nationally recognized companies. They won't cost you much even if you forget to cancel when you intended. Many offers do require a credit card, which sounds risky, BUT, remember the fraud protection in a credit card--if something evil does come of your participation, one call to your credit card company will sort it out. Much safer than paying cash. So, you really have very little to lose, and an iPod to gain!

Cautions (to avoid having your account put on hold, i.e. suspended)

How is this different from all those "click on the blah blah, shoot the ducky, you have already won" banners and such?

Well, for laughs, I followed one of those one day. And they have a similar model--the site gets a kickback from the offers you complete. This pays for the free merchandise. The trouble is, those other sites make YOU do all the offers. You want a free widget, then you have to complete 10 offers yourself for one widget. That's a lot of credit cards, free CD accounts, Blockbuster accounts on your tab for one widget. With FreePay, you only have to do one--your friends do the rest, and they only need to do one. You can save your offers for the other FreePay items and get a dozen free widgets for the same outlay as one from those banner sites.

What about spam?

My research shows that early on some people complained about receiving spam (unsolicited email) after signing up. Personally, to date I have not received any spam I can specifically trace to this. It looks like this problem was addressed, but let's be realistic, here:  I recommend that you set up a special email address just for these offers, a procedure I recommend in general for web offers.  Your ISP often allows you multiple email accounts. As soon as you get your free iPod shuffle or other item, close that account if you wish. For a disposable email that you can use without even registering, try Mailinator. Tip: make your user name something rather long and unguessable--but don't forget it if you decide to follow through; you'll need it to complete the process.

Why should I trust YOU?

Normally I don't bother with such things. I throw away sweepstakes entries. I hang up on telemarketers. I never follow spam links. I don't click "get a widget free!" banners. But when a friend of mine got an iPod this way, I took a second look. After my research (the links below), I decided to try it. And I got free iPod shuffle!

But don't take my word for it. Here are some links to articles and discussions boards where people have successfully completed the offer and received an iPod or other items from the sister sites. (If you follow these links to research this issue, kindly return to this page to follow my referral linkswhen you are ready to sign up. Thank you!)

Free iPods: A Fruitless Search?
Columbia Spectator, Dec 13, 2004.
Comment, pointed out in this article: make CERTAIN you are signing up at There are mimics out there that are not FreePay sites.

Website lures students looking for freebies
Duke Chronicle, Nov 24, 2004

Free iPods from Engadget gets the scoop This article is from the summer of 2004, when the program was still new. The article is skeptical. BUT, scroll past the article and into the discussion afterward. After a few skeptical responses, lots of folks start chiming in with "Hey, it worked!"

The Free iPod Offer, and Why It Isn't a Scam, July 26, 2004
Here is a great analysis of the business model, and why it works (and why it may not work forever.)


Did you find this site helpful? Have a suggestion or question? Please direct comments to freeipod "at", replacing the "at" with the @ symbol.

Disclaimer: I am not a representative of Gratis Internet aka FreePay. While I personally believe everything on this web page is accurate, and I have used FreePay to receive several items, it is only my opinion. I am not responsible for how you use the information on this site. As with all such offers, you must proceed very carefully to maximize the value, and you may not successfully complete the offer. This is not my fault. Caveat emptor.

© 2005

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