We have all seen offers in our E-Mail boxes for free offers for some product that intrigues us. The problem is we often fail to read the fine print that accompanies these offers and as a result, we find ourselves spending hundreds of dollars we don’t want to spend. This is the biggest danger involved in a free trial offer. Let’s take a look at some of the common “Free Offers” that you might see:
Free Credit Report – We all have seen these offers. Get your credit report free today and you can be sure no-one is using your identity for fraudulent purposes. The fact is that most of us have the right to obtain our credit reports free once per year from each of the three credit reporting agencies. These offers for “Free Credit Reports” are often promotions to sell “Credit Warning Systems” that will warn you if someone makes an inquiry into your credit history. Most of us have no need for these reports.
Free Coffee Maker – You have seen them! Get this great, state of the art coffee maker for free, just pay for one pound of coffee. What the fine print tells you is that yes, you’ll get the coffee maker free, and yes, you only have to pay for one pound of coffee, but…You are automatically signed up for delivery at pre-determined times for additional amounts of coffee unless you cancel.
Free Computer – If you’ve seen the offer that you are entitled to a free desktop or laptop computer you might think this is a great option to get an updated system. Not so fast. These offers generally require your participation (which it says in the fine print that you can barely read) in other offers. These offers include video subscriptions, magazine subscriptions and even phone service subscriptions. These offers also mean that it’s not a one time charge that you can pay and claim your free computer, instead you have to maintain those services for specific amounts of time in order to be eligible for the free computer. If you consider how much you’re going to spend on that “free computer” you could probably buy an upgraded system.
Be wary of free offers because the biggest danger is they are not free at all. In fact, you will seldom (if ever) find anything for free. There is almost always a catch. Even free Internet coupon offers have a catch, they often require you to download specialized software which can release malicious malware or spy-ware on your computer. There really is no such thing as a free lunch.