Well… I didn’t actually lose $30 dollars. I know exactly where it went. Into the pockets of a Chinese scam artist!
But first, a prologue.
Years ago – I mean years ago – I became intrigued by all the internet ads promising free iPods or laptops. In my mind there were two thoughts on the matter:
(1) no one is simply going to give away a free laptop. That’s insane. And it’s even more insane to give a free laptop to every person on the global internet who comes across this ad. AND it’s even more insane to expect that someone is actually going to hand over a laptop, free of charge, no strings attached, just because you clicked on an ad on some website.
(2) however, you can’t just say “free laptop” and then not deliver. There can be a catch, but there also must be a laptop. For free. Otherwise, that’s false advertising, misleading, and quite frankly rude.
And yes, I was very naive at this time… in college…
So, being curious what it would take, and really wanting a free laptop, I clicked on the ad.
But, the internet really was a little more tame back then. As it turns out the whole thing was legit. All you had to do was sign up for some free trials and newsletters and you’d get a laptop.
Another however… many of these trials, subscriptions, and newsletters were things I did not want. And at some point I actually did realize what was going on here. In order to get my complimentary laptop, I would have to sign up for magazine subscriptions, “thing”-of-the-month clubs, and credit card offers that would have definitely put me in enough debt that I may as well just take out a micro-loan and buy a new laptop!
Fast forward to August of this year.
I was eating dinner at this new restaurant and got a little bored. So, I got out my new laptop j/k I got out my phone and started browsing Instagram.
Instagram is chalk full to the brim with ads.
One of these ads was for a smartphone gimbal. It’s one of those stabilizers you strap your phone into, and when you run around with it the gimbal stabilizes the phone so the resulting video is not a shaky, seizure-inducing mess. It was brand name, like the other 10 items in their online store. And, here’s the kicker, it was only $30!
Can you believe it?! An $80-$400 device depending on model was selling for only $30!
What a deal!
And I never got it. But they certainly got my $30.
Oh… what’s that?
Contact them, you say?
Well, of course I did contact them. But I suppose I did leave out the saddest yet most hilarious part: the website is gone.
Thanks for taking my money, Chinese scammer!
P.S. – the website, by the way, was hosted by Shopify. It was http://www.stormyandgo.com . Let me know if it ever comes back up…