The Struggle to Claim “FREE” Online Rewards

Advertisement

So I recently saw a YouTube ad that looked like this:

“There is a new pilot program that allows us to review the latest power tools. And it’ll start in the state of California. I’ve applied in the program, and then they sent me these tools to review. And after my review, I can keep all of the tools.”

What the heck. You’re telling me that I can get free tools just for trying them out and reviewing them. Sounds too good to be true. But hey, let’s find out. So I do what it tells me to do and I click the link in the description to take their survey and the first question I get is: “Do you use tools?”. Yeah, I guess that would be important for someone who is about to review tools, and then asks: “Do you agree to send us a short review?”. And I say yes, that’s why I’m here. And then asks: “Do you live in California?”. No, I actually don’t live in California. I guess that’s probably a deal breaker right? Wrong. And tell me congratulations and I’m on my way to getting some free tools. 

And look at all the satisfied customers. Adam Shawn Berry says: “It seems to me the best opportunity, and Thomas Brooks says: “I love this products.” 

It’s like an AI combed through the stupidest comments on Facebook and generated these fake reviews. Anyway it makes it clear what my next steps are. I answer some follow up questions and then I’ll get my $500 worth of tools delivered to my house in three to five business days. Sounds good to me. Let’s do this. 

And the first question that asks me is: “Do you like to nap?”. What kind of question is that? Of course I like to nap. Then it asked me some other questions like what kind of income I have and what kind of home I live in and even what religion I am. Does dewalt tools really care what religion I am? Maybe they do, but apparently I have to complete some deals and I thought this looked familiar. I did a video on this very program a couple months ago when I tried to win a Dr. Pepper fridge:

“I’ve applied in the program and they sent in this fridge to review and after my review, I can keep it without paying anything.”

Wait a minute, that voice sounds familiar.

“I got the power tools in less than five days.” 

It’s the same freaking guy.

“I got the mini fridge and over 30 drinks in less than a week.”

That guy talking about the Dr. Pepper fridge said his name was George Bart but now he’s got a new channel under the name of Marjin Johnson and his profile picture is just a stock photo. Who is this guy and why does he keep creating fake channels to pitch his stupid program?

“And don’t forget to like this video and subscribe to my channel.”

No, I’m not gonna subscribe to your channel because it’s gonna get taken down just like your other one for violating the YouTube terms and conditions. Now if you watch that fridge video, you’ll see that I went as far down this rabbit hole as I could mentally go. That made me sign up for like six offers to get my reward. I spent over $50 in subscriptions and other useless crap in order to qualify for the prize and they still never gave me the fridge saying I already got a reward from them within the last year. So I just ended up buying one which turns out is a different model from the one that they’re promoting. Theirs has this little doorknob with a window. But now they think they’re going to pull that same crap on me with a big bag of tools. But no, I’m not falling for this time. But I am going to settle the score and fight tooth and nail until I get that freaking fridge that they promised me. Now you’re probably thinking Ben, why are you making a video about you trying to win a free fridge? Just let it go. And to that I say no, I’m not going to let it go. You can’t treat people like this in 2022 and expect to get away with it. 

Advertisement

Also that fridge video is like my most popular video in the last year which is insane. I just hacked a scam call center and I took over their system and it didn’t hold a candle to a video about a grown man crying about a Dr Pepper fridge. So I’m giving the people what they want, more quests for free crap. Maybe that should be the new theme for my channel. So to recap, this business is run by flash rewards or up level rewards or the reward wizard who knows what they’re really called. But apparently, they’re a business that offers you rewards when you sign up for deals that they offer. And they’re making money off these commissions from these businesses that they’re signing you up for and they’re probably also making money off of your personal information that you give to them. They make it pretty clear in their terms and conditions that you agree to personal information collection. So if I say that I was a Christian, and then I like naps, and I make $75,000 a year, then a mattress company might buy this data and then come up with a campaign to try and sell me Jesus bedsheets for $60.

Okay, now that’s a stupid example. But you can kind of get an idea of what they’re doing with the data that they collect. And I signed up for a bunch of subscriptions. But I am no longer subscribed to these businesses because I cancelled them by using a card number from privacy.com who I absolutely love and would promote even if they weren’t sponsoring this video. Because with privacy.com, you can generate virtual card numbers that mask your banking information so you don’t need to worry about getting away your personal information when you buy something. And you get to control who can charge the card for exactly how much, and how often the card can be run. So it’s a great way to keep your finances safe, like if there was some kind of a breach or something. But it’s also a great way to manage your finances. You’re basically setting a limit on how much you can spend, and one of my favorite features. If you sign up for a free trial or a service and you’re like me and you’ll probably forget to cancel, use a virtual number from privacy.com and set it up for something like $1. That way when the free trial ends, you’re not all of a sudden seeing big charges on your bill. You just need to add a funding source for privacy to pull the money from. I really think that you should try it out and see what you think of privacy. We’ll give you $5 when you sign up with my link at privacy.com/pleasantgreen, it’s not a trick. It’s free money just to let you try it out and I think that you’re gonna love it. So go to privacy.com/pleasantgreen as soon as you finish this video. 

So since I signed up for the deals, and since I was promised the fridge, I’m here to take what’s rightfully mine. So I write an email to the address listed on the website. And I simply say: “It says I have received an award in the last 24 months, but I haven’t, how can I claim my reward?” 

And sure enough, they wrote back and they said: “Thank you for contacting up level rewards. Our team is currently reviewing your message. In the meantime, please respond to this email with your complete residential address and your date of birth. We appreciate your patience and we’ll provide an update soon.” 

Okay, so I write back with a peel box that I own and they write back saying that’s not good enough. They need a physical address and a birthday and my complete name. I’m telling you they want to know as much about you as they can because they’re selling your data. So I play their game because I’m going to do whatever it takes to get that freaking fridge. And they say: “For you to qualify for your Dr. Pepper mini fridge award. Please complete two more deals.” Are you kidding me? We’re back to this. 

I said: “What are you talking about? How do I claim my fridge? I completed all three levels. Please help me claim it.” 

And then they seriously make me provide proof that I completed their deals, which I do. Then they write back saying I don’t qualify because the name on my ID doesn’t match the name I used to enter the contest, Ben Dover. And I said: “Yes, I used an alias because I wasn’t sure if this was a scam or not.” And they never wrote back to that.

So I started up a new message and I said: “Hello, can you please help me claim my fridge?” And finally after giving them what they wanted, they said in two to three business days I’ll receive an email from their fulfillment vendor containing my reward. Wow, am I really gonna get this fridge after all that. I waited and I waited and the email finally came. And they let me know I was getting a $25 virtual gift card. 

Okay, but I don’t want a gift card. I was promised a Dr. Pepper fridge. So I wrote them and I said: “I just wanted to clarify. When I first heard about the contest, it was through an ad on YouTube that promised me the fridge if I just reviewed it. I was never given the opportunity to review the fridge. Do you know why? Is that opportunity available?” 

And they wrote back and they said: “As stated in our Terms and Conditions, we reserve the right to substitute a reward of equal or greater value if the reward you earn is unavailable for any reason.” 

Well, then what is the point of pitching this thing as a program to review products when there were no products to review in the first place? This was all a trick to get me to sign up for these subscriptions so that these guys could get a commission off of me. I spent well over $25 in deals alone only to get $25 in return. That’s what I think I’ll just use this $25 to buy the fridge that they promoted but it isn’t for sale anywhere except on eBay for 99 bucks. Okay, so this $25 virtual card isn’t even going to pay for 1/4 of the cost of the fridge and the only DeWalt tool that I can buy is a wrench. So now I have a Dr Pepper fridge shaped hole in my heart and I only have $25 to fill it. So what are we going to buy with this gift card now? Well, let’s go shopping. I can buy a Dr Pepper t-shirt, or I can buy Dr Pepper cotton candy or jelly beans or a Dr Pepper scented candle. Which one would you go with? I went ahead with the scented candle in hopes that I could help my home smell like a cold Dr. Pepper and help me forget all about this awful experience. But the candle ended up costing me way more than $25. It cost me over $50 in subscriptions that I don’t want or need. It also cost me like 10 hours to register and play their stupid games. And apparently it also cost me a bunch of my personal data that I’m guessing has now been sold to advertisers because I’m getting the strangest emails I’ve ever seen. And I don’t use this email address for anything else. And they have a pretty detailed plan on how much I can make if I keep going down this road but I’m calling it quits. Apparently, there are some people who are totally into this but I’m throwing in the towel. I got my candle, I got my fridge, but I’ll never get those tools or the time that I wasted back. But of course I would love to know if your experience was any better than mine or if you got something much cooler than I did. 

Hopefully this video provides a little insight into what you’re in for next time you see an ad from George Bart or Marjin Johnson. Well thank you for watching everybody. Let’s see how many of these mysteries we can uncover. So subscribe to the channel and come on back for more.

Advertisement

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.