An Open Letter To Freebie Giverawayers

Dear Giant Faceless Global Conglomerates,

Hi, I'm Goob. You may remember me from such internal memos as “this loser keeps making fun of our dog perfume” and “does anyone know if we still have that hitman on retainer?” I'm here to ask that you, for the sake of my sanity, please stop announcing future freebie giveaways. Why? Because you screw them up.

Here's an idea: release a freebie then tip off a few bloggers. Seriously, it's that easy. Hit me up. I'll gladly put you in touch with two dozen of the biggest freebie bloggers who would love to share your offer with our combined billions of readers. (margin of error: +/- a few billion.)

We're all nice guys and gals who Would be happy to write about your freebies with nary a negative comment. Myself excluded – I'm still going to mock you as long as you insist on botching these giveaways and branding your products with stupid names. Plus think how nice it would be if your site wasn't constantly down thanks to a deluge of people sent all at once!

I'm sure my withered olive branch won't be enough for some companies though. You want your giveaways to be “events!” You want to reward your Facebook fans for proclaiming to the world “I LOVE DEODORANT!” I get it. So how about this – give your IT guy a heads up. Take it from a fellow hunk poindexter, he won't wet his pants and cry when you tell him there are going to be an extra 25,000 people on your site at noon tomorrow. He'll beef up the system and, surprise surprise, your damn site won't crash!

I had a company once ask if I'd like to help consult for their upcoming series of giveaways. I don't think I best expressed my flattery when I laughed and said “just make sure you have enough #[email protected]*ing servers to handle the surge of traffic.” Guess what they didn't do. o_O

So, in conclusion, stop wasting my readers time and start listening to me. πŸ™‚

Forever Yours,

Goob

85 comments on “An Open Letter To Freebie Giverawayers”

  1. I totally agree with everything you said! I know everyone hates wasting their time trying to get a free sample over and over only to be told they’re out or something is wrong with the website that you can’t get it. As we speak,I have been trying to get a FREE T-shirt from Bacardi. First they were having problems,now it says working,but it’s not!It’ll end up by the time it’s working,they will be all gone and all I did was waste my time trying over and over to get one. Thank-you for at least saying what we all feel!!! I also agree that there is a freebie slump going on. Somedays I can get abunch,but lately I’m lucky to get 3-6 and that’s from at least 10-15 different sites. I also want to say how much I enjoy your website. Great job! Keep up the good work!!

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  2. Great Letter! But at first, I thought it was for a Free Letter Opener LOL
    Keep up the great work and thanks for everything πŸ™‚

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  3. Goob. First of all, great letter. Very cool, very funny. Some of this stuff is so freakin’ frustrating. Secondly, you do a wonderful job providing your fans( oh, and we def are FANS) with great free stuff. Thanks for all of it!

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  4. You da man Goob! Thanks for all your hard work! This site wouldn’t be the same without you, no matter how good the free stuff was! None of the other free sites takes care of their followers like you do! A big thanks from a greatful freebie hunter!

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  5. First off, all of you rock. I wasn’t expecting any response to this other than a laugh or two. Yet the fact that so many people agree and commented with kind words is the best validation I could receive for this post.

    So here’s a hearty shootout not just to anyone who commented or anyone who read this, but to everyone who reads and frequents HIF. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I couldn’t do this without y’all!

    Now, onto some of the comments:

    @Susan, that would be hardcore on so many levels. I’ll even offer to be his/her godfather!

    @sylvia, exactly! Freebies should be quick, easy, and painless. It’s the complete waste of time that riles me up. It’s avoidable and yet keeps happening time and time again.

    @shirl, Haha, I’ll get FERS on my arm. Then when we meet, we can hold our tattoos together and be the coolest people around.

    @lindsay, I hear ya. I haven’t ranted too hard about it in the past, but I’ve mentioned it here and there that companies who run out of freebies yet leave up their signup form need to get their act together.

    @Ashley, that would be more than okay with me! What I object to is the way companies set up their giveaways so that a sudden deluge of people appear and then are stunned when things go awry.

    I had to decide early on if I wanted to be the first or the funniest. While I fail mightily and routinely, I chose the latter. In fact, I can’t recall the last freebie I was first to publish, despite the fact that I frequently find freebies an hour or two before I publish them. I’m cool with the prospect of missing out on a freebie every so often in exchange for … whatever it is I do here.

    @Sue, YES! Oh man, having to switch out of my https is such an annoyance. Though to be fair, it’s partly Facebook’s fault as well. I can understand why Facebook can’t extend the secure connection to third party pages (like ones with company apps on them), but the fact that we then have to manually turn the https back on is insanely stupid.

    @ashley, I’m with ya, Facebook really needs to allow people to remove the automatic insertion of “Goob liked Always Tampons” on our walls. Like Dan said, we can delete them, but I have to admit I forget more often than not.

    @nanaronda, that can be arranged! I’m neat and only require three home cooked meals a week to remain happy and chipper.

    @Michelle, Agreed. Completely. I typed this up and sat on it for a night to make sure I still felt the same way after some sleep. In 5+ years of running HIF, I’ve only made an angry post … I don’t know, two times?

    At the same time, giving companies a pass just because “it’s free stuff” is weak. This isn’t a random occurrence. More often than not, pre-announced freebies are botched and usually it’s because of something that could have been avoided. I’m not going to stop posting them or signing up for them, but I figured calling them out might help get the ball rolling on fixing the problem. If not, well, at least I blew off some steam πŸ˜€

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  6. *claps*

    It’s amazing that companies are never prepared for the mass of traffic that hits their servers when they offer something for free. Especially in this economy! Seriously – their IT guys need to actually do something instead of sitting around.

    Of course … it’s never going to happen

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  7. SON OF GLOOB……. I’M PROUD FO YOU “DAD”…… I DID NOT READ THE ARTICLE, NO TIME. BUT DID SKIM OVER SOME COMMENTS & WELL I’LL JUST FOLLOW THE CROWD…. WHERE ARE THE DONUTS?

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  8. I get everyone being upset and I love this site!!! However are we all forgetting that these are FREE to us. I working in marketing and why I don’t agree with how poorly the companies IT departments are handling the servers I think as consumers we need to give them a little break.

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  9. What irritated me the most is that I spent time both evenings trying to get the Tide freebie, and never was able to access the form on my android phone. ):

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  10. seriously theres nothing more annoying than clicking “like” for a stupid product to get a freebie then having the site crash and you cant get your freebie anyway. it embarrasses me to see “ashley liked *insert random stupid product here* and then explain that it was for a freebie…but then the site crashed and i ended up with nothing!

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  11. Well said, Goob! I would just add that sometimes it even ends up turning people off in regards to the company’s products!

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  12. Love your site, and while I have scored a number of freebies both on and off Facebook via their forms, I have also encountered problems with getting everything. Even the Orville Redenbacher deal you posted. The Walmart site was so malfunctioning for me and didn’t get the freebie. But these companies need to get new IT support, a larger server, etc. And now that Epsilon has been hacked, Target, Kroger, and other retailers are basically an open book for their customers’ info. I am in both these stores databases for deals and more and now am experiencing spam. So hopefully, you can help keep the bad guys in line and help us get the freebies we expect. Thanks!

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  13. Hooray for you. You should definitely send that memo. I’m tired of facebook giveaways that make you give up your https. And ditto to all the rest of it.

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  14. Hey Goob, if the companies tipped off 10 of your competitors first, would that still be okay? Or does the ranting only stop if you get advanced notice?

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  15. I’m with Michelle on the slow clap. πŸ™‚

    Your jokes/rants always brighten my day, Goob. Thanks for being funny.

    Goob in 2012!

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  16. Very well said Goob…let’s just hope that they take heed to your wisdom. Great freebie site…thanks so much for all your hard work!

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  17. you definitely rock!! tell ’em like it is… one thing you left out, though, was that these companies need to actually SEND the freebies (to people who’ve been able to enter their info). i can’t begin to count how many things i’ve signed up for and never gotten. big bummer on all accounts. hope these bigwigs listen to you! keep up the awesome work, goob πŸ™‚

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  18. We love you Goob! Thanks everyone for making this awesome site. Best of the Best

    Gonna get a tattoo that says HIF hahahaha

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  19. How ironic, they want to give a freebie to promote good will and get us to buy their products after we sample them. I think when consumers are frustrated and mad, we are not very likely to buy their products!!!! You would think the companies would have a little more common sense!

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  20. Great letter Goob. Now if only they would read it. I spent the best part of my day yesterday going between Tide and the sample box and ended up with neither. Huge disappointment.

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  21. Way to go Goob – you told them like it is! I so hate seeing the freebie givaway and then can’t get the darn site to work or get numerous error messages. They definitely need to listen to your wise words of wisdom1

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  22. Your so RIGHT ON! These “ladies” who have their “freebie” newsletters are making it harder and harder to get a freebie now a days. It’s like, have a blood line hooked up to their websites for a fast transfusion or your dead… no freebie. I’d like to send them your article and see if any of them have any shame, but I know they don’t… they are too narcissistic.

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  23. Well said! The Tide Stain Release on Facebook was a disaster! Took them a week to “get it working right” and then it still didn’t work for over an hour! They finally got it fixed and I got my sample (I think, lol). Those companies are worth millions – maybe billions? – and they can’t find someone who knows what they are doing??

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  24. Just for fun, you should put this in a qr code, and send it to all the major companies that do this. They’ll be like, “OOH, what’s this? :D” Bwahahahaha

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  25. Perfectly said! Love your HIF and have been a fan for quite awhile now. it’s funny how a freebie can change my mood! Thanks for all you do!

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  26. Amen! Frankly once they botch it, I am waaaaay less likely to buy their products because my time is valuable.1

    1.Hey my virtual villagers could have DIED

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  27. Excellent!!!! You Rock Goob….tell it like it is brother!!! Think they’ll listen to ya? Probably not but you get an “A” for your effort! Thanks for givin’ it to them on our behalf!!!

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  28. LOL!! Very well said!! Raising my glass to ya…. well raising my water bottle anyway. Hey, It’s the middle of the afternoon!!! πŸ™‚
    Said it before and sayin’ it again… YOU ROCK GOOB! We appreciate all you do to help us keep the freebies flowing and mailboxes overflowing!

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  29. We love you and all that you do Goob! Way to put it to “The Man”. You’re site is a ray of sunshine. Freebies have been a game at my house. Everyone races to the mailbox to be the first one who gets their first pick of the freebies. Sorry you lost the job offer. πŸ™‚ Perhaps honesty isn’t the best policy before you’ve gotten your 90 days in.

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