A Phone-y Offer
Date Added: June 9, 2003
Many who are new to the Internet and e-mail are amazed by the power and potential they appear to have. With relative ease, you can send a personal message which, in little time, can reach hundreds of people. Such convenience would have to appeal to companies and give them new, innovative ways to attract customers, right? Not quite.
Nokia Is Giving Away Phones For "FREE"!! Nokia is trying word-of-mouth advertising to introduce its products.And the reward you receive for advertising for them is a phone free of cost ! To receive your free phone all you need to do is send this email out to 8 people (for a free Nokia 6210) or to 20 people (for a free Nokia WAP).Within 2 weeks you will receive a FREE phone. (They contact you via your email address).
You must send a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a great day.
While many companies are relying more heavily upon the Internet and e-mail for marketing, few (if any) are using e-mail to give stuff away. E-mail addresses are not the same as postal addresses and offer very little value to a company, so there is no incentive for them to offer such a give-away.
In a 2003 statement on their Web site, Nokia labeled this one a prank and publicly denied any such promotion:
"Nokia is aware of the prank e-mail circulating around the world. The content of the e-mail is not true. Nokia does not hand out free mobile phones. We apologize for any inconvenience caused to our customers."
The e-mail address given in the message is also invalid.
Think about it, why would any company want to do this? Let's say you do send the message to 8 people to get your free phone. Let's say, then, that they each send it to 8 people - that's 65 free phones. In the next generation, it could jump to more than 500. We're easily talking thousands of participants in just days. That's a lot of free phones to achieve word-of-mouth advertising, which is neither reliable nor targeted - two important aspects of a successful corporate marketing campaign.
Another important point to consider is the privacy implications such an offer would pose. If this were true, about the only thing the company would stand to gain from it would be an impressive list of e-mail addresses, most submitted without the owners' permission. And, what might a company do with such a list of addresses? What else but send you advertising. Luckily, no reputable company uses chain-letters to promote their products or give them away.
The Nokia give-away hoax is responsible for many spin-off hoaxes, including similar bogus offers from Ericsson and Samsung. The concept that you can get something for free, just by forwarding an e-mail is a popular ploy among hoaxters because our greed quite frequently overpowers our common sense. Even if we doubt the validity of the author, we think that there appears to be no harm in trying. But companies like Nokia have to divert many man-hours and resources to deal with the volume of inquiries these hoaxes generate. Break this chain.