About two months ago, I started on my quest for a free XBox 360. If you recall, I’ve navigated these promotions before, resulting in my “free” Macbook Pro. They do work; just be sure you’ve crossed all your Ts and dotted all your Is.
I made a point to complete all of my offers in one day. On May 10th, I had purchased some diet pills, signed up for web hosting, and enrolled in GameFly. All stuff I don’t need, but still cheaper than actually buying an XBox 360. Not surprisingly, as of July 6th, none of my offers were showing “completed”. This happens, and is why you print copies of EVERYTHING.
I contacted the company and told them that it had been over eight weeks and nothing was reported. They immediately apologized and bumped three of my offers to “Approved”, and said it may take up to 48 hours for the fourth offer to update. I printed off my certificates, added them to my growing list of paperwork, and began patiently waiting out the final 24 hours. If it’s not updated by tomorrow afternoon, they’re getting another email.
I suspect the problem is that the company I signed up for (ServerPronto) is no longer listed as an offer. But since I have printouts of my landing screen, order screen, specific “to qualify” instructions, and order confirmation, I don’t expect I’ll have any trouble. Even if they put up a fight — which I doubt, given their surprisingly amiable conduct so far — nothing in their TOS states that when an offer is removed, its completion no longer qualifies. I’d have a pretty strong case in small claims court.
This minor hiccup is why, if you’re going to try for one of these offers, you print a copy of EVERYTHING. Print the terms of service, print the list of offers at every stage of the way, print the popup that says “To qualify with this partner, you must _____”, print the landing page at the partner’s site, print the page that shows you ordering, print the page that shows your order confirmation, print the order confirmation email you get, and print the status page every time it updates. In the end you should have at least a dozen printouts for each partner. Keep them in a safe place, because if things get shady, they are your only protection. If needed, they can be called upon to prove — along with your credit card statement — that you made a good-faith effort to complete the terms of the offer. They can also be used to paint a very negative picture of the promotional company, which in small claims court often carries more weight than the letter of the law.
I’ll update again once the final offer goes “Approved” and my paperwork gets mailed. Once I have my XBox 360 in hand, I’ll post the URL of the site.