Thursday, August 16

Common Complaints About Freebies: Why They're So Wrong

We are often told that the problem with this world is that everyone wants something for nothing. You're not prepared to work for something, the wisdom goes, you expect it to be handed to you. And apparently this means that we're raising a generation of people who don't see the value of hard work. It is at the center of a lot of tirades which would make you think none of us actually works for a living.

The irony here is that, if you can get something for nothing, why wouldn't you? If you see the value in things, and have the chance to get ahead in the deal, wouldn't it be stupid not to take it? It's not like 2-for-1 washing powder or "buy now pay later" consumer deals have led to us all downing tools and quitting our jobs. Anyone who tells you it's wrong to expect something for nothing is looking for a reason to get angry.

Something For Nothing: Freecycling

A development we have seen over recent years is the ability for someone who has no further use for an item to make it available to others for free. There are reasons why people do this. Firstly, the item may be perfectly usable and they just have a newer version. They may be moving abroad and not have the means to transport it. Or they may just not have the space for it anymore.
Rather than take the item to the dump and create more landfill, why shouldn't they make it available? And by taking it, you're saving money (showing you recognise its value). You're also helping the environment.

Something For Nothing: Customer Surveys


An increasing number of businesses are looking for customer feedback as a way of improving their service. They can do more of what customers like and less of what they find annoying. As a way of persuading you to give them this feedback, they will usually offer money off your next order, or something for free next time you visit. One example is seen at

Sure, you haven't paid for that donut, or that hot drink. But the business improves its service. That helps everyone. You have your say and you get a treat in return. Who suffers in this deal?

Something For Nothing: Reward Points


Many businesses have loyalty or reward problems that allow you to accumulate points every time you make a purchase. After long enough picking up those points, they can be used against another purchase. It brings down the cash outlay you make, and encourages you to keep shopping at that place. You can save points over a year, and then use them to keep down the cost of Christmas shopping, for example.

Most of the time, you'd be shopping in this place anyway. There's no financial sense in accumulating loyalty points somewhere you wouldn't go. But the company gains a loyal customer and you can make a dent in your bills. Beats going overdrawn every December, doesn't it?

For things of high enough value, we will still have to pay a fair amount most of the time. But it is time to end the bad name given to the idea of "something for nothing". In the end, it's just sound economic sense.

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