Can You Complain When It’s Free?
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I used to work in marketing and had to attend trade shows. For those who don’t know about trades hows, they are actually a lot of fun. Industry people gather in one place to show off their products or services. They talk with each other and salespeople have a hey day trying to score more leads. It was the one part of my marketing job which I enjoyed. If you can’t tell by my enthusiasm, I am not in marketing anymore.
WooHoo! Free Stuff…
One aspect which everyone loved was how you could get a ton of free swag. That really just means stuff. You would get a free bag from one vendor, then collect a bunch of free stuff all day long. Some of the big trade shows had iPad giveaways and other cool trinkets. You could really score some loot when you attended these trade shows.
Since I was one of the people manning the booth, I had to give out some of this free swag. You could tell in less than two seconds who was there for the swag and who was genuinely interested in what you were selling. There was one time when we were handing out light up bouncy balls to the attendees. They were all over the tradeshow floor lighting up and it turned out to be a great marketing tactic developed by yours truly. I remember one gentleman who got a ball and then left the booth and started playing with it. That was until it broke.
This gentleman then proceeded to get upset with me over his bouncy ball breaking. I don’t think I have ever seen someone get so uptight about a bouncy ball, yet this man did. As I just sat there and let him vent his frustrations over the shoddily-made bouncy ball we just gave him, one other attendee jumped in with:
Stop complaining! It was free!
That attendee was spot on. Why was this man complaining over a little toy ball that was given to him for free. He didn’t have to give us his name or business card. We just handed it over. You are getting upset over a free item. Which brings me to my question for the post – are we allowed to complain about something we get for free?
Stop Complaining About Free Stuff
I have been able to score some free services on my home before. Beyond the home, I have scored some free deals for many other things. When I get these “free” services, I don’t expect much. When something is given to me for free, how can I expect much? It was free and it cost me nothing. If something happens with my service or I don’t feel it was that good of a job, I don’t complain. There is no reason to. The person or company providing the service didn’t charge you.
When I pay for a service or item, then I expect a certain level from said service/item. When it breaks or the service isn’t what I expected, then I will be sure to tell someone what I think. When we transfer our hard-earned money to someone else for something, then we get a underlying, non-spoken right to get what we paid for. You don’t get that ability when you get something for free.
Expect Something When It’s Free
Have you seen how many services out there give away something for free? There are hundreds of thousands. Why do they do it? It usually isn’t because they are just really nice. They typically make their money in some other way. When you sign up for a cash back site, the company is showing you all the sites that offer cash back. They get a commission on everything you purchase and then give you some. They are getting paid for you to shop.
The same goes with many of the credit score sites. They pull you in with a free account, then roll your eyes with ads and offers. They do this because that is how they make money. I have had many people complain to me when I recommend trying this site or that. Why would you recommend a free site that is monetized with ads and offers? Simple, the service you get is still free. You can’t beat free, but you do have to play their game. You also can’t complain about it because it is free.
A popular example is Pandora, the music streaming service. Their free service allows you to stream music, but there are many ads mixed in between songs. If you don’t like the ads, then you can upgrade to their paid service. There you get no ads, but you are paying a yearly price. So, you have to ask yourself if you can handle the ads or need to pay to get rid of them. You still can’t complain about the ads, because you aren’t paying them for their service.
All I ask is if you are getting something for free, then take it with a grain of salt. It is free for a reason, but that still doesn’t give you a right to complain about said free item/service. If it costs you nothing, then just let it go!
Do you think you can complain when you get something for free? Have you ever risen a stink over something you received for free? What do you expect from a company or person who offers you a free product/service?
Photo courtesy of: St_A_Sh