No More EZ LapTop - site closed down
Apr 14, 2004 (Updated Apr 14, 2004)
The fateful day I learned of EZ Laptop was from someone on a yahoo group where free items are shared and traded. Since I have to rely on my Gateway Astro I thought I would look into this laptop deal that was advertised as "Sony Vaio Laptop, 60GB Hard Drive, 2.8Ghz, 512MB RAM, DVD/CD-RW Drive, Windows XP Home.
The person mentioned it took them 1 1/2 months to get their free laptop and that shipping was even free. I clicked on the link to find out how to obtain a laptop. Turns out the cost is five dollars through paypal only. I did this process on Feb 15th, they were payment verified through paypal with an email address listed as firstname.lastname@example.org. The name showed up as EZ Laptop with details being sign up fee.
The site was very basic and simple. This was a points system where you could sign up for either 2 or 3 emails a week to earn points, but once you make the selection you could not update or change that. I chose three emails a week with the points varying from 1-3 per email. The emails had a link with an advertisement and were sent from email@example.com. A bonus for this system was the fact that you did not have to click on the link in the email to get the points, although it really made no sense to me. Points were also rewarded for registering with the site. I cannot find any mention in the emails of the exact number of points needed, but I think it was 125.
The subject line in each email was EZLaptop Newsletter. Within each email was the link to click to get the points. You would need to enter your account name and password you signed up with. The next step would be to click on to see your total points with the remaining amount left before you could receive your free laptop.
I believe the site made it seem that within three months time you could get your laptop. It all depended on how many emails you received per week and how many referrals signed up under your account. The site did list a maximum of ten referrals, after that you would not get credit. There was a page with banners and your referral code to send to groups or friends, but there was no code to place on a website and it was hard for me to decipher. I never did send any referrals and noticed how many were upset by the initial posting on that free trading site Saturday, February 14, 2004.
I did notice that the emails from EZ Laptop had poor grammar and spelling mistakes. One time they did not add a link and then another day the corrected newsletter arrived with apology. A few weeks after signing up I got an email that stated the EZlaptop.com site was experiencing difficulties and they were going to be using EZLaptop.net and the .com would be transferred to the new site address.
Here is an example from the first email I got from EZ Laptop - " Please click or copy and paste the link below into your browser to gain credits into your EZLatpop account" They did not even spell their own name correctly!
An advertisement in the email dated March 13, 2004 - " The place for all of your nutrition needs. Please take the to visit". Here are some of the advertisers:
There was even a personal listing from a Tupperware seller! I did not save all the emails from EZ Laptop, but from the ones I have stored the days mine were sent were on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. The site did list that the shipping for the laptop would be free for U.S. members only and the International users would have to pay the shipping fee.
While going through my email account to see what else I could find from EZ Laptop I found another email newsletter but this did not come up in my search since they used EZLaptop.net Newsletter in the Subject field. I guess they forgot what they were using from the other emails. On Saturday, February 21, 2004 an email was sent out with the subject line indicating EZLaptop Down for Short Time and the message stating, " The website is temporarily down due to registrar problems. The site
will be fixed hopefully by Monday or Tuesday. For right now you can continue using the site by using our temporary link http://18.104.22.168/~ezlaptop/. We're sorry for the interruption and will work our hardest to be back online ASAP!"
On Wednesday, February 25, 2004 the following email was sent out, " Dear members: The EZLaptop site has been fixed and moved to a new link. EZLaptop.com has moved to www.EZLaptop.NET. This will be our sites link until we can get EZLaptop.com backup and running. When EZLaptop.com is backup and running, we will end up having it forward people to EZLaptop.NET. You will notice that your referral link in the members page has also changed. Our banners will also be updating to say .NET by the end of the week. If you have any question, please feel free to contact us using the Contact page".
Today I realized that I had not received any EZ Laptop Newsletters for a few days so I went to the site to find out the status of my points. This is when I learned the site was closed. From what I can recall I was 1/3 of the way toward the free laptop. When you logged into your account the page would show how many points you were away from completion.
Whether you arrive at the site on your own or through a link in one of the emails, the site has the same message on the screen. Thank you for visiting EZLaptop. Our most recent PayPal account has been froze. Therefore the site must close. Not the type of message I was expecting, but not shocking or surprising considering it was hinted at that they were an International run company. Also the mentioning of their most recent paypal account sounds a bit off. There are links to click on for those who signed up between March 1 - April seven. Refunds are first come, first serve with another link to click on for those who joined before February 29th. Then the advertisers have a link to click on for their refunds. For each link they refer to fill out the forum, instead of form. What a shady operation!
All the forms have lines to input your name and email address for paypal, a box for details and your mailing address and a box to check that indicates Please contact me as soon as possible regarding this matter
I had planned on writing about EZ Laptop when I had enough points to redeem for the free laptop and hoped to share the shipping arrangements and if they followed through with the laptop. Thank you for your patient in this process. PayPal can freeze accounts up to 180 days (6 months) so it will take time to get around to everyone, but we'll try our best to do it as fast as possible. We will refund on a first come first serve basis. Anything after that will have to wait until our PayPal account is unfroze. please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
The writing was on the wall with this site, but I had hopes of receiving a laptop. I view the five dollars I paid as a lost lottery ticket. I am curious to learn how their account was frozen through paypal and interesting to know they close the site because of that technicality. I wonder how many characters such as myself paid the five bucks. I should have realized when there was no email confirming my registration with the site that it was a scam. The site was bare bones with no real information about the laptop.
It would have been in the best interest of this site to send an email to the members to let them know the site was closed and how to get their five dollar refunds. Considering they were constantly in communication regarding changes and problems with the site, I was surprised to see nothing in the form of an email from EZ Laptop regarding their demise. This was a site that lacked professionalism.
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