When A Free Gift Causes A Storm Of Protest!

Ray Stewart General, Online Business Leave a Comment

I am sorry to report that yesterday I witnessed the end of an era.

For a couple of years now I have been learning a lot about the internet and it’s foibles from a likeable chap Ed Rivis. I have read his excellent blog posts and bought 3 of his products. When Ed wrote to his subscriber list recently and said he was starting a monthly magazine with lots of help, advice and suggestions in with the first teaser copy completely free – I immediately said yes – no hesitation.

However, the first email launching this magazine was sent by mistake, incomplete with no subject line and with just a T in the body I should have realized things were changing. An hour later I received the correct email saying go and subscribe – so off I clicked.

I arrived at the magazine site and was greeted with the usual landing page explaining about the magazine and asking for confirmation I was still interested – I was so I scrolled down to the bottom.

This is the bit that has caused all the trouble for Ed. Not only was he asking for full name and address (this is a magazine to come through the post – so OK) but also full credit card details to start paying for the next edition if I didn’t unsubscribe after reading the first free copy.

Personally I don’t mind this because it saves me having to remember to enter all this in time for the next month’s post but a lot of people sent horrible emails to Ed accusing him of charging credit cards when he said it was free. These people had clearly not read the page well enough. But even that was not what concerned me.


What I saw after entering my information and clicking “Subscribe Now” was what made my blood run cold.

I was not taken to a thankyou page. I was taken along a rather obvious conveyor belt onto another page where there was “One time special offer” asking me to agree to a (probably very good product) offer of some £600-£700 odd (I can’t remember exactly and I can’t get back in to check without subscribing again!). I didn’t want this even though it included an hour consultation with Ed himself. So I clicked no thankyou and was taken to another “One time special offer” asking me to pay £100 odd for a cut down version of the previous offer – just the dvd’s I think and no consultation.

I clicked no again and finally was taken to a thankyou page.

I fully understand about offering an upsell when someone has their credit card details and are keen to buy, but I was sad to see such a large offer after a £19.97 monthly subscription. I had a hint this was the way Ed was taking his business because of his comments late last year about attending seminars and offering this huge collection of products at each one at £700 odd per pop. A seriously profitable exercise as people are usually gullible enough to buy when the author/expert is in front of them giving teasers about all the stuff the product bundle contains.

I just feel that Ed has passed over the line from being a talented and respected expert who freely gave time, energy and tactics on his blog, to being another greedy businessman.

Time will tell if this is what has happened but I have seen it several times before once people have a taste of serious money. They forget their roots and their core values that made them so successful and respected…

I truly hope I am wrong about Ed but if this is the way he is choosing to go then good luck to him.

But I still think we have now lost a truly gifted man to the holy £££’s.


Ray Stewart
I am a qualified Certified Practising Accountant having passed my final exams way back in 1981. I actually can’t believe that was 37 years ago!! Anyway, I am now in my 60’s and I have been running my own business since May 1983. And before you ask, no, I have never regretted a moment of it! Part of the membership requirements of my professional body now dictate that I spend quite a lot of time on “CPD” - continuing professional education (one of their better ideas) - and over the last two years I decided to study business growth and marketing. I have learnt such a lot and that knowledge has radically changed my old “accountants” approach to business. It has made such a difference to the way I work and operate I feel that I just have to pass on this knowledge. It is simply too powerful to hold back!! - but I will try and do it in simple terms rather than expecting you to spend hours, as I had to, working through the difficult language that trainers seem to use to pass on their concepts. I hope you find the blog a useful resource and interesting place to visit as the months pass. I will do my best to keep up the flow - but if there are any topics you would like me to cover, then please let me know. Ray Stewart
Ray Stewart
Ray Stewart

Latest posts by Ray Stewart (see all)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.