Free stuff rocks

About a week and a half ago, I got an email from Yvonne, from a company called Matchstick, an innovative “buzz marketing” company. Essentially, rather than using the traditional forms of advertising, they rely on creating a buzz about a product through word of mouth. Yvonne offered me a free cell phone in exchange to nothing more complicated than promising to use it and to maybe write about it.

Honestly? I thought it was a scam. I asked for more info, but considering the incredible amount of offers I get to enlarge my penis or to access a widow’s fortune in Zimbabwe, I wasn’t particularly convinced. However, she pointed me to Kelly of marmalade.ca and I saw she had gotten the same deal and it was as good as it sounded.

I sent Yvonne my number, she called me, and we discussed the requirements. Basically, they’re handing out brand new Nokia 6682 phones to people living in Toronto, Montreal (that would be me), Vancouver, and Calgary who keep regularly updated blogs. You have to be someone who uses photos and video on your blog, have approximately 400+ visits per day, and be between the ages of 22 and 35. The biggest thing was you also have to use Rogers for your provider. I fit everything they needed; I explained though, that I didn’t have a cell phone plan at the moment but that I was about to go and activate an old phone for a pay as you go account so that I can have a phone when I’m out alone with the girls. I said I would be interested as long as I could go pay as you go since I neither need nor have a steady income to pay for a monthly plan. That was not an issue at all, so my phone was shipped out.

I had no obligations. I didn’t have to use the phone for a specific amount of time if I didn’t want to. I didn’t have to buy a particular plan. I also didn’t have to be positive in my reviews. I can be honest and if I hate the phone altogether, I can say that.

Someone from Matchstick told me it shipped out yesterday and I could expect it next week. Imagine my surprise (and mild horror) when I had to hastily throw on a robe over my pajamas to let Fed Ex in at 9 this morning. Oops! And by the way, props to Fed Ex. My apartment number was missing on the address and our building doesn’t have names on the doorbells. They managed to track me down by ringing up the janitor and asking him if he knew which apartment was mine. Good detective work on their part – I would have been bummed if I had missed it!

I was a little, er, overwhelmed by the stuff they sent me.

Nokia Schwag!

It included the phone (duh), a SIM card, the standard 64mb memory card and earphones, an extra pair of earphones, a 512mb memory card, bluetooth connection, USB cable, charger, and something that I think syncs it up to other phones. Crazy!

The phone is also a 1.3 mp camera, which is as high quality as my first digital camera and thus very impressive for a phone, it take video with sound, has voice command dialing, plays mp3s and videos, and probably controls the space station if you press the right sequence of numbers.

So far the quality of the images is great in daytime light, the video is nifty, and the phone is pretty easy to use. I’ve already added stuff to my calendar, written a to-do list, and I nearly exploded in geeky joy over the fact that I have a conversion tool. The irony is that I won’t be getting my phone activated until tomorrow so I won’t know how the quality is until then, but
i have read good things from others.

I love playing with new toys and if they’re no charge to me, even better. I plan to have a lot of fun with it. Later I’ll hook up the USB to share some of the pictures and to put some mp3s on my phone.

If you’re a Canadian weblogger who fits the criteria (or close enough to give it a shot anyway), let me know and I’ll send you the contact info.

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