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Is this legal or ethical to save money?

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    Is this legal or ethical to save money?


    My friend and I have been discussing random things to kinda stay away from all the negative things that is happening right now so I apologise if this topic is not about coronavirus, social injustice, economy, etc

    There are companies that offers free trial for their goods and services. For example, Netflix gives you 30 day free trial. You can cancel the subscription after the trial with no charge.

    Hypothetically speaking, let say you have 100 emails, 100 credit cards, 100 computers/ip addresses, etc.

    Is it illegal or is it not ethical to abuse their system and get free services for 100 months?

    What are the consequences if you get caught? Would you do it? Why or why not?

    #2
    Similar with WWE Network, if that is your thing.
    You can sign up for the free trial and watch the pay per views.
    Just keep plugging in new email addresses and you get the network free forever.

    You can do the same thing with satellite TV.
    Just get a hold of a second dish and another receiver box, and you can link the same account to multiple homes.

    Ever mail a letter by just filling out the return address area so you don't have to use a stamp?

    I could go on and on...

    Unethical, yes.
    Not sure if all that would hold up in court as being illegal though

    Brian

    Comment


      #3
      Most companies have exclusions and limits on their trial periods that you agree to in their Terms of Service or End User License Agreements; When you sign up, you agree to those terms. If the company determines you are misrepresenting your identity or stealing from them, they can cancel your service, refuse service, or prosecute you depending on how much they think it's worth.

      Let's say having as many free trials as you want isn't prohibited by legalese. Is it the ethical/right thing to do, to keep taking it for free? No, I don't think it is. If you continue taking free product or service, something that benefits you and which you need or enjoy, I think it's disingenuous to not pay for an agreement with the company.

      So no, I don't think it's legal or ethical either way. Personally, it wouldn't be worth my time or effort.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Leo View Post
        Is it illegal or is it not ethical to abuse their system
        The fact that you use the word "abuse" to pose the question gives you your answer right there.
        Steve

        * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
        * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
        * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

        Comment


          #5
          unethical? for sure

          Illegal? Maybe. Depends on how they word their terms of service, which most likely will place limits on an individual or household signing up more than once. Such abuse could constitute theft, although I can't see a company bothering to go after you for it. Maybe they'll just try to block your IP address or try to limit you somehow.

          Comment


            #6
            Rather than ask, is it OK to do it "a hundred times", how about ask, is it OK to do it "twice". I'd say the answer is no.

            Now, what if you do it, then your wife. That's probably OK.

            Now when you sign up for 8 year old, and then the dog, and finally the squirrel in the neighbor's yard.... that's a no.

            When I purchased my house, I signed up for cable internet only, no TV package. When the cable guy came out he said "I'm suppose to put this filter on so you can't watch TV, but I like you and I'm gonna leave it off. Have fun!" Was I stealing cable? I didn't ask for it. The guy, probably a contractor, worked for the cable company. It honestly wasn't his to give away. Over 12 months, maybe I "stole" 24 hours worth of viewing.

            Comment


              #7
              Not illegal and not unethical. These are marketing techniques which the companies are more than aware of the few that tries to gain the system. Some companies try to put in restrictions (cannot sign up for x credit card for a year after cancellation), and others may not even bother since it doesn't affect their bottom line. I don't see any problems with people willing to put in the effort to gain an advantage. Remember that effort is required and this amount of effort is worth it to some people but not worth it to the majority of people. You didn't discover any secret trying to get Netflix for free, since the technic is available to everyone, and yet they have record revenue coming into the company.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Singuy View Post
                Not illegal and not unethical.
                What if the terms and conditions clearly state "one offer per person" or "one offer per household"? Does that change your answer? Just because a loophole exists, you can still be breaking the rules, and possibly even the law, if you take advantage of that loophole.
                Steve

                * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Singuy View Post
                  Not illegal and not unethical. These are marketing techniques which the companies are more than aware of the few that tries to gain the system. Some companies try to put in restrictions (cannot sign up for x credit card for a year after cancellation), and others may not even bother since it doesn't affect their bottom line. I don't see any problems with people willing to put in the effort to gain an advantage. Remember that effort is required and this amount of effort is worth it to some people but not worth it to the majority of people. You didn't discover any secret trying to get Netflix for free, since the technic is available to everyone, and yet they have record revenue coming into the company.
                  Singuy, your username along with this response gave me a chuckle. This is, arguably, the other side of the debate. I am not religious nor do I believe that morality and legality often coincide; but I do believe in doing the right thing--which I realize is highly subjective. this pings the radar in the "this is wrong" category for me. No judgement on this particular issue; it's just netflix. But it is the reason fine print exists; there are people who will take advantage of offers, trials, etc, no doubt.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by disneysteve View Post

                    What if the terms and conditions clearly state "one offer per person" or "one offer per household"? Does that change your answer? Just because a loophole exists, you can still be breaking the rules, and possibly even the law, if you take advantage of that loophole.
                    Nope, if Netflix is not tracking ips or actively doing something to close the loophole, then the fine print was most likely written to satisfy shareholders.

                    Netflix actually killed off massive amount of people trying to game the system with software piracy. They have made having access to media so cheap and easier that even the software pirates rather just pay 7.99 a month vs trying to download x, y, and z getting flagged by their isp and possibility dealing with viruses. So when there are people gaming the system, then there's disruption to solve that problem. I'm all for gaming any system as it promotes innovation and drive down prices. Hey the competition in this capitalistic market is "free". What did software developers do? They made video games free to play..and make money else where.

                    I remember when I was in China, I saw legit DVDs being sold in China's Walmart at a price LOWER than the illegal street vendors. Sure Disney isn't getting their rightful cut, but it's better than nothing and I the consumer know whatever I bought from Walmart is more legit. You have no idea how poor of a quality some of the DVDs you find from street vendors. Once we bought Sin City off a street vendor and it was a cam version of the movie in French with subtitles for a different movie. It was worth the entertainment value for a good laugh..lol.
                    Last edited by Singuy; 06-29-2020, 08:07 AM.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I've always found it interesting how people try to choose different ways to cheat the system. I don't understand what the problem is if they give you some services and pay for them? I happily use Netflix or pay-per-subscription services on youtube. It's very convenient, so I haven't thought about creating other accounts and using a free trust for one month. If you do that and are worried about the consequences, I'm sure you can get help from outsourcing legal services
                      Last edited by surfius; 06-01-2021, 12:23 AM.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I personally find it unethical. Most people probably don't, but I think that's because they need to justify wanting things for free. I believe in value for value systems. I like to pay for the things that bring me value so that hopefully they'll stay alive as a company and continue bringing value to me. It sucks that I probably have to pay more because of the thieving folks who make it more expensive for the rest of us. But it is what it is. As for people who thrive by pirating, stealing, scamming and scheming, or justifying the theft by sharing passwords, etc, there's nothing I'll be able to say to change your mind, but just think of how much effort you're putting in to steal things when you could just spend a few bucks and support the system. That's pretty desperate.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Lol ROFL.

                          First of all, these companies spend a ton of money on research into consumer psychology and they KNOW that for every 1 customer that "games" the system, there'll be at least 4 more who will "bite". These are LARGE BUSINESSES, not "regular people" or small Mom-and-Pop outfits that you're trying to "rip off".

                          Casinos know that the system is rigged so that the house ALWAYS wins. Yet people go willingly & gamble - sometimes even their rent money, losing it all! But I don't see anyone screaming that casinos are illegal & should be banned, but intelligent folks who are good at math and know how to beat the odds at the gambling table and walk away with a truck load of winnings usually get "investigated" and then "banned" by not one but all of the casinos in the area!

                          What about credit cards, overdraft fees, and interest rates on these charged by the big banks? What about uxorious interest rates charged by payday lenders who're somehow still "legal"?

                          What about student loans at "for profit" colleges that carry a high rate of interest with NO guarantee of an income that might actually make it possible for their students to actually pay these loans back?

                          Capitalism, baby. A lot of things aren't ethical in this country but happen because they're not illegal. Consumers trying to "game" the system or churning bank a/cs or credit cards or trial offers for services in the mail are hardly big fish that milk those who are least able to pay.

                          Edited to fix spelling errors.
                          Last edited by Scallywag; 05-31-2021, 09:59 AM.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I’m always amazed that certain people have seeming intent to gravitate toward dishonesty and deceit. I suppose we all have that virus to one degree or another.

                            But it seems that some work so hard to fake someone out, that if they properly re-directed their efforts, they’d be wealthy and infinitely happier.

                            When I was in healthcare admin, I was expected to lie and cheat all the time. Hospitals are some of the biggest leeches in our country today. I witnessed evil.

                            I selected the businesses I am in now so that I never felt compelled to lie or cheat. It’s awesome.

                            Last edited by TexasHusker; 05-31-2021, 09:25 AM.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Sheesh ! Can't believe this is even being asked.
                              I suppose you may as well fill your pockets or purse with all the sugar and creamer packets at the restaurant too.

                              When in doubt, refer to the golden rule.

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