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Here’s one to chalk up in the “wow, did this really happen to me?” column…

Say that one day and entirely out of the blue you receive an email from someone representing a certain well-known brand of yoga products. And let’s just say that the email contained an offer for you to receive a certain product for free in exchange for doing a review of said product on your blog.

Imagine that BEFORE you accept the offer, and in order to be diligent and considerate – you made sure that the rep from the well-known brand of yoga products is aware that you actually live in Australia and not the US. I mean, even though it’s in the second paragraph of your “About” page, which they would’ve had to read/scroll through in order to get hold of your email address, you just wanna be sure.

Are you with me so far?

Okay, so the rep then replies and says all is well – can they please have your postal address and they’ll send it out and if you could do a blog review, that’d be fantastic.

Cool. No worries, sure. You hand over your address.

A few days later, you get another email that is a complete reversal on the last three. Suddenly, it’s not possible to send anything to Australia, but they will let you know if things change.

Ummm… whatever, right? But it’s kind of confusing because you didn’t ask for any of this. THEY approached you. With an offer. Which, after you clarified that it was all cool to send such an offer internationally, is then rescinded. Indian giver-style.

But you let them know of your displeasure. You ask them to make sure your email address is not added to any direct marketing lists. You tell them they are lucky you aren’t the vindictive type, that you won’t name and shame them for their actions, which are basically kind of dumbass. They reply, saying they understand your “frustration”.

You then explain that actually, you’re not frustrated about not getting something for free. But that really, they haven’t done their own brand any favours. For example: if you were shopping for yoga mats or related products, their brand is no longer one you’ll look as favourably on because of the whole WTF tête-à-tête.

Really, you’re just pointing out that their actions were a bit on the silly side.

The rep replies but you don’t read the email because you couldn’t be bothered continuing the discussion. As far as you’re concerned, it’s all done and dusted. No harm, no foul.

BUT THEN. A package arrives for you by courier even though you know you haven’t ordered anything via the internet lately. And uh oh… it’s from said well-known brand of yoga products. With the promised and then promise-taken-back free product. That you were pretty sure you weren’t getting based on previous discussions.

It has arrived in a little brown box and it’s sitting there, mocking you. You don’t want it. You never even asked for it in the first place. It feels wrong to keep it, but to send it back would mean spending some of your own money.

However, you no longer feel like reviewing the product. And you have no wish to name and shame the brand because of the actions of a single marketing rep. The head-honchos possibly/probably didn’t even know what the rep was up to.

So, what do you do?

I’m open to suggestions…

~ Svasti


UPDATE: After several DM tweets with YIFY, I’ve decided I will donate it or give it to someone as a gift. It has to feel right, but that’s the plan as I definitely don’t want to keep it myself. So thanks for your thoughts and comments, everyone!! 😀