This is why you should never forget about free money

Here is a sob story for everyone.

A few years back I wrote an extremely popular article on how to get your own free custom e-mail address. As part of the process of getting your own free e-mail address, I directed users to register a free CO.CC domain. While I directed people to CO.CC because of how easy CO.CC made it to integrate with Google Apps (the e-mail provider), an added perk was that for every person I sent to CO.CC that registered for a free domain, I was paid $0.10.

10 cents per sign-up is not a lot, but over the past few years that article has received a lot of hits and many people have signed up with CO.CC as a result. However, because 10 cents per register is not something to drool over, I totally forgot about my referral status with CO.CC a few months after writing the article. Then, out of the blue, I remembered that I still have an affiliate account with CO.CC and likely have a good amount of money accrued in my CO.CC referral account which I haven’t cashed out yet. So I went to check, and lone and behold I have roughly $600 sitting in the account.

Now $600 of earnings over three years is not a lot by any stretch of the imagination, but from my point of view it was simply free money — an unintended perk of me writing that article. So I decided it is time to cash out and have them pay me what they owe. And cash out I did. The catch, however, is they would not pay me instantly but rather a month after I requested the payment. To me, waiting a month isn’t that big of a deal. After all, CO.CC has been around for years and is fairly reputable. Or so I thought.

As my luck may have it, CO.CC seems to have shut down a few days after I requested my payout but before I received it. It has been up for years but decided to shut down now. Arggghhh!

I’m not sure if existing CO.CC domains still work but they won’t accept new applications and won’t even let me log into my affiliate account. Now I have no idea if I will actually be paid the $600 they owe me. While it won’t kill me to not get it, it would sure be nice.

Moral of this sob story: don’t forget about free money!

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3 comments

  1. Tom

    So the truth seems to be that it was YOUR CLAIM that did them in.

    Who knows what ripple effects you have put into play. The global economy’s house of cards has just begun to topple… and we have you to thank, Ashraf ;)

  2. Mike

    How true. And a good source for everyone to check: at least in the U.S., with your State Secretary of State’s Office, with whom undeliverable funds often are deposited.

    Now you might say, why would the State be holding money for me? Well, under many laws, money that is due to you and can’t be delivered has to be sent to the State, to hold for you, for a period of time, until the State gets to keep it. The originator of the money may have lost your address. Or a check sent to you might have been lost and never cashed. Or sometimes, there may be a small insurance payout under a free policy that a bank set up as a promotion for an earlier account you had. And so, the money is sent to the State, for you.

    It is fairly easy to claim the money. States in which you have lived likely have an easily-searchable online database (try a search engine search on the name of your state and “secretary of state unclaimed property”). Enter your name and up pops a list of amounts being held for the name, along with the address associated with the name. If it’s you, you typically just file a claim form and provide some proofs of identity and address, such as a copy of a driver’s license and a utility bill. And voilà –a check is sent to you!

    Even though you might doubt that any money is being held for you, it’s easy to check–just a few minutes. And you might be surprised. I just checked last month and found $45 being held for me–seemingly, some rebates that were lost in the mail. And hey, that’s a nice meal out or a bunch of pizzas! (I also found that a whopping $4.95 was being held for my brother–an insurance policy payout of some type.) And a few years back, I found $150. Better in my pocket . . . .