Simple jobs made difficult
51 channels?

Free stuff, absolutely no catch

It seems as if it's impossible to sign up for a credit card or a pay-tv or broadband service - or almost anything which requires a long-term contract - without getting a free gift.  Banks give stuff away if you meet certain criteria (my favourite current offer is the one gives you a free plane ticket if you invest a minimum of HK$5m.  As if someone with that sort of money is desperate for an economy class ticket - yes, you heard that right - to London...).

For subscribing (or re-subscribing) to a bunch of channels on Now TV, I qualified for three glittering prizes (tickets to Camp Disney on a randomly generated day, a Discovery Channel backpack, and a 9" football-shaped mini TV).

Er, thanks.

Thanks for nothing, as it turns out, because I didn't actually end up with any of these highly desirable items.

I received a letter telling me that I needed to go to pick up the 'gift' from a redemption centre within 30 days.  I went to lovely Mongkok.  There was a queue stretching right out of the front door of the building.  I went home again.

Even better was a gift from a large bank.  Off to the redemption centre I went, piece of paper in hand.

There was a notice posted on the door of the obviously closed office, stating that they had run away to TST and hoped that I couldn't be bothered to go there and pick up my gift.  OK, I made up that last part, but they had moved without any warning.

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