Skip to content

Will You Receive Free Items?

October 15, 2011

I received a call from an agency called “Alternative Distribution Channel” saying that I had been selected as a recipient for free gift certificates for shops and restaurants in Cebu.

Wow! I’ve won something from a company I never heard of! But didn’t the saying go as “there is no such thing as a free lunch”?

During the conversation, my suspicion only rose more because of certain shady topics, and below is my attempt to recall them.

1) Specific days to pick-up Certificates.

The woman on the other line was stressing that I claim it Saturday or Monday; Somewhat she was adamant about it. The conversation was in Tagalog, but I can best relay it in English.

Woman: “Sir, where are you now?”
Dru: “I’m in Ayala. Having lunch.”
Woman: “Ah okay. Which of the following days are more convenient for you to pick up the gift certificates: Saturday or Monday?”
Dru: “Ahh.. I’m not really sure. I’m very busy right now.”
Woman: “How about today sir? You can come here in our office after your lunch there in Ayala.”
Dru: “Uhh, no, I’m sorry. I still have other things to do.”
Woman: “Oh, you’re busy, sir? How about this Monday? What time will you be out from work?”
Dru: “Seven. What time will your office be closed?” (Bad move for being polite.)
Woman: “Until 7, sir. But you can still claim at 7 to 7:30. Is that all right sir?”
Dru: “That’s another thing, I also have work. I might do overtime then.”
Woman: “If that’s the case, Saturday would be the best day, then, sir.”
Dru: “Who are you to tell me what I can do with my schedule?”
Woman: “I’m sorry, sir. Can you repeat what you said?” (She didn’t hear me. Sad.)
Dru: “Nevermind.”
Woman: “Okay then, sir, is it okay that I line you up to claim your certificates on 7-7:30 either tonight or this coming Monday?”
Dru: “Okay. But I’m still not sure.”

See what I mean? It’s not like I owe them anything that I have to go there on dates they specify. The nerd ng babaeng yon!

2) Too many valid IDs required.

To claim, I needed to have 3 valid identification cards. My weird-o-meter was ringing; Even established companies require at most 2 valid IDs to verify authenticity. Why would this unheard-of company have the gall to ask for 3? Well, okay, she wasn’t really impudent when she asked me, but still: 3?

Speaking of 3 here’s number

3) I’ve received free certificates before.

I fell victim on the first time I was called to receive like free certificates. I use the word “victim” because I felt like was being forced to do something. It was from an insurance company called Cocoplans, or maybe it was a partner of it. I don’t quite really recall anymore; maybe I chose to forget, but I’m sure it has something to do with Cocolife, and Cocoplans.

The experience wasn’t pleasant at all. I filed for an undertime because I was told to claim it at 5 o’ clock. I took a 20-minute jeep ride, and then walked a bit just to reach their office. I was greeted, brought into a room with small round tables, with 3 chairs per table, and was given a brief friggin’ long introduction about their company.

Cafe Set

Like this. but uncomfortable, and indoors.

I signed some papers and then I received my gift certificates. After the agent left to “process my papers”, she came back with some “good news” I have been pre-selected as a recipient for this new insurance plan they have, and that I should not pass it up. So she tried to sell me something while painting a very dark and morbid future for me.

“What if, simba ko lang, you meet an unforeseen accident when you get out? You’re already covered with this insurance even if you still haven’t paid any amount.”

See? My future to them is about me dying and getting sick and disabled!

I said “no.” And she said something along the lines of “Sayang lang ang akong pagbaligya nimo, dili ra sad diay nimo kuhaon.”

Was she trying to make me feel bad? The nerd ng babaeng yon!

Anyway, after I said no again, she left to get my “papers”, and then this other guy, the supervisor I assume, came in and resold, retold everything the first agent did. Not only was this guy a shock, he was also wearing a CD-R King ID sling. Way to go, dude! You’re more believable now!

(A little opinionated background: CD-R King, to me, is a company known to sell cheap electronic items. The items are not usually top quality, as these items have the chance to lose their functionality after a week or two. So this supervisor guy wearing a cheap company’s ID sling, well, it made him less credible.)

I still said “no.” And then this was the exchange:

CdrKing: “So our insurance plan isn’t nice, sir?”
Dru: “It’s nice, and all, but I just can’t handle the expenses now.”
CdrKing: (almost immediately, like cutting my sentence half-way but I had already finished) “So it’s nice then! Why won’t you get it?”
Dru: “No! Okay? No. I’m still trying to pay my bills, and I can’t pay for something as expensive as this.”
CdrKing: “So the plan isn’t nice, sir?”
Dru: (pissed off) “I GUESS NOT THEN!”
CdrKing: “… Sayang lang ang among pagbaligya nimo then dili ra sad diay nimo kuhaon.”
Dru: “‘No’ is ‘no’. What is ‘no’ to you? I don’t want to. Okay? I won’t. Not now.”

(Note: not word for word)

The room was silent. There were other people. Mga chismosa!

CdrKing left flustered, and the agent came in, said her formalities, and then I left. When I got out of the room, I could see the people inside the office peering over shoulders and trying to get a good look at who made CdrKing flustered. I assume that’s what happened at least.

They had originally promised me that I will “only be there to claim the gift certificates”, but noooooo, it didn’t happen! I left 2 hours later! That’s how much time they wasted on me, and I on them!


In the end though, I never got to use the gift certificates. Not one of them was used. I had, since then, vowed never to believe in free things.

So what makes this any different from the previous experience?

Well, it’s google. See, like last time, if you key in [cocoplans free gift certificates] the first page will have something like “scam” in their titles. I wanted to check if this is legit or if anyone else had fallen for something like this. Unfortunately, it didn’t yield any good results. Only results about job openings and Ayala news articles were available for the search string [“Alternative Distribution Channel” cebu city]

Below is the “confirmation text” I received from the lady:

alternative distribution channel confirmed claiming schedule
Date: Oct. 15/17, 2011
Time: between 7-7:30pm
Look for: name omitted
Bring the ff. For the name and signature verification:
– valid Id’s mentioned
Personal access claiming code:
J. Llorente st., corner don gil garcia capitol site cebu city., 2nd flr. Of CP Center bldg. At the Alternative Distribution Channel.
we are in front of megavalue drugstore which is beside new robinsons cybergate near chong hua hospital.

Please be here on the said date and time. And present those mentioned id’s for the direct releasing. Thank u and Godbless


Side note:
Wow, there have been at least 20 thousand people who have clicked my link accidentally! XD

For those who have really taken time to read through my blogs, thank you, and I hope I provided some light into your life through comic relief. At least a bit. Kahit konti lang. Please?

  1. Googling for “cocoplans free gift certificates” now has this post as the first result. Hahaha.

    The moral of this story is “don’t mess with a guy who owns a blog”.

    • Hahaha! Hey dar! I checked it a couple of days back and it was true what you said. However, now, when I key in the search terms, my page is nowhere to be found. Conspiracy!! XD

      • maybe they didn’t like the traffic you were getting in your blog. LOL. So, what have you decided on your “free” certificates? 🙂

  2. dru, thanks for blogging this experience… i am scheduled to met them this PM after office… i guess they will just use my free gift certs. ha ha ha. Thanks man…

  3. neil permalink

    Thanks a lot for this info. I was about to walk into a line of fire but you save me. Good thing I did not come to see them because if I was there and it happened to me, they will really eat my dust!!! My father is a police officer at camp sotero he is really into this kind of shit/ scam. Too bad for them. Thanks man. TC!

    • Hey Neil!

      As much as I’d want them to stop with this scheme, I don’t know if they’re really doing anything illegal. Their use of magic words like “free” and “promo” give us the notion that we’re getting a deal, and “pakonsensya” to keep us on our seats. Hahaha! Meh.

      Anyway, that aside, God bless and take care Neil! Glad to have helped in some way.

      • neil permalink

        HAHAHAHA, they called me again today afternoon and I told them how they suck. The manager called me and said things. Anyways, thanks for replying. This was really helpful. God bless.

      • Well, okay. D: I hope you weren’t provoking them to anything drastic. Keep safe dude. 😉

  4. Leng permalink

    Your blog absolutely enlighten me.. i have received exact message just now and i am planning to go at their office after my shift.. lucky me ive tried to Google it first. Many thanks Dru ❤

  5. Hi Dru,

    Haha, I like the way you’ve written this article.

    Thanks for sharing your ‘quite horrendous’ experience. Actually, I understand you.

    Hay nakakainis lang na mahilig silang magpasikot-sikot. Ikaw na nga ang na-invite at naglaan ng oras na makinig, at the end of the day ikaw pa makakaramdam ng bigat sa kalooban (well, due to various reasons and mixed emotions).

    Hope our kababayans become enlightened too.


  6. azzir permalink

    salamat sa mgamensahe na ito at nalaman ko lahat tungkol sa manila bankers na yan muntik ko nang maniwala wala naman kasi sila hinihingi na pera pero buti na lang nag research ako at nabuksan ko to

  7. Oh ganito din sa akin demanding yung kausap ko “KALANGAN NA KAILANGAN” daw na makuha ko yun certificate ko kung hinde!!! ma forfeit daw at sayang naman daw namimilit pa at meron pa sched na kailangan na kuhanin sabi ko ipa LBC na lang para tapos…….anyways
    thanks Dru 😉

  8. Evy Jaro permalink

    I am supposed to go tomorrow with my mom to claim the certificates like: 2 scholarships for 2 years, Mary Kaye Phils, Life, Hospitalizaton & Accident Insurance, all for free. I’m fortunate that I was able to read this blog and changed my mind not to go there. Thank you.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Free Item: P10,280 Voucher and Benefits! | The Oaf
  2. Getting Hit | The Oaf
  3. Should You Get a Credit Card? | The Oaf

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Conversations with the self


to faraway


This is My Psychosis

The Life of Ash

My life as a closed open book. And vice versa.

paulitically incorrect

raves, rants and ramblings on anything in Cebu, Philippines and beyond

Unstructured, raw, and partially edited

To live off the experience of life, come what may...


Stealing Kisses from the wind

Sink or Swim?

In a complicated life, you only have two choices. It's either you SWIM or you SINK.

Becoming A Triathlete... My Journey

Just another site

Escaping Thoughts

My running thoughts captured for a brief moment

The Scrumptious Anime Blog

Delicious Anime Served On A Silver Platter is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

%d bloggers like this: