Money Moral Dilemma: Should I take the free student trial I've been offered by mistake?

edited 1 June at 4:37PM in I wanna buy-it or do-it
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MSE_KelvinMSE_Kelvin MSE Staff
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edited 1 June at 4:37PM in I wanna buy-it or do-it
This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

Out of nowhere, I received an email offering me a free student trial of a subscription service from a well-known online retailer which will last until graduation - it even allows me to pick my graduation year. The thing is, I haven't been a student in over a decade. I wouldn't dream of taking advantage of the mistake if it were a small business, but given it's a big firm that earns billions a year, would it be wrong to accept it?

Unfortunately the MSE team can't always answer money moral dilemma questions as contributions are often emailed in or suggested in person. They are intended to be a point of debate and discussed at face value.

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  • olgadapolgaolgadapolga Forumite
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    I'm guessing that's an offer from Amazon, I was offered the same. You need to have a student email address to get it (which you then have to verify). So if you don't have a student email address (that ends in ".ac.uk") then you won't get the free six month trial of Amazon Prime Student.

    If, on the other hand, you do have a student email address then you are entitled to use it.

    No dilemma there.

     
  • REJPREJP Forumite
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    This topic has been thrashed out some time ago.
    Opinion was it depends how honest the person is.  And check the origin of the offer.  Looks too good to be true means it usually is in the long run.  Not a dilemma.
  • CarcyCarcy Forumite
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    I’d do it. But double check first that it isn’t a phishing email pretending to be Amazon (or whichever company it is) to steal your personal and bank details!
  • lotterywinnerlotterywinner Forumite
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    They already know you aren't a student, but hope to get more custom from you. It's a win win just remember to cancel if you don't use it much before end of trial
  • LondiLondi Forumite
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    "Would it be wrong to accept it?"
    Yes it would be wrong and you would be committing fraud.
    With such a conviction you can forget about applying for a mortgage or securing that next dream job.
  • FoxeakFoxeak Forumite
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    Londi said:
    "Would it be wrong to accept it?"
    Yes it would be wrong and you would be committing fraud.
    With such a conviction you can forget about applying for a mortgage or securing that next dream job.
    The moral choice is up to the OP, but do you really think this would be in the public interest to prosecute? The police don't have enough staff to turn up when people have been burgled, I really don't think they would be wasting their time investigating someone claiming a half-price Amazon subscription!
  • ConcordskiConcordski Forumite
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    I'm guessing that's an offer from Amazon, I was offered the same. You need to have a student email address to get it (which you then have to verify). So if you don't have a student email address (that ends in ".ac.uk") then you won't get the free six month trial of Amazon Prime Student.

    If, on the other hand, you do have a student email address then you are entitled to use it.

    No dilemma there.

     
    I was offered (and took up) the six-month Prime offer even though I’m not a student and do not have an academic/student email address. I am guessing it’s through my purchases history (recently bought a load of revision text books). 
  • thegentlewaythegentleway Forumite
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    I'm guessing that's an offer from Amazon, I was offered the same. You need to have a student email address to get it (which you then have to verify). So if you don't have a student email address (that ends in ".ac.uk") then you won't get the free six month trial of Amazon Prime Student.

    If, on the other hand, you do have a student email address then you are entitled to use it.

    No dilemma there. 
    Uni staff also have an email address that ends in “.ac.uk”
    No one has ever became poor by giving
  • lakesider52lakesider52 Forumite
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    It's irrelevant whether the offer came from a vastly profitable large business or from a loss making small business. If you have a tendency to dishonesty, you will take the offer but if you are an honest individual, you will refuse it. 
  • iclayticlayt Forumite
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    Presumably Amazon. At some point you would be asked for evidence that you're a student eg by uploading a photo of a student card or a status letter with a course end date on. I had to, anyway. Also had to have an ac.uk email to verify. 
    But would I try to sign up if I WASN'T a student? Absolutely, they sent you the offer, may as well see if you can get something out of it. 
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