Around this time last year, I was looking for a fun project to take on. I did some research and top on my lists were:
1. Learn to code and create a page where people can come to write the things to do when you are *bored, *sad, *heartbroken, et al.
2. Learn how to do card tricks really well. I started and stopped.
3. Take a picture of something that made me smile every day. Unfortunately, I have never been faithful to everyday challenges ever.
4. Write to 100 companies asking for free stuff.
I went for the fourth option as I could not be bothered enough to learn how to code well enough. I would not write or mail any letter until late September or so.
Procrastination is a bitch.
I had the most fun writing the letters. I started off with pleading for free stuff, then graduated to writing more fun copy until the point I became quite demanding.
Some people caught up with me writing the letters. Some thought I was a ‘weird boy’ for doing it. Some others asked to share in my loot, and they did 🙂
I had the most fun writing these letters:
I really don’t know how many companies I wrote too nor how many letters I sent out. Some companies had up to 5 addresses and I wasn’t sure which was the main address so I tried my luck across all 5.
You can see all the letters here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1JSuZjrI__5LRQ1gp48dCSRDaKC6Ej8Wa5jE2GNjwuxw/edit?usp=sharing
Of the 100 or so letters I sent out, I got 4 responses.
- Durex: For some reason I was most convinced that if no one else replied that they will reply me. A couple of weeks after mailing it, I got a call from one of the managers at Reckitt Benckiser (Makers of Durex). He thought it was brilliant and that I had great initiative. We had a lengthy discussion, and he advised me to practice abstinence shortly before giving me 6 packs of Durex. All of the Durex went to friends 😐
2. JayOsbie: I thought there was a good chance I might get a call from them. Took an Uber to his office and he told me about how he posted the letter on social media, and it gave him the most retweets his social media handle had ever gotten in its many years of existence. He was only going to give me one shirt, but someone on Instagram loved my letter so much that he offered to buy me an attire.
We ended up taking pictures that I really did not want to take, but…
3. Lagoon Hospitals: I sent the letter to all 5 branches in Lagos. 2 of the branches called me back, but the guys in Apapa were so thrilled. They would not give me the free medical check up I requested for, but they offered me a 20% discount on a fee of 136K. Now all I need is 109K 🙂
4. Innoson motors: These guys did not call to give me a free car. They called to sell one to me without a discount. I actually almost considered buying only if I had had a spare 1.2 million at the time. Plus Uber was becoming a virile worm in my budget.
I got 6 packs of Durex worth N600 each which brings the total to N3,600
I got a denim and a native attire from Jay Osbie that have a combined worth over N20,000
I got N28,000 savings on health cost at Lagoon hospitals
Which brings the total to over 50K on a spend of 10K.
That’s a 5X ROI. Y’all should give me the award of businessman of the year already!
I was most disappointed that Uber would not write me back. I spend too much on it to not get a reply. I would not use them for about 4 weeks out of anger, favoring Taxify over them until I got fed up with Taxify and went back to Uber 🙂
I was also quite disappointed that none of the make up companies would write me back. I thought it was quite cute that a guy was soliciting for makeup for his girlfriend. Apparently, they did not think so. Here are some that I wrote:
1. Nothing is truly harebrained. What is silly to some is smart to others.
2. NIPOST actually works 🙂
3. If you have got money that you are not using put it into something that could yield bigger returns
4. If you send a handwritten letter to someone in Nigeria, they will not write to you or email you back. They had just call.