Our Daily Bleg: Something That You Expected to Be Free

Hi everyone. We're working on a Freakonomics Radio episode about -- sorry, I'm going to be cryptic here -- a person who expected to get/use something for free but was very surprised to learn that it wasn't free after all.

I am looking for another good/fun example of this same idea. Do you have any? Ideally, it would be something that happened to you personally but it's okay if you only read or heard about it, as long as we can verify it and maybe interview someone involved.

Thanks in advance.

New Lawyers in New York Must Give First 50 Hours Free

Fascinating article in today's Times, by Anne Barnard:

Starting next year, New York will become the first state to require lawyers to perform unpaid work before being licensed to practice, the state’s chief judge announced on Tuesday, describing the rule as a way to help the growing number of people who cannot afford legal services.

The approximately 10,000 lawyers who apply to the New York State Bar each year will have to demonstrate that they have performed 50 hours of pro bono work to be admitted, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman said. He said the move was intended to provide about a half-million hours of badly needed legal services to those with urgent problems, like foreclosure and domestic violence.

FREAK-Shots: Free Internet, Unless You'd Rather Pay for It

A reader named Clark Case encountered this wi-fi login window at a Doubletree hotel in Orlando. Paging Chris Anderson? Eh ... probably not. While there might be some reasonable explanation -- is the 24-hour connection ad-supported maybe? -- my guess is it's a simple error.

A Lesson in Free Vitamins

A friend mentioned an interesting way that the Internet can reduce cost, raise output, and that uses incentives cleverly. Her company created an educational ad campaign to encourage young women to engage in healthy activities. On several occasions various unrelated blogs mentioned that free vitamins were being given through the campaign’s website linked to the ads. Using Google Analytics she discovered that the website’s hits went up over tenfold after each mention on the blogs; but the data also showed that most of the new hits were by people who got onto the website just long enough to get the freebies.

In the next round the offers will be restructured so the freebies are available only after the person has watched an online educational video—and thus imbibed the health-promoting knowledge that was the purpose of the campaign.

[HT: CS]