U.K.'s Bier Company — a beer subscription site — lured people into claiming a prize of "free beer for life," then charged the "winners" for a beer subscription of $30 per month, calling the trick an April Fool's joke. Nobody thought the scam was funny.
People took to Twitter to share their anger after receiving April Fools messages from beer subscription site Bier Company that said they were "this month's winner of free beer for life." The email, which came with the subject line "URGENT," read: "We're thrilled to share some exciting news with you: Out of all our entrants this month, you are our fourth Black Card winner!"
The email instructed the customer to follow a link and use a promotional code to claim the prize—but when customers followed these instructions, they not only found they had not won free beer but that they had also been signed up for a monthly subscription costing £22.95 ($30).
Many customers also received text messages from the company informing them that they had won "free beer for life." …
The promotional code sent out by Bier Company read "SLOOFLIRPA," which spells April Fools backwards. …
Upon discovering they had been signed up to a monthly subscription, people took to the internet to express their upset. Twitter user TheC1derDr1nker wrote: "How NOT to do an April Fools 'joke!' Myself and many others have been duped by this." While user elliebutcher19 said: "Unbelievably bad taste. Will never be ordering from you again."
When the "winners" reacted by complaining on Bier's Twitter site (see a few examples below), the company restricted comments so that only people they followed could leave comments (but older comments have been left up).
It wasn't until after they received backlash that Bier Company offered their "new customers" one free month of beer — and a special offer to cancel the subscriptions forced on their clientele (because Bier realized one free month to all these new sign-ups would be too costly).
Later in the statement, the company said: "Our accountants are going bananas—It will cost us £££'s to fulfill this promise!" They confirmed that customers who did not want to receive the box could rectify this with them: "If you want to cancel your free box, simply contact: firstname.lastname@example.org."