Someone forwarded me a coupon today and after I printed out one for my coworker, I was dismayed to find that the company website would not let me print one for myself! One per household it said, but it might as well have said “one per computer.”
This breed of email control uses what I call the single-click link. Once you click and print the coupon it tries to stop you from doing it again, despite the many cases that could be made for reprinting.
You’d think they’re using Cookies or a Session Variable. This company was not…instead, their Flash app stored the successful printing result in a temp file that didn’t reside in Temporary Internet Files like everything else…Looking at active network connections and other temp files modified while attempting to print, I saw a domain show up. For this particular company, all you need to do is search your computer for “cdn.eyewonderlabs.com” or just look for this folder (where <user> is the currently logged on user):
C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash Player\#SharedObjects\W56PMHMS\cdn.eyewonderlabs.com\100125\vw\sobj\sobj.swf
If you delete the .sol file in that folder then you can follow the link in the email again and print another coupon. Is this illegal? No, as long as you do not use more than one per household as stated in their terms.