Thursday, October 1, 2009

Points2Shop/Cashle Playing the 'Approval Limbo' Game?

$10 more in gift cards posted to my Swagbucks account yesterday.

All offers I have completed on Points2Shop since my last cash out have been stuck in 'approval limbo'. I completed an offer on Cashle, Points2Shop's sister site, and am waiting to see if it actually posts. So far, I have over 10 offers that have been in 'approval limbo', some of them for over 3 months.

Speaking of which, this problem started in earnest some time before their website revamp. I really think it even started before I decided to cash out.

I have not bothered contacting their Customer Service, as from what I have seen, the canned response is "just try the offer again". Well, hey, you know what, screw that. I already completed it once, and it should post. In my opinion, I shouldn't have to try to complete the same offer three times. With their Daily Surveys, that's not even possible. And at 10-15 minutes per survey or offer completion, if I have to retry the same offer 3 times in order for it to actually POST, that's half an hour to 45 minutes of my time for what amounts to a maximum payoff of 90 cents! If this continues, despite having cashed out on them and having declared them legit, I'll be dumping them into the same reject-bin as GamingLagoon. I only have so much time in the day to devote to this. I'll just spend more of my time on a different website that doesn't play these games. There are plenty of fish in the sea, so to speak.

Less than 15 minutes after posting this entry, my latest Daily Survey on Cashle was approved. Not bad, since I only took the survey yesterday. I got credited 90 cents. Unfortunately, pretty much every other offer I completed in the past 2 months is still in approval limbo. I'm guessing they pretty much always will be. I don't feel like retrying them or taking it up with their Customer Service. Hopefully, it was something related to the website revamp and will not continue to be a problem in the future.

The Paypal minimum to withdraw from Cashle is currently $1.00. That should be pretty easy to rack up, as long as I qualify for another survey soon (maybe even today?).

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I saw an ad for Nominimumbux while doing my daily ad-clicks at Neobux. It looks nice, well put-together, and doesn't ask for a ton of personal information, so I decided to join. I couldn't find much information on it since it seems really new. There's no minimum cashout on it, but new members have to click at least 300 ads to cash out. I get 5 ads per day on a Standard account, so it will take about 2 months to hit cashout, as long as I click consistently.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

TrekPay, Neobux, and Scour developments

I stuck with TrekPay even though they rubbed me the wrong way the first few days I was a member. I stopped getting the "WE'RE WATCHING YOU" type messages, and haven't seen any accusations of cheating since.

Now, one of the things that irks me is the abundance of "VISIT THIS WEBSITE AND CLICK ADS" links on TrekPay - especially aonsidering that the websites involved are, in some cases, essentially violating the TOS of whatever network they're a member of. I highly doubt Trekpay cares, and it's honestly not their job to care. I have noticed that you'll get the full 3 credits whether you click the ads or not - I just don't know how well Trekpay tracks it, and I don't feel like finding out.

Otherwise, Trekpay is super easy. They don't even make you wait a set period of time once you've visited the site - you get your credits right away. Unlike places like Neobux, the websites you visit are actually - *gasp* - occasionally interesting and useful. I was shocked.

So, anyway, how does Trekpay work? Well, for starters, you don't earn money directly. You earn credits. Credits are converted to money each week - I think they do it on Tuesday, since that's when I suddenly had money in my Trekpay account. The credit-to-dollar conversion rate varies, so there's no real way to tell how much money you've actually earned. I don't know if I like that - I feel like it's way too easy to get jacked around by them that way. And if the conversion rate were to continually change in their favor, I could see putting in a ton of work and getting very little return. But there's no saying that'll happen - we'll see.

Anyway, my first 40-odd credits were converted on Tuesday. I now have 11 whole cents! Oddly enough, not ALL of my credits were converted to money. Or were they? I really can't tell, I'll know more by next week. Either way, I'm nowhere near the $5.50 minimum cashout at the moment.

In other news: Neobux ads are taking FOREVER to load lately. I've had to let them sit for minutes at a time before the counter actually starts. It's a minor irritation for me, since it's not like I don't have other things I can do while the timer loads, but it is annoying.

For a while, Scour was also taking forever to load. Lately, it hasn't been nearly so bad. It still takes a very long time. I also noticed that on Scour, the "Redeem Points" button had also mysteriously gone missing from my profile. A quick visit to their blog revealed that points no longer matter. They attempted to gloss things over, but tacked this on the end: "Please note: The previous point reward system is still discontinued as of September 1, 2009." From what I can tell, then, the point system is discontinued - period. You gain nothing by searching on Scour - I guess I'll be sticking with Google and Swagbucks.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Points2shop Prize Proof

Finally edited together my 'proof' for Points2shop - here is the prize I received in the mail. Note that it actually came directly from the Amazon seller to me.

Unfortunately, I have been having some difficulty with OTX surveys not loading in Firefox. I don't like IE and can't always remember to switch to IE for doing OTX surveys, and once you have attempted a survey for the day it won't let you attempt another one, even if the survey didn't load correctly. So it has been costing me. I finally got around to installing the IE Tab addon for Firefox. Hopefully, this addon will solve problems with some other survey sites that insist on Internet Explorer. If you're having trouble with this in Firefox, go to Tools --> Add-ons and run a plugin search for IE Tab.

Today, I actually got SIX ads to click on Neobux, instead of the regular four. Exciting. I still have no referrals, but the money seems to accumulate a little bit faster, possibly because I'm staying on top of it a little bit better, possibly because they seem to be feeding me more ads to click lately.
Waiting for the ads to load and verify has started to take quite a long time. If you're having trouble with it hanging on 'loading advertisement', just let it sit. Eventually, it will load and verify, but it can take quite a while. It's not like it's hard work to just let it sit and load, though.

TrekPay Responds

TrekPay responded to my question/complaint. They didn't even bother with a semi-polite form letter. Instead, I got a half-assed mass mailing:

Posted by: Support Rep: admin Post Date: 2009-08-26 13:14:38

We have done some changes to our security and you may have noticed that we are using a security certificate (https) on our site.
We had a problem with our ticket system and are not sure if tickets got answered or not. We can find this out but it would take a bunch of extra time that is difficult to spare as we are adding additions to our business.

I am including a general answer to many questions in this ticket. If your question is not answered within its content then please open another ticket.
Once a week we convert some of your credits to cash. Check your account balance.

We do not have a preset value to a credit. We are a profit share business.

Each week between Tuesday-Thursday calculations for conversion of credits will be made and values of credits are determined at that time. The dollar amount will be displayed in your back office. You can then decide to withdraw these funds to your PayPal account. (you must have at least $5.50 to withdraw)
This is a profit share program so it is difficult to state what a credit will be worth.
We are still in pre-launch and will be adding other money earning methods shortly.

When you refer someone there are bonus credits added to you. If that referral purchases searches from Trek Advertising you will get 12.5% of the buy. Referrals will become more important when we add our next steps, you will have to wait for the official announcement.

The T icon is only activated by our cheat team. If you do not see one then it is a good thing. If you happen to see one please click on it and all is ok. If the T icon does not disappear do not worry, it is either a malfunction or a fake one made by somebody else.


When you get a cheating message, do not take it as a personal attack. It is only our system and it notifies our cheat team to watch your account more closely. Everyone will have this happen to them sometimes. If it happens all the time then it will become a problem.


We do not have upgrades available. Everyone is a free member.


If your question was not answered within this ticket then open another one.

My reply:

Your 'cheating' message is antagonistic. It's not that people are taking it personally so much as the fact that it is poorly worded. Trust is an important component of the relationship between a website such as TrekPay and its members, and a message such as that does nothing to build trust. If a lot of people are getting offended, implying that it is the fault of the people for getting offended by the message is a poor tactic. Further stating that everyone gets the 'we think you're cheating and we're watching you' message every once in a while and that is normal or o.k. doesn't help. Perhaps if you reworded your message more tactfully, members would not get so upset.

As you can tell, I'm not thrilled with how TrekPay treats their members. I may still stick with it just to see how it pans out, but anyone who plans on joining probably shouldn't expect too much help from Customer Support if they ever have a problem.

Received another 'cheating will not be tolerated, we are watching' message while attempting to normally surf websites through TrekPay. And, of course, did not receive credits for it. I'll attempt to use this website over the course of the next few days, but if this continues, I'll be dropping it and adding it to my 'STAY AWAY' list.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Trek Pay

So, a friend sent me an invite to Trek Pay. They didn't want a whole lot of personal info, so I figured what the hell. I signed up.

It literally took TWO MINUTES of being a member to be accused of cheating. My crime? Clicking on a link. You know, like you're supposed to, in order to earn credits.

Now, I try my hardest to play by the rules. I'm not trying to game the system, since that endangers the very websites I hope to benefit from. Accusing a two-minute-old honest member of cheating when they haven't done anything wrong is not good customer service, and it's not a good way to win loyalty or grow as a website, either.

This is the ticket I submitted to TrekPay's support:
Subj: "Confused by accusations of cheating (currently using Firefox browser)"
"I'm running searches and trying to click on websites to visit them, as I am supposed to, in order to earn credits. I'm currently using the latest version of Firefox. Every time I click on a link - not even trying to open in a new tab or anything, just a regular everyday left-CLICK - on a link, it still pops open in a new window and it says "manually entered URL, cheating will not be tolerated, we are watching".

Well, I haven't manually entered any URLs and I'm trying to open it in the same window. Is there a reason for why this is being displayed even though I'm not even trying to open the website in a new tab?"

I'll update if/when I receive a reply.

So far: not impressed.

Friday, August 21, 2009

I Received My Points2shop Prize

Today, I received my prize from Points2shop. I'd ordered a music CD (Good Apollo I'm Burning Star Vol. IV by Coheed & Cambria, if you're curious). I'll post photos of the package and prize in a little while

To recap: I received confirmation that my prize had been ordered the third day after I requested it. I never received a tracking number for the prize, even though the message told me I would receive one. I was a little bit worried about that. A tracking number would have been comforting.

I just now visited their website and, unfortunately, it seems to be down. d'oh. They'd been talking about an update, I guess maybe their update hasn't gone as planned? I'm not sure. All I know is that it only occasionally loads properly, and if I try to visit another page, I get an Internal Server Error. I hope that my point balance hasn't been wiped out - that would be a shame, considering the fact that I've just confirmed that they pay out.

Edit: I just visited the website again, and it appears to be working properly. Nevermind.