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Swagbucks have ripped me off.
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# 1
DaveTheGeordie
Old 13-02-2013, 12:05 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Newcastle
Posts: 157
Default Swagbucks have ripped me off.

From the heart, I am so irritated and let down. Genuinely. I feel insulted and patronised. Here are some of our communications:

1) I was locked out of my account, with no email or other communication sent. On attempting to login I recieved a generic 'your account has been deactivated message'

2) I mailed them. I thought it was for some time outs on entering 'capcha' codes (time dependent codes to prove you aren't a robot). As I genuinely multi-task, such as clcik sites, and sometimes miss a few codes. A minor matter.

Turns out, because I have been clicking the swagbucks search bar as I would naturally to click off of seach sites and probably searching terms like 'per day' , 'Berlin' , 'Russia' , 'Oslo' , New York' , etc: i.e. when I've been using holiday websites via cashback/daily click sites and then deleting my search history in a short amount of time - they think I have been running 'third party' or 'automation' software.

3) So I wrote them again and explained this after they originally stated that they had detected 'third party software' and 'continuously searching by automation'. Notice they arrogantly write, non diplomatically as a matter of fact, not 'we believe' or 'we suspect'.

4) Then they basically wrote back repeating themself and stating 'Please keep in mind that your case is officially closed and this will be a final resolution to this issue. No other response will be provided'. I.e. We won't listen to you anymore. Tough !!!!.

I've left messages on their facebook, irritated but not trolling or swearing or anything like that. I've had some response but it looks like I'm basically being fobbed off.

Anyway people. Be warned. Don't use Swagbucks between your daily click searches and history clearing or it will likely trigger their 'automation' however the f**k they define it...Use google or something instead.

Super peeved by the way. Can't help it. Generally a pretty stoic person. I feel literally robbed out of 55, which is what I had the equivalent of in Amazon vouchers which I was literally going to withdraw in the next few days. I go camping and hiking. Was going to get a nice kelly kettle.

But more than that it's being called a 'cheat'. Yes, I was in a round about way called a 'cheat' also. Knowing I've for two months entered every search, filled in offers for about 3/15 which I was credited for, attempted and been kicked out of surveys and clicked thousands of SBTV's and personally clicked each and every time then being told I'm attempting to 'cheat' and 'exploit' is pretty damn insulting. I used to game a lot. I had literally 1 million gold (a fortune) on warcraft in Cataclysm. I've never botted in my life, I've never ran dodgy or automated programmes. I used to report people that did.

Absolute sods.
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# 2
cally6008
Old 13-02-2013, 1:54 PM
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Default

As of 1-13pm, Swagbucks Nick (UK rep) has posted on facebook that he is looking in to this for you

I do hope you get it sorted out so that you can then add your 55 amazon vouchers directly on to your amazon account and keep them safe in there until you wish to use them

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# 3
DaveTheGeordie
Old 13-02-2013, 11:04 PM
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Default

Nick got back to me. He was nice about it but is unfortunately unable to help. Compliance won't shift. Compliance won't hear me out anymore either. So it's a catch 22 there. I'll keep complaining. I'm looking into legal action also. Though I'm not sure if that is a possibility but I will try.
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# 4
clarebeany
Old 13-02-2013, 11:55 PM
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Default

What is Swagbucks?
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# 5
DaveTheGeordie
Old 14-02-2013, 12:28 AM
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by clarebeany View Post
What is Swagbucks?
Its a hybrid site for surveys and other things where you earn points but they can't be trusted. Heard the stories and I thought that's silly, until it happened to me.
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# 6
The MoneySavingKid
Old 14-02-2013, 2:09 AM
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Join Date: May 2008
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I'm sorry to hear that.

Perhaps this is the displays that one should cash out in with whatever reward wants as soon as you the smallest redemption threshold.
47.59/2013
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# 7
Swagbucks company representative
Old 14-02-2013, 8:02 AM
Has MSEs permission to post for company
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"For the privacy of our members, the Swagbucks Compliance Department does not publicly discuss any specific accounts found exploiting our reward-earning services. We would like to make it clear that we do not, and will not, deactivate a member without a valid compliance reason. You can write into us at compliance@swagbucks.com for further information about your account and the possibility of starting a fresh, new account as long as you are willing to adhere to our Terms of Service. You can review our FAQs to see our compliance policies at help.swagbucks.com."
Official Company Representative
I am the official company representative of Swagbucks. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries about the company, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"
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# 8
DaveTheGeordie
Old 14-02-2013, 11:00 AM
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Do you robots ever listen instead of just parroting that? Can you understand - compliance wrote a message to me:

'Please keep in mind that your case is officially closed and this will be a final resolution to this issue. No other response will be provided'.

What you mean, I think, is Please don't post in a negative light about us on our public Facebook page. If you won't listen to me in compliance I will keep posting on your Facebook page. I will expect human conversation and ultimately, what is owed to me.

Furthermore, if you insist on denying me what I have rightfully and honestly earned and calling me a 'cheat, an exploiter', and stating that you have found 'automative/third party software' - which I have not used.: I'll make a blog and spend the time on google analytics to make sure it's the second or third result in the google page results. I'll call it 'Swagbucks exposed' or 'Swagsucks' or similar, and invite others to post their negative experiences with Swagbucks and offer them alternative links to competing businesses.

I will write compliance again and expect a response.
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# 9
Happi
Old 14-02-2013, 11:44 AM
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I doubt you can do anything legally it's an american company.

It looks like they are not budging either, perhaps the only thing left to do is ask for a fresh account and start anew.

Cash out sooner too, like every 5 and use a different browser for just swagbucks so the same thing doesn't happen again.
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# 10
Lilyann
Old 14-02-2013, 12:38 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 62
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveTheGeordie View Post
Do you robots ever listen instead of just parroting that? Can you understand - compliance wrote a message to me:

'Please keep in mind that your case is officially closed and this will be a final resolution to this issue. No other response will be provided'.

What you mean, I think, is Please don't post in a negative light about us on our public Facebook page. If you won't listen to me in compliance I will keep posting on your Facebook page. I will expect human conversation and ultimately, what is owed to me.

Furthermore, if you insist on denying me what I have rightfully and honestly earned and calling me a 'cheat, an exploiter', and stating that you have found 'automative/third party software' - which I have not used.: I'll make a blog and spend the time on google analytics to make sure it's the second or third result in the google page results. I'll call it 'Swagbucks exposed' or 'Swagsucks' or similar, and invite others to post their negative experiences with Swagbucks and offer them alternative links to competing businesses.

I will write compliance again and expect a response.
It's a drastic step, and will involve a lot of time and effort. But if you do it, be sure to have a comments section so users can share experiences. I agree they don't listen, I have a minor problem, which I've told them about 3 times with no response. Good luck.
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# 11
DaveTheGeordie
Old 15-02-2013, 5:44 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2012
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Default

Thank you for your support everyone. I know better now, but honestly, Swagbucks being a reputable and such a large company I thought there was very little chance of them doing something like this and I was not doing anything dodgey. I was saving for as long as I could because you get a greater discount in their points cost for each 'tier' of Amazon vouchers you reach.

The browser history reset didn't even trigger the thought process to me, genuinely. That's how innocent it was. This was, quite literally, natural browsing behaviour as I was going through my daily clicks. It even took a couple of days for me to realise after my deactivation. I would not put it past them, even if their belief is genuine, that they have banned others this way. I know many people on Swagbucks, using similar sites and members of MSE use daily click sites.

Furthermore, I can't get my head around why you would offer someone known to use 'third party software' or 'automation' programmes, or other such bot-like exploits the chance to make a new account. No good company does that. If you use bots in any online game, unless your have been hacked, your account is dead. No discussion. Game over. What an odd policy. I have to say that raises the 'cowboy' alarm to me.

Last edited by DaveTheGeordie; 15-02-2013 at 5:57 AM.
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# 12
MollyDolly
Old 18-02-2013, 12:10 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2012
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A lot of time spent on that site for very little money when you work out the conversion rate.

Clixsense pay out more for their surveys. I hardly ever log into Swagbucks now, far more to do and earn on other sites.

Sorry to hear you have had problems.
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# 13
DaveTheGeordie
Old 20-02-2013, 5:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MollyDolly View Post
A lot of time spent on that site for very little money when you work out the conversion rate.

Clixsense pay out more for their surveys. I hardly ever log into Swagbucks now, far more to do and earn on other sites.

Sorry to hear you have had problems.
Agreed. I liked it because it was something you could always stream when you were out of surveys and had exhausted other tasks for the day but you are right. The rate for the time spent is bad. Thanks.

Update: I mailed them as told to twice, both here and on their facebook page and no response after 5 days, despite their claiming usually with in 2 days but upto 3 - 5 working days. Again. This further shows their poor quality.
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# 14
MollyDolly
Old 20-02-2013, 5:57 PM
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Then that is bad PR on their part - I would never have left so much in my account though - it makes you wonder if that kind of money is too tempting for some sites.

Personally, I have never had any major problems with any site but your case has made me very wary now.
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# 15
Turn_Da_Knob
Old 28-02-2013, 10:27 PM
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Hello,

If it happened to me I wouldn't let go your money that easily. Such websites (that includes similar sites, some survey sites, ...) that have abusive *cough* T&Cs regarding account closures and have money they owe you (you actually worked for them and every time you get some swags they get some profits) should not even be mentioned on the money saving website be cause they are not risk-free.

Sadly enough, the hourly rate is also abusively low and the biggest users, like you are, get rewarded with earning confiscation... I actually can't help laughing when my girlfriend claims she made 20 a month on SB whereas I found other streams of income described in the MSE forums that get me 20 times with a quarter of the effort.

I have no respect whatsoever for Swagbucks with that regards. I fully support your cause.

Oh and regarding the fact it is an american company and there is nothing to do legally, that is wrong. Their website operates in the UK, and nothing in their T&Cs forbids Brits from joining. It means they have same level of reliability towards their UK members than those in the US. The legal way is a bit more complicated because californian laws apply.

TDK
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# 16
MollyDolly
Old 09-03-2013, 8:47 AM
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DaveThe Geordie - I had been wondering how you had been getting on with this.

Did you ever get the issue resolved?
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# 17
DaveTheGeordie
Old 09-03-2013, 9:59 PM
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Hi Molly. Thanks for your message.

I haven't unfortunately. I did pursue them and they started writing back to me. I wrote them a lengthy letter exlplaining my case in some detail and suggested they move my letter higher up the chain of command if it was to be ignored, as I would keep writing them.

The long story short is that they are basically changing their argument. Apparently I missed at least a couple of search captchas each day. This makes me sad, you see I thought at first, obviously they were wrong - but may have had a genuine belief on their part. Since they used the two missed captchas per day argument; this makes me certain they are frankly - full of !!!!. There is no chance. They show instantly on searching. Absolutely did not happen.

And they are also being really lame by bringing in missed captcha codes from SBTV, which I freely admit did happen on occasion. That is completely natural when you have to watch 4 hours of SBTV to make your daily bonus, when there are no surveys available and offers do not/or delay in credit. People will naturally multi-task, open other windows etc.

It's quite pathetic really. I don't expect to be refunded at this point. My goal now is to make my blog high up on the google ratings to eventually be the 3rd or 4th result; so that when first time potentials are googling 'Is swagbucks safe?' , 'Swagbucks scam?' as people tend to do, they can then be warned.

I have all the time in the world to spend on blogging. I'm unemployed. I would like to practice to eventually write on other issues which I'm passionate about. I also value and follow rationalism, critical thought ideologies. So I can rip into and disect their sophistry and bad practice. They really did choose the wrong person to scam.

Thanks again for the message. All the best.

Last edited by DaveTheGeordie; 09-03-2013 at 10:15 PM.
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# 18
tj1980
Old 10-03-2013, 12:02 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2013
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My account was deactivated without cause last year. I had $50 pending at the time and was initially told that I'd been banned for allegedly using a bot to search (something I don't even know how to do). I emailed repeatedly with compliance but got nothing but the static, 'This decision is final' replies back. I don't think anyone even read my emails, they just sent automated messages. Several people who have been deactivated have managed to get their accounts back, myself included, but it definitely is not easy. I ended up filing a report with the Better Business Bureau, making sure to point out that SB owed me money and could not prove I'd cheated. They changed their story and said I was banned for using some program to scam SBTV (I rarely used SBTV), but said they would give back the account if I agreed not to do so again.

Many people have lost their accounts unfairly and late last year (November, I think) a number of them went through the BBB to get them back. I'm not sure if that's an option for you since you're in the UK. But I definitely wouldn't let that money go. Even if they'd denied me my account, I would have pursued the cash the owed me since I earned it fairly. SB's support is TERRIBLE when it comes to deactivations. They cut people off and refuse to listen to reason, or listen at all. Which is probably why they only let you contact support via email (I tried calling when my account was taken but you only get an automated message.) There are much better sites out there who treat people like humans instead of assuming everyone is some cheating robot.
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# 19
DaveTheGeordie
Old 18-03-2013, 7:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tj1980 View Post
My account was deactivated without cause last year. I had $50 pending at the time and was initially told that I'd been banned for allegedly using a bot to search (something I don't even know how to do). I emailed repeatedly with compliance but got nothing but the static, 'This decision is final' replies back. I don't think anyone even read my emails, they just sent automated messages. Several people who have been deactivated have managed to get their accounts back, myself included, but it definitely is not easy. I ended up filing a report with the Better Business Bureau, making sure to point out that SB owed me money and could not prove I'd cheated. They changed their story and said I was banned for using some program to scam SBTV (I rarely used SBTV), but said they would give back the account if I agreed not to do so again.

Many people have lost their accounts unfairly and late last year (November, I think) a number of them went through the BBB to get them back. I'm not sure if that's an option for you since you're in the UK. But I definitely wouldn't let that money go. Even if they'd denied me my account, I would have pursued the cash the owed me since I earned it fairly. SB's support is TERRIBLE when it comes to deactivations. They cut people off and refuse to listen to reason, or listen at all. Which is probably why they only let you contact support via email (I tried calling when my account was taken but you only get an automated message.) There are much better sites out there who treat people like humans instead of assuming everyone is some cheating robot.
Thanks so much for your post. I'm sorry you've been through this too. What you describe is similar to the farce I've had with them. They've changed their story for me too when I stuck to my guns.

I wrote the BBB. It went through and they asked my country so I guess they recognise outside complaints. Really grateful for that, genuinely. Now it's wait and see what happens I guess.

There was a description section then a outcome request section. I wrote that I want the earnings I had made or my account reopened so I could withdraw them. I also asked for an apology.

But I also recommended an independent investigation into their automation/banning policy and mentioned that there's a strong chance they are wrongfully banning many legit users. I probably came off as self important there but if that did happen it would be a wonderful result.
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# 20
Leo2020
Old 18-03-2013, 8:37 AM
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Hows it going with the website, DaveTheGeordie?
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