Down for Good?

April 19, 2009 · 17 comments

Is Netwinner down for good?
That’s the question on a lot of folks’ minds this morning, as visitors to and their associated sites,,,, and, among others, were all greeted with page load timeout errors.
If true, this would close the book on the sad, roller-coaster ride that was An addictive and too-profitable online game, the site’s reputation deteriorated to the point that unpaid members’ complaints to the Charlotte area BBB got the company ranked on its 10 worst businesses list.
The details of the Netwinner saga can be found all over the internet (Google Netwinner, Matt Coapman, Arion aka Aaron Hardison, Allen Dean, or mjp65, with or without the word “scam”, and you’ll read all you need to know and more). The individual stories of members who played, earned points, and were denied payments are also all over the internet and they’re often sad ones, as many of the game’s players were disabled, retirees, stay at home moms, or others on fixed incomes who played by the rules and still got shafted.
Netwinner did have some down time last month for “scheduled maintenance” and the site returned, so this may not be the site’s swan song — we can only hope. A shell of the great site it once was, according to this post, no prizes were available for the last two months and at least several of those who won drawings when the site went raffle-only report never receiving their prizes. Also noteworthy: the domain is scheduled to expire in two days.
If this is the end for Netwinner — well, first off, party at my house! Whoo-hoo! But in all seriousness, it’s a just and fitting end to a site that incensed thousands of people by refusing to pay members what they owed, but continuing to stay in business. Fair is fair, and that just wasn’t fair. Shame on the company’s management, and I hope they change their names and still can never escape the reputation they’ve earned as scammers and rip-off artists.
Read all Netwinner-related posts on CompareRewards here.

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Mistyshadow44 April 22, 2009 at 11:48 pm

All I can say is, “Hooray!”

ANON April 23, 2009 at 4:44 pm

Netwinner is over… and you are still a bitter vindective looser sitting around waiting for a handout or some kind of welfare. Move on lady; everyone else has.

kiarasmamaw April 23, 2009 at 9:26 pm

We haven’t forgotten anything. We arn’t losers…..We are still here. NETWINNER is gone. Not us!! And welfare would be better than Netwinner…Welfare pays. Anon, I am a good person tho. I’m glad your lifeboat worked…..

tlnblue April 24, 2009 at 2:47 pm

Not even a close comparison. Welfare was designed to assist. Netwinner was designed to swindle. Huge difference. Glad it’s gone. Too bad it died a slow agonizing death instead of the swift and certain one it should have. Too bad our elected officials are too blind to recognize a scam when they see one and too lazy to investigate even if they did. This was chump change compared to what Madoff did but it still should’ve been shut down once the whole stinking con became apparent.
Prosecutors are now targeting those who assisted Madoff. Maybe now that the SEC has been a tad uncomfortable lately for their lack of action we might see some improvement when other scams and schemes are brought to their attention.

You lose, MIke. April 26, 2009 at 11:16 pm

“Netwinner is over… and you are still a bitter vindective looser sitting around waiting for a handout or some kind of welfare. Move on lady; everyone else has.”
Is that why your posting here? And out on the internet scouring for posts that mention Netwinner? Because you’ve moved on? Yeah. Ok.
Try being honest next time and you won’t have to spend the aftermath of your actions trying to pathetically defend them.
PS. You never could spell ‘loser’ right, Mike aka mjp65.

ANON April 29, 2009 at 12:51 am

As a former mod , I feel you are all missing the point. You are blaming the volunteers , who only provided the info that they were told. Blaming the volunteer mods/admins who only knew what the head honchos passed along (via MJP) for providing misleading info is like blaming a receptionist at a failing bank for the company’s woes. The problem with Netwinner did not lie in the volunteer helpers , but in the head honchos and a poorly conceived business plan. That plan was questioned early on by many , but they assured all that there was no cause for alarm – there was plenty of $$. The info that they passed along to the mods was exactly what the mods passed along to the players. Our job was to promote the site.
MJP was only doing his job. I don’t know if anyone here has ever worked for a corporation or not , but when I did , if you were to bad mouth their products inside or outside the company , you would not be employed there for long!! MJP was essentially a paid spokesperson and player liason for Netwinner. As such , he could not bad mouth the company (“biting the hand that feeds you”).
If you need someone to blame , blame the ones that ran the site.

You lose, MIke. May 3, 2009 at 4:58 am

No one wants to hear how they should feel or what they should think from the people who spent their time cutting off the channel of communication between them and the company by deleting their posts. It’s hilarious you’d even try that here and think anyone would give a damn.

tlnblue May 3, 2009 at 10:18 am

It’s good to see some of the old gang (victims) still around. Hope everyone is doing well.
As far as those still defending Netwinner, the point is you all knew there were problems yet you continued your association at our detriment. That’s where the problems arise, when people don’t take responsibility for their actions, when they refuse to acknowledge the obvious. At a certain crucial point it became apparent to everyone that the promises were empty and the site was unsustainable. Yet most stubbornly refused to abandon their positions to minimize further consumer damage.
I sincerely hope you’ve learned from this, for other people’s sakes.

Anonymous May 3, 2009 at 5:47 pm

People who were lucky enough to play Netwinner for about the first (2) years seem to have forgotten all the winnings and payouts they received before the business plan started falling apart. Helped me through a rough financial year.

You lose, MIke. May 3, 2009 at 6:31 pm

People who were unlucky enough to play at Netwinner during the last year and get the shaft, have not forgotten all of the winnings and payouts not received. Again, it’s silly you’d even try that after everything these people have been put through.
This statement from a post above really says it all as far as that tactic is concerned, “I sincerely hope you’ve learned from this, for other people’s sakes.”

kiarasmamaw May 3, 2009 at 7:06 pm

Anon…maybe if even one of you volunteers had said something like this
(As a former mod , I feel you are all missing the point. You are blaming the volunteers , who only provided the info that they were told. Blaming the volunteer mods/admins who only knew what the head honchos passed along (via MJP) for providing misleading info is like blaming a receptionist at a failing bank for the company’s woes.)
a year ago it would ring true. But even after you KNEW they were screwing everyone you all kept your mouths shut. You wait until Netwinner is dead and burried to speak a single bad word about them. To me that’s pathetic.

redbeard May 3, 2009 at 7:46 pm

I don’t believe the mods ever new anything and probably the owners didn’t know much either other than wishful thinking. The only thing that makes any business sense would be for the owners to manage as best they could to keep the site running while they worked on changing the business plan to make the site profitable.
The concept of the moneywheel was/is great! The advertising revenue they received was just a drop in the bucket (obviously not enough) compared to what they could have made through partnerships, franchising or just selling the rights if it proved successful!
I feel certain this is not the last time the internet see’s the moneywheel type of lottery game.

keith May 3, 2009 at 8:12 pm

Red – You could be right. People sure have spent a lot of time and energy playing the blame game. Wonder what would do if Netwinner had been able to make it work including paying past winners?

You lose, MIke. May 3, 2009 at 10:05 pm

We’ll never know because that did not happen. This is what happened:

ANON May 4, 2009 at 12:32 am

Redbeard is correct – the mods and admins never were privy to the company’s inner workings. Even when the site made the announcement that it was no longer able to make payouts and was going to a raffles based site , it blindsided us all , as it did the players. The only head’s up we got was that there would be a major site announcement and to be ready for the backlash from it. We knew only as much as the players did!
As the NW site mentioned in one of the forum posts , about 90% of the players played in a responsible manner (a couple hours a day). The other 10% were the ones that played as much as 20 hours a day. Those 10% were the ones that also got 90% of the payouts. When asked , one of the admins that was on virtually all day and night told me that everyone should be able to do that. They indicated that they played 18-20 hours daily , taking a quick nap if needed. When asked how someone with a job , family , shopping , laundry , etc. could do that , their response was “they just don’t have their priorities straight!”. That does not exactly constitute “playing responsibly”! And guess who are the most vocal complainers that they did not get their money? Not those that played a couple hours a day , that is for sure!

tlnblue May 4, 2009 at 12:41 am

Many companies employ the use of contests, games and sweepstakes but there are consumer protection rules and regulations put in place to protect the public. Netwinner decided they were above all that and even though there was no formal investigation that we know of, it doesn’t mean laws weren’t broken. The only reason most of us crusaded against the abuse was because we feel a group of people should not be profiting from deceptive practices at the expense of the innocent. Shouldn’t even have to explain any of that but apparently it bears repeating because some people just don’t get it.
I want to congratulate everyone who was involved with bringing down this vile, corrupt site. It’s good to know we’re still around with our handy, old keyboards….the present day weapon of choice.

Becky May 4, 2009 at 10:15 am

My opinion of the Netwinner forum’s moderators:
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” — Bishop Desmond Tutu
However, the moderators were far from neutral, as they continued to insist that the company would pay, they continued to refer new members into the program knowing the site was far behind in payouts, and they deleted the posts and the accounts of those who complained about the company’s treatment.
They have to live with their consciences, knowing that they mistreated their friends and fellow players to protect their positions as Great and Powerful “Unpaid” Representatives of what the local BBB called one of the worst businesses in their city.
What’s more outrageous — someone biting their tongue about corporate wrongdoing because they’re protecting their paycheck until something else comes along, or someone who’s doing it for free, just because it’s “fun” and because they get off on the power trip?
Netwinner’s forum mods saw the company going downhill, saw payments get further and further behind, but their “unpaid job” was more important than standing up for what was right. They sold their souls to the devil, and only after said “unpaid job” disappeared, leaving them with besmirched internet identities that they want to salvage, do you see them emerge to plead ignorance and play the victim.
I refuse to give these morally bankrupt individuals the venue to attempt to rewrite history by sanitizing their part in this scam. This post is closed to new comments. Go find your redemption elsewhere — you’ll get no sympathy here.

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