Yesterday, in reviewing recent comments on my website, I found that three of them — one posted yesterday and two on 7/14 — were posted by someone from Memolink’s IP address. The comments, posted by “Josh” and “Peaches” purported to be made by regular ol’ Memolink members defending the site and attacking its critics. You can see the comments here (look for “Josh”), here (look for “Peaches”), and here (scan way down and look for “Peaches” again).
Aside from trying to generate fake good-P.R. by saying things like, “Memolink is doing so much better. I got my prize in 2 weeks”, the employee posted crude attacks toward the site’s critics, like, “petty,” “idiots,” “stupid,” and “get an education.”
Then the poster continues, revealing some interesting insights into what the employees really think about their members.
“Members who do nothing but want something handed to them…on a silver platter.” “Do you expect [Memolink] to work 24/7 to fix problems just for you???” “Perhaps if people stopped selfishly complaining to the BBB…” “You want a better Memolink – you should be a better member!!!”
The IP address these comments came from was 188.8.131.52, if you have a site or forum of your own and want to see if Memolink staff’s been posing as happy members on your site also. I’d bet the farm that this post made on MyCoupons (by a new member who only posted the one item in support of Memolink) was also made by Memolink staff.
Meanwhile, according to a post on BigBigForums, Memolink is currently being pursued by the Colorado Attorney General’s office for fraud, with 6 cases due in court over the next 2 months. (I’m going to check into this myself.)
Memolink people, if you’re out there reading this: just send me an email and I’d be more than willing to do an email interview with you to post on the site so you can give your side of the story. If you’d like to be a guest in my chat room so you can have some live interaction with your members, I’d be more than happy to host it. But enough with the fake “I’m really just a regular member at Memolink and they’re so great, you should give them another try” BS. Not at my site, not at BigBig or MyCoupons or anywhere else.
It’s probably WAY too late to earn back any credibility or respect from the rewards program community. But I’ll tell you something that might help, if you’ll just sit still and listen for a second: Users want the truth. And they don’t want it as a last resort, when other schemes to placate or confuse (Memogold, changing the points system, etc.) don’t work out. Just come out and say, “We wanted to keep the site of the day and the trivia because it’s a way to keep users coming back to the site every day, in the hopes that they’ll do something to earn us money. We’re a business — you can’t fault us for wanting to make a profit. But those free points were costing us too much, and we’d already dropped the point value as much as we could, so the only option we had was to devalue those free points. That’s what we did.”
THAT is honesty. THAT’s what your members and the interested onlookers like me really want to hear. Enough with the subterfuge and the song-and-dance about the great new “dazzling” site. Come clean. Be honest. And enough with the sneaky posts, guys.