Beginning of the End of

April 11, 2008 · 0 comments

In mid-February, I had a couple of interesting conversations with folks over at, which I put together into a post here on CompareRewards. One of the program’s VPs was kind enough to address some of the concerns I’d been hearing about the program, and I found the exchange enlightening and reassuring.
However, it’s been about 8 weeks since then, and some things have changed, and at this point I’d say NetWinner is facing the beginning of the end…unless they do something and fast.
1. Despite NetWinner’s insistence to the contrary, it does appear that criticizing NetWinner, even on outside websites, can get your account frozen. Three weeks ago, a member was told that his NW account would be frozen if he didn’t remove posts critical of NW on outside websites by a certain date and time. The only website this member had posted on was mine, and my site settings don’t permit commenters to delete their own comments. The member’s account, as a result, was frozen. I interceded on his behalf, appealing to the folks I had spoken with at NW in February to investigate, and the member did eventually get his account back. What if I hadn’t stepped in? Would the member have been out of all of his points and all of the redemptions he’s been patiently waiting for? How many other people has this happened to? I’ve heard the complaints before and believed NetWinner when they said they were untrue, but now… I don’t know.
2. When NetWinner eliminated all redemptions but raffle entries and Ecount certificates, the rationale given to me was that Ecount certificates would help reduce fraud, would help better use NW staff since it was outsourced, and that it would help speed up redemptions. This is not the case either. Eight weeks have passed since I spoke with NW and the site is only five weeks further along in their redemption backlog. In other words, they’re not catching up at all…the backlog is actually growing.
3. Today, NetWinner eliminated its 10 point prizes on their games and put in their place a raffle entry, for one of ten $100 Ecount GCs (and with surely tens of thousands of players, those odds are rather paltry). While 10 points was the smallest points prize a player could win, before, with the occasional points multipliers it could add up to 250 points. Now, regardless of any multiplier in place, it amounts to just one raffle entry. Because your odds were better at winning the 10 points (now the raffle entry) than anything else, this GREATLY limits the number of points a member can expect to earn in a day. And this, obviously, impacts your earnings from referrals as well.
4. Which brings us to the biggest, reddest flag of ‘em all: NetWinner eliminated its 25,000 point ($25) Ecount redemption and all that remains is 100,000 points ($100 Ecount) and raffle entries. This will in essence make the program raffle-entry only because, with odds of winning 25 points 1 in 29, the average member will earn 75 points per day — okay, give them the benefit of the doubt and say 100, which would require 1,000 days, or almost 3 years, in order for a member to reach cashout.
Now, consider all these points along with the fact that NW first limited players’ daily wheel spins, THEN they increased the length of time in the Terms of Service that they had to pay people when they cash out (not that they’re actually paying them in that time frame)… Well, you don’t have to have an MBA to read the writing on the wall.
NetWinner has fun games and a great user interface, but if the site isn’t properly monetized, doesn’t pay on time, isn’t properly staffed, has lousy customer service, freezes accounts on a whim, and changes the redemptions and TOS when they can’t keep up… what’s it matter?
Sorry, NW members. I’m as disappointed as you are; I feel just as much deceived as you do. :( I hope you can find some other places to spend your time and hopefully earn a little something in the process. Check out other programs mentioned here on CompareRewards, or shoot me an email if you’d like personalized recommendations.

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