BBB “Inundated” With NetWinner Complaints; Says NW “Should Have Halted” Games

June 10, 2008 · 16 comments

The BBB of Southern Piedmont, which services Charlotte, NC (where NetWinner is located) issued a BBB Alert this morning: “Hundreds of Online Gamers Accuse Charlotte-Based Online Gaming Site of Foul Play.”
In this special alert, the BBB says that it has been “inundated” with 180 complaints about NetWinner, from residents of 40 states and Canada. The article recaps the site’s decision to cancel pending payments but return double points to member accounts for use in entering drawings.
The President and CEO of the BBB of Southern Piedmont, Tom Bartholomy, is quoted as saying, “Before offering the games and prize structure, Netwinner should have determined how high their potential payout liability for the games might be. At the point that the financial payout became greater than the company could bear – or when Netwinner determined that players were accumulating more points than anticipated through whatever means they were using to win – the games should have been halted.”
If you’re just hearing about this story, you may want to start by reading my review of NetWinner here — and be sure to read all of the links in the Related Articles section to follow the timeline of how NetWinner got to this point.
If you’re a NetWinner member and you have not done so yet, you can submit your complaint with the BBB here . Other potential consumer resources are located in a summary page here. And you may also want to sign up for an account on the Open Forum, an independent message forum for NetWinner members.

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pkb143 June 10, 2008 at 12:38 pm

Maybe this is the first step in serving notice to internet sites that think they can do whatever they want even if it means screwing over their loyal players. We didn’t merit a second thought before, except to be called CHEATERS, so this is very gratifying, and to think, 180 some complaints is only a tiny fraction of the players who Netwinner reneged on. So if you get ripped, take some action! maybe that tiny ripple will eventually create a tsunami.
(A sincere thanks to Becky, “TC”, NickyName and all the others who helped the cause!)

adria37 June 10, 2008 at 6:14 pm

I tried to register for the open forum but have not received the 2nd email but wanted to let everyone know that I received a call from the Charlotte Observer today wanting to do an interview about Netwinner. I was at work seeing patients and unable to talk but she is going to call me tomorrow. She said she got my information from the complaint I submitted to the BBB. I live in North Carolina. I have my confirmation emails, Netwinner swindled me out of ~ 500.00.

thecommittee June 10, 2008 at 7:20 pm

Yes! Thank you, adria! Go get ‘em, girl! Also, Brad Broders of News 14 is looking for a local interviewee. 1-704-604-1214

penny June 10, 2008 at 7:44 pm

This information is being spread all over the internet. This is so fabulous.
Adria – You might just try loging into TheOpenForum without getting your second email. Seems that’s the way it was working for a long time. Hope to see you there! Looking forward to hearing what you have to say.

ShansGram June 11, 2008 at 9:12 am

I too have tried to join the other forum with information about netwinner. I have not received the confirmation email after a couple of tries. So Becky if you want a recent letter which I received from Netwinner re opening multiple acct windows..I would be glad to forward it. I also filed a complaint to BBB and have todate only received a letter from them that NW has not responded to them re my complaint which was done at the onset of them taking away our prize wins. They had ten days to respond and its been over a month now.

ShansGram June 11, 2008 at 9:25 am

Netwinner owes me $225.00 and they owe my husband $150.00..I guess my letter will state same thing as what I was reading over at the other forum about multiple game windows..funny thing is..that so called glitch is still happening as of May 30th, 2008 and they are telling you the same old excuse. I have forwarded that letter to the BBB as well. Now that their forum is closed there is no way of even knowing who wins what over there..I hope MJP and his followers are enjoying all of the prizes and drawings over there because I doubt any real person will ever receive any of them. What a JOKE !!
My opinion is if they can afford to offer prizes then can pay up what is owed to us honest players !!

Sheryl June 11, 2008 at 9:59 pm

I reported to the BBB that about this as well only to get an email back stating that NW said I cheated. It show times and dates on when I supposedly did this. W
Well someone with a good eye noticed something else. Someone else got the exact same email back.
Sites, dates, times, all were identical. Call that a co-incidence? I don’t think so.

thecommittee June 12, 2008 at 3:16 am

Sheryl, the BBB is looking into the matter about similar/identical evidence-of-cheating being submitted to them by Netwinner about those who filed complaints. They’re all aggressively pursuing this, gathering information and reading message boards. I imagine it can’t be very comfortable for anyone at Netwinner right now with the authorities and the media at their backs.

ShansGram June 12, 2008 at 12:02 pm

I dont know if this will help..but has anyone contacted the E-Count (citibank) company who was dealing with NW regarding the last time NW even funded them to send out E-Count cards? If I am not mistaken I believe around March 13th it was said in the NW forum that someone had contacted E-Count regarding their card and was told by someone there that Netwinner hadnt sent them any funding in over a month and when this was posted in the forum MJP got quite upset stating that he didnt think that was true because anyone at e-count who would have given out that kind of information would have been fired. Maybe this would also add to evidence that NW wasnt planning to pay long before the Presidents letter came out…Just a thought…

Suzy June 13, 2008 at 6:47 pm

I setup google alerts to notify me by email when google sees a news article is posted about Netwinner. This morning this came came to my inbox.
It’s an interesting article in “The Charlotte Observer” newspaper about online gaming that includes Netwinner.

adria37 June 13, 2008 at 9:05 pm

This is it, the Charlotte Observer, the lady who called me! Woo Hoo!

FinalGroundz June 18, 2008 at 1:11 pm

If you guys are still interested in playing games online for money and prizes there are other options..
Moola is a free game site currently open to US and Canadian residents which players compete for points. Those points can then be redeemed for actually money. Moola is currently having a promotion lasting till this upcoming Monday ( June 23, 2008 ) which will automatically boost your account to a level 6. On Monday, Moola will be having another Booster Blitz funded by their sponsors where after every game you will get money whether you win or lose.. I strongly recommend Moola from my own experience.
Sign up through this link in my name to get boosted to level 6 or got to and start on level 1
For you poker lovers, there is a fairly new site called Ujogo. At Ujogo you play poker for points and can then redeem Amazon gift cards with those points. I’m not so great with poker so I haven’t done so well on that site, but I almost got enough for a $25 giftcard..
Sign up for Ujogo at

ShansGram June 19, 2008 at 8:19 pm

I just received a response from the Better Business Bureau detailing what Netwinner said about why I didnt get paid just like everyone else ..
This regards the complaint of Rose Keeler with respect to not being issued the debit cards that she claims were earned though and affiliated sites.
There is no cost or charge at any time for a consumer to play the casual games on or any affiliated sites, nor is there any requirement to click on any advertiser messages or links in order to play the games.
The primary reason that Ms. Keeler’s request to redeem points won for debit cards has not been fulfilled is that she violated the Terms of Service (TOS) in fraudulently acquiring the points that she attempted to use for cash redemption. Documentation supporting our position follows.
In response to Rose’s claims, pertinent parts of the TOS that were violated are included as well as how they pertain to this situation.
Section 1.2 (under Parties, Acceptance and Consideration) states:
If You do not agree to the terms and conditions contained in this Agreement You are not eligible to win any prizes and You may not register and use the Website, participate in any sweepstakes or promotions, play any game or otherwise use the Service.
Through her participation, Rose affirms her agreement to the entire TOS.
In regards to that participation, it has been determined by a thorough review of the user’s account that Ms. Keeler has unquestionably, whether knowingly or unknowingly, violated the TOS in this area: Using Multiple Windows.
As it applies to Use of Multiple Windows, Section 3.5 (Eligibility) of the TOS states:
Acceptable usage of the Service is defined as one Participant making Entries or otherwise playing one game in a single window or tab of a single web browser from one machine or computing device. It is a violation of these Terms of Service for a Participant to use more than one browser, tab, window, or other interface at a time for playing the game. The Company reserves the right to investigate and/or restrict Entries from any Participant who utilizes more than one interface in different windows, tabs, or multiple devices to display more than one interface at a time or to make multiple Entries.
The company tracks all registered player usage. Regardless of the site where the game – either MoneyWheel or Banko – is accessed, it is the same game engine, so just as it is a violation to have multiple windows of a game open simultaneously from a single site, it is the same violation to have multiple windows of a game open simultaneously from other network sites. To better understand what you are looking at, please note that the minimum amount of time it takes to play the company’s MoneyWheel game is 30 seconds; for the Banko game 2 minutes and 40 seconds; therefore, if there are wins on different sites at the same time or within a minute or two of each other-this constitutes multiple windows. It is not possible to win at the same time or within a minute or two of each win on two different sites unless multiple windows are open.
Below is a brief snapshot of just three instances documenting how Ms. Keeler had multiple windows of the game open at the same time. All show a consistent pattern of violation. This is just a sampling of data from Rose’s account, all TOS Section 3.5 violations.
Action Points Website Date Time
Game Winnings 25 FroggyFunds 01/08/2008 01:24 PM
Game Winnings 10 FreakyFreddies 01/08/2008 01:25 PM
Game Winnings 10 FroggyFunds 01/08/2008 01:26 PM
Winnings 25 AnythingFree4You 01/09/2008 10:29 PM
Game Winnings 50 BuckFever 01/09/2008 10:29 PM
Game Winnings 25 AnythingFree4You 01/09/2008 10:29 PM
Please notice the time between wins on each of the above sites is only a minute and on two of the sites is at exactly the same time which is impossible unless multiple windows are open and violates the TOS. Whether knowingly or unknowingly, this is a violation.
While we work diligently to discover fraud preemptively, the final determination of TOS compliance is made at the point of request for redemption.
In regards to changes in the TOS, the company’s right to do so is clearly stated in two sections:
Section 1.7 (under Parties, Acceptance and Consideration) states:
In Our sole discretion, and without prior notice or liability, We may discontinue or alter any aspect of the Service, including, but not limited to, (i) restricting the time the Service is available, (ii) adding, removing or modifying any sweepstakes, promotion, game, prize, points or other aspect of the Service, (iii) restricting the amount of use permitted, and (iv) restricting or terminating any User’s right to use the Service.
Section 19 (Modification of Terms) states:
The Company reserves the right, at Our sole discretion, to change, modify, add, or remove portions of this Agreement or any other rules or regulations related to use of the Service at any time. Your continued use of the Website or any part of the Service, entry in any sweepstakes or promotion, or Your continued acceptance of Our email following the posting of changes to this Agreement or any other rules or regulations related to use of the Service will signify Your acceptance of the changes. Please check this page frequently for any changes.
Rose, we hope that this information answers any questions you may have and gives you a better understanding of the TOS violations as well as resolving the matter. We are very concerned with any attack on the integrity of our games, consumer reward program, and the websites in which they exist. Thank you for taking the time to voice your concern.
NAME: Netwinner LLC
CONTACT: Mr. Matt Coapman
ADDRESS: 1427 South Blvd Ste 200
Charlotte, NC 28203-4261
PHONE: 704 347-8850
FAX: 704 347-8852
Complaint status: Consumer rejects business’ final offer (More)
The information which was provided to your company is false and at no time did I play with multiple windows or at multiple sites. I would also be curious as to which game they claimed I got those points at because..I hated the money wheel and I like playing the Banko Game Only. I do not know how this company has been allowed to accuse so many people of cheating or violating the Terms of Service playing their games..but it seems to me that they are providing the same answer and excuse for not paying honest players what they are deserving of. Further…if in fact I was playing multiple windows as they claim I was..and if in fact..according to their reply fraudulant activity is reviewed at the time of cashout..then why did it take them until they quit paying everyone to claim and lie that I cheated them along with countless other honest players? I would also like to add that everyone including myself had problems when closing one game and going to another site to play and an error message would appear and still does appear on the screen that multiple windows are not allowed and if you feel this is in error clike here. As recently as May 20th, 2008..I was still having the same problems with the same error message..and I contacted Customer Support regarding this..To Whom it May Concern:
I was playing the contest at earlier this evening..I logged off
at approximately 8 pm est to watch a program on television and I closed the game
window out before I left. It is 9:16 pm est now and I just logged on to to finish my spins in the contest for today and received a
screen which said multiple game windows is a violation of the terms of
service..if you believe this to be in error clik I did and the game
screen opened. I dont want to be accused of cheating so I wanted to make
someone aware that this has has happend to me in the past..I just
thought it was a game glitch but since all of the changes took place..and the
company is saying there is fraud going on..I dont want to be placed in that
category..thank you.
I was told as follows: Thank you for contacting Customer Support. Make sure and clear your cookies and cache, closeout your browser then reopen. This will help you in this error received.
Therefore, if as they stated in their response to you..I was cheaing or violating their so called TOS which they change to suit themselves without even a warning or notice to anyone..then why wasnt I notified..instead of being told to clear my cache and dump cookies.
I would like to continue to persue this issue because Netwinner is lying about me..I am an honest player and at no time did I ever ever try to cheat them. Furthermore…if I was cheating them and they didnt wish to honor my cashouts for the debit cards then why on May 13th..when I contacted them regarding the length of time I had been waiting for my prizes did I receive this response from them.
From: Rose Keeler
Sent: Mon 5/5/2008 8:28 AM
Subject: cash out
To Whom it May Concern:
I am writing to inquire about my cashouts and prizes pending. It has been 5
months now since I cashed in my points. I would like to know when I can expect
to receive them.
Thank you,
Rose Keeler
and their answer to me was this:
Dear Player
Thank you for contacting Netwinner Customer Support. We are sorry but at this time we are unable to redeem points for cash. This has been done in oder to cut back on the large amounts of fraud and liability we have been facing. We are very sorry but we would like to apologize and we returned double the points you used in making your transaction. Again we apologize for the trouble we have caused you.
Customer Support, Netwinner
Why would they give back points in double to me if I was cheating them?? Why wasnt my account terminated??? It is a simple answer…because I was not cheating them..just like hundreds of others in the same situation that I am in and arent going to ever get paid what is owed to them..
That is my posiition on this matter please continue to persue whatever avenues are open to me. Thank You.

thecommittee June 20, 2008 at 12:46 am

Shansgram, I share your anger. They would accuse God himself of cheating if it meant money in their own pockets. I realize there are worse crimes and offenses but I find what they’re doing to be completely self-serving and reprehensible. If the authorities allow them to continue doing business then there are some serious, serious flaws in the system, that’s for damn sure.

shansgram June 21, 2008 at 1:41 pm

Thank you for your sure is a shame..their response made me feel like a crook. I am sure it made others feel the same way. Sad part is they will get away with all of this.

Becky January 4, 2009 at 8:34 am

Note to readers: I had to close this post to new comments thanks to a barrage of comment spam. If you have new information regarding Boomertowne, please contact me by email — thanks!

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