Boomertowne Newsletter Omits Mention of Points

August 13, 2008 · 7 comments

Update, 9/22: is down for good. Read the email from site founder Herschel Peddicord here.
Update 8/20: Again this week, no mention of points in Boomertowne’s newsletter.
A sign of what’s to come? I would certainly think so.
Two weeks ago, I posted about the growing backlog of GCs at Boomertowne. Nothing appears to have changed since then — my 5/9 redemption is still listed as “pending” despite the fact the site says that “BoomerTowne Points orders may take 6-8 weeks for delivery based on availability.” It has now been a month and a half since BTVoice, the site’s owner, has posted on the site.
I noticed something quite conspicuously absent from yesterday’s Boomertowne Community News email: any mention of “points.”
Going back a few emails, all of the BT Community News mails I saved had at least some mention of points:
8/5: “…submit your video to the BoomerVision Videos Contest, and you may just win some bonus BoomerTowne Points.”
7/29: “…starting August 1st, submit your photos and videos for the August contests. Your entry may just earn you some bonus BoomerTowne Points.”
“…To be eligible for the Gold/Platinum Citizen drawing, all you need to do is earn BoomerTowne Points.”
“Learn more about becoming a Gold/Platinum Citizen | Login and start earning points.”
7/8: “If your video is voted as one of the top three winning videos for July, you’ll earn bonus BT points.”
I didn’t save any newsletters between 7/8 and 5/27, but points discussion was all throughout the 5/27 newsletter (that’s when they announced that new members after 6/1 would have to pay double the points for redemptions).
Out of curiosity, I logged out of BT then visited its home page to see how it would look to non-members. There’s no mention of points there, either (except for the menu option to go to BT Points).
You don’t have to be a genius to see what’s coming. The only question is how BoomerTowne will go about phasing out their points and to what extent they will honor redemptions in progress. I don’t know if BTVoice or his employees visit here, but if they do, I’d like to give them some advice:
Don’t pull a NetWinner.
Don’t take the easy route out and say, “We don’t do GCs anymore and too bad if you’ve been waiting on one.” That may seem like an “easy” way out, but you will pay such a high price in lost goodwill, in terribly negative PR, that you will wish you had just paid what you owed. People will understand if points have to be phased out. Businesses do promotional gimmicks to get people in the door, then pull them when they get popular and no longer need the gimmick, or when they can’t afford to continue it. That’s business; we get it. Some people will complain. Those are the ones who weren’t at BT for the content. You didn’t need them anyway. The others will applaud you for “doing the right thing,” and for being honest and openly communicating the decision and the reasons why.
You have an incredible opportunity here to take advantage of the lessons NW taught us on how NOT to handle this. Handle it differently.
You did good by scaling back (or stopping) the promoting of the points aspect of the site. Now you need to go all the way and ditch them altogether. It’s irresponsible to continue allowing members to earn points when you’re in doubt about when (or if) their redemptions can be sent.
Go ahead and make the announcement. Be prepared for the initial firestorm caused by the shock and disappointment. But honor the points in the pipe now. Earn bonus goodwill by allowing members who are THISCLOSE to redemption to get SOMETHING for their points, if not going ahead and bumping up to the cashout.
What you’ll lose in money and in “fair-weather friends” type members, you’ll regain exponentially in loyalty and respect from those who feel you communicated honestly and treated them fairly. If I can help or advise further, email me. I’ll even waive my consulting fees. Your decisions will impact a lot of people and I’d be happy to help however I can.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Ginger August 13, 2008 at 12:27 pm

Well said my friend. I don’t have much to add but one tiny thought. I was the winner of a trivia contest. My prize was a BT hat. I was sent an email (probably automated) requesting that I respond with the correct mailing address so they could send it to me.
My first thought was if they can send me an email to confirm my mailing address it seems to me that they’d be light years ahead of the game to write one honest email and blast it to the members about what is going on with them there in corporate headquarters.
So as I sat there looking at this email and knowing that they WOULD READ IT, it took the opportunity to respond and add a request to please toss in the 3 gift certificates they owed me and that would help on the postage being quadrupled.
Will they do it? I am betting not at this point in time. I haven’t bugged them with 50 emails asking for my GC and wasting their time and mine. I haven’t blasted them on message boards or on my sites either. I have been fairly quiet and patient.
I’ll let you know if I get the hat or the GCs. I can tell you the hat won’t be worn to give them further free advertising if I am not paid. I wasn’t born yesterday and I didn’t fall off the turnip truck and get brain damage. Let the chips fall…..


pkb143 August 13, 2008 at 12:38 pm

A very timely article, Becky! and good advice for BT –”don’t pull a Netwinner.”
I had just posted this at BT earlier today:
I have to agree with some previous posters who said this is beginning to sound eerily like what happened at Netwinner, with an exception being you don’t have mods coming in every two minutes to tell you to be patient, you WILL BE paid, that BT is not like all the others, yada yada yada.
Thankfully I haven’t accumulated enough points here to cash out, but for a while, I was pretty busy fighting Netwinner.
So from someone who’s been there (lost $200 in redemptions at Netwinner), a word of advice:
Start saving everything! Get screenshots of your account, your prize redemptions, anything and everything that may be useful to document what you were promised and what you’ve requested. You never know….but it really becomes difficult to do this after the fact, especially if they start deleting things here like they did at Netwinner.
However, having said that, I really hope history doesn’t repeat itself here. GL to everyone who’s waiting.


Kim August 13, 2008 at 1:50 pm

It’s hard for me to swallow the fact that BT has gone downhill so much since I joined just a short 10 months ago! I won some kind of referral contest for telling people about BT, didn’t realized it until I got an email that I won $2500, which is alot! I got my check promptly as well as my gift cards up until May of 2008. I want to keep being an advocate for BT, but its hard. I remember when there was naysayer and BTVoice would address that on his page and even said that they will follow-through. He did get annoyed that everyone kept complaining about the prizes, but never did much. I do have a feeling a big change is coming, but like you, hope that they will meet their current obligation and if they can’t afford to keep the point system, to slowly fade it out, and not pull a NW. Although I long stop playing NW before the incident, I still had accumulated points from my referral enough to cashed out, and it still annoys me that they never paid! I, and alot of BT’er have alot more to lose here then with NW..


tlnblue August 16, 2008 at 3:14 pm

Nice article, Miss Becky! I know what I’m about to say goes against the very fabric of yours and several other of my friend’s objectives, but it’s where I’ve been pushed to both emotionally and mentally….and I hope you all will understand. I’m tired and drained from the fierce fight with Netwinner. I have no desire to repeat it. The only conclusion I can come to is to no longer join any of these rewards programs because I refuse to contribute one more second of my time to this consumer abuse, this online corporate unjust enrichment. I may append my decision once the laws change to better protect consumers, but for now that is my decision. But, not only have I decided to cease participation except for MyPoints, which has always delivered, I’ve also decided to discontinue patronizing and purchasing any products and services from any of these advertisers unless I physically search out the business myself. From this point on I will no longer click a banner or advertisement found on any of these sites.


BT Help August 20, 2008 at 10:42 am

This is what one of the contractors told me when I forwarded the article to her:
Well the newsletter wasn’t intentional, as I write the copy for them. But I honestly didn’t want to mention the points since there have been so many questions out there lately about points. Plus, the purpose of the site isn’t the points, and so I decided not to emphasize points for a change. Oh well.


kmp September 22, 2008 at 1:20 pm

Interesting. When I first joined BT, the better “gifts” were available after achieving 10,000 pts. As I don’t visit the site too often, it took me a while to obtain that many points. Just as soon as I did, of course, they were not offering anything for under 25,000 pts.! Crazy. Oh well, looks like they don’t ship you the stuff anyway. Cannot get the site to open at ALL today, maybe they’re down for good. Too bad, it was a good idea. Anyone know of a similar site for us golden-oldies?


gtm2850 September 29, 2008 at 8:01 am

I miss!!! I LOVE the site, especially the triva contest and games!!! The GCs were a nice bonus, but I’d still visit the site without them. So, you didn’t get something free for visiting the site. Get over it! You didn’t pay anything for the membership or the points. PLEASE bring back Boomertowne!!!!


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