Gift Card Update - Please Read

BBW Talks Toys BBW Talks Toys
Quote:
Originally posted by Jaimes
Unfortunately, the 'more often than not phrase' is pretty accurate. Rachel and I processed 3 orders totaling somewhere over $5000 in gift card points just last week. We aren't at the end of an era, we're just moving into a smarter way ... More
This is weird. And it makes me wonder if the orders I've placed recently were part of this as I cashed in quite a few GCs. (I placed a pretty large order getting ready for an interview I'm doing live in my city and I was buying some swag... I don't even get to play with what I bought )
08/16/2011
Rachel K Rachel K
I hear you, Waterfall.

It's like Jaimes was saying in her previous post: This is temporary.

This is a quick fix to eliminate abusers while we work on modifications to reward awesome non-abusers.

We know this is a jarring update, but it is not permanent!
08/16/2011
BBW Talks Toys BBW Talks Toys
Quote:
Originally posted by Kindred
I think they're talking about multiple accounts combining points to get that total. I'm sure it wouldn't be too difficult for someone knowledgeable to crest a bit that farms points and create hundreds of accounts and combine the totals.
But I thought there were safeguards about IP addresses and all that because of this.
08/16/2011
P'Gell P'Gell
Quote:
Originally posted by Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
I understand this, but it means I will have to hold off on an order until something gets fixed, which means I won't be writing as many reviews.

I mean, how many of us reviewers have higher end toys and have been one of the first reviews ... More
Exactly. I guess I won't be getting either that G4 Elegance or that Eleven ANY time soon. Maybe never at all...
08/16/2011
Rachel K Rachel K
Quote:
Originally posted by BBW Talks Toys
This is weird. And it makes me wonder if the orders I've placed recently were part of this as I cashed in quite a few GCs. (I placed a pretty large order getting ready for an interview I'm doing live in my city and I was buying some swag... ... More
Those are totally different from the abuse orders we've seen, BBW. Now wipe that sweat and that tear of those smileys/emoticons!
08/16/2011
BBW Talks Toys BBW Talks Toys
Quote:
Originally posted by Chilipepper
Perhaps a limit on gift cards used per order?
That's what they're doing... We're trying to come up with solutions to make it that only one GC for points is used, but we still get to use our earned GCs from things like rumbles and videos in the same order.
08/16/2011
Chilipepper Chilipepper
Quote:
Originally posted by BBW Talks Toys
That's what they're doing... We're trying to come up with solutions to make it that only one GC for points is used, but we still get to use our earned GCs from things like rumbles and videos in the same order.
Sorry, I meant to say 'limit the number' like to two or three (or four) instead of a couple of dozen. I have two accidentally made gift cards that are only worth $3 and $8.
08/16/2011
Rachel K Rachel K
Quote:
Originally posted by BBW Talks Toys
That's what they're doing... We're trying to come up with solutions to make it that only one GC for points is used, but we still get to use our earned GCs from things like rumbles and videos in the same order.
Yes, we definitely want to make sure that any hard work you guys do as contributors is rewarded.
08/16/2011
indiglo indiglo
I can't imagine how anyone could manage to get that many points! I do everything by the book, and it would take me YEARS to even get close to that total. I have always wondered how EF manages to make this point/gift card system work - and I guess with people getting $5,000 worth of merchandise for free you really can't make it work. I have also used multiple GC on orders, I'll sometimes have 29 cents or $4 left over from a previous one, and I just use it on my next order because I hate to waste. But my orders have never even been close to that big.

Maybe you could put a cap on how much you can spend in GC in a certain time period? I'm glad to know this is just a temporary ban while you figure out a long term solution. Honestly, EF has been a real blessing to me and my man, and we'll gladly wait this out until a solution can be found.
08/16/2011
Kindred Kindred
Quote:
Originally posted by BBW Talks Toys
But I thought there were safeguards about IP addresses and all that because of this.
I'm not that tech savvy, but I'm sure there are ways around any safeguard. No system is foolproof. Also, as far as I can tell, the only time I've gotten the "excessive use from this IP" warning had been with review voting. There are lots of other ways to spam points that would be less obvious. I'm glad to heart this is only temporary and hope a better permanent solution is implemented quickly.
08/16/2011
Rachel K Rachel K
Quote:
Originally posted by indiglo
I can't imagine how anyone could manage to get that many points! I do everything by the book, and it would take me YEARS to even get close to that total. I have always wondered how EF manages to make this point/gift card system work - and I ... More
Thanks, Indiglo. You guys won't have long to wait!
08/16/2011
Vaccinium Vaccinium
Quote:
Originally posted by Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
I understand this, but it means I will have to hold off on an order until something gets fixed, which means I won't be writing as many reviews.

I mean, how many of us reviewers have higher end toys and have been one of the first reviews ... More
I have probably $300 in gift cards that I've earned via various methods and another $140 in points saved up. I was about to place an order over $100 using the earned gift cards, but like you, I'll hold off until this temporary situation is remedied. Separating the earned GCs from the points-derived gift cards is definitely the best option, but it isn't perfect, as you've pointed out.

I do concur with BBWTT, how on Earth can you get that many points? I mean, although I by no means try and milk every point possible each day, I have built up about $140 in points over the past eight months, and that is still an order of magnitude less than $1400. The only thing I can think of is that someone with multiple accounts has been milking the system and then combining all the cards on one order. Otherwise, I don't think it is possible to get $1400 in points in anything under a year.
08/16/2011
Jaimes Jaimes
Quote:
Originally posted by P'Gell
FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS? It takes me months to earn $100.00!

When I said "an end of an era" I guess it meant for me. I won't be able to place many orders with only being able to use one GF, because it takes me MONTHS to get enough ... More
We already have moderators in place to catch issues like that, but as Kindred mentioned, people have found ways around our system. We have a way to work it out that makes you guys (our amazing contributing community) happy, but deters the people taking advantage of our program. This fix is much like your early suggestions, we are just in the programming phase, and after Rachel and I pulled out every hair on our head looking at those orders last week, we had to get something in place. So please mind the word temporary, everyone. That's what this is: TEMPORARY.

Positive things are on the way.
08/16/2011
Starkiller87 Starkiller87
1400 AND 5000 WHAT! I think there should be a way to crack down on multiple acts with ip addys. I dont see how anyone could point farm on one act like that. My mind is blown. I dont understand people at all.
08/16/2011
Rachel K Rachel K
Quote:
Originally posted by Kindred
I'm not that tech savvy, but I'm sure there are ways around any safeguard. No system is foolproof. Also, as far as I can tell, the only time I've gotten the "excessive use from this IP" warning had been with review voting. There ... More
We're going 100mph, Kindred, no joke! Haha

Yeah, it's like Eddie Izzard says: "There's always a back door!"

We do believe it is multiple accounts, linked to multiple emails, in the midst of using multiple IP addresses so they can get around a lot of the IP safeguards.

Of course, we are still investigating, but that's something we've considered, too.
08/16/2011
Dawn (Lilac Distraction) Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
Quote:
Originally posted by indiglo
I can't imagine how anyone could manage to get that many points! I do everything by the book, and it would take me YEARS to even get close to that total. I have always wondered how EF manages to make this point/gift card system work - and I ... More
Putting a limit on how much you can spend in a certain time period also hurts those who are earning gift cards, or saving them up to make large purchases. People who are doing the massive farming would probably just cut the orders down, but still end up doing it.

Stupid hackers ruining it for those of us who are extremely dedicated to the community.

Since I won't be ordering until this gets fixed, I guess I'll just sit here and rack up points by going about my daily activities.
08/16/2011
BBW Talks Toys BBW Talks Toys
Quote:
Originally posted by Kindred
I'm not that tech savvy, but I'm sure there are ways around any safeguard. No system is foolproof. Also, as far as I can tell, the only time I've gotten the "excessive use from this IP" warning had been with review voting. There ... More
Me too.

I stand by my "account" idea. Having an account that has all our GCs (that are not point based), one that has our affiliate commissions, and then just having GCs for Points would eliminate that for many of the reviewers who are by the book.

Also, a way to distinguish a live, physical GC. I just purchased one to give away at my interview to the audience. If, by some weird fate, the winner was already a contributor, then there would be a need to differentiate that GC from their other points, etc.
08/16/2011
Vaccinium Vaccinium
Quote:
Originally posted by Jaimes
We already have moderators in place to catch issues like that, but as Kindred mentioned, people have found ways around our system. We have a way to work it out that makes you guys (our amazing contributing community) happy, but deters the people ... More
And to everyone who just read this, take note that if you've ever suspected someone of point farming and didn't report it, you shouldn't be too surprised that this was the outcome.
08/16/2011
Vaccinium Vaccinium
Quote:
Originally posted by Rachel K
We're going 100mph, Kindred, no joke! Haha

Yeah, it's like Eddie Izzard says: "There's always a back door!"

We do believe it is multiple accounts, linked to multiple emails, in the midst of using multiple IP ... More
Is there language in the user agreement that limits the number of accounts that can be used to create gift cards on one order? If there isn't, there should be. If there is, then you have a case to make for someone committing fraud.
08/16/2011
Dawn (Lilac Distraction) Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
I was reading on some other thread that the "Pending Verification" order status is because the gift cards or assignments are being double checked, and that each one is manually checked in the system?
08/16/2011
BBW Talks Toys BBW Talks Toys
Quote:
Originally posted by Vaccinium
Is there language in the user agreement that limits the number of accounts that can be used to create gift cards on one order? If there isn't, there should be. If there is, then you have a case to make for someone committing fraud.
If fraud was committed by the heavy farmers, I think a lawsuit or criminal charges would be a very fair course of action.
08/16/2011
Jaimes Jaimes
So just to give you guys a taste of what to expect, we will be doing away with converting points to gift cards. Points will be linked to the account that earned them, and then those points will be available to spend towards your order. As soon as this is in place, gift cards return to normal.
08/16/2011
Rachel K Rachel K
Quote:
Originally posted by Vaccinium
Is there language in the user agreement that limits the number of accounts that can be used to create gift cards on one order? If there isn't, there should be. If there is, then you have a case to make for someone committing fraud.
I do believe there is literature in the agreement, yes. I have received many phone calls like this:

Caller: Why my account locked?
Me: Please hold.
Check with JR, Check with JR, Check with JR.
JR: Yeah, she's got four accounts linked to that IP. She is not allowed to have that. We have contacted her multiple times and have locked her account.
Me: (relays JR's answer)
Caller: Oh. Uh. Yeah. Uh. I let my, uh, neighbor use my IP address.

So, there are ways to catch them if they're, you know, using it from the same IP address, but when they branch out to different sources it gets harder to find it. :/
08/16/2011
Vaccinium Vaccinium
Quote:
Originally posted by Jaimes
So just to give you guys a taste of what to expect, we will be doing away with converting points to gift cards. Points will be linked to the account that earned them, and then those points will be available to spend towards your order. As soon as ... More
Seems fair.
08/16/2011
Red Vinyl Kitty Red Vinyl Kitty
Quote:
Originally posted by Jaimes
So just to give you guys a taste of what to expect, we will be doing away with converting points to gift cards. Points will be linked to the account that earned them, and then those points will be available to spend towards your order. As soon as ... More
That seems like an awesome solution. I'm with so many others on this one. I love to save my points up to make big purchases rather than a bunch of smaller ones, but I think this is definitely the most fair to all.
08/16/2011
Vaccinium Vaccinium
Quote:
Originally posted by Rachel K
I do believe there is literature in the agreement, yes. I have received many phone calls like this:

Caller: Why my account locked?
Me: Please hold.
Check with JR, Check with JR, Check with JR.
JR: Yeah, she's got four accounts ... More
I have no doubt it is difficult to police, but clearly that's what happened.

Hopefully EF has a legal case against these point farmers, but I suspect not.
08/16/2011
Dawn (Lilac Distraction) Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
Quote:
Originally posted by Rachel K
I do believe there is literature in the agreement, yes. I have received many phone calls like this:

Caller: Why my account locked?
Me: Please hold.
Check with JR, Check with JR, Check with JR.
JR: Yeah, she's got four accounts ... More
What if my roommate wanted to become a reviewer? We'd be on the same IP. The reason he hasn't set up an account is because I told him about the IP thing and I know Miss Nessa has had problems with it. I didn't want there to be any idea that there was fraud going on.
08/16/2011
Kindred Kindred
Quote:
Originally posted by Jaimes
So just to give you guys a taste of what to expect, we will be doing away with converting points to gift cards. Points will be linked to the account that earned them, and then those points will be available to spend towards your order. As soon as ... More
That's the best thing I've read in this thread. Thanks.

As a total aside, isn't it theoretically possible for a farmer to earn enough points to buy a physical GC and apply multiple codes to an order, thereby circumventing the system again?
08/16/2011
indiglo indiglo
Quote:
Originally posted by Jaimes
So just to give you guys a taste of what to expect, we will be doing away with converting points to gift cards. Points will be linked to the account that earned them, and then those points will be available to spend towards your order. As soon as ... More
Sounds like a very reasonable solution. Hopefully that will make it easier on you guys, but shouldn't penalize those of us who aren't trying to be devious.
08/16/2011
P'Gell P'Gell
Quote:
Originally posted by BBW Talks Toys
That's what they're doing... We're trying to come up with solutions to make it that only one GC for points is used, but we still get to use our earned GCs from things like rumbles and videos in the same order.
OK, I'm confused. We can STILL use out points from daily activity PLUS videos, rumbles, contests etc on the same order?

What if we have tiny money left over from other orders? That, from what I can see, will go to waste.

I'm confused.
08/16/2011
Total posts: 355
Unique posters: 93