Why do I have to pay to be paid?

Why do I have to pay to be paid? Free members are the backbone of any TE or Viral Mailer. Without them the program would not last long. Yet they are treated as second class citizens. On some sites the free members can be offered and claim cash prizes, but until they upgrade/pay they cannot cashout. Why? This is really unethical and wrong. Those same free members are producing the majority of your traffic.

Here is a post by Randy Howard on the same subject.

“Enough is Enough…

Okay – I have tried to be nice about this. I have tried to encourage owners of Traffic Exchanges & Viral Mailers to stop enticing members at their systems with cash prizes just to encourage them to be active and then having a payout policy that does not allow FREE members to include those cash prizes in their payouts.

This is unethical and bad business. The only ones that are being hurt by this practice are the members who continue to use and support those owners who are doing nothing more than ripping them off.

Yes I may tarnish my name and cause a lot of owners to not like me, but it’s worth it if it gets these type of systems offline.

Read the Terms of Service, FAQ’s, Commission section, and the members home page for a systems payout policy. If it’s not listed anywhere on the website – contact the owner and ask for them.

You have been warned and if you use or continue to use systems that supports these practices you are only encouraging the continued use of this practice. The only way to get these owners to change is to STOP USING and STOP PROMOTING them until they change their policy or they are forced out of business.

Boycott any Traffic Exchange or Viral Mailer that does not take care of you and the other members.

Remember – you are spending your time and effort to make these owners money and you are getting nothing in return.

It’s all up to you as a member – if you do nothing – nothing will change.

I know that a lot of owners are in this chat were not at all to pleased with me the last post I made about Boycotting systems… to bad I am not here to win a popularity contest – but provide members an ethical business model that they can use to earn with and if you are one of the owners who are offended by this message and have these policies at your sites – this is directed at you.”

Lets hear your feelings on this.




18 thoughts on “Why do I have to pay to be paid?

  1. I am thankful to Randy for standing up for his members’ rights.

    If a member is surfing they are working for the owner. If the owner has promos and cash prizes, the member should be paid any earned/won cash just the same as if it was credits. If they don’t want to pay cash to members then the owners should not have cash on their sites.

    I am at or above payout limit on a lot of sites but I would have to buy an upgrade to be paid. That is like gambling, if I buy the upgrade will the owner even pay?

    Why would I want to even be a part of a TE that tells me I MUST be a paid member for at least 2 months before I can request the money in MY account to be paid to me?

    The real pisser is when they say you are cheating after you buy an upgrade and request payout. How did I cheat? I PAID them to request the money I earned honestly!

    Take Randy’s advice and stick with sites that have clearly written terms and pay all members. Not just the chosen few buddies the owners decides to pay.

    Have a very Merry Christmas!

  2. I have quit surfing on a bunch of TE sites that asks for upgrade to be paid and I have started eliminating those TE site that mandate the use of a gravatar that they want displayed on their site.

    If their site offer prizes for surfing, then, the person surfing should actually receive those prizes.

    I have sent support tickets to those webmasters who mandate ‘rules’ before payouts and let them know my thoughts on the subject.

    There are many PTC sites that operate like that, also. They demand upgrades; then, you either wait forever for a payout, or they never pay you; never answer their support tics, etc.

    Do not advertise sites that do not pay. AND, if a site refuses to pay,
    there are plenty of websites that collect reviews where you may relay that information.

    In the Spirit of Christmas, be a help to others in their search for good paying sites. Merry Christmas to all !

  3. Well put Darlene, a big thank you to Randy for bringing this to the table. Lets all work together to educate others, as a traffic exchange owner I feel that is part of my job.
    Here’s a thought, If a owner does not want to pay free members than make the TE/Mailer a all pro site.
    Happy Holidays to all!

  4. Excellent blog post, Carl and Randy. If those that have this problem would send you a PM, you can print a list of the ones that having free members working for nothing. If you post it in the blog, the TE owners can’t delete the post or any question members have that cost them money. We all know if they don’t like what you say, they simply delete your post and make like all are happy. There’s always a way to fight City Hall.

    Happy Holidays

  5. I dont know what to say but I totally agree with you.
    It’s better if there are no cash prize at all if they dont intend to pay free members.

  6. I agree entirely but it just confirms to me that traffic exchanges now are not about exchanging traffic. They are not about advertising your site and building your business…..if people are surfing just to earn a few pennies what is the point of me spending my advertising dollar there?

    Of course there are still some great exchanges out there,,,,usually those which have been around for a long time and whose owners get what a traffic exchange is all about!

    Happy Holidays 🙂

  7. Great comments put here by fellow surfers and the site admin. Rightly put why put out conditions on payout like being upgraded etc etc. there are TE owners who keep on coming up with sites after sites when they are not catering properly to payout issues of existing members on their existing websites.
    TE owners should also remember that not everyone can get upgraded everywhere.only if some TE sounds good then the surfer would be enticed to upgrade on it.
    Now one question from my end. suppose a TE owner entices you with good bucks at start of his/her TE and you upgrade say annualy or lifetime on that site.Once enough members take up paid membership and then the TE owner decides to slow down the prizes he was doling out earlier, then what a paid member on that site should to. In my one year of surfing experience I have seen some TE owners doing this trick of giving out good cash/prizes at start and reducing them to trickle once enough members come on board and take up paid membership.

  8. Why do you expect to get paid to advertise. In the real world you pay to advertise.
    Like Kieth said: “it just confirms to me that traffic exchanges now are not about exchanging traffic. They are not about advertising your site and building your business”

  9. Exactly, why some owners put in so many prizes that cannot afford to pay just to promise surfers a pot of gold and then renig by putting more things in TOS and often changing them because they cannot afford to pay is, if not illegal, it is not ethical. There are enough sites that do not do this so I suggest also not only reading tos but to reread them occasionally. As I have found some have started putting in many hoops

  10. I’d love to know which TE’s are doing this.

    Fact remains, only a very very very very few TE’s are real businesses and owners that treat it as such.

    This is very interesting Carl, I hope you can skype and let me know who demand this of their members.

  11. This issue does keep being raised in various blogs etc, and it does need to be continuously brought to peoples attention, so thanks Carl, for getting the word out again…

    Another associated aspect seems to be when a site changes ownership and the new owner puts an embargo on cashing out earnings prior to the takeover. Surely any prior earnings of the members should be factored into any decision to take over a site, and, assuming some sort of monetary transaction occurs between the new and old owners for the transfer of the site, should be included in any calculation of such transaction.

  12. Sooo many conflicting opinions. Let’s deal with the first one.

    “If a member is surfing they are working for the owner.”

    If that is the case then you better follow HIS rules or get fired.

    Agree – “owners should not have cash on their sites.” period. without a contract that IS gambling and illegal on two fronts. ONE the owner does not have a licence from the proper authorities that allows them to do this. That is fraud.
    Two: Who presents a contract between the affilliate and the owner to permit them to gamble?
    On a site is not an open invitation. Both privacy and TOS should cover this correctly for free and upgraded members conditional on that licence to promote cash offers.

  13. I don’t surf for cash but I was unaware there were sites enticing people to surf for cash and then requiring them to be upgraded members to cash out. That is completely unethical. If you can’t afford to pay free members cash for surfing, then just don’t do it. Bait and switch is not cool. ever.

  14. I totally agree, I have been on line trying to earn a living for many years. I have been ripped off more time than I can count by all kinds of sites. You work for months to get to payout and then you find out the admin has disappeared. Always check places that monitor the sites and read all the terms of service so are better informed before you join any site.

  15. Amazing! I have owned Penguin Traffic since 2012 and last year my admin started paying surfers x amount for x pages surfed. We never even considered making them upgrade that is a horrible business practice

  16. If someone wins money, they should be given the money! Prize winnings should not require a paid-membership. A prize is supposed to be free. If people are surfing for prize winnings, they are part of the audience that’s viewing ads, the same as paid members and those who are not prize-surfing. Every surfer is important because they see our ads. If people are not treated properly, they stop surfing at those sites and they won’t see our ads there, and any loss of viewers is a bad thing for everyone.

  17. I totally agree. I learned the hard way several years back. Joined a site and paid for the lifetime upgrade. Then I learned my winnings could not be cashed out unless I had a percentage from referral upgrades.

    On top of that, a few months down the road, the owner changed the amount of credits earned from 1 to a half credit per page.

    My feelings are if an owner does not want to pay out winnings from surf prizes, then don’t offer them.

    It’s bad business to me. Just my opinion.

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