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Interview with Bubblews founder Arvind Dixit

Updated on December 19, 2014
This interview put important questions to the Bubblews CEO.
This interview put important questions to the Bubblews CEO. | Source

Bubblews is an internet writing site that professes to pay writers half of what their content earns from advertisers. Individual posts can be as short as 400 characters, making the site popular with non-native English speakers.

Unfortunately, Bubblews has been the subject of numerous complaints from disgruntled authors. Many didn't receive their payments despite following all of the rules that Bubblews claims to enforce. After months of protestation, some of these authors received their earnings together with an apology from Bubblews. Will the thousands of other unpaid writers get their money back too? Unless they start sending a barrage of complaints, probably not.

Getting an interview with Arvind was surprisingly easy.
Getting an interview with Arvind was surprisingly easy. | Source

Getting An Interview

To address these concerns, an interview was sought with Bubblews founder, Arvind Dixit. Helpfully, Arvind had placed a request for interviews on the Bubblews website, and it was easy to send him a list of questions. I was ecstatic when he sent this reply:

"We will get these answers to you as soon as we can. Would you be willing to throw in a few questions that helps get our story out? You may not believe me now but in time you will see that we honestly are the ones fighting to get people what they deserve."

After adding some conciliatory questions, I sat back and waited for answers. Three weeks passed without reply, so I decided to write a polite email asking if he'd forgotten. I promptly received the following from Arvind:

"Yes. I have not forgot but when we opened us up for interviews we had no idea that THIS many would be requested from us. I will try to get these answers out to you within the next week or two. I appreciate your patience."

Now, 3 months later, I present you with the interview...

Unfortunately, there were a few problems with our interview.
Unfortunately, there were a few problems with our interview. | Source

Interview with Arvind

1. What motivated you to create the Bubblews website?

Arvind: No comment

2. Why were a number of rule-abiding Bubblers not paid when they redeemed?

Arvind: No comment

3. Now that you’ve started paying some of these rule-abiding writers back, do you accept that in the intervening months they were justified in thinking Bubblews was a scam website?

Arvind: No comment

4. I was a writer who was paid back after months in the dark. When I was finally paid, you were able to confirm my back-pending redemption in about an hour. If you had that information so readily available, why did I have to contact you to get my payment?

Arvind: No comment

5. Why did you ignore a large number of messages and emails that were sent to Bubblews about unpaid redemptions?

Arvind: No comment

6. Do you accept that not replying to those messages made Bubblews look even more like a scam site?

Arvind: No comment

7. Do you accept that saying “we were overworked and understaffed” is not an excuse that would stand up in a legal argument?

Arvind: No comment

8. When people supposedly violated your Terms of Use, why were they not told what they did wrong?

Arvind: No comment

9. Are there rules that are not listed in your Terms of Use? For example, do all images need to be properly attributed, even those taken with personal cameras?

Arvind: No comment

10. When authors click the redeem button, why is there no confirmation message to acknowledge that the request for payment has been received, and why is there no record of requested payments that authors can see?

Arvind: No comment

11. A number of people who appear to be affiliated with Bubblews are pretending to be happy customers when they comment on other people's blogs and hubs. Are people who work for Bubblews promoting and marketing the site in this way? For example, does the name "Alea Din" mean anything to you?

Arvind: No comment

12. What do you intend to do to address the aforementioned issues and improve the Bubblews site?

Arvind: No comment

If you'd like to ask Arvind about fluffy bunnies and bubble gum, go ahead.
If you'd like to ask Arvind about fluffy bunnies and bubble gum, go ahead. | Source

Why Ask For Interviews?

Arvind's lack of response was no surprise. I had already looked at the interviews he'd done with other writers. It was clear he was only answering trivial and innocuous questions about how wonderful and inspirational he purports to be. Indeed, he would rather answer frivolous questions such as what superhero he wants to be and what attributes he shares with his mother.

The purpose behind his request for interviews was to launch a positive PR campaign that could combat the barrage of negative articles about his site. Perhaps a better way to combat criticism would have been to either pay people what they're owed, or be honest about what his site offers.

The reason for this article is twofold. First, I had already spent a lot of time composing these questions, so I didn't want them to go to waste. Second, people need to know the truth about Bubblews. The questions present a lot of important information about the site's problems. Frankly, too, his silence speaks volumes.

© 2014 Thomas Swan

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    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      This was an interesting hub, Thomas, about how unreliable the founder of Bubblews is, when it comes to interviewing. What an epic fail. Voted up!

    • UnnamedHarald profile image

      David Hunt 2 years ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

      Simply brilliant. Your questions state volumes. I wrote a few short articles (short for HubPages, loooong for Bubblews) and decided that I couldn't keep up with the volume of crap necessary to generate a payout. It was evident to me that the business model had to fail (though I know some made pretty good money while it lasted). But the thing that really bothered me was the utter silence regarding why many refused payment and what rules were violated.

    • AOkay12 profile image

      AOkay12 2 years ago from Florida

      Arvind has alluded to the fact that they are having some cash flow issues. They are not bringing in enough advertising revenue to pay people what they promised.

      You can read about it here:

      http://www.bubblews.com/news/9766643-perseverance

      It seems that they are blaming some of their money problems on fraudulent activity of members and poor management. He is claiming that they will be reducing some people's redemption balance in order to adjust for the fact that all members benefited from fraudulent activities in some way. Some people saw a dramatic drop in their bank balance after the new year.

      I am just glad that I haven't wasted much time over there.

    • profile image

      bluehype 2 years ago

      Lucky for me I got answered by them on many occasions last December. But the problem with them is they have the same answers over and over again with no real deal! They lack everything from answering email to answering all the legitimate questions writers are asking them.

      These kids really are messing up all the writers who are legit following all the rules up to the last letter but they keep on deleting every now and then like they are changing diapers for every two hours!

      Still, they owe me $551 and I put all my energy and time to earn from the scam site, sorry, i can't mention the name or even write it. I worked hard for it, I'm so excited coming from work and write with passion and joy in my heart writing until 2 a.m. that this site is making progress until that very moment they change everything.

      And... Now... My money is gone on the eve New Year!

      Now this man is really up to something he's not telling anything up until now. It was all the same lines. He's new post underlies another lie after life after lie.

      How can I trust his post while even his words are no meaning to the rest of the writers around the world?

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for relaying those experiences William Todd. You've confirmed many of the things I suspected about employees pretending to be happy customers, and the origins of those spammy comments and articles about how wonderful the site is supposed to be.

      I hear a huge amount of bubblews complaints on my two hubs, so I can confirm that what you're experiencing is quite normal.

      Skipping payments here and there is very common. They probably relegated your status to "normal" rather than "privileged" after the facebook row, meaning you'd be subject to the same payment problems as most other people.

      Being messed about and sent in circles by their ridiculous emails is also very common.

      I'm glad you've left the `dark side' and come to realize how dishonest they are.

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for commenting Sandy Mertens. I don't think many of the writers were committing fraud, though some were certainly breaking some rules. It's fairly clear that most unpaid writers did nothing wrong.

    • profile image

      William Todd 2 years ago

      This was awesome and dead on the mark. I would like to explain my history with Bubblews to everyone. In 2013 a friend messaged for a couple months asking us to join. I knew this person long before there was a Bubblews, she was an admin in my Facebook goups. Later I found she was actually Bubblewssupport1. In February of 2013 (pi.shopandsell) we finally made an account as member 16,400. At this time there was only Support1 and a Moderator as staff. I was asked on many occasions to write articles in favor of Bubblews (per Arvinds request through Support) and I did. I also developed a strategy in a very short time to earn $25 a day which damn near made me famous there. I also coached on the TOS which I knew better than my mother. There came a time (as did before with my "friend") that we did not agree and she could not defend herself and she blocked me on Facebook. After that things got hmm, a little weird. I have 1800 messages saved of me talking to her where there is evidence of favoritism as well as racism. All in all I was still maintaining my account on Bubblews but being a lot less biased. A little time later BBS1 was obsolete, account deleted (I assume reassigned as I saw other posts that were as stupid as the ones she wrote). Come June/July at the format change we were cashing out $50 every 2 days and redemptions were getting "skipped". meaning, they didn't stop paying us (proof of no foul pay on our part) but were actually missing payments. Those payments finally came to a whopping total of $800. I wrote 5 emails to 4 different addresses over a 3 month period with picture proof (that they asked for due to lame excuses) and got no reply. I then wrote articles to draw attention and they got deleted (meaning they knew the issue now). I then posted this comment (see photo) on Arvinds "Ask Me Anything" post and the next day my account was deleted. So, to all of you, if I seem bitter or out to destroy them, now you know why. There was a total betrayal of trust not only as a member, but as a friend. They made their bed, they can lie in it.

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 2 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      This really put a smile on my face. Now they decided to not pay those back payments because of all the fraud of the writers.

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for commenting peachpurple. Yea, Bubblews recently increased the time between applying for payments and getting paid. By doing that, they can scam people out of larger sums of money because most will keep writing during the intervening time.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      he said a lot of times that bubblews will pay but many of us are still waiting after 90 days

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for commenting VioletteRose. I agree that some definitely do get paid. Some even get paid everything they're owed. I think the latter is in the minority.

    • VioletteRose profile image

      VioletteRose 3 years ago from Chicago

      I had no luck with bubblews. It is very clear that some users are getting paid, while many users are not getting paid. It is good that you have put the interview in this hub, and I agree with you "his silence speaks volumes".

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for commenting here kelly. Well, Arvind does appear to see people like commodities, so I won't disagree. I guess the Bubblews intro video makes a lot more sense now.

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks Nadine, I missed your comment here. I agree that selling private information such as personal details, browsing history obtained from cookies, and the information mined from the bubbles people write... is the main profit source for Bubblews. Non-payment is most likely directed at account holders who don't generate much revenue of this kind.

    • profile image

      kelly.truth 3 years ago

      It's very clear that Arvind behaves like a psychopath - if some action does not benefit him in any way, don't do that action. All psychopaths live by this GREAT understanding!

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Great points. I have often wondered why Bubblews can pay so much out ( that is if they have been so lucky) while no other writing side does. That Bubblews is selling private information, according to Buildreps, that might be but I never thought that deleting cookies could be the reasons why some members did not get paid? I must remember that.

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 3 years ago from Europe

      In my second article about Bubblews I included several polls. From one of them comes the knowledge that around 50% never delete their cookies. Exactly the same percentage has gaps in payments - it has the appearance to be no coincidence.

      Bubblews is thriving on selling private information, collected through cookies. But the more regularly you delete them, the larger the chance you won't get paid out.

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Yep, it's pretty clear that the website hasn't improved in terms of paying people what they're owed. I've made a negatively-worded update to my other hub on Bubblews that says as much. I would keep emailing them until they pay you or start ignoring you. If you let them just get away with it, it'll prove to them that they can mess other people about in the same way.

    • Colleen Swan profile image

      Colleen Swan 3 years ago from County Durham

      Their new website:

      I recently made my $50 redemption. I received nothing. Their stupid emails confirm their mendacity.

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for commenting Torrs13. You're one of the lucky ones if you've never missed a payment. I'd estimate that about 50% of the people who've used the site have missed at least one. From what I heard, the changes may be to combat the serial-likers and spam commenters, so that's probably a good thing. It does seem to look different now too... whoops, now I got to delete my cookies again! lol.

    • Torrs13 profile image

      Tori Canonge 3 years ago from California

      I agree that Bubblews has had its fair share of problems, but I have always gotten my payments from them. I hear the site just got updated so I'm curious as to whether that is going to fix some of their issues. I guess only time will tell!

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for commenting Carolyn. I think that's a good strategy. Of course, make sure those posts aren't still on facebook when you post them on bubblews. They will use any excuse to not pay people... or not even bother with an excuse.

    • CarolynEmerick profile image

      Carolyn Emerick 3 years ago

      Hmm, I was just gearing up to give it another go... I may share my older posts from last year on FB, build up to the threshold and see if they pay out this time before wasting time writing any new ones... I am one of the never-paid-ever "Bubblers."

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Hi Nell, thanks for visiting. Lol, yea, I figured this would be a bit disappointing - but hopefully revealing and funny enough to be worthy of publishing. The poor maintenance of the Bubblews site says a lot about the priorities of the owners imo.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      Hiya, well I must say I was sitting comfortably ready to read the secrets of the site! LOL! ah well, just goes to show doesn't it? I write there, and yes I have been paid every single time. its more the fact that it breaks down so often we can't build up a certain amount of contacts or money, but hey I will keep trying!

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for commenting AOkay12. Hopefully your existing bubbles will start earning more money over time. That happened after I went inactive, but the problem was Bubblews refused to pay it when I arrived to redeem. After months of complaints, I got them to pay me, but inactivity seems like an excuse for Bubblews to think they can get away without paying people.

      I couldn't stand the spammers either. Because of the reciprocal nature of the site, there are people who comment on thousands of posts per day with two word comments like "that's interesting" in the hope that a few hundred will comment back. Plenty of others just plagiarize everything they post. Most of the genuine rule-breakers or abusers of the system seem to go unpunished.

      It's true that your bank decreases when you delete a post. I can confirm that. I deleted all 70 of my bubbles and my bank showed minus 49 dollars afterwards lol. It's like they were saying I now owe them money! It's crazy. You're right that those posts have already earned the money they're going to earn from ads, so there's no reason to penalize someone for deleting the post after that money has already been earned.

    • AOkay12 profile image

      AOkay12 3 years ago from Florida

      I am a member at Bubblews, but have not submitted anything there in several weeks. I check in every few days to read and comment on the posts of other writers who I am connected to. More of my energy is spent on activities that will earn more money for me than at Bubblews.

      Some of the luster has worn off with the website. There are some things that I dislike about it, such as all the uncontrolled spammers.

      Also, a number of writers on Bubblews are complaining that their "bank" decreases when they delete a post from the website. It doesn't seem right, since the posts already received views, likes, and comments.

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Oh well. I wasn't sure you'd sent those. A few were quite similar to the ones I sent here (around the start of February), but I guess that was long enough to ask again.

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 3 years ago from Europe

      No, our questions we sent to him in December are still unanswered. Hope is a good thing, but I guess it will never happen.

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks buildreps. Yea, he obviously isn't interested in answering questions about the problems or controversies surrounding his site. Did you have any luck getting an interview done with him?

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 3 years ago from Europe

      Wow Thomas, that was a nice interview you had with ArvinD...The questions were good, that wasn't the problem...

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Cheers Colleen. I guess that's the problem with Bubblews - they breached a lot of people's trust, and there's little chance of them regaining it now. They relied on bloggers and hubbers to spread the word about the site. Now they have to expect those same bloggers to condemn the site for not paying them.

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for commenting Audrey. Yes, I had a lot of responses to my other article about Bubblews. It seems they've upset a lot of people.

    • Colleen Swan profile image

      Colleen Swan 3 years ago from County Durham

      A funny yet profoundly important article. It highlights the importance of integrity and the fundamental rule that is increasingly scrutinized by users: TRUST. Trust has recently become the paramount weapon in gaining new business and users. Some of the biggest online companies are being hit. As for Bubblews it's too late for their disgrace.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 3 years ago from California

      Ah--so many writers would agree with you! So sorry for everyone who has lost time and money--