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Is Bubblews A Scam?

Updated on November 20, 2014
Is Bubblews a scam? An experiment was performed to find out.
Is Bubblews a scam? An experiment was performed to find out. | Source

Bubblews is a platform for writers to create content on the internet. Ads are included by Bubblews, and the company claims to share ad-revenue equally with writers. There are a number of obvious rules against spamming, plagiarizing, or being abusive.

Bubblews supposedly allows writers to withdraw their earnings when they reach 50 dollars. However, there have been a number of unpaid withdrawals, leading to widespread complaints and condemnatory articles on the web (see below). The most common complaint is that Bubblews pay the first 50 dollars before refusing to pay subsequent earnings.

Con-men refer to this tactic as the convincer. Just as a drug dealer gives you a free taste, or a gambling machine gives you an early payout, the goal is to build the victim's confidence before taking advantage of them.

This article describes an experiment that was performed to test if Bubblews honors their agreement to pay writers. As the most common excuse for unpaid earnings is that the writer broke the rules, the experiment involves a foolproof way of avoiding any transgressions.

As a scientist, I couldn't resist devising an experiment to test Bubblews.
As a scientist, I couldn't resist devising an experiment to test Bubblews. | Source

The Bubblews Experiment

I joined Bubblews in June 2013 and wrote 71 high-quality posts in a month. I reached the 25 dollar minimum payout soon after, and I requested to be paid via Paypal. Not surprisingly, they paid me because I had followed the rules. Note that the payout limit used to be 25 dollars.

Then, I stopped participating on the site. I didn't write, like, or comment. I simply checked my Bubblews balance each day to watch the earnings accumulate from my old posts. After 3 months, I reached the 25 dollar limit for a second time.

When I requested my earnings, I was greeted with utter silence. After a week, I sent a message to Bubblews in which I politely asked about the status of my payment. This was ignored. After another week I sent a sterner message. Still nothing. To this day, those messages have not been responded to. Bear in mind that, at the time, Bubblews promised to process payments within 3 days of requests.

Given that the Bubblews shills regularly respond to articles like this with the usual "you must have broken a rule", let me make this next sentence as clear as possible. Without writing, liking or commenting anywhere on the site, there is no way I could have broken a rule between the time I was paid and the time I wasn't. They didn't pay me for the same content that they'd previously paid me for. Did they change their mind about it without telling me? The only plausible conclusion was that Bubblews is a scam.

UPDATE: Bubblews Paid Me Eventually

After 3 months, I finally managed to get through to Bubblews. They paid my redemption and apologized.

If I hadn't contacted them again after all this time, I don't think I would have been paid. Somehow, they were able to check their records to verify I was owed a payment. This leaves the unanswered question of why I had to contact them to be paid what they already knew they owed me. If Bubblews have this information to hand, then it suggests they're deliberately withholding money from authors who don't bother to spend months chasing up lost payments.

For this reason, I am unable to confirm if my payment issue was accidental or intentional. I remain skeptical about Bubblews and will still be advising everyone to stay clear of the site. At the very least, they have a lot of problems when it comes to paying people.

Many others felt scammed by Bubblews' use of an initial `convincer' payment.
Many others felt scammed by Bubblews' use of an initial `convincer' payment. | Source

A Common Scam?

As I clearly didn't break any rules, the Bubblews shills claim that my payment issue must have been a technical malfunction. This seems unlikely because Bubblews ignored all my attempts to contact them. Also, it's worth considering these very similar experiences:

Distant Mind says: “They don't always pay and are very slow in processing payments. This is what keeps them (and all other long terms scams) afloat - they pay you from time to time, especially in the beginning.

Alexis Pedrico says: “some were paid for a few months and then it stopped. They owe me $125

MG Singh commented: “The site has no customer service and emails are never answered. I don't recommend it at all and mark my words a site that pays selectively cannot last.

Tahni says: “I received the first payment … I am still waiting on my second and third payments, I have contacted them by email and have not received any answers.

Qeyler talks about the victims: “These suckers will write readable prose. These suckers will get hits. These suckers will get that first payout… [but] Bubblews is a scam.

Rohanfelix commented: “My experience on bubblews... honest writing... 75 dollars owed... no payment or response, and it's been 3 months

Cendrine Marrouat says: "They will pay you the first couple of times, and then suddenly forget you because they are swamped."

Paxwill commented: “Fact is, many people have been random victims of non-payment at Bubblews, and Bubblews knows it can save money simply by ignoring these people's complaints and not paying them. Scam scam scam.

Derek Ayre commented: "I got paid the first time and felt that people who were complaining about non-payment must be breaking the rules ... [however] It's been several weeks now and it is obvious they are not going to pay me, yet have deducted the whole of my $25 from my account. Looked for a way to quit the site, but they don't offer one apart from e-mailing them. As I get no response, why bother!?"

Vampirate commented: "Every day I read more and more complaints about missing redemptions. My roommate attempted to redeem for only the second time. She didn't receive it. She e-mailed. No response."

I hope you noticed the common theme. Most were paid the first time (the `convincer') before their confidence in Bubblews was exploited for all it was worth. Some poor souls reached as many as 5 further payouts before they finally gave up. What I've quoted above took only 30 minutes of research to unearth. There may be thousands more who were treated in exactly the same way. Indeed, The Lyric Writer recently noted that: “More and more people are having trouble getting paid.

It doesn't take much to turn someone from skeptic to marketer.
It doesn't take much to turn someone from skeptic to marketer. | Source

The Convincer Payment

There are a number of reasons why scammers give you a `free taste' to convince you they're a legitimate business. In Bubblews case, they may be paying the majority of people that first redemption because:

  1. They want you to market the site for them. Bubblews know that their writers will be people who blog prolifically elsewhere. Indeed, how many "I got paid" articles and blogs have you seen? Were you convinced to join after reading one?
  2. They want you to sign up your friends and family. If you convince at least one more sucker to join, then you've done your job.
  3. They want you to attack the unpaid folk for them. In the comments section below, and on other similar pages across the web, people are accusing others (and me) of breaking the rules. Presumably, they didn't read the experiment above before commenting.
  4. Most importantly, they want you to keep writing. If you write enough to reach a 2nd redemption, then Bubblews make their money back by not paying you.
  5. They want you to doubt yourself. They want you to think "I was paid before so I must have broken a rule this time". When Bubblews succeeds in this regard, you might continue writing on the site for months before finally giving up. Some of the cases cited above show that people can reach 4 or 5 unpaid redemptions before calling it a day.

Of course, not everyone will have the same experience. Some will never get paid, while others get paid all the time. If Bubblews treated everyone in the same way, they'd be figured out pretty quickly. Based on the experiences collated above and the comments below, `pay first but not later' appears to be the norm, but not the rule.

Is Bubblews scamming some people?

See results

The Warning Signs

Perhaps my expectations for this `too good to be true' service were naïve. It's not like the warning signs weren't there:

  1. Bubblews is listed as an untrustworthy site on scam adviser (see picture below). Posting this picture on their site will apparently get you banned.
  2. When writers request a payout, they are required to enter their Paypal details before clicking a `redeem' button. Once clicked, all record of having any money on the Bubblews system disappears. Your earnings are reset to zero, and you're left to assume that they received your request. Without any confirmation email, you're completely at their mercy.
  3. Bubblews make a promise to respond to all emails/messages within 86 hours. However, they appear to ignore most attempts to contact them, especially when the topic is unpaid earnings.
  4. When Bubblews forget about your payment, they don't provide an explanation. They simply ignore you. The imaginary "rule breakers" aren't told what they did wrong because they didn't do anything wrong. Their posts would have been deleted if they did. Recently, Bubblews apparently started emailing some of the people who they claim have broken rules. However, it appears that most unpaid authors are still receiving no communication.
  5. This interview presents many of the problems and outstanding questions plaguing the Bubblews operation. Though the founder of Bubblews promised to answer the questions, he never did.

Scam adviser gives Bubblews its worst rating (0%) and calls it `high risk'.
Scam adviser gives Bubblews its worst rating (0%) and calls it `high risk'. | Source

My Reaction to Bubblews

After 3 weeks without a response, I deleted all of my content from the site. That really is the only option when you believe someone is scamming you. Don't live in hope that it was all a big mistake, or that you're somehow at fault for breaking an unknown rule. If they're scamming you, they would rather you blamed yourself. Just chase them up, and if they ignore you, delete it all.

Amusingly, after I did this, they put my account in negative money; implying that I owe them something for deleting my own work. Would you have expected anything less? My account was completely deleted a few days later for no legitimate reason. (Note: I've removed the screenshot of my account showing minus $49 dollars because of Bubblews Terms of Use, 10. I don't trust them to believe in my fair use of their graphics.)

I told everyone I know about the outcome of this experiment, and many deleted their posts as a result. By all means, claim your first payment, but don't expect them to keep coming. Those that genuinely do get paid every redemption tend to be those with enough followers and readers to do some serious damage to the site.

Update: January 2014

As explained in the updated section above, I was finally paid after 3 months. However, I still urge extreme caution when approaching the site. The fact that they knew I was owed money suggests they are still withholding it from people who haven't bothered to chase up their payments.

Update: September 2014

Bubblews are still withholding money from a large number of authors. Based on the number of people commenting here and on other pages around the web, the frequency of complaints has gotten much worse in the last two months. It's clear that many have followed all the rules. I can say this with certainty because one unpaid author is someone I know very well in real life. He's an old guy from England with excellent writing skills and a good heart. He wouldn't dream of plagiarizing, like-exchanging, or doing anything dishonest.

It is my firm belief that Bubblews is a scam site that selectively pays its authors according to criteria that are not part of its Terms of Use. Based on my discussions with dozens of unpaid authors, I believe the criteria they use are:

  • How active you are on the site.
  • The number of connections and readers you have.
  • The ad-revenue that you and your readers bring in.
  • The value that your personal data fetches.
  • The value that can be extracted from selling your browsing history. This is mined from cookies that Bubblews stores on your computer. They help ad companies to relate particular demographics to particular products.
  • The value that can be extracted from the interests, beliefs, and preferences that you write about on Bubblews. Like your browsing history, these are used to create a profile of the sort of person you are and what you're likely to buy.
  • Whether you criticize Bubblews or not.

Rules appear to have very little to do with it. If you're not worth enough to Bubblews, they won't pay you. For the reasons outlined in this article, I believe the first received payment allows for a smaller `worth' than later payments.

I also now believe my payment issue was intentional, and the belated reimbursement was part of a scheme to silence their more vocal critics. Indeed, other vehement critics on Hubpages were given hush money at the same time. Those with lesser voices got ignored.

My advice: If you're not paid, then kick up a furor. Write a condemnatory article about Bubblews and publish it on Hubpages or another blogging site. Also, I would suggest sending them regular emails to show you haven't forgotten. Put any replies you get into your condemnatory article. Let the world know how these people operate.

Experience shows they `might' give in eventually. Do NOT consider writing towards another redemption until you are paid, as they will likely interpret that as you accepting the situation, and you will run into further redemption issues later.

Update: November 2014

According to commenters here, and others I've spoken to, Bubblews are replying to emails more than they used to. However, the replies tend to make little sense. They'll ask in broken English for information about your payment, or tell you they're looking into it. After sending you in circles for weeks, the end result is typically the same: nothing whatsoever.

Recently, Bubblews drastically increased the delay between applying for payments and receiving them. For a site that appears to be regularly scamming its writers, this is a clear profit turner. Those who aren't paid will be losing much more time, effort, and earnings to the scam than they used to.

© 2013 Thomas Swan

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    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 2 years ago

      the bubble went down early November 15

    • PinoyMom profile image

      Shiela Gerona 2 years ago from Philippines

      Bubblews website is no longer accessible. It shutdown.

    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 2 years ago

      What a surprise...(sarcasm dripping). What I enjoy so much...(sick sense of humour) is that most of us realised Bub was a scam.. This discussion was posted Over TWO (2) YEars ago and updated a year ago.

      Yet...

      People still posted.

    • Vampirate profile image

      Vampirate 2 years ago from Somewhere in Dreams

      Bubblews is officially dead. They suddenly took all the lightbulbs, locked, the doors and abandoned the sinking ship ahead of the rats. Oh, and they took the accumulated earnings of everyone who was still writing on the site but hadn't reached the $50 payout level.

    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 2 years ago

      I realised Bubblews was a Ponzi fairly early. I was luckier than you because I had a 'feeling' he would change the $25 to $50, which he did. Having not been paid for my 2nd $25 I did not put in again. The $$ accumulated and it reached $50 and I put in and as it was my First $50 redemption it was paid.

      Since then, Arvi-poo locked my account at 2c he recently raised it to 3c .

      He uses people, he uses their work and it amazes me how he skirts investigation for running a Ponzi scheme.

    • profile image

      Andrea 2 years ago

      I was one of the few that signed up at the very beginning and received payments often. Not only that, they would run competitions which I was paid for as well. I said that to say, Arvind had so little beginners that some of us had his number (me). My son and husband had accounts as well. (Son eventually deleted for inactivity). I was VERY active, sharing to FB and twitter, and posting. So when he starting changing everything and not paying me for my advertisements, I called him. Instantly replied, you have the wrong number. Well I actually I didn't bc he let the phone call go to VM and the outgoing message stated, hello you've reached Avi lol. So I left him a message telling him, it's ridiculous you are saying wrong number but your voicemail has your name included. He eventually paid me, but deleted my account because it accumulated to approx $70 again and he didn't want to pay again. He's a very dishonest individual who went back on his word of a business he started. He used all of us to promote and assist in growing his website and then refused to pay.

    • Insane Mundane profile image

      Insane Mundane 2 years ago from Earth

      @qeyler: Yeah, which is why out of the 700+ posts I made on there, I've slowly transferred the decent ones over to my other blogs and whatnot. That leaves me with about 80 posts left and, when it is all said and done, they can keep my remaining 50 or 60 or whatever crap posts I permanently leave behind; ha!

      The bottom line is that Bubblews isn't worthy of any post that is written above the 6th grade English level. Con jobs, scammers, or whatever you want to call the owners of the site doesn't matter. The fact is, as you say, that you are just dusting your pathetic verbiage into the gigantic wind of the Interweb and, unless you have full control of your own material, websites, etc., you may as well kneel down before those so-called authoritative sites you feel so comfortable enjoying the free-hosting services at. Dang, it sounds like the welfare system is trying to enter the "make money online" scenario... LOL!

    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 2 years ago

      Insane Mundane; on one had yeah, Bubblews publishes crap and crap shouldn't be paid for. But on the other, there are people who join, write good stuff, and aren't paid.

      The fact is, the owner is a World Class con man.

    • Insane Mundane profile image

      Insane Mundane 2 years ago from Earth

      I think one of the main things more people need to look at is the fact that they shouldn't have been paid that much to begin with; ha! Seriously? Typing poppycock for pennies is the norm, albeit many of the participants (Writers? Ha-ha!) over at Bubblews actually became way too accustomed to getting paid hundreds of dollars for a bunch of inane twaddle and senseless drivel. Earning regular payouts each month online by simply typing vacuous paragraphs within a desperate community each day deserves nothing, which is what most of them are getting nowadays. Sure, their business model, website, and all of that sucks, but they don't owe anybody anything and the ones who got paid even once, should be thankful they made those easy greenbacks. For the ones who disagree with that, they need to either get a life or, perhaps, get their own website? LOL!

    • Vampirate profile image

      Vampirate 2 years ago from Somewhere in Dreams

      There's no doubt now Bubblews is and always has been a scam. After years of lies and broken promises and more or less randomly and wrongfully withholding thousands of dollars (probably more than $10,000) from hundreds of writers, Bubblews has announced it's not going to pay anybody any earnings before 11 November 2014 because of -- it claims -- rampant fraud. That is not, of course, a legal ground for it to refuse to pay what it promised to pay to all the people who honestly earned money for Bubblews' coffers and to maintain Arvind and Jason's extremely expensive San Francisco lifestyle. It's just another excuse. And this time, it's a breach of contract (thousands of contracts) at best and possibly outright fraud.

      I've discovered that some savvy people have been filing online complaints about Bubblews' nonpayments with the San Francisco Better Business Bureau, and so far every complainant has gotten paid. It seems Bubblews is desperate for investors and needs to maintain an "A" rating with the BBB to try and make itself look good. So it will probably keep paying complainants for a while at least.

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for commenting jezebella42. It looks like the scam is finally coming to an end. They're filling their pockets and getting ready to jump ship.

      Cheers gitachud. I do like being right!

      Thanks for the update AOkay12. The changes were just another way to reduce the money they have to pay out. It allows them to hoard more in time for the big closure announcement.

    • AOkay12 profile image

      AOkay12 2 years ago from Florida

      I reduced the amount of time spent there since the changes rolled out in July 2014. After that point, it seemed much more difficult to make earnings on Bubblews. It just required more effort, for less money.

    • gitachud profile image

      David Gitachu 2 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      You have finally been vindicated -- you were right all along. Bubblews is a scam!

    • Jezebella42 profile image

      Heidi Burr 2 years ago from Fairbanks, Alaska

      As of today they have decided that they will not pay old redemption claims at all and lowered the amount they will pay for redemptions that have already been filed and are in their waiting period.

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for commenting PinoyMom, peachpurple, Gina45, earner, kelly, and w1ch3l.

      I think the number of authors who aren't being paid is so high now that it's impossible for anyone to say it isn't a scam. Unless thousands more people have suddenly decided to start breaking the rules, the `rude optimists' will have to keep quiet from now on. I've had some horrible encounters with a couple of the more deranged ones. Most have actually deleted their bubblews accounts now, which proves what they are: shills, or just horrible people. Anyway, it was worth it. I like to think I had some part in revealing their practices.

    • PinoyMom profile image

      Shiela Gerona 2 years ago from Philippines

      I have second thoughts of writing to other small writing sites because I'm still upset with my B experience. I was able to make friends with other B members. What upsets me is their treatment with non-US members. I don't think they are being fair. As of December 2014, they will not give the payments for members who pressed the redeem button from August 2014 until December 12, 2014. They set new rules, saying that most members coming from our country commit fraud, that's why even honest members are not paid for their hard work. Time and effort was wasted, but it's a lesson well-learned on the hard way.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      they did replied but thru generate emails, I am fed up too

    • Gina145 profile image

      Gina145 2 years ago from South Africa

      I've been through good times and bad times with Bubblews. Between January and August I had no problems there, after having a bad run in the second half of 2013. Since August I've redeemed three times and only been paid once. It addition the pay rate has dropped so badly that I don't know how I'll ever reach $50 again. It's time to give Bubblews a break, and to edit the Hubs I wrote about the site long before I had any problems there. I hope they can still get their act in order, but I'm beginning to have my doubts.

    • earner profile image

      Dedicated Content Curator 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      Kelly - that's a new Bubblews rule to me! They do like to slide in the new rules, under the radar. It wouldn't surprise me if they did start such a rule :)

    • profile image

      kelly chen 2 years ago

      "not allowed to accumulate $700 over the span of 2 months"!

      hahaha Laughable! It is obvious to me they cannot afford to pay MORE and to pay writers properly. Bubblews is a joke!

    • profile image

      w1cht3l 3 years ago

      bubblews.com is doing what listia.com was doing on every scam site saying that their own page is scam. find "own sites' staff" to say "people must break rules to be suspended"./

    • profile image

      w1cht3l 3 years ago

      u dont have to break rules to be unpaid in bubblews. those who said it are bubblews staff.

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Well, we all make our own decisions. Without knowing who this trusted member shill is, it does seem that they're probably someone who leases out their social-media expertise and accounts to business's (like Bubblews and Factoidz) for precisely this purpose.

    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 3 years ago

      No, Dzy is the person sucked into the scam...by the 'trusted member', who USED TO BE A SHILL for Factoidz, until her work was stolen and she was kicked to the ground by Quac.

      Now Dixit will use her for a football.

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Qeyler, I assume you're not saying Dzy is a shill, because I'm pretty certain she isn't! I also wondered who the trustworthy member on HP was though. I agree, there are a lot of people on this site who appear to work for Bubblews in a marketing capacity. I hadn't heard of Factoidz before, but it doesn't surprise me that Bubblews isn't the first scam to use this model.

    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 3 years ago

      Thomas, if you ever needed proof of what Bubblews is, or what a Shill is, you've gotten it in the post of DZy....

      Hubpages is the 'Headquarters' for Shills. Factoidz used a number of 'Trusted' members of HP....who'd race around like mad wo/men and defend it and rope in others.

      Both of them turned totally against Factoidz when they were ripped off, and the site went down.

      Arvind Dixit, the Charles Ponzi of Writing scams, recruited both of them to Shill for Bubblews.

      They are always paid, but not for their 'writing'...they are paid for bringing in more idiots.

      There has been a report to Adsense about the Bubble.

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for commenting DzyMsLizzy. Yes, best to wait until over the payout limit. Bubblews seem to be notorious for finding any reason to deny, forget, or lose payments.

      I think it is a `true scam', but a very crafty one. They do pay a percentage of their authors a percentage of the time, so it's often difficult to prove they're a scam. Bubblews will claim that those who weren't paid didn't follow the rules. This hub more or less proves that this excuse doesn't stand up. Also, Bubblews don't tell people what rule they're supposed to have broken, or where it was broken. They rarely respond to attempts to communicate with them because it would probably incriminate them if they did. So it would be difficult to 100% legally prove they're a scam, but then, they clearly know that. Another excuse they could use is that their website was malfunctioning. I think they've used that one before.

      It's also difficult to know where their business is based. I've heard California, Costa Rica, Panama, Philippines, and other places being mentioned that I can't remember right now.

      Best of luck getting your redemption. Please let me know what happens. As I said in the hub, you're more likely to get your first redemption than later ones.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 3 years ago from Oakley, CA

      I just started writing over there in Sept. 2014, on the recommendation of a well-known and trustworthy member here on HP.

      She has never had any problems on BWS.

      As of this comment, I am still about $3 shy of being able to make my first redemption claim, but the person who suggested the site to me also suggested to wait until there is a $5 or $6 cushion above the minimum, in case any comments got deleted.

      I'll see what happens, but, it seems to me, if a true scam is going on, then that leaves them open for a class-action lawsuit.

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      iwrite100, you make a good point when ask why you would "change my way of posting and suddenly post not original content". If someone is a plagiarizer, they would start from day one. No-one regresses to plagiarizing after a year of writing original work. I haven't seen your bubbles, but I've seen your hubs, and they are very good and original.

      I doubt you'll get a reply to your question about "what isn't original?". It seems that they've either deleted your account for no reason, or perhaps you quoted someone/something or uploaded a picture that you've also put somewhere else... and they used that as an excuse to delete you. Any self-respecting company would warn you about that, but Bubblews are very good at finding unjust excuses for taking people's money.

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for the update Lissa Clason. Yes, Bubblews do seem to be concerned with pages like this on Hubpages and other sites. They might be helping people who post here in order to get more positive results in the comments. That makes them seem like less of a scam. The same has been said about a petition that Buildreps often mentions. Yes, I think it's good to not get your hopes up, and to take Bubblews for the lottery it is.

    • iwrite100 profile image

      Maribel Forayo 3 years ago from Philippines

      Yes. Their email was too short. They deleted my account. Reason: not original content.

      It is ridiculous. I am writing for this site for one and a half year. I would be so stupid to change my way of posting and suddenly post "not original" content. I sent them an email asking what contents are "not original" with the fact that most of my posts were personal topics, some are my own crafts with my own pictures, all pictures are credited. I know what are allowed and what are not allowed when posting pics.

      I have been there for one and a half year. I would be the craziest mammal on earth if I will break rules at this time after posting close to 2500 posts, and gaining 13000 connections.

      Certainly, they just wanted to evade what they should pay me. Perhaps, they made another rule that it is not allowed to accumulate $700 over the span of 2 months.

      When they make new rules there, they apply it retroactively. This is a fact.

    • Lissa Clason profile image

      Lissa Clason 3 years ago from Fayetteville, North Carolina

      An update on my situation: Interestingly enough, I got an email from Bubblews earlier today saying my payment was being sent to Paypal. So maybe I will give them the benefit of the doubt, and give them a second try to see if or when I receive a second redemption. Perhaps they noticed that I posted on here, and that's why they're paying me? I'll consider it an experiment to see if I have the same experience as others who were paid their first payment but never received a second or third. If I consider it an experiment, maybe I won't be so disappointed if the results come back negative :/

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Glad to have helped iwrite100. Your comment is very timely. I had just speculated in my latest update to this hub that Bubblews changed their payment schedule in order to scam larger amounts of money out of people. Your experience about spending 2 months of your time and effort to accumulate hundreds of dollars... only to find that they've arbitrarily refused to pay is exactly what I'm talking about.

      I assume they just cited this rule at you without giving an example? Most likely that's because there isn't anything wrong. If there was, such as a quote you'd put into a post, any self-respecting company would give you a chance to fix it. Failing that, they'd delete that specific post. Deleting your whole account and taking every cent you've earned right after you hit redeem just screams scam. I'm deeply sorry that you've become a victim of this scam, and even more sorry that you're in the first group to be victimized by this new strategy to maximize the profit reaped by it.

    • iwrite100 profile image

      Maribel Forayo 3 years ago from Philippines

      I felt better after reading your post. This morning, I received an email that my account was deleted because of "not original" content. This is really a surprise for me. I had been in the site since April 2013, missed three payments but all others were paid.

      I am confident that my posts are mine and it cannot be "not original." The only reason I could think of why this happened, after reading your post is that I have about $700+ accumulated redemption since August. The site imposed longer time for redemption for "international users" like me so I was not worried at first and waited for 60 days. When I made my claim, they deleted my account. I cannot help but cry.

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for giving us your experience Sondrac. Those who Bubblews arbitrarily decide not to pay will be losing far more under this new system.

    • profile image

      Sondrac 3 years ago

      I have been writing on Bubblew for a long time now and have always received my payment. They never missed even one, including last week. Now is a different matter. I have earnings sitting and I am waiting. The message sent out this week says payments are not being sent out until the following weeks until they get their money figured out. So we were supposed to get paid this week. but now they changed it to another 4 weeks. So I will have to wait more or less 2 months to get paid the 50.00 they used to pay every 4 days. Gotta think things over but waiting to see how payment turns out

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Well so far 75% of people think Bubblews is scamming some people. Thank you to those who voted.

      Qeyler, yea my Dad got something similar when he tried to redeem. It seems to be Bubblews new tactic: "mess people around with emails until they give up". I'm not sure what's worse, that or the silence! They paid me back all I was owed, which proves they have records of everyone who is owed money, and proves most or all of these people haven't broken any rules. Perhaps their offices will be raided some day, but I expect the records are on a hard drive that can be wiped.

      Hi Laksh, well if you comment with an account that doesn't give away your bubblews name, you should be perfectly safe. Others have commented here without any problems. I'm not sure what hub you're referring to. Buildreps has a few very popular hubs, but he's keeping them up. I can't recall others right now.

      Agreed Borg232, I started thinking they were trying to turn a new leaf about 10 months ago when they were paying some people back (including myself).... I even toned down this hub a bit. However, since then it's become quite clear that Bubblews hasn't changed at all. Over the summer they appear to have scammed more people than ever, including my own Dad! He's the most honest, decent person I know.

      Lissa Clason, thank you for your comment. Your experience is very familiar. Like everyone else who takes the time to complain, you worked hard, read the rules, followed them, but still got ripped off. They won't tell you anything about breaking a rule because you haven't broken one. If they told you that, they'd be accountable to their own TOU, and they'd be acknowledging that they owe you money if you proved them wrong (which you would no doubt be able to do). That's why they stay silent or BS you with poorly written emails that waste your time and send you in circles.

      Interesting update earner. You seem to have done very well, and yet they don't even pay you all the time. Agreed that earnings are getting less and delays are getting longer now. I've heard that a lot, though peculiarly, that may be because they're cleaning out some of the spammers and plagiarists who actually did abuse the system. Oh the irony. The bubble may be about to burst and it's probably because advertisers and marketers weren't willing to pay to support spam accounts anymore.

      Kelly, yep, that's what I heard on the grapevine too. It's actually similar to Hubpages in that regard, but for a site like Bubblews, where you never know if they'll just "forget" your redemption, it's not worth working 2 months for no return. The risk just became too high for the people who used to tolerate that.

    • profile image

      kelly.truth 3 years ago

      I heard that their policy changed once again. "Effective October 28, 2014, Bubblews’ Compensation Policy is modified to: (a) increase the Redemption Period from 30 days to 60 days, and (b) allow just 1 redemption per month. " - http://www.bubblews.com/learningcenter

      CRAZY! Avoid Bubblews!!

    • earner profile image

      Dedicated Content Curator 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      I joined over a year ago to give it a go, knowing I might not be paid. Then payment was after 3 days. I got paid a whole bunch, then a lot were missed ($300). Then, all paid for the last 11 months. Now, the rules changed and I am not so assured. I've about 6 waiting to be paid (so nearly $400) and the first one's failed to materialise (37 days now).

      I now have about $55 in the bank, but can't redeem for another 24 days, then it'd take 30-35 days to be paid. Whole different ballgame. Spent a LOT of time trying to build up a reputation and all the sharing etc .... hoping it'd turn out all right, but now it's not looking quite so OK.

      It's coming up to Xmas, I won't be spending my evenings and days obsessed with the site any more. I'll sit on what I've got, dip in and dabble there "in case" it does come good.

      I've learnt some lessons there - and pocketed some needed cash. Time to return to the Hubpages fold now :)

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 3 years ago from Europe

      qeyler, we were both paid after writing a Hub about B. You're commenting without reading the updates.

      It seems now the Bubblews ship is sinking, following the history of this discussion here on Hubpages: http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/125458

      It starts the usual way like with 'shilly' behaviour 'I have been paid 19 times' until it appears according to this thread that the rules changed recently - paying occurs only once a month. The silence on this thread's suddenly deafening.

      Like you say qeyler - it's proven a year ago. It's a scam.

    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 3 years ago

      There is no question that Bubblews is a scam. This was proven over a year ago. The guy who runs it used to be with Yahoo so knows more about running a successful scam than Bernie Madoff.

      You will never be paid.

    • Lissa Clason profile image

      Lissa Clason 3 years ago from Fayetteville, North Carolina

      I sent in my first redemption request a while back, at the beginning of August. They say they have a 30-day waiting period, so I waited for the thirty days... and waited, and waited. Eventually I sent them an email asking (in polite phrasing) when my payment would be coming. No answer. It's been over 60 days since I tried to redeem and haven't heard anything from them. My account hasn't been closed, but after reading this I'm not sure I'll ever see that money. I haven't broken any of their rules; I read the terms and conditions very carefully and regularly check it for updates. If I've broken some sort of rule that wasn't in there, shouldn't they tell me so I can fix the problem? I'm not sure if I should continue writing there. If they aren't a scam, then they really need to sort out their problems by hiring more staff or automating redemptions.

    • profile image

      Borg232 3 years ago

      They have cut me off after working for months. Everyone who wants to earn more will be cut off. This is insane... they truly are a scam guys. Do not invest time in them... it is insanely not worth it

    • profile image

      Laksh 3 years ago

      Hi,

      what happened to another similar hub from a friend of yours? Apparently Arvind Dixit was compromising with him to remove the hub in return for payment. I had commented strongly on that hub, and within 2 days, my bubblews account was deleted for a 'violation'.

      I was just looking for that hub but couldn't find it..

    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 3 years ago

      For the past Four months, every week I write; "Hi guys! Listen, you owe two redemptions. Can you check your records?" And I get one of their form letters. And, of course, nothing.

      I'm impressed that the Old Bub has been going on so long.

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      I've added a poll to this hub about half way down the page in a blue box. Please vote and get this thing ticking.

      You're right Qeyler, it looks like a sophisticated scam that selectively pays based on criteria that have nothing to do with its Terms of Use. You start with a low threshold, where you don't need to be worth much to Bubblews to get your first redemption. Then the threshold rises for later redemptions, causing floods of people to run into problems. At least that's what the evidence suggests.

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 3 years ago from Europe

      Sorry, wrong link, here's the right one: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/bubblews-non-paym...

      Thomas the former two comments are perhaps somewhat unnecessary. Can you remove at least mine? Thanks.

    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 3 years ago

      When I first joined the old Bub they paid within like 4 days. Then, of course, they never paid again. What happens is that you're writing up a storm after that first Redemption, thinking; "Oh Yes! This site is Legit!" So within a week or so you hit Redeem for your next, assuming that you'll get it in Four Days, and write more articles. At the end of 4 days, you haven't gotten your second, have put in for your 3rd and are halfway to your 4th, just like Anthony.

      I know they aren't going to pay me. That's why every week I write;

      "Hi Guys! Listen, I'm a bit afraid to put in for my Redemption as you owe me two...can you check your records? HaVE A GREAT DAY!"

      Now you know and I know they are a scam. They started with $25 a week after it was put in for, moved that to two weeks, moved the $25 to $50, moved the wait to 30 Days...

      Bubblews is the Biggest Scam on the Net today.

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Qeyler, Bubblews do seem to be emailing back more lately, but it doesn't seem to be improving their customer service, or whether they pay people what they're owed. Rather, Bubblews seem to be using emails to mess people about. They reply saying they'll look into it. They sometimes ask for more information. Eventually though, they run out of things to say and return to ignoring you. It's a delaying tactic. They don't intend to help anyone get their money.

      Hi Anthony, thanks for commenting. Please let me know what happens. I would reduce your contribution on Bubblews until you're sure they're going to pay you. Best not to waste your time if you're not sure. Eventually though, a large proportion of people run into payment issues one way or the other. If this is your first redemption, you stand a better chance of getting it.

      Earner, this 30 day delay seems to fit with their other delaying tactics. They increased the payout limit to 50 dollars. They're using emails to drag disputes out over several weeks or months. Now, they're making people wait longer to get paid. I don't know what the motivation is. Maybe there's a certain proportion of people who lose interest or forget about what they're owed. I read your hub where you said you've only gotten 56% of redemptions. I'm not sure I could keep writing for a site that owes me several hundred dollars, even if I'd been paid for the others. Who's to say they won't steadily reduce that to 30% or 10%? Also, just the principle of it is something I find upsetting... that's there's someone in the Bubblews office arbitrarily deciding whether you get your money. I can't stand it or recommend it to anyone.

    • earner profile image

      Dedicated Content Curator 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      Anthony Davis - that's one of the problems, by the time a payment is late, the author's already several hundreds of hours down and with other redemptions in the pipeline.

      I'd not written for a few months, but just went back (I was busy, nothing wrong with the site)..... during my absence I logged in and redeemed twice and was paid. When I returned to start actively participating I redeemed after my first day (because the bank was nearly at $50 when I returned).... so now waiting for that one - and I'll redeem this week .... and next week ..... so, holding my breath it's all OK.

    • profile image

      Anthony Davis 3 years ago

      I hit redeem on August 14th. 2014. It will take 30 days to receive my first redemption on or around the 14th of September, 2014. It is currently September 06, 2014. I have apparently 8 more days to get my money. I am still waiting. Meanwhile I have already hit the bank for another, second 50 dollar redemption that they tell me will take up to 30 days from that date just a week ago. I am half way through my 3rd redemption. I have seen the writing on the wall but somehow keep posting in hopes I will be seen. I have some real followers who are former writers for Yahoo! Contributor Network and some of them tell me they have been paid every time. I believe the ones who say that. I have nothing else to do but wait and see. I feel like I am between a rock and a hard place. I have devoted time and value to the site and I deserve some kind of monetary compensation as promised by Bubblews. I will only consider leaving if I am in fact, not paid by around late September or early October. By then I will have exhausted my interests there unless I am given more reasons to remain. Bubblews is the first site I have posted since the closing of YCN and Voices in August.

    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 3 years ago

      I am play a Bubble game. I have reached a redemption. I am writing to them asking them to review my account before I put in for that redemption. I've written them an email a week for the past six weeks. They answer with a form letter, than nothing. So far I haven't put in, they haven't clarified the 2 missing redempptions

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      No problem Kelly. Having to swear the truth is something all of us critics are required to do for some reason. However, there's nothing to be gained from criticizing Bubblews. Conversely, those who vehemently support Bubblews could easily be driven by money. The people who appear on multiple articles around the web saying how "revolutionary" the site is and how they made "$3,912" in one month, or whatever, are the one's that deserve suspicion. I can see why Bubblews would pay people to say that. Unfortunately, they're telling people what they want to hear, so they get away with it. Everyone wants to think they can make that kind of money.

    • profile image

      kelly.truth 3 years ago

      Thank you Thomas! Yes, I speak from the heart! When I complained to Arvind via a Bubblews post, I told my friend I am willing to swear th truth on my grandmother's grave. lol My only hope that more won't get scammed! God bless you and more, Thomas!

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for the information Kelly. I don't recognize the names, but it's good to know who they are. I will look out for them and refer to your comment in future. You're right that people should stay away from Bubblews. The number of complaints is going up a lot lately. In fact, someone I know (in real life) recently wasn't paid. It's been about 2 months since they redeemed. I can vouch for their integrity and skill as a writer, so I know you're also speaking the truth when you call Bubblews a scam site.

    • profile image

      kellytruths 3 years ago

      Sorry for the late reply, Thomas. Yep...I will start with the most obvious!

      CEO: Arvind Dixit http://www.bubblews.com/account/512-arvind

      President and Co-Founder: Jason Zuccari

      CTO (Chief Technology Officer): Tyler Pearson http://www.bubblews.com/account/179304-tyler /

      twitter.com/TylerPearson / ty.pearson@gmail.com

      Operations Manager: Briggs http://www.bubblews.com/account/51-briggs2158

      Noticed he can't even bring himself to use his full name?

      Ironically, his motto is "You get out of Bubblews what you put in."

      Will Webbs (shareholder). Can't recall his Twitter name (it is not Twitter.com/willwebbs )

      These are bubblews administrator' accounts:

      http://www.bubblews.com/account/225737-bubblewsmem... (With posts)

      http://www.bubblews.com/account/51654-bubblewssupp... (With posts)

      http://www.bubblews.com/account/14895-bubblewssupp... - no more...fired? Heard the rumour he was fired for saying that members cannot share their own bubblews posts on social networks more than once. This was announced by a bubblews member by the name of KASPER (the friendly ghost) which was disputed by a Bubblews sorta-leader team that made sure bubblews facebook group members' posts got shared and liked!

      The rest:

      http://www.bubblews.com/account/99147-bubblewstech...

      http://www.bubblews.com/account/97534-bubblewsassi...

      http://www.bubblews.com/account/97532-bubblewswatc...

      Manual King Lagey, a Pino, on Facebook is also one of the then 3 moderators for Bubblews. (It's rumoured they have more mods now.) Now the thing is this, are mods not supposed to be bubblews writers too on Bubblews? Which is a violation of their own TOS?

      STAY AWAY from this scammy website that break their own rules, for any one thinking of writing. POSTANYARTICLE.com is also another one you should avoid. They also do the same (kick away users randomly.)

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      No problem Kelly. Would you be able to post the names of those admins/staff here in a comment? I'd be interested to know who they are and if I recognize some of the names. There are people who go around several hubs, blogs, and articles about Bubblews. They claim to be happy customers; talk about the thousands of dollars they've made; accuse all critics of breaking the rules; and usually have a relative in the hospital for us all to feel sorry about :)

      If we can catch some of these staff/admins pretending to be happy customers, it would add to the already substantial case against them.

    • profile image

      kellytruths 3 years ago

      Marsha Musselman1, you have a better way of making sure Arvind reads AND respond? NONE of them respond until one of their admins on Facebook is forced to admit they are staff, and then they do the disappearing act as quickly as they promised to pay you n a certain date. Credibilty: ZERO

      Thanks Thomas - for the updates! I hope this cheating online site will go down soon!

    • Colleen Swan profile image

      Colleen Swan 3 years ago from County Durham

      Don't go to the trouble

      Of writing for Bubblews

      Unless you like not being paid

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Thank you to those who have shared their experiences since my last comment here. The more people who do, the more we learn the truth about Bubblews.

      I've put a little update near the end of this hub. It seems from the comments here and on other pages that Bubblews isn't improving at all, so I've said as much in the update. I also added a 5th point in my "Warning Signs" section about my interview with Arvind.... or rather then non-interview that Arvind refused to take part in because he didn't like the questions. He loves answering questions about batman and fluffy bunnies though! The interviews were probably part of his PR campaign, along with paying people like me and Buildreps back (because we have quite popular articles on the subject). So, what does that teach us... well, write a damning article about Bubblews, share it around the web, email them complaints until they can't take anymore, and maybe then they'll pay you. We can exchange links too!

    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 3 years ago

      It is a scam. There's no question. When you do anything on computer you set the boundaries, whether a margin, whether an alert, and wheather a user achieved $50.

      All real sites, or all those which were real at one time, make their payouts automatically. This site, for example, sends the money you earned on a particular day of a month. There aren't fifty sweaty people, pouring over the site, it is done Automatically.

      For you to have to 'alert' the site that you reached $50 is a delaying tactic It enables the site to use your money and if/when they will pay you.

      Why Bubblews is such a Bernie Madoff level scam is because of the tricks it uses, and the new ones it implements.

      "You Broke The Rules!" is crap.

      If I were to write an article on this, or any legitimate site, which 'Broke the Rules" it would be immediately flagged by the A.I. and removed or never published.

    • kellytruths profile image

      kellytruths 3 years ago from Singapore

      I am almost sure it is a scam. Here's my story to &Arvind !

      &Arvind Your support did not respond FOR WEEKS as to the question I sent them about my "violation warning" of 15th July, the same day I redeemed for the first time for $128. And now after being offline for 3 days, my bank hub is showing -$4. ??? No emails whatsoever from your side.

      Jason and Will Webb also did not respond. NO ONE is responding!

      If I do not hear a response in 5 working days, I will be officially removing my posts from here and move them to my personal blog. And I will also allow my Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest network and YOUR advertising networks know this is what happened that is not in my control because of your staff's unresponsiveness to newbie questions sent way before my first redemption *also no news/emails.

      How is it that members are held responsible for the TOU you place when they have no answers to them when they ask about it?

      Is it so hard for bubblews support to explain what exactly I was warned for, that is not forthcoming from your side? What sort of violation? No warnings whatsoever for the missing $63 in my bank hub (unredeemed) which is now -$4.

      Is this the reason why you had a F rating with the Better Business Burea: www.bbb.org/greater-san-francisco/business-reviews/internet-services/bubblews-in-san-francisco-ca-525234/complaints ?

      Bubblews email for reporting violators are very alert except when I added in that question about my 'violation'. This is the one I sent no less than 2 times and I received no usual "Thank you" email from them:

      " Please find reports in the format you require.

      1. TOU #1

      www.bubblews.com/account/270170-mrk0i

      is using Chinese model's pics in her posts.

      www.139meitu.com/images/h2.jpg

      at www.bubblews.com/news/4905203-the-bathroom-situation-can-cause-sudden-death-part-5

      at www.bubblews.com/news/4904846-the-bathroom-situation-can-cause-sudden-death

      And may I know, what violation did I do, as BubblewsSupport2 had reported on her page? I did not receive that email he/she said was sent. Please clarify as I would not be able to avoid the mistake if I did not know something I did was in violation of the old detailed TOU.

      My account is www.bubblews.com/account/228747

      Regards "

      Silence is the way they support members? I was warned of Bubblews when I posted my 5th post here, but I refused to believe!

      I want very much to share what other writing networks are paying and paying honestly here, but I have changed my mind and not about to reveal it here.

      Good luck and thank you to everyone who had been a support to me on here (I hope the life-saving shares on here or the money-making post I shared is good). I have made some friends with you on Facebook and very glad my time here is not totally wasted.

      My name will be joining the list of ex-bubblers' names on FTC soon if this is not resolved soon and more.

    • chakravarthyds profile image

      Chakravarthy D S 3 years ago from India

      One of the best posts ever.....

      Before joining Hubpages, I was in dilemma to choose between Hubpages, Squidoo and Bubblews.

      This post made me feel happy, that I chose Hubpages.

      Thank you Swan....

    • CarolynEmerick profile image

      Carolyn Emerick 3 years ago

      I signed up on Bubblews in the summer of 2013, and due to the fact that I admin on several large FB pages which I use to promote my HP and Bubblews posts, I earned the threshold to cash out quickly. I redeemed about three times and was never paid for ANY of them. I think the threshold was around $25 at the time, I really cannot remember. I did send a few emails. I never got a payment, so I gave up.

      I did not delete my account however. So after reading a couple hubs on it today, I logged in for the first time in over 6 months and see I have $11 in my "bank." I may try it again and see how it goes, since some people do seem to receive payments.

      IF the darned site works, and IF they manage to pay users, their model has the potential to earn MUCH more than HP. After a year on HP, I am slowly building earnings, and apparently I didn't have the Amazon linked up correctly so after fixing that it's given my earnings a good boost. I am happy with HP, but as they say, it's a marathon not a sprint and it really takes a lot of time and effort here. Whereas Bubblews, IF it does what it says, could be easy money fast. But, you know the old saying... if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

    • DonnaCSmith profile image

      Donna Campbell Smith 3 years ago from Central North Carolina

      Yep, I had the same experience. I took down my posts and soon had a balance of -75.00. After a while I emailed and asked them to delete my acct. They emailed and asked why? I told them. So, then they asked me to reconsider. I asked them to clear my minus balance. They replied suggesting I just start another acct. with a new name, etc. I decided just to let it go. Not worth the mess around.

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for commenting Marsha. I didn't remember to add a poll to this hub. Had I remembered, I probably would have put one in. This hub has a poll: http://buildreps.hubpages.com/hub/Bubblews-is-real...

      Over 100 people think Bubblews is a scam in that poll, giving an idea of the sheer number of people who have been scammed by the site. Considering that only a fraction of the people conned will have found that page, the true number must be in the thousands.

      So, in other words, consider yourself lucky to have received all your payments!

      Some of those who complained consistently for many months ended up with an apology and a payment, so it seems like a good strategy.

    • Marsha Musselman1 profile image

      Marsha Musselman 3 years ago from Michigan, USA

      I have been paid for each of my 16 redemptions requested, just for the record. And, I've been paid much more there than I've received here or any other writing site for that matter.

      I was surprised that you didn't include any type of polls regarding payment issues there.

      Suggesting that your readers bombard bubblews with many emails will do the opposite of what you think it will. It will be considered as spamming their email boxes.

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Jandee, you said:

      “It is a great site and my view is that you who doubt are being silly.”

      “I didn't call 'you'silly.I really meant all who doubt and not you personally.”

      So rather than just me, you’re calling all of us silly? I doubt Bubblews’ integrity, so your statement includes me.

      If you’ve been paid every time, then good for you, but don’t come here calling us silly for not being paid. You’re just adding insult to injury. We’ve had to deal with not being paid, and now we have to deal with people like you telling us we’re too “silly” to follow a simple set of rules.

      Did you even read the hub? If I didn’t write anything new on the site between my successful and unsuccessful redemptions, why wasn’t I paid? It would have been impossible to break a rule. In fact, I can answer that for you because after months of complaints I received an apology from Bubblews and finally got my money. Does that mean I still broke the rules?

      Other people have also received belated apologies and refunds. How many unpaid writers are out there who haven’t sent a barrage of complaints? Given what I’ve just told you, do you really think they all broke the rules?

      You haven’t got a clue, yet you repeatedly come here to say the same rubbish about people supposedly breaking rules. You insult us, and constantly repeat the same message about rule-breaking over and over again. If you’re not working for the company then you’re either a nasty piece of work or you’re trying to justify your love of the site to yourself by derogating and insulting its critics. It’s natural to support companies that pay you money, but don’t let that selfish motivation get in the way of being nice to people. You have no idea how condescending and annoying it is to be told that you’ve broken the rules when you clearly haven’t.

      “I had another payment yesterday from bubblews,by the way the author who didn't get paid did not credit his photograph on his post so he broke the rules! Jandee”

      Who are you talking about? Last time I checked, this wasn’t in the rules. In fact, when I was checking Arvind’s posts about updates to the site, I noticed he’d posted a picture that he didn’t give credit for, so make of that what you will. Still, who is this comment directed at? How did you know this person didn’t cite a photograph? Do you know their Bubblews ID? Are you just making this up?

      “I am now making 0ver $3 for 400 characters. I have always been paid. I have checked some of the writers who complain and I see that they don't follow the rules ! I ,see it plainly,their mistakes ! If I didn't have a busy lifestyle I could make well over $30 daily.”

      I’m seriously considering deleting all your comments now. You’re just advertising for the site and repeating the same rubbish about broken rules again and again.

      “Thanks for your 'sort of reply' I don't understand what you are saying though!Maybe you just want comments that agree with you, regards jandee.”

      More rudeness and accusations of bias. Consider your 6 comments deleted, though they’ll remain quoted in this comment so people can see why I’ve done it. Plenty of people have disagreed with me, and their comments are up for all to see. Few have been so rude and spammy though.

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Thank you Earner for your experiences. Bubblews may be improving slightly, though I’m still hearing that a lot of people are having problems. Your experience really emphasizes the lottery-like process that characterizes their payment methods. Perhaps they just don’t have enough money to pay everyone all the time.

      Thank you Suraj Punjabi. The thing is that Bubblews do pay some people; perhaps even a majority of people a majority of the time. It’s an intelligent scam in that sense, because they’ll have as many supporters as critics. The people who aren’t paid are condemned as rule breakers by the site, and by the employees and supporters who trawl the web looking for articles like this one. Adsense can’t prove it’s a scam any more than the critics, though perhaps this article offers something close to proof that Bubblews is actively scamming people.

      Thanks for your support Vampirate. I see you also picked up on the “citing of photographs” comment and how it’s not actually in the rules. It’s a myth propagated by Bubblews and its supporters to make unpaid writers doubt themselves. It’s cruel, and I think you were right in saying Jandee was a shill (as her later comments seemed to suggest).

      Thank you Ezedub for your experience and analysis. You make a very important point:

      “I think that what I find to be most telling, is that those who hound and harass Bubblews, often find that Bubblews suddenly has a record of their redemption and suddenly manages to pay it.”

      This happened to me. It suggests that Bubblews have a record of everyone they haven’t paid. How else could they know?

      Thank you Askme. I also fit that category until I sent a third email months later… after which Bubblews suddenly found a record of my unpaid redemption.

      Thanks AOKay12. Best of luck with your second redemption. Please let us know what happens.

      Hi ElaineWithoutYou. You’ve probably done the right thing. If they delete your account then there’s not a lot you can do. Hopefully they haven’t stolen your content to use at another time.

      No problem Biblicaliving, I’m glad you found the information helpful.

      Thanks for your experience nadelma. Yes, some people do break the rules. I even had to revisit the site recently because someone had copied one of my hubs. Clearly though, a lot of people who haven’t been paid didn’t break a rule. The experiment in this hub is a fairly good proof of that. Also, some people have received apologies and refunds after months of complaining. Somehow, Bubblews was able to verify that these people were owed money, which suggests they keep records of everyone they haven’t paid. If these people hadn’t campaigned, they wouldn’t have gotten their money. How many unpaid writers are out there who haven’t hounded Bubblews to get their payments? How many does Bubblews know they owe money to?

      Thanks for your experience Gina. It is similar to Earner’s experience. The site may be improving slightly, but it still appears to a lottery unfortunately.

    • Gina145 profile image

      Gina145 3 years ago from South Africa

      After Bubblews deleted one of my posts (which mentioned my problems being paid) I decided to try removing a few others that criticised the site to see if it made any difference. In January I unexpectedly received a payment of $50, so I decided to give the site another try. Since then I've had no further problems getting paid though Bubblews still owes me about $150 from 2013 which I doubt I'll ever receive.

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 3 years ago from Europe

      What rules, Yandee? The rules of Bubblews or the rules of properly writing in your own language. Did you read what this Hub was about? Because we're so tired this kind of comments - that all the pour this kind of word diarrheal over us - we take turns to reply to this sort of comments like you leave here and to leave this unreplied is not the right option too. Happy Bubbling, Yandee!

    • nadelma profile image

      nadelma 3 years ago from Bushkill, Pa

      I have been writing on Bubblews since April, 2013. I have redeemed many times and I have the money put in my paypal account and I have spent some of it already. No problem. My first time I redeemed, I had a problem and I emailed them and I got an answer the next day. Again, no problem. I think some people do not follow the rules and do not get enough characters like the rules state. You have to have 400 characters, spaces are not characters. I never put in to redeem until I have $50.50, just in case I was short a little. Once I redeem, I get a message the next day that it is in the process of sending my money to paypal and once it has be sent, I get another message saying it has been sent. I do not have any of the issues that people here have.

    • biblicaliving profile image

      biblicaliving 3 years ago from U.S.A.

      Thanks for this insightful hub! I was thinking about doing some writing over there, but I think that you may have just saved me. Great job!

    • ElaineWithoutYou profile image

      Elaine Galicia 3 years ago from Makati City, Philippines

      My account has been deleted and I don't have a plan to create another one. It's frustrating.

    • AOkay12 profile image

      AOkay12 3 years ago from Florida

      I have been paid one time and will keep my fingers crossed.

    • earner profile image

      Dedicated Content Curator 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      Since I posted above, 6 weeks ago, I've been paid on time/every time this year. But that doesn't stop fear from running through what you write and fear every time you press the button for the next one .....

      I've still never been paid over $300 for some missing in July-Sep 2013.

      Total claimed and paid since 1/1/2014 is $800

      Total received since I joined $1600

    • sprite1950 profile image

      sprite1950 3 years ago

      Thank you for your message of support Ezedub. If I was the unscrupulous person I am made out to be here I could fix things for you and DaddyEvil, and I would .. in a heartbeat, but I'm just an ordinary person.

      I hope your writing is going well elsewhere. I want an autographed copy of your first published book ! Take care.

    • Askme profile image

      Pritchard 3 years ago

      Ezedub, I fit into the category of people described in your 3rd paragraph. I am done with Bubblews.

    • profile image

      Ezedub 3 years ago

      While I have no doubt that quite a few people are being paid, I can say from my own experience that I, and several writers whom I know well, are missing payments, or as in my personal case have never received any at all.

      I think that what I find to be most telling, is that those who hound and harass Bubblews, often find that Bubblews suddenly has a record of their redemption and suddenly manages to pay it.

      Whereas those of us who sent a couple of appropriate emails but were summarily ignored, never manage to hear from them again.

      If Bubblews is so short staffed as to be overwhelmed by the number of legitimate redemptions which they may receive but fully anticipates paying all those who rightfully deserve to be paid, then Bubblews should both increase their staffing, but likewise declare a moratorium on accepting new members until they have addressed in one fashion or another, all claims, paying those which they owe, and actually conversing with and providing explanations to those which they do not.

      That is how an above board and legitimate company would handle the situation were it to be indeed a matter of unexpected volume. I highly doubt that Bubblews has any intention of doing that.

      Furthermore they waste inordinate amounts of time and presumably money as well by trying to hand check everything. As any writer knows, there is a great deal of software available to these sites which is designed to cut down on plagiarism, copy and pasting, etc. it is a simple matter to put these safeguards in place, giving Bubblews a greater chance to address their non payment issues.

      Instead I see them hovering in the discussion forums looking for any negative tid bit that might take place in that venue. It is almost laughable were it not so offensive that they can't bother to pay us because they're checking to see if people are complaining about not being paid.

      Interestingly enough, (unless they've since banned him) they seem to have no problems whatsoever with the posts of their resident anti-Semite and Holocaust denier, who seems to have carte Blanche to spout whatever invective and venom he may so choose to share. I find that highly disturbing at the least.

      I do want to say that I think that the characterization of those whom have been paid and who are writing to share that experience here, as shills, is patently unfair just as it is by those members on Bubblews who state that "only" rule breakers are not paid.

      Persons who make that statement are indeed de facto shills whether they are compensated as such or not. I have neither sympathy nor empathy with their position, as they are making blanket assertions for which they lack any eveidence.

      However, I will say that I know Sprite1950 for example to be a fine and upstanding person and if she relates her experience as always having been paid, then it is only because it is true and she feels that her experience should likewise be disseminated. She has not called though who are missing payments a liar, nor inferred that they are at fault. I have no problem with comments such as hers and encourage everyone to search for greater tolerance towards those similar to her who are offering their own story in the interest of truth and balance.

    • Vampirate profile image

      Vampirate 3 years ago from Somewhere in Dreams

      Jandee, there's no rule requiring posters to credit photographs, so there's no rule to break. Nice try, but now you're just a shill.

      The good side of being a shill is that you'll keep getting paid. The bad side is that you've closed your mind. And a shill's opinion quickly becomes worthless.

    • suraj punjabi profile image

      suraj punjabi 3 years ago from jakarta

      great article! really enjoyed reading this and proofs you presented are quite strong. with that being said, one can't help but wonder how are they still using Google Adsense on their site? Adsense are particularly strict in their rules when it comes to scammers and spammers. What explanation could there be for Adsense to not ban them or something?

    • earner profile image

      Dedicated Content Curator 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      I've been paid all mine since 10th November. $300 missing up to that date, $900 received since then.

      The trouble is .... $/hour it's not worth it. While passive income's possible, you don't get sight of the stats, so you're p'ing in the wind really as you don't know what's working/not at all.... or what for and the sources.

    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 3 years ago

      What I adore about this article and its comments is that it proves the fact that there is a sucker born every minute. It proves that people are stupid.

      This isn't just a "Bubblews didn't pay me!" article, this is a scientific experiement. It is done with the same care that one would do in testing pesticides or vaccinations.

      Beyond the writer's documented experience there are hundreds of commentators who have confirmed that Bubblews is a Scam.

      Yes, there are those who knew it in June 2013. This did not mean that people wouldn't join in July and get their first payout, swear the site was legit, lure a few dozen others into joining , and then get ripped.

      Why do people keep believing that there's a tooth fairy?

    • Vampirate profile image

      Vampirate 3 years ago from Somewhere in Dreams

      Jandee, I and hundreds of others who haven't been paid by bubblews are not doubters or silly. We have no doubts at all that we haven't been paid, and we have no doubts there was no reason for nonpayment. We also have no doubts that it will be interesting to see what happens when the attorneys general of Virginia, California, Delaware, and many other states, as well as the FBI's Internet Fraud Division reviews the coming deluge of complaints. It took me a matter of minutes to document over 100 victims who are collectively owed thousands of dollars. And even less time to realize that many victims are outside the U.S., which makes it unlikely they can use the American justice system. It makes quite an interesting picture, one I'm sure the attorneys general and the FBI will have no trouble understanding.

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Yes, yes, I happen to follow buildreps hub which you commented on too. You said he's suffering from "deep embarrassment" I think. I guess I got off lightly by being called silly. Good luck with your spam crusade. Plenty more negatively worded hubs about bubblews for you to get through.

    • Janice L Miller profile image

      Janice L Miller 3 years ago from USA

      I don't delete posts on bubblews, I rewrite. I don't want to lose revenues.

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Hello DaddyEvil, thanks for sharing your experience. It always seems strange when someone who is regularly paid, and hasn’t changed anything about how they post bubblews, is suddenly cut off. It makes it so unlikely that you broke any rules.

      I think that after they didn’t pay you in December, they knew they could get away with it, which is why they didn’t pay you in January either. I would advise not writing anything else there until you’re paid.

      I would like to know the name of the site moderator if you have it. There do appear to be quite a lot of staff for the site. Usually their profiles list the email addresses to use for contacting or reporting things. However, sometimes, they have twitter or hubpages accounts where they spam about Bubblews and pretend to be happy customers rather than employees. I think there are some business standards that they’re in danger of breaching there!

      If the moderator didn’t get a reply, I’m not sure what to say. They could be lying to you, but I’d have to read the conversation to have a better idea. The solution given in this hub is a bit old now, and it’s worked less and less over time. It’s probably time for me to change the hub a bit.

      As well as not writing until you’re paid, I would recommend bombarding them with emails until you get a reply. Experience tells me that they eventually give in to those who are determined enough. The author `weekend’ wrote a comment above about how it took months to get paid. I think Bubblews eventually pay because they can afford to. Probably 90% of people don’t bother to go beyond a couple of emails. They just give up and let Bubblews keep the money. Bubblews know this which is probably why they ignore you at first.

      If you know of any way to threaten Bubblews with legal action, or you know any lawyers that could take the case, that might be useful. I think Bubblews also know that most people won’t take their claims to the courts (for such a small amount).

      I would say that redeeming after 5 days is pretty impressive for someone who doesn’t call themselves prolific. Was your bubblews strategy to like hundreds of posts each day without reading them; then wait for people to like back? I know lots of people do that, but it is effectively `gaming’ the system and I’m surprised they pay for it.

      Hubpages is totally legit in my opinion. I have not seen anything to suggest otherwise. If you saved the hub, it should be listed when you go to the page called “my account” and scroll down a bit. It won’t appear on your profile until you’ve published it. If that doesn’t help, you can try the forums. The staff here seem to be relatively helpful. Hubpages is totally different to Bubblews though. They want longer articles (about 1000-2000 words) which are `evergreen’ (will still be relevant after a long time). Earning here is slow, but it will pick up in a few months if you stick at it because it can take the hubs a while to mature in google rankings.

    • DaddyEvil profile image

      Robb Swadley 3 years ago from Missouri, USA

      Hello, Thomas Swan.

      I happen to be one of the people who have also been having difficulties with the site, Bubblews.

      I was one of their biggest proponents. I diligently searched for and reported people who were scamming the site.

      Until the middle of December, when I still hadn't received the redeem I was owed from December 6, 2013.

      Normally, all my redeems had been paid within three days, but this time, when twelve days had gone by, I became concerned.

      I am not a terribly prolific writer, so it sometimes took five or six days for me to be able to claim $25 from the site.

      I followed the site's rules, did not spam them about my redemption. I was told by one of the site Moderators that I had done nothing wrong, to be patient and wait for my money.

      Patience runs out after a while, though!

      I contacted the site again on Dec. 26, requesting my payment. Still no reply.

      On Jan. 22, 2014, I redeemed for $51.01. I have still not heard anything about either amount.

      The Moderator who urged patience finally lost patience and emailed Arvind himself on my behalf (with me protesting this step) and was given no reply.

      I tried your solution once on Dec. 31, 2013, then again on Jan. 15, 2014.

      Currently, I am checking out other sites, hoping to find something/somewhere I am suited to write.

      I have posted a few articles on PAA, but am not prolific enough to garner money on that site. (Apparently.)

      Currently, I have an account here on HubPages, but after my carefully written beginning to a Hub vanished into thin air, I am afraid to try this site again. I KNOW I saved my work, so am at a loss as to why it vanished.

      If you wish to view any of my material, I have not yet taken down my account with Bubblews. I am RJBRES there. I am DaddyEvil on HubPages as well as on PAA. I am also DaddyEvil on the site WebAnswers.

      On WA, I give legal suggestions (usually) for people seeking help with child support, custody, visitation, divorce and small claims court problems.

      I have over nine years experience in courtroom procedures and studied for mostly child related court cases in seven mid-U.S. states.

      Currently, I am coasting on Bubblews, waiting (not-so-patiently) to see if I get an answer THIS time.

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      The Bubblews site has apparently taken their invasive information-mining strategy too far, and it is currently being labelled as a "malware site" in Google Chrome and Firefox. Hubpages is also calling all links to the site suspicious.

      As anyone who has read Buildreps hub knows, Bubblews is able to pay a relatively high amount because they extract personal information and preferences from their authors to sell to ad companies. They do this by using a number of cookies and web trackers. This latest malware scare is probably a result of them going too far with their information gathering, and triggering a number of security alerts.

      If you visit the site on a regular basis, set your browser to delete cookies afterwards. Remember to set up exceptions for trusted sites like google, youtube, and any other pages you login to regularly (or you'll have to enter your pw every time).

      There is a forum topic about the malware issue here: http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/120083#post2542139

    • Thomas Swan profile image
      Author

      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Sprite1950, if Fox News gave me a job and paid me a million dollar salary, I don’t think I’d change my opinion about them being a deplorable propaganda outlet. Even if I did change my opinion, I’d need to go a step further to actively defend them against complaints. So I don’t think it’s as simple as standing up for someone who has been good to you. I wouldn’t support or defend anyone just because they pay me. I have principles. I do understand the temptation though. At the same time, I don’t think it’s right to promote a site that is clearly upsetting a lot of decent, rule-abiding people. If you had any doubts (and you clearly did from your friend’s experience), then surely there must a nagging feeling that you were being a bit irresponsible?

      Earner, the problem with continuing to write there after not being paid a few times is Bubblews will know they can get away with not paying you some of the time. I expect your 70% rate of payment will continue or get worse. However, there does seem to be an effort to improve the site, so maybe you will get all your payments now. Did you get your recent payment?

      Weekend, thanks for coming back to update us with your situation. I’m glad you finally got paid. I don’t know why it took so long though. I think that what you said here is especially relevant: “And had I not fought for payment, I wouldn't have been paid at all, in spite of following all rules!” There must be hundreds/thousands of rule-abiding writers who never chased up their lost payments. What irks me is that Bubblews are obviously able to check their records to confirm we’re owed money… so why can’t they just pay everyone without the barrage of emails?

      Timetraveller. Thanks for letting us know that you got paid. As you’ll know from my previous comments, I’m not surprised, so I’ll leave it there.

      SaraAnn, yes, there does seem to be an effort to improve the site. The thing is, if they didn’t pay anyone, they wouldn’t last. They have to pay some people to keep it going. For all the people they don’t pay, the plan is to make them think a rule was broken. It’s a pretty successful model really… making people doubt themselves. That’s why it’s so hard to contact them, because then they’d have to explain what you’re supposed to have done wrong. Now they’re making a show of publishing rule-breakers on the support page, but from the complaints I hear, this doesn’t include anywhere near all the people who aren’t being paid.

      Secretabundance, Thanks, glad to help. With recent developments (see below) you probably made a wise decision.

      Askme, have you gotten paid yet? Your story is interesting, and fits with the idea that Bubblews will use any excuse not to pay someone… whether it’s inactivity, requesting a cheque instead of paypal, not attributing images from one’s own camera, or emailing them too much. All seem to be reasons for not being paid. I agree that there does seem to a lot of `personal preference’ in terms of who does well on the site and who doesn’t.

      Everydaywalk, dearie me… “blueprint that can change the world”? That’s some lovely sales talk there. If you can “prove that Bubblews is not a scam”, please give it a try.

      Buildreps and FatFreddysCat, you should see the comment I labelled as spam. It claimed earnings of 3000 dollars in 11 months. Comments like those just do the opposite for me. If people are being paid to make those spam posts, what is the motivation behind the people paying them?

      Lovebuglena, welcome back. Perhaps you forgot that you posted a very similar comment here two months ago. I don’t know if it’s worth telling you to read the hub, or to recognize that many rule-abiding writers clearly haven’t been paid. Just read the whole of this comment to know that. Anyway, I guess there’s nothing to add except, `see you in two months’.

    • weekend profile image

      weekend 3 years ago

      @lovebuglena "If all rules are followed Bubblews does pay!!!" You obviously haven't read the hub you're commenting on here.

      After almost five months, I have finally received all payments owed. I won't be writing for Bubblews again. It's just not worth my while. And had I not fought for payment, I wouldn't have been paid at all, in spite of following all rules!

    • lovebuglena profile image

      Lena Kovadlo 3 years ago from Staten Island, NY

      I have redeemed three $25 minimum earnings and one $50 minimum earning, which is now in place, and have been successful each time, getting all the money I earned into my paypal and then to my bank account. If all rules are followed Bubblews does pay!!!

      Only issue I have now is this.... In "the bank" page they state that we earn based on how much ad revenue site is pulling in and elsewhere in one of the site's links (forget which one) it says revenue is split 50/50 between us and Bubblews. Examining the bank stats closely after my first $50 redemption and by reading what some other bubblers have written, I noticed that if we add up view, like, and comment stats in the bank and multiply by a penny we get the exact amount we see in the earnings stat of the bank page. That means we get a penny for every view, like and comment and therefore the ad revenue the site is making has nothing to do with us. So, when they say we earn based on ad revenue the site is pulling in at the time they are lying to us!!! They get all the ad revenue! If they actually split it with us we'd be earning much more than we currently do.

      Also, those people that redeem every few days and therefore make hundreds a month must be doing something not legit to hike up their earnings. I doubt that they would earn as much as they do otherwise.

    • FatFreddysCat profile image

      Keith Abt 3 years ago from The Garden State

      Did that guy seriously say "Bubblews has the blueprint that can change this world?" Oh pleeeeeez. Someone drank the Kool Aid...

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 3 years ago from Europe

      Well, you proved it for yourself perhaps, but not for the rest. The louder you shout, the more I think this you're a shill, everydaywalk...

    • everydaywalk profile image

      Prime Aque 3 years ago from Davao City

      Bubblews is not a Scam! I have 37 redemption to date, and I received them all! I always believe that Bubblews has the blueprint that can change this world. Your bubbling experience is too less to prove that it's a scam. I am a bubbler for 10 months and I can prove that Bubblews is not a scam!!!

    • Askme profile image

      Pritchard 3 years ago

      I've been on bubblews since July, 2013. I have been paid 2times. I am missing one payment because I mistakenly put in the wrong email address for my paypal account. I corrected the error and sent the email to Arvind who was the only one to contact me at Bubblews. No response. Sent a contact email via their "contact us" on the site-no response. Finally sent an email and provided the email string with Arvind to the address I found on their site assistant.bubblews@gmail.com. Rec'd an email 2 days later telling me to put my bubblews name in the "subject line" and provide a link to my bubblews. Did that 2 days ago-no response.

      I have found those who complain about not being paid and try to contact Arvind or others at Bubblews get ignored. You never get on the "Front Page" and you posts just sit with little activity. It is amazing the amount of hits and comments some "Bubblers" get when their posts are incoherent.

      Bubblews is not on the level of hubpages. It really is not a blog and/or writing site. It is more of a cross between FB and Twitter, where they only want short, light pieces. Most of the members on Bubblews will not spend any time actually reading posts. Lots of Bubblers writhe "instructional posts" where they complain about anyone who "writes too much". I found some of the posts to be downright illiterate!

    • weekend profile image

      weekend 3 years ago

      Update: Bubblews has just sent a pending payment to my Paypal account covering both outstanding redemptions. Now it's just a question of clearance. I will let you know.

      Bubblews also sent a note of apology thanking me for my patience, and the assurance that things will run more smoothly in future.

    • Secretabundance profile image

      Secretabundance 3 years ago

      Thanks for posting such informational hub for all to better understand Bubblews. I was contemplating to pursue my writing there, but, now, I would rather continue hubbing instead:) Thanks much:)

    • weekend profile image

      weekend 3 years ago

      Hi Thomas!

      Three emails later, I've just received one pending payment for $28.19, which covers my last redemption claimed on October 8, 2013, but the two redemptions claimed on September 9, 2013 and September 13, 2013 are still missing.

      I've emailed Bubblews again, so let's see what happens now. I'll let you know.

    • profile image

      SaraAnn 3 years ago

      I hope they are cleaning up their act. So far I have been paid 3 times without any trouble. recently i also contacted their support via the email they provide and they responded within 10 minutes!! it was the first time they had ever gotten back to me about anything. they were supposed to be improving their infrastructure and hiring new people, so my thoughts are that they have good intentions, but maybe suck at their jobs. if they are scamming, it is random and inconsistent.