Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Swagbucks: Crappy Customer Service Continues

First it was big fat stinky Leroy with Delta Airlines accusing me of lying to him. Then we all heard about TSA randomly selecting people for either a radiation blast or grope session. And now it's Swagbucks, a search engine that I've been faithfully using (and promoting) for over a year.

What do Delta, the TSA, and Swagbucks have in common? They operate outside of US law. If someone takes you to court to charge you with a crime, you are innocent until proven guilty. Outside of the courtroom, however, you're guilty until proven innocent, and in some cases you don't have the chance to prove your innocence.

I've already told you about Leroy. Let me tell you about Swagbucks. It's a search engine where you can randomly win "bucks" with every search. As you accumulate the money, you turn it in for free stuff. Not a bad deal, eh? I'd been using it for about six months when my husband noticed. He asked about it, and I helped him set up an account.

Last week my account was deactivated. No warning, no explanation. It was just deactivated. There was an email address listed where I could write if I felt it had been a mistake. I emailed them immediately. That was Wednesday, November 25. It is now Monday, November 29. I have not heard back from them. My sister's account was also deactivated on that day. She not only heard back from them, but she was eventually reinstated. My husband also emailed and heard back from them when he wanted to see if we could figure this out. But me? Nothing.

This is what they told my sister:

After reviewing your account, we did determined that you were deactivated due to opening a new account. This action violates our terms and conditions.

Please remember, only one account is permitted per household.

Due to past experiences, this is a method used to protect our Swagbucks Community from cheaters and potential fraud activity.

We apologize for any misunderstanding. Thank you for your time and have a nice day.

I can only assume this is why my account was deactivated (but I still don't know). If this is a case, it's an honest mistake. Matt opened his account in May - we didn't realize we could only have one per household. They could have denied his account when we tried to open it (since our address was already in their file), or contacted me when they found the error and either given me a chance to explain or cancel one account. Instead, I've been ignored.

At one time I actively promoted Swagbucks. I had links posted on both of my blogs. I recruited friends on Facebook to join them (I had nine referrals). Now, because of a genuine misunderstanding, I've been labeled a cheater (I assume, since they won't contact me). Once again I'm a faceless minion that the big companies treat like a criminal because they've been cheated by others - they don't need to know anything about me, they just assume that I'm evil.

Swagbucks, I'm truly sorry. I know that I broke your rules, but I really didn't mean to do it. I hope that other people treat you better than you treated me. I will use your "customer service" techniques in the future as a reminder of what not to do.

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