• Report: #1119659

Complaint Review: RewardZone USA, LLC

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  • Submitted: Thu, January 30, 2014
  • Updated: Thu, January 30, 2014

  • Reported By: Chris — Phoenix Arizona
RewardZone USA, LLC
128 Court Street, 3rd Floor White Plains, New York USA

RewardZone USA, LLC, Rewardsflow.com, Rewardzoneusa.com Nearly Impossible Requirements for "Gifts"

*General Comment: Regards to the owner of the companies rebuttal to that person's experience and about the kind of company that you are this is my experience I'm going through right now!

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: RewardZone USA's Response

*Consumer Comment: I DID receive my $1000 from RewardZone (but it was not easy)

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     Everyone has seen those websites where you can claim a "free gift" such as a gift card, iPad, gaming console, and a myriad of other possibilities for "filling out a survey" or other too-good-to-be-true tasks. While there are a great deal of honest programs, those offered by this company are anything but fair to you - the consumer. This report is to warn you of what the program does and how unfair it is.

     For starters, this is a quick snapshot of what these programs are in general for the industry and how they work. These programs are commonly referred to as "Incentivised Freebie Websites" ("IFW"). Generally speaking, you must complete a number of "offers" to claim the gift or prize. Such offers include signing up for a free trial to a service, buying a subscription to a product or service, spending a certain amount of money at an advertiser's website, applying and being accepted for a credit card, etc. [continued below]....

.....

     When you click through to the offer and complete the requirements (say, signing up for a free trial to a website) the advertiser pays the IFW company a referral fee for sending them your business. In turn, the IFW company uses a portion of that commission/fee to pay for your gift and the remainder is profit. You get your gift/prize and they make money. It's lucrative and the business model has been around for ages.

     Granted, there are many of these websites that are quite fair and tell you up front what needs to be done in order to claim the prize. Respectible IFWs will allow you every possibility to complete the program fairly - like not locking you into a time limit or penalizing you for canceling your subscription to a free trial if you aren't satisfied with the service. Less reputable IFW sites, however, will use sneaky tactics and fine print into making as much profit as possible at your expense.

     In my honest opinion, Rewards Zone USA is one of these less reputable companies. Their most recent program I became aware of (through third party advertisements) was for a $100 NFL Gift Shop gift card. Their main page leads the user to believe they receive the said gift card for simply filling out a survey on who will win in the Super Bowl. Scrutinizing the page though shows that they are indeed roping you into a "complete offers to get the gift" program. Not only that, but the requirements are beyond unfair and almost impossible to complete within their terms.

     This particular program requires you to complete "2 Silver Offers, 2 Gold Offers and 3 Platinum Offers." You cannot view the actual offers until you have provided them honest contact and demographic information (which they share with their "Marketing Partners" according to their privacy policy). Some of the offers in their representative sample include:

  • Signing up for Proactiv's auto ship program
  • Signing up for a free trial for credit monitoring
  • Buying a weight loss supplement
  • Signing up for a GameFly trial
  • Applying for a credit card

     These are only a few of the offers they supposedly provide, remembering that you must complete at least seven of them to qualify. What's most disturbing is you must complete all of the required offers before midnight of the day you sign up for the program or you are disqualified and cannot get your gift/prize. The terms and conditions also state that in order for an offer to be regarded as "completed," free trial services must bill you at least once, and credit card applications must be approved, a purchase made, and must remain a card member for 60 days.

     Common sense will immediately tell you that it's physically impossible to apply for a credit card, get approved, get the card, make a purchase AND remain a card holder for 60 days all inside of one calendar day. On that same note, you also cannot physically sign up for a free trial, wait for the trial to end (usually at least 7 days) and get billed for the subscription in the same amount of time.

     It's also worth noting that some unreputable sites mix-and-match their offers across various levels that can force you into an un-winnable situation. For example, the first two tiers of offers may be generally easy ones - such as free trials. The last page though could possibly be nothing but personal loans and credit card applications. The user may not even be able to qualify for these, or if they do, likely cannot complete them within the time limit (see above).

     This means all of the offers you signed up for before getting to this point are now your financial responsibility and they have made their commission from it. However, since you cannot complete the last stage, you are unable to fulfill your end of the terms of the program and forefit your gift or prize.

     Should you complete an offer but become disqualified from the program, then congratulations - you've signed up for a product or service and are on the hook for whatever the subscription terms are. Additionally, Rewards Zone USA gets their commission. But what of your gift or prize? Well, you didn't complete the program according to the (basically) physically impossible terms and therefor are disqualified, but thanks for playing. You've just earned this company a nice bonus that's pure profit for them at no real benefit to you.

     Their terms and conditions are, as of the date of this report, filled with language that protects them if you choose to fight them over this. In my opinion, it's clearly designed to get the user to sign up for services so they get paid, but so restricted that it's extremely unlikely they will have to fulfill their end of the bargain and send you a gift.

     Please take caution when dealing with IFWs. Like I mentioned earlier, there are plenty of reputable ones out there that don't have absurd time limits or offer requirements. Many of the reputable ones have no time limits at all and you can complete it over several months or even years if you want! One calendar day? Let's be honest here - they know 99.99999999% of people cannot accomplish this - even through no fault of your own - so it's free money to them. Always read the terms and conditions before providing any information about yourself as well. 

     In conclusion, avoid this company. My opinion shows that they are simply trying to use people who are ignorant to the industry in order to make a profit without providing anything in return. Do your research, read the terms carefully and only sign up for an IFW if you're sure you can easily complete the program within the terms.

 

     


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/30/2014 02:59 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/RewardZone-USA-LLC/White-Plains-New-York-10601/RewardZone-USA-LLC-Rewardsflowcom-Rewardzoneusacom-Nearly-Impossible-Requirements-fo-1119659. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 2Consumer 1Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

  I've recently been offered the $100 Kohl's gift card. I have been checking my incentive status and I've been trying to claim my incentive for the $100 Kohl's gift card I have not only went ahead and I've recently (well, let me restate that since the 28th of June when this was started all the way UP until now) everyday. Also, I've been trying to claim my incentive for the $100 kohl's gift card. I have not only went ahead and completed all of my requirements! I have all of my proof not only on my credit card... Well, bank card statement showing that I completed not only OVER 2 silver/gold offers, OVER 2 platinum offers, and now... I finally after it told me that I completed it and my offer was successfully completed and BEING processed..... Now, I get back on again and things are missing that I DID complete. Like I said, I have my bank statement IF you need it to prove that... I am signed up for it and being charged a lot of money for ALL of these offers I completed. I did everything you guys told me to do. You had it set that I did everything it was all on there and it stated it was completed! Now all of a sudden its saying I need 40 more points AND I need to do more offers?!?!?! NO Way! I have the proof this is BS! Simply BECAUSE, I have done everything that I am supposed to do!

Also, for future reference some of us also have Google Voice so when you put the option to screen the calls when they ring to your phone that's the ONLY time they will be screened and then it rings so that is letting me know that you are having it go through to a person to their phone they are screening it and then not answering and sending you to a voicemail and pretending that there is no one there to answer it?!?!?!? You NEED to realize that especially since a lot of us have Google products and they are all linked together that we know how this works. I do have a Google Voice number I know exactly how it works! And this was the number that I called when got it off the Better Business Bureau website that has you guys having a very bad rating for these kinds of situations you are actually underneath of the scam and the stay away from Ripoff report. That's how I found this WHEN attempting to contact your arbitration and dispute resolution division in white plains NY.

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#2 REBUTTAL Owner of company

RewardZone USA's Response

AUTHOR: RewardZone USA - ()

We wanted to take the opportunity to respond to your January post about RewardZoneUSA, of which we just recently became aware.  In your post, you assert that our promotional path has “nearly impossible requirements.”  We don’t agree and would like to clarify several misstatements in your post.

RewardZone USA works very hard to maintain superlative clarity and transparency for our users so they understand what’s required to earn the promoted incentive.  There’s no doubt that users are required to purchase merchandise or sign up for “offers” that include subscriptions, memberships, or monthly programs, in order to earn a larger, more valuable item.  We state that a user must make a purchase clearly and conspicuously on the landing page.  We don’t use the word “free” or try to confuse users so they think that they only have to complete a survey to get the incentive.  The terms are explained clearly – no legalese – in the paragraph that’s on every page of the path as well as in the Terms and Conditions.  In fact we added a sentence to this paragraph in response to some consumers who, based on customer service inquiries, appeared confused about the program requirements.  The sentence reads: “COMPLETING A SURVEY WITHOUT COMPLETING THE OFFERS SPECIFIED ABOVE DOES NOT QUALIFY YOU FOR AN INCENTIVE.”  That seems pretty clear to us.

We were not happy with the number of users that qualified for incentives, since we wanted more people to qualify, and tell their friends.  (Note: We never had “refer a friend” requirements like some of our competitors.)  Since your post, we reduced the number of required offers needed to qualify for the incentive.  Now, if the value of the incentive is $100 or less, users need to purchase a total of 5 offers from 3 categories (2 Silver, 2 Gold, and 1 Platinum offer); if the incentive is worth over $100, users need 10 offers in total (2 Gold, 2 Silver, and 6 Platinum offers). This information is available, along with many other details, in our Terms and Conditions at this link: http://www.rewardzoneusa.com/path.html?p=CampImg/1300/terms.htm.

To assist our users, we recently added a chart detailing the terms of many of the offers including upfront cost, continuing requirements and information on how to cancel.  Here’s the link: http://www.rewardzoneusa.com/path.html?p=CampImg/1300/privacy.htm.  We think this is pretty useful information.

In your post you claim that 24 hours was insufficient time to complete all the offers.  That’s just not correct.  In fact all of the offers required to earn an incentive can be completed within a 24 hour period – there are no approval periods or anything like that.   And if a user completed offers outside of the 24 hour period, we routinely waived the rule and assisted the user in qualifying for the incentive.  To the best of our knowledge, no user was ever denied an incentive under this rule.  But to make it easier for a user to earn an incentive, last month we extended the time period to 30 days. This gives users more flexibility to sign up for offers on their own schedule so they can qualify for the incentive.    

We also have a staff dedicated to answering users’ questions and incentive claims, which can be submitted through the Members Area of our site here: http://contact.rewardzoneusa.com/Login.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2fprizestatus.aspx. We can also be reached at info@rewardzoneusa.com at any time.  Our staff regularly walks users through any remaining steps required to qualify for their incentives because it’s in everyone’s best interest to have happy, satisfied customers.

It’s surprising that even with clear disclosure and the relaxed requirements and a customer service team standing by to help, less than 40% of all consumers who qualify for an incentive claim them even though we send multiple emails and letters via USPS and call them literally begging them to claim their incentive. 

The program really does work if you follow the rules to earn an incentive.  We’ve seen many folks earn a $1,000 incentive while spending much less than that on completing advertised offers.

Bottom line: we believe our program is fair, we explain it clearly and simply, and we provide consumers with the chance to earn valuable incentives.  No doubt we’re in business to make a profit but we want users to earn incentives and claim them in part because we don’t like seeing our name attached to posts on the RipOffReport that are inaccurate and mischaracterize our program.

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#3 Consumer Comment

I DID receive my $1000 from RewardZone (but it was not easy)

AUTHOR: Denise - ()

The conclusion paragraph of this thorough report by Chris sums it up nicely: avoid RewardZone USA if you're not willing and able to play by their extensive rules.

While caution is advised, I cannot call it a ripoff because I DID RECEIVE $1000 in Visa debit cards (two $500 ones) which I have already spent most of -- in other words, they are real, and I'm quite happy about that!

It took me substantial time and energy (which I will explain further) but ultimately it was worth $1000 to me. I would never have attempted it for a mere $100 gift card. At several points along the way (i.e., in the two months it took to collect the reward) I thought I was going to be here on this website describing a scam... but I'm pleased that I'm not.

I decided to go for the $1000 gift card on the evening of March 31, 2014. I was sucked in initially because the first two offers that I could sign up for were items that had been on my "list" for awhile; i.e., things that I actually wanted! My list of offers to choose from did not include credit cards, so I cannot comment on that being something impossible to get within their timeframe. Also quite possibly I may have just gotten lucky that I was presented with offers that were do-able for me. So be prepared to fill out a few and then possibly have to abort.

You need to be very clear about signing up for these offers -- they ALL want to attach themselves to your credit card and charge you every month for the rest of your life. I took EXCELLENT NOTES on each offer, its terms, timelines, etc, as I filled out each offer. I filled out 12 offers (in RewardZone categories of Gold, Silver, and Platinum) per instructions. I ended up spending just under $30.00 for my "free" items (some ask for shipping cost, etc.) I attached them all to a credit card that was valid for now, but was about to expire! That was my ace-in-the-hole in case one or more of the 12 were scams in their own right. But I'm also happy to report that they were not. After I received each of the 12 items, I went through the process of unsubscribing and have had no fallout from that (no charges on my card to contest). And the items I received as samples were all pretty good -- as described (oh, but one other warning -- 2 of them needed to be boxed up and returned without using them or else they would have charged me. That wasn't clear initially. Pay attention at every step! I returned them and all is well.)

The key to actually getting RewardZone to acknowledge that I had earned the $1000 was in collecting the 12 confirmation emails from the 12 offers. Each "thank you and welcome" email was timed and dated, of course, which proved that I had achieved 12 within the given 24-hour timeframe.

Incidently, somewhere after March 31 they changed the rules (for the better) and you now have 30 days to fulfill the offers instead of 24 hours! That was last I noticed anyway -- be sure to READ THE RULES because they can change again, certainly.

But here is the #1 Rule you MUST apply to YOURSELF if you decide to attempt one of RewardZone's offers: You must be tenacious! They are spotty at best in returning email inquiries, and never any personal names -- only "info@" and "RewardZone Team" (until the very end when I received paperwork to fill out to receive my $$$ from "Mohit Singla, Director, Compliance") I would get an email saying I had complied with 10 of the 12 or 11 of the 12, etc, and I would reply with copies of all 12 confirmation emails... and then I wouldn't hear from anyone for a week. And then it would start over again, possibly with someone new at the other end -- who knows?! But I was tenacious and emailed them daily with my dispute number (per their own rules) etc, etc.

I was about to throw in the towel and looked into Arbitration (per their rules) but it would have cost me $700 (which they say they will reimburse -- ummm, no thank you) so instead I began a relentless spamming campaign on them: emailing them my dispute/request 1 to 3 times daily. Yes, I made it into a mission. But this actually didn't take much time -- just did it while checking my emails, so why not?!

When I was still getting the runaround and only an occasional email throwing me a glimmer of hope, I was just getting set to begin filling out complaints on sites like this one. But BINGO I received a congratulations email and a set of paperwork to fill out to receive my $1000! Now here is another step that gave me pause -- but it's in their rules and I knew it was coming -- they need a notarized signature ($10 cost to me) and a filled out W4 -- which means, yes, they will get your social security number (to report winnings to the IRS). The words "identity theft" did cross my mind, but at that point I was in too deep, and I went ahead and finished it.

Three days later, I had two $500 Visa debit cards (in lieu of a $1000 Amazon gift card)! And so far I believe (hope/pray) that my identity is intact. Thank you RewardZone USA LLC and Mr. Compliance Director Mohit Singla -- I appreciate the integrity in the end! As to you other consumers out there -- take this on only if you don't mind dancing!

 

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