Report: #430465

Complaint Review:

  • Submitted: Tue, March 03, 2009
  • Updated: Sun, March 22, 2009
  • Reported By: Lenox Georgia
    200 Brickstone Square.suite 1
    Andover, Massachusetts
    U.S.A. Helium steals writers articles by banning them from the site Andover Massachusetts

*Author of original report: Response to comment

*UPDATE Employee: Vague generalities don't get it done

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I knew there were many internet scams out there but I never expected to encounter one of this type. At first glance it seemed to on the up and up with many helpful people encouraging others to write their butts off and also to rate as much as possible. I soon realized that things weren't what they seemed.

I found out some stewards (who were touted as mere members volunteering to do free work for Helium) were paid to push any new rules changes which Helium came up with. If anyone complained the paid cheerleaders would naysay any complaints and talk up the new changes. Some of the paid volunteers are downright arrogant and rude to members callinjg them malcontents and other names. This was to quell any dissent from members and it works well on some.

But not for me obviously. I emailed Barbara Whitlock, one of CEO Mark Ranalli's main cronies, many times and was lied to on a regular basis about the status of the stewards. After exposing the truth about the steward program and causing Barbara to admit the truth about them getting paid some who weren't getting paid were very hurt and dismayed to learn the deception. I also informed the members about the special rating system the sub-stewards and stewards were permitted to use allowing them to rate in all channels, not just the ones they wrote in like the common members have to use.

The rating system is faulty anyway but allowing some to rate in any channel they choose can skew the rating of regular articles, marketplace articles, and contest entries. This could explain the numerous complaints by members about the rating system. How all of this works is a secret of course. A trade secret according to the cheerleaders. In fact, almost anything important to the members is a secret.

Now a member has to have enough "quality rates" to have a rating star at the end of the month or the money your articles have earned will go to someone else on the site. Coincidentally, many seem to lose their rating star right before pay out time and lose all the money they have worked for the entire month. And besides, not one person, steward, staff, Barbara, Rex, or anyone else on the site can define a quality rate. Believe me, many have asked. So you see, they are asking members to do something which no one on Helium can define in order to collect their money.

I caused Barbara and Mark to admit their untruthfulness so they banned me and kept my 109 articles which are still making money for them. They are not required to prove I violated the user agreement so they can steal my work and make money from doing so. Pretty neat set up wouldn't you say. There's no telling how many other members have had their articles stolen by these dispicable people.

There are some great people trapped on this site who are afraid to speak up about the problems because they have hundreds if not thousands of articles on here they could lose. It is a type of extortion by Helium, holding the writers articles hostage in case they decide to speak out about the corruption on the site. These are bad people running this site with no sense of loyalty to their writers. Stay away from this site.

Lenox, Georgia
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/03/2009 05:09 PM and is a permanent record located here: 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Author of original report

Response to comment

AUTHOR: Randy - (U.S.A.)

Jared? I will assume you are a steward and if not, you should be because the old "sour grapes" label is commonly used on Helium to quell any dissent from the members. This might be applicable if I failed to succeed on the Helium site but I managed to do well in the market place and contests. I had up to four writing stars ( the most I could achieve with the number of articles submitted) and five rating stars ( the most possible). So this is not about not being able to compete on the site.

I don't know how long you have been a member of the site but I joined in November of 2007 at the behest of a friend. At this time you didn't have to have a rating star to cash out on page views and a writers heirs could collect on them even after the authors death. All of this has changed since I joined the site along with other disturbing new rules. It is true many do not care about the ethical conduct of Helium's stewards and staff as long as they themselves make money. Others who have written hundreds, if not thousands of articles before the terms were changed are now trapped because they don't want to be banned, as I was, for protesting the unfair agreement changes.

I will be glad to answer any questions about this site.
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#2 UPDATE Employee

Vague generalities don't get it done

AUTHOR: Jared - (U.S.A.) certainly has had growing pains, but they are nothing in the face of the opportunities made available to freelance writers and professionals around the globe.

One of the charges levied against Helium is that you have to have a rating star in order to be able to earn your share of ad revenues. This is made clear from the moment you sign up as a member, which registration is free, by the way. Now, let's review, Helium asks members to write and rate for stars, and if your stuff is quality enough and you show enough participation on the site, you then can start making the pretty solid ad shares.

So this means that Helium actually asks you to do something before they pay you.

Another valid concern is how the rating and writing stars are determined. The explanation of writing stars on the site is quite adequate, however, it truly is still unclear exactly how rating stars are awarded. That being said, a formula for maintaining a rating star ( you only need one to be able to earn 100% of your ad shares) is provided. This formula works.

All of this is made clear from the start.

Add to all of this that there is a user's agreement, which individual members should take responsibility to read and if they don't, they are at fault, not Helium. The user's agreement lays out terms of ownership as well, and again, it's all very clear and if the user doesn't understand it, they are at fault.

As for site stewards, some of them do get paid a small amount, but that depends entirely on the agreement Helium has made with them. It's not a scam, Helium does not have to offer stewardships to the writers. This system is in place to involve members more as well as to streamline areas of the site.

Truth is, this is all sour grapes. It sounds as if.. Randy? didn't give Helium time. If you spend a month working regularly with Helium, you will find that you can build your income quicklyly. With all the value there: Marketplace, the partnerships (hundreds!), contests, and other bonuses in place such as the empty title bonus, really Helium is doing revolutionary work in the field of helping modern, web-based freelance writers build a solid business.

It takes time, diligence and some patience, but Helium is a positive writers' website.
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