DH referral system hacked!


#1

That got your attention. The DH referral system has not technically been hacked, but it is being undermined by certain forum members that offer $97 promo codes, while most other referrers had informally agreed on a $50 cap. That in effect makes the whole system useless, a lot of referrers angry, and goes against the concept of the system.

I though about writing DH Support to ban these “evil” members (or at least disable their taglines/promo codes), but I think it is better to have an open discussion about their practise first.

Let’s hear your comments. I for one am getting pissed.

[color=#CC0000]Get $50 off[/color] with promo code “LESS”! See here what else you get!


#2

I think all referral/promo links and codes should be banned from the forum completely. It is the only way to make it fair for everyone.


Simon Jessey
Keystone Websites | si-blog


#3

Hahahaha! The tragedy of the commons in action, before your very eyes.

I though about writing DH Support to ban these “evil” members (or at least disable their taglines/promo codes)

On what grounds? Luring people away from your own bright red “$50 off!!1!” advertisment? You can’t have it both ways.

I, for one, find it pretty amusing.


If you want useful replies, ask smart questions.


#4

Well, I suspect that I’ll get roundly flamed for my comments on this, but here goes.

The Dreamhost Rewards program has, I believe, as its primary goal, the generation of new DreamHost accounts. “Rewarding” users for helping in the procurement of these accounts by paying a cash referral is one method they have chosen to use. The cost to DreamHost is the same irrespective of who ultimately derives the benefit of the reward, so I think it highly approporiate that DreamHost refrain from getting involved in policing how the customized promo codes they have set up are used unless “fraud” is involved.

Why is one user’s desire to “pass the savings on” to the ultimate customer any less valid than another users desire to pocket those savings? Why should DreamHost care who ultimately benefits from the promotional expense they have incurred?

Now, I have some other concerns about the whole “Rewards” scenario (see my previous post in this message, but that discussion is a little “off topic” to the nexus of this thread. I only mention it as I recognized my feelings on this might be a little “abnormal”.

I have many clients hosting their sites at Dreamhost, but I made those arrangements under the old “reseller” plan, and I host all but one of these under my own account (I then bill the customer for the hosting depending upon the “package” of services I have agreed to suppy to them, hosting being but one of those services). I do have one “rewards” customer,set up under the “10%” system, which I feel is “ok” because I only profit as long as my referred customer is satisfied with DreamHost, and the customer was fully informed of this relationship between me and DreamHost.

I tend to look at the “$97.00 off” promo code as the ultimate referral…these users want “DH” to profit “the most” from their referral, as it makes for a very tempting offer for one looking for hosting, and is likely to prod that person to “close the deal” at Dreamhost (and that is good for Dreamhost.

Now, if you are really looking to make money from referring DreamHost, these promos should not affect you that much if you choose the “10%” revenue sharing system. A group of users using your code in this way will ultimately pay you a lot more money that a single $97.00 payment from Dreamhost *if they stay with DreamHost". For me, this makes a lot more sense, as it truly makes me “partner” with Dreamhost to make that customer’s experience here a great one.

I just don’t have a lot of sympathy for those complaining that their link-affilliate gravey train is no longer completely effortless; If you are not going to be any more involved with the new Dreamhoster than providing a link, then you might as well give “them” the savings and help Dreamhost stay healthy. If you are going to be more involved in making that new potential customer a “Happy Dreamhoster”, you cn always look at other ways to bundle “yourself” with Dreamhost and make money.

–rlparker


#5

Why would those of us who offer
$97 off promo codes be banned? I personally don’t care if I pocket any money from referring someone or not. I’m not sending people to DH to make money off of them. I have the 97 off promo code for L1 single year plans but for all of the others I just do the 50 off. It’s my right to do anything I want. I don’t see why someone else would be mad. And personally, I never agreed to anything – informally or otherwise. I can’t speak for anyone else but the people I have told about DH are either friends or I’ve seen them around for a long time. Why not offer them the best deal possible? They tend to be as web savvy as I am and would not pay nearly 120/yr right off to just try out a new host. Now if it’s something like 10 yes they will pay that. Even if they dislike the service they don’t lose much. If they do like what they are getting, they will renew the next year. Its just that simple.

The Insane Cabbit
My Blog http://www.sounanda.com
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Send me a pm if you want cms or forum software installed (for a fee)


#6

First, I’d have no problem with banning ALL promo codes in the forums, including my $96 one, which is way better than your $50 one–but not quite as good as a $97 one.

Also, your thread title is as stupid as your post. People scanning the forum will either think DH has been exploited and be nervous about signing up, or those of us that are already here could think there was actually something worth reading. Good job.

So, why should people reading this thread click your link? Should they be impressed by your whining, or the fact that you’re only willing to give them a fraction of the savings that others are?

Well, that’s where you went wrong first… thinking that anyone cares what you and a few others agree on. Would you like to decide when the rest of us eat, sleep, etc… too? Or is it okay if we continue using our own brains for certain everyday activities?

If you don’t like it, start your own promo-code whoring forum on your own domain and set whatever rules you want. Dreamhost made the discount $97 and there is nothing wrong with people using it.

Great idea, because DH has nothing better to do than listen to someone whine about people using the codes THAT DREAMHOST THEMSELVES CREATED!!!

If you own your own business, don’t forget to write a letter to the president and have him ban your cheaper competitors–or at least ban their ability to advertise.

Again, who cares? Keep crying if it makes you feel better.

Sorry if this sounded harsh, but that was one of the most pathetic things I’ve ever read. You’re doing nothing but whining because you have to actually compete to earn a referral fee. Boo hoo.

Don’t you think DH would have capped the discount at $50 if they agreed with you? Then again, if they did, you’d be whining about how the world didn’t honor the request of you and a few others to cap it at $20.

Grow up.

In closing, even though I have a promo code in my sig, I’d like to give a thumbs-up to those that don’t. The ones without them actually stand out now.

But having said that, I think people joining from the forum deserve the best discount they find, which certainly isn’t TorbenGB’s, or any of his crew that agreed on $50.

In fact, anyone that actually read this far into this stupid thread, deserves the full $97… I don’t even need my $1 for recommending them: $97 = MAXDHDISCOUNT


:stuck_out_tongue: Save $96 at Dreamhost with the 96DOLLARSOFF promo code.


#7

I guess I’ve said this before: I never thought any “informal agreement” could work at all, because 1 single non-compliance would ruin the whole party, not to say that there is a world outside this forum.

I myself use a $50 referral code because that is what I think is worth my even posting it.


Get [color=#CC0000]$50 Off[/color] with promo code DAYDREAM at DreamHost.com


#8

That does make sense, but I’m set up for the one-time payment for the simple reason that recurring payments that could stop at any time would be an accounting nightmare for me. (It’s my business that gets the income, not me personally, and the bookkeeping is enough of a nuisance without that :-> ) That said, I’ve had one referral payment ever. I don’t go out of my way to get referrals apart from one link button on a personal web site.

My opinion on the affiliate links in the forum (whether with promo codes or otherwise) is that it isn’t especially appropriate–if someone is here at this forum, they already know about DH and therefore nobody who’s posting in the forum would technically speaking be the person who referred them.

That said, I don’t have very strong feelings about it. I don’t post affiliate links here for that reason, but I don’t particularly care if other people do.


#9

I couldn’t agree more. This thread should be either deleted or edited so that the title is changed. I’m pretty sure that the very title violates dreamhost policy, or at least it should be.

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#10

I wouldn’t care if the codes, or even signatures in general were removed.

But… it’s already fair for everyone. Everyone is given the exact same referral fee and promo code rules. The ones crying about it are just upset because they don’t want any competition, fair or not.


:stuck_out_tongue: Save $96 at Dreamhost with the 96DOLLARSOFF promo code.


#11

I can certianly understand that! I have never been very good at keeping that kind of accounting in order myself, either.

I, too, have only 1 referral in place (though I host a couple of dozen client sites on DH).

My feelings exactly!

–rlparker


#12

Not sure what you mean by that.

My two biggest issues with allowing codes:

  1. A user finds an ad for DH with a promo code. Say the code is for $20 off. So they come and checkout DH, then checkout the discussion boards. Now they see there are $50 off codes. Who actually referred them to DH and who gets credit for it?

  2. Those of us who have been around since before referral codes, know that linking was the only way to get referral credit. So many of us have built systems to get people to DH via links. Now they come here and find referral codes. I don’t think, even if they have the referral cookie when they checkout, that the person who referred them will get credit if they use one of the codes.

To those of you who think they aren’t hurting anyone buy posting with $97 codes in your sigs, think again. The people who actually took the time and effort to get the people to this board are losing out, and you’re not gaining anything from it.

Additionally, there’s now an increased rate of my referrals not keeping their account for more than a year. They simply close one, and startup another using a new referral code.

At last check I have over 100 referrals, most are at a percentage payout. So when/if they find codes here, close their plan and setup a new one, I lose out on that.

At least one person here said they don’t do the codes to make money - so why ruin it for those who do by putting in $97 off codes? Is DH not worth the $8/mo? If they are, then my suggestion would be to not post the codes thus turning the current win-lose into a win-win.


#13

That’s the problem of the person that decided to only offer $20 off. It’s called competition. You have the exact same same resources as everyone else. If you want to hold out for higher payouts, don’t count on there being as many of them.

Times change. Update your site. Don’t blame your laziness on promo codes.

You’re hurting yourself. Did you think you were the only person on the internet, or do you just not know what competition is?

Maybe you should charge people $97 to enter your website to make up for your lost referrals–once they realize everyone else is prepared to take better care of them than you are.

How can you hurt someone that has the EXACT SAME PROMO CODE RESOURCES? Do you really not get how things work?

Or did you just think that Dreamhost made the codes so that no one would use them? The lack of common sense on this topic is absolutely amazing.

Again, offer better deals. That’s YOUR responsibility. If you think otherwise, then just get used to losing money and get over it.

[quote]
Additionally, there’s now an increased rate of my referrals not keeping their account for more than a year. They simply close one, and startup another using a new referral code.[/quote]
And that’s everyones fault but yours, I take it? How do you know they’re using someone’s promo code? How do you know they didn’t switch hosts? Or just cancel to take advantage of a new sale? If they’re telling you they left for a promo code, then you were foolish to not offer a better one.

[quote]
At least one person here said they don’t do the codes to make money - so why ruin it for those who do by putting in $97 off codes? Is DH not worth the $8/mo? If they are, then my suggestion would be to not post the codes thus turning the current win-lose into a win-win.[/quote]
Some people put codes out because they truly recommend DH and don’t care to get rich off of an honest recommendation. What’s wrong with passing on the savings? Let me guess, you would have turned down a $97 discount? Yeah, right.

Don’t worry about what others are doing. It’s simply none of your business.

Another thing some of you whiners don’t seem to see through the stream of tears is that not everyone stops by the forum before signing up. This is far from an active forum, but DH is huge.

I’m just sitting here amazed that people are stupid enough to complain about things not being fair, when it’s a perfectly even playing ground. It’s not like DH only gave a few members the $97 to work with.

Crying about it here also just makes you look like greedy cry-baby jerks, so thanks for the sign-ups I get that would have been yours.

Wow. Another long post. Once again, I’d feel bad taking $1 from someone that has to sit through this trash, so here’s the $97 code again: MAXDHDISCOUNT


:stuck_out_tongue: Save $96 at Dreamhost with the 96DOLLARSOFF promo code.


#14

To be honest I thought the posting of discount codes in dreamhost forums was lame… so I upped the anty once with a $97 off… (was I the first?) I disabled it now… but ya.

Its all lame, and if somebody wants to ban $97… I say they ban all discount codes…

[color=#CC0000]Get $80 off[/color] with promo code BF80
See here what else you get!


#15

[quote]Hey, what happened to “Keystone Websites (business site) | si-blog (personal site with affiliate links)?”

Does this mean our previous deal is off already, after less than two months?[/quote]
After being treated like crap on this board and the wiki, I decided that I’ll just do whatever the hell I like with my own signature. I don’t care what you think one way or the other. Referral links should definitely be banned on this forum - if only to stop some of the pointless bickering that goes on about them. Maybe we’ll be able to shed some of the vultures so that the rest of us can continue to provide help for respectable reasons.


Simon Jessey
Keystone Websites | si-blog


#16

Most all of your statements can be easily debunked by prior communication from DH. But it’s obviously not worth it, since you conceded your argument by resulting to personal attacks.


#17

[quote]Most all of your statements can be easily debunked by prior communication from DH. But it’s obviously not worth it, since you conceded your argument by resulting to personal attacks.
[/quote]
Nothing was conceded, genius. When you’re done crying, start debunking, for the benefit of anyone that reads this idiotic piece of trash thread.

Calling whining and stupidity exactly what it is, isn’t really a personal attack. It just feels like it to people that are either whining or being stupid (you, Torben and any other greedy jerks that thought they were going to run some sort of price-fixing scam).

What everyone is doing with promo codes IS based on communication from DH, so I don’t know what communications you’re referring to. They’re the ones that created and told us about the codes!

Why do you think there is a $97 limit on the discount? Because you can use up to that amount. People with common sense already know this. People like you and Torben don’t.

The whining is coming from jerks that thought they were either going to a) turn referrals from this forum into a career, or b) hardly give people a discount from where ever (personal sites, business sites, other forum sigs, etc…) and hope that their customers/visitors are too stupid to shop around.

And the talk about banning people in the original post is about as stupid as you can get. How is that NOT stupid? Not one thing in the original post comes close to what you’d expect from someone with a triple-digit IQ. It was 100% fueled by greed and stupidity.

The only intelligent thing that has been said about any type of promo-code removal, is the removal of all of them. And that should also include referral links, if not sigs completely. I’m sure DH will jump right on that, so that they can start losing sales. Everyone knows that they got so big by doing stupid stuff and listening to idiots, right?


:stuck_out_tongue: Save $96 at Dreamhost with the 96DOLLARSOFF promo code.


#18

I’m beginning to think my $1-off code isn’t going to get me much action.


#19

It might have, if I didn’t plan on making a $1.01-off code, just to run you out of business. :^D


:stuck_out_tongue: Save $96 at Dreamhost with the 96DOLLARSOFF promo code.


#20

First, I want to say that DH is a great host and I’m as happy with the service as I’ve ever been - probably moreso. However, I have a VERY BIG problem with how they’ve handled the bonuses.

I’m very surprised that in this entire discussion, no one has pointed out DH’s role in all of this.

DH created the $97 cash bonus because, I assume, they saw how effective the 5/10% referral system was in getting them more customers and decided to step it up. That is to say, I’m certain DH did NOT make the decision to offer $97 per referral solely for our benefits.

I feel very strongly that the promo codes will eventually hurt DH, because what it amounts to is a bait and switch.

They advertise very boldly on their homepage that they give a $97 cash bonus for each new referral (because they know how enticing that is). But they don’t mention the promo codes and how the codes negatively impact the referrer’s ability to actually collect that $97.

For new customers, the realization that it isn’t really going to be $97 is sure to be a let-down and probably creates a trust issue, which can’t be good for long-term business. Although I’m sure they are very aware that once they’ve got a customer, they’ve probably got 'em for a long time.

For long time customers like myself, the sting is worse: I was happy to have the opportunity to pay my hosting bill with the 5 and 10% bonus I earned by referring others to a great host. I was ecstatic when they offered $65, then $97 dollars per customer. What do you think my reaction to having it essentially taken away was? If they’d never offered it in the first place, no one would have a problem. But giving something so incredible at first, then underhandedly changing the rules mid-game has left many, myself included, feeling like I’ve been had.

By creating competition between those of us who refer others, they severely hinder our ability to collect on the one-time fabulous payouts we were all so grateful for. And worse, by hiding behind the false humility of “it benefits new customers”, they’ve apparently pulled the wool over many eyes.

I feel like the Native Americans who were given blankets infested with disease during winter on the trail of tears. OK, that is an extreme comparison, but you get the point. Certainly they can acknowledge that at best there would be disappointment.

Keep in mind that we are doing the advertising for them. They aren’t taking expensive ads out in magazines, paying for banners on Yahoo or text ads on Google. WE are doing the work for them. The whole thing strikes me as very un-DreamHost-like.

Previously in this thread someone asked why DH should care. To me, they should very much care that they’ve made me, a long time customer, feel like a pawn. And now they’ve got us fighting amongst ourselves, calling one another greedy and launching personal attacks. Wise up, people! DH is not an innocent bystander here.

Some other hosting company will come along and see the mistake DH made, and offer a better system to those of us who are willing to advertise for them. Then by jumping ship, many will clearly send a message to DH that we agree, competition is a good thing.