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.