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since 11/01/2001

20 05/06/2001

Fools are welcome You are meant to earn money for doing practically nothing different from current surfing habits. At the moment, GoingPlatinum (GP) is little more than a recruitment pyramid (in blocks of 40) with very bold claims of what is to come later. The full launch has been rescheduled MANY, MANY times: the latest claim is for mid-April 2001. We'll see! Basic membership is $25, but there is an option to join a lesser scheme for free. I have not yet understood where the vast revenue is meant to come from. There are plenty of sites that share referral fees and other commissions. I would certainly hope that anyone reading this is already familiar with (say) the idea of cashback on purchases. There are plenty of sites that will reward us for viewing adverts, completing surveys, signing up for things, expressing opinions, discussing the news, buying things, and so on. Is GP going to offer a larger share of the commissions? BUT ... I would have to share these with my upline! The whole scheme seems geared to people who recruit lots of others, perhaps at the expense of the majority of users like me who are in the lower levels. Perhaps GP are simply hoping to exploit the naivety of those users who have not yet discovered 'pay to do something' sites? If people do want to join for free (like I did) then, PLEASE, don’t sign up using someone’s referral. You have to give an EXISTING email address and your upline will know you you are. They can send you irritating 'why not pay your ... 05/06/2001

VERY IMPORTANT UPDATE FINAL UPDATE (early June): Their web site announces: "we are unable continue the Surfmiles online loyalty rewards programme with immediate effect". Probably it was inevitable. UPDATE (26March01) (1) From April, they will not pay for surfing the web with their SurfPilot active. (2) They still offer cashback. [You can also redeem dooyoo miles]. (3) I am still waiting for a cheque requested in early February. This all looks rather sad. Updated (6th April01) I have been complaining to the person who referred me to Surfmiles! He says that he managed to speak to them by phone. Apparently, payments have *NOT* been made because they suspect that some users have manipulated their system in a fraudulent way. Payments will be delayed, probably for weeks, while they wait for an analyst to look at their system. It reminds me of alladvantage who accused lots of people, myself included, of cheating. I eventually convinced them that I hadn't cheated: they promised to pay up, but never did. Now, they are out of business. Probably they knew the end was nigh when they started shouting 'cheat', in order to avoid paying us. Updated (10th April01) It may have judged them too harshly. Their story about the delays being caused by cheaters might be more than just a stalling tactic, after all! My cheque arrived today! ORIGINAL OPINION = Title: surfmiles is certainly worth a look Advantages: Combines (in £) pay-to-surf *AND* cashback *AND* various promotions Disadvantages: ... 01/05/2001

UPDATED, freemoney WAS genuine Update (1May01) [AND updated ratings] The site finally relaunched, but the £1000 prize has gone from daily to monthly. If you want to play, then you have to register providing rather more information than previously. They seem to have reinvented themselves as a permission-marketing company. What is NOT clear, is whether users of the previous site, who do not reregister, will also receive mailings. During the period that the site was down, I did receive some unwelcome emails. There doesn't seem to be an option to unregister. Original opinion = I find that I'm usually posting somewhat more negative comments than do many other users. As such, it is nice for a change to have something positive to say. get you to answer the sorts of questions you normally see in those market-research questionnaires that arrive by post. Answering them takes only a few minutes. In return, you stand a chance of winning £1000. As far as I know, this has never resulted in me receiving any unsolicited email or post, except for a first-time-customer money-off voucher for There is also a multi-number 'lotto' for much more money, but the chances of winning that must be very, very low. Of course, everyone hopes that the system really is for real. There are winners' names, but are they genuine? I can only comments on one: mine! I won £1000 last Summer. I was asked (by email) to confirm my details (name/age/address). They promptly sent a cheque with the ... 09/04/2001

LIBEL used to offer a free email service, with all the usual add-ons we've come to expect from such sites. indeed, they still try to lure you in with promises of earning money simply for using email services. The site is not as reliable as it should be. Even though I am in fast mode (which means somewhat fewer adverts, but thus no earnings), there are frequent error messages along the lines of 'Sorry, you got here before we were ready'. In March, the following appeared at their site: "Due to Dotcom market conditions, is forced to charge a $1.99/month or $19.95/year for all email accounts that have been issued since December of 1999. Free online services, which were introduced a few years ago to boost user traffic and attract online advertising, are no longer feasible." A friend asked them to close his account. Out of curiousity, I sent a subsequent test message to the deleted account, to check that it would 'bounce'. Bounce it did, but with a statement that is pure LIBEL: 'This user is a known spammer and cannot send/receive email'. It is amazing to see such spite on their part, simply because someone didn't want to pay $1.99/month for a previously free service! 05/04/2001

Cannot GetPaid4 The GetPaid4 paid-to-view-ads scheme requires an 'honest' click rate of 0.5% to 5% for up to 75 hours per month. I have had money in the past but I am not hopeful about the current situation. The hourly pay rate dropped to 35 cents for October 2000 and then to 25 cents for November 2000. The December 2000 rate is just 10 cents per hour. They did increase the maximum hours to 100 in December, but referral statistics have still been truncated at 75 hours. A message appeared in late January 2001 that money for usage up to the end of 2000 requires a request by "by Sunday, December 31, 2000" .... this is somewhat tricky at this stage! Over the last few weeks, all attempts to fire up the getpaid4 advert bar have reported only 'The GetPaid4 program is turned off until further notice'. In any case, current pay rates (which might diminish further) are not very attractive. WARNING = Getpaid4 ( are *NOT* paying the money they owe. Having fulfilled all of the requirements, I have requested a cheque on multiple occasions ... using the proper procedure. There FAQ states that cheques are sent on the 15th of every month. It seems that none are now being sent! They have been asked why no money has been sent, and replied only that they hope to get the AdvertBar running again in the 'upcoming months'. In other words, they ignored the question! UPDATE A friend made a lot of fuss, via email to senior people in the parent company ( Jermaine ... 04/04/2001

Badly managed or going bust is supposedly a site where you can win prizes simply by clicking on an appropriate icon next to the picture of an item. Additionally, you can accrue so-called blart points. It all seems a good idea ... almost too good to be true. Our experience, sadly, is that it often ISN'T true. It took a friend and I quite a while to realize that we might have been wasting our time. By then, we had supposedly won various prizes: a book, a video and some golf clubs. My friend eventually accumulated 100000 blart points, which he traded for a £10 Amazon voucher. So far so good .... BUT ... Prizes won months ago have not arrived. Most emails to blartly are not answered. Phone calls typically reach an answer machine: calls are not returned. Although 100000 blart points were deducted from the total, no Amazon voucher was sent. One email to blartly did solicit a response, probably because it accused them of running a site that is one big con. An accounts manager ( apologized for the delays, saying that items were 'out of stock'. This suggests that they don't actually have any of the prizes, and must order them (cashflow permitting). It is hard to believe that it should take more than a day or so to arrange an Amazon voucher. The accounts manager promised that all of the prizes (and voucher) would arrive by certain dates. Deadlines have now passed but we have still not received the voucher or ANY of the prizes. It seems unlikely now that they will ... 28/02/2001

UPDATE - low pay rate - new requirements I have seen various comments, here and elsewhere, about .... but all of the positive ones seem to be very unrealistic. I've even see a claim that they pay $0.60 per hour for own surfing. This simply isn't true. The current pay rate is 1 point = US$0.00018 ! The minimum payout is $30, so that you need to accumulate 150000 points. Assuming that 'Fiesta boy' doesn't spend too much time on siestas, you can in principle accumulate up to 600 points per hour, but most people will see much, much lower figures. An average of 250 points per hour would be an achievement, particularly since no adverts are served at all for long periods (sometimes for DAYS)! Referrals will help, but you do need an awful lot of points. If you want to waste bandwidth, surely there are more productive ways? UPDATED (end of February 2001): Not only is the payment threshold for non-US members being increased to $50, but there is also a new requirement to sign-up for at least 2 offers a month, simply to keep an account active. [The number of offers available to non-US members is limited, and many of them do not strike me as very appealing at all]. 28/02/2001

No Chips This is yet another of those opt-in services that is meant to pay a few pennies for each email [and for those sent to referrals]. The site promises a great deal, but it is not clear that it has delivered anything at all after MANY months ... or even that it will ever go 'live'. The site launched in the UK in April 2000. Presumably they need to build a large user base but one would imagine, after such a long period, that paid emails could have started by now, even if pay rates were initially low. [They are meant to pay in 'Chips' which are redeemable for cash or services] The site content is essentially static. The 'news', such as it is, is very old. They have also claimed, for a very long time, to be negotiating EXCLUSIVE discounts (up to 80%) on products and services. There are still no such offers and, as time goes by, it is becoming harder to believe there ever will be any (for anything worthwhile). It's free to join, so that there might be little to lose if you don't mind sharing your personal details. But, if they never go live, joining would be a wasted effort. 28/02/2001

Waste of bandwidth The desktopdollars site offers yet another of those paid-to-view-ads bars that made so much more sense when advertising rates were much higher. After active use over several months, I managed to 'earn' $9.78. This promising figure hides declining payrates, such that much of the total was earnt early on. Additionally, I often access the internet from a site that uses a proxy cache. This results in the desktopdollars software asking me to confirm after ridiculously short intervals that I wish to keep the bar active. In bad cases, this could occur more than once a minute (!) ... but it is more usually after several minutes. Perhaps someone with vast numbers of referrals could find this product worthwhile, but the threshold for payment to non-US members is $60 and (at the current pay rate) it is simply not worth the effort for me to continue with it. On a more positive note, I can mention that their site offers the chance to win prizes for using an 'internet radio' offering. A friend did win a $15 music voucher this way. It did take ages to arrive .. and turned out to be for cdnow, who are not cheap and have quite high delivery charges. I have now cancelled my account. In common with other opinions at ciao, I have to advise newcomers to pay-to-do-something schemes to steer clear of this one. ... 20/02/2001

alladvantage is now formally dead New posting in February 2001: alladvantage have now formally closed the Viewbar and pay-to-surf, sweepstakes and other incentive programs. They claim that people who had passed the payment threshold will be paid. A friend did receive a final cheque (in USD rather than pounds). I'm not surprised that I've received nothing. Old posting from January 2001: I have to add my voice to the crowd rubbishing alladvantage. I joined last June and surfed the maximum each month. I have never received a penny! Now that they pay 7p per hour for 10 hours per month, I doubt I'll ever receive any money. As soon as I reached the payment threshold, they set my balance to zero, before admitting on 28 Nov 2000 that they had made a mistake. They apologized and said they would pay what they owed. They have not. Indeed, the balance accrued since then has now also been set to zero. I've never cheated. My only crime, I imagine, is passing the payment threshold. Of course, they don't answer emails. Steer clear! 16/02/2001

paysU says paid-to-surf concept is FLAWED Plenty of people will tell you that the paysU pay-to-surf scheme is the best yet. There are also claims of very high hourly rates. paysU assign you a pay level, depending on your level of activity and (especially) the number of GENUINE visits to advertisers sites. They distinguish between the click rate and the visit rate, which is likely to be somewhat lower. The lowest five levels actually pay 0.25p per hour for up to 40 hours per month. The threshold for payment is now £40. Level 31 (a visit rate of about 2.5%) only pays 6p per hour or £2.40 per month. It's a lot of effort for very little money! In its defense, the paysU site is being honest about this. They say that the "Paid to Surf" concept has now been shown to be flawed, in that advertisers do not find the concept appealing. paysU are in the process of rebranding themselves as a 'profit sharing community' based, for example, on cash-back commisions. To help sort out their finances, they now intend to levy a charge of up to £3 on all accounts. Updated 16/02/2001 A friend received his cheque today. [They deducted £3 for sending a cheque and a further £3 special levy] 12/02/2001

low rates decline further This is yet another pay-to-surf program that I signed up for, many months ago. As ever, people were making excessive claims in order to get others to sign up using their referral codes. The hourly payrate in October 2000 was 7 cents (US). This dropped to 4.25 cents in November 2000, and is likely to drop further. They pay up to 120 hours per month with no more than 4 hours per day. At the November payrate, the maximum monthly payout is a little over $5 (excluding referrals). Other schemes have seen very dramatic decreases in hourly rates since November and so it seems almost inevitable that cashsurfers will go the same way. An hourly rate of just 1 to 2 cents may not be far off. Even with their CashBar showing a green light for several hours during a day, I rarely reach 4 hours. Although my balance stands at about $20, I am not hopeful of ever reaching the minimum $40 payout figure, as I do well to 'earn' even $2 in a month. There used to be other ways to earn points, but almost all of these have now ceased. It is difficult to see that this site has a long term future. 02/02/2001

Steer clear of Spedia I wouldn't recommend Spedia even to people I don't like. Spedia is more than a pay-to-surf (PTS) scheme, but it is the PTS rate trailed on the Web page than is most likely to grab your attention. They say that they pay 70 cents per hour to 'premium members' for unlimited hours per month. [The word 'hour' is not defined ...] BUT ... (1) The actual hourly rate for international members was 30 cents in December, and looks destined to drop further. (2) They define 'active' as changing your URL *EVERY* minute! [A friend used to be a Spedia member, and spent a couple of hours one weekend trying to clock up one Spedia-hour in one elapsed hour. It wasn't possible, even though he met the URL-change criterion. He didn't even come close!] (3) Spedia compare your surfing pattern to the average of all other members. If you deviate too far from the norm, you stop earning. (4) No proxies are allowed [including any that you can't turn off]. (5) To remain a premium member (50 cents/hour in December, but likely to fall) you have to clock up at least two Spedia-hours per day for 20 days every month! You also have to sign up for promotions (like flipside, windough, sandbox and so on). My friend joined up for Spedia a long time ago and did eventually exceed the $30 minimum payout figure. They deducted a significant 'processing fee' and sent the balance. As soon as the money was in a bank account, he closed down the Spedia account. Steer well clear of this one!

Superdrug (Shop) 27/01/2001

formula shaving system

Superdrug (Shop) On a recent visit to Superdrug I noticed a new own-brand razor called 'formula', with twin flexing blades and a lubricating strip, suitable for sensitive skin. The fitting on the razor head looked suspiciously like the one on Gillette Sensor Excel. For a little over £2, I bought one of these razors with 5 cartridges. I can confirm that the blades themselves do indeed fit the Gillette Sensor Excel razor head. The blades are not identical to the original Gillette version, but they are a great deal cheaper: a pack of ten costs a little over £3. The Gillette blades can cost 60p to 70p each. If you use Gillette Sensor Excel, you might want to try a pack of the 'formula' blades next time you need replacements.

Gillette Sensor Excell 27/01/2001

clones of sensor excel

Gillette Sensor Excell I have not migrated yet from Gillette Sensor Excel to any of the various more recent offerings. On the whole, I am happy with this product. My main gripe is the price of the blades, with packs averaging typically 60p to 70p per blade. On a recent visit to Superdrug I noticed a new own-brand razor called 'formula', with twin flexing blades and a lubricating strip, suitable for sensitive skin. The fitting on the razor head looked somewhat familiar! For a little over £2, I bought one of these razors with 5 cartridges. I can confirm that the blades themselves do indeed fit the Gillette Sensor Excel razor head. The blades are not identical to the original Gillette version, but they are a great deal cheaper: a pack of ten costs a little over £3. If you use Sensor Excel, you might want to try a pack of the 'formula' blades next time you need replacements.
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