Up until December 31, 2014, my answer to that question would have been “no.” But things sure have changed since then.
I was a member of Bubblews since September of 2013. I had my hesitations about the site when I signed up, because the idea of getting paid to post short articles about anything seemed a little too good to be true. In addition, there were some people online that were saying that the site didn’t pay out, or expressing their frustrations with general payment issues.
Although there were fairly frequent technical problems, like the site going down from time to time or slow speed, for the next year I was compensated for my articles in the time frame that they promised, and in the full amounts that were promised. The site very much seemed to be the real deal, although there were still a lot of people complaining of non-payment. However, as there were many people who frequently violated the site’s fairly straightforward rules (such as plagiarizing,) I took those complaints with a grain of salt. The people who followed the rules all seemed to be getting paid. Communication with members was never a strong point with the Bubblews team, and while that was frustrating, I was able to be forgiving and accept that as bumps in the road that would someday be rectified. Sadly, it never was.
Things started to go downhill during the latter months of 2014. I had one payment that was received late, after the time frame in which it had been promised. This was no big deal, but the vibe on the site started to degrade. More and more people were posting their concerns about late payments that they were waiting for. Then, the time frame for processing of redemptions was extended, first to 30 days, then to 60 days. Still not a dealbreaker, but definitely something to get used to.
Then came the reduced earnings in November of 2014. Bubblews CEO Arvind Dixit announced that their pay model had previously been flawed, and that from now on people were going to make less in effective earnings due to changes in advertising rates. This largely affected international users the most, but overall earnings seem to decline for everybody. It was frustrating to suddenly be making 10 cents a post, when previously it was a dollar or more.
But the fatal blow was announced in a very sneaky way on December 31, 2014. The rather abrupt announcement was that any redemptions made before November 11, 2014 would not be honored at all, and that the ones that were submitted after that date would have the new, lower advertising rate of pay. Many bubblers were shocked at this news. This included all bubblers, no matter where they were from or if they had ever broken any rule. By no coincidence, the comments on this announcement post were disabled, so that people could not freely express their feelings about this huge change.
I have since removed almost all of my posts, as have many other bubblers who have given up on the site and finally realized that it could no longer be defended against accusations of being a scam. There are still some people who are willing to stay and are trying to be optimistic, but I think they are in denial about how duped everybody was. Arvind and company tried to justify their actions as necessary due to fraud and a flawed business model, but these appear to be just excuses for what they really did – rip off the legitimate earnings that thousands of members had made and were counting on.
So, is Bubblews a scam? Well, you definitely can’t say that it is not. Even giving the benefit of the doubt, and assuming that the sudden actions of the Bubblews leadership was due to a bad business model or bad money management, at the end of the day they broke an agreement to legitimate members, and did so in a very underhanded manner. Arvind swears up and down that this will never happen again, but how can his word be trusted? The Bubblews team has shown that members are not a priority, and that they can and will do whatever they want, when they want and how they want. Who could feel comfortable putting time and effort into generating quality posts for a site that is supposed to share its revenue, when earnings can be suddenly, retroactively taken away at a moment’s notice? I know I can’t.
Photo credit – www.pixabay.com – PublicDomainPictures