DDO and Super Rewards, Part 2

Via the Boss Man in Comment 1:

The latest: “We’re currently investigating the reports of privacy concerns with our new Offer Wall. That feedback has been escalated to our partners for deeper investigation. Until that investigation is complete we’ve taken the Super Rewards option out of the Offer Wall. We’ll let you know when we have more information!”

http://forums.ddo.com/showpost.php?p=2893059&postcount=116

Patience sent out a decent post on the DDO forum (thanks Ethic) regarding the shadiness of the whole thing.  It sounds like they have some really strict guidelines, which just weren’t fully in effect at launch.  (But, what is ever is fully in effect at an MMO launch, lololol… /sad)  Anyway, it is good that Turbine quickly responded, and I hope against hope that the filters will be enough to make it a decent option.  Forum posts are reporting that most offers require more real purchases, such as Netflix or buying shoes online.  Still, please be aware that the email linked to your Turbine account still seems to pass through the internet unencrypted.

6 thoughts on “DDO and Super Rewards, Part 2”

  1. Will it work?

    In principle I have no problem with the concept that you look at an ad or check out an offer and get some minor game reward for it but shoddy business practises have become so endemic in the internet marketing industry that it may be too late to try and enforce good behaviour.

    1. Truthfully, I’m not sure that a system where you get points for just looking at an ad or checking out an offer will be good for anyone in the long run (and, with an MMO, I tend to hope for a long run :) ).

      First, systems like that are prone to scams. I’m not referring in this case to scams on the user by the company making the offer, I’m referring to scams by the users on the company. Providing false information if any information is required may seem like a good way to “protect” yourself, but it reduces the effectiveness of the program and the advertiser, no matter how legitimate they are can end up losing out. The ease of “gaming” these offers may also tie into the prevalence of shady deals, since the advertising company knows it may be their only option to benefit themselves. (There is a chicken/egg thing going on here, though, so who knows who started that rolling.)

      Second, doing things this way necessitates some account-related information be transmitted to the advertiser. Otherwise, there would be no way to know who to credit with points. Best case, it is a code that Turbine would be able to tie back to your account. Slightly worse, an encrypted form of your account name. And the fear, your account name in clear text.

      I like the idea of getting points for other purchases, though. True, it would not technically be completely free, but you are getting something else (something you’d use, I hope) in addition to the points, so you are still making out on the deal. With a purchase system like this there are a few benefits.

      Turbine might be able to partner with the advertisers/sellers directly, allowing for an arrangement where no account information need be sent. Once the customer makes a purchase, the seller can provide a code to redeem for Turbine Points in the DDO Store. Also, the seller is getting something tangible (the sale) out of the deal, so would be more inclined to make good offers.

      Now, building a good number of partnerships this way would be more work for Turbine and slower going, but looking at that long run again, it might be more stable and more secure for the customers.

      I am, of course pulling a good percentage of this out of my posterior and I probably have very little idea of the complexity of the negotiations that would be involved, but this is my brain’s reaction to the events of the past day as I wait to find out if I’ll be needing to change my email address and possibly my Turbine account name. (If such an account change is even possible.) I hope more information on the situation is available soon.

  2. IMO, it really strains credibility to have them come out and say that they had a policy in place but did not bother to actually screen a single one of the offers that were available when the thing went live. If they really are that negligent, are their promises of the nigh eternal vigilance needed to clean the wall in the future really in any way credible? I would rather have been told that they didn’t realize how bad the offers would be.

    If they really want to convince us that they’re serious, they should step up and donate 100% of revenue from ads that do not meet their criteria to charity. Anything less than that and we are left to conclude that they would like to be thought of as legitimate, but not if it means leaving money on the table if a bad offer “accidentally” sneaks through.

  3. I think Turbine were scammed.

    I think SuperRewards assured them they would respect people’s privacy then coded the Offer Wall page to extract people’s user name and email and no one at Turbine thought to check the html before it went live.

    The danger (fortunately) is limited to spamming and phishing rather than account hacking or credit card fraud but I think once Turbine looks into it they will sever relations with SuperRewards and be a lot more careful about who they do business with in the future.

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