Editor’s Note: It appears from feedback a few readers have given me that Lemoney.com is not paying out community Cash back, and hasn’t for approximately the past 6 months. The company has responded to a support request (from Robert) with the following:
We’ll dig more into this worrying development in today’s post, and conclude with some cautions about the portal itself.
It has been over a year since Lemoney.com launched and we’ve covered the portal twice here on the blog. Each of these “reviews” were skeptical, noting that the payout rates were not rational, nor did they seem sustainable. Discussion of the possibility of Lemoney.com being a pyramid scheme of sorts was brought up in our initial post–and the company actually reached out to me personally to refute that skepticism. Their explanation leaned heavily on the benefits of community cash back. Here’s a reminder of their words from the email they sent me to explain how great their portal was:
The community was created to benefit our users. The bigger it gets, the more rewards its members receive. Our main strategy is to invest in the community growth, instead of wasting money in the usual media channels. Lemoney’s community strategy was created to give our customers an experience that no other cashback site offers. This unique offer allows customers to boost their earnings every time their friends shop.
This is the process by which we encourage customers to invite friends and get significant rewards from it. Our customers also get rewards beyond just cashback, we call this Community Cashback – it works like a member referral program, but instead of getting paid only once, customers are paid every time their referred friends shop.
Can people get rich with it? We don’t anticipate people getting rich from this, but they can have a better overall rewards program, in fact, the best one. We have customers earning more than $1k in monthly community rewards so far.
C-Bonus means community bonus and it’s used to multiply what you earn with your community. Users earn C-bonuses when they shop and also when invite friends who shop.
A member earned $10 in community cashback and also 5 C-bonuses in the same month, this will make their total community cashback $50 (5 x $10).”
The new development of not paying out community cash back really seems to dismantle the entire community aspect of their site. As you’ll see later in this piece Turbo Cashback is nearly gone, and the payout rates for purchases without it are now fraught with exclusions not seen on other portals. All of this adds up to a very troubling situation that readers need be aware of.
Possible This Affects Early Adopters
This lack of payouts of community cash back seems like either a ploy to stop the bleeding, or a way to penalize those who put together very lucrative communities early on. The amount I’ve heard readers are missing is in the $250 range on average. That’s a very significant amount of cash back just from those readers who I’ve heard from personally.
The way Lemoney was creating communities early on was to automatically add people to existing communities (of strangers) if they signed up without a referral link. This, coupled with the unlimited turbo cash back periods of late 2017 mean that those who signed up early saw their community nearing 100 members even without any referrals.
Additionally early on every purchase earned you multiple C-Money bonuses. That group of early adopters is likely also the group who likely have a lifetime of C-Month–which means every month for the rest of humanity they’ll see 5x payouts on Community cash back. That’s 5x the purchases of every person in their community, every month.
Seeing how the FAQ on C-Money no longer exists, I think C-Money loaded early adopters are causing 5x the headaches for Lemoney.
Lemoney Getting Squeezed? Bad News All Around
Not paying out community cash back isn’t the only problem with the portal lately. Lemoney dramatically changed how they pay turbo cash back a few months ago. The site no longer gives you a turbo credit each month (which was basically $10-$15 in free cash back each month over normal rates). The removal of this, along with the lack of C-Money now means Lemoney is no better than a standard portal in many respects.
That’s actually not true–they’re actually worse than standard portals in most respects. They have excluded almost all good giftcards from the sites online that sell them with portal Cash back. And in doing so they’ve closed the real best use for the site, while hiding all of this behind no answers, fine print, and misleading changing practices. Take a look at this page from Lemoney.com with the T&C for giftcards.com:
For All These Reasons, Stay Away
To be clear–they’ve always paid me out my Cash Back due on purchases and continue to do so–including massive amounts during unlimited turbo cash back promotional periods. But Community cash back is just as important–maybe more so because it is the promise of this community cash back, along with C-money multiplying it that led so many to recommend the site in the first place.
That said, not paying on purchases like Visa/MC GC like almost every other portal does, a changing business model, and now a no notice 6 month seizure of funds due make it impossible to recommend Lemoney.com any longer.
I’ve removed my Lemoney referral link–and I strongly ask you to consider your use of their portal moving forward. They could be making their portal better in the long term–but the way they’re going about doing it is not nearly transparent enough for my concerns.
Have you been hit by this? Is your community cash back not being paid out? Let us know below.
– Written by Sam Simon. All ideas are my own, but I encourage you to see my point of view and I promise I’ll try to do the same. Connect with me on Twitter @Milenomics.