Is the £50 refer friend scheme operated by Bulb coming to an end? — Bulb Community

Is the £50 refer friend scheme operated by Bulb coming to an end?

I've just been looking at Money Saving Expert.com website, and note that in respect of Bulb, no mention is made of the current referral scheme where the referrer and the person being referred each get £50 on joining Bulb. All that is mentioned is a £25 cashback after 3 months. Is the current referral scheme finishing or is it that Money Saving Expert have got it wrong?

Comments

  • @PeterS The referral program is still going on and will be in the future, but is not eligible if you come through a switching site.

    So you can either get the cashback through MSE or £50 by being referred.
  • Thanks for that Dan.
  • So does this mean that a person who actively does research and ethically chooses Bulb as a potential supplier is penalised for not going via MSE or having a friend already using your services? This seems rather unfair. A lot of people are promoting their referral links on TrustPilot and even on your own site I believe. This is costing you £100 a time. Yet you aren't offering genuine new users £50 credit for simply joining from their own research. In other words you are actually encouraging people to use these links instead which doubles the cost for your company. As a "green" company, I thought you would want to be more fair.
  • edited May 2018
    @DanP at Bulb please read above
  • @DanP at Bulb please read above
  • @James_Gardner The referral program is a way for people to help share Bulb around and it is a method that can help Bulb grow as a company.

    We want members be able to freely share but not in an unfair manner, which is something we are constantly trying to deal with. Members who refer or are referred are more likely to stay with us long term and so this is why the £100 investment is worth it from our side.

    I understand it might seem like it is unfair that someone who joins might be missing out on £50, however, they do then have their own referral link which they can use to invite more people to switch to Bulb and that way get some money and also help more people use green energy.

    If you do have any suggestions on how we can improve this process we would love to hear so we can make the referral program better.
  • @DanP at Bulb I will not be joining Bulb unless I receive the £50 credit for doing so. I have actively researched and found cheaper tariffs with fixed costs and no exit charges. I had wanted to join Bulb and pay slightly extra on the basis of the Green Energy and using the £50 credit to subsidise the difference (which it still didn't completely absorb). However, I feel this penalises people like me and rewards those who use false links to take advantage of this offer. As I don't want to be dishonest in order to achieve the £50 credit, but also feel aggrieved to have to miss out, it makes joining Bulb less sensible as it will cost me a projected £80 more than a smaller rival based on my (low) usage. If Bulb are willing to apply common sense and provide me with the £50 credit, then I would be happy to join the community. I would also then refer friends genuinely, rather than posting on Trustpilot etc.
  • @James_Gardner I'm pleased to hear that there are people like you around. I shall probably be leaving Bulb because of the way it tolerates (and encourages?) the behaviour you mention above, yet penalises genuinely interested customers like yourself. I'd choose a more ethical supplier.
  • @xxx & @James_Gardner The reason we don't have a £50 non referral link is because we wanted to give members an exclusive reward that they can give their friends. A way of sharing Bulb and getting rewarded for doing so.

    We discussed it at length internally and then asked the community and the response was that members in general didn't want us to offer a non referral £50 reward.

    If you do want to join but not give a referral reward to a random person there are people offering their £50 to charity on Twitter.
  • @DanP at Bulb The fact that you asked existing members whether they wanted to restrict benefits to existing members seems a little farcical. Also, the notion that random people on Twitter (which I don't personally use) who are specifically advertising their codes to receive £50, will then actively donate this, is also somewhat far-fetched. Furthermore, it doesn't attempt to redress the imbalance that new customers who exploit the loophole of "friend referrals" benefit, while those who attempt to join honestly are penalised for doing so.
    A "Green" company, presumably wanting to be seen as ethical, while also wanting to grow it's business and good reputation, should presumably want to welcome prospective customers such as myself.
    Also, as explained on another thread, finding a new customer who does not have any friends currently with a Bulb account would surely be worth more to Bulb anyway, as it would facilitate a wider exposure of potential new clients. Otherwise you risk saturation with your existing market and the limitation of their respective friends.
    I would be intrigued to hear the comments of any more senior individuals who direct the marketing and sales of the business, as not only do you forgo the business of new clients such as myself and thereby my network of many more prospective new customers, but such decisions actively cause negative goodwill.
    A quick search on USwitch, as I did, yields plans with Utility Point, Economy Energy, Outfox the Market, Usi, People's Energy, Breeze, Tonik etc which are cheaper for me than Bulb. Yet I still attempted to offer the olive branch of joining if Bulb were willing to "level the playing field". I would suggest a review of your business strategy or you may find further customers like @xxx leave you, while more people concurrently join rivals instead.
  • I echo @James_Gardner 's opinion, it seems daft that people have to hunt for a referral..

    I suggested charity donation's last year, which seems like it would also keep you happy in this instance?
  • @xxx, despite all the discussions that have gone on and the situation as it is, I'm still surprised that you're still thinking of leaving.
    I will admit I have also been disappointed by an increasingly large number of things since joining, and I still do periodically look around for the ideal "Monzo of energy" seeing as Bulb do not seem to have managed to up their game to that level.
    Where have you been looking at?

    @James_Gardner, it's been interesting seeing people's opinions on the referral system over the last couple of hundred thousand customers.
    It's obviously been hugely successful for Bulb in terms of getting customers and money but I wonder what bad it's done to their image and whether they can truly recover from it.
    It's always good to have discussions with those who are not members as it's tricky to see the outsiders perspective when you are already a member (like myself).

    @Will at Bulb, could we get updated percentage figures on how customers have been joining Bulb over the last 6 months or so? If the percentage of comparison sites and customer referrals is the majority, it'd seem like there's little downside to offering people a bonus for joining without being referred.
  • Hi all,

    Sorry for not getting to this conversation sooner.

    Historically we haven't had a £50 non-referral reward in order to maintain the exclusivity of the referral reward. We had a discussion about it internally a little while ago and had people on both sides of the fence. So we asked members here on the community where we saw the majority of members preferred to not have the £50 non-referral option. And we don't mind at all if someone uses a link from someone they don't physically know. So we didn't considered it much further. This was a pretty minor decision, as either way we didn't expect a lot of people to use it and I can only remember 2 other people ever bringing it up. So we didn't think much more about it.

    Obviously, this is a much more important point to you than we thought @James_Gardner. I'm sorry that we haven't considered it with the importance that it's due.

    I'll promise you two things. First, we'll revisit it early next week and get back to you on Tuesday. I'll talk to our engineers and see whether it's something we could create within the current system, and I'll talk with other people around the business to make sure there aren't any other reasons we wouldn't want this.

    And second, if you want to join Bulb with something like this, you can use my referral link and I'll donate my £50 to a charity of your choice and email you the receipt for the donation.

    All the best,
    Will

    PS: Incidentally on the note of Trustpilot, here's an email I sent to our contacts at Trustpilot earlier today. It's something I realise we need to do more to combat. Trustpilot has far more ability here o actually make a difference, so we're hoping to work more closely with them to improve the amount of referral links in the reviews.

    image

    PPS: @James_Gardner You asked for someone who can talk about this stuff from a marketing point of view. Just so you know, I sit within the Growth team and I'm responsible for the referral programme amongst other things, so if you have any questions about anything like this you're always more than welcome to mention me any time.
  • @Will at Bulb, I understand that you're simply asking Trustpilot if there's anything that can be done but don't you feel that you're just pushing your problem off onto them?

    There are also always going to be other review sites around, being similarly filled with referral links violating Bulb's terms. Focussing on Trustpilot will only potentially solve the issues in that small corner of the internet.
  • @mowcius As Will says the Bulb team is on both sides of the fence over this issue, and the problem as I see it is that the ones with the authority to make the changes are sitting on the opposite side of it to us.

    At least Ed Sheeran realises that you've got to upset a few people if you want to tackle the touts ......
  • edited May 2018
    @mowcius , @xxx , @Will at Bulb

    From Will's contact email with Trustpilot it is asking to work together rather than pushing the problem onto to Trustpilot.

    I don't think we should prejudge the outcome of any call or meeting between Bulb and Trustpilot.

    Just some thoughts, if Trustpilot were to add text filters to catch the quoting of referral links would this mean Trustpilot would automatically delete the posting, this really is what should happen. I'm not sure how text filters would catch hidden referral links such as mybulblink.com
    used by Paul, or bulbreferral.com used by Thomas or in some cases asking potential new customers to email for a referral link.





  • xxx said:

    @mowcius As Will says the Bulb team is on both sides of the fence over this issue, and the problem as I see it is that the ones with the authority to make the changes are sitting on the opposite side of it to us.

    It sounds like they're on the fence regarding the £50 reward, not the Trustpilot issue.
    Allanr said:

    From Will's contact email with Trustpilot it is asking to work together rather than pushing the problem onto to Trustpilot.

    Unless the referral link system changes in some way, it's all on Trustpilot to fix. Bulb could compensate them monetarily but that's still not really them working together.
    Allanr said:

    Just some thoughts, if Trustpilot were to add text filters to catch the quoting of referral links would this mean Trustpilot would automatically delete the posting, this really is what should happen. I'm not sure how text filters would catch hidden referral links such as mybulblink.com
    used by Paul, or bulbreferral.com used by Thomas or in some cases asking potential new customers to email for a referral link.

    As Trustpilot already forbid the posting of links, the text filters would need to be pretty complex even to catch the non-links that people are posting at the moment.
  • mowcius said:

    It sounds like they're on the fence regarding the £50 reward, not the Trustpilot issue.

    They're connected. If there was a non referral reward there wouldn't be the demand for the TrustPilot links and it would become much less lucrative for the abusers.
  • Quick update, we're happy to create a non-referral £50 link. We'll build it over the next few days as it's a bit more complex than referrals and has to use a different system.

    I'm still waiting to hear back from Trustpilot on what they can provide. I've spoken to a couple of people there and they're going to put me in contact with the right people. I'd love to be able to solve this problem on our end, but we need to work with Trustpilot to change things on their platform.
  • I'd love to be able to solve this problem on our end, but we need to work with Trustpilot to change things on their platform.

    But it's not just an issue on Trustpilot. Facebook, Twitter, and other review sites (to mention a few) also seem to be major abuse locations. Fixing things on the Trustpilot end doesn't fix the root cause of the problem.

  • So what's brought about your change of mind about putting links on TrustPilot @Allanr ?
  • edited June 2018
    No change of heart really. I am seeing what Trustpilot will do about as I have clicked their compliance report link numerous times and reported individuals who have uploaded their reviews only to delete them shortly afterwards and then upload them again, but nothing happens.

    I should mention the major part (less referral link) of the review has been on Trustpilot ever since I joined Bulb, with slight tweaking/updates to take into account progress through the Bulb system.
  • @Allanr I hope you've reported allanr1016, who has just removed his previous TrustPilot reviews complaining to TP about the links. Two days ago he was 'testing' apparently, but has now decided to join the club.
  • edited June 2018
    @xxx

    I'll leave you to do that, you may have better luck than if I do it =)
  • @Allanr I'd say @Manser was right.
  • @Will at Bulb Why is Bulb allowing bulbreferral.com and mybulblink.com to leave a review in trustpilot every hour? this makes look the whole review process as merely fake!
  • Manser said:

    @Will at Bulb Why is Bulb allowing bulbreferral.com and mybulblink.com to leave a review in trustpilot every hour? this makes look the whole review process as merely fake!

    Because they're relying on the good of the people involved to stop doing it if they politely ask them to.
    They don't want to disable their links (presumably out of fear of bad press), but have no power to actually do anything directly with Trustpilot.

    Personally I'd be suing the crap out of them for tarnishing the Bulb brand and using Bulb name, branding, logo and imagery without their permission.
  • @Will at Bulb - Also I wonder can sites such as this one show images using the Bulb brand? Isn't that against the T & Cs? Have a look: https://www.energyreferral.com/
  • @Manser Thanks for sending this over, this is a bit of a tricky one. I'll be passing this along to @Will at Bulb and the rest of our growth team to get their input.
  • Manser said:

    @Will at Bulb Why is Bulb allowing bulbreferral.com and mybulblink.com to leave a review in trustpilot every hour? this makes look the whole review process as merely fake!

    Both of those have been tricky to pin down to one member because they're being sneaky and also including innocent people in their random redirections to links. We've identified both of them now and have disabled their links. We're very happy to take whatever press might come out of that.

    And no, https://www.energyreferral.com/ shouldn't be using our brand assets. We'll get in touch with them about that.
  • @Will at Bulb well done, but I have noticed that bulbreferral.com is still appearing on trustpilot pointing to a different referral link page.
  • Hi Bulb. I think some of these people on here are wasting a lot of your time. I'm impressed with you so far having joined at the end of last year. No one is perfect.
  • this another guy who's constantly spamming in Trustpilot
  • Manser said:

    @Will at Bulb well done, but I have noticed that bulbreferral.com is still appearing on trustpilot pointing to a different referral link page.

    The owner of that domain is playing a sneaky game where they're masking who they are by sending you to different referrers. This is the owners latest defense saying "but look, it isn't me!"

    We're not going to fall for it though.
  • @Will at Bulb it's looking much better in TP now, so well done. However, I have seen this Anthony guy many times recently..
  • Glad you think so :)

    Thanks for reporting that one. I'll make sure we deal with it if we haven't already :+1:
  • Quick update, we're happy to create a non-referral £50 link. We'll build it over the next few days as it's a bit more complex than referrals and has to use a different system.

    Are you able to give any further news on this please @Will at Bulb ?
  • edited June 2018

    Glad you think so :)

    Thanks for reporting that one. I'll make sure we deal with it if we haven't already :+1:

    There are a further three regular posters on Trustpilot along the same lines as the Anthony guy mentioned by Mansel.
  • xxx said:

    Quick update, we're happy to create a non-referral £50 link. We'll build it over the next few days as it's a bit more complex than referrals and has to use a different system.

    Are you able to give any further news on this please @Will at Bulb ?
    Same question to you @DanP at Bulb . I know that you will always provide a response.
  • xxx said:

    Quick update, we're happy to create a non-referral £50 link. We'll build it over the next few days as it's a bit more complex than referrals and has to use a different system.

    Are you able to give any further news on this please @Will at Bulb ?
    Our engineers will build it in this sprint, which is starting today. So not too long now, but longer than my initial estimate of a few days.
  • Allanr said:

    Glad you think so :)

    Thanks for reporting that one. I'll make sure we deal with it if we haven't already :+1:

    There are a further three regular posters on Trustpilot along the same lines as the Anthony guy mentioned by Mansel.
    yes also Cynthia and Theresa keep appearing all the time...
  • Manser said:

    Allanr said:

    Glad you think so :)

    Thanks for reporting that one. I'll make sure we deal with it if we haven't already :+1:

    There are a further three regular posters on Trustpilot along the same lines as the Anthony guy mentioned by Mansel.
    @Will at Bulb yes also Cynthia and Theresa keep appearing all the time...
  • @xxx No worries :)

    @Manser I will look into these repeat posters today and get in touch with them directly.
  • edited June 2018
    Manser said:

    Allanr said:

    Glad you think so :)

    Thanks for reporting that one. I'll make sure we deal with it if we haven't already :+1:

    There are a further three regular posters on Trustpilot along the same lines as the Anthony guy mentioned by Mansel.
    yes also Cynthia and Theresa keep appearing all the time...
    The above two seem to be quiet the third regular who continually reloads their review is Bonnie, she has just posted again. In her reviews she does say " I rang bulb last week and the customer service was amazing", this must be a long week because it has gone on possibly since I joined Bulb.

    It is also a bit concerning where she asks to share emails with whoever has used her link.

  • edited June 2018
    Bonnie has just reappeared with details of her referral code and requesting sharing of email addresses.
  • edited June 2018
    Allanr said:

    Bonnie has just reappeared with details of her referral code and requesting sharing of email addresses.

    Bonnie reappeared 10 minutes ago on Trustpilot having first deleted her review and uploaded it again (does it on a continuous basis). As she says:

    To use the referral link please type, or copy and paste the link into your browser ensuring there are no spaces once in the browser.

    bulb.co.uk
    /refer/bonnie_4_7 (I have used underscore to represent the first and third digits)
  • @Allanr Why have you put the link on here? That just gives it more exposure.

    Bulb isn't going to do anything and Bonnie knows it.

    It's concerning that people who blatantly break the rules are collecting email addresses (and possibly other personal information) from new customers but it's not something that seems to bother Bulb.
  • @xxx

    Valid point regarding the link I have inserted underscore in place of the first and third digits, which should still enable Bulb to locate the individual.

    In fairness to Bulb they have recently put a stop to quite a number of reviewers who were quite prolific in continually uploading and removing their reviews to get to the top of the review list.

    It also concerns me this person is harvesting the email addresses of individuals who uses the referral link.

    As an aside I thought from a recent posting you had switched or going to switch from Bulb.

  • @allanr Customer Service is brilliant, but I've had enough of the unprincipled growth team. It's a pity.
  • Hi Guys, @Allanr thank for letting us know about Bonnie, would you mind PMing me the numbers after her name? I'm having a little trouble finding her (trustpilot might have removed her reviews already), and we'll need to get in touch. @xxx we're certainly sad to see you go, and I hope that someday we'll be able to offer you a bit more in the way of focus on existing members-in which case we'd love to have you back
  • Not sure if I have used the correct route to PM you but I sent referral link details about 5 minutes ago.
  • @Rob at Bulb @Will at Bulb . It doens't really look Bulb is doing much about bonnie? Find attached screenshot of a new post added minutes ago..
  • Hi @Manser thanks for posting this. This referral link is suspended whilst we let the member know they're in violation of our Ts & Cs.

    On a more general note, the comments on this thread are greatly appreciated. I feel like we could express this more, but the posts here have led to us improving our action on repeat posters. I do appreciate that we haven't got all of them, but we have been able to take action on many of the repeat posters as a result.
  • And another one:



  • Also I have seen this Teresa many many times..
    @Euan at Bulb @Will at Bulb
  • @Allanr @Manser

    I have been in touch with both these members and blocked their referral links until they have removed them from Trustpilot.

    Thanks for letting us know.
  • @Allanr @Manser

    I have been in touch with both these members and blocked their referral links until they have removed them from Trustpilot.

    Thanks for letting us know.

    Thanks, I can appreciate how difficult it is for Bulb to keep an eye on Trustpilot reviews. The one for Bulb Customer review was uploaded again about 27 minutes ago and appears to point to a valid referral link



  • edited July 2018
    @DanP at Bulb reference your response on July 11, 2018 5:27PM

    This individual is still deleting and and then actively uploading their reviews on a very regular basis. Their most recent upload was about 7 minutes ago.

    Bulb Customer

    Published 7 minutes ago
    Switched to bulb and haven't looked…

    Switched to bulb and haven't looked back, they are cheap, renewable and have great customer service. There's not much I can say that isn't already said on this site but if you are looking to switch to them and get £50 for switching then I have created a site that will redirect you to a random persons referral link from this site so you don't have to choose, just go to:

    *********.com

    (The site remembers what link it gave you for an hour).


    I have replaced the actual link by ***********

    Do you know if anything is being done about this.
  • @Allanr

    We are aware of this and trying desperately to work out who is doing this. It is a bit of a detective game and not easy for us to find the culprit. Kind of things we are doing is loading the website 1000s of times to see if there is any pattern in the referral links, but we haven't been successful yet.

    We will keep looking and if you have any advise / ideas we can try them.
  • @DanP at Bulb

    I can well understand the difficulty in identifying the individual. When I have bothered to check *********.com I have seen some referral links appearing more than once but this could well be a guise to mask the actual link of Bulb Customer.

  • I think It's jason8337 again.. I was curios and made few searches from different locations. I get his when outside of london E1
  • @DanP at Bulb that was for you
  • @Allanr & @Manser Thanks for letting me know, direct message me any info if you find any more out. I will look into the jason link now and see if it could be that member.
  • xxx said:

    Quick update, we're happy to create a non-referral £50 link. We'll build it over the next few days as it's a bit more complex than referrals and has to use a different system.

    Are you able to give any further news on this please @Will at Bulb ?
    Our engineers will build it in this sprint, which is starting today. So not too long now, but longer than my initial estimate of a few days.
    Did this ever happen?

    It's been a while.
  • @mowcius Read thread 17 July 2018 Non-Referral Reward, initiated by JamesD
  • @yyt, I had missed that one, but it seems like perhaps we're due another update as it's been two months.

    No tech team would take over two months to implement this if they were actually focussed on it but I imagine they have plenty of more important things to do.
  • Hi @mowcius and @yyt - We have started offering it to members that have requested it but don't want to use one they've seen from a stranger online. it's join.bulb.co.uk/partner/bulb.

    We're still looking at other ways we can do this - i.e. Charity referrals or something of that ilk, but this is the current solution. It's been up a couple weeks now, sorry I missed adding to this thread earlier.
  • @Bill at Bulb, cool. I'll make a note of that one.
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