Double referral bonus encourages falsification and penalises genuine new customers — Bulb Community

Double referral bonus encourages falsification and penalises genuine new customers

It appears that a person who actively does research and ethically chooses Bulb as a potential supplier is being penalised compared to people falsely using/creating referral links. Since the "false friends" concept doubles the credit you pay out, why don't you simply offer new customers the opportunity to receive a credit for signing themselves up? As a "green" company, I thought you would want to be more fair to new customers and not promote the current dubious practice.

Comments

  • @James_Gardner We have taken this on board. We use the referral links so everyone can get a bonus for joining bulb and we can spread our message. You are right in that, there have been some incidents of falsely used referral links and this is something we are currently working hard to reduce. For example, we have developed a policy of deactivating referral links shown on inappropriate platforms.

    I think that removing this to prevent 'falsification' would be punishing members who join bulb through research aswell. Your suggestion is an interesting one but removes the referral programme that we have been using for so long. It's giving our members something in return for helping us out and spreading the word.
  • @Rory at Bulb I am not stating that you should remove your referral programme. I fully understand that it has benefits. What I am stating is that the referral programme encourages people to seek out a referral link where they do not know a current member personally in order to achieve the £50 credit for themselves. It encourages dishonesty and doubles the cost for the company. What I am suggesting is that you level the "playing field" and provide all new customers with the credit for joining. It would remove the incentive for people to use these referral links and thereby reduce instances of your costs doubling where it is not a genuine friend referral. Also, it would not penalise new customers who do not know an existing Bulb customer, thereby vastly increasing your client network - since if an individual doesn't know anyone with a Bulb account already, then you have actually tapped into a new group of potential customers. If you only ever give benefits to people who know each other, your client list is limited to those groups of friends.
  • edited May 2018
    @James_Gardner I think these are some really didn't quite get that from your first message.

    The £50 credit isn't a joining bonus, this isn't something we offer. The referral reward is a thank you to people who want to share our message of helping people cut their bills and decrease their carbon footprint. We want to thank them for this effort.

    The use of non-personal referral links is something we are trying to reduce as above. It may double the cost but there are other factors to take into account here.

    We are flexible with our referral links in another sense and if you discovered after the fact you knew a bulb member this can be added, in some cases.

    This said, we really appreciate your insight and have taken it on board, this area is something we are always working on and developing.
  • xxxxxx
    edited May 2018
    .

    The £50 credit isn't a joining bonus, this isn't something we offer. The referral reward is a thank you to people who want to share our message of helping people cut their bills and decrease their carbon footprint. We want to thank them for this effort. .

    @Rory at Bulb You don't seriously believe that the high referral earners who continually disregard Bulb T&Cs or the people who use those links have the slightest interest in carbon footprints? £50 is much more appealing.

    You're either very naive about human nature, or you think we are naive enough to accept Bulb's altruistic reasons for its referral scheme.
  • edited May 2018

    We are flexible with our referral links in another sense and if you discovered after the fact you knew a bulb member this can be added, in some cases.

    I know that if people don't understand how to use a referral link you have been adding on the credit manually, but just magically discovering a link seems unlikely and your terms and conditions specify that this should not happen:
    16.2.5. The Recruit must use the Referrer's Personal Link to switch energy supply to Bulb on bulb.co.uk. Referrals claimed retrospectively are not eligible and will not be rewarded. Bulb is not responsible for failure to issue Rewards resulting from an incorrectly quoted Personal Link.

    The £50 credit isn't a joining bonus, this isn't something we offer. The referral reward is a thank you to people who want to share our message of helping people cut their bills and decrease their carbon footprint. We want to thank them for this effort.

    Well, that's umm... something.

    I agree with @xxx here that the system is not being used in the manner that your rose tinted glasses make it appear. Those who have an interest just get on with it and spread the word.
    Because I actually believe(d) in how Bulb operates and what the company stands for, I personally decided to try and improve the appearance of the company for someone like myself, being young, tech savvy, but a bit of an environmentalist. I wasn't interested in referrals when I joined (although full disclosure, I didend up getting one from a friend), I was interested in Bulb.
    The £200 I've had from referrals myself is a drop in the ocean of melting ice and climate change compared to the time I've invested elsewhere (check my forum comment count if you like).
  • @mowcius @xxx the original idea and notion behind the referral scheme were to reward those that helped bring other likeminded people to Bulb. In that instance, we were really happy that people went out of their way to reward people to Bulb - it helped us grow and spread the green ethic.

    As the company and member base has grown, the referral program has been used in a way that doesn't align with the original idea. We will have an internal discussion this week regarding this, as @Will at Bulb has said in another thread, to see if we can make improvements.

    Lastly, I think it's great that we have had lots of feedback and we want to use your ideas to improve the referral program. I hope that the decisions we make as we grow allow you to support Bulb in our mission and not just in the product that we sell.
  • I'm exactly who James is describing. I'm currently not a customer, don't know anyone that is. I've researched and found that I want to switch from Good Energy to Bulb.

    I was going to use any random person's referral link on twitter. However, I realise that, sometimes, you can get £100 credit rather than £50. So, not only am I not getting rewarded for my own research and connecting a new group of people, I'm actively holding off joining until I can get max credits.

    Double credits aside, you could offer £50 for switching without a referral, the difference with a referral is that the referer gets £50 as well. It's a shame that even the Quidco cashback of £30 doesn't match the £50 for referral https://www.quidco.com/bulb/

    I assume people like me and others James are describing are a small percentage, so you just don't care to cater for us. Just be warned, you might under the impression your referral scheme is working better than it really is.
  • Hi @ChristianB - if you wish to switch to us without a referral benefitting someone else you have a few options. I could send you my referral link and I will donate £50 to a charity of your choice (I'll post the proof here fellow members!), or you can use this link: join.bulb.co.uk/partner/bulb and your account will be credited with £50 once the switch completes (if you've been looking at other people's links before you will have to do this in an incognito tab or remove cookies)

    Let me know your preference and if I can help with anything else.
  • Well, this whole thread is about the double referral bonus. So I'm waiting for £100 for me, £50 for my referrer. Which, at least in theory, is another £50 that could be given to charity.
  • Well, this whole thread is about the double referral bonus. So I'm waiting for £100 for me, £50 for my referrer. Which, at least in theory, is another £50 that could be given to charity.

    You're not going to get it.
  • Hiya @ChristianB - The initial title does look to be worded that way, but it's actually misleading. We didn't have any double referral bonuses at that point. The member was simply asking why we couldn't just give all new members £50, rather than give a referrer £50 as well (hence 'doubling' referral bonus). We still stand by our opinion that the people we'd most like to reward are our members for spreading the word to friends and family about Bulb.

    JamesGardner was under the impression that the vast majority of referrals made are from 'false friends' and that it's just recruits finding a referral link posted online somewhere. While that does happen, it's not a majority of our referrals. The referral program has costs, just like any marketing channel would, but it's our members that get rewarded and not some other company.

    The initial thread was written before things like Bulbiversary existed, it was more just individuals wanting a £50 from the off without having to personally know someone to get it. We've never had a £100 for recruit and £50 (/£100 if the referrer gives to charity) for the referrer.

    The whole point of Bulbiversary was a nice little bonus reward for members on their anniversary of joining Bulb, it doesn't really tally up with being 'penalised' for discovering Bulb and it's referral program independently recently. There's very little else we can offer you if you're adamant that you don't want to use a referral link from someone you don't personally know.
  • @ChristianB
    Bulb's previous response to a non referral bonus was:



    It then faded into oblivion (if it was ever actually being considered in the first place).
  • That's this one, as mentioned by Bill above.
    join.bulb.co.uk/partner/bulb
    I used it as I didn't particularly want to reward a random stranger. (And I don't publicise my link either)
  • Can that link be found by potential customers? Question's for you @Allanr - if anyone knows it'll be you.
  • Well I found it!
    It did take some doing - a lot of trawling through this forum. At one point I rang Bulb with a query about it - the response was "I dunno what you're on about to be honest". So it's clearly not the best known sign up route...
  • Well done for persevering @ccc .

    @Bill at Bulb Perhaps you could explain the rationale for not making this option more visible to potential customers?

    Friends and family are still going to use each other's links to sign up (the supposed reason for having a referral scheme), so the only people who won't like it are those making an unofficial living from touting Bulb.
  • yyt said:

    @Bill at Bulb Perhaps you could explain the rationale for not making this option more visible to potential customers?

    Friends and family are still going to use each other's links to sign up (the supposed reason for having a referral scheme), so the only people who won't like it are those making an unofficial living from touting Bulb.

    Should not be an option ... it should just be the default if you don't use a referral link! As you say, it's supposed to be for friends and family, not being forced to reward randoms on the internet just to obtain your own switching bonus.
  • Yes I am probably referring to the Bulbiversary, in January there was a £100 referral bonus (for both the referee and the referer)

    You're right that I took the "double referral bonus" in the thread title to mean double the normal referral bonus of £50 each, rather than double as in £50 for the referee and referrer.
  • Where can find double referral £100 link in my account
  • @Sgb, I commented in the other thread. The referral link is just your standard referral link.
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