Friday, October 23, 2009
A personal review of Blogads, a sinking ship in an ocean of advertizing potential
Blogads - love it or hate it? I gave them the huge benefit of the doubt, but after 2 years of a very poorly delivered service, the one question that comes to mind is simple is blogads a scam or is it just spam?
If you pay for a service and the delivering party can't deliver, any respectable company is willing to offer a refund - no questions asked. But not blogads. Recently we posted an ad for a blog which was rejected by the blogger himself. I can respect this right as it is each publisher's own right to chose his/her blog content. But what do blogads do with your already paid money when this happens? Wait and see. They will keep your money if it doesn't reach their 'threshold' and imply that they want more before they release your money to you - paid to them for an undelivered service!!! And did I mention that they will also keep it for 15 days because they're concerned that their poorly-handled customer will make a charge-back!!!!! After this quite ordinary incident...to our surprise there was no way to get a refund for the services never offered due to their sinister 'charge-back' policy. The 55$ dollars we paid to blogads is lost in cyber-universe (or in other words the blogads paypal account) because it seems that we have to pay for another undelivered service to reach their 'Paypal withdrawal threshold' which is $75 dollars. Joke!! This sounds a little complicated, I agree and my point is that it shouldn't be. The truth is that blogads look a bit to eager to hang onto petty change and force you to use it on their services further down the line. This is their bizarre interpretation of creating customer loyalty!!
It is one thing to be mal-treated as a customer and to have to search through pages of forms and weird rules to simply get a quick refund and move on.. but on-top of this to be suspected of being a bad customer or charge-back crook crosses the line guys. I wont have it. It is I who should be protected from scammy businesses, as a well meaning customer, not vice-versa.
I guess you could say that when we first heard of Blogads it seemed like a great idea. The advantage to advertizers are that you select from a list of blogs and advertising is inserted through one portal to many portals at once. However the disappointment has been greater on several fronts. In over 2 years of using the blogads service on and off, there has not been one significant upgrade to the tatty back-end and the service simply refuses to update itself. The back-end does look like a college project and there is far from any friendly interface.
If the result was good, a rigid back-end wouldn't matter. But its not. Those butt-ugly low-res jpg's and gifs stand out from a mile away and I personally don't click on them as a viewer because they have the word CHEAP embossed all over them. Visual integration into any site is poor because the image quality of blogads simply sucks. The blogads team have obviously never tried to reduce a banner jpg to a miserable 14kb (or is it 16K) to see the awful outcome for themselves, and thats no charmer for advertisers.
I'm afraid to say that I won't squabble with these amateurs for a 55$. If it means so much to them, they can keep it. But ain't it sad that they won't be seeing any more money coming in from willing customers which they have done everything in their power to piss off?
After all, I can always continue to do what I have done before, contact bloggers directly (who incidentally are usually much happier to cut out the middleman) and arrange for a banner ad with respectable image quality at less cost.