Not permitting SoftUK deals - HotUKDeals
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banned#1
always curious and amusing when businesses wash their dirty laundry in public (or forums)
#2
Admin
There's been a few members asking about the current status of SoftUK on HUKD so I felt I should clarify the issue in its own thread as they were a popular merchant.

To start with, for those who don't know or care, we are currently removing any SoftUK offers and have posted a "DO NOT POST" message in their merchant name. This has become our standard way of dealing with common merchants who are blocked due to self-promo issues.

The history of this situation begins around October 2006 when SoftUK started posting self-promo offers on HUKD. After we realised they were spamming the site with self-promo they were warned and subsequently submitted offers to us through email for review.

This continued until a month ago or so when their internal referral programme became problematic on HUKD. SoftUK runs a referral programme where people get a 4 tier MLM commission by referring customers with a free delivery code. This conflicted with our policies regarding self-promo on HUKD and we got in touch with SoftUK about resolving this issue as we could not permit members posting these offers with this referral code.

After some discussion, SoftUK offered a free delivery code for HUKD. However, during this discussion we went back in to the forum postings for SoftUK and found that they had, in fact, not stopped their use of HUKD for self-promo but had been continuing to use a false user to promote their deals.

And that's pretty much it. This is the same issue we go through with many other merchants much more well-known than SoftUK. Fortunately the majority of them do not continue to self-promo and submit the offers to the mods for review. We understand banning a merchant is disappointing for some members however we do believe it is very important for HUKD to remain a site where members transparently and honestly recommend deals to each other and can rely on the honesty of other member's recommendations.

There are a few more elements that didn't exactly endear us to SoftUK or their managing director but as he has recently posted on another thread I will leave it up to him whether he wants those issues discussed in the forum.

Hi,

As I mentioned in the other thread I would like to apologise to Hotukdeals and secondly to its users. I will now try to address the issues that have been raised.

Firstly, the reason I have come onto to this the forum is to hopefully resolve the problems you have come across and to make all users of this forum including our customers fully aware of the situation and what we are doing to resolve it. Secondly, I would like to show that we understand a site like Hotukdeals needs to remain a site where members transparently and honestly recommend deals to each other and can rely on the honesty of other member's recommendations.

When we launched our MLM progam we did this to incentivise and reward our customers much like Hotukdeals and Quidco do. We wanted to reward customers for the work that they were putting into the agent program by paying them a commission for promoting Softuk and its deals. We realise some users of our agent program have abused the rules imposed by your site and this has impacted on the long term viability of our agent program. It is for this reason that we have moved away from the agent program in the short term and introduced our Collectors Account program. The collectors account pays cash back on all purchases a customer makes with us without the need for customers to make referrals. We will be making a full review of the agent program after Christmas.

I would like to reassure both Hotukdeals and its members that I’m not aware of the self promotion both past and present. If anyone has been doing this, please can you let me know their details in a personal message. I feel confident the offers we run would find there way on to the forum without any need to self promote. We've would never instruct members of our staff to perform such activities and if anyone has performed the alleged accusations, then they have done this on their own accord. I will personally ensure there will be no deals posted by employees of Softuk on Hotukdeals.


I hope that Softuk and Hotukdeals can now continue to work together on the issues that have been highlighted. We have already put forward a Free delivery code to help combat the spamming issues you have encountered and in the process this will ensure that all users on this forum receive a free delivery on the orders they make with us. I will personally be on the forums weekly in order to help resolve any queries or concerns people may have.


Once again I will personally do all I can to resolve the issues that have been raised and I hope we can start working together again so all can benefit.


Steven Wright
Softuk.com
[admin]#3
Hi Steven,

I would like to reassure both Hotukdeals and its members that I’m not aware of the self promotion both past and present. If anyone has been doing this, please can you let me know their details in a personal message. I feel confident the offers we run would find there way on to the forum without any need to self promote. We've would never instruct members of our staff to perform such activities and if anyone has performed the alleged accusations, then they have done this on their own accord. I will personally ensure there will be no deals posted by employees of Softuk on Hotukdeals.


Do you want to go on the public record stating that neither yourself or any employee or anyone who had access to SoftUK computers has ever posted softUK offers or self-promoted in a SoftUK thread?

The easiest way to move forward on anything is when the truth is told from the beginning.
banned#4
He didn't say they didn't do it, he just said he wasn't aware of it if they were.
[admin]#5
He didn't say they didn't do it, he just said he wasn't aware of it if they were.


Yes it seems we have quite a few incidences of "friends" or "roommates" using someone's computer to promote the company their friend/roommate happens to own.

Read up on the Saverstore thread to see how that panned out...
#6
[CENTER]For the record I am not aware this has taken place and I have not denied any wrong doing by Softuk. I accept the points you have raised.

Hotukdeals is a very popular site of which members of our staff have full access to. I will speak to anyone and even stop members of our staff from accessing Hotukdeals if they are found to be doing so for our benefit and not that of the general user.[/CENTER]
[admin]#7
Hi Steven,

Either yourself or someone with access to your computer has been warned previously not to self-promote on HUKD. There have been multiple offers posted from your personal connection which have received warnings. However, promotion of SoftUK offers continued after this point.

As director you are responsible for your companies actions whether this is yourself or a "friend" who uses your computer.
banned#8
I agree.
#9
just a thought admin.where there is an issue of self promo such as whats been happening here why not only allow members with over a certain level of rep/posts place deals for companies like this.if one more self promo is done then ban the company once and for all.if there is clear indication of self promo from any member or company could we all be made aware of it in the same way as you have done for softuk just a few thoughts.
[admin]#10
where there is an issue of self promo such as whats been happening here why not only allow members with over a certain level of rep/posts place deals for companies like this


I could see that being feasible for new unknown companies to cut down self-promo. In a case where we've warned the merchant explicitly and then it continues I do think there needs to be repercussions though otherwise merchants would just try it on until they get caught.
1 Like #11
Admin
Hi Steven,

Either yourself or someone with access to your computer has been warned previously not to self-promote on HUKD. There have been multiple offers posted from your personal connection which have received warnings. However, promotion of SoftUK offers continued after this point.

As director you are responsible for your companies actions whether this is yourself or a "friend" who uses your computer.

Hi,

As most companies operate - we have one IP address with multiple users. I can assure you that no one has access to my computer and further no one would use it without my knowledge.

I am fully aware of my responsibilities and that is way I'm on this forum trying to resolve the issues you have raised.
[admin]#12
As most companies operate - we have one IP address with multiple users. I can assure you that no one has access to my computer and further no one would use it without my knowledge.

Where are you working and posting from?

I think the best thing for you to do is take a long think about how you carry on your online relationships and what that means for how you think about your customers.
#13
Admin
Where are you working and posting from?

I think the best thing for you to do is take a long think about how you carry on your online relationships and what that means for how you think about your customers.

Hi,

We have and work from offices based in the London area.

Our customers are very important to us and so are the online relationships that we hold. This is why I'm trying to build some bridges and to establish a positive business relationship with you. I'm also going out of my way on the forums to answer any questions or concerns people may have.

Steve
#14
Steve
Why not block hotukdeals website on your work computer(s). That way you / your staff can't self promo.

If your work ip raises its ugly head as accessing this site then you get banned and lose our business. Simple. 68k hotukdeals members is a lot to lose.

You have no reason to be in these forums and your damaging your company name.
#15
andy1984uk
Steve
Why not block hotukdeals website on your work computer(s). That way you / your staff can't self promo.

If your work ip raises its ugly head as accessing this site then you get banned and lose our business. Simple. 68k hotukdeals members is a lot to lose.

You have no reason to be in these forums and your damaging your company name.

Hi,

If this is what it takes to show that we are willing to do anything to show that we respect Hotukdeals and its ethics then that is what I will do.

I am also on this forum to answer general questions and concerns that customers may have.

Steve
#16
fair enough.
I'd say allow SoftUk another final life. Members of HotUKDeals are also affected if softuk do have a good deal and it isnt advertised on this site.

And before anyone asks i'm not associated with softuk
#17
andy1984uk
fair enough.
I'd say allow SoftUk another final life. Members of HotUKDeals are also affected if softuk do have a good deal and it isnt advertised on this site.

And before anyone asks i'm not associated with softuk


lol... you brake the rules, you lose!

admin has given them enough chances by the sound of it!

...and softUK are stingy with the BT code that someone posted on here! :giggle:
[helper]#18
Admin
Lastly - Steven Wright. You know what the HUKD admin email is from previous correspondence. The correspondence you have had with HUKD in the past and your company's actions on this site have left us with zero confidence that you see HUKD as anything other than a platform for self-promotion and "free" advertising. If you genuinely are remorseful over the issue and genuinely care about HUKD members then I suggest you think long and hard about your future relationship with this site and bang out an email that does not try to fob off the blame but that acknowledges where you went wrong and how you understand moving forward.


steven Wright
Unfortunately it seems that I can not do much more than to apologise again and to give my word 100% that this will not happen again.

I have already taken the action in stopping all Softuk employees from posting any deals relating to the offers we run. I understand the reasons you are concerned but at this stage it seems I can not do anything else.

Steve
Softuk.com


SoftUK have apologised and promised it would not happen again - what else do they need to do?

I think they should be given the chance to prove themselves up to their (or Steve's) word
#19
In fairness, a LOT of companies operate in a similar manner computer wise - for instance where I work we have 30 machines which all go out via the one ip address - that's not at all unusual. It also leads to comedy situations such as if one user mis-types their password 5 times on one particular system it locks us all out for five minutes!
banned#20
Its a shame, I have had a few good purchases from them, far cheaper than elsewhere.

Good service as well, unlike alot of the larger games retailers whos deals are posted on here with terrible customer services and a mountain of errors.
[mod]#21
You only need to sign up to their newsleter as that's where the posters get their offers from that are put on here anyway. I've yet to see 1 that i haven't received in an e-mail that day or the day before.
#22
thing is, i guess examples have to be made of the offenders or others will do it.... i mean hey i could do with some promo for my shop, i could live with a ban if i will be forgiven eventually.....:whistling: :giggle:
#23
as a good will gesture they should give us all a free postage code and a money off code lol (latters pushing it mind)
#24
andy1984uk
Steve
Why not block hotukdeals website on your work computer(s). That way you / your staff can't self promo..


Seems a good idea...

andy1984uk
You have no reason to be in these forums and your damaging your company name.


I'm glad he is... Helped me out a bit!


Call me naive:oops: , but if a bargain is available does it matter where it comes from?
#25
ThunderBolt
Call me naive:oops: , but if a bargain is available does it matter where it comes from?


What a self-promoter "thinks" is a good bargain might not be quite as good as they think...
#26
duckmagicuk2
What a self-promoter "thinks" is a good bargain might not be quite as good as they think...


True but members will decide at the end of the day what stays around and gets voted hot
#27
col
True but members will decide at the end of the day what stays around and gets voted hot

this is not a free advertising site.if it was then it would be unindated with **** deals and would end up being a free ebay style service and thats not what it is for. rules are there to protect the site and what it stands for
1 Like #28
SpecialK
this is not a free advertising site.if it was then it would be unindated with **** deals and would end up being a free ebay style service and thats not what it is for. rules are there to protect the site and what it stands for


Is is unindated with **** deals though which vanish without trace :roll:
#29
col
Is is unindated with **** deals though which vanish without trace :roll:

because mods and members remove them.but imagine how many would appear if it was spammed and nothing was done too the companies that spammed.admin are trying too resolve the spamming done by this company and the company has not as yet admitted too spamming as far as i can see
#30
Yup, this isn't a case of one company spamming. If we open the doors then imagine how much we'll see!!
#31
But wouldn't the turd deals be voted cold and so never get onto the front pages?

I know that some dodgy dealers could vote their own deals as hot under half a dozen user names but if as I understand it IPs are checked then they would need to faff about from one place to another to bypass this. Besides, with the number of members on here who are genuine bargain hunters surely they'd be well outnumbered?!?

Or is this me STILL being naive?:roll:
#32
ThunderBolt
But wouldn't the turd deals be voted cold and so never get onto the front pages?

I know that some dodgy dealers could vote their own deals as hot under half a dozen user names but if as I understand it IPs are checked then they would need to faff about from one place to another to bypass this. Besides, with the number of members on here who are genuine bargain hunters surely they'd be well outnumbered?!?

Or is this me STILL being naive?:roll:


Yeah thats the way it works :thumbsup:

Lots of genuine turd deals make it on the forum and they sink without trace cos the members decide.
#33
col
Yeah thats the way it works :thumbsup:

Lots of genuine turd deals make it on the forum and they sink without trace cos the members decide.


Could have worded it better though as turds sometimes float:giggle:

Guffaw guffaw!

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