HotUKDeals forcing us to log in? Data mining.

55
Posted 28th Dec 2019
I don't think it's fair HotUKDeals forces us to log in to see weekly/monthly hot deals. We all know this to collect data on us. They already get comission for clicks so this is just greedy. I've been using this site for years but will go elsewhere. I don't know why the community are tolerating this to be honest.
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People can (within reason!) do as they wish but I’d ask them to bear in mind the overheads this site has and this is our source of funding.

The site isn’t free to run but it is free for you all to use. The staff don’t work for free. We (the staff) have our own bills to pay just like everyone else.
I might be in the minority here who knows , but I actually think it’s a great idea that you need an account to see the best deals , why should people who don’t contribute to the site in any way be able to have the same access as those who do . If HUKD makes money from it or not doesn’t bother me , it’s the those that have a sense of entitlement to everything without any input that do .
Edited by: "tinkerbellian" 28th Dec 2019
You get the service for free so just go with it or don't use it, that's what I think. People always seem to moan about the site (owners making money, paid experts, etc) but it's a site which is free to use and there are good deals posted, you don't need to use it. I think it's well worth it.
matt345428/12/2019 22:47

Nothing is ever free. If you're not paying for something then you are the …Nothing is ever free. If you're not paying for something then you are the product.This site must generate an awful lot of cash for the very little effort that is put in by staff when most of the deals are generated by users not being paid.Just be honest, the reason for this is that the site has recently been sold to a much bigger company that is trying to squeeze every last penny out of its userbase, whether its ethical or not.



Our income model has always been the same. From its creation over 15 years ago to today. Whether you agree or not is entirely up to you and I can't force you to but this site really is free to use.

Your other comment about hotukdeals being sold to a much bigger company is also untrue. Us (hotukdeals) and mydealz in Germany were the founding members of Pepper about 5 years ago. As for saying the staff here do very little...

Everyone here has a choice. You can post deals or not. You can vote or not. You can click through or you can not. I fail to see how any of this is at all negative when the choice is always yours.
55 Comments
It has been like that for a little while now. The idea is that by having an account members can personalise their use of hotukdeals and those options are only available to members. Of course we want people to sign up to our site and make use of all features.

It isn’t to collect data on you. When you sign up you only use an email and a username and that is it. That is never shared with a third party (unless required to by law). Our Privacy Policy is very clear on all of this if you wish to give it a read - hotukdeals.com/pri…icy
I've never been forced to log in ..
You get the service for free so just go with it or don't use it, that's what I think. People always seem to moan about the site (owners making money, paid experts, etc) but it's a site which is free to use and there are good deals posted, you don't need to use it. I think it's well worth it.
No reason why you can’t use it, and deny them making a profit from you as an individual.
BadMF28/12/2019 14:35

Comment deleted


Why wouldn't you want commission to go to HUKD? That's how the site is funded. You are using the service for free, they need to pay for that somehow!
Comment deleted?
dbizal28/12/2019 15:10

Censorship.


What was blanked? Care to share as pm.
veedubjai28/12/2019 15:13

What was blanked? Care to share as pm.


They just mentioned that they knew a way around the login and links so HUKD don't get the commission when we click a link.

In my opinion I don't mind really as this site is free and has saved me quite a bit of money. But people should have the choice about making an account or viewing as a 'guest'.
People can (within reason!) do as they wish but I’d ask them to bear in mind the overheads this site has and this is our source of funding.

The site isn’t free to run but it is free for you all to use. The staff don’t work for free. We (the staff) have our own bills to pay just like everyone else.
magicjay198628/12/2019 14:25

It has been like that for a little while now. The idea is that by having …It has been like that for a little while now. The idea is that by having an account members can personalise their use of hotukdeals and those options are only available to members. Of course we want people to sign up to our site and make use of all features. It isn’t to collect data on you. When you sign up you only use an email and a username and that is it. That is never shared with a third party (unless required to by law). Our Privacy Policy is very clear on all of this if you wish to give it a read - https://www.hotukdeals.com/privacy-policy#about


Give us the option to view weekly/monthly deals without an account then - just like it's been for years. Be honest, this is to get our details and use them for profit like any other site "encouraging" (demanding) users make an account.
fred.redmayne28/12/2019 15:21

Give us the option to view weekly/monthly deals without an account then - …Give us the option to view weekly/monthly deals without an account then - just like it's been for years. Be honest, this is to get our details and use them for profit like any other site "encouraging" (demanding) users make an account.


How would we profit from having your email address?
dbizal28/12/2019 15:16

They just mentioned that they knew a way around the login and links so …They just mentioned that they knew a way around the login and links so HUKD don't get the commission when we click a link. In my opinion I don't mind really as this site is free and has saved me quite a bit of money. But people should have the choice about making an account or viewing as a 'guest'.


ic, so HUKD is not happy with that as they need to squeeze out more commission. Probably to upgrade their staffs' annual teabag/milk allowance.
I might be in the minority here who knows , but I actually think it’s a great idea that you need an account to see the best deals , why should people who don’t contribute to the site in any way be able to have the same access as those who do . If HUKD makes money from it or not doesn’t bother me , it’s the those that have a sense of entitlement to everything without any input that do .
Edited by: "tinkerbellian" 28th Dec 2019
magicjay198628/12/2019 15:23

How would we profit from having your email address?


The same way other sites profit forcing users to make an account. Targeted emails, getting hold of social media info, cookies, tracking, etc: dont play dumb this is standard practice - forced accounts have been shown to increase profit in a variety of ways. It's a nasty anti consumer habit but I didn't expect it of HUKD. This is in your best interest but not ours.
fred.redmayne28/12/2019 15:29

The same way other sites profit forcing users to make an account. Targeted …The same way other sites profit forcing users to make an account. Targeted emails, getting hold of social media info, cookies, tracking, etc: dont play dumb this is standard practice - forced accounts have been shown to increase profit in a variety of ways. It's a nasty anti consumer habit but I didn't expect it of HUKD. This is in your best interest but not ours.


All of which you can control. Social media login is totally optional so I fail to see why this is mentioned.

I linked to it above but it’s all contained in our Privacy Policy. Give it a read if there’s anything you’re still unsure on.
Yeah I ‘banned’ myself from being able to comment on posts by deleting my account a while back, annoyingly I’ve had to sign up again as my deal alerts stopped working.
fred.redmayne28/12/2019 15:29

The same way other sites profit forcing users to make an account. Targeted …The same way other sites profit forcing users to make an account. Targeted emails, getting hold of social media info, cookies, tracking, etc: dont play dumb this is standard practice - forced accounts have been shown to increase profit in a variety of ways. It's a nasty anti consumer habit but I didn't expect it of HUKD. This is in your best interest but not ours.


HUKD do not send targeted emails (unless you classify optional notifications about things such as receiving PMs). Social media information is optional. Cookies are used so HUKD and affiliates can track your visits to sites in order to monetise the site - this happens whether you sign in or not.

Providing an otherwise ad free experience on a site which has to pay for office space, staff such as mods/editors/admin, Experts, and servers/site maintenance means they have to make money somehow!

All you need for an account is a throwaway email (most people should have 1 email address for spam, while I choose not to you could send all HUKD emails there). As for a password, that is necessary to protect accounts.

You need to consider who provides you the content. Regular users post the most deals and give you the content you are looking for. You can still access a lot of content without an account but when creating an account is so easy there is no reason not to create one.
BadMF28/12/2019 14:49

No reason why you can’t use it, and deny them making a profit from you as a …No reason why you can’t use it, and deny them making a profit from you as an individual.


There is a reason. You use the site for free. The monetisation model is completely unobtrusive with no ads plaguing the site. The site needs to cover costs and given how useful it is they deserve to be able to make some money too.
Given this site wouldn’t exist without its userbase, I think it’s a fair option to be able to opt out of anything that monetisations your actions.

There is making money and being a money grabbing .... to the detriment of its users.
BadMF28/12/2019 17:02

Given this site wouldn’t exist without its userbase, I think it’s a fair op …Given this site wouldn’t exist without its userbase, I think it’s a fair option to be able to opt out of anything that monetisations your actions. There is making money and being a money grabbing .... to the detriment of its users.


I’m afraid that logic makes no sense because the site wouldn’t exist without us being able to fund it.
BadMF28/12/2019 17:02

Given this site wouldn’t exist without its userbase, I think it’s a fair op …Given this site wouldn’t exist without its userbase, I think it’s a fair option to be able to opt out of anything that monetisations your actions. There is making money and being a money grabbing .... to the detriment of its users.


Users want a place to put their content. It's either this or ads. Affiliate system is much better.
magicjay198628/12/2019 17:10

I’m afraid that logic makes no sense because the site wouldn’t exist wit …I’m afraid that logic makes no sense because the site wouldn’t exist without us being able to fund it.


Hey @magicjay1986 , did you see my PM?
Edited by: "deeky" 28th Dec 2019
BadMF28/12/2019 17:02

Given this site wouldn’t exist without its userbase, I think it’s a fair op …Given this site wouldn’t exist without its userbase, I think it’s a fair option to be able to opt out of anything that monetisations your actions. There is making money and being a money grabbing .... to the detriment of its users.


People can avoid helping us earn money by navigating directly to the retailer site (or themselves - though of course we would prefer people didn't (and we don't always make money if you click through - eg in-store deals or retailers who don't work with us - but we post and promote them anyway as we want people to get the best deals)

Some people do do this, and that's fine. But I think expecting us to let people promote an automated way around the possibility of us earning money is a bit much to expect. Especially when so many features are usable without an account - it just happens that the one in the OP isn't.
magicjay198628/12/2019 17:10

I’m afraid that logic makes no sense because the site wouldn’t exist wit …I’m afraid that logic makes no sense because the site wouldn’t exist without us being able to fund it.



Load of tosh. If it was an option (and turned off by default) 95% of the userbase, would leave it as it. It's only the "hardcore" that would disable it. Your ad revenue / affiliates income I doubt would drop 0.1%, and you get to appease those die hard "don't track me" fanatics like myself.

It really wouldn't take much for someone to build a like for like version of this website, only without the anally retentive policies you have in place. But even if such a site were to exist, anyone mentioning in on here would quickly be silenced. Gotta protect those shekels.
jamie1528/12/2019 17:30

Users want a place to put their content. It's either this or ads. …Users want a place to put their content. It's either this or ads. Affiliate system is much better.



I'd go for ads. Ads are easily blocked, and their source easily identifiable, in other words, ads are more transparent.
BadMF28/12/2019 19:11

Load of tosh. If it was an option (and turned off by default) 95% of the …Load of tosh. If it was an option (and turned off by default) 95% of the userbase, would leave it as it. It's only the "hardcore" that would disable it. Your ad revenue / affiliates income I doubt would drop 0.1%, and you get to appease those die hard "don't track me" fanatics like myself.It really wouldn't take much for someone to build a like for like version of this website, only without the anally retentive policies you have in place. But even if such a site were to exist, anyone mentioning in on here would quickly be silenced. Gotta protect those shekels.


We can obviously agree to disagree about whether this is a right or fair thing to do.

But on the second point about any competitor mentions being censored, you are wrong. We allow mentions of cashback sites, the posting of codes from voucher codes and we try to give credit wherever we spot it to deals taken from other sites. This is because we want to be the place people come to find ALL the best deals.
fred.redmayne28/12/2019 15:29

The same way other sites profit forcing users to make an account. Targeted …The same way other sites profit forcing users to make an account. Targeted emails, getting hold of social media info, cookies, tracking, etc: dont play dumb this is standard practice - forced accounts have been shown to increase profit in a variety of ways. It's a nasty anti consumer habit but I didn't expect it of HUKD. This is in your best interest but not ours.



Blimey! I thought I was paranoid until I read this.

I use a dedicated e-mail address for this site & it has never received any messages to it that did not originate from my designated interests/alerts/settings at the site.

If you are bothered about social media tracking; do not link your social media accounts. As mentioned above, this is entirely optional (unless you want to gain as many badges as you can).

Cookie Tracking can be eliminated by using a dedicated web browser, a "privacy mode" setting, or removing all cookies prior to & immediately following visits here.

Also, as suggested above, you do not need to use the [Get deal] "button" (links) to the merchant sites; you can simply read about the products/services & visit the sites manually.

If you do click on a link within a comment that redirects you to a merchant's site & you noticed an affiliate code attached as a query string parameter to the URL used, then simply visit a cashback site, find that same merchant, & "click-thru" from there instead.

IP Address tracking & the use of Virtual Private Network tunnelling will also lessen any information transferred to the site's database, but do not be surprised if your comments are then frequently sent to the moderation queue before being made public.

Finally, yes, automated stripping of affiliate site redirections & affiliate code parameters is possible, & is reasonably easy to handle yourself with very little technical knowledge.

We will not be discussing this further within the comments of this thread though.


PS. That does not mean I will be discussing it via "Private Message" either
Edited by: "fanpages" 28th Dec 2019
Planty72028/12/2019 19:18

We can obviously agree to disagree about whether this is a right or fair …We can obviously agree to disagree about whether this is a right or fair thing to do. But on the second point about any competitor mentions being censored, you are wrong. We allow mentions of cashback sites, the posting of codes from voucher codes and we try to give credit wherever we spot it to deals taken from other sites. This is because we want to be the place people come to find ALL the best deals.



Again, a load of waffle. I've personally made a thread in Ask, mentioning another website about how they could sell item xyz for such a price and still make a profit. It was deleted 0.56 seconds later with the pathetic excuse saying that the retailer wasn't allowed on this website. Censorship levels are draconian.
BadMF28/12/2019 19:32

Again, a load of waffle. I've personally made a thread in Ask, mentioning …Again, a load of waffle. I've personally made a thread in Ask, mentioning another website about how they could sell item xyz for such a price and still make a profit. It was deleted 0.56 seconds later with the pathetic excuse saying that the retailer wasn't allowed on this website. Censorship levels are draconian.



Don't you dare mention p e d l a r . c o...
BadMF28/12/2019 19:32

Again, a load of waffle. I've personally made a thread in Ask, mentioning …Again, a load of waffle. I've personally made a thread in Ask, mentioning another website about how they could sell item xyz for such a price and still make a profit. It was deleted 0.56 seconds later with the pathetic excuse saying that the retailer wasn't allowed on this website. Censorship levels are draconian.


Are you talking about the thread 'Electric Car for £100'?
fanpages28/12/2019 19:44

Don't you dare mention p e d l a r . c o...



One of many, and no. Not the electric car one.

But I’m bored of this thread, I’ll only exist here to privately shill my plugin to devoid you of clicks, money, referrals, ads, and all that good jazz.
BadMF28/12/2019 20:20

One of many, and no. Not the electric car one. But I’m bored of this t …One of many, and no. Not the electric car one. But I’m bored of this thread, I’ll only exist here to privately shill my plugin to devoid you of clicks, money, referrals, ads, and all that good jazz.


If you want to raise a concern about a specific deletion, please let us know here or in PM.

From a scan through your posts I couldn't see an obvious example. We do delete posts linking to certain merchants though, where they don't meet the standards we have set and published. The reason is to look after users who may click through and potentially lose out, like in the electric car thread.
BadMF28/12/2019 20:20

I’m bored of this thread...


Don't let the door hit you on the way out.
fanpages28/12/2019 20:27

Don't let the door hit you on the way out.



Don’t get your cigar wet in the shower.
fanpages28/12/2019 19:26

Blimey! I thought I was paranoid until I read this. I use a dedicated …Blimey! I thought I was paranoid until I read this. I use a dedicated e-mail address for this site & it has never received any messages to it that did not originate from my designated interests/alerts/settings at the site. If you are bothered about social media tracking; do not link your social media accounts. As mentioned above, this is entirely optional (unless you want to gain as many badges as you can). Cookie Tracking can be eliminated by using a dedicated web browser, a "privacy mode" setting, or removing all cookies prior to & immediately following visits here. Also, as suggested above, you do not need to use the [Get deal] "button" (links) to the merchant sites; you can simply read about the products/services & visit the sites manually. If you do click on a link within a comment that redirects you to a merchant's site & you noticed an affiliate code attached as a query string parameter to the URL used, then simply visit a cashback site, find that same merchant, & "click-thru" from there instead. IP Address tracking & the use of Virtual Private Network tunnelling will also lessen any information transferred to the site's database, but do not be surprised if your comments are then frequently sent to the moderation queue before being made public. Finally, yes, automated stripping of affiliate site redirections & affiliate code parameters is possible, & is reasonably easy to handle yourself with very little technical knowledge. We will not be discussing this further within the comments of this thread though.PS. That does not mean I will be discussing it via "Private Message" either


Why should I have to jump through all those hoops to use a site that has worked without forced log in for over ten years?
Planty72028/12/2019 18:58

People can avoid helping us earn money by navigating directly to the …People can avoid helping us earn money by navigating directly to the retailer site (or themselves - though of course we would prefer people didn't (and we don't always make money if you click through - eg in-store deals or retailers who don't work with us - but we post and promote them anyway as we want people to get the best deals) Some people do do this, and that's fine. But I think expecting us to let people promote an automated way around the possibility of us earning money is a bit much to expect. Especially when so many features are usable without an account - it just happens that the one in the OP isn't.


We could use that feature without an account for over ten years and you clearly made plenty of money in that time. Stop forcing us now just for a few more pennies. The majority won't care but there are plenty of people who do.
fred.redmayne28/12/2019 22:23

Why should I have to jump through all those hoops to use a site that has …Why should I have to jump through all those hoops to use a site that has worked without forced log in for over ten years?


Without contributing a single thing back to anyone in ten years, then join and post to moan about not having access to a feature. Selfish maybe comes to mind?
fred.redmayne28/12/2019 22:23

Why should I have to jump through all those hoops to use a site that has …Why should I have to jump through all those hoops to use a site that has worked without forced log in for over ten years?



You do not have to do that. Also you do not need to look at top weekly &/or monthly "Deals" either.
dirty_stan28/12/2019 14:40

You get the service for free so just go with it or don't use it, that's …You get the service for free so just go with it or don't use it, that's what I think. People always seem to moan about the site (owners making money, paid experts, etc) but it's a site which is free to use and there are good deals posted, you don't need to use it. I think it's well worth it.


Nothing is ever free. If you're not paying for something then you are the product.

This site must generate an awful lot of cash for the very little effort that is put in by staff when most of the deals are generated by users not being paid.

Just be honest, the reason for this is that the site has recently been sold to a much bigger company that is trying to squeeze every last penny out of its userbase, whether its ethical or not.
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