Memolink Email and News

January 29, 2004 · 0 comments

If you didn’t get the big Memolink email earlier this week, like me (and quite a few others, from the emails I’ve gotten and forum messages I’ve read), this is definitely something you’ll want to read. The message follows below, with my comments in italics. This is a lengthy message, one of my longest ever, but I think it is a very significant development that needs proper analysis. So, please grab an icy-cold beverage of your choice and join me as we enjoy this episode in the Memolink Saga, which I dub, “Memolink ‘Fesses Up.”

“We are truly sorry that you have not yet received your prize. After three years of struggling with late prizes,”
Notice how they insist on calling our redemptions “prizes”? Like they’re something we were given out of the goodness of ML’s heart, and not like something they carry on their balance sheet as a liability…yes, a debt. We are their creditors. And they aren’t late “prizes,” they are LATE PAYMENTS.
“we are still in the same position. You have likely heard more than one reason from Memolink as to why your prizes have not been delivered.”
Yeah. Lost in the mail. We’re a little behind. My dog ate it.
“Although we have had some problems with our fulfillment system and old technology, the underlying problem has still not changed. We are still recovering from the “Dot Com” fall out dating back three years.”
Couldn’t ya have mentioned this 3 years ago? Or maybe 2.5? Hey, how about 2 years ago? 2002 was a good year. Then again, last year would’ve been good. Oh! How about when 6 month membership in your stall tactic, the Memogold program, was about to expire and those users had discovered they weren’t getting their redemptions faster like you promised?
“Memolink is a small company of less then 20 people, and although we have tried many different ideas, and several new marketing strategies,”
…not one of the 20 of you thought, hey! Maybe we should stop letting our users accumulate points by trivia, site visits, and ML surveys that increase our debt without generating any revenue!? NOOOOOoooo…YOU were the 20 rocket scientists who said, let’s start the Memogold program and let users earn even MORE points for us to add to our debt! Is there a SINGLE business degree among you???
“it is a constant struggle to purchase $1.5 million dollars worth of prizes for which we were never paid by advertisers.”
Just a quick question here. Why does a user have to wait “up to 45 days” after shopping for their points to credit? Isn’t that to ensure that you get paid by the merchant before you pass the points along to the user? And cut it out with the “prizes” term already! They are member requests for payment. Your debt.
“The good news is, we have slowly knocked out $1 million of that prize debt in the last two years, and those prizes have been shipped!”
Wait…I thought all this was from the dot-com-bust dating back THREE years ago. Hmm. Well, at least they acknowledge that the “prizes” are their debt. That makes them the debtors, and US their creditors. Just to clarify this for their 20 employees lacking in business degrees. :)
“The bad news is, we still have quite a bit more to cover before we are completely caught up, which we feel will be sometime in the next 12 months.”
And this is based on…….? A number you pulled out of your butt? You FEEL it will be sometime in the next 12 mos.? Did you run some numbers on this? Or maybe you called Sister Cleo’s Psychic Hotline. You know what? You’ve been giving us BS for three years now. I feel more strongly that Elvis is alive than that we’ll see ML completely out of debt. And I do have a business degree. An MBA. That means a Masters’, ya 20 rocket scientists!
“As many of you are aware, Memolink, unlike many of its competitors, still honor the points you earn, even when we’re not paid by our advertisers. Other point programs are known to reverse the points you’ve earned when they’re not paid by advertisers. We’ve always felt that our policy was a better approach as we didn’t want to penalize our members for something they had no control over.”
Okay, lemme see if I grasp the logic here. You don’t want to penalize those members who completed an offer for which you were not paid. Instead, you penalize EVERY SINGLE USER OF YOUR PROGRAM FOR THREE YEARS. Instead of having some members irritated but having a LEGITIMATE reason to give those specific people for why their points were reversed…you tick off everybody and completely trash your program’s reputation. What a SMART business move!!! Good job, guys!!!
“Recently, the economic climate for Internet companies has improved. The resurgence in our economy, the positive trend in online commerce and the failing of less stable rewards programs (our competitors) are all positive signs for Memolink.”
I can see ML’s CEO now… ‘Let’s put some business-sounding junk in here to make it sound like we’ve really analyzed this. (giggle) Economic climate! That’s a good one. Resurgence! That’ll make us sound smart!’ Dudes… why do you think that Blink and PrimaRewards and Milespree going under is a positive sign for YOU? You’re still a half million dollars in debt!! Those programs weren’t any less stable than ML is…they just knew when to friggin’ quit!
“We do keep up with the buzz on the message boards. The most common statement made by Memolink members is they just want us to be honest about their prize orders. Frankly, we want to be honest. We will no longer put a soft-cushion on our excuse, or give you a date that your prize will arrive. The truth is, we aren’t sure.”
AT LAST! MEMOLINK ‘FESSES UP! Now pay close attention to this: ML is a) admitting that they’ve been giving “soft-cushioned” excuses, or let’s just call it like it is…bogus, empty promises, and b) they have no idea when they will be able to pay their creditors. Man, I wish I could call up my mortgage company and go, hey, guys…No idea when I’m gonna pay my house note. I FEEL that I’ll pay you in the next 12 months. Aren’t you happy I’m being honest with you???
“We have many loyal members that come to our site each day to complete offers worth many points. These members keep us in business and will be rewarded – they will receive their prizes.”
Bum, bum, BUUUUUUUMMMM!!! Do ya hear the forboding tone there? THESE members will be rewarded….?
“We also have many loyal members that come to our site each day and participate in only “free point offers” that don’t bring in revenue. We are happy to provide these free offers, but this has caused an unforeseen financial strain that may need to be corrected if prizes aren’t caught up soon.”
Ya see, this is where that business degree woulda come in handy, y’all. See, points are debt. When you give out points for free, you are increasing debt without increasing assets. There isn’t a damned thing unforeseen about this, unless you’re absolute friggin’ morons. You have no rules against people doing this. You have continued to give those free points out to each of your “almost 3 million” members every day for the 3 years you’ve supposedly been straining under all this debt. NOW you’re going ‘uh-oh’?
“What’s our solution? We have created a new prize delivery arrangement that
will allow us to take many things into consideration before shipping the prize to a member. This arrangement is designed to deliver prizes first to candidates that will come back and earn us the most revenue, enabling us to ship ALL prizes quicker.”
Hello, mortgage company? I’d really rather pay my Ebay bill than the 6 months of unpaid house notes I owe you. ‘Cause if I can keep my Ebay account, I can keep generating revenue. Oh, all that Ebay revenue will add up over time, and one day I’ll pay you. This is in your best interest. Really!
“We would like to say again, all the prizes that have been ordered will be delivered, but we will not be able to give you a date at this time. After testing this delivery method,”
…aka Our Latest Scheme
“we hope to better predict when your prize will arrive, but we won’t be able to do so until we see how well it works.”
(LMAO) Ahaha. Aha. Ha. Okay. This is how Memolink’s Latest Scheme works. ML owes $.5M in redemptions. Doesn’t sound like that includes points earned but not yet presented for redemption. But let’s put that aside for now. So, their idea is, let’s first pay the people who earned points by shopping and doing signups. Then they’ll be so happy, they’ll come back and do MORE shopping and signups. And with that revenue, we’ll pay the people who just do trivia and site visits. Okay. Problem #1: You’re assuming that the RGMs (Revenue-Generating Members) will come back. After they’ve been waiting months and months for their redemptions. And after reading emails like yours in which you admit you make empty promises and have no idea when anybody’s getting paid. Problem #2: If they DO come back, you STILL have to pay them what they earned for their shopping THIS time. And you’ve got your overhead to cover (20 employees?? What the HELL do they do???) So from whatever’s left, you’re gonna have enough money left over to pay off the Non-Revenue-Generating Members??? Hey, y’all! We don’t have to just wait and see how well this works, do we? WHAT A GREAT PLAN!!!
“Suffice it to say, if you complete revenue generating offers on Memolink (shopping, credit cards, clubs, etc.), both old and new prize orders will be given some priority.”
Some. We think. If our plan works. C’mon, give us some more money and we’ll pay you what we owe you. You can trust us!
“The MemoGold program was launched to select members to show our appreciation to those who have stuck with us over the years. We will keep the system in place and current Memogold members will still receive other benefits of having an upgraded account,”
You can earn more points than the rest of us! That they don’t know when they’ll be able to pay you for! Whoo-hoo, lucky you!
“but the accelerated prize shipping won’t be reintroduced until we have our prize shipments back under control.”
…which hasn’t been in the last 3 years. But we FEEL it’ll be this year!!! Baahahahaha.
“Once this has happened, we’ll be launching the MemoGold program in full force and we can concentrate on giving it the attention it needs to be the best elite program on the Web!”
Yeah, especially if you put all the hard work and quality business sense into it that you’ve put into Memolink!
“You have continually asked us for forthright and honest answers. We are doing this for you today, even though it may not be the answer you want.”
Truth is good. Would’ve been good if you’d told your members 3 years ago that you had no idea when prizes would be shipped. But then you wouldn’t have been able to get revenue from the RGMs and the newbies you’ve roped into the program.
“We have confidence that this is the best solution, and quite possibly the ONLY solution, if we want to get out of this three year prize shipping deficit.”
That’s the only solution you guys can think of? Well, here’s a couple more, just off the top of my head. 1. Reverse the non-paid-for points. 2. Stop offering free points, or better yet, get site visits sponsored by advertisers. I’d be willing to pay for some visits to this website. Seriously. 3. Fire some of your 20 employees. They’re idiots if they come up with stupid business schemes like yours, and besides, they ain’t busy sending out redemptions. 4. Raise redemption levels BUT SEND OUT THE REDEMPTIONS. You know that “a bird in the hand” phrase? I bet there are folks who’d rather have a definite $5 GC than a “maybe one day, who knows” $15. 5. Let users redeem their points for advertising. It wouldn’t generate any revenue, but it’d reduce your debt. Example: Let users cash in 2000 points for 1000 1-pt site visits. Your debt drops by half. I’m tickled to get a redemption I don’t have to wait 50 years for. So that’s five ideas off the top of my head. And I didn’t even charge you a consulting fee.
“We welcome your feedback – but understand that we are unable to answer all
emails regarding specific prizes at this time.”
Yeah, get off our damned backs! We told you we didn’t know when we were paying you! BUT AT LEAST WE WERE HONEST!!!
“While we are working through this new prize plan, we will be concentrating on prize organization, and emails related to specific prizes may go unanswered until we know where we stand. All other questions related to your account will
be handled as quickly and as accurately as possible. Without hundreds of prize questions daily, we hope to give more attention to other Member Support issues.”
Which explains why it took you 3 days to delete my account. :)
“We appreciate your understanding. Please know we are doing the best we can
to rectify this situation as soon as possible. When this new strategy
proves successful,”
Ya mean, IF. And it will not be, for reasons explained above. Hire a consultant if you don’t have any friggin’ business sense. Oh, I forgot! You’re $.5M in debt; you can’t afford it!
“and we are able to ship all the prize requests, it will
mean a new beginning for Memolink, and a fresh start for its loyal members!”
Chapter 13 bankruptcy reorganization. Read up on it.
“Unlike others in the industry, we’re not looking to take the easy way out.
We will pay off all prizes while continuing to enhance the point earning
opportunities and services available to you on”
Some day. We just don’t know when. We FEEL it will be this year!!!
“Memolink has been in business since 1994 and will celebrate its 10 year
anniversary this June. We’re looking forward to another 10 years in
business and hope that you’ll continue to be a loyal member.”
Just so you know: ML started off doing offline marketing in ’94. Real high-class stuff like giving college students free dry-erase boards if they’d fill out a survey…they selling their info to other companies. They only started their online business in September of ’99. They said they’ve been struggling with dot-com-bust debt for 3 years, right? Were they EVER profitable? Man, David Asseoff (CEO) — sure sucks to be you, huh?!
“Best regards,
Memolink Member Support Team”
Yeah, kiss my ass, ya buncha dummies. Becky Ford, Former Memolink Member.

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