Posts Tagged ‘paid’

A Warning About FutureMedia Studio

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Reviews are not uncommon on JoeTech.com and some reviews I get paid for. This is the story how a company called FutureMedia Studio is intent on making sure they don’t honor their business agreements.

fingers crossed

For the uninitiated, here’s how paid reviews generally work: A company (or an agent company) contacts the blog about a paid review. A price is agreed upon and money is paid to the blog (or agent company). Then the review is completed and published. I make a point to personally use or try anything I review, whenever possible, in order to provide a complete and honest opinion based on actual experience. This takes a lot of time but is a necessary part of the process.

What I Get Paid For

One common misconception is that “paid” means “positive”. There may be a couple blogs that will guarantee a positive review, but I guarantee an honest opinion. When I provide a paid review, the payment is for my time and honest opinion. This was the case when I provided a generally positive Infinity Control iPhone game review as well as my even more lucrative Boost Mobile review, in which I devoted half the review to relaying my horrendous activation experience.

Bad Business With FutureMedia Studio

Historically, I’ve done well with a review agent company called IZEA and their review service, Social Spark, which has pioneered the paid review process. Now and then, companies skip the middle man and come directly to me for a review. Recently, I was emailed by a new company called Review Roster that brokers reviews for Android and IOS apps and decided to try the service out.

My first review opportunity with Review Roster was FutureMedia Studio’s iPhone and iPad app, Perfect Reader. I provided the review as agreed (seen here) and waited for payment. As a new paid review business, Review Roster had not been collecting payment before reviews were completed. I discovered this after they informed me that my payment was delayed due to trouble getting payment from FutureMedia Studio. Review Roster now collects payment in advance. What struck me as odd was that the app got some great remarks from me, so it couldn’t be that they were unhappy with the tone of the review (although that shouldn’t matter). As it turns out, it seems FutureMedia Studio just didn’t want to pay.

I keep pretty busy, so I set the experience aside, got assurance that payment for future reviews would be pre-collected, and provided two subsequent reviews for Review Roster. I was paid for these second and third reviews without much concern and it wasn’t until recently that I thought again about the Prefect Reader review while reviewing traffic logs. I decided to throw out a tweet to FMS and RR and see if I could provoke a resolution to the problem. Here’s what my tweet read:

Still curious why @perfectreader never paid for the @reviewroster review I completed. #badbusiness

Keep in mind, this is after several emails with Review Roster months before to resolve the issue quietly. Sometimes you need a megaphone to get a company’s attention. This was clearly the case with FutureMedia Studio as they replied a couple days later with the following:

@joetech @reviewroster Contact tim@futuremediastudio.com pls. Don’t understand what you’re talking about.

Someone at Review Roster contacted Tim at FutureMedia Studio and eventually got a response that was emailed to me a couple days ago. After reading the response, I knew immediately that I would turn down the proposed resolution to my complaint, but I decided to think it over before I responded. Essentially, RR forwarded the offer Tim made:

“I’m ok to pay that invoice as it comes from our team member. but could you please ask JoeTech to remove the old review as I really don’t need it. In exchange, I’d like JoeTech to review our popular book – MS Office 2010 Professional Handbook…Otherwise, I am not paying.”

I couldn’t believe what I was reading. FutureMedia Studio acknowledges that they agreed to pay for a service that was provided, refuses to pay, and now wants me to just delete my hard work and do another review just to get paid for the first one. I replied via email with a resounding NO, of course, adding that the offer is just insulting. Holding payment for a provided service ransom to squeeze additional work out of me is bad business.

What do you think?

Am I wrong? Do you agree with me? Would you be insulted by this response? Chime in and let this company know what you think about how they conduct business.

NOTE: While Review Roster stumbled a little at first, they’ve always had great communication and worked with me to resolve this.

UPDATE 07.28.2011: This morning, I’ve been informed that payment was made for my work and that Tim fired the guy who originally initiated the work. This is a horrible outcome, in my opinion. It’s great that the payment was eventually made, but I was far past expecting the payment and and to fire someone else for the negative press Tim caused is wrong. If you’re the guy who got fired or if you want to hire the guy, email me at joe@joetech.com. Maybe I can help.

How To Recycle Your Mobile Phone And Get Paid

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of RecycleMobilePhones.co.uk. All opinions are 100% mine.

The mobile phone market is just nuts. Every time you turn around, there’s a new phone launching that promises to be faster, sleeker, cooler, or smarter than the phone you have now, and half the time, it is. Sometimes, we even let our geek lust get to us and run out and buy the latest and greatest phone, often leaving our old phone to collect dust in a drawer. Those of us ambitious enough might even try our luck at ebay, but there’s a better way.

Recycle Mobile Phones

RecycleMobilePhones.co.uk is a site that makes it easy for you to not only find out what you can get for your old mobile phone, but it makes the whole mobile phone recycling process pretty easy.

Why You Should Recycle Your Mobile Phone

There are a number of things you can do with an old phone when you upgrade to a new one. You could give the old phone to a friend or family member or turn it in at some mobile phone stores to be recycled. You try an online classified ad site like Craigs List or an auction site like ebay to get some money out of the phone, but you never know what you’ll get for it or if it will sell at all. I’ve done both with very mixed results. The number one reason to try a site like this is to know how much you’ll get for your old phone and that it will sell without having to worry about it. You also can avoid worrying about someone actually paying after the phone is purchased. When you sell to one of these companies, payment is usually pretty quick.

How Does It Work

The process is about as simple as you might expect it to be. You start out by searching for your phone with the prominent search box on the home page. This is a predictive search, which means that it starts bringing back suggested phones as you type. I love this because you can find my phone faster, especially if it’s one whose spelling you are unsure of. Once you’ve searched for and found your phone, you get a list of potential buyers. These are mobile phone recycling companies like Mazuma Mobile that will make you an offer for your phone. This offer is usually in a cash amount, but may also be in trade-in points or some other virtual currency or vouchers. The list defaults to showing the highest values at the top. Select a buyer and you get forwarded out to their site to initiate the sale. Just confirm the phone you’re selling and they’ll usually provide you with a means to ship it to them for free. Send it out and wait for the delivery confirmation and payment.

The steps to get your phone sold are pretty straight forward and simple, but there’s one boring step I’d suggest as well. Like many sites, these sites have terms and conditions you need to agree to in order to sell your phone. This is a transaction involving money, usually, and depending on the phone, it could be a decent amount of money. You should always read through the terms before agreeing to them.

Conclusions

RecycleMobilePhones.co.uk is a very clean site. It’s put together well and is incredibly easy to use. The trade-off is that there’s just one or two teeny tiny features I didn’t find that might be nice like the ability to sort search results by clicking a column header. The up side is that the search is so well done that sorting is really not needed, anyway. While I don’t know of every mobile phone buying site out there, RecycleMobilePhones.co.uk seems to have lined up enough of them to get the job done and the amount I could get for my iPhone seems more than reasonable. In short, I give the site two thumbs up and would certainly use it if the opportunity presented itself (and you know it will). Book mark it and you’ll have the perfect solution for your old phone next time you upgrade.

Get Paid To Influence The Future Of Nokia Smartphones

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Nielsen Research. All opinions are 100% mine.

Of course, everyone knows about Nielsen Research, by now. For those who don’t know, Nielsen Research has been around for decades, measuring and reporting on what people watch and buy. Now Nielsen is available for your Nokia smartphone… and you’ll get paid to install it!

Nokia Nielsen panel

Get A $100 Nokia Gift Certificate

Nielsen and Nokia have partnered to build a panel of Smart phone enthusiasts that are using a device on the Symbian platform. What this means is that if you have a Nokia smartphone, you can download the Nielsen application and install it and be a part of a panel of people who help to influence the future of Nokia products. Not only do you get to tell Nokia what you want in a smartphone, but every user that installs the application on their Nokia smart phone will earn a Nokia $100 gift certificate after a year. As a business owner, I know the value of feedback and as a consumer, I provide feedback when I can. I know that smart companies will learn from and use that feedback to help make a better product for me. Everyone wins. I only wish every company rewarded me for my input like I’m seeing happen here.

Sadly, because I don’t have a Nokia phone myself, I’m unable to participate, but if you have a Nokia smartphone, you can participate. In fact, I think you should participate because it’s said to be pretty seamless and unobtrusive. Here’s what they say about how it works:

We use an application to measure the normal activity of your phone. Download the application to your smartphone and use it how you normally do -that’s it! The application is undetectable and will not affect your phone’s performance or battery life.

The only thing I would normally be concerned with is privacy, so I took the time to read through the privacy policy and found that while the application sends back data about when you visit web sites, send emails, etc., it does not store any of the stuff I worry about like the contents of emails and texts, picture massages, etc. That concern dissolved, I’d install this on my phone today, if I could.

I’d love to hear from my readers with Nokia smartphones. Will you be participating in this panel?

Visit my sponsor: Nielsen Research