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Online-Sweepstakes.comTerrible experience

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I have been a Premium member at OLS for two years. I pay to use both the sweepstakes listings and the forums. When Brent, the owner, started charging membership fees, he created a business. And when he created a business, he created customers with expectations. One of my expectations was to be able post in the 'moderated' forums, free from verbal abuse and personal attacks. I also had an expectation that the moderators would fairly and evenly apply the rules of the forums. This has not been the case.

Many members over the years, myself included, have had to leave the forums, and before our paid memberships have expired. A group, which includes some of the original and/or long-time members, gang up to bully, cajole, intimidate and verbally abuse new members who oppose or question their ideologies. At the moment, this is going on the political forum, but it spills over into just about every area of the forum. Members are targeted for attack, sworn at, ridiculed, and eventually driven off the site. The discourse is hateful and malicious. Members who leave are sometimes stalked online. This has happened in cycles over the past few years.

The moderators and owner not only allow this to happen, but sometimes even encourage the behavior with an uneven and seemingly arbitrary application of the rules. Abusive verbal attacks are allowed to stand. When a new member tries to explain or defend, they are often ignored, suspended or banned. Members are not allowed to question the decisions of the moderators. When a member tries to contact the owner, Brent Riley, to complain or receive clarification, calls and emails go unanswered. He is, in fact, absent for weeks at a time.

When one pays for membership in a business, it is reasonable to expect customer service. It is reasonable to expect that the moderators will adhere to the clearly posted rules without bias or prejudice. It is reasonable to expect the forums will to be a positive, rather than traumatic, experience. It is reasonable to expect to be shielded from personal attacks and animosity. However, this is not the case at OLS.

Do not assume that if you pay for a membership that you will be afforded any courtesy or be treated fairly, when it comes to the forums. The sweepstakes are very well-organized. They are also available for free at other sweeping sites, should you not want to pay to be personally attacked and bullied.

Responses

  • Ma
    marie Jan 16, 2009

    I don't personally know this person but I agree with terance. It is a paid sweepstake site that has a forum. If you don't pay the premium price, you will get advertising and no access to the "premium" sweepstakes. These premium listings are available for free access on other websites so there really is no need to pay anyone. I would recommend passing this website by and go to the kinder and gentler websites. Their forum is very unhealthy for your emotions and your mind.The forum has moderators that do not enforce the posted rules. It is suppose to be a family oriented website but I would not let my children ever go there. I clicked on a video link one time and their was a naked women dancing around in it. There was no warning on the posted video. There is foul language, sexual conversations, sacrilege, blasphemy and harassment that is allowed by a group of regulars who are on every day. Some of them follow members around for the purpose of mocking and harassing and the posted rules are not enforced on these people. I also was stalked to a different website because I happened to use the same user name on the other website, which was a mistake. This website shows no tolerance for people of differing beliefs than the owner or moderators. If you ever join, make sure you do not get involved with the forums because you will subject your self to humiliation and verbal abuse by both members and moderators if your opinion, no matter how how polite you state it, does not match there's. There is blatant censorship and deletion of posts. If you ever need to contact the site owner, you'll have better chances of hitting the lottery than to get a hold of him. He does not answer emails on the contact form posted. There have been people that have posted their sweepstakes win on this website and have been reported to the sponsors in an effort to get prizes taken away so don't ever post your wins or your personal information on this website. Once you join, your posts and profile pictures will remain there if you don't delete them before you are banned. I have not been banned but I know this from talking to other members who have been.This is just a warning to be careful. There are many free sites out there with much kinder forums.

    0 Votes
  • Sw
    sweeper Feb 03, 2009

    If you want to enter sweepstakes on a free site, go to: http://arholloway.com/sweepstakes/. It's new site, but growing.

    0 Votes
  • Vi
    Vifrome Aug 27, 2012
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    STAY AWAY!

    This is a RIGHT WING run website that bans Liberal/Democrats from their site. If they find out you're a Democrat/Liberal/Progressive they'll ban you and even if you've paid for their membership!

    AVOID and run away.

    -2 Votes
  • Ro
    RockysJewel Mar 28, 2019

    @Vifrome that is not true at all! Ive been there since 2004. If anything the forums ... politics is 90% dems. They only ban people who go way past boundries and have been told more than once to stop. I have never seen anyone banned who didn't deserve it

    2 Votes
  • Ia
    iainswife Sep 15, 2012
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I have been a long time member of online-sweepstakes.com and have NEVER encountered the above complaint. In fact, it regularly links to the Obama campaigns sweepstakes to win tickets to Obama events. This complaint is completely without merit.

    2 Votes
  • So
    sottovoce Jun 21, 2018

    @iainswife I have been a member of OLS since 2003. Like any site, there are trolls and those with questionable integrity, but I have had very few problems with the forums. The sweepstakes are very well organized. I can't imagine a site that is better organized. I have disagreed with some of the mods' decisions of late, but not enough to leave. In fact I recommend the site to friends and family often.

    1 Votes
  • Un
    Unva Nov 27, 2018
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    On November 23, 2018, I renewed my premium membership. My membership expired that same day, even though the date of expiration was 11-23, which usually means the membership goes until 12 midnght, then expires.

    I had tried to renew three times before: once on October 23, 2018, and twice in November 2018. I got no response and kept getting emails that my membership was due to expire on Nov. 23. finally I asked for a refund for all three times I had submitted to Paypal AND PAID FOR EACH SUBMITTAL because I was still getting "reminder" emails that my membership would expire Nov. 23.

    I attempted to renew on Nov. 23 after I got my refund for the three premious attempts (that had no results!). I applied for my renewal to paypal and was sent an emal both from OLS and Paypal sayting that I had indeed renewed my subscription and that my premium membership had been extended for another year.

    Have I gotten my premium membership back? NO, NO, NO, and no one responds to my complaints on the problems page and on the Nicole page!!!

    I can't believe the lack of interest or response from OLS! I have been a member of premium membershps since 2004!!! THIS IS NO WAY TO TREAT A GOOD CUSTOMER!

    Anyone else having this type of problem?

    1 Votes
  • Ro
    RockysJewel Mar 28, 2019

    @Unva Ive been there since 2004 I had auto sign up and forgot and saw i wasnt premium when I went in and paid again thru paypal. So I pad $60 in MAR and not premium and heard we arent getting remimbursed. Im super sad OLS has gone down the tubes I love it there :

    0 Votes
  • Ju
    Judy Vanalphen Mar 04, 2019
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Hey guys! I’m not exactly sure how to start this but I wanted to address a few things that have happened recently.

    Nicole is no longer with the site – there is no longer a direct link to Brent to let him know there is an issue with the site. The site was never Nicole’s to run & I am truly grateful she took care of things for as long as she did. I have left messages at the number I had for Brent as well as left a message on Facebook – sadly this is about all I can do. I have no magic powers to fix any of the issues that have been happening (they’d have been fixed ages ago if I did!!).

    What does this mean?
    • There is no one to credit the PayPal issues
    • There is no one monitoring any of the OLS emails
    • We do not know when/if the database errors for MySweeps users will be fixed
    • We (the volunteer mods/admins/editors) have no other information other than what I have stated here
    • No one (and I can promise you that!) is more frustrated by all of these issues than the hardworking mods/editors of the site

    We’ve seen some threads about a Facebook Group – OLS has not had a FB group/page in years - any groups bearing the name of OLS or anything like that are not run by anyone affiliated with OLS (mods/editors/admins) - please feel free to share this post but any info within those groups are not posted by anyone on the OLS team.

    Another thing I’d like to dispel is that Nicole & Brent are the same person. I can 100% verify this is not true, I’ve spent plenty of time in person with them over the years to confirm (as can many of you who have as well!). Yes you may have seen both usernames on in the past - in order for Nicole to credit the PayPal she had to be logged into her account to see the PM’s and Brent’s to access the highest Admin interface.

    We see a lot of other people ask about other sweepstakes sites - there are TONS – most run by really great people - Google is your friend - that is how I found OLS in the first place

    We will leave this thread open - we don’t have any answers & while we understand your frustrations (trust me we do – I’d give anything to be able to fix all these issues!!) – we will not allow any bashing – there is already enough negativity let’s not add to it.

    Should we find out anything more we will update here – we’ll be closing a lot of threads and linking to this post – the same with any new that pop up so we can keep everything in one place.

    OLS has been my sweepstakes home for almost 17 years – but it has become much much more to me as I have met some of the most amazing people through this hobby that I am proud to call my friends, all of us deserve better & deserve answers but we just don't have any.
    Reply With Quote Multi-Quote This Message
    Old March 2nd, 2019, 6:41pm

    Posted by KbSocial administrator on March 2, 2019

    4 Votes
  • Ro
    RockysJewel Mar 28, 2019

    @Judy Vanalphen Thanks for all you have and are doing KB. You are loved there that is for sure!!

    1 Votes
  • Fl
    FLDarkside Sep 23, 2020

    I had joined August 2002, but eventually got banned by Brent some years later for questioning what I deemed unethical practices once he created the "Premium Membership". I've heard that he's been MIA since around March of 2019 and the moderators have been keeping it running.

    Since becoming a member, I had heard some really disturbing stories about Brent that were allegedly from first-hand knowledge (people who personally knew and/or had dealings with him), and I do know that public records where he lived showed that he had some legal actions against him back then.

    Regardless, my main issue is what I found out Brent was telling people when they asked about what happened to me. I had kept in touch with a number of members who had told me that Brent was telling people that I got banned for trying to solicit, beg, weasel (whatever term he used at the time) for members to pay the dues for me for a "Premium Membership".

    This is absolutely false and BS. Brent completely fabricated that story. Anyone familiar with my comments would know that I had said on a number of occasions that I did not want the "Premium Membership", because I could get all those same sweepstakes from another site I also used without paying.

    However, because I helped quite a few members in getting their computers to run better and taught many on how to use Roboform (among a few other things), many of these members kept buying me a "Premium Membership" (going green) for 3-month periods. I can assure all that I had no interest in going green, but it's pissed me off to no end that Brent could get away with making up such a story without my being able to defend myself.

    I still miss my OLS friends despite Brent and/or any who turned against me as a result of Brent's fabricated story.

    wackydackydoo

    0 Votes
  • Fl
    FLDarkside Sep 23, 2020

    @FLDarkside Oh, and, by the way, I tried signing up with a new user name and my new information and was upfront with what my previous member name was, and was instantly banned again without warning. No one there even tried to reach out first to me. I mean, really, it's been years gone by already!

    0 Votes

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