Friday, September 24, 2010

Is Readbud Legit? The Jury is Still Out . . .

Update 12/9/10: Red Alert! Readbud IS a SCAM! It’s official - see PTC Investigations for full report.

Update 10/8/10: Readbud links removed as I no longer recommend Readbud.

I signed up for Readbud April 26, 2010. Initially I was earning over $1 each day reading articles based on my chosen interest categories. In mid-May, the Readbud blog announced an upcoming system expansion that was to include a new way to earn money and rewards, such iPhones and Xbox. On June 24, Readbud announced an infrastructure relocation to the US. On July 27, Readbud announced that the previously touted expansion was on hold until further notice, due in part to the infrastructure relocation. On Aug 22-26, Readbud underwent an extensive server upgrade. During these months, the number of articles available to me each day decreased significantly – some days just a few, some days none at all. I stuck with the program hoping things would improve after the move. Well, guess what?

No Improvement in Sight
It’s been nearly a month since the server upgrade was finished. Instead of an increase in articles each day, I’ve dropped from three to two. Hmm. Beings you have to earn $50 to reach payout, it’s going to take a while! In my post one week ago, I estimated reaching payout in 5-6 weeks based on an earning rate of 15-20 cents/day. Well, as of Tuesday, my available articles have dropped to just two and my average earnings are now 13 cents/day. I still may make payout in 5-6 weeks since I only need $4.45 more – unless they drop the articles to one or even zero. Can this happen? It rather looks that way.

Does Readbud Purposely Delay Payment?
My family kindly calls me tenacious for not throwing in the towel. What they really mean is obsessed but I’ll take tenacious any day. Anyway, I’ve gotten a couple of them on the bandwagon here. My DH and SIL both joined when I did but grew tired of the site glitches and slow earnings within a few days or weeks. Well, they’re both now active again. What better way to test if Readbud purposely delays payment than to compare their current experience to mine? One had earned under $5 and the other under $20. Guess what? They’re both earning over $1 each day by reading 15-19 articles. Hmm. And I only get two? What’s up with that? So we’ll see how it goes. They both predict my number of articles will drop to zero so that I can never reach payout. I predict that one of them will soon see a decrease in articles (at around $25) and the other will still have many each day.

So is Readbud Legit?
Only time will tell. If I do reach payout and actually see $50 deposited into my PayPal account, we’ll know that Readbud is legit to a point. But if Readbud purposely delays payment through lack of opportunity to earn, aren’t they actually a scam? Some would argue so, myself included. Luring participants with no intention of actually paying qualifies as a scam, right? Just because the mechanism by which non-payment is achieved is through participant opt-out due to difficulty and/or frustration is irrelevant. So once again, I’ll keep you posted as time goes by. I’m keeping stats on the number of articles and total earnings each day for the three of us and am anxious to see how this unfolds over the next several weeks.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Readbud - Will I Ever Reach Payout?

Update 12/9/10: Red Alert! Readbud IS a SCAM! It’s official - see PTC Investigations for full report.

Update 10/8/10: Readbud banner removed as I no longer recommend Readbud.

I’ve been hanging in there with Readbud, more out of stubbornness than anything else. I was enthusiastic when I joined in April and had a great time the first few weeks. Then things got iffy. But I stuck with it through the slow times (and non-existent times) while the company promised upgrades and a better experience with more earning opportunities. Now 4+ months later, the site does seem improved but the paid articles are extremely limited. So I’m getting three articles daily and earning at the exhilarating rate of about $.15-$.20/day when I’m lucky. That’s right – a little over $1/week. Compared to the initial $1+ per day in the beginning, the current rate is a huge disappointment.

Earnings To Date
Like I said though, I’m hanging in there. My earnings now total $44.46 and I am determined to see if I actually get paid once I reach the $50 limit required for payout. And you can bet I will be posting here either way. I’ve seen a few instances online of payout “proof” but will remain somewhat skeptical until I actually see the money in my PayPal account. For all I know, Readbud planted the proof I’ve seen. Would they do that? I have no way of knowing. It does appear that the number of articles each day diminishes significantly once earnings exceed $10 or so. At the initial rate of reading, I would have reached payout in a less than two months. At the current rate, it would take almost a year. I should be there in just another 5-6 weeks, however. How many people get discouraged and give up? I know at least two personally. So why did I stay with it?

Why Bother with Readbud?
I actually enjoy reading the articles. During the painful transition period that began shortly after I joined, I often found myself gritting my teeth just to get through. How many times can I read a poorly written article about government college grants for single moms? There were many articles that didn’t even rate a single star. But lately the content has improved. I actually found all three articles today interesting and reasonably well written. And the ads have improved, as well. At least now I’m seeing ads for tankless water heaters instead of nothing but online gaming.

Bottom Line
The bottom line is I plan to stick with Readbud at least until I reach payout. If I’m actually paid, I will probably continue simply because I do enjoy many of the articles, which I read while drinking my morning tea. I also have a few people signed up under me and if they ever reach payout, I supposedly get $5. I figured out, however, that to actually receive payment, my account total would have to reach $50 again. So we’ll see how it goes and I’ll be sure to report my experience here.

Please note that the above banner is a referral link. So if you click on it and sign up, I will receive $5 once you reach payout (supposedly).