It has been a busy month and I wish I could say that it was due to all of the money rolling in, but much of my time has been taken up chasing up poor customer service.
About halfway through this month, PayPal asked me for more identity proof. This account was created when I was living in Australia and the Australian government forces PayPal to comply with Australian Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing laws. Seems Australia believes that if you have money online, you are either laundering money or funding terrorism. ‘Straya! Mostly not an issue for me except that I no longer live in Australia and cannot change my address to one in NZ. Support tickets were merely answered with automated FAQ emails and it wasn’t until I publicly asked question on Twitter, that I got some satisfactory answers. I am still getting the information together and my account has now been limited. I can no longer use my funds to pay anyone. I would happily use another service, but PayPal has such a monopoly that they can treat their customers how they see fit.
SmileCity no longer paying
SmileCity was acquired by Survey Sampling International (SSI) LLC on July 1st 2015, and a few changes followed. Probably the most relevant of these was the closure of the direct bank deposit cash out. In an email I received on the 2nd of July: “Another great benefit we will be adding is PayPal to replace the bank cash out option. 30th June the bank cash out option was closed on the Smile City website. We will work towards launching PayPal over the coming months and keep you updated when it’s ready.”
SmileCity removed the payment option before emailing to tell me it was removed. This prevents me from requesting a cash out as it was removed without warning. Adding a PayPal option is an excellent alternative, except it isn’t available yet (they are working towards it in ‘coming months’ whatever that means…). There is currently no way to get your money out of this site. PayPal would be a good alternative to direct deposit and I wish they had worked this out before removing it, instead we cannot be paid until maybe in the “coming months”. This does not exactly fill me with great confidence. Note that gift cards are still available, however.
Even more concerning is the lack of support. I have used the contact us support field to ask about payment and have received no response. It has been a week. I even tried to contact SSI directly and received no response again. I am still looking for other ways to make contact with someone (anyone), but I have tried all of the readily found support methods.
Although I have had a great relationship with them up until July 1st, I would NOT recommend joining SmileCity anymore, at least until there is a way to be paid. If you are already a member, I would recommend trying to contact them and ceasing all activity on their site until these issues are addressed.
It hasn’t all been bad news this month as earning have still continued and as long as I am able to restore my PayPal account, things are still going quite well.
Total – $6.73USD = $10.25NZD (approx)
Total – $35.90NZD
Bitcoin – $0.04NZD
Affiliate advertising – $150.00NZD
site hosting – $15.15NZD
- Total earning: $196.15
- Payments received: $30.00
- Total –> $196.15 – $15.15(hosting) = $181.00NZD earned.
This is down on last month as there were several days this month that I did nothing at all. Lost valuable earning time chasing up poor customer service. Still happy with an extra $181.00 this month though.