Reader story – How they got banned from Ebates



A reader of mine shared this story with me, and I asked him permission to share with you readers so that we can all learn from these bans.  This reader has been an Ebates member for a while now, and back in September/October, there was a pretty lucrative deal, which I may or may not blog about later, that had a limit on transactions.  So this reader did what most Heavy Hitters do – they of course create a 2nd account for their spouse.  Yours truly did the same, but to be fair, I didn’t refer my wife (this has nothing to do with this story) to get a bonus.  I didn’t go as hard as this reader though.


First check

When the reader’s wife’s account was created, he used it and thus accumulated $1.1K of cashback.  He then received the check for that amount.  He thought things were in the clear like anyone else would have thought.  So he kept going in Q and was up to $1.4K of cashback until this…


Can’t log in

This is a sign that you know you’re banned from Ebates – when you can’t log in and ‘forget password’ does nothing.  That’s the first indication things were amiss.  When he contacted them, he got this:


The odd thing is that he actually never had any invalid orders, so the excuse is bullshit.  His next course of action is to CFPB them and hope for the best.


Lessons Learned

I’m not even sure what the lesson is here since if they were going to ban him for the new account ramp, they should have banned him before the first check.  And he didn’t do anything different in quarter 2.  Maybe the algorithm finally caught up to him.  I guess chalk this one up to ‘slow and steady’ ESPECIALLY FOR NEW PORTAL ACCOUNTS.

  • Rose

    I’m confused. Why would a portal want to ban a user? If he’s making money, isn’t Ebates making money?

    • Miles per Day

      Right. It makes no sense. I think they are saying he’s frauding them somehow (maybe due to his high cashback balance) by making fake orders, which he definitely IS NOT. No one knows.

      • disqb

        Eh $1k isn’t a high cash back balance. I had a total of $16k rebated back to me last year alone.

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  • Secretary_Toaster

    Not trying to be snarky but why would CFPB have any jurisdiction over ebates, which isn’t a financial institution subject to federal regulation? Id be curious to learn of their response.

    • Miles per Day

      Well they have his money so maybe it’ll work. CFPB works on eBay and they aren’t a financial institution so who knows

      • Secretary_Toaster

        Really? Huh. Good to know.

      • dean

        it could be b/c ebay owns paypal and PP alone generated $7.9 billion in revenue??

        • Miles per Day

          No, Ebay spun Payal off as it’s own stock now. While Ebay may own a large number of PP shares, just bec PP is a “financial institution” you can’t assume Ebay is one as well for owning their stock. That’d be like if an institutional investor owning 10% of PP doesn’t mean you can CFPB the institution.

        • Ken

          I own Wells Fargo stock, does that make me a bank? 😉 BTW Ebay does not own PP anymore, it’s its own entity.