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  • AshyL4rry

    • 406

      RG Overall Ranking

    • Ranked #84

      RG Tiered Ranking

    Today, as I was checking my refer-a-friend account activity, I noticed I had zero active users and my generated earnings were unchanged for the past week. I immediately emailed DraftKings and was absolutely appalled by the response I received:

    Hi AshyL4rry,

    Thank you for your inquiry regarding your Refer-a-Friend account. The Refer-A-Friend Terms and Conditions state the minimum requirements to maintain an account as follows: “Furthermore, if you fail to acquire a minimum of four (4) new Invited Friends over a six (6) month period, we reserve the right to terminate your active Invited Friends without notice.” You did not meet this requirement so the referrals were removed from your account. If you meet the condition in the future, you will only earn commission on those newly referred users.

    This is simply unbelievable.

    Here is the policy as outlined on the website:

    With just a few clicks, you can earn up to 35% commission. And you will automatically be taking advantage of our industry-best promotions and national marketing campaign, because anything that keeps your referrals coming back to the site and entering contests is helping you earn money!

    With our great promotions and huge cash prizes, and no restrictions on the number of referrals you can bring in, the sky is the limit for what your commissions could be. But all you really need are a few active referrals and you’ll be earning valuable monthly deposit to your DraftKings account. And since the idea is to turn that revenue into the winning entry in a big tournament, there is no telling how valuable that simple click on “Refer-A-Friend” could be.

    Every month, you will simply see a percentage of the revenue your referrals generate deposited into your own DraftKings account, and you can immediately start using it to enter contests. And in addition to the DraftKings dollars you can earn, every referral who deposits moves you one step closer to unlocking different prizes.

    Please tell me where in that page it states the minimum eligibility requirements to maintain the current level of reward earnings? That’s correct, no where on there does it state the requirements. That’s because it is hidden in the middle of the “terms” section where not a single person will ever look. For the level of scrutiny this industry is currently facing, these deceptive tactics do no good whatsoever.

    All of my friends were referred shortly after I created my account years ago. In fact, I haven’t referred another person since then. Not until recently was I generating any sort of reasonable income from their volume. Coincidentally, the week after I receive my largest reward payment to date does DraftKings decide to TERMINATE all past users I referred and were tied to my account. Now, even though I referred players to Draft Kings and now I will be generating 5-6 figures of rake for them monthly, I receive ZERO.

    This quote here is just laughable: “Furthermore, if you fail to acquire a minimum of four (4) new Invited Friends over a six (6) month period, we reserve the right to terminate your active Invited Friends without notice.” WITHOUT NOTICE – so If I wasn’t paying attention to my rewards, DraftKings could have just terminated my rewards earnings and gone about business as usual. The possibility of the average DK user being able to refer FOUR new friends every 6 months and for them to remain active is next two impossible. None of this is known because it is hidden behind their shiny slogan “With our great promotions and huge cash prizes, and no restrictions on the number of referrals you can bring in, the sky is the limit for what your commissions could be.”

    Furthermore, say you acquire a stable of 10-12 referrals over a year long period and you are unable to acquire the supposedly required 4 additional over the next 6 months, Draft Kings can terminate all 12 referrals and you start from scratch. With the level of rake already at alarming levels, why is a company punishing those that are bringing new customers in and trying to salvage what little rake back there is out there.

    This policy is sickening.

  • dude_abides7

    @lpk8787 said...

    If I am making 100k per month in referrals, the responsibility falls on me to know terms and conditions inside and out. If the OP overlooked the part of the terms that requires signing up new players, that’s his fault.

    It is not good business practice to change terms and not tell your customers. It might not even be legal.

    Take your credit card for instance, they maintain the right to change terms whenever they want. However, they are mandated to send the customer notification. Granted, it is just a first class letter, but evidently that suffices for the CC industry.

    In this case it sounds like DK just changed it, without notice. Now the lawyers here can debate the legality of this, but I think the non-debatable truth is that it is a shady move by DK. This is not how businesses should treat their customers, especially those that use for referral purposes.

    In the end, since the NYT debacle you have a company trying to prove that they are honest, transparent organization willing to look and act like a reputable member of the DFS community. Then under the dark of night they do an end around on their loyal affiliates. Whether Ashy is making $1 or $100,000, DK handled this poorly.

    I’ll let the lawyers here determine if anything DK conducted was legally unsound (i doubt it), but I personally view this action as ethically reprehensible.

  • ClevelandPhil

    The DK refer-a-friend program has had the “4 new friends over a 6 month period” language in their terms for at least the last year as I read it when I referred a friend last February. I was bummed mine just got terminated as well, but I knew it was likely to happen as I hadn’t referred anyone in quite some time. DK finally decided to enforce their “right to terminate.”

  • AshyL4rry

    • 406

      RG Overall Ranking

    • Ranked #84

      RG Tiered Ranking

    To clarify the growing misconceptions in this thread thus far:

    Not once did I say I earn 100k/month from referrals. I earn nowhere near that amount. I have a total of THREE friends that I referred years ago. In fact, I am probably in the bottom 1% of the DFS population when it comes to the monetary effect of this asinine policy change.

    The bigger picture is what needs to be looked at here. First of all, some of the views in this thread thus far are completely and utterly incorrect. Think about how a referral program works: Player A refers a friend who is an avid sports fan but never had tried DFS thus far, let’s call them Player B. Player A then receives 35% (Or 20% depending on which “requirements” you fulfill) of Player B’s rake taken in by DraftKings.

    To recap:
    DK rake generate by Player B before Player A referred him: ZERO
    DK rake generated by Player B after Player A referred him: UNLIMITED

    This is a simple concept. DK was not receiving a cent prior to the referral. How some of you can think that this is good for DK in the long run is beyond me. Referral systems are what brings in new customers. New customers are what drives the growth of a company. In fact, I myself, was referred to DFS from my brother who told me countless times to check out these new Daily Fantasy Sports sites. I wouldn’t even be on this forum right now if it wasn’t for him. Once you remove the incentive of players to refer friends and family, you remove the potential for rapid growth which is what DraftKings and and Fanduel was hoping for when they went on one of the largest advertising and marketing campaigns in recent history. It is pretty evident now, WE as the players and past, current, and future user base is now paying for that marketing campaign as the sites look to overhaul their depleted budget.

    Do I think the prior referral policy implemented by DK was optimal? Probably not. Do I think the way they tried to correct it was optimal. Not even close. In fact, this was the worst possible way to handle this situation that I could possibly think of. What should have happened was that all users be notified of an upcoming change on ALL NEW referrals. You cannot adjust a policy with these ramifications to your existing customer base that started the growth of your company . IF Dk realized the current payment methods were not optimal for them, they could have done a scale back to say 15% of rake generated by the referred user. For past referrals to be completely wiped away is a complete disgrace. I have a very hard time believing this new “requirement” of 4 new referrals every 6 months was in the original terms. If DraftKings is unable to provide proof that the terms and conditions were unchanged from when the referral program started, they are going to have some legal issues at hand.

  • poppaspicks

    • 2015 FanDuel MLB Playboy Mansion Finalist

    Wow. This is amazing. I don’t have a dog in the fight as I referred maybe 6-7 people, all friends, all who collectively play less per month than I do per day. I just checked and I “made” a whopping 5$ last month. The money isn’t the issue, the fact is, that I brought these people to DK. Would they have joined without me? Maybe, maybe not. They knew I had been playing at a high level for quite some time but had yet played. Long story short, I don’t have a dog in the fight…

    That being said, this is nothing more than a deceitful business practice.

    You can sugar coat it any way you want, but the people that participated in this program, irregardless of they amount of DK Dollars they were making, were duped. I remember looking at the terms at some point and I don’t remember the 4 referrals in 6 months being listed. Sure, the terms say they can change at any time without notice but what legitimate company actually would do something like this to the people that helped build their (former) BILLION dollar business? This was an agreement between essentially two “business partners” and DK simply gave the middle finger to the people who helped build their business. If something like this happened in any other business there would be major outcry from the industry. The fact that no RG “Brass” has commented on this is very telling.

    Ashy, while this doesn’t effect me directly, I’ll be glad to help in anyway I can. This industry, over the last 6 months, has been sliding down a slippery slope and none of these sites are doing anything to stop it. Its amazing that they have made the decisions they have. Too bad they’re not traded publicly…this would be one hell of a short wave to ride.

    EDIT: For the record, I have had nothing but pleasant experiences in dealing with DK, including their customer service and I really enjoy the variety of games they offer. That being said, I feel pretty strongly about this issue and feel as though they have screwed up here in a major way.

  • RU18QT

    • Blogger of the Month

    I’ve kind of been keeping up with this thread mainly because it affected me as well. But I often wondered where this 100k a month number came from because I don’t recall Ash ever saying that. But truth be told, you had to know this was coming.

    Especially when the majority of these affiliate sites were getting search engine sign ups. The majority of these sign ups came from people seeing the thousands of commercials and googling “Draftkings review” or something like that. Then they click on the site that popped up and that site got the referral. All that site did was rank high on the SEO yet they are getting paid. There was no way DK was going to let this continue.

  • cAUmberlandtiger8

    @poppaspicks said...

    Wow. This is amazing. I don’t have a dog in the fight as I referred maybe 6-7 people, all friends, all who collectively play less per month than I do per day. I just checked and I “made” a whopping 5$ last month. The money isn’t the issue, the fact is, that I brought these people to DK. Would they have joined without me? Maybe, maybe not. They knew I had been playing at a high level for quite some time but had yet played. Long story short, I don’t have a dog in the fight…

    That being said, this is nothing more than a deceitful business practice.

    You can sugar coat it any way you want, but the people that participated in this program, irregardless of they amount of DK Dollars they were making, were duped. I remember looking at the terms at some point and I don’t remember the 4 referrals in 6 months being listed. Sure, the terms say they can change at any time without notice but what legitimate company actually would do something like this to the people that helped build their (former) BILLION dollar business? This was an agreement between essentially two “business partners” and DK simply gave the middle finger to the people who helped build their business. If something like this happened in any other business there would be major outcry from the industry. The fact that no RG “Brass” has commented on this is very telling.

    Ashy, while this doesn’t effect me directly, I’ll be glad to help in anyway I can. This industry, over the last 6 months, has been sliding down a slippery slope and none of these sites are doing anything to stop it. Its amazing that they have made the decisions they have. Too bad they’re not traded publicly…this would be one hell of a short wave to ride.

    This kind of thing happens all the time. Is it fair? Hell no, it sucks for the people who have participated and brought DK business. Is it illegal? I would think DK had their lawyers look over this action before implementing the changes, but who knows. A lot of really intelligent people have failed in the business world because they dont have business sense. I think we are seeing that (lack of business sense) with some DFS sites. Here is another way to look at this referral program being amended. If DK went out of business, how much money would they send you each month for the DK refer a friend program? The answer is ZERO. This was a strategic business decision that may show us 1) More than likely they are hurting for cash 2) Maybe they finally hired some people with business sense and they said “This program is not sustainable”, lets take the short term PR hit for sustainable business practices.

  • Heterodox

    @hoff211 said...

    Is 100k a month what the top affiliates are making? That’s insane.

    Kind of sheds some light on why some people were so vehemently opposed to any criticism of things like MME, scripting, and anything that encourages and facilitates more and more volume. Something of a virtuous circle, where I refer someone who sees that the smart money is mass entering GPPs, “oh by the way here’s a custom script that will make it so much easier to do, this is what the pros are doing, trust me, you don’t want to be a sucker” then the rake he generates helps me cover the cost of taking shots at million dollar prizes and live final seats, all the while telling everyone the secret is simply building better line ups, you can win as much as anyone if you just focus on that, and to suggest otherwise is loser talk. This is the side of the issue that never came up in any of those threads.

    BeepImaJeep coming on here and throwing that number out as if he got it from somewhere, others repeating it and acting like it’s the issue is classic. There’s so much gross here, it’s almost beautiful.

    FWIW though, I agree that DK did this in a very underhanded way, and people have a right to be pissed no matter how much they were making off of referrals.

  • poppaspicks

    • 2015 FanDuel MLB Playboy Mansion Finalist

    Tell me how many successful start ups have given the shaft to their most loyal customers and have continued to be successful? I’ll go out on a limb and guess that you can’t come up with any examples. Most likely because successful businesses that do this end up as former successful businesses.

    Curious if DK did this on their own to present “cost saving methods” to their VC people? Or if the VC people pushed DK to make these steps. If the former happened, and there’s any VC’s reading this post, I’d suggest making changes to some of the decision makers at DK ASAP.

  • Heterodox

    @poppaspicks said...

    This was an agreement between essentially two “business partners” and DK simply gave the middle finger to the people who helped build their business. If something like this happened in any other business there would be major outcry from the industry. The fact that no RG “Brass” has commented on this is very telling.

    Don’t assume they gave the middle finger to ALL the people who helped build their business.

  • Heterodox

    @RU18QT said...

    The majority of these sign ups came from people seeing the thousands of commercials and googling “Draftkings review” or something like that. Then they click on the site that popped up and that site got the referral. All that site did was rank high on the SEO yet they are getting paid. There was no way DK was going to let this continue.

    Those sites did a lot more than take up real estate where people could find them. Remember those studies that showed how intimidated people were by DFS, and how that was the main impediment to them giving it a try? These sites coddled them, made them feel more comfortable, gave them tools that made them more confident in their ability to compete, gave them content that helped them feel immersed in the lingo and the concepts of the game. I think it’s safe to say that big time advertising push was a failure, as it only reinforced people’s negative impressions of DFS. It was the content sites that helped counter that.

    Every business needs salespeople, and all salespeople get commissions. Never mind that you’re talking about affiliates, which is a different program than refer-a-friend, though obviously it’s very similar.

  • dude_abides7

    @motownmauler said...

    Exactly, this guy is complaining cause they took his free 100k a month, what a joke, whole industry is a joke

    This is where the “100K” number came from. Evidently it is bs.

    I used the 100K number in an arbitrary way only to explain that the amount Ashy is truly making is irrelevant. DK’s horrible business practice was (is) the issue.

  • chess_is_ok

    • 205

      RG Overall Ranking

    • $2M Prize Winner

    • 2017 DraftKings FFWC Champion

    Thank you for making this post Ashy. I am similarly affected, having 4 referrals removed from my RAF dashboard (not all of my referrals, but clearly my highest volume players). When I spoke with DK support through chat, the representative was extremely unprofessional. I believe that my account had 4 referrals within the last 6 months. The DK representative had no record of my referral history and couldn’t provide any explanation (aside from copy and pasting the new TOS several times) for why my RAFs had been removed. This representative was also unable to confirm when the new RAF policy was adopted stating only that it had been on the site “a while.”

    I am very disappointed with the way that I have been treated as a DK customer, and by DK’s willingness to act disingenuously in this matter.

  • Heterodox

    @BeepImaJeep said...

    whoa, even in these desperate times, you guys think ashy deserves 100k/month because he referred a few people?

    No, dude, this was the first mention of that number. The post you quoted came after.

    By the way, my mention of people acting like that number was the issue wasn’t directed at you. Your post referencing that number made the point that the money is not the issue.

  • dude_abides7

    @Heterodox said...

    No, dude, this was the first mention of that number. The post you quoted came after.

    Ah….I stand corrected. Either way, it is clear that number came by way of rectum.

  • Heterodox

    @dude_abides7 said...

    it is clear that number came by way of rectum

    not just any rectum, though

  • tjabchs6

    @lpk8787 said...

    If I am making 100k per month in referrals, the responsibility falls on me to know terms and conditions inside and out. If the OP overlooked the part of the terms that requires signing up new players, that’s his fault.

    why does everyone keep saying if he’s making 100k? that number was pulled out of no where.

  • IvanCalderon

    @AshyL4rry said...

    I have a very hard time believing this new “requirement” of 4 new referrals every 6 months was in the original terms.

    This.

  • dp47

    • 2012 RotoGrinders TPOY Champion

    • 2012 FanDuel WFFC Finalist

    • 2013 FanDuel WFBC Finalist

    • 2013 FanDuel NFL Playboy Mansion Finalist

    If you told someone to sign up for a new account using your referral link you deserve 40% of their rake for eternity.

  • dude_abides7

    @dp47 said...

    If you told someone to sign up for a new account using your referral link you deserve 40% of their rake for eternity.

    No…you deserve a transparent and honest agreement that if altered, the affected would be notified in a manner that follows a principled guideline of better business practice.

    Thanks for coming though.

  • DaveNYC

    an amateur hour operation. When the smoke clears down the road (when dfs and sports gambling finally get regulated) fanduel will easily come out on top.

    DK is very shady for doing this and whoever is running their affiliate program, is taking a page straight from the online gambling affiliate programs from the late 90’s. Go read fanduels insider terms, at least they will notify you of changes and their minimum requirements are nothing compared to DK. DK seems to be making it up as they go. That’s fine, but does DK not realize they wouldn’t be where they are today without the affiliates and referrals sending them business. I know plenty of current dfs players who never would’ve signed up at DK, if it wasn’t for a recommendation from someone else. Nobody trusted the site, with those stupid frat boy commercials. These same people all opened their first dfs account at fanduel. While FD has their own issues, they are no where on the level of amateurish as DK.

  • 00oreo00

    • x3

      2015 DraftKings FFWC Finalist

    • x5

      2014 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    @AshyL4rry said...

    Now, even though I referred players to Draft Kings and now I will be generating 5-6 figures of rake for them monthly, I receive ZERO.

    This was the statement from the OP that made it sound like he was potentially making $100k from refer-a-friend. Of course it can be read multiple ways. I read that and thought he was making a significant amount from his referrals.

  • cAUmberlandtiger8

    @dude_abides7 said...

    No…you deserve a transparent and honest agreement that if altered, the affected would be notified in a manner that follows a principled guideline of better business practice.

    Thanks for coming though.

    This right here

  • randlan

    I would recommend to anyone making a non-trivial amount of DK Dollars from the DK Refer-a-Friend program to take a screenshot of all the users that they’ve referred. We clearly can’t trust DK at this point.

    This is just one in a string of many disappointing actions/responses on DK’s part. As jmo26 said, when was the last time you looked at something they did and thought, “Well, that was handled well”?

    The fact that this is how one of the two top sites treats its users is a very bad sign for the industry. I’m not very optimistic that DFS as we know it is going to be around for much longer.

  • dp47

    • 2012 RotoGrinders TPOY Champion

    • 2012 FanDuel WFFC Finalist

    • 2013 FanDuel WFBC Finalist

    • 2013 FanDuel NFL Playboy Mansion Finalist

    @cAUmberlandtiger8 said...

    This right here

    Transparent and honest. Like referring a family member and then playing under their account instead of your own?

  • cAUmberlandtiger8

    Whats 35% of 0…

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