In June last year, I wrote about Fuzzie, an app which sells discounted gift cards. At the time, Fuzzie was offering 8% cashback off Grab gift cards and an instant $5 credit for new customers. This seemed like a great deal, so I posted an article which included my referral code.
People started signing up and I saw the referrals tracking properly. A few weeks later, however, my account was blocked and I received an email from Fuzzie with the subject “Police Report”
That’s…aggressive, to say the least. Fuzzie’s founder later explained that the automated system had mistakenly flagged my account because of the large volume of referrals, but they’d since rectified the situation and added my account to their safe list.
I didn’t really care for the threatening tone of the warning email, but fine, mistakes happen. The team issued a new referral code and I assumed that was that.
“Better manage your referral code”
Fuzzie came back on the radar recently when I included their ongoing Grab gift card deal (31% cashback this time) in the weekly Milelion Deal Summary. I’m guessing this led to another influx of sign ups with my referral code, because sure enough, my account got suspended once more.
This time round I received an email from Fuzzie asking me to verify my account.
Well, OK. I thought we sorted this out the last time round, but in any case I sent the documentation over on Tuesday and received this response on Friday:
I cannot, for the life of me, figure out what “better manage your referral code” is supposed to mean. It’s not like this is a targeted code which is only supposed to be available to selected users. This is a public referral code, and you’d think a company would want users to share theirs with as big an audience as possible.
If it later turns out that some of those who signed up with the referral code were bot or fake accounts, then of course action should be taken to shut them down. But I don’t see how it’s the fault of the person whose referral code was used (unless, of course, he or she is somehow in cahoots with the creators of the fake accounts).
It seems silly to have to state this, but once a referral code is posted online, the user has no control over who signs up with it. There will be legitimate customers. There will be bot accounts. The job of the platform is to encourage the former and weed out the latter, not engage in collective punishment.
As of today, my account is still blocked and I’ve heard from several readers who have also been banned after signing up with my referral code (aaronwxm). My guess is that Fuzzie has blacklisted the code and anyone who signs up through it, so I’d avoid using it for now.
If you’ve been using the Fuzzie app with no problems, that’s great. I hope you stocked up on Grab gift cards because 31% off is a fantastic deal.
That said, I just can’t bring myself to use or recommend an app that adopts a “guilty until proven innocent” approach to its users. I can chalk up what happened last year to a hyperactive anti-fraud system paired with a poorly-worded automated mail, but this is a “fool me twice” kind of situation.
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