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Post Info TOPIC: Might be firing Sparklit aka Activeboard.com
Should we FIRE Sparklit aka Activeboard.com ? [4 vote(s)]

YES! They are getting greedy!
75.0%
NO, I just couldnt live without this place
25.0%


$y$Op

Status: Offline
Posts: 329
Date:
Might be firing Sparklit aka Activeboard.com


Well everyone who is a regular here knows about the abusive amount of impressions we have seen here in the past few months. Some how overnight we have gone from a little under 8,000 views per month to 30,000+ views per month!

Everyone knows we don't do advertisements, and with the poor performance of Sparklit aka Activeboards we are considering giving them the boot.

Today SparkLit aka Activeboards made an un-authorized charge to our credit card dispite us having never given them authorization. In all the years we have done business with Sparklit we have never allowed auto billing, but since we disputed the most recent invoice they took it into their own hands to just take from our account without permission.

Not only that they claim there is no option for us to back up our forum! No way for us to download all of the data we have been working on for years. This basiclly means we really don't own nothing, and we are just paying for nothing. I will be taking the time to copy all my important post and I suggest you do the same as we may be switching hosting/forum software companies very soon.

I am also going to post up corrispondence between SparkLit and myself to show anyone who might consider using Sparklit that this is NOT the best option for your forum needs. I also plan on filing complaints with various agencies both in the US and in Canada.

I am sorry to everyone that will undoubtably lose post when this change happens, however we will no longer support these folks for such poor service. Furthermore I am certian that SparkLit and Activeboard could be responsible for the excessive impressions that we get charged for. Odd that they now offer a 25,000 impression plan for a few dollars more than the plan we are on, however it's quite clear to see these people are scammers and need to be reported.

I have been keeping track, and there is no way in hell this forum is getting traffic of 30,000 impressions per month. NO WAY! PowerStroker and I are the only two people that post here really.

PowerStroker, the entire time you have been a member here have you ever seen more than yourself viewing forums? I doubt it.

-- Edited by Administrator to include tags on 9/19/2011



-- Edited by Administrator on Monday 19th of September 2011 12:32:03 PM

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All the best!



$y$Op

Status: Offline
Posts: 329
Date:
RE: Might be firing Sparklit aka Activeboard!


Who would be the best agencies to file a complaint with?

The FTC
The FBI
The Bank
ICANN

I am thinking all of the above, but does anyone know what agencies I can contact in Canada to file formal complaints? How about any agencies within the USA?

Sparklit processes their payments out of Illinois so I am pretty sure they can be investigated by US authorities, and we all know that they can be sued in FEDERAL COURT, the only question is does it need to go that far? I already have one pending case going to the Federal Court, why not make it two and include our friends from VerticalScope, as I am sure they are in bed with Sparklit.

Any suggestions?

My domain names are not registered with Sparklit, so they are safe from their crooked ways. My web site hosting is also not with Sparklit so our websites will not be effected by this change. I am not sure how long we will be down, and the bill is paid in full, however I am done paying these crooks money and I hope they can read this!



__________________

All the best!



$y$Op

Status: Offline
Posts: 329
Date:

No comment on this bi-partisan issue PowerStroker?

__________________

All the best!



UNSTOPPABLE!

Status: Offline
Posts: 5442
Date:

Usually I only see you and me here. With the occasional visit from Pogo, Putz, and Scrot.

Whatever happened to Stoma?

__________________

"If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you."† † †Lyndon B. Johnson

BLACK LIVES MATTER



$y$Op

Status: Offline
Posts: 329
Date:

Stoma got pissed when we told him his 3 word post werent cutting the bacon. I mean having the forum filled up with BS is not the way I roll. Needs to be BS of substanance at the very least. Much like your Maddow rampage I have to merge all them fuckers into one thread and move it to the MB-TP area.

I don't even know why I am bothering, but the work involved in setting up another forum is now justafiable given the current companies efforts to deny a backup of the forum. It is one of the reasons I have been hessatant to put the CD's up here along with all our truck footage, and trust me I have about 10X what we used to have.

Something has to be done now, that is for sure. At one time our website and forum hosted out of the shop as we had licences for Windows Server 2003 Enterprise, but the format was difficult to navigate and while the security was A1 it was often times a little slow with regards to log on. Once logged in it cooked, and it really offered a lot for the advanced user. Heck we even gave some of our early administrators their own Desktop on the server. Granit these were friends and family, but it really was pretty cool.

We went with this setup shortly after getting fucked by BenzWorld.org aka VerticalScope. The fact that we needed something launched right away is why we went with this platform. Since the move I started hosting our web site and such thru a hosting plan rather than my own server. AT&T is saying they are dropping fiber for the new television service around here so I may get a free install when they upgrade our TV. I still got the ole' Enterprise server box chilling.

What really burns my fucking biscuts are these greedy bastards not giving up the backup, making me having to manually cherry pick all the post and re-build the user accounts. When a company decides to take payments without authorization, it's time to move on, you can no longer trust that company. Spark-Lit and activeboard.com have poor customer service given the fact I have been trying to have this over billing corrected since JULY 2010!

It might take me a few months to get it done, but I think it's in the best intrest of everyone†don't you think? Ill host whatever platform I go with on our currently rented monthly hosting plan and try to merge it with the server once they get out here to put our blocks fiber patch in.

It's way overkill, but the plan for the internet, TV and such includes a static for almost the same cost as I am paying for monthly hosting.

I can tell you one thing, I am only going to rebuild my stearling users accounts. I will even weed out most of my useless crap. I would like to keep the politics area for the simple fact that it's great to look back on.

I may ask for your help rebuilding the Ford Forum, but I have never edited anyones post but Stoma's and that's only because we made him a moderator and changed peoples post including my own,†one of them he modified to read as if I was calling myself an asshole,†so we had to return the favor.

I am posting up the corrispondence from Spark-Lit tonight for all to see, as at this point it's war and there really is no turning back.


-- Edited by Administrator on Sunday 7th of November 2010 09:03:11 PM

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All the best!



$y$Op

Status: Offline
Posts: 329
Date:

Does anyone know what it cost a merchant for a chargeback?

Let's just say it's more than the amount they stole. Plus a nice little black mark. I am also willing to bet the charge was manually entered.

This is a good reason to keep your accounts at or close to zero as possible, becaue people like this will just abuse it. Obama's new law to prevent abusive charges does absolutly nothing for people that have money in the bank. Had I not had the money in the account the charge would have been kicked back with no fee. At least Obama did ONE THING right.

Oh well, I am off to the bank to sign this fraud affidavit.

__________________

All the best!



UNSTOPPABLE!

Status: Offline
Posts: 5442
Date:
RE: Might be firing Sparklit aka Activeboard.com


Sounds like they're trying to screw you Rex. I'd find another company.

Just be sure to archive all of our little discussions for future generations to enjoy.

__________________

"If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you."† † †Lyndon B. Johnson

BLACK LIVES MATTER



$y$Op

Status: Offline
Posts: 329
Date:

I don't think finding another company is what I need. Seems more like I need to have my own software and host the forum elsewhere.

If they are reluctant to investigate where these 38,000 hits are coming from, then I guess it's safe to say the issue will be no diffrent when they peg the needle at 100,000 hits.

It is just a shame really. Now they claim to want a one time $25 fee to get my data that I have been paying for almost 4 years. They also make no mention of what format it will be, if other software will be needed to view it, and exactly what all is included.

I have updated information, and their charge that was taken without authorization has cleared my bank, so I could go down there today and dispute it. Ill delete the other responce and include the most recent. It apears that spending the time to host your own software is proving to be less hassle than dealing with the representatives there. Don't they realize they only get paid to make my life easier? It sure does not seem that way.

__________________

All the best!



$y$Op

Status: Offline
Posts: 329
Date:

It seems we have reached an accord with Sparklit. They will be sending a back up, and maybe even some Sparklit ball caps and t-shirts for the kids.

RE: Unauthorized charge.††††[Incident #598384-18838]
Category: Accounting
Browser/OS: Internet Explorer 7.x (MS Windows XP)
Date Created: 2010-11-06 19:58:54
Last Updated: 2010-11-15 12:08:30
Reply Email: autotrend@sellc.us
Elapsed Time: 8 Days 17 Hours 10 Minutes
Priority: Urgent
Status: Open
from: SELLC
posted on: 2010-11-06 19:58:54
It has come to my attention that spark-lit has processed an
un-authorized charge to my VISA debit. I am always very careful not to
authorize the automatic payments and really for the entire time I have
been paying for this forum I have NEVER authorized automatic payments.
This has got me VERY upset that you feel Sparklit can just help
themselves to money in my account. I will talk to my bank Monday
monrning and ensure that you folks can no longer make charges on this
card. It appears you folks can not be trusted with card information and
I will have to get a pre-paid visa to pay you folks from now on to
ensure you can not abuse it.

I should also mention that nothing has been done to curb the abuse with
regards to the amounts of impressions I am getting charged for. In
addition I need to you clarify to me what I am paying you folks for, as
I have asked to have all my forum information sent to me for the purpose
of having a recorded back-up. I also need to know who owns the content
on this webforum because it appears I am being ripped off in more ways
than one.

I am very unhappy with the level of service I am getting. I suggest you
perform or I WILL!

Rex
from: Sparklit Support - Brendan
posted on: 2010-11-08 11:24:02
Hi Rex,

Q: Why are there charges on my credit card?

A: Per our membership agreement Section 4 Payment:

You agree to pay Sparklit any set-up fees and recurring subscription
fees listed on Sparklit's website for the Service Plans you select.

Completion and submission of any Service activation form authorizes
Sparklit to charge the credit card specified in your registration for
all such fees and any related taxes corresponding to the selected
Service.

The charge on November 6th for $12.94 was for your monthly service fee
from November - December 2010 of your Activeboard (Forum) subscription.


Q: What am I paying sparklit for?

A: Your Activeboard subscription with Sparklit allows you to create an
unlimited number of forums (or messageboards).

What you are paying for is premium bandwidth (Tier-3 Peer 1 with
multiple POPs worldwide)
Sparklit to keep the lights on, servers running and the software
working..
(for example, if you get a surge of traffic, we need to be able to
handle all the requests)


Q: What about my abuse claim?

A: The only metric you sent regarding your abuse claim was your GoDaddy
image stats, which is not a valid metric for measuring traffic for a
given period.
Your Activeboard page views are incremented by 1 each time a person
views a page, this is the most accurate form of measurement.


Q: Can I have a back-up of my forum?

A: Activeboard was written to handle thousands of forums on a set of
clustered servers. Your data is stored efficiently so that we can serve
web requests fast with fewer servers.

We typically don't provide data backups to customers, but I can provide
you with a backup of the data on your forum for a service charge of
$20.

How can we help you make you more satisfied with our service?


Cheers,

Brendan
Sparklit Support
from: SELLC
posted on: 2010-11-08 12:00:22
I am going to report this taking of money without authorization as a
fraudulent charge. Furthermore I have proof that I have disputed this
bill and many others since June. Brendan, you come off as a 1st class
smart ass. Who is your supervisor? Do you have a direct number for the
person in charge there?

Spark lit has lost its privilege to have my credit card information, and
in light of your lack of consideration I am going to send this and all
other communications to the proper authorities. I have already started
my complaint, so keep up the fine work.

I request that you send me the details of what authorization you were
given to take money from my personal account. I NEVER authorized
automatic payments. You now have a charge back coming your way.
from: Sparklit Support - Brendan
posted on: 2010-11-08 12:46:16
Hi Rex,

When you signed up for your Activeboard subscription, you agreed to our
terms of service (which you can read here:
http://www.sparklit.com/agreements.spark?agreement=membership).

This type of contract is called a Clickwrap (link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clickwrap) and it is a commonly use
contract with web service companies.

This clickwrap agreement authorizes us to collect monthly fees from your
credit card.

I don't understand how we have lost the privilege?

Cheers,

Brendan
Sparklit Support
from: SELLC
posted on: 2010-11-08 12:54:09
If you read the prior complaint from 7-31-2010, I paid you folks some
$70+ dollars and informed you that I disputed any further charges. In
addition I made sure the auto-billing feature was turned off when
submitting my card information. I stated clearly for that card to be
used for a ONE TIME PAYMENT, and not to be assosiated with the account.
You folks have abused your authority to process payments and I am also
attaching this and he 7-31-2010 communication as proof we in fact
disputed any future charges.

If you do not see what you are doing wrong, then Ill just leave it up to
my bank to handle the process.
from: Sparklit Support - Brendan
posted on: 2010-11-08 14:06:54
Hi Rex,

Sorry that I missed your statement regarding further charges.
The statement that you would dispute all further charges was actually
made on 2010-10-24.

These monthly charges are for your Activeboard subscription, we will
continue to bill you each month until cancellation per our membership
agreement.

We can go ahead and refund the charge we placed on your ONE TIME PAYMENT
card if you would like to place the charge on a different card.

If you wish to continue your Activeboard subscription, I would advise
that you do not dispute these charges.

Cheers,

Brendan
Sparklit Support
from: SELLC
posted on: 2010-11-08 15:37:11
I do believe there is a credit owing to me. I have logged a valid
dispute. I in NO WAY authorized you to take a payment from my account,
and never ticked the box that read "Use this card for future charges". I
light of the fact we have records of the dispute, your stealing of money
from my account will be reported.

Furthermore you seem to be using deceptive business practices by failing
to tell me just how much we are billed for overages. You have already
stated that you would back date the new plan 3 months yet never stated
what savings or the balance would be. Rather than working it out you
took money, even though I never authorized it.

I think you fail to realize that the amount you are charging me is
insignificant at this time. It will not change the fact you took from me
without authorization.

I have asked several questions as to what I am paying for. You claim
that I am paying for hosting. If I am paying for hosting, then where is
MY DATA that you are getting paid to host? It should be available for me
to download.

If you are threatening and or trying to extort me with your statement of
"If you wish to continue your Activeboard subscription, I would advise
that you do not dispute these charges." I suggest you think twice, as
you have failed to fulfill my customer service issues to my
satisfaction.

I will not tolerate this level of service. I request once more you get
me in contact with the manager of your organization.
from: Sparklit Support - kendall
posted on: 2010-11-09 13:46:41
Hi Rex,

Our system is set up such that your card will not be billed if you did
not check the box to allow it to be used for future charges. The same
card has been used for payments on the following dates. You will note
that no charges were put through on the card for a significant period of
time between the first and second transaction, due to this box not being
checked:

2010-03-02 12:51:05
2010-10-06 14:26:44
2010-11-06 12:48:39

You were automatically billed the recurring charges on 2010-11-06
because the card on file is currently indicated as one that should be
used for rebilling. Nevertheless, we have offered to refund the latest
charge to your card, and change its type to one time payment so future
charges are not added. Please let me know if I should notify our billing
department to proceed with the refund.

Regarding pricing, all of our current plans are listed here:
http://www.activeboard.com/pricing.spark

On your older, 10,000 views per month plan, overages are billed at
$0.50/1000. This is listed on every invoice on which overage charges
occur.

When I offered to backdate the plan, I held off on calculating the exact
savings while waiting to hear back from you. Please allow me to provide
some calculations. I offered to backdate the plan to the following
periods:

July 2010: 32,350
August 2010: 28,240
September 2010: 22,018
October 2010: 22,479
November 2010: 25,985

The charges would be corrected as follows:

July 2010: $16.13 corrected to $11.63. Savings: $4.50
August 2010: $14.07 corrected to $9.57. Savings: $4.50
September 2010: $10.96 corrected to $7.95. Savings: $3.01
October 2010: $11.19 corrected to $7.95. Savings: $3.24
November 2010: $12.94 corrected to $8.44. Savings: $4.50

Your account would receive an immediate total credit of $19.75. Future
months would be billed at $7.95/month with overages at $0.50/1,000. If
you would like to continue with our service, this can be effective
immediately.

You are not strictly paying us for hosting. We offer a hosted, free
version of ActiveBoard as well. In addition to priority support and
premium bandwidth, the following features are provided with a
subscription:

http://www.activeboard.com/feature_matrix.spark

We provide backups of forum data for a one-time fee of $25.

Regarding disputed charges, please see our Membership Agreement, Section
4.5. Credit Card Chargebacks.

If you are unhappy with our service and do not wish to continue to use
it, you can cancel your subscription at any time. Your forum will be
downgraded to the free version of the product, with all information
intact.

Cheers,

Kendall
Sparklit Support
from: SELLC
posted on: 2010-11-11 01:25:04
In all of the years that I have used and PAID for this service I have
NEVER allowed you to auto-bill me! NOT ONCE! The most recent charge was
in fact un-authorized.

Additionally, I am not comfortable with you wanting to charge me $20 or
even a $25 one time fee to have backups of my forums data. This is wrong
on every level, and I would expect to be furnished a copy without
charge. Several details have been left out with regards to exactly what
data will be contained in this backup. Will it include all posts, users
and forum data? What format would it be in? How would it be transferred?


If I decide to part ways with sparklit would I be able to delete the
forum in its entirety? I certainly will not allow any advertisement
revenue to be made on my postings, and I think I speak for everyone else
on my forum when I say this.

The underhanded business practices and the lack of a back-up facility
are major issues that make me feel like Sparklit is taking advantage of
me, and doing nothing to prevent the abuse that is going on.

I am interested to know how my forum was able to jump 20,000 impressions
and maintain it for the past 5 months. It's quite clear what is going
on. I only have (1) ONE active member.

The amount of time I am having to spend addressing this issue makes me
feel like things will only get worse in the future. I am pretty sure
your chargeback policy does not supersede un-authorized withdrawals
initiated by your company. Given the fact I had disputed the charges,
and we were actively in negotiations, the un-authorized withdrawal was
another form of Abuse in of itself.

I am not quite sure I can trust Sparklit. I feel like I may be better
off hosting my information on my website. Given the fact you folks want
to charge me for my forums data, and you fail to even tell me what would
be included in the backup, and most importantly you took from me without
permission, and doing very little to nothing to prevent abusive
impressions, I cannot seem to let it pass.

You please explain to me how a forum with (2) TWO active users, one of
them MYSELF, can generate 38,000 impressions?

Please note, you were not authorized to take funds from my account. I
have never signed or agreed to any automatic authorizations, so you
should refrain from EVER trying to take from me again without my
permission. This means don't you EVER take it upon yourself to auto-bill
me.

If I make the forum private, will people still be able to make abusive
impressions by simply viewing the login page?

Given the fact that I am still un-satisfied with the level of service,
my complaint remains OPEN and I will leave it up to YOU to do the right
thing with regards to the money you stole. Keep in mind I have 30 days
to file with my bank an un-authorized charge. You should also think LONG
AND HARD what youíre asking with regards to charging me for a backup
of my forum data considering how many YEARS I have been a customer. Also
take the time to really think about how two active members can generate
38,000 impressions and get back to me promptly.

I will no doubt need to know what all is included in this backup and
what format it will be in. I have no problems paying the $25, however
just know that having to do so will bring out business relationship to
an end.

Rex
from: SELLC
posted on: 2010-11-13 09:26:26
I would be most interested in a responce to my reply above before the
end of the day Monday.

Rex
from: Sparklit Support - Brendan
posted on: 2010-11-15 11:33:21
Hi Rex,

Q: What.. no backups?
A: Unfortunately forum back-up downloads have never been a feature of
Activeboard, I'm sorry if our features page misled you before signup.

Q: What format will the backup be in?
A: The backup will be a SQL file with all posts and users.

Q: Why are you charging me for a copy of my own forum's data?
A: We aren't charging you for the data, it's a service charge because we
have to get one of our techs to sign onto a system, extract your data,
upload it to a secure location and ensure that it can be downloaded by
you.

Q: What about Monthly fees charge?
A: If we refund the charge we made to your card, how do you intend on
paying us for the Activeboard service you are using?

Q: If I leave Sparklit, will my forum remain intact?
A: This is your choice. You have a right to delete your forum whenever
you want.


Cheers,

Brendan
Sparklit Support
from: SELLC
posted on: 2010-11-15 11:56:11
Tell you what... Agree to give me a back up of my forum without charge,
keep the money that was taken from my account (Making sure that this
card is NEVER auto charged again) and change my plan as indicated above
to the new plan with the credit for the back dating ($19 and some
change), and possibly throw in some Sparklit ball caps or t-shirts for
the kids and we can resolve this issue. Of course the ball caps and
t-shirts are not required, but would be nice.

The very idea of having to pay for my data back-up angers me. Given the
fact that over 80% of these backed up postings belong to me should merit
some consideration. It's not like I am asking for a backup of a 100,000
or 1,000,000 post forum. I require a backup in order to feel comfortable
going forward. I do not wish to pay for a backup of information that I
have paid you folks to post in the first place. Can you understand where
I am coming from?

Do we have an accord?

Rex
from: Sparklit Support - Brendan
posted on: 2010-11-15 11:59:30
Hi Rex,

We have a deal, we'll send you a backup right away and i'll put you on
the correct plan.

I also placed you on our cheque payment list so you won't be billed
automatically. You can just go through and make manual payments.

I will send details for downloading the backup to your email address:
autotrend@sellc.us before closing today.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Cheers,

Brendan
Sparklit Support
from: SELLC
posted on: 2010-11-15 12:03:47
Tell you what... Agree to give me a back up of my forum without charge,
keep the money that was taken from my account (Making sure that this
card is NEVER auto charged again) and change my plan as indicated above
to the new plan with the credit for the back dating ($19 and some
change), and possibly throw in some Sparklit ball caps or t-shirts for
the kids and we can resolve this issue. Of course the ball caps and
t-shirts are not required, but would be nice.

The very idea of having to pay for my data back-up angers me. Given the
fact that over 80% of these backed up postings belong to me should merit
some consideration. It's not like I am asking for a backup of a 100,000
or 1,000,000 post forum. I require a backup in order to feel comfortable
going forward. I do not wish to pay for a backup of information that I
have paid you folks to post in the first place. Can you understand where
I am coming from?

Do we have an accord?

Rex
from: SELLC
posted on: 2010-11-15 12:08:30
I think I may have just submitted a duplicate response by accident.
(Refreshed the page).

I am glad to hear we have a deal. I look forward to our continued
business relationship.

Rex
Stellar Enterprise LLC, Michigan
734-250-4449


__________________

All the best!



$y$Op

Status: Offline
Posts: 329
Date:

We have just confirmed by way of a professional IT tech that the backup file downloaded from Sparklit was corrupt.

Now as of 9-19-2011 we are seeing traffic @ almost 70,000 impressions per month!

Seems like there is no end in site to the abuse and underhanded tactics of Sparklit.

More to follow, but you can also read up on the following threads that are related to this one,

http://autotrend.activeboard.com/forum.spark?aBID=91042&p=3&topicID=45070034

http://autotrend.activeboard.com/t45035557/70000-impressions-in-a-month/

I will also be posting up our most recent communications with Sparklit,

RE: Re: July††††[Incident #598384-20929]
Category: Activeboard
Browser/OS: Internet Explorer 8.x (MS Windows XP)
Date Created: 2011-09-10 04:07:59
Last Updated: 2011-09-19 09:46:29
Reply Email: autotrend@sellc.us
Elapsed Time: 9 Days 5 Hours 38 Minutes
Priority: Medium
Status: Open

hide all | show all

from: SELLC
posted on: 2011-09-10 04:07:59
hideI am having problems logging into my web forum. Possibly because I have
not paid, but I am a little concerned with the amount of traffic that I
was billed for in July.

70,000 impressions? You folks dont feel like your over doing it? Perhaps
with all this money I pay you folks something could be done about the
abusive charges considering I have maybe 4 active users (myself
included). I don't feel this relationship is working out, and this is
not the first time that I have had to email you people about this
issue.

I should also mention that the forum backup I was sent sometime back is
not able to be opened. Could you please tell me the program needed to
un-zip and then view the contents of that backup file I downloaded? I
can not waste any more money on a per impression forum structure when I
pay my registrar only $3 a month to host our websites. You folks must be
off your rocker if you think I am going to allow you to keep billing me
for abusive/malicous impressions.

Perhaps the forum could be made 100% private, this way only registered
users could rack up billable impressions. This seems like the best way
to go. Can it be done? If so do you plan to charge me a per impression
fee for the main page that users must log into to veiw the forum? If so
are you going to admit there is abuse when my impressions crest the 10K
mark? After all how can you charge me $30-$50 per month for asking
someone viewing the landing/login page?

Until this issue is resolved I will not pay. I am done paying for
unknown views of my site. We need to work towards a resolve. I am not
hosting an intergalatic kegger here.
from: Sparklit Support - Andrew
posted on: 2011-09-12 14:48:32
hideHi Rex,

I'll try to address each of your issues; if I overlook something, please
let me know.

File Backup:

The backup should be a plain text file, readable by any text editor
(notepad/wordpad/Microsoft Word), though it may be zipped. If it's a
.zip extension, it can be unzipped with winzip. If it's anything else, I
find 7zip http://www.7zip.com/ can open just about any kind of file
archive. If you still have issues with this feel free to email it to me,
and I'll unzip it manually (I would do this now but I can't find the
email we originally sent you).

Impressions:

Looking at your forum usage, it doesn't look like you or your active
users are the largest contributors. I notice there are a large number of
guests online at any given time, so there are a few things we can do
about this.

First: I notice you have a forum preview running on autotrend.us. That
means that anybody who views that page will generate an impression.
Depending on the traffic here removing this could decrease your monthly
traffic.

As for turning your forum private, that will also make a large
difference. In the main admin panel, there is a section called "Forum
Access". From here you can set the access of all forums to some form of
"private", which will stop all unregistered users from viewing them. Any
new user would end up on the landing page, and be asked to login. This
would count as an impression. Most users however, would log in once, and
then a cookie is placed on their machine. This means that whenever they
revisit your forum, they do not need to login (racking up impressions),
unless they have manually logged out, or are on a new machine.

Finally, we re-did our URL scheme in July, which resulted in a few
forums being indexed a bit more heavily by Google. For most forums this
was not an issue, but it looks like yours may have been hit a bit
harder. I'm willing clear 20,000 impressions worth of overages to
compensate in this case, which is probably far higher than the actual
number caused by Google. It will take an even 10$ off your bill.

As far as your registrar only charging you 3$ a month, we provide very
different services. We actively maintain Activeboard, adding new
features and bug fixes all the time. We also provide unlimited technical
support to paying customers. The forum software, the hosting, and the
support are all part of the package.

Let me know if these solutions seem reasonable, and we'll try to move
forward from there.

Regards,

Andrew
Sparklit Support
from: SELLC
posted on: 2011-09-14 11:16:08
hideAndrew,

Re: File backup-

I have been a little busy the past two days, however I will try that
7zip.com site you suggested to unzip the old forum backup and report
back. The backup file was never sent via eMail, rather it was placed in
a website that I had to visit in order to download. That is why you are
not seeing it in your past emails.

Re: Impressions-

It angers me that people are able to run up the amount of impressions on
my site. I know there are people out there that are unhappy with the
content contained in some of our forums, and I know for a fact these
same people could be responsible for the abusive amount of impressions
we are seeing. To me it's either them, or SparkLit doing this. I'd like
to think it's not SparkLit. Either way I have noticed my bills going
from about $4.00 a month (the first two years) to about $25-$40 per
month over the past year. I am not seeing any revenue from this forum so
its hard to justify spending that kind of money per month when I know
for a fact that most of the views are malicious in nature. Something has
to be done to correct this, and I need to know that by making my site
private SparkLit is going to acknoledge there is abuse when we are still
seeing over 10K impressions. I will remove the forum preview from ALL of
my websites, and providing that I make the site private how can we be
sure that I am not going to be charged for absusive impressions to the
landing/login page? Nothing would anger me more than to get a $20 bill
for a private website with 10K+ hits to the login page. There is a
problem here and it needs to be addressed.

What will the bill look like with the 20K impression credit you were
speaking of? I want to resolve the bill however I do not want to have to
keep on writing back about this issue every month. I really dont care if
the site becomes private and only members can view/post, I am not going
to keep paying for people to abuse this system. It's not even funny
anymore because 70K impressions is a serious amount of traffic. I am
also all for cutting off the google crawlers. I want this monthly
expense of this site to be under $10 per month otherwise it's just not
going to be economiclly worth it.

I understand SparkLit spends time with the software, hosting and back
end. I don't think that is an issue at this time, and many of the forum
improvements have been impressive. What DOES bother me is the fact that
someone is out there racking up my bill and nothing is being done to
prevent it. Perhaps a feature needs to be added that will charge people
to view tech threads, and a way to charge for memberships ect.

If we can not get a handle on these abusive impressions I may consider
closing down the forum considering that I can have backups of all my
post. What I want to be sure of is in the event I shut down the forum
and pay off the balance that no one else can use my forums postings.
What I mean is once it's paid in full and closed I dont want to see it
re-opend or taken over by some advertisement firm. I am under the
impression that since I am paying for this site it's content belongs to
me, correct? While closting the forum would be a last resort option, it
certianly seems there is a problem here that both myself and Sparklit
are unable to resolve. To me it's turning into a liability at the mercy
of total strangers.

I did the math on 70,000 impressions. 70K impressions divided by 31 days
= 2258 impressions per day. At most the amount of visitors per day that
is displayed on the site is 300-360. Something is not right here.

Rex
from: Sparklit Support - Andrew
posted on: 2011-09-14 14:06:33
hideHi Rex,

I can assure you that Sparklit does not visit your site to increase the
impression count. In addition to it being just plain immoral, it
wouldn't be worth the time; we're better off improving products to
increase our customer base.

As far as malicious visitors go, there isn't a lot we can do from our
end. Turning your forum fully private is a good start. There is also an
IP filter built into the administration panel, so if you feel you know
which IP addresses are causing you issues, you can block them from
accessing the site.

I would not be surprised if all of these changes (bot crawling, private
forum, remove preview) result in your view count dropping below the 25k
mark, which will put you at $7.95 per month which would be ideal. As far
as your current bill goes, crediting the 20k impressions dropped your
bill from $77.49 to $67.49.

Finally, while I am happy to continue working on a solution to this
issue, we do not take responsibility for those who visit your forum.
There is simply no way for us to know who is visiting your page in
earnest, and who is malicious. This is why we give as much power as we
can to you, the administrator, via IP filtering and private forums.

2258 impressions a day is quite understandable at 300 visitors. 8 page
views each would get you there, and that's not an unreasonable number.

In the event you close down your forum, no one but you can re-gain
access to it. We can remove it from our active list, which makes it
inaccessible to anyone. Only you will be able to re-open your account
that the forum is tied to.

Lets see how these changes impact traffic though, and then see if there
is more work to be done. I have a feeling that these will do the trick.
If not, we'll discuss further options.

Regards,

Andrew
Sparklit Support
from: SELLC
posted on: 2011-09-19 09:32:56
hideI have spent the better part of last week working with that backup file
I downloaded from you folks awhile back. This backup file is part of the
agreement we had in our last "meeting of the minds". I have used all
forms of Zip programs including 7-zip (http://www.7-zip.org/) and it
appears the file is corrupt. I even went a few steps further and gave
the file to a few professionals in the computer arena who also claim the
file is corrupt.

I am starting to lose faith in Sparklit at this point. You concur that
pulling my preview off my website, blocking the Google bots, in addition
to making the forum private will lower my monthly impressions, but
really what will this do? It somewhat defeats the purpose of paying you
folks to host a public forum. At that rate I might as well copy and
paste my more popular threads on a web page and host it myself thru my
registrar.

You claim "Finally, we re-did our URL scheme in July, which resulted in
a few
forums being indexed a bit more heavily by Google. For most forums this
was not an issue, but it looks like yours may have been hit a bit
harder"

Then you go on to say, "I can assure you that Sparklit does not visit
your site to increase the
impression count. In addition to it being just plain immoral, it
wouldn't be worth the time; we're better off improving products to
increase our customer base."

It's quite clear by your own admission that there are things you folks
are doing on your end that are effecting my sites billable impressions.
The simple fact that you guys provided me with a corrupt file that can
not be un-zipped is really starting to make me question your morals.

What can be done about this corrupt file? As mentioned earlier it was
part of our last deal, the one where I agreed to pay a higher monthly
rate for more impressions. Seems we are right where we started. You
assured me then that by agreeing to a higher rate plan that I would
avoid these overages, but here we are, soaring up above even that rate
plan. I might be inclined to believe these 70,000 impressions a month
are genuine but then you tell me there are things being done on
sparklits end that would result in my being charged more. There is
something very odd about what is going on here. It is VERY odd that
70,000 people would visit a forum and read information yet not register
or respond. It's just not natural.

What are we going to do here? There are some valid disputes starting
with the corrupt backup file I downloaded from you awhile back. I am
starting to feel like this relationship is not working out. You suggest
I get to the bottom of the 70K impressions but isnít that why I pay
you folks? To manage the back end? Can Sparklit be trusted to do this
when it comes to things like abusive billable impressions whereas
Sparklit is the only person to gain by doing nothing? Trust me that $67
is not squat in terms of money to the company, and that I see a pattern
emerging here that is not being addressed. The gradual uptick in traffic
is not natural, it is abuse. I will ask again, WHAT ARE YOU FOLKS GOING
TO DO ABOUT IT!? I would hate to pay a company $67 and then have to
re-visit this issue later. At some point if Sparklit does not perform, I
will.
from: SELLC
posted on: 2011-09-19 09:46:29
hideI am also curious who Rajiv Khaneja is. It seems to me my complaints
need to be forwarded to this person, as this is who I intend to
investigate. I feel there must be some collaboration between the
president of your company and the mysterious inaction and overbilling
that is going on there. I am prepared to start small (the Better
Business Buru), and then much like how my website has been abused,
ratchet up the pressure by filing other complaints until such time as I
get to the bottom of these billing disputes. I hope you realize that
this issue is going to the top, especially after paying a professional
to unzip a corrupt file and the continual disputes we keep having about
billable impressions.

Best Regards.

Now compare what was said above with what we spoke with Sparklit about awhile back in November 2010. Not only have they sent us a corrupt backup file, they have done nothing in the ways of fixing the abusive traffic.



__________________

All the best!



$y$Op

Status: Offline
Posts: 329
Date:

I especially like their own admission that they are finding new ways to jack up their customers billable impressions,

Quote from Sparklit representative above- "Finally, we re-did our URL scheme in July, which resulted in a few forums being indexed a bit more heavily by Google. For most forums this was not an issue, but it looks like yours may have been hit a bit harder. I'm willing clear 20,000 impressions worth of overages to compensate in this case, which is probably far higher than the actual number caused by Google. It will take an even 10$ off your bill."

So I am under the impression that had I not said nothing I would have had to pay $10 extra for their actions/errors? It's high time we took action.





__________________

All the best!



CERTIFIED POST WHORE

Status: Offline
Posts: 13126
Date:

Our "Gold" membership has been canceled.

What this means is that the site will be an Ad supported site come the 1st of October.

It also means no more custom avatars, no more banner, and possibly no more swearing. Oh well, I am done with sparklit anyway. The good news is the forum will pretty much live on as it is, and all the malicious attempts to run up the billable impressions will be on sparklits dime, NOT MINE.

I am also promised a new copy of our forum backup, so eventually this entire forum will be a politics/web forum discussion. Of course Ill wipe all the technical info from the forum, but it will all still be available on our website.

So come the 1st of October there may be some changes, but know this is only because I will not pay for some butt hurt BW.ORG loser to run up our bill. So now they can run it up to 1 million hits per day for all I care! LOL



__________________

A middle-aged loner on a crusade to champion the cause of the innocent, the helpless, the powerless - in a world of criminals who operate above the law.



CERTIFIED POST WHORE

Status: Offline
Posts: 13126
Date:

What?

No one has anything to say? I assume everyone wants to have some advertisements?

Not even a word from PowerStroker?

Nothing?



__________________

A middle-aged loner on a crusade to champion the cause of the innocent, the helpless, the powerless - in a world of criminals who operate above the law.



UNSTOPPABLE!

Status: Offline
Posts: 5442
Date:

Well, this is one of those deals where I trust your opinion on the topic as I have none.†

You're the one paying to run this place, if you feel like you're being screwd, it's your perogative to take your business elsewhere.



__________________

"If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you."† † †Lyndon B. Johnson

BLACK LIVES MATTER



CERTIFIED POST WHORE

Status: Offline
Posts: 13126
Date:

So you think we 70,000 view per month cool?

Really? We are that damn good huh?



__________________

A middle-aged loner on a crusade to champion the cause of the innocent, the helpless, the powerless - in a world of criminals who operate above the law.



UNSTOPPABLE!

Status: Offline
Posts: 5442
Date:

Well... I am. But you may be overpaying for my popularity.

__________________

"If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you."† † †Lyndon B. Johnson

BLACK LIVES MATTER



CERTIFIED POST WHORE

Status: Offline
Posts: 13126
Date:

Tell me about it PowerStroker!

Every 6 months it feels like I have to argue with a Democratic congress over their run-away spending. I swear to gawd it's like Acorn went under and went to work for Sparklit aka Activeboard. It's like we got people visiting this site from beyond the grave! Dead men surfing!

Now Sparklit has less than 5 days to work out an agreement before the site goes viral with ads, and to make things worse they swear they want to help, however after being given two diffrent email addresses to send my corrupt forum backup to all of them have bounced back! LOL It's not a good sign when your forum hosting company has email addresses that don't work! Oh sure they talk the talk, but they don't walk the walk.

I am told that the reason it's taking so long to get my backup is because the President of the company is on vacation! LOL Sounds more and more Democratic don't it?



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A middle-aged loner on a crusade to champion the cause of the innocent, the helpless, the powerless - in a world of criminals who operate above the law.



CERTIFIED POST WHORE

Status: Offline
Posts: 13126
Date:

We received a working backup on 9-30-2011.

While a bit raw, it seems complete.

Thought I would update everyone. We are still trying to work thru issues regarding the way we get billed. We feel that billing of .50 per 1000 impressions over the plan should NEVER equal more than the next higher plan amount.

It will be interesting to see how they respond.



__________________

A middle-aged loner on a crusade to champion the cause of the innocent, the helpless, the powerless - in a world of criminals who operate above the law.



CERTIFIED POST WHORE

Status: Offline
Posts: 13126
Date:

I swear them guys over there at Sparklit always seem to brew up a deal at the last moment.†



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A middle-aged loner on a crusade to champion the cause of the innocent, the helpless, the powerless - in a world of criminals who operate above the law.

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