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Topic: Fishing for referrals

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Subject: Fishing for referrals
Date Posted: 2/20/2009 2:22 PM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2007
Posts: 119
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I saw something on my local craigslist today, someone posted about PBS and asked that they use her as the referral.  My question is, is somethng like this kosher?  I never thought about it before, I have referred people I know, but never considered referring in this way?  I am not asking to in any way "get the person in trouble" I am just wondering.

Date Posted: 2/20/2009 2:37 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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I don't know what the official policy is on this, so my response is strictly my own opinion.

I think it would depend on what she was asking them to do.  If she's advocating PBS as a good club to belong to, encouraging people to join because they'll enjoy, and incidentally, here's my ID on there, mark me as a referral and I get credits, then I think that's fine.

If she's encouraging people to join up and list her as a referral, just to get her credits, and with no intention of them actually participating as members, then that I would consider to be fraud.


Date Posted: 2/20/2009 3:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,226
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I've seen it quite a bit, I don't think it is really in line with what Craiglist is supposed to be for, but I don't think PBS minds, gets them more traffic.

Date Posted: 2/20/2009 3:21 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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If she's encouraging people to join up and list her as a referral, just to get her credits, and with no intention of them actually participating as members, then that I would consider to be fraud

This would not work anyway.  The  referred member has to join and post their 10 books for the referral credit to be granted.

Samantha, I would contact Craigslist and ask.  I have seen those before, but I'm thinking (not sure!) that they usally have the "this item was removed" message.  The only way to know for sure is to ask them.  In truth, I'm not sure if PBS has a policy on this; I'd think it would be something craigslist would need to handle....

Date Posted: 2/20/2009 3:21 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2007
Posts: 5,637
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I remember a post from way back, where someone refered someone and got her referral credit, that someone never sent out any books, and TPTB took back the referral credit. So, it seems fishing for referrals on CL or anywhere else just to get credits can backfire.

ETA: here is the link to that thread : http://www.paperbackswap.com/forum/topic.php?t=79839

Last Edited on: 2/20/09 3:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 2/20/2009 4:56 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,603
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I have given my PBS name in a few book groups, but I do let people know if and when they sign up, I get my credit but I'll buddy it right back to them because I don't really need the credit. I just want more of my friends to join up! But I have seen many folks on other book groups who have PBS info with their referral information in a signature and such and I think most of those folks just keep the credit they get--don't think there's anything wrong with that from PBS' standpoint. I can't see why Craigslist would be against it either, but it would be up to them to tell the person to go away.

I mean, PBS wants us to get the word out and advertise. They have a whole section here called Spread the Word where you can print things like cards and bookmarks with the PBS logo and there's a place for your nickname/e-mail so you can get credit for your referral...you can stick those in library books or books you donate or trade at a UBS. As long as both parties (ie, refer-ee and refer-er) meet the guidelines and have posted their books and such, I can't see where it hurts anything or anyone.