Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Yerdle - On Trust and Community





Many of us look for ways to be more efficient users of our planet and the stuff on it. We try to recycle, up cycle, bicycle, and every other cycle out there to ensure that we aren't just using up her resources.  That's why when apps like Yerdle come up and offer us a new way of reusing our old items people are quick to jump into it and use it to do just that.  Yerdle was everything that we had never seen before.  It was a unique auction like system that allowed people to post items that they had lying around in closets and the garage and get "CREDIT POINTS" for them.  Then you were allowed to use your credit points to bid on auctions for other people's items.  The highest bidder wins and then pays a small fee for shipping. The poster prints the label that Yerdle sends you via email, then takes the package to their local UPS store for delivery.  That easy.  Well, that was then, and in just a few short months Yerdle has made it very clear that they have other intentions with their site than just offering 'free goods'.  They built up a loyal following of users and deemed them "Pros"...and the pros are angry.

Here's where Yerdle is now:

Recently Yerdle hit yet another bump..a pretty big one with many of the people that they themselves had deemed "PROS" of their system. The pros were all treated to an email where the company stated that they had discovered an "accounting error", and that the pros were the only group affected. Because of this accounting error they would now remove all of the pros credits that they had in their bank and because they wanted to "make things right" they issued them 400 credits in return.
Normally not a big deal, unless you happened to have over 40,000 credits in your bank and now were reduced to 400. Ouch!
Over FB, many expressed their disgust and a LOT of pros headed out. They gave up the yerdle and surrendered credits. Many sat and tried to get someone from yerdle to help them understand what had just happened. It wasn't the consumers mistake, yet they were the ones taking the blow. It didn't seem fair...yerdle was treating their credit system like they were dealing with real money.
yet when repeatedly asked "ARE CREDITS WORTH ANYTHING?" No one replied.
Their terms of service at the time of this incident state that the credits are not worth any monetary value.
Could this whole taking of the credits be a leveling of the playing field because they wanted to monetize the site?
Yes, that is exactly what it appears to be.
HOWEVER...after repeated comments back and forth with someone from yerdle, they finally relented and gave the pros their stolen credits back.
The very next day emails went out informing people that they would be charging money to purchase credits to use on the site.
Coincidence? Who knows...I only know that THIS old Pro...will no longer be using this app as a result of the sheisty feel that it has left me with.
What started out as a happy and good thing has turned into something rather unappealing. Do what you will, but anyone that does this to people that have been dedicated users since its inception, aren't worthy of my trust.


This smaller post brings me to my point.  Trust. Consumer trust must be earned, and should never be taken for granted. It is probably a written online rule somewhere...oh yeah here:

TRUST AGENTS by CHRIS BROGAN

Chris Brogan wrote the book on trust, and the Yerdle folks might want to pick this one up for each other for Christmas.  Trust is hard to come by and when you start to develop it among a mass following of users of your application it might behoove you to take better care of them.  This incident left me feeling like I had been shafted.  Given the once over, punched in the gut, bent over to grab my ankles...you get the point. It didn't seem right nor fair that this company that I and others had been so loyal to could just treat us like WE made the error then try to "REWARD" us with a menial pittance of our former credits.

It doesn't seem right that YERDLE is now making money off of the goods and services that people are trading out of the kindness of their cluttered hearts.

Trust is difficult to come by, easy to keep, and SO HARD TO GET BACK ONCE IT'S LOST!

I hope that Yerdle can see the error of their ways and try to make an effort to keep the new people that use the site happy.  I know that I won't use it again and I know many others who have opted to start offshoots through facebook groups that shall remain nameless.

If you choose to use YERDLE, please take the time to read their Terms of Service and take note of what you are getting yourself into. What seems like a good thing, isn't always so.  I had to learn that the hard way.

This disappointed blog was brought to you today by the Letter E...


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