Interview with FusionCash

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to speak with Tyler Derheim, owner of FusionCash. He graciously took time out of his day to talk about some of the challenges his site has faced recently and about the future of his program.

First, can you tell my readers who aren't members of FusionCash what your program is about? What's the type of person who would really enjoy FC?

FusionCash is a loyalty and rewards community site. We offer anybody over 13 in the US an opportunity to earn some extra spending cash by taking surveys, entering contests, and trying free and nearly-free trials. We're also expanding our shopping cashback offerings, including many products that are "As Seen On TV". You can earn rewards quickly, but many of our members find the real value in returning to the site often for the forum community and daily survey opportunities.

Now, let me jump in and ask about the big question many people had recently: what happened to FusionCash a few weeks ago? The site was down and there was some concern that you might have closed for good! What really happened?

An unknown individual utilized a Distributed Denial of Service attack to overload our servers with fake traffic - preventing legitimate traffic from getting through to the site. Although we did not receive any communications from the attacker, some other sites in the industry reported emails attempting to extort "protection money" from them in exchange for stopping the attacks. Although it took an unfortunately long 6-7 days, we were finally able to configure our server and firewall to effectively block the attacks. Fortunately, these improvements have made the site faster in general, and more resistant to this type of attack for the future. Naturally, we extend our deepest apologies to our members for the extended inaccessibility - we were doing everything we could.

As for the allegations that we were shutting down or having internal difficulties, financial or otherwise -- they are completely unfounded. FusionCash has an on-time payment record that leads the industry, and we have no plans to do anything but continue to improve.

Why do you think FusionCash was one of the victims of this attack?

As a high profile rewards site, the attacker probably perceived that we would be more willing to pay him to stop. Naturally, we never have and never will negotiate with anybody who is breaking the law.

Are you working on some kind of feature to stop future attacks?

As mentioned, we have beefed up our firewall and server already. Based on the current numbers, an attack would have to be at least an order of magnitude larger than the last one to have a negative effect on our ability to stay online.

How has this impacted FusionCash?

It caused us minor inconveniences as our advertising partners adjusted to the first extended downtime in our (nearly) 3 year history, and of course the incalculable loss of faith that some of our members endured. However, there was no damage, and no data was compromised or lost. Once we completed the refinements to the firewall and server, it was back to business as usual.

We haven't talked in a while -- what kinds of changes have you made to the program in the last year or so?

Since we've been established in the space for some time, we've lately been focusing on making FusionCash the best loyalty program around. Some of our recent changes include:
- The addition of a community forum
- Hiring and training of support staff and refined support procedures to create a better member experience
- A hard-nosed approach to offer selection and monitoring - internal policies to ensure that we only present offers that credit consistently. This means that while we do not have the widest selection of offers, you will be properly rewarded when completing one. Don't get me wrong, though - we still have over 120 consistently crediting, quality offers, including two survey opportunities which can be completed once per day.

Are there any upcoming changes or promotions that you might want to share with my readers?

Glad you asked! We just recently finished our first raffle. Three lucky members walked away with prizes of $100, $50 and $25. More importantly, over two hundred members participated - and all of them walked away with some extra cash in their FusionCash account just for completing the qualifying offers. We are soliciting feedback on the raffle so that we can do even better next time (links to surveys are in that thread above).

Is there anything else you'd like to say to FC's current members or to people considering joining your site?

To our members: Thanks for your participation, your enthusiasm, and your patience during our downtime.
To prospective members: Give us a shot! We have over 1.2 million members already, who have been paid some $1.5 million to date. We know that your time is valuable, and we have created an opportunity for you to earn real money without much effort. You might even meet some interesting people on the forum :)

That's all the questions I have for now! Thanks so much for taking the time to talk with me!

Thanks for your time - I hope we don't have to wait a whole year to do this again.

FusionCash has been around since June 2005, and I joined shortly after that. They give you $5 just to join, and they have surveys, some shopping offers (like $10 for making any purchase at ShoeBuy), and other offers that pay you just for trying out a product or service. Some don't require a credit card at all, and for others you have to provide one but the trial is free or cheap ($5 to sign up for a free 14 day trial of Emusic, for example), and you can cancel if you don't want to continue. Don't sign up for something and immediately cancel as soon as you're credited at FC or else the advertiser will tag it as being fraudulent -- if you sign up for a trial and don't want to keep the service, give it a few days or even a week before you cancel. And don't do an offer you've completed on another website -- also considered cheating.

FusionCash is very hardcore about weeding out cheaters (people joining multiple times, referring themselves, completing the same offer more than once, etc.), so if this describes you, find another place to scam! But If you're conscientious and follow the rules like I do, FC is a great site. They pay on time as promised, every month, and I've found their customer service to be very prompt and courteous.

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Countries: All (U.S/CA recommended)
SurveysCenter Rating:

Paid Surveys Center Review
CashCrate is an U.S based international paid offer and survey site that has exploded in popularity since its launch in mid 2006. To date it has a membership base of more than half a million and has paid out millions in cash.

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