One Savvy Mom ™ | NYC Area Mom Blog: This Is Necessary...

This Is Necessary...

Hi there everyone,
Over the past few months I have been dealing with various issues (surrounding this blog) and I really felt it was necessary to share some of what has been going on. For about 7 weeks I (as many other blogger's were - and some for a much longer time span) was cyber stalked and harassed by a women from Canada. The amount of stress that this created in our home during the Holiday's, was ridiculous and completely unfair. Though the situation now appears to have been taken into the hands of the authorities (just recently within the past 72hrs.) and appears to be under control it has left me feeling overwhelmingly vulnerable. As in, "well if she can do this, it is the WORLD WIDE web.....anyone can do it!" So, as many of you may have noticed - I haven't been blogging as regularly as usual.

In addition, over the
past few months, I've had to deal with several issues with sponsors shipping item's very slowly (beyond the requested 4-8 week time period in our terms and requiring much persistence on my part before seeing a response) or in a few cases not shipping them at all (which is unfortunate but it has happened).The issues have left me no choice but to re-structure the way that sponsored giveaway's are held. I'm requiring the item's up-front from sponsors that I haven't worked with in the past (prior to the giveaway publishing). It has been a pleasure to offer some incredible giveaway's (over 600 in two years!) to readers - however the frustration and stress (as I've stated previously) is too great for both reader's and myself. As noted in the site Terms of Use & Disclosure - I do not have the ability (unfortunately) to fill giveaway's when sponsors do not.

The giveaway's that are currently posted are the last giveaway's that I will be hosting on One Savvy Mom under the previous terms, moving forward the above outlined terms will go into effect.

Next I'd like to note that I will be discontinuing the use of the Raffelcopter widget on future giveaway's. There are several issues with cheating - and it simply isn't fair to those who are entering in a valid honest manner.

As previously requested, please be courteous when corresponding with me, I generally respond within 2 business days, however I am first and foremost a mother and wife, if there is something going on in my day to day life that keeps me from the Internet it's not the end of the world - know that I will respond as soon as possible. In addition, please be sure to read the Terms of Use & Disclosure.

New content will post this week, and I've already received a few new giveaway item's that I'm sure you'll all enjoy, so keep an eye out.

This weekend we are all resting as the kids are sick, and I'm getting over some dental work last week that left me in a bit more pain than I had bargained for.

Thank you & I hope you all enjoy the rest of the weekend

19 comments:

  1. Sarah...BRAVO to you for stopping Rafflecopter! We made that same decision a month ago over on our blog due to the fact we had over 50 cheaters trying to enter our giveaways. To delete out their entries we had to log into Rafflecopter and download ALL entries for that giveaway, sift thru them & then delete cheater entries. It was sucking up way too much of our time.

    We made the decision to go back to standard blog comments as we refuse to let cheaters win anything from our blog. Since making that decision we have caught "heat" from a handful of bloggers but most of the "heat" has come from die-hard sweepers "yapping" at us because we removed Rafflecopter.

    I am sure you will catch some heat but please know...you are NOT the only blogger who has trashed Rafflecopter and we totally understand your decision & support you on it.

    Shelly

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am so sorry for the extra stress that has been happening to you. Two years ago, I was also a victim of that 'woman' so I do understand what it feels like. I was off work at the time after an injury and she began stalking me and even called workers compensation and my employer. It was horrible but I do not have to explain any further as you do know exactly what I am saying. Back then she was just getting started, my complaint was not taken seriously, now however she has caused enough grief for the authorities to finally listen. THANKS GOODNESS FOR THAT. I don't have any experience with giveaways and sponsors as you have but I can certainly appreciate how difficult it must be. I wish you all the best and hope that things will soon settle for you. Take care.:-)
    jglaframboise at eastlink dot ca

    ReplyDelete
  3. wow that is crazy!! I myself have been away from the blog world for a while & was hoping someone could explain the rafflecopter to me..? I am currently having a giveaway on my blog that I am hosting myself & the entry is simple, just comment..lol I don't understand the "login to facebook" to enter I think it's unfair for those who don't have a facebook, as I don't have one myself. anyway sorry to hear about the stress this woman caused!! xo

    ReplyDelete
  4. I found this http://cyberbullyingreport.com/bully/dawn-gordon-brampton-canadas-elite-stalker-245.aspx

    ReplyDelete
  5. I hate rafflecopter - glad to see it go. Also glad that going forward you'll actually be able to ensure fulfillment of giveaway items.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I like that you're asking new sponsors to ship items up front before posting the giveaways. It's a great way to assure trustworthiness, the integrity of your blog and the sponsor's, and free-up more time for what is most important--your family. I really appreciate the hard-work you put into the reviews, giveaways, and the review videos. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I know I will enter the giveaways here again with Rafflecopter being gone!

    I have talked to over 25+ sweepers and out of that 25...22 told me that since many blogs converted to Rafflecopter their wins have significantly dropped and many contribute that to the cheater entries getting thru & over-inflating the entry counts.

    ReplyDelete
  8. What the heck?

    I was thinking what Shelly said above. My first thought with the RC comment was about wins dropping off. I think many of us assumed (myself included) this was because it was easier to enter so there were simply more entries and the odds went down.

    That being said....I'm wondering how in the heck does someone cheat using RC? Does it not make the system of checks and balances you (you being a blog host with a giveaway) feasible any more?

    That is crazy.

    And the stalker? I am sorry. Truly. I had one once. She opened accounts in my late daughter's name, got in my email and sent vulgar emails to everyone in my address book and sent me flowers..amongst other things. We have a fundamental right to feel safe in our home and I'm sorry you were violated like that. I hope she is stopped.

    ReplyDelete
  9. As a product review and giveaway blogger myself I would like to first give you {{HUGS}} on having to deal with morons of the internet. There are many and I have heard a few horror stories.

    Secondly, I will still be here to honestly enter giveaways regardless of what method you use. I prefer Rafflecopter but then again, I fully know how (and do) check entries of the winner. That not only includes verifying, but also, checking the IP address listed on the RC form in order to ensure that the same address wasn't used twice.

    Lastly, I would NEVER post a review or any post without receiving product or payment before hand! I am glad you're changing that.

    Thanks for all you do, I know how difficult it is!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Well I feel like I really need to look into my RC forms and see if anyone was cheating. It never occured to me that it was possible. I feel a little silly typing that, of course it is.

    I'm so sorry to hear about your stalker, that just terrible. I hope your troubles are over now that the authorities are involved.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am glad that the stalker situation is taken care of and glad you posted her name.

    I know what it feels like to wait 3 months for a prize and it bothered the blog owner too that the sponser took so long. Hope all goes better.

    Have a some great family time while everyone heals.
    Huge Hugs

    Doreen riopel

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm sorry for what that awful woman has put you through. Hopefully, they throw the book at her. :(

    As for the the other stuff, I like how easy Rafflecopter is to use, but was unaware it made cheating easier. Like other sweepers, I've noticed a decrease in my winnings, but assumed it was because of so many others entering. And for sponsors not honoring giveaways, that's low, and they should be called out for it. It stinks that those sponsors and angry winners have made you the fall guy. I hope these changes make things easier for you.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Really sorry you've been having a rough go of things! The blogging world is I am coming to find out is a lot harsher then it seems up front! Glad you are changing your terms and not simply giving up. Good for you!

    I too have noticed my wins decreasing since Rafflecopter came into play, I like the ease of use and entry but I had no idea people could cheat, this is very sad for those of us who enter honestly. Has anything been said to Rafflecopter or is there nothing can do?

    Keep up the good work, you put a lot of time into your reviews and I appreciate what you do!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I am so sorry to read about your stalker, it must have not only been frightening for you but also annoying. I hope the authorities really take care of this matter and prosecute her and not with a "slap on the wrist".

    As for the Rafflecopter I can't make up my mind if I like it or not. What I have noticed is that the number of entries on most giveaways is crazy high and I did find that suspicious. I really enjoy your blog so I will keep reading and entering your giveaways no matter what form you have chosen.

    Again so sorry for what you and your family have been going through, take care of you and yours.

    Deb Dorrington

    ReplyDelete
  15. I haven't used Rafflecopter yet, but I really wish bloggers would go back to regular comment type giveaways. I think you should do a post showing how cheating can be done on Rafflecopter, so other bloggers can be aware. I also think the number of entries are exceptionally high on many of them - I just don't get it. I think because it's so easy for people to just click "I did it" whether they did or not.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Sorry to hear about everything that's been happening to you. I don't blame you one bit for changing your disclosure!

    I'm a regular sweeper and since Rafflecopter has come into play I haven't won seriously anything! It's made me upset to put all that time into it and get no reward. I use to love getting emails with "Congrats" or "Winner". Now it's just upsetting to even check my email. I think they should just get rid of Rafflecopter because it's only helping a hand full of cheaters out! It's not fair to everyone else. I would perfer comment style anyday! Why did they even create Rafflecopter to begin with? Makes you think the creators are one of the everyday "winners" or husband/family member of the ones who keep winning.

    ReplyDelete
  17. So sorry you had to deal with cyber bullying. I am totally looking up this Dawn Gordon character!
    I like your blog and I think it has interesting stuff with or without giveaways.
    I do have to admit that I hate rafflecopter and I suspected cheating. I never win on rafflecopter anymore - the past couple of months rafflecopter has boomed and I haven't won anything even from the blogs that I am highly dedicated tooo. So interesting that cheaters have found a way to ruin it for all.
    Hope this Dawn character is taught a lesson!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I used to win giveaways at least once a month before rafflecopter.
    I've never won a giveaway that uses rafflecopter and have stopped entering them.
    There tend to be an INSANE number of entries even for the smallest prizes, which tells me there are plenty of people with time on their hands to cheat by logging in with different email addys.
    I'm really happy you've dropped it and hope others do the same.
    Rafflecopter clearly has no method to prevent cheating, so unless I, too, become a cheater, I'll stay clear.
    Rafflecopter has taken all of the fun out of legitimate blog contesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I left a comment a few months back. Since then I've won about 6 times using Rafflecopter and that's entering on a daily basis. It's sad it's took the enjoyment of winning from so many. I know a lot of sweepers have quit entering giveaways because of it. I can only dream that bloggers will go back to comment form. Until then I will keep dreaming! :(

      Delete