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Live Search Club Ending In Disaster?

It looks like the Windows Live Search Club, the puzzle game promotion that seemed so successful for Microsoft at first, is quickly turning into a PR disaster for the company. The Club, which had searchers play puzzle games in order to win prizes, originally gave Microsoft a huge boost in search engine market share, a gain which has slowly dissapeared entirely in the last few months. Even worse, though, is the anger the Club’s fans are now turning towards the company.

Commenters have been showing up in increasing numbers at my original six month old Live Search Club post, complaining about cancelled or undelivered prize orders, a dead website, removed prizes and bugs. There’s talk of a class action lawsuit, and you can see some more complaints on the Wikipedia Talk page. Has Microsoft screwed up, or is it fighting back so aggressively against cheaters that it is causing a lot of anger among legitimate players?

Either way, we haven’t heard the last of this story. It looks like, in the end, Microsoft had negligible gains from the promotion, and there are a lot of headaches to come from its management, or mismanagement, of same.

If you’ve had a good or bad experience, feel free to post about it in the comments.

November 13th, 2007 Posted by | Live, Search, Windows | 23 comments

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  1. I was playing the Live Search Club puzzles for about a month or 2 but lately there are times when I cant seem to sign in or it will work on 1 computer but not another computer. I’ve also had instances where it will open up in Internet Explorer at work but not at home and I can only play it through Firefox?!? Which I found to be really weird.

    I like the concept of the whole thing but the little bugs and inability to log on correctly kept me from really enjoying it.

    Comment by samuel | November 13, 2007

  2. Half of those people shouldn’t even recieve prizes! They cheated and hacked into the games. Heck you can just Live search Live Club cheats and there will be tons of websites and forums devoted to this. Also why did you not point out that the people that didnt receive prizes had a total games played of 1 while having 30,000 tickets, where the most you can get is 25 tickets in 1 game. You failed to mention the most important parts, very very sad.

    Comment by chris | November 13, 2007

  3. I enjoyed playing the games and had earned quite a few points. I have never tried to redeem my point so cannot say anyting about not getting prizes. I have, however, been trying to access the Live search club and have been unable to do so, either on my computer at home with DSL or on the computer at work which has a cable connection. All I get is the “Internet Explorer cannot display the website” page. Does anyone know if it will be returning.

    Comment by Sandy Graves | November 13, 2007

  4. @Sandy Graves

    Yes, this was happening to me. I would do a google search for the LIVE Club and somehow there would be a recent cached page for the site even though I couldn’t see it. Like I stated above, if it wouldn’t open in IE, I would use Firefox and there it was. Yet at home, I would use Firefox and it wouldn’t show but in IE it would. So it was very very strange.

    Comment by samuel | November 14, 2007

  5. As I’ve tried to explain to the cheating whiners in the past, as long as you have played legit with MS LSC, you will get your stuff. I have received everything so far. I started out with the smaller items to see if they would send them, guess what..they did! So then it took a while, but I finally accrued enough tickets to get the XBOX. I gave my tickets, submitted my order, and now have confirmation from MS and a ship date!

    This is not a scam, and the problems you have been hearing about are a direct result of MS trying to cover its ass from the multitude of cheaters who made it hard for us actual puzzlers. Think about it, the higher ticket games require above a 4th grade education, and it’s obvious most of the
    folks bitchin didn’t make it.

    The site has its hiccups for now, but I’m sure they will either fix it or end the program all together. They are competing with Google with is not an easy task.

    On a side note, they did stop offering the XBOX a few weeks back, but there is still the Zune and MS Office. I’m glad I got my order in when I did.

    Bottom Line: I like free stuff, so do you! Cheat and I promise they WILL catch you! Then you can join the ever growing army of bitchy little girls who couldn’t solve a Flexicon or Chicktionary if MS emailed you the solution!

    Comment by soultaco | November 14, 2007

  6. Everything I’ve ordered from Live Search Club, I’ve gotten, and most of it came well before the set shipping deadline. Of course, those speedy deliveries began to slow down around the time that MS re-worked the site because of people cheating. Chris, above, is right: Check out a gaming forum with a LSC thread, and you’ll find people freely admitting to cheating LSC to get multiple Zunes and Vistas, and then being upset when their prizes aren’t delivered.

    Comment by Sam | November 14, 2007

  7. Live Search Club is working fine. I just played some Chickionary and ordered a pair of LifeCam and LifeChats for video conferencing today.

    If you can’t access the site, you’re doing it wrong. Delete your browsing history (Internet Explorer 7) or temporary files, cookies, and history (Internet Explorer 6). Also, stop telling the site to remember your Windows live ID, that’s what’s messing it up.

    Comment by Anonymous | November 15, 2007

  8. this is for the people who are getting problems while logging in (Internet Explorer cannot display this webpage). Go to tools in IE and delete your browsing history. For some reason it bugs out when you tell IE or firefox to save your password, so don’t do it. delete your browsing history and don’t save your pass and you should be fine

    Comment by Derek | November 15, 2007

  9. They have just launched frequent flier points as a reward. That is huge! I would love to fly somewhere for “free” instead of pciking up a game or hardware. Cool.

    Comment by Mike | November 17, 2007

  10. Thank you, Thank you for writing here, above, about deleting browser history, and passwords! It worked ! I have not been able to connect to the games in 2 months and now I am back in since I deleted those things. I love to play the games. I have never tried to claim any prizes, playing is the best part.

    Comment by Peonies | November 21, 2007

  11. I played the heck out of the games and earned enough points for a Zune, ringtones, song downloads and a case for the Zune. I got everything I had earned. It was a great way to have fun and get prizes. Now I have started trying to earn tickets to donate to my kids school and I can’t get in. This is a real let down.


    Comment by Bill | November 22, 2007

  12. I THOUGHT IT WAS GONE FOREVER! Thank you to those of you who posted solutions as to how to fix the problem. Now I can get back to earning my tickets….LEGITIMATELY!!!!

    Comment by Felicia | November 23, 2007

  13. I also had troubles with the site. I was using firefox, and I had a ‘object moved to here’ link at the top of my page the whole time that just redirected me to that page. I could play games, but I couldn’t order. Today I read to delete my cookies and temp files and then I could order. My zune is supposed to ship Jan 19th.

    Comment by anon | November 24, 2007

  14. Can anyone tell me what the airline miles are worth? How do you redeem them if you are not affiliated with any frequent flier programs?

    Comment by soultaco | November 24, 2007

  15. I loved playing the games at this website. For the past month or so, I haven’t been able to get on it… I have received SOME of the things I won…cards, cap, t-shirts. I am disappointed because I was trying to earn “tickets” for a local school, and had my co-workers excited about winning tickets also. BUT, now we can’t log on! I agree that because of the hackers; those of us who really enjoyed playing the games – honestly – are the ones who are punished. It was fun while it lasted!

    Comment by Marj | November 26, 2007

  16. Hats off to Microsoft, what a wonderful way to give back! I have been playing for awhile, and so far have received an $80 webcab, and $130 optical desktop for free, not to mention a great headset. I hope Microsoft continues with Live Search Club, and I also hope they fight the cheaters to the end. There is no court in the land that would decide in favor of people who exploit and cheat Microsoft, when they are trying to do something really, really nice. Keep it up Microsoft!

    Comment by Jane VanOoyen | November 27, 2007

  17. I loved playing the games especially the chiktionary and live wire,and finally able to redemmed my tickets to tote bag,wireless optical keyboard and mouse ,ringtone and netball.Just yesterday afternoon mu husband told me that i have a package waiting for me,so i recieved my keyboard and mouse but i redemmed the tote bag first but never recieve that yet…so far i dont have problems opening live search in my far so good..

    Comment by lamay | November 28, 2007

  18. I ordered a Xbox 360 game and a ring tone that were supposed to be shipped 2 months ago. I did not receive either of my prizes. I did not cheat. I have contacted live search twice and can’t get an answer on why they did not send prizes.

    Comment by R Goins | November 29, 2007

  19. I started playing Live Search games during the summer. I racked up enough tickets (legitimately) to redeem 4 movie passes. It said the ship date was to be Oct 10th and I have not received anything yet. I have been trying to get on the website to inquire about why I haven’t received them yet, but it always directs me to the MSN home page. I have deleted my browser history, etc, and nothing works. I feel majorly screwed over by MSN.

    Comment by Merissa | November 29, 2007

  20. I redeemed tickets for a X-box in April. It’s now July and I still have not received it. I enjoyed playing the games and most certainly did not cheat, but I can’t get straight answer from the sites customer service department. I waited 2 weeks after inquiring about why hadn’t received my prize and then emailed them again. Their response was that their management team was looking into it. Looking into what is what I’d like to know. I legitimately earned the tickets and followed the rules of the site, so I fail to see what the problem is.

    Comment by Meg | July 8, 2009

  21. I played the games and did not cheat. I played until I had enough to redeem for an X-box 360. After 12 weeks, I had heard nothing so I emailed them, and was told that I cheated and the prize was canceled. I too feel majorly screwed. That was the one and only prize I ordered, and did not get.

    Comment by Virginia Ramos | July 14, 2009

  22. Live Search Club/Club Bing should just take away their customer service. From what I heard, anyone who messaged them about their prize was immediately flagged, even though they were legit and waited 12 weeks+ to message.

    Comment by Kevin | August 3, 2009

  23. Hello every body to tell you the truth i used to play live search club every single day because i was so adicted to it and they did send me a few prizes. But when i told my family members about this promotion they played the games and ordered prizes but never recived them because the company said that we were cheating and we had more then one account. So they never sent any further prizes that i order or a member of my famil ordered. I would advice everyone to only open one account so that you recive your prizes because this company could also lie for bleming you for nothing. There’s no where that says that we can’t open more then one account they are just liying about it because they don’t want to send the prizes.

    Comment by qureshi | September 1, 2009

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