Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dropbox - check and fix inelligible referrals in order to maximise your free allowance

Have you invited friends and family to use Dropbox so you can increase your free allowance? If so there is a  chance that you aren't getting the allowance you expect. Here is how to check and fix it. 

Like many others I have become heavily dependent on Dropbox for allowing me to access my stuff from anywhere. It has become so important to me that I am almost tempted to pay for a subscription but unfortunately they don't have a sub at a price point I am comfortable with. A sub of  €20/year  for 10Gb would suit me very well but the minimum spend is €99 for 50 Gb which is more space than I need and more than I am prepared to pay. That leaves me dependent on the free allowance and in particular on the increased allowance you get for inviting friends to join Dropbox.

The good news is that they have just increased the award for attracting a new user to 500Mb (from 250Mb) per new user up to  a maximum of 16Gb. Unfortunately Dropbox has now become so popular that you may have a hard time finding anyone new to actually invite. Happily the increased allowance is being applied retrospectively so if you have invited any new users in the past you should still benefit. That is if you are getting the increased allowance in the first place.

I don't like spamming the world in general but I have invited a number of friends and colleagues to use Dropbox in the past and I assumed without really checking I was getting credit for these. When I heard about the increase however I did check and was surprised to find that I had a smaller allowance than  expected. It turns out that Dropbox filters out referrals that appear to come from the same IP address in order to prevent folk from just creating multiple accounts for themselves. This filters out family members who use the same internet connection and possibly even work colleagues if you are in a small business with shared internet access.

In order to check you are getting credit for your referrals do this:
  • Log into your Dropbox account from a web browser:https://www.dropbox.com/account
  • Go to the Referral Status tab
  • View your referrals and check that you are getting the allowance you expect.
  • If any are listed as "ineligible" it means Dropbox thinks you are trying to game the system by creating multiple accounts from the same computer.
  • If you click on the ineligible flag you can appeal each entry individually. I appealed my family members each of whom had been deemed ineligible. I have no idea how they check an appeal - they don't ask for any further information but all of my appeals were successful and the turn around was only a couple of days.

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