The Consumer Complaints Blog

Fighting the trained monkey in modern society.

December 8, 2009

Helium.com

Filed under: Technology/Computer — Editor @ 12:35 pm


Complaint about censorship, intellectual theft and intimidation at Helium.com

Big Brother is alive and well, and, apparently, flourishing at Helium.com, online marketplace for writers, “where knowledge rules”. (Their slogan now strikes me as particularly ironic.)

Before I delve into my own complaint, do a quick Google search on Helium complaints, and it’s a gold mine. I’m surprised there hasn’t been a major article in a newspaper or magazine, given the extent of the complaints against them.

Helium is a website where writers can post articles, have them rated, and, perhaps even earn a few cents. Since the substance of my complaint is in the correspondence below, I’ll not detail it here, except to summarize it. About a week ago, I asked them politely to remove an article I’d written, three years ago, which was now damaging to my reputation. After much back and forth, they not only locked me out while keeping all my articles online, but censored another article I’d written which was critical of their behavior, and then, threatened to report me to the FBI!

The correspondence follows below, and the whole, ugly affair is recounted in more detail on my blog article (http://brokenwholeblog.blogspot.com/2009/12/censorship-tyranny-and-intimidation-at.html).

Sincerely, Keith (last name protected) – see correspondence below.

Would you mind explaining this to me? What have I done to receive this threat? First you claim the right to keep my article up despite the fact that it was written when I was not in my right mind. Then, when I follow your suggestion of leapfrogging the article, and criticize you in it, you come down on me like Big Brother. I’m completely at a loss. You’re saying that you can’t be criticized. What kind of operation are you running. Free speech is the cornerstone of writing.

I’m going to consult with a lawyer, and I’m going to do everything I can do to publicize this behavior through the blogosphere, and writer contacts.

Keith (last name protected)

From: Helium Help [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Monday, December 07, 2009 8:20 AM
To: Keith Adams
Subject: RE: Site-generated_help_request He:0094807

Further attempts to access helium.com or any Helium computer systems will be considered malicious and reported to local and state law enforcement, the Internet Crimes division of the FBI and your internet service provider. Your account has been disabled and the original article restored to the title.

=================================
Helium Security
[email protected]


Disclaimer
This article was submitted by one of our readers. Penciltrick cannot make any claims as to its authenticity but the article was accepted on a good faith belief that it is an accurate and truthful account of the events listed.

6 Responses to “Helium.com”

  1. Andrew Says:

    Helium is a scam.

    Why?

    There is no contract in the traditional sense. Their contract has always reserved the right to change the terms at any time for any reason.

    The author receives no written contract. Also, simply signing into the site ensures that the writer is trapped into agreeing to the new contract with new rules. The older articles written under the original contract are not grandfathered. The older articles are paid out under new rules, whether or not the author likes the new rules.

    In addition, in order to rate so the authors articles will earn money, the author must sign in. Hence there is no way to avoid agreeing to the new contract.

    Moreover, if you must rate to earn money, you are working for free because rating takes up a lot of time. If you do not rate, your articles do not earn money. The rating requirement was not in the original Helium contract. It was changed later.

    Also, Helium has a tendency to ban writers who simply complain about the new rules. When an author is banned Helium keeps their articles on the site, and refuses to remove them. Helium makes income off these articles.

    I have complained to the state attorney general of Massachusetts about Helium and they agree that Helium is unethical and unsavory and likely abusing writers.

    The problem is that they need to receive a lot of complaints about the payment issue before the state can take legal action on a class action basis for the writers.

    The state attorney general will have someone pose as a writer and than politely complain about any mistreatment from Helium. If the writer is banned or the issue unresolved. The state attorney general can take action.

    The state attorney general will also question the nebulous ever changing contract Helium unfairly rail roads their writer into agreeing to.

    So, everyone, please write to the state attorney general consumer protection division in Massachusetts to complain about Helium. They will not reveal your name to Helium so you can still access the site and need to have no fear of being banned.

    If enough people complain we can get the site shut down.

    Spread the word…..Complain, complain, complain. Otherwise Helium will continue to get away with abusing their writers.

  2. Bright&Shine Says:

    The staff that I dealt with at Helium.com is totally abusive, malicious, and unethical!

    They simply cannot publish my work without my permission. This is called “infringement.” First of all, none of us, the former Helium.com writers signed any written or verbal contract that Helium.com could do whatever it wants to do to us, the former Helium.com writers whether the action is right, abusive, or torturing! Secondly, when the writers requested Helium.com to remove the article we written, it is their duty and our right for the articles to be removed. Thirdly,
    when they still refused to do what they should have done and needed to be done, it is called “intentional infliction of distress including violations of human rights and human freedom!”

    I have been with Helium for only a few months, their unethical and abusive behaviors are written all over their faces and the way how they fraudulently presented information to me and to other writers!

    Lets contact the attorney general’s office and file a class action law suit against Helium.com!

    Sincerely,

    A Former Helium.com Writer

  3. Star Says:

    The staff that I dealt with at Helium.com is totally abusive, malicious, and unethical. They simply cannot publish my work without my permission. This is called “infringement!”

    First of all, none of us, the former Helium.com writers signed any written or verbal contract that Helium.com could do whatever it wants to do to us, the former Helium.com writers whether the action is right, abusive, or torturing! Secondly, when the writers requested Helium.com to remove the article we written, it is their duty and our right for the articles to be removed. Thirdly, when they still refused to do what they should have done and needed to be done, it is called intentional infliction of distress including violations of human rights and human freedom! I have been with Helium for only a few months, their unethical and abusive behaviors are written all over their face and the way how they fraudulently presented information to me and to other writers!

    Lets contact the attorney general’s office and file a class action law suit against Helium.com!

    Sincerely,

    A Former Helium.com Writer

  4. ccutter Says:

    I absolutely agree that Helium sucks. As a matter of fact, right before I closed my account from them, I changed my pen name to HELIUMSUX so it’s at the top of all of my articles. They advertise themselves as a web site for writers, you do nothing but read and rate and the content that is contained on their website is for the most part, overworded rubbish that some 13 year old kid eating cold pizza and drinking flat code red mountain dew randomly flips through and haphazardly assigns a rating just so that he can get the million or so ratings in to earn the fraction of a percentage of $0.01 for the millions of hits. It’s absolutely rediculous and I simply want my material back so that I can post it to a better web site and get paid for it appropriately. In addition, I do not want any of my material, my pen name, or my pay-pal account associated with Helium. So what did they do? They kept the articles, kept their money, and removed my access to make any further changes to my account. Crooks, criminals, and no-goodniks hiding behind their terms of use which is the only thing that is actually well written on their web site. Raping honest writers out of earned money.

  5. Mitch Bensel Says:

    Helium has kept me from my site, yet continues to make money from my words… I have tried to remove my writings and was not allowed.. i just attempted to update it.. and was not allowed.. i was told my account was cancelled and yet my site is still up..with their ads next to my writings.. I WANT TO BE REMOVED FROM THEM IMMEDIATELY..not sure how to get it done..but they are not good types.. they take your work and make money from it..

  6. Ray Stokes Says:

    Probably slightly off topic. I recently 29/9/12 complained to Helium because it stated me as a winner of a competition then they changed their minds and awarded the prize to someone else.

    That’s not the worrying aspect. I complained using their forums and was banned from the discussion boards. Apparantly discussions are not allowed unless one praises Helium.

    The really worrying part is they uploaded malware to my computer to prevent me from using the forums.

    How do I know? One, the software was uploaded to my desktop so I saw it. I deleted the folder but I still camnnot use the forums despite changing my IP address or login out.

    I can access the forums using another computer.

    What does Helium have to hide to have installed such complex software ????????

Leave a Reply