This post was completely unplanned (in fact, I was halfway through writing a post that will end up being published on a future date). After doing a bit of research last night and getting hit with a bombshell, I knew I had to write a post about this issue right away. If you’re still using Passionfruit Ads, stop immediately.
Over the past year, I’ve had issues with Passionfruit charging a couple of my customers for ads that got rejected (since I rejected the ads, the money never came to me but was still charged to their cards and just sat in limbo, eventually ending up in Passionfruit’s pocket). I reached out to their customer service people several times (even to the point of calling them out on Twitter), only to be run around in circles, and later, completely ignored. Fortunately, I was able to make things right with my sponsors that had money taken from them. However, even though I’d been using Passionfruit for several years without a hitch, this whole debacle left a bad taste in my mouth.
Flash forward a few months later, to June. I had several payments I was waiting to receive, and it was finally Friday (which is Passionfruit’s pay day for bloggers). I waited all day to get the email that my payment came through…and nothing. No money. No email from Passionfruit. This has happened before where they’ve been a day or two late with sending out payments, so I figured it was just happening again and I’d let some time pass. So, a week goes by…and another…and another. And now we’re here – almost halfway through August, and Passionfruit still owes me $123.83.
I finally decided that enough was enough, so last night I went to their website to find out how I could get in contact with the owner. As I was scrolling through their site, I started to notice that something was off. All of their social media links were gone, and there was absolutely no way to contact them. Also, certain pages were not loading and it wasn’t letting me cancel my subscription. I immediately started feeling anxious and knew something was wrong. I got on Google and started looking up Passionfruit…and was floored by what I found.
For the past few months, it seems that Passionfruit has been going completely under. There are rumors that they’ve gone bankrupt, and several bloggers are coming forward saying that they haven’t received the money they’re owed. This article by Chelsie perfectly lays out all of the shady things Passionfruit has been doing, including taking money from bloggers without their knowledge. I’m thankful to see that I’m not alone in all of this, but I’m incredibly pissed that a company that SO many bloggers trusted is screwing us all over like this. I can’t tell you how much money I have paid Passionfruit in fees and subscriptions over the years. Finding all of this out last night was a huge slap in the face.
Going forward, I will be running my ad program myself. Unfortunately, this means that ads will no longer be shuffled each time the page is loaded, but I will now have full control over everything with no “middle man” in the way. When you purchase an ad on AGO, you will be emailing me directly instead of having to go through a system (which always felt a little impersonal to me anyway). I’m excited for this, and am looking forward to interacting with potential sponsors one-on-one.
I hope this post has been helpful for any of you still using Passionfruit. I wish I had known about all of this sooner, and it’s that reason that I decided to write this post in hopes of helping other bloggers that might not be aware of what was going on. From what I’ve heard, Passionfruit is officially pulling the plug at the end of the year and all ads will be terminated, so make sure to get your current ad program updated to avoid having your sponsors ads go missing.