Onto referral code update email

Hey everyone,

I just received the following email from Onto:

Has anyone ever had this before? I’ve only ever given out my referral code on the SpeakEV forum and on the Onto comparison tool I developed and I think that’s reflected in the meager few referrals I have :smiley:

May I suggest possibly using another opener in future emails? :slight_smile: The first thing I read on the email preview was “We have been informed that you have breached our Referral Terms” - that did cause a slight blood pressure increase for a minute there :wink:


It would be good, not only for you, but also the rest of us, to find out exactly what you are supposed to have done wrong.

Just changing your code without any investigation involving you does seem rather hasty. Imagine if someone maliciously put your code on an unacceptable site, and you lost it for good!


That’s a very good point!

I beat you to it, I’m number 003 :rofl:

I emailed them this morning saying the newcode003 sounds rubbish when trying to convey to people can it be changed to something a bit less informal like my name+50 or something they said no.


I got my email at 17:45 last night.

If anyone would like to use my new code to test it…

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Any thoughts on what may have triggered this response from ONTO?:older_man:

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Just tentatively checked my Inbox but haven’t received that email personally. Strange that this has happened all of a sudden, with at least two subscribers affected at the same time. Maybe ONTO have just started actively checking where the codes are being promoted, and cracking down on misuse.


Strange that the codes being given out are three numbers, seemingly in sequential order. All the codes I’ve seen up to now appear to be a random mix of numbers and letters.

I believe Elmo allow you to choose your own code, as some subscribers do have ones related to their name.


Yep mine is inital+surname+50

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I just did a google search with onto and my old code in quotes and the only results I get are speakev and my comparison tool :man_shrugging:

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Hi @BenB , This is a very good point. Apologies for the harsh tone, we should have softened the wording of the opening.

I’ll give some more context for this email:

Firstly, offering your referral code on the SpeakEV forum (+ other public places like this) and the Onto comparison tool is not a problem for us at all. In fact, we love that you’re doing that and want to encourage that as much as possible.

The reason why you were flagged was that your referral code was spotted on one or several discount code websites. Uploading or spreading codes on these sites goes against our referral terms and conditions. However, since referral codes by their very nature are public, we are aware that customers may not actually be responsible for this spread. We should have worded that email differently considering the above (sorry @BenB for having caused your blood pressure to spike).

The rule of thumb is that we want to encourage naturally occurring referrals where value has been added by the referrer (e.g. YouTube reviews, speaking to friends, family and colleagues or just chatting to someone whilst charging your car).

Since referral codes on discount sites don’t offer that extra value add (except on the financial side for the referee), it turns into a purely financial cost for the business. Therefore, we’ve had to change the codes to make all those codes on discount code websites invalid.

I hope that context helps @BenB @E7EV . Shout if you do have any follow-up questions.

If anyone has any ideas how we can encourage use of referral codes, I’m all ears. Many companies have been built by smart use of referrals (e.g. Paypal, Dropbox, Airbnb to name a few), so we’re keen to incentivise and reward Onto subscribers and community members to help spread the word.


This is what you get if you google my code!


@Chris_at_Onto I think it would be unfair to “punish” the subscriber where this is the case. If you’ve worked hard in adding value by giving advice and support to others over a long period of time, your code has built up a certain reputation. When it came to the time for someone to use it, thanks to that value add, it then doesn’t work, that would be unfair to both referrer and referee.


I agree there will be lots of codes out in the wild now that won’t work, new customers will be expecting £50 off and won’t get it, I’d expect some unhappy people.


Just purchased this as the likeness is incredible.:older_man:


Has this affected @Slimtrader10 (Mr Honest EV) as I think he’s quite a busy referral guy?

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Also agree, I seem to remember previous threads on this subject concluded ONTO need to adapt their systems so only valid codes are accepted. Most sites using codes do reject invalid ones. I think ONTO had this on their radar but it was some time ago. Perhaps @Adam_at_Onto could update the community.:older_man:


To you, or me? :wink:


We’re not out to punish people. I really understand the inconvenience this causes and it will likely lead to a few lost referrals to some of the subscribers affected. It’s something we’ve mulled over for some time as the cost to the business is not insignificant.

But unfortunately we’re limited in our options to discourage the spread of codes on discount sites because we do not control them or the content they post.

Short of introducing additional checks (e.g. “Please tell us the name of the person referring you”) which would also affect the take up rate of referrals, there’s no other way to stop the use of the codes in this manner.

Lastly, this has only affected a handful of subscribers (those whose codes have been found on those sites). 99% of referral codes are unaffected.


Touché. Touché :older_man:


@Grandadgeorgec will follow this up ref having invalid referral codes rejecting at point of booking. Thanks for flagging.

Flagging @Chris_at_Onto for viability