SUMMARY of Netsweeps / No Limit Games Software:
Netsweeps & Sweepstakes University (Sweepstakes University is actually the same company as Netsweeps) arrived to the sweepstakes world quite a bit later than just about every other sweepstakes software company on our radar. With that in mind, it has made quite a bit of progress in a short period of time. It is to be commended for that effort.
We debated whether to differentiate Netsweeps from American Gaming Software (AGS) because the the two companies, in fact, promote sweepstakes games that have, at their core, the same exact game engine. Reports indicate that Sweepstakes University recently purchased a white-label (unbranded) version of the AGS sweepstakes software, made a few quick changes to the graphics (or “skins”) of the games, and marketed it as if it were an entirely different sweepstakes software. We decided that although the games are nearly the same, the two sweepstakes companies are different--so you’ll find Netsweeps (Sweepstakes University) and American Gaming Software rated separately in our sweepstakes reviews. Nevertheless, since the two companies are using sweepstakes software that is nearly identical, their rankings in some categories will mirror each other.
Netsweeps/ Sweepstakes University has experienced surprising growth for such a newcomer to the industry. This seems to be the result of an aggressive online marketing campaign and, by many accounts, a very persuasive sales force. This is one clear strength of Netsweeps on which many reviews and reports agree--Netsweeps has very convincing salesmen. Unfortunately for Netsweeps and, more accurately, those who use its sweepstakes software, promises made by salesmen seem to be... “exaggerated”. One of the biggest critiques of Netsweeps is that once money changes hands the enthusiasm and support from Netsweeps salesmen quickly turns into delays, problems, and excuses. It is interesting to note that the key difference between Netsweeps and AGS, since their sweepstakes software is practically the same, is that Netsweeps focuses on sales and AGS focuses more on support.
Netsweeps employs a pseudo-web-based sweepstakes system. It has followed the lead of SweepsCoach and Sweepstopia by moving its game server off site, which has clear advantages. However, Netsweeps still requires a proprietary onsite point of sale. The Netsweeps sweepstakes software company system also has the disadvantage of requiring that all the games be physically installed on each individual client systems. For this reason we call the system “pseudo-web based”--it has some advantages over a client server model but still has many of the limitations (including no ability to allow customers to play sweepstakes games from home).
One recurring gripe among Netsweeps reviewers is the payouts of the Netsweeps games (the math model). Apparently the sweepstakes system regularly experiences “glitches”, occasionally paying out more than it should in a single win or sometimes making several erroneous large payouts in a single evening. To make matters worse, aside from the payout errors Netsweeps seems to have problems in general with its math model. Disgruntled operators write of experiencing tremendously low “hold”, sometimes even dipping into the negatives on a week-by-week basks. This leads us to believe that Netsweeps is simply experiencing similar growing pains that most sweepstakes companies in the industry grew through when they were as new to the industry as Netsweeps is; such beginnings are not uncommon among startups in the sweepstakes industry. In Netsweeps’ case these problems are exacerbated because of its aggressive sales force. Perhaps it is safe to say that Netsweeps has grown so fast that its sweepstakes software can’t keep up. With time and effort Netsweeps will likely resolve these problems.
With a strong sales force and a sweepstakes system that seems to be... “poorly rated” we would expect to see a trend wherein business owners start with Netsweeps games, then later switch their Internet cafe to another sweepstakes software. This theory has been validated as quite a few frustrated reviewers mention that they have replaced Netsweeps with other sweepstakes companies that have more experience under their belt. In defense of Netsweeps, a few of these reviewers also complain about the replacement sweepstakes software they are using. Some complaints are likely legitimate, others are simply difficult-to-please reviewers. Regardless, it is safe to say that at this point in time Netsweeps has the lowest customer retention rate in the industry.
In an effort to rebrand itself and add new life to the company, Netsweeps recently launched a new website called "No Limit Games Sweepstakes". Netsweeps took five of their old games and added different skins (different artwork) and slapped a "No Limit Games Sweepstakes" logo on top. Netsweeps didn't do a very good job of hiding that it is actually the company behind No Limit Sweepstakes because much of the content and logos on the two websites are identical. Reports indicate that this rebranding effort has, for the most part, failed utterly. When consumers don't like games, changing the brand name doesn't seem to help.
We’ve read a few stellar reviews about sweepstakes companies and we’ve received feedback about some sweepstakes companies that makes us cringe. We understand that not every company will receive glowing reviews, but while sorting through feedback about Netsweeps we found ourselves asking “doesn’t anyone have anything nice to say?” As we move into the lower tier of sweepstakes software platforms, the submitted reviews are often bitter and angry rather than constructive and informational. Alas, not all sweepstakes company reviews can be positive. Not every sweepstakes company can be an IIT. Perhaps the best thing we can say about the Netsweeps sweepstakes games is that they will improve over time.
Sweepstakes Software Ratings:
Netsweeps gains points in the technology ranking for moving one step away from the client-server model with its “pseudo web-based” sweepstakes games. As discussed, it has some, but not all, of the technology advantages of a true web-based sweepstakes. It also has a fairly high ranking on “cost” because, similar to the DSS strategy, sometimes the salesmen will lower hardware cost in order to middleman a piece of the ongoing residual. Its distribution isn’t bad--especially for such a newcomer to the sweepstakes industry. It loses points for its games (primarily the math of the games), which also results in a sub-par profitability score. Finally, the biggest gaping hole with Netsweeps seems to be its support--or complete lack thereof. As mentioned, Netsweeps is very new and we expect to see these issues resolved over time as the company seems to be doing its best to rectify its shortcomings.
We evaluated several different sweepstakes companies before finally selecting Netsweeps. We worked with a distributor and he seemed very professional and competent. Everything was going as planned for the first few months and my partners and I were thrilled with the growth we saw. Our games had a few bugs and we had two big payouts in the first week but it ended up being a good thing because people spread the word. More and more people came to our store but it seemed like even with all the people we just couldn't make money. We were especially upset about the Diamond Nation progressive jackpot. We were told it would pay out at around $50,000 so we told all our customers that. They packed the house, which was great. The bad thing was that it didn't actually hit until over $120,000! Our customers were furious with that and when it finally did pay out it seemed very fishy to us. We didn't get any accounting in spite of multiple requests to Netsweeps. Our distributor apologized profusely and we were under the impression that he had been misled just like us. Ultimately the biggest problem we had was that the games just didn't hold enough for us to keep them. Even though we packed our store on weekends and it was pretty busy most week nights too, we were holding less than 15% most weeks. We ended up switching out the games. To be honest people don't like the new games as much as they liked Netsweeps but we're holding about 40% and making twice as much money as we were with Netsweeps. I'll post a review for the new software as well.
Netsweeps does have a great salesperson but as soon as the money changes hands you are put on the back burner. shipping of product comes 2 or more weeks later than promised and in small amounts in alot of different shipments. the excuse for us was that the software had to be loaded but when everything was recieved and set up the software had not even been loaded. this resulted in another two day delay(on a weekend) to sit on phone and online with tech to get games loaded. not to even mention a problem with games not working properly in prereveal mode and a call for techinal assistance gets you a we'll fix it tommorow. they want you to video tape problems and send to them and take a stand with customers complaining about win showing up and then after games spins taking win away from win column. not an good answer for people trying to run a business.maybe this would explain why we are paying out way too much and going in the hole several days. with less than thirty days of service we are looking for a new software company.
I like the games because they pay me more than some of the othe r games. They computer freeze up sometimes but these are my favorite games close enough to walk to. the ontly other good oones i like more are lucky duck but its way farther to walk and the bus doesnt go that way i have to take another one and its too far
Switch now! Not to Netsweeps but from Netsweeps. It simply was not working for our cafe - We are still located in North Carolina where competition is fierce and cafe owners are doing everything in their power to promote their businesses with giveaways and matching - Netsweeps did not work for us. I was initially sold on Netsweeps and liked their knowledge about Sweepstakes. My cafe was really busy at first and my clients liked a few of their games a lot, however, with the exaggerated, erroneous math model, seemed like I was on the losing-end, every day. They give a great sales pitch, but in the end, I was very happy to rid myself of their software. Now we are using Gateway and we're making money and are happy.