Is bUnited legit? Imagine you could make money just from referring your friends to sign-up to a website for free. Most of us would immediately discard this as scam. After all, the world is not such a nice place and money does not fall from the sky.
However, by labelling everything that seems too good to be true as a scam, we are limiting our own earning potential and possibilities. A year ago, I would have thought matched betting was a scam but now I am consistently making £500+ a month from it. Therefore, I decided to be open-minded and investigate this offer.
If you are interested in building a sustainable extra income of £1,000+ per month, one of these side hustles may be more appropriate for you.
To ensure Monethalia remains free of charge, this post contains affiliate links.
Is bUnited legit or scam?
What does bUnited promise?
bUnited promises its members three things:
- Generous friend referral bonuses
- Getting companies to produce more sustainable
- Discounts on various things
As a biologist, I was intrigued by the second point but I recognise that most people are interested in bUnited as a tool to generate money. This works by taking advantage of the friend referral bonus. You are not only paid for the friends you refer but also for the friends your friends refer. As you can imagine, this escalates quite quickly.
Assuming a realistic number of five friends referred who each also refer five friends, you would make a stunning $39,050 (roughly £30,000). So yes, bUnited promises you £30,000 for little effort. And you could make much more if you refer more friends.
The only catch, according to bUnited, is that you will not get paid immediately. Apparently, the first payments are likely to made later this year but obtaining the whole sum may take a few years. Still, the pay rate for referring a few friends is very good, even if they only pay out a fraction of the promised amount in the near future.
Friend referral bonuses are common
There is a myriad of companies that pay you for referring friends. Topcashback, for example, pays £7 per friend. Monzo pays £5. Most pages also give the referee a bonus e.g. £5 with Topcashback, £5 with Monzo. These are just two examples of legitimate companies.
Friend referral bonuses are a highly effective marketing strategy because everyone involved benefits: the referrer obtains a bonus, the company has a new client and the referee either also gets a bonus or at least has the possibility to refer their own friends. Hence, there is nothing scammy about this concept (although that does not mean such a bonus is always genuine).
Who is bUnited?
When I researched bUnited, I found it hard to obtain information about the company. There are plenty of reviews but the vast majority just throw their referral link at you. I needed more information so I dove further. Here is what I found:
Staff of bUnited
bUnited is surprisingly transparent of who their staff is. As you can see in the picture below, bUnited was founded by Jim Jorgensen, Johannes Pohle, and Ozan Taner. Jim Jorgensen appears to be a really successful guy with over 25 enterprises. Johannes Pohle also officially associates himself with bUnited. I could not confirm Ozan Taner’s involvement but at the very least, he is on LinkedIn.
bUnited Facebook page
bUnited has as an active Facebook page with over a million likes. Here, they appear to make an effort to answer member questions. All their posts are in line with the company’s goal of protecting the environment and do not come across as spammy or outright scam.
Partnerships of bUnited
On their website, bUnited states that they have partnered with Vodafone. However, I found little evidence for this from independent sources. So I researched further and found out that in Germany, bUnited has partnered with Deutsche Telekom, one of the world’s leading integrated telecommunications companies. And there are actually news articles. Deutsche Telekom even has a shop exclusively for bUnited members (though there are no offers currently).
All in all, there is strong evidence that they are a real organisation.
What does bUnited do?
bUnited offers a video that explains what they are up to:
Essentially bUnited plans to be a consumer group that negotiates better deals for its members. According to their website, members will benefit by saving 20% to 30% on things they are already buying on top of the very generous friend referral bonus. Apparently, this will make companies become more sustainable.
The first part sounds plausible and easy to understand. Get a big group of people and demand cheaper prices. The second part I was not so sure of. Surely by forcing companies to sell at cheaper prices would make them produce less sustainably?
The rationale of bUnited is that customers vote with their money. By choosing to buy only from companies producing sustainably, companies producing unsustainably are forced out of the market. The cheaper prices consumers receive are the result of savings in advertising. Normally, big companies run advertisements on TV, Facebook, Google, etc. However, once they make a deal with bUnited, bUnited will do all advertising for the company. This would not incur great costs as bUnited only has to contact their member base.
Overall, this concept seems to be plausible. The key concern is that having an actual impact on whether companies produce sustainably and have no need to spend money on advertising would require a huge number of members. Here is how many members bUnited thinks they will need:
Looking at the numbers required (figure above), I can understand why bUnited pays people to invite their friends. Overall, 500 million people are 6.5% of the world’s current population (7,708,829,000 people at the time of writing this article). Bearing in mind that only 56% of the world’s population has access to internet (4,316,944,240), bUnited aims to reach 12.6% of all internet users. This is a highly ambitious plan and paying people to refer their friends appears to be the easiest (and possibly only) way to achieve this.
What personal data does bUnited collect?
In terms of data, bUnited has access to your first and last name and email address. You can receive payments via PayPal, PagSeguro, WeChat, Alipay, PayTM, PhonePe, ACH, and SEPA bank transfers. However, currently, there is no field to input any payment details. The good point is that you do not need to enter your bank details at all, as you can simply request payments via Paypal.
While your email address and name alone are valuable information for scammers, I think that at this step, bUnited would ask for concrete bank details if they wanted to scam you. There is little point to set up this whole scheme just to collect an email address and a name. I think the amount of personal data requested is reasonable for what bUnited aims to do.
Is bUnited legit or scam? Signing-up
Method of signing-up
Based on my research, I decided to give bUnited a go and signed up with them.
BUnited gives you three options on how to sign up with them. You can use your Facebook account, your google+account or sign up with your email address. Choosing Facebook, bUnited will gain access to your name, profile picture, and email address.
I chose to sign-up with my email address and I recommend you to do the same, just to be safe. You can even use a throwaway email address if you are in doubt. Just make sure you are able to access this email address as you will be asked to confirm it.
To complete the sign-up, you have to input your first and last name. bUnited states that this information is needed to pay you but I guess they also want to prevent people from making multiple accounts to abuse the bonus system.
You then have to agree to bUnited Terms. I know most of us usually ignore the Terms & Conditions and just tick the box (me included). However, in this case, I have actually read through them and did not spot anything suspicious. (I still recommend you have a look for yourself.) In the next screen, you can input the details of your referer. My member ID is BDRV-9408. If you do decide to sign-up, I would be grateful if you could either use my number or sign-up via my link.
Once signed up, there is actually not much to do. The “Your Account” section is pretty empty. The main feature of this section is your account summary (see image below). In the “Invite Now” section, you can access a few premade invite messages as well as your invite link. There is no space to input bank details or any other payment information.
Is bUnited legit or scam? conclusion
I was skeptical at first as the promise sounded too good to be true. There is also a lack of information on the internet. However, further research revealed that the concept of bUnited appears to be plausible, and they appear to be a real organisation as evidenced by their Facebook page and the German online shop.
bUited also does not aggressively try to obtain your bank details. In fact, bUnited requests access to a lot less personal data than they could.
Although I am not convinced at all that bUnited is going to be successful, there appears to be no harm in signing up. Plus, you have the potential to earn extra money. I could not find anyone who has been paid by bUnited so far, but even if they fail to pay, inviting friends is little effort.
When asked whether bUnited is legit or scam, I have to say that bUnited appears to be a legitimate company and there is no evidence of a scam. It is no secret that I am a bUnited member now and I will also refer my friends to them. If you want to join, here is my link.
It is always good to be a bit skeptical so if you do not feel comfortable signing-up with bUnited, here is a comprehensive list of 100 ways you can make money.
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