Expiring points

Hi, just wondering if there is any way of knowing that our points are about to expire. I often have points expire, and if they knew they were going to expire, I’d make an effort to use them before their expiry date.

The only way I know is to have a look at your Accounts page to see roughly when you got which points and from there do a bit of maths.

At the moment we don’t have any system to inform you when points will expire, but as SanneT says you can more or less see on the Points page.
As long as you’re somewhat active you shouldn’t have any issues with points expiring.

Actually this is definitely a real problem that LingQ finds hard to face up to…and as a result LingQ has lost many active members. I started tutoring on April 22 this year and two of the LingQ representatives, one an administrator and one responsible for payments refused even to confirm that my points would expire on the 20 July…so even when you know when you first started collecting points, the LingQ response is: “Sorry we can’t tell you”…or worse still emails are just left without any response whatsoever. It’s a pity to be so off-putting to people who are so dedicated, conscientious and hard-working, and so willing to put themselves out, giving lessons at inopportune times to accommodate others half way around the world…but there you go!

LingQ won’t face up to the problem and members just resign themselves to their fate and some of them just give up!

If a program can calculate when points expire then it would be easy to send every member one month in advance an email with a message about the points thst will expire. But in my thinking LingQ is not very interested to do this. I am also quite disappointed about the points expiration issue, and stopped tutoring, stopped creating lessons, and I think I will not extend my paying membership.

@Maria___ - We make sure to answer all emails that come to LingQ Support. When did you send the email that received no response? It isn’t quite as easy as saying “Your points will expire on ____”, since points earned on different days expire on different days. We don’t try and hide this information, but in most cases the users can calculate this just as easily as we can, since the information is displayed on the Points page.

@hape - Regarding the issue of points expiring, LingQ functions as a community. There are tutors, content providers and students. Some people fill all three roles, some only fill one.
All of the points that expire are recycled into the system and awarded to content providers. The fact is, we can’t pay for content that we provide for free. There are many members who have benefited from expired points through the Provider Awards given out every month. The points expiration system is what allows us to do this, and without it there would be nothing to give to people, like VeraI, Solena, alsuvi + berta, SanneT and many others, hape included.

We understand that some users may not be in favor of this, but the system has worked very well to keep a steady flow of content coming in with the incentive of receiving some bonus points at the end of the month.

Alex, I very specifically requested follow-up information on the 6 July as a follow-up to a previous mail which lacked a specific reply to my very specific question:

(a) “What is the date of expiry given that the first date is 22 April. Is this Wednesday 20 July or some other date?
Could you please confirm the final date?”

To which Kindrey Kaufmann replied:

“Hi Maria,
I have no way of calculating the exact date of your expiration. If 90 days from your first day-April 22 is July 20, than [sic!] that is the expiration of your first set of points.”

(b) Additionally, as regards the mail that went without a reply; Kindrey never replied to the mail sent on July 11, which almost two weeks ago, merely issuing payment without ever confirming that she would do so.

What I can’t understand is…

Points expire on Lingq to make people use them and prevent them from hoarding them. Why then aren’t we able to see clearly how many points are going to expire at the end of the month?. That way people would know and do something with them, and that’s what Lingq wants. That’s why points expire.

I’m not asking for an email, just to see clearly somewhere on the points page how many points will expire next month. Most people won’t really care, but many will benefit and request more tutorings.

Now, you have to keep up a spreadsheet to know exactly how many points are going to expire.

@Maria___ - To clarify, Kindrey is Mark’s wife, but she is not an administrator of the site. In addition, she has been on vacation for the last month, which would also help to explain the delay in her response to your email. I apologize for any trouble that this may have caused. In the future, it is best to deal either with LingQ Support or an administrator of the site (steve, mark, or myself).

I revisited the email exchange that took place last month when you initially asked about points expiration and how you could exchange points into cash. I responded to you with approximately the same explanation as Kindrey did, but no reply was received at LingQ Support except a thank you message.

@berta - We want to make sure that both tutors and content providers are compensated for their work at LingQ. We feel that content providers also deserve to be paid for their time and effort spent in creating much of the content that is on LingQ. It is difficult for us to pay providers for content that we provide for free, so points expiration is a system that allows us to do that.

Ok alex thank you for your response, now I understand.

Alex, I assure you it is not because Kindrey was on vacation that she did not respond to the mail sent on 11 July. I sent a first mail to her in June, where she took a week to reply explaining that she had been on holiday with her family.

She replied to the mail of the 6 July promptly on the same day, within hours of receiving it.

She never replied to the mail sent to her on 11 July, although payment was issued on 14 July. Which means she could have replied to my email on the 14 July but didn’t.

I must admit I did feel confused by your reply to me in June where you took the 19 March -19 June as an example when I mentioned that I had my first conversation on 22 April and was requesting confirmation of the expiry date already then.

I will reiterate: it is a pity to be so off-putting to people who dedicate themselves and put themselves out so much.

Again, I apologize for the trouble this has caused you.

If you need any questions answered in the future, please don’t hesitate to send an email to LingQ Support or post here on the forum.


I think these kinds of misunderstandings are best handled directly with the people involved, and not on the Forum in front of people, like me, who do not understand what you are talking about.

I know that LingQ personnel, all of our personnel, including Kindrey, reply promptly if they are available. There is, however, no set turn around time for response to emails. We are not a large company and people do travel and have other commitments.

Furthermore, the fact that Kindrey is Mark’s wife is no more relevant than the fact that I am Mark’s dad. In fact she is the person to talk to about these payment issues, and I suggest you send her an email, since she has now returned home. I just picked up the whole family at the airport.

@Maria - I’m not sure what you are complaining about. Kindrey already replied to you and explained that points expire 90 days after you get them. It should then be pretty obvious that points received on April 22, if unused, will expire 90 days later roughly the 20th of July. You then asked her to be paid out which you were. What’s the problem?

Also, what makes you state with such authority that our points policy has lost us “many active members”? There are those who don’t like it and are welcome not to participate. Otherwise, the system works well. There are reasons why the policy is the way it is and we are happy with it.

People are buying and earning points at different times during a month or period of time. It is not a trivial matter to set up a system to advise people each time a batch of points is going to expire. We do not consider building such a system to be a priority. We think that most people are able to track their points on their own.

I can assure you that we have many items on our todo list. Many may seem trivial, but they always end up taking longer than we think.

I’ve considered downgrading ever since I started losing a lot of points (and having more and more problems with the flashcards). The other week I had to renew my VISA card, something which resulted in a new card number which in turn resulted in a payment failure, so now my account has been downgraded to Free. Problem “solved”.

I will still use this forum, but have definitely quit tutoring and creating lessons.

Jeff, that is a dreadful shame. You have provided us with such a lot of material and support. As it is your decision to make, I shall not ask you to reconsider (but I’ll miss your help dreadfully, even if I am only an erratic learner).

I agree with Susanne. I haven’t learnt any Swedish lately, but I think it’s a shame, too…

Let’s look at this whole issue a little more carefully.

For most people there are three sources of points.

  1. points are purchased for the purpose of talking to a tutor, or sending in writing for correction.

Comment: It is best not to buy more points than we plan to use in the next 3 months.

  1. points are earned by tutoring or correcting writing

After each writing correction or tutoring session, we should plan to use the services of a tutor. We have 3 months to do so. Many of our tutors are not as busy as we would like. We know from experience that without any expiry date, points often get hoarded and are not used. We want to encourage people to use our tutors. It is in the interest of the tutors. This way they, in turn, can earn more points from tutoring. They only need to remember to use them.

Tutors also have the opportunity to convert these points to cash if they accumulate enough points. We prefer that points get spent on other tutors, however. We feel this is better for the community, including the tutors.

  1. points are earned from shared lessons.

I would guess that for most people who lose points, including Jeff, this is the main source of their points. So the expired points system is the only way they are able to earn points from shared content, unless they choose to sell their lessons. We will be offering lessons for sale, but have no idea if people are willing to pay.

As for the issue of sending a regular notice a few days before expiry of each batch of points, i.e. “you are going to lose 150, points” “you are going to lose 300 points”, there are a number of problems;

First , I find it difficult to believe a person who has not used these points for 3 months, will suddenly use them in two days, or ten days.

Second, no matter how early the notice, we will get complaints that the notice was not early enough to find a way to use them, that no tutors were available etc.

Third, this is yet another task for our programmers, probably not a small task. It is not high on our list. I do not think that it would change the fact that people will be unhappy to lose points. So the only solution is to make sure you use them.

We would like to see points used, and have implemented the “request” a tutor, and “online” buttons (we are working out the glitches) in order to make it easier for people to find tutors and use them.

With regard to payment problems, these do occur from time to time, and are usually, although not always, a problem with Paypal. We can look into these things if we are notified.

If points were uncashable we wouldn’t have to have this debate. In this case points would never expire, LingQ could print as many points as it likes, still wouldn’t have to pay for content and the Lingq treasury wouldn’t have to wag its finger at these immoral point hoarders and tax them. I am not sure that tutors would be less willing to offer their services if they are only compensated in “Lingq dollars” as opposed to the soon defunct US dollar.