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AllAdvantage.com at a temporary disadvantage

Since last week, technical problems at the site have hindered customers from getting into their accounts and tallying hours spent online, which equal money for AllAdvantage.com users.

Customers of AllAdvantage.com, an online incentive-to-surf site, may be missing out on some of the company's advantages.

Since last week, technical problems at the site have prevented customers from getting into their accounts and tallying hours spent online, which equal money for AllAdvantage.com users.

When account holders try to access their personalized information, a message reads: "The Web page you have requested requires interaction with our database. Unfortunately, our database is temporarily unavailable.

"This does not affect the security of your data and our operations staff is working around the clock until the problem is solved."

The database problems come as the company prepares for an initial public offering and following a change in the way it pays customers to surf the Web, sparking some discontent with account holders.

AllAdvantage.com, the granddaddy of many sites that pay consumers to surf the Web and view ads, now pays Web users 53 cents per hour vs. the prior 50 cents. However, it has cut the number of hours customers can browse the Web for pay from 25 hours to 15 hours.

For Ray Kopczynski, a Web community developer in Albany, Ore., this means a reduction in his average $30 monthly check from AllAdvantage.com, which also pays him 10 cents per hour for friends he has signed up--as well as the friends they sign up. Kopczynski said he can easily rack up 25 hours on the Web per month.

Gregg Stebben, AllAdvantage's "chief Internet evangelist," said the move won't affect many of the company's customers because they often don't accrue that many hours. AllAdvantage also said on June 1 that it is extending the time it takes to pay customers.

"It will be longer for people to accrue the minimum required to get a check, and that leads me to believe they're having cash problems," Kopczynski said.

For its part, AllAdvantage's Stebben said the two have nothing to do with each other.