Interesting difference of opinions between guys and girls... Girls seem to hate it too, and guys seem to all be "I'm better than thou because I don't give a shit about the xpers". I wonder why the difference? Why the cocky attitudes, guys?
I think it was overall likely a good business decision. They aren't getting paid by their users for access to the website or its features, so giving away free money to users has to be set at manageable limits. Clearly their spreadsheets told them to make some changes.
They'll lose users over this of course. But from a business viewpoint, if you double prices and lose less than half your customer base, the math works out in your favor and it was a good decision
The same principle applies here. And on a website like this, users will be replaced relatively easily, most simply won't care about the changes, and for new users, the new xper cost won't be an issue since they've no past experience to compare it to.
It doesn't make any difference for me, I honestly knew about this giftcards thing 2 weeks ago, plus those giftcards aren't supported in my country so I never used them, and they are only 20 dollars, you may need 1 month to get 5000 Xper points, so even if they didn't raise the points, 20 dollars/month isn't that big deal, you can earn them in 2 hours if you had a job lol.