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Getting Stiffed On Affiliate Commissions
Posted 16 October 2007 - 12:01 PM
What is the most effective way to get a vendor to pay up?
Posted 16 October 2007 - 11:47 PM
There isn't enough money involved to make that practical.
Posted 17 October 2007 - 06:18 AM
Where you may not like this, I have found it effective a little better than 50% of the time.
I have actually published this information on the website itself. It is unfortunate, but I have found so many Affiliate Programs that ALWAYS give you a hard time when it comes time to paying the affiliate.
I have all our affiliate links (per merchant) run through a single directory no matter how many banners are on the site - in this way it makes it easy to turn someone off from traffic, or, in your instance - where we are not paid, or not paid according to their agreement. On this redirect page I simply state that this company has not paid us according to THEIR terms and re-direct them back to another page in my site or a better Merchant (in our opinion).
It gets quite maddening when you do a great deal of work for Merchants, they generally hold your money awhile (as agreed), and then when it IS time to collect, all you get are excuses, or, as you have also found, they stop responding to you at all. This has been effective, even though it is not my first choice - however, when left with no other options, it has worked.
I simply ask my prospects to make another choice based upon our own experience with that firm.... and they usually do if they trust you (your website).
For everyone's information, even the largest Merchants have played these "keep my money as long as possible" games. This IS a real problem online. If necessary, I state a few facts giving the prospect enough information to make their own decisions. This has upset a few Merchants enough to cough up payment.
HTH - Scott
Posted 17 October 2007 - 01:24 PM
Thanks for the information Scott. Based on it, I'm going let people know about the level of integrity displayed by the vendor and then point them to another product. Then I'm going to send that link to the vendor.
Posted 17 October 2007 - 01:41 PM
Posted 23 November 2007 - 08:27 PM
I wrote several emails to the guy and he ignored all of them.
I put a negative blurb in huge letters on my website about the company and sent them the link a half dozen times - they ignored it and still didn't answer my emails - not one of them.
I put about 5 "Rip Off" posts on their user formum because I couldn't find their affiliate's forum. - They ignored them. But the users got nasty and said they didn't care if the guy didn't pay his bills because they liked his software. One of them even threw a temper tantrum like a spoiled little boy.
Then someone sent me a link to their affiliate's forum and it seems that this guy has been making excuses for NOT paying any commissions for well over a year. There were pages and pages of affiliates complaining about not getting paid.
I saw where another unpaid affiliate had written to the admin on the forum (not the owner) and the admin told him to send him a private email. So I did likewize.
The admin answered me, but made a bunch of stupid excuses for the owner ingoring affiliate emails and not paying commissions. Then he said he was only guessing that his stupid reasons were the real reasons. So I wrote back and asked him to find out specifically why I hadn't been paid. He responded with "I'll look into it and get back to you." I'm still waiting.
The bottom line: The guy is a fake, a phony, and a crook. And I would like to plaster his name all over the Internet and let everyone know what a crook he is.
My lesson: I will never again act as an affiliate for anyone who administers his own affiliate program, because I have NEVER been paid by anyone who holds themselves in this capacity. That being said, I have completely discontinued promoting any of my affiliate sites, including one that consistently ranks at Google #1 & 2 for the top keywords in its industry (article marketing). I'm going to sell it and continue to focus on my main site that has become a serious force in its industry and extremely profitable.
Posted 23 November 2007 - 10:10 PM
I have had some luck with what I called a blacklist and explained how a Merchant was awarded a position on my list (and that they were informed of making my list BEFORE it was put "live").
Your business appears very professional, so be careful. That being said, others should be made aware in order to help them NOT make the same mistake. My blacklist has had some success in getting me paid and responded to when all else failed - but let me say - my page made it to the first page of the search engines... generally right under the offending companys dot com. While it was a last resort (on my part), it has actually worked. Once they find my DO NOT BUY or SCAM title on the first page of the engines with their company name, it was amazing how quickly I heard from someone... and it was usually the owner.
This has its dangers I suppose(?), but after being ripped-off myself by un-ethical Merchants - I almost felt like I was chosen to let others know - and it just so happened to get a response - usually asking what they could do to make it right and take down their name on my blacklist page.
For what it is worth...
Posted 24 November 2007 - 08:54 AM
You have given me a great idea. I'm going to give the admin of the forum a few more days to get back to me and provide the real reason that I haven't been paid. If I don't like the reason I'm going to build a special page on my site to report this crook's rip-off tactics, complete with links into the affiliate forum showing the pages of complaints regarding non-payment.
Then I'm going to post it to Digg, and ask all of my friends to vote for it.
Posted 24 November 2007 - 09:19 AM
Posted 24 November 2007 - 03:45 PM
However, the negative karma was started by someone else and we are the victims of that bad karma and dishonest behavior - this does not necessarily make our reaction negative (no different than hiring that attorney or bill collector). In attempting to help protect others from the same fate is not bad karma (eau contrair), but being vindictive would be, and that is not what I was promoting here.
Honesty and a cool head will prevail and hopefully get the results you seek, or it would not work at all. Sometimes we are simply tools in teaching others some very important lessons. In fact, I have one of the best relationships NOW with a Merchant who had tried to screw me initially... and I prefer to believe that they have stopped that activity with other affiliates as well - that's awesome and effective karma - and now, even good business for everyone else involved - even the originally offending Merchant (I choose to believe that anyway).
Edited by Hyperformance, 25 November 2007 - 12:03 AM.
Posted 25 November 2007 - 04:23 AM
You were a client Alan, and in that respect, you are within your rights to inform others in any attempt at saving them from working with this particular Merchant, certainly in an affiliate capacity. In this case, it is your Merchant who is not caring about their online reputation... in which case, and in my opinion, - needs to be made aware of the weight of such an important issue - based completely on his (their) actions to others which IS a direct reflection of how they choose to do business.. their choosing - Our actions here allow others to make buying or partnering decisions based on real life 3rd party experiences with said firm - or at least to inquire about them before writing a check our signing a contract if they heard or read any negative material.
For their information as well as ours. You have to take responsibility for your actions, so watch yourself and your own reputation, but don't let that hinder your belief to do what is RIGHT using the resources you have available to you. They may change their tune in the future - and hats off to you if your actions had something to do with that - that's a reputation I can live with.
Posted 07 December 2007 - 12:12 AM
I've put up my warnings, but I'm afraid that my warnings to other "would be" affiliates will only be seen by a scant few. But at least a few will be saved the grief.
Well, once again I've learned a lesson. I won't ever represent anyone unless they use a third party management company. Some of you will probably rebuff me for that. But up to this point I have NEVER received a commission from anyone who is managing their own program. There just isn't much integrity out there.
Besides, I have my own products, and they are doing very well. So I'm just focusing on marketing my own stuff.
Posted 07 December 2007 - 06:28 AM
And there's the main reason I won't rebuff you. You've already moved on and sorted out that it's a lot better to have your own deal rather than rely on someone else.
Posted 07 December 2007 - 02:20 PM
You are dead right Randy - I am proud to hear you are a responsible Merchant online... they are hard to find.
I have found and even discussed this in my own article for Affiliates... I suppose it may depend a little on the industry, but the absolute toughest part to being a super-affiliate or affiliate at all, is finding key partners that know what you can do for them and are trustworthy and reliable. This is by far and away the toughest part of being an affiliate at all.
You can't tell the difference just by appearances. Not even by initial support - because they love talking you into signing-up, but when you ask about being paid or something just as important, they ignore you - like you're not doing anything for them... even though every hour of every day you are sending them paying customers... and we (as affiliates) already wait 30, 45 or even 60 days to be paid after the sale was made! It can be infuriating.
I still do not understand why companies will not pay active affiliates? In the long run, they gain many, many sales... and many, many customers. Not to mention all the positive branding you gave that company for as long as you did promote them. They are also benefiting when your cookie attachment runs out and they retain 100% of the future sales...? They got 3 maybe 5 months of sales and maybe keep from you a couple hundred bucks - and actually feel that is worth the loss to their integrity - and it is sooo short sighted (IMO), not to mention unethical and just plain wrong. They made an agreement - and then prove their word is no good.
I have straightened a few out though, and through my writing I am sure I have saved others hundreds of dollars in time and lost money - So if you are an affiliate and DO NOT get paid, Tell someone - there are even online sites that post your reviews for free and they have rankings results for the "BAD" Merchant - This will help run them out of business, or at least have an impact on their ongoing recruiting efforts.
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