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Update 6/3

 
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  #1  
Old
Affiliate Network Rep
Join Date: January 17th, 2005
Posts: 352
Update 6/3

Hi all -

Here are some updates to questions that have been posted here:

What is the schedule of monthly payments?
Following each month, payments that are due are included in the affiliate statements sent to merchants. For example, February payments due were included in the March statements to merchants. When we are paid by the merchants, affiliates get their payment in the next payment run, which we do twice a month.

Payment Delays
Some have suggested that we are six weeks behind in payments or that checks are bouncing. Neither is true. LinkShare pays upon collection, and has 30 day payment terms. If you were unverified at first, yes, that held up some payments. But we quickly resolved those issues and added additional payment runs. The backlog is now cleared up. It took a couple weeks to work that out, and I have said more than once that I am sorry. Of course, if a merchant has not yet paid LinkShare, a check will not yet have been cut to their affiliates. Thatís not a new fact to any of you. It has nothing to do with registration or validation. Those who are trying to link the two are mistaken. Finally, the claim that LinkShare is bouncing checks is utterly untrue. This company has never in its history written a bad check.

When are Q4 2004 LinkShare Club bonuses being paid?
The Q4 bonuses for the LinkShare Club program were added to the April affiliate statements due from the merchants. Merchants have asked us to calculate bonuses earned taking into account adjustments and returns, for which we allow 75 days. Most merchants have 90 day return policies, but we have asked that they shave off two weeks to get you paid faster. In the FAQ for each quarterly promotion, you can see when we expect bonuses to be paid (see linkshareclub.com/badabing_faq.html#whencheck). So, when we are paid by the merchants for April, affiliates will get their bonus payment in the next payment run, which we do twice a month.

Iíll continue to keep you updated as soon as I have more information to share.

Best regards,
Stephen
  #2  
Old
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Join Date: January 18th, 2005
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You say the backlog is now cleared up - but some of us STILL have not received a check who are due to get one.

I still can't get my S-Corp verified either.
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  #3  
Old
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Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Location: Affiliateville, USA
Posts: 7,927
Okay, Mr. Messer, let me make this VERY CLEAR to you. I appreciate your PM to me this morning saying my personal PM's and emails have not been clear, but I have dozens of posts here that have detailed why I am upset and I've seen you and Noxid both reading them. I should have been paid six weeks ago! I should not have to explain why. Your staff only has to look at my history of payments to see something was clearly wrong. If your company screwed up because of a faulty verification system, then I should not have had to wait six weeks because of that either.

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Quote:
Some have suggested that we are six weeks behind in payments or that checks are bouncing. Neither is true.
Now, regarding your post above...it will indeed be six weeks from the time I would usually have gotten my check from at least one merchant at LinkShare, so don't tell us it is simply not true. Let's use a real life example, since you want me to be more clear. In the past I would have receive a check for commissions the fourth week of the month following the month earned for Sierra Trading Post. In this case, I should have received a check the last week of April for March commissions. It is now the first week of June and my check is still not in my PO box (but supposedly mailed). Let's see, one, two, three, four, five, yep, six weeks later that I should have gotten it.

Merchants are telling me they are not happy about the delays either. For example, here is a quote from one that I got regarding payments:

Quote:
They [LS] mentioned to me awhile back that b/c we pay our bills as soon as possible, our affiliates will receive the payments a couple of weeks later than they usually do for one payment period only (when the consolidated payment system is first launched), but it wasn't supposed to take 2 months... For the merchants who usually pay later, LS said, their affiliates should actually receive their payments sooner than usual.
Okay, Mr. Messer, is this clear enough for you? Even merchants feel they have not been given accurate information in this area.
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  #4  
Old
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Join Date: January 17th, 2005
Posts: 352
Ron,

The consolidated payment went into effect for the march period which ends at the end of the month. There are net thirty day payments terms which at best brings payment at the start of May (add a few days for a merchants check to clear). So any payment even if it was not paid by today could still never be six weeks late as you keep claiming. Any payments for months prior to March had nothing to do with Athena and went out as normal so I have no idea what you are talking about.

If you had been verified in that first week, then you got paid as normal, which a large number of affiliates did. We made a set of changed each subsequent week and each change was followed up with another payment. So at this point the vast majority of people has been paid or should expect payment. I am sorry that some people had problems with Athena, and that this caused them to be delayed but using false claims does not help.

At this point all the payments are out and checks should be arriving daily. Athena has done its job very well and we continue to verify large numbers of affiliates daily. The remaining ones that are unverified which we are temporarily letting in will be addressed soon and then this will all be behind us. In a similar way to when we launched the image challenge, the initial change has caused some unforeseen problems but we worked quickly to fix them and now the risks that existed before have been addressed. I am truly sorry for problems that you all have had, but Athena will address many more issues that have been affecting the affiliate marketing world for a long time that everyone else has chosen to ignore. Progress can be painful, but at least we are trying to fix these issues. The easier thing for us to do is nothing but that won't fix the other problems that i see posted here often that everyone claims are so important to them. Today you may not see it because you may be angry, but this step is important in the long run.

Stephen
  #5  
Old
Full Member
Join Date: January 17th, 2005
Posts: 477
Stephen,

Any update as to whether there will be a report equivalent to the "Payment History Report"?

marcelle
  #6  
Old
The Thin White Duke
Join Date: April 22nd, 2005
Posts: 329
Also an update on the Change Payable To functionality would be useful.
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  #7  
Old
15 years and counting
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Posts: 6,121
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Quote:
smesser - using false claims does not help.
Quote:
smesser - Athena has done its job very well.
Just tell us, Who is using false claims?
  #8  
Old
ABW Ambassador
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Location: Affiliateville, USA
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I give up! You are still trying to bend your story to make is sound like I am not six weeks late, had there been no Athena. Looking at my bank deposits for last year, it is very clear to me when I got paid!

Okay then, let's look at it from a different angle, using the new goddess Athena method. STP paid you the first week of May (a tad bit late, but due to your new Athena billing late). It still took four weeks to pay me from the time you receive my merchants payment. The point is, that was simply too long to be holding my money or any affiliates money. It means I don't get paid until June for commissions earned in March.

Okay, you win Mr. Messer. I give up. I'm tired of playing word games with you. Obviously you are a better player at this than I am. I'm off to build a site for BoatersWorld at BeFree right now. Not any new sites at LinkShare, that is for sure.
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Last edited by Ron Bechdolt; June 3rd, 2005 at 10:33 AM.
  #9  
Old
Affiliate Network Rep
Join Date: January 17th, 2005
Posts: 352
I will work on an update to the following questions. Zeus, I am not sure what you are referring to. We have validated a large percent of our partners and we will allow all the merchants to see who was and who was not validated shortly. The remaining group we are working on solutions to their unique issues. While there are a few remaining groups to validate, the majority are complete so what are you inferring to?

Stephen

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeus
Just tell us, Who is using false claims?
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  #10  
Old
Moderator
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
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Stephen,

Merchants like Overstock and NetMagazines.com pay very quickly. Under the old system, it was not unusual to get our payments by about the 18th of the month after the commissions were earned. In this case, March payment should have been received around 4/18. Six weeks from 4/18 is 5/30. Most people didn't receive their first check by 5/30, so six weeks is pretty close.

Some examples of quick payments with the old system:

September NetMagazines.com commissions: 10/13/04
September Overstock.com commissions: 10/13/04
November Overstock.com commissions: 12/17/04
December AllZines.com commissions: 1/18/05
December Overstock.com commissions: 1/19/05
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  #11  
Old
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Michael,

THANK YOU!!! I was starting to think maybe it was only me that was seeing this. For me, all of my merchants pay on time so it is an obvious delay in payments.
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  #12  
Old
Affiliate Network Rep
Join Date: January 17th, 2005
Posts: 352
Michael,

In the new consolidation, if a merchant where to pay early and before one of our two mnthly payments they would get in that earlier batch. Thus an affiliate can get paid early for early pay merchants still. So that is not necessarily true as some of you have already seen some april payments in the last batch.

Stephen
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  #13  
Old
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Join Date: January 17th, 2005
Posts: 352
Ron,

I am sorry that the facts just did not support your claims and now that I am clearing up the facts in the same manner in which you made these accusations (the message boards) you will not address them. When you make false claims like Linkshare has bounced checks and are six weeks paying or insinuate and post on other boards that we may be going chapter 11 you should be prepared to defend them. You seem to be ok sending letters with many false and misrepresented facts to our merchants and posting those claims on these boards, but when I bring those facts to the boards you refuse to deal with it. I had tried to deal with you in a private so as to avoid having to do this here but you have chosen to continue. Your checks are on their way or for all I know you already have them. It is just a shame that you have to make such claims publicly that misrepresent the facts.

Stephen
  #14  
Old
Web Ho - Design B!tch
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,040
Also, was the last batch of payments ACTUALLY mailed out the 31st of May like you said they would?

I still haven't received a check and I am verified and according to the horrid new reporting system I was issued a check in the last batch.
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  #15  
Old
Affiliate Network Rep
Join Date: January 17th, 2005
Posts: 352
Michelle,

I have been told the they have all been mailed out, but I will confirm this for my next update.

Steve
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  #16  
Old
ABW Ambassador
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
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Hmmm, I'm going to have to go back and read about any comments I made about bounced checks (I think that was someone else) and the information I sent to merchants was all facts, no fiction. I posted it all here also and others verified them as accuate.

I think YOU should be careful about false claims.

Okay, that is the final straw. I've had it with Linkshare and Mr. Messer. I don't need to be treated this way.
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  #17  
Old
Member
Join Date: February 23rd, 2005
Posts: 77
Mr Messer, I think most people in this forum know the side using false claims very well.
Please don't attempt to defend your company and Athena fiasco to us. Enough for that!!! Please just address the common concerns we have. Thanks.
  #18  
Old
Moderator
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Location: Mansfield, TX
Posts: 16,105
Stephen,

The claim about a bounced check was from this post:

http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=58236

There are many reasons a check might not be honored. There was a batch of Lands' End checks (cut by Linkshare) that were for the wrong amount and a stop payment was placed on them, which caused them to bounce.

The check in the referenced post was for Lane Bryant, so it wasn't part of the Lands' End problem. There's been no followup, so we don't know why the check wasn't honored.
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  #19  
Old
Affiliate Network Rep
Join Date: January 17th, 2005
Posts: 352
Micheal,

If it was from a different post then I appologize to Ron and the board. The post that I had heard it was reffering to is the LE one. That being said there where many other claims (such as the six weeks late) that still warranted my response.

Stephen
  #20  
Old
15 years and counting
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
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Quote:
smesser - While there are a few remaining groups to validate, the majority are complete so what are you inferring to?
I'm seing bad actors validated after Athena and I know some legitimate affiliates are still waiting for their verification. I don't have an exact count but the word the majority is not appropriate.
  #21  
Old
Moderator
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smesser
When are Q4 2004 LinkShare Club bonuses being paid?
The Q4 bonuses for the LinkShare Club program were added to the April affiliate statements due from the merchants.
Stephen, the FAQ said that we would receive the Q4 payments by 4/15/05. I know I received one in my "5/17" consolidated check, which was mailed on 5/26/05. I may still have others from Q4 outstanding, but I haven't checked.
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  #22  
Old
Full Member
Join Date: January 17th, 2005
Posts: 429
I understand completely Why 7-days says his March payment(s) are 6 weeks late.

Here's the breakdown & example, we will use Overstock since I'm familiar with their previous payment history:

Old payment system:
* L/S billed Merchants -- O/S for March Commissions on April 7/8 2005
* Overstock Pays L/S for the Invoice by April 15 (usually) -- EVEN Though
there is a 30 day net ... this Merchant pays L/S fast.
* L/S cuts Affiliate checks (usually) by April 22 within 7 days at the most 10
and mails them.
* Affiliates have O/S March commissions by the April 26 or 27 2005.

New Payment System ...

* L/S billed Merchants -- O/S for March Commissions on April 7/8 2005
* Overstock Pays L/S for the Invoice by April 15 (usually) -- EVEN Though
there is a 30 day net ... this Merchant pays L/S fast.

** Here's the change ... L/S issues O/S Validated affiliates checks 5/9/2005 and
Mails them 5/12/2005 --Only Validated Affiliates get paid.

With the "New Payment System" The checks are going out for the "validated" affiliates 2 Weeks later than normal.

AND, for 7-days & Many, Many other affiliates, because he was "validated" then "unvalidated" he has Still not received a Check -- This IS 6 weeks Later than normal (should have been April 26-27 2005) with the Old System.

The New system holds our commissions from Merchants that pay L/S Fast an additional 2 weeks.

Now do you understand that 7-Days IS Not making "false claims" That he Indeed Should have been paid by the End of April for Specific Fast paying Merchants?

Edited to add: Michael Was much less wordy in his Explanation
  #23  
Old
Affiliate Network Rep
Join Date: January 17th, 2005
Posts: 352
Zeus,

Since we made the decision to let unverified players in you will still see some potentially bad actors getting in, however we are going to provide you with a view of who is and who is not verified at the payment stage so you can make a better call on who to pay and who to invesitgate further. Also as the verificaiton is still only US based we will have some players who might try to get in through a foriegn means. I would suggest using our country filter to limit that risk.

As for good players not getting verified, that is why we made the change to let people in. We will have some additoinal ways to verify them soon based on what we have learned. But from the stats we have done a much better job then what volume of the board would lead you to believe.

Steve
  #24  
Old
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Join Date: January 18th, 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smesser
That being said there where many other claims (such as the six weeks late) that still warranted my response.
Stephen, I still think the six weeks late is a valid complaint. Not on an ongoing basis, but on the initial implementation. We should have received Overstock.com payments for March by mid-April, but most of us didn't get them until the end of May. That's six weeks.

Ongoing, I think things will be better, but it's been a painful process (and one that many are still not through).
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  #25  
Old
2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner 
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Location: St Clair Shores MI.
Posts: 17,328
According to the Athena SynergyAnalytics payment report I'll be receiving the April commissions from Overstock and Sierra Trading Co, plus a few other small amounts from misc merchants. For years I've showcased only quick pay LS merchants judging them from the "payment history" report as quick pay merchants are basically pro-affiliate merchants. I've not received the 25th run check yet (mail just came) to see if the SynergyAnalytics report was wrong on the check amount and included the March consolidated totals.

Any organization should be able to clear the oldest payment due balance first. Hope your payment system is not dropping some affiliates out of the March consolidated totals as that would be the largest payable considering it cover from March back a few years on smaller balances. No doubt this will be cleared up in future check runs as we are a persistant lot if nothing else. I kinda miss not deposting my Overstock March and April commission checks as they were in my mailbox by the 25th of the following month for 5 years.

I guess I'll just reflect on Deadwood's Big Al take on these temporary set backs.... Like all bad things ..this too will pass! I think he was having kidney stone problems that equaled Athena problems. Ouch!
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