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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
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    Magazines.com Tracking Problems
    Does anyone here promote Magazines.com? Or are there known problems with them?

    We ran a magazine contest late in February on my loyalty site. In the last two weeks, we have had almost TWENTY members submit trouble tickets that they did not get their credits.

    We verified in the reports that we did not get credit for any of them. We verified in our system that the members did click on our links. Then we verified in Linkshare through the click reports that unique clicks were generated by each said member on each date that they gave us sales confirmations for.

    We contacted Magazines.com and they basically told us that since Linkshare didn't track the orders, they don't owe us the money. They did NOT find that other affiliates were given the credits, so it's not a case of parasites. Linkshare/Magazines.com just simply didn't track the orders. These are members who shop through us and get credits all the time--so they have cookies enabled, they don't have toolbars, etc.

    This was a REALLY big number of orders for us. We're a small site. Missing 20 orders from one merchant in that time span is hundreds of dollars in commissions. And it was about 50% of the orders that were placed.

    Supposedly, Magazines.com is going to give us SOME of the commissions, but they gave us a stern warning that they will never do it again. And because we have had a lot more disputes filed since they agreed to give us the initial credits (which they haven't), I doubt that we will get the credits on a lot of them--if we get any of them.

    Obviously, it's a lesson learned not to deal with them anymore (especially since we have a new SAS magazine merchant to work with). But the bottom line is--how many sales are other affiliates missing out on because Linkshare or Magazines.com (I don't even know which) just isn't "tracking" them? And how can they just blame it on me as an affiliate when clearly there is something wrong on their end?
    --Tricia Meyer-- I love being the exception to the rule.

    Tricia Meyer | Helping Moms Connect | Wine Club Reviews and Ratings | Hunger Games Fan

  2. #2
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    If Linkshare tracked the clicks, it is 100% the merchant's responsibility to track the sales. If the merchant says they are going to give you some of the commissions, they are fully aware of a tracking problem but aren't owning up to it.

    While my experience with Linkshare Support has typically been poor, I still think you should provide all of the details in an email to them. After all, Linkshare isn't being paid on those sales either.

    Since magazine programs are a dime a dozen, I wouldn't do business with them.

  3. #3
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    did you use the missing transaction inquiry tool available in LS. that is the best way to do this.

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager Howard Gottlieb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skishore2006
    did you use the missing transaction inquiry tool available in LS. that is the best way to do this.
    Without getting into numbers let me say we run a ton of transactions through Linkshare and I HAVE NEVER gotten a response using their transaction inquiry tool.

    We had tried it quite a few times but typically have to go directly to the merchants AM for a response.
    I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die
    to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there
    isn't and die to find out there is.

  5. #5
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    I use that tool all the time, and find lots of approved transactions. if i have one sitting for a while with no response, i then email the AM and remind them. if i meet them at an event, and they want to do more with me, i politely remind them that there are un answered missing transaction, and i won't promote merchants that don't answer. that's effective

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
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    We started off by using the tool and either got negative responses or no response. Because there were so many problems in such a short time, we decided to contact the AM directly and just give her a spreadsheet with the details of all of the orders.

    Unfortunately, we heard back from her this morning that she considers this to be our problem or Linkshare's problem and is not willing to give us the credits that we are owed. I contacted Linkshare and got the standard email response. So I have now emailed the next level of Linkshare support and am waiting to get a response from them. I just have a REALLY hard time believing that the clicks for all of these members can be showing up in Linkshare for the dates in question but that every one of them deleted their cookies before making the purchases. What are the chances?
    --Tricia Meyer-- I love being the exception to the rule.

    Tricia Meyer | Helping Moms Connect | Wine Club Reviews and Ratings | Hunger Games Fan

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
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    Update: We did get credit for the first set of orders that we sent to Magazines.com, but they have said that I need to take up the rest of them with Linkshare. So I filed all of the appropriate emails with Linkshare only to get a response that told me that I need to file the disputes with the merchant (after I explained that the merchant told me it was out of her hands).

    So it looks like no one is going to be investigating the tracking issue any further. I'm going to pull them from my site and just promote MagazineDiscountCenter.
    --Tricia Meyer-- I love being the exception to the rule.

    Tricia Meyer | Helping Moms Connect | Wine Club Reviews and Ratings | Hunger Games Fan

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager Howard Gottlieb's Avatar
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    Were the impressions and click throughs showing up in your Linkshare Sales & Activity Report? Just not the sales?
    I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die
    to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there
    isn't and die to find out there is.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by visitourmall
    Were the impressions and click throughs showing up in your Linkshare Sales & Activity Report? Just not the sales?
    Yes. Because we general the u1 field through our script, we can actually see our members' userids showing up in the clickthrough report. We verified every click to match up with every email confirmation we got. The interesting thing is that NO affiliate got the commission. So it is not the case that our cookie got overwritten. The best guess that the magazines.com affiliate manager had was that the members all clicked on the links using one computer and then made their purchases that day using a different computer. I don't find that to be possible.
    --Tricia Meyer-- I love being the exception to the rule.

    Tricia Meyer | Helping Moms Connect | Wine Club Reviews and Ratings | Hunger Games Fan

  10. #10
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by helpingmoms
    The best guess that the magazines.com affiliate manager had was that the members all clicked on the links using one computer and then made their purchases that day using a different computer. I don't find that to be possible.
    PURE HORSEHOCKEY!!!

    A week later, any update or more passing the buck / excuses / non credit?
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haiko de Poel, Jr.
    PURE HORSEHOCKEY!!!

    A week later, any update or more passing the buck / excuses / non credit?
    I'm a little leery of posting again because Magazines.com has made it clear to us that they do not want us posting about this matter here anymore. But since you asked....

    Magazines.com told us to take the remainder of the sales up with Linkshare. Linkshare told us to file transaction disputes on all of them. We did and I emailed Linkshare back to tell them that the ball is in their court. One of the transactions was still denied as not coming through our links, even though I can point to the exact click. The rest are in "Unresolved" status. I'll have to wait for Linkshare to respond now and see if they are going to investigate the remaining sales. If they do not, we'll just be out of luck.
    --Tricia Meyer-- I love being the exception to the rule.

    Tricia Meyer | Helping Moms Connect | Wine Club Reviews and Ratings | Hunger Games Fan

  12. #12
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    No need to be leery - the truth is never wrong

    Of course they [magazines.com] wants the black eye gone, but that is easy, work with LS to credit the sales accordingly.

    Thank you for the update especially with the added pressure from magazines.com
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
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    Try another magazine merchant on Linkshare - I assure you it's the merchant, and not LS.

  14. #14
    Affiliate Manager Howard Gottlieb's Avatar
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    Are there any Magazines.com affiliates who feel like their sales have been accurately reported this past 30 days?
    I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die
    to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there
    isn't and die to find out there is.

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by visitourmall
    Are there any Magazines.com affiliates who feel like their sales have been accurately reported this past 30 days?
    I did get one PM from a non-loyalty site affiliate who said that they had not seen a change in theirs.
    --Tricia Meyer-- I love being the exception to the rule.

    Tricia Meyer | Helping Moms Connect | Wine Club Reviews and Ratings | Hunger Games Fan

  16. #16
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    If Linkshare tracked the clicks, it is 100% the merchant's responsibility to track the sales.
    100% !

    After the click through all tracking is captured by the merchant, it is then reported by batch file by the merchant to LinkShare. Your site users obviously did click through and so the LinkShare link did work, therefore :

    a - The merchant is responsible for capturing the tracking data

    b - The merchant is responsible for reporting that data to LinkShare

    Even in the case that the reporting tool was "down" for any length of time, the fact remains that the data still exists with the merchant.

    Cheers

    Chris
    Affiliate Marketing by AMWSO. Skype - chrissanderson ::: TEL 1-720-336-1784 ::: www.amwso.net
    Join our affiliate programs :Vaper Empire, Iolo, Art of Tea, or See ALL our Programs here

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
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    Another update on this. I got an email from someone at Linkshare last Thursday asking if they could see the links that I was using. I sent them to the (now defunct) page and haven't heard back yet.
    --Tricia Meyer-- I love being the exception to the rule.

    Tricia Meyer | Helping Moms Connect | Wine Club Reviews and Ratings | Hunger Games Fan

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
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    Looks like we are at a standstill with Linkshare, but Magazines.com did offer to give us the remainder of the credits.
    --Tricia Meyer-- I love being the exception to the rule.

    Tricia Meyer | Helping Moms Connect | Wine Club Reviews and Ratings | Hunger Games Fan

  19. #19
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    I would suspect that's because Linkshare basically told them they had to. Wouldn't you think? Why else would they have such a change of course?

    While I often find great fault in Linkshare's listing of Premium Merchants, I suspect that Magazines.com doesn't want to lose that designation.

  20. #20
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    February looked fine to me, but I had a substantial drop in conversions from 3/4 through 3/25. During that time, my conversions were 40% of what they typically are. Everything has looked fine up through 3/3 and since 3/26 for me.
    Michael Coley
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    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
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    Michael - Do you see substantial differences in conversion rates between different magazine sites, or is it just based on price points?

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