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  1. #1
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Wish we didn't have extra FAX step
    Faxing for me is a pain in the neck.

    I don't have a FAX and I don't know where to go other than to a relative's office where I'll have to answer every minute detail about my lifestyle

    Dear {NY STATE Affiliate} -

    As we announced today, our program has updated its terms and conditions to
    address the enacted legislation in New York.

    Prior to once again working with the Domestications® program, we have been asked
    to have you, as a New York resident remote seller, to complete the Affiliate
    Attestation which can be accessed through the following link:
    http://www.Partner Centric .com/Dome...ttestation.pdf

    Please complete, sign and fax to attention Ken Mitchell at 201.272.3450 by
    October 6th. With this document in place, we will be able to once again extend
    you program terms through Commission Junction and bring you to our program.
    The elaborate agreement that another program has asked me to sign [but at least lets me mail] makes it look as if my affiliation with the program is a million dollar maker when that is not the case.

    I wish each network would create an easy one shot agreement each affiliate could click online to make a binding agreement.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador CCBerries's Avatar
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    On the technical side there are a few options that might make things easier.
    If your printer has a scanner you can scan it in after signing. - most places will let you e-mail the signed document instead of faxing.

    If not most pcs are still coming with modem cards (which is really a modem/fax card), on the PC the drivers just let you print to the modem/fax and put in the fax number. (plug into a home phone line as needed...). Sign it in any graphics program...

    There is also a place called myfax dot com that for $10 a month you get incoming and outgoing fax through an e-mail address.


    On the legal side the possibility of the whole 'nexus'/sales tax change has raised some issues: the establishment of legal identity of the affiliate, actual residency, acknowledgment of a major change of terms and so on. Since a merchant could be on the tax hook if a NY affiliate uses a false NJ address or if a NY affiliate does the type of marketing that would trigger the sales tax, the need for merchants (and as a result the networks) to have the physical paper that the lawyers like has come into play. Now that the lawyers are looking at some of the agreements, how the agreements are documented and so on is probably getting reviewed. The lawyers job is to protect their clients, sometimes that’s overprotective, but their job is to plug the legal holes. From the lawyers viewpoint they want to make sure their clients have done their ‘due diligence’ in collecting the business documents, their objective is to reduce the legal exposure in the case of something going wrong.

    As it stands now the documentation to become an affiliate can be less than is needed to hire a nanny. Since the merchants are ‘on the hook’ for affiliate actions they would want to have something solid to put in front of a judge rather than ‘our database says they clicked off a box’.

    As a worse case sample :If an affiliate is ever traced back to actual organized crime or as a funding source for terrorism you should expect all the requirements to get tightened down, because no merchant is going to want to see themselves on the news with a tie in to those types of originations. That's the worst case, there are a lot of other things that could go wrong and the networks/mershants are just trying to protect themselves.

    It’s a lot less intrusive if the network gathers the information rather than each merchant, but some of the larger merchants lawyers may start to change things up and require more physical documentation, because you can’t put a check off box in front of a judge, databases can be changed...

  3. #3
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    I'm debating whether or not to make the ones who want to force me to jump through more legal hoops slide.

    Not every merchant/affiliate program is forcing me to do this, so I'll stick with them. Heck, I didn't get a notice from Amazon.

    I have a very basic computer set-up. I don't have a fax nor do I want one.

    I have a relative with a fax machine but if I ask to use it I'll have to go through a Voir dire process whereby I have to account for everything I do

    I enjoy creating web pages at my leisure, I always have.
    I'm happy to affiliate with programs, but I will always see what I do more as a hobby than a business.

    Like I said, I might only concentrate on affiliate programs that don't make me fill out this cr@p:
    Good afternoon, you recently received a notice informing you of the changes to
    our Terms and Conditions in regards to the New York State tax laws. The next
    step is for you to complete the following "Proof of Compliance Form" which
    states you have complied with these new Terms and Conditions.

    In accordance with TSB 083.1, I do hereby swear to the following: During the
    year, June 01 2008 - December 31, 2008, I have and will continue to adhere to
    the guidelines set forth in my affiliate agreement. I have not engaged in any of
    the prohibited activities including, but not limited to: distributing flyers,
    coupons newsletters and other printed materials, or electronic equivalents of
    such materials; engaging in verbal solicitation, including in-person referrals
    or initiating telephone calls; any direct to merchant pay-per-click activity:
    and sending emails intended to refer customers to [fill in the blank]. The only
    promotional methods I have used are promotion of my own website and have not
    directly solicited on behalf of blah blah blah
    That merchant represents a program that is a dime a dozen for me, I don't need that particular merchant.

    This isn't worth it to me.

    Anyone who thinks I'm a terrorist probably doesn't appreciate my Halloween costume.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador CCBerries's Avatar
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    From the merchants standpoint they are just trying to cover their butts, NY screwed with the rules & the current documentation didn’t meet the standards needed for legal proof.

    With the higher exposure to the merchant I’d expect the US based networks and merchants to increase these types of requirements. From their viewpoint the loss of some affiliates is better than the huge financial impact from a retroactive tax bill or the legal expense of trying to fight it.

    The risks are not worth the reward, so if someone does not want to play by the current rules they are better off without them. Too much risk, too little reward.

    On the hardware side you can pick up a fax/modem card or even an used external fax/modem from e-bay for less the $20, a 10 year old fax card or modem will work as well as a new one if you can find the drivers.

    With the changing market conditions I’d expect everyone to deal with these types of requirements eventually. Hopefully the networks will collect the information rather than force the merchants to do so.

    In the end the only ones who always win are the lawyers because the more they get involved and the more twisted the circumstance the more they get paid.

  5. #5
    http and a telephoto
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    Amazon started collecting NYS sales tax and didn't kick out affiliates.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  6. #6
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    As long as there are merchants who are not requiring this I will not submit to the additional compliance from a few merchants.

    I will continue with the merchants who don't request the info and there are many who don't.

    It will be easier to be hit by a snowball in hell than to get me to buy & set up a fax modem special for some dumb compliance feature.

    And now it's time for a literary quote from Charles Dickens:

    “If the law supposes that,” said Mr. Bumble,… “the law is a ass—a idiot. If that’s the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor; and the worst I wish the law is that his eye may be opened by experience—by experience.”

    http://www.bartleby.com/73/1002.html
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  7. #7
    Advocate mellie's Avatar
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    For some of us, this is our business and in no way, is a hobby. The extra step of sending in a form is what some NY affiliates have been fighting for. A few of us have put in a lot of time and effort into getting these simple steps implemented in order to earn our living. These steps are required by law by some merchants if we want to do business. This cannot be done on network level, it is solely between merchant and affiliate.

    If this is a merchant you want to do business with, email them, state you do not own a fax and you want to mail it in. I am sure fax is quicker for the merchant. Fax or mail shouldn't make a difference.

    I think Domestications and other merchants requiring these documents should be applauded for finding away to continue to work with NY affiliates. Again, some of us have been working for this.

    Thank you Domestications, for showing your NY affiliates are valuable to you.
    Melanie
    President - Affiliate Advocacy 2008 ShareaSale Performance Industry Advocate Award, 2009 Affiliate Summit Pinnacle Award - Affiliate Advocate
    Affiliate Advocacy
    NYAffiliateVoice Seery Writing

  8. #8
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    Rhia7, it's NYS you should be mad at, the merchants are just finding a way to work with affiliates because of the law that New York State passed. I'm sure that mail is fine, fax is just faster. Also, as stated above, if I am required to fax something with my signature, I just scan it and email it back.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador CCBerries's Avatar
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    Mellie,
    Very well written, and the links in the signature section provide a good resource for the merchants and affiliates for a explanation of why it’s needed.

    The merchants want to get by this obstacle as quickly and painlessly as possible. In the past few months the merchants have tried to protect their businesses, each in a way that best fits for their business model and capabilities. Some collect the sales tax, some require the documentation from affiliates, others drop the NY based affiliates .... Each are trying to respond to an unfortunate choice by NY in a way that causes the least overall trouble for them.

    From the merchants perspective: when an affiliate does not want to take the steps needed to help protect your business you’d be better off without them. Marketing is a partnership and if one side does not take the required steps to protect the interests of the other then that relationship is a danger to the overall business.

    For those that are in this for the 'business' rather than a ‘hobby’ it's just another hurdle the government has placed in our path. The merchants don't make the laws they can only respond to them in a way that makes sense for their business.

    In this case the actions of any single affiliate can affect the total company sales for the state. So while your commissions may be small as compared to others: the company needs to protect itself by requiring the same agreement from you as they would from someone else.

    Another way of looking at it is that the merchants that have looked at the problem in depth and decided to take action have a much better chance of being around in a few years than those that don’t realize the possible negative impact.

  10. #10
    Advocate mellie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CCBerries

    ... Another way of looking at it is that the merchants that have looked at the problem in depth and decided to take action have a much better chance of being around in a few years than those that don’t realize the possible negative impact.
    Thanks CCB.
    I agree that merchants who are taking action have a better chance of being around in a few years because they show they not only react to a situation but adjust. Those that adjust have a better chance of prospering.
    Melanie
    President - Affiliate Advocacy 2008 ShareaSale Performance Industry Advocate Award, 2009 Affiliate Summit Pinnacle Award - Affiliate Advocate
    Affiliate Advocacy
    NYAffiliateVoice Seery Writing

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