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  1. #1
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  elalpo's Avatar
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    Unhappy Boca Java - HUGE Leak
    Boca Java is in few networks, but CJ.com affiliate link brings their links to pages where a huge leak happens.

    For example a link in CJ which lands to an attractive landing page - http://www.bocajava.com/coupon_20per...scount20&CID=4

    * Then try closing window.

    * You will get message that you shouldn't leave page and "click CANCEL"
    if you want to get a $15 Gift Card to Boca Java.

    * So click "cancel". And this is where you would land -
    http://www.trialpay.com/checkout/?c=1720e0d&tid=6rGUxk



    So here are replies from CJ when I requested explanation:

    #1 - As long as the customer buys the product before the “exit pop
    up” appears - it's commissionable to an affiliate
    #2 - If a consumer decides to check out via trial pay you wouldn’t get
    paid for the commission.

    I am personally no longer with them, but my issue is that CJ claims that it's perfectly legal and on terms with them. Hmm.. I wonder if every merchant would do that with landing pages...

    Just needed to ventilate
    Last edited by Chuck Hamrick; March 12th, 2013 at 03:15 PM.

  2. #2
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    I don't understand these merchants trying to cut the corners. The economic situation is bad for everybody including their affiliates. Affiliates are costing them nothing, they are not on their payroll. By infuriating more and more their affiliates they will end up killing their program and wonder why affiliate marketing doesn't work.

    Don't get me started with CJ. What else can you expect from these idiots?
    For CJ, stealing is legal as long as you don't get caught. This is the kind of training their merchants are getting from them.

  3. #3
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    When will merchants learn that the are violating their own TOS by invalidating return days. This is another example of a merchant mixing marketing channels. It's perfectly legitimate for a merchant to utilize a service like this, however they still have a contractual obligation to an affiliate that sent the traffic to them in the first place. The fact that the merchant is making less or is breaking even on these transactions should not be the affiliates problem.

    And why the hell isn't CJ protecting themselves and affiliates against this type of theft, unless of course they have some interest in trialpay. "Trusted 3rd party", I giggle every time I hear that phrase.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  4. #4
    Member KirkMcD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rematt
    And why the hell isn't CJ protecting themselves and affiliates against this type of theft, unless of course they have some interest in trialpay.
    With the way many "Save a Sale" type programs work, Trialpay is probaly just another affiliate. So CJ, get's their cut either way.

  5. #5
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    Just an other parasite in the shopping cart:
    "TrialPay turns abandoned carts into conversions by pairing customers with ideal offers from preferred brands. Using TrialPay, merchants earn significant revenue from "lost" or unlikely customers."
    It reminds me of Second Bite with a touch of these "Reward" companies.
    Always the same crooked merchants trying anything to make a buck.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador VampireSkunk's Avatar
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    elalpo - thanks for reporting this.

    Another one to avoid.

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elalpo
    So here are replies from CJ when I requested explanation:

    #1 - As long as the customer buys the product before the “exit pop
    up” appears - it's commissionable to an affiliate
    #2 - If a consumer decides to check out via trial pay you wouldn’t get
    paid for the commission.
    This is the same kind of bologna answer Steven Avalone with One Cause gave in his responses to their cookie stuffing. It must be a standard company policy; don't address the violation question, just state the function. SHEESH!



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  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager guinness618's Avatar
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    For CJ, stealing is legal as long as you don't get caught. This is the kind of training their merchants are getting from them.
    No, for CJ, stealing is legal as long as you tell them in advance that you are going to do it.
    Dyan Carlson
    ["My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness."- The Dalai Lama

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    This scheme operates on the philosophy that if the customer decides not to buy at the moment, they are now up for grabs for the affiliate that can salvage the sale. So TrialPay is providing a service that salvages the sale. And last cookie wins. So is this actually against CJ TOS?

    Not advocating, just wondering...



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  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    I understand that Boca Java left SAS and moved to CJ.
    I can hear it now...

    Trial Pay: Have we got a deal for you
    Boca Java: You saying you can increase conversions by 30%?
    Trial Pay: But you'll have to leave SAS and join CJ
    Boca Java: Bye bye SAS

    So, another clueless merchant caters to the super affiliate for the quick buck, not understanding the long term ramifications. The Trial Pay scheme relies totally on the traffic of traditional affiliates to work. Once the traditional affiliates have all been alienated, the program dies.



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  11. #11
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  elalpo's Avatar
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    I bet Trial Pay offers that "service" free to merchants - otherwise merchants can simply offer higher consumer coupon when customer leaves the cart (many software companies do). So Trial Pay gets high commissions for offers like Blockbuster and splits profit between $15 loss with Boca Java and pockets remaining money - hmm.. kind of like CashBack, but only in a quite unfair business model.

    To me Trial Pay is an affiliate which offers other affiliate offers (like Blockbuster, etc). I don't think it's fair for merchant to simply place an extra affiliate for an easy conversion job (if not them - nobody will..), where other affiliate did a HARD job through SEO, PPC and/or Reviews. We work hard and spend time and money.

    Boca Java used to be with LinkConnector too and by the way, their landing pages didn't have Trial Pay "involvement".


  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elalpo
    I bet Trial Pay offers that "service" free to merchants
    How does TrialPay work?

    If you aren't willing to pay for a merchant's product directly, the merchant would rather have you transact with another brand rather than abandon your purchase entirely.

    TrialPay connects shoppers with ideal offers and pays the merchant out of advertising revenue. Everyone benefits from this arrangement. Merchants make sales from lost or unlikely customers, advertisers acquire new customers and shoppers get a free product. So while this offer sounds too good to be true, it's actually in everyone's best interest...and just as good as it sounds. TrialPay makes it happen.
    In everyones best interest except the affiliate that drove the traffic!



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  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    I posted a blog entry that puts the Boca Java story into perspective at blog.affiliatetrust.org.



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  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    TrialPay CEO Alex Rampell responded to my blog post about their ponzi scheme at http://blog.affiliatetrust.org/?p=120 claiming that the original affiliate will receive a commission. I don't have a lot of confidence in that happening...
    Last edited by Ed Byerly; January 19th, 2009 at 09:21 PM.



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  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    To me, it's most likely that

    Trial Play = Boca Java

    hidden under a different name so to not loose commission nor sales. kinda like that OneCause / LS scheme we have going.

    edit: I am glad I took their links down long ago.

  16. #16
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    Hello Everyone,

    I am the CEO of TrialPay and am disappointed by this misunderstanding. There was a similar discussion going on here:
    http://blog.affiliatetrust.org/?p=120

    We do not take affiliate commissions here. It's too bad that CJ indicated otherwise. We are not even signed up for BocaJava's affiliate program through CJ!

    Here’s how it works:
    1. Consumer won’t pay at BocaJava.
    2. We give user BocaJava gift card (think: coupon) by signing up for Netflix, buying flowers from FTD, etc.
    3. Consumer returns to BocaJava, *uses* gift card/coupon.
    4. Original affiliate gets the credit for the transaction.

    Let’s all calm down for a little bit here and save the insults before understanding how everything works. We do NOT set our cookie, cookie-stuff, or anything of the sort. We run an ethical operation and such behavior would be very short-sighted with no benefit whatsoever; we pay the merchant (Boca Java), not the other way around. They do not pay us a dime for this placement. If you don’t believe me, try the whole process.

    We are a tool to help merchants increase their conversions — people who aren’t willing to buy X might be willing to buy flowers at FTD to get a discount off X. Merchants use us in many different ways, shopping cart abandonment being one of them, but it’s up to them. As long as the merchant has a concept of return days, the affiliate *always gets credit* assuming the user comes back to make a purchase, which they almost always do.

    Feel free to write me personally (alex AT trialpay DOT com); we really are good for affiliate marketing as we are both an affiliate and a tool to help increase conversions. We work with a lot of affiliates, and a lot of merchants.

    Thanks,

    Alex Rampell
    Last edited by Chuck Hamrick; March 12th, 2013 at 03:15 PM.

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting Alex. A couple questions.

    How is the coupon delivered to your customer.
    How do you track a customer by the affiliate who originally delivered them?
    How is a sale credited to the original affiliate's account?



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  18. #18
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    Hi Ed,

    Thanks for the response.

    We typically allow the consumer to retrieve their coupon from an email we send them, or from a web page that we host.

    We don't track the consumer by the affiliate. Suppose that you are the referring affiliate. The consumer clicks on your tracking link, gets the CJ cookie on his/her machine. Consumer doesn't buy at Boca but goes off to TrialPay and, say, shops at FTD.

    Consumer gets a coupon code from us. Then the consumer goes back to use the code at Boca Java (otherwise, what's the point of getting the coupon code?), but your original CJ cookie is still there. When the user finishes his/her order, the tracking pixel fires, and then you are credited in your CJ account.

    I know there is a lot of suspicion for companies who interrupt the purchase process, but we interrupt it not to steal the commission (again, we don't even participate in the CJ BocaJava affiliate program!!), but rather to give the user some kind of incentive to complete the original transaction.

    Suppose that you send 100 customers to Boca Java via your link. 90 of them don't ever buy. 5 of them successfully purchase. 5 others decide the prices are too high and not to buy. They see our offer, and realize they can get $20 off by buying Flowers for Valentine's Day. They then return to Boca Java to complete their order. You get paid.

    The only thing that could potentially be an issue is if the coupon code decreases the value of the order -- I could see that as being unfriendly to the affiliate. Many of our merchants actually pay on a fixed fee basis (to the affiliates) so in those cases it does not matter -- and where it does matter, we strongly encourage them to "comp" the coupon value back to the affiliate.

    I hope this explains the whole process. If anyone has any suggestions over how we can improve this to be more affiliate friendly, or to provide better information, please let me know -- at the end of the day, the affiliate should be making more money because of us, not less.

    Thanks,

    Alex


    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Byerly
    Thanks for posting Alex. A couple questions.

    How is the coupon delivered to your customer.
    How do you track a customer by the affiliate who originally delivered them?
    How is a sale credited to the original affiliate's account?

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    If indeed this is how it works, my apologies for jumping to conclusions...



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  20. #20
    Newbie motivebrendan's Avatar
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    so bottom line... does anyone have a suggestion on how the BocaJava program should be set up? Or at least a list things that must go for it to work for the Affiliates?

  21. #21
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    You may not be with Boca Java, but are you an affiliate with other merchants on CJ or elsewhere. I have seen TrialPlay on GoDaddy, a CJ Vendor.

    So the question is are you an affiliate and do you at any point of time divert/overwrite affiliate clicks to make a sale.

    Lets see if this can be a plausible scenario.

    1. User clicks on an affiliate link, goes to Godaddy, doesn't buy.
    2. TrialPlay pops up, says the hosting with Godaddy could be free if they sign up for Netflix.
    3. User signs up with Netflix, trialplay gets commission from Netflix.
    4. TrialPlay sends 'Godaddy coupon code' in an email to the user.
    5. User clicks on the email link signs up with GoDaddy. At this point is it possible that TrialPlay is also a GoDaddy affiliate and the link in the email is a TrialPlay affiliate link, that overwrites the original affiliate link.

  22. #22
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    Sam,

    We never overwrite or divert affiliate links. We have never done this, and never will. I know that my word probably doesn't go very far as you don't know me, but I give you my word that we do not engage in this behavior.

    Beyond my word, there is our whole business model -- we PAY GoDaddy, not the other way around, so they wouldn't be as receptive if they had to pay us back.

    It is true that we are an affiliate for GoDaddy, but only on another site -- for example, maybe somebody who isn't paying for WinZip might be willing to buy a domain from GoDaddy. There, we pay WinZip, and GoDaddy pays us.

    Thanks,

    Alex

    Quote Originally Posted by sam_park
    You may not be with Boca Java, but are you an affiliate with other merchants on CJ or elsewhere. I have seen TrialPlay on GoDaddy, a CJ Vendor.

    So the question is are you an affiliate and do you at any point of time divert/overwrite affiliate clicks to make a sale.

    Lets see if this can be a plausible scenario.

    1. User clicks on an affiliate link, goes to Godaddy, doesn't buy.
    2. TrialPlay pops up, says the hosting with Godaddy could be free if they sign up for Netflix.
    3. User signs up with Netflix, trialplay gets commission from Netflix.
    4. TrialPlay sends 'Godaddy coupon code' in an email to the user.
    5. User clicks on the email link signs up with GoDaddy. At this point is it possible that TrialPlay is also a GoDaddy affiliate and the link in the email is a TrialPlay affiliate link, that overwrites the original affiliate link.

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador delsol's Avatar
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    Hello Friends,

    Quote Originally Posted by rampguy
    It is true that we are an affiliate for GoDaddy, but only on another site...
    Looks like we have a potential conflict of interest. The distance between these 2 activities is just to close for comfort. However, the person that should refuse this setup is the merchant (i.e. Boca Java). Maybe we should contact those merchants (many of them, probably, have not clue, of what is going on or could be going on) and point them to this thread?

    That said, I think it's real cheap to open that "exclamation pop-up window" when you try to exit those web pages. Most customer would never buy such a product on the first visit. It makes the vendor not only look desperate for sales but also scary in a "your PC is infected by a virus" sort of way. That reason alone, should compel Boca Java to stop doing this. People buying coffee online are probably not the type to would appreciate this sort of low-grade marketing technique.

    Happy 09!

  24. #24
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    delsol,

    If you look at the results here, affiliates are generating more sales, and being credited with more sales, with us in the picture. I think the lesson of this whole thread is that before jumping to premature conclusions -- including personal attacks on my character or that of my business -- one is best served by understanding how everything works.

    The shopping cart abandonment tool can be behaviorally targeted to only appear to people after, say, their 10th consecutive abandonment of the shopping cart. This is configurable by the merchant. In most cases, we are simply a checkout option, like here:
    http://www.winzip.com/downwz.htm

    (that is not an affiliate link, it's a download link)

    There doesn't seem to be much of a point to arguing this further. I really would encourage people to be open-minded, and not so distrustful, of tools that help merchants close more sales and thereby help affiliates earn more commissions. Yes, there are lots of bad actors out there, but we are not one of them.

    Best,

    Alex

    Quote Originally Posted by delsol
    Hello Friends,

    Looks like we have a potential conflict of interest. The distance between these 2 activities is just to close for comfort. However, the person that should refuse this setup is the merchant (i.e. Boca Java). Maybe we should contact those merchants (many of them, probably, have not clue, of what is going on or could be going on) and point them to this thread?

    That said, I think it's real cheap to open that "exclamation pop-up window" when you try to exit those web pages. Most customer would never buy such a product on the first visit. It makes the vendor not only look desperate for sales but also scary in a "your PC is infected by a virus" sort of way. That reason alone, should compel Boca Java to stop doing this. People buying coffee online are probably not the type to would appreciate this sort of low-grade marketing technique.

    Happy 09!

  25. #25
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    Alex, here's my take on your system:

    You are simply stealing the traffic I generate to make your company some money. Now, if the system you describe funnels orders back to the merchant, and I make a
    commission albeit a lower one in most cases, the idea of better some commission than
    zero applies.

    In a real sense you are just another incentive site - nothing more than a pay per click
    deal most merchants dispise because they figure the clickers are doing it just for the money and will not buy anything.

    From my perspective as a publisher/affiliate ... you just piggiebacked on the traffic I paid for to get an commission. You should be paying us the merchant fee and them.

    So If I pay $.30 a click to send someone to Boca Java (example) and the customer does not buy, but gets a $5 off Boca Java coupon if they sign up for or buy Netflix, I should be paid $1 from you for the Netflix sale - since you poached my traffic to make the Netflix sale. Plus, If I still get the cookied sale from Boca if it is made, then even better ... but it all comes down to you are using the traffic I generate to make some money at my expense. To that I say, go buy your own traffic.

    For 100% sure ... if I see your coupon on any site I promote, that merchant gets no more traffic from me. I paid a price for the traffic I send them whether in real money or in time to get a good SEO listing for the stated percentage or sale commission listed by the merchant, not a discounted amount because you stepped into the middle of the transaction.

    In addition, if I actually do make a commission off my cookie, it may not cover the cost of the traffic I generate due to your coupon impacting my commission due to you lowering the sales price customers pay.

    Now, I have NO problem with your offering a coupon off for a merchant. But I have a HUGE problem with your using the TRAFFIC I GENERATE to do it.

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