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  1. #1
    HotelsCombined?
    Not sure if this is the place for this, feel free to move if not, but does anyone have information HotelsCombined?

    Just became an affiliate and seen some good things but I just came across this -
    secondcity.in/2009/06/06/hotelscombinedcom-scam-story-continues/

    from Story:

    In our last post from the series ‘hotelscombined scam’, Sven (one of the victim) replied to hotelscombined.com and raised many questions about their decision to forfeit his affiliate commission without any reason. Reply from hotelscombined.com was very interesting one!
    Last edited by Haiko de Poel, Jr.; June 16th, 2009 at 09:51 AM. Reason: removed link

  2. #2
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    We are happy to consider re-activation of your account if you could kindly explain to us:

    1.
    How you were able to achieve 500% conversion from clicks to leads (a lot more than the average achieved by other partners).
    2.
    Why there was not a single booking to end suppliers as the result of your leads.
    3.
    Why your leads have a highly unusual average time difference between them.
    Bravo Hotels Combined.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  3. #3
    Haiko,

    Please excuse my ignorance but are you saying their is nothing to worry about and it was a bad affiliate and HotelCombined did the right thing?

    Sorry if being a bit paranoid but planned on giving them a prominent place on my site and just want to be sure their OK. I usually use CJ for affiliates and not the direct merchant so extra touchy.

  4. #4
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    500% and 1345% conversion rates scream of affiliate fraud.
    Last edited by Haiko de Poel, Jr.; June 16th, 2009 at 10:44 AM. Reason: clarification
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  5. #5
    Thanks Haiko! - I guess the blog writer just has a thing against HotelsCombined - Looks like they've done 3 similar posts.

    P.S. Noticed you removed the link, sorry if it's not appropriate to add links just thought it would explain the issue better

  6. #6
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    They did it to me also
    Unfortunately, during our last review we identified an issue with the traffic originating from your account. Specifically we analysed 2320 leads generated by your account and found that none of these leads resulted in hotel bookings for our suppliers.

    We cannot charge our supply partners for such leads. As your account generated no revenue, and as per our Affiliate Agreement, please consider this to be your Affiliate Account Termination Notice effective immediately. Your remaining unpaid balance will be forfeit.
    THEY SAY THEY PAY FOR TRAFFIC WHY DO I ****ING CARE IF THEY BOOK OR NOT?I JUST SEND THEM VISITORS

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  8. #7
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    Thumbs down as if
    Quote Originally Posted by killcombineddotcom View Post
    Unfortunately, during our last review we identified an issue with the traffic originating from your account. Specifically we analysed 2320 leads generated by your account and found that none of these leads resulted in hotel bookings for our suppliers.

    We cannot charge our supply partners for such leads. As your account generated no revenue, and as per our Affiliate Agreement, please consider this to be your Affiliate Account Termination Notice effective immediately. Your remaining unpaid balance will be forfeit.
    THEY SAY THEY PAY FOR TRAFFIC WHY DO I ****ING CARE IF THEY BOOK OR NOT?I JUST SEND THEM VISITORS

    really? as if anyone's going to pay you for sh!t traffic. try that with adsense as see how far you get. actually, try that with any affiliate offer and see if you get a dime!
    -hog

  9. #8
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    hotelscombined pay but the scam part is that they suddenly stop paying stating that you don't generate any bookings and they cannot charge their supply partners for leads which did not end in hotel bookings.
    I am 100% sure that they are paid from the partners and they keep their and your money by terminating accounts.
    Things to make me sure they are lying.
    1. they say there is not a single booking from your website and there are only leads. since they cooperate with 40 booking websites and people get results from all of those and therefore generate leads for you, what if 5 people book from 2-3 of those websites. then they can't say anything and they pay you. what about the rest 35 websites? of course they get money from them.

    2. previous months I had no bookings from my website but only leads and guess what... They paid me. So, this is another proof that they charged their partners without a single booking and they got money from them. So this makes me believe/know that they get my money and they said they can't charge their partners.

    3. hotelscombined is an advertiser in commission junction. whether there is a booking or not they should pay leads. that proofs hotelscombined GET MONEY FROM THEIR PARTNERS AND THEY DON'T PAY AFFILIATES claiming they can't charge their partners.

    They pay those who generate a lot. if they see someone who does not generate money they terminate his account and they keep his money.
    Again, this makes me believe that hotelscombined is scam and I can say they should be renamed as hotelsCONbined and it's a website to avoid.

  10. #9
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Many hotel affiliate programs only commission when the room is paid for. That can take up to six months. You need to be working very closely with the affiliate manager to understand how to get paid. Not sure how they determine leads so its in your best interest to get on the phone and have a direct relationship.

  11. #10
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    Hotelscombined bad behaviour
    I am sorry to say that this company cannot be trusted.
    You never hear from them.....till the moment you have reached the amount of money they have to pay you out. Then they let you know that your account is closed and that they will not pay you out because no booking was made.

    I am 100% sure bookings were made, even people that booked via my site thanked me for their stay in a hotel and for having a good deal so they booked.

    Then they say i have to prove bookings were made.

    I am 100% honest, never cheat or deal with strange amount of leads etcetera. So in my vision this company cannot be trusted!

  12. #11
    Account Manager
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    October 9th, 2011
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    Hi Marky,

    My name is Jordan, I am an account manager here at HotelsCombined. I can assure you that there is a legitimate reason your account was suspended. If you want clarification, feel free to email through to jordan@hotelscombined.com and we can discuss your situation.

    King Regards

  13. #12
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    Thumbs down
    HotelsCombined is SCAM ... They left their banners displayed on my website for several months until I achieved a payment threshold of $168 then they suspended my account because my leads failed to achieve hotel bookings as per their e-mail and I got paid Nothing from them! Their terms & conditions never say that leads should book a hotel or otherwise affiliate will never get paid! ... My advice is Avoid HotelsCombined!

  14. #13
    Account Manager
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    October 9th, 2011
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    Hi Midohash,

    I'm sorry to hear that you are disappointed with our affiliate program. To clarify our affiliate agreement clearly states the following:

    5.6 All the Affiliate’s marketing efforts must target booking generation rather than Qualifying Lead generation

    The full copy of the affiliate agreement can be found here:

    Compare Hotel Prices - Best Hotel Deals Guaranteed

    We are like any other company with an affiliate program, we generate revenue from commission from our supplier sites. No affiliate program will pay for traffic that doesn't convert leaving them with a negative ROI.

    If you want me to personally investigate your case, feel free to email through to jordan@hotelscombined.com

    King Regards

    Jordan

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jordan@hotelscombined.com View Post

    We are like any other company with an affiliate program, we generate revenue from commission from our supplier sites. No affiliate program will pay for traffic that doesn't convert leaving them with a negative ROI.
    Sorry if I play Devil's advocate here, but what you just stated above here is one of the reasons why you should have implemented a % Revenue-Share model.
    With CPL you are not going anywhere, and that's so bad because you have a great website.

    I don't even understand why should someone venture in such kind of affiliate schemes with merchants.

    I remember the old structure of HotelsCombined some years ago.
    Affiliates back then could even use their own aff. networks feeds.
    No wonder I dropped from the program when there was the switch to the new pay model.

    While I think that's too much to ask, for me the best way to go for hotel affiliate is the revenue share (70%/30% or 80%/20% for top affiliates).

    Sorry if I sound like an I-know-everything-about-everybody, but I have been in affiliate marketing since 2006, raised €2M in commissions in these years, and definitely know my s***t.

  16. #15
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    April 7th, 2012
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    Thumbs down Just fedup
    Hotels combined pay model is really worse than stock market. Nowadays look like their lead value is getting much worse than previous years. Adsense is much , their pay model doesn't fluctuate like stock market.

    The only reason i am not using sprice or wego is because they don't have white label solution. If not, long time ago I have switch to the others. Any least i know, the commission doesn't fluctuate like this.

  17. #16
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    Exclamation The wolf wont tell you hes a wolf
    Quote Originally Posted by Jordan@hotelscombined.com View Post
    Hi Midohash,

    I'm sorry to hear that you are disappointed with our affiliate program. To clarify our affiliate agreement clearly states the following:

    5.6 All the Affiliate’s marketing efforts must target booking generation rather than Qualifying Lead generation

    The full copy of the affiliate agreement can be found here:

    Compare Hotel Prices - Best Hotel Deals Guaranteed

    We are like any other company with an affiliate program, we generate revenue from commission from our supplier sites. No affiliate program will pay for traffic that doesn't convert leaving them with a negative ROI.

    If you want me to personally investigate your case, feel free to email through to jordan@hotelscombined.com

    King Regards

    Jordan
    Oh YA! like you going to come in here and say "Yas were Scammin you chumps!"
    You full of crap my account was suspended with 120 leads and 1 booking in 1 month. that was cpc and cpv ads driving traffic. so i spent 150 and got jacked for my commissions.
    Dont trust them theyre liars and scammers
    Ren

  18. #17
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    What a joke
    I just reached the threshold and suddenly my account is suspended.

    Here's what they sent:

    "Specifically, it seems your visitors mostly fail to convert to bookings for our hotel suppliers. While we conduct our full-scale investigation, your account has been placed in a "suspended" status. During this time, you won't be able to log into the Affiliate Control Panel, and our Accounts Department will not be able to process any of your payments."

    I've sent very targeted traffic specific to a small travel destination niche. And I am blamed for their inability to convert.

    Plenty of other robust websites out there you can partner with though. So if you are considering Hotels Combined - look elsewhere! They simply won't pay you.

    This is classic fraud that would never hold up in court. We don't have access to conversion numbers for their customers, we are unable to look into the books and see exactly how much money they've made from our efforts and traffic.

    So they get paid, and they keep all the money. Stinks of fraud.

    These guys are a joke! Stay away from these clowns.

  19. #18
    Account Manager
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    Hi Ren,

    Quote Originally Posted by renthemighty View Post
    Oh YA! like you going to come in here and say "Yas were Scammin you chumps!"
    You full of crap my account was suspended with 120 leads and 1 booking in 1 month. that was cpc and cpv ads driving traffic. so i spent 150 and got jacked for my commissions.
    Dont trust them theyre liars and scammers
    Ren
    Thanks for the valuable feedback,

    To shed some light on your comment, if your account generated 120 leads at the average lead value that is approximately $100 US. Unfortunately a $100 payout for a single booking and a conversion rate of 1.2% would return a negative ROI. If you would like to email me directly at Jordan@hotelscombined.com I can take a closer look into your account.

    Regards

    Jordan

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  21. #19
    Account Manager
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    October 9th, 2011
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    Hi Ryan,

    Quote Originally Posted by RyanStanhope View Post
    I just reached the threshold and suddenly my account is suspended.

    Here's what they sent:

    "Specifically, it seems your visitors mostly fail to convert to bookings for our hotel suppliers. While we conduct our full-scale investigation, your account has been placed in a "suspended" status. During this time, you won't be able to log into the Affiliate Control Panel, and our Accounts Department will not be able to process any of your payments."

    I've sent very targeted traffic specific to a small travel destination niche. And I am blamed for their inability to convert.

    Plenty of other robust websites out there you can partner with though. So if you are considering Hotels Combined - look elsewhere! They simply won't pay you.

    This is classic fraud that would never hold up in court. We don't have access to conversion numbers for their customers, we are unable to look into the books and see exactly how much money they've made from our efforts and traffic.

    So they get paid, and they keep all the money. Stinks of fraud.

    These guys are a joke! Stay away from these clowns.
    Unfortunately the time it takes for enough data to be collected for an accurate gauge on an affiliates traffic quality can coincide with the $100 threshold. I'm sorry to hear about your thoughts on the lack of transparency, but I'm also unaware of any affiliate program that openly displays their "books" . If you would like me to provide you with more details pertaining the closure of your account please contact me directly at Jordan@hotelscombined.com

    Regards

    Jordan

  22. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jordan@hotelscombined.com View Post
    Hi Ryan,



    Unfortunately the time it takes for enough data to be collected for an accurate gauge on an affiliates traffic quality can coincide with the $100 threshold. I'm sorry to hear about your thoughts on the lack of transparency, but I'm also unaware of any affiliate program that openly displays their "books" . If you would like me to provide you with more details pertaining the closure of your account please contact me directly at Jordan@hotelscombined.com

    Regards

    Jordan
    You're obviously missing an important point here so I will spell this out for you.

    Hotels Combined is a fraud, and your participation here does not help. Providing unhelpful responses to real problems does nothing for the company you are representing.

    You think putting on a show will help your reputation? Appearing like you are responsive, appearing like you are actually dealing with serious allegations, will do anything good for you?

    The fact of the matter is, a LOT of people are reporting serious concerns about the way you do business. It's not one or two, it's a rapidly growing number of people. It's only a matter of time before this gets investigated.

    It's not a coincidence that the payout threshold triggers a cancellation notice. It's a strategy. It's obvious from what others are posting that this is the case.

    You're thinking no one would sue you for $100, right? It costs a lot more to get to Australia, right?

    And even if you don't end up in court (and eventually in prison no doubt) you are very rapidly building up a great reputation as scammers.

    So, good luck to you. For everyone else - YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! DO NOT DEAL WITH THIS COMPANY. THEY ARE SCAMMERS.

    HOTELS COMBINED IS A SCAM.

  23. #21
    Account Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyanStanhope View Post
    You're obviously missing an important point here so I will spell this out for you.

    Hotels Combined is a fraud, and your participation here does not help. Providing unhelpful responses to real problems does nothing for the company you are representing.

    You think putting on a show will help your reputation? Appearing like you are responsive, appearing like you are actually dealing with serious allegations, will do anything good for you?

    The fact of the matter is, a LOT of people are reporting serious concerns about the way you do business. It's not one or two, it's a rapidly growing number of people. It's only a matter of time before this gets investigated.

    It's not a coincidence that the payout threshold triggers a cancellation notice. It's a strategy. It's obvious from what others are posting that this is the case.

    You're thinking no one would sue you for $100, right? It costs a lot more to get to Australia, right?

    And even if you don't end up in court (and eventually in prison no doubt) you are very rapidly building up a great reputation as scammers.

    So, good luck to you. For everyone else - YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! DO NOT DEAL WITH THIS COMPANY. THEY ARE SCAMMERS.

    HOTELS COMBINED IS A SCAM.
    Hi Ryan,

    Thanks for your voicing opinion,

    If you would be so kind as to provide me with your affiliate ID, I will happily review your traffic statistics and post them for the benefit of this forums users. If I discover that you were in fact wrongly denied payment I will gladly payout all commission in full.

    Regards

    Jordan

  24. #22
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    The Hotels Combined Affiliate Program Is Unethical
    I was a Hotels Combined Affiliate since May and wanted to give an honest Hotels Combined Affiliate Program Review. I have been a travel agent for many years and did a tremendous amount of research on them and found that lots of people on forums were calling it the "Hotels Combined Scam". In fact, I didn't find many positive reviews at all other than generic ones that were similar to what I thought at first when joining - which was: "This is great! I made it to my first threshold and got paid with no problem. I think I'm going to like the pay per lead aspect of this program."

    Needless to say I was super excited to be a part of the Hotels Combined Affiliates Team. Unfortunately, this was not the long term positive outcome I had hoped for.

    Let me explain. I have a highly targeted niche hotel site and sent Hotels Combined extremely targeted leads. It was a new site and it took about 70 days for it to rise to #2 on Google. Finally I was just beginning to reap the benefits of the organic traffic I had targeted. My mistake was that I had "assumed" by signing on as an Affiliate with Hotels Combined that the revenue earned would be at the very least just a few cents when no bookings occurred and the more bookings your leads generated - the more pay per lead I would earn. It is a "Pay per Lead" program, right? What a bummer that this is not the way they work even though their marketing strategy allows for you to think it. My bad.

    My misconception: When a certain amount of time goes by that your leads don’t generate a booking they set your earnings to $0 per lead. The unethical part of it is they do this just before you reach your threshold so you end up not getting paid for all the time spent generating those leads. My experience was that just before I reached my 2nd threshold for payment they stopped paying me for the leads due to "not enough bookings". Another frustration is the stats page shows you no booking conversion percentage to keep track of. So there is nothing prompting you if in fact your booking conversion is low. They gave no warning with the exception of an email stating that my pay per lead earnings are now being set to $0 due to the leads not booking hotel stays. "Wait a minute", I thought. Wasn't this supposed to be a "Pay per Lead" type of affiliate program?? I mean, that was what drew me and so many others to the program, right? Man, did I feel duped.

    Trust me, I understand that conversion is important because I've worked as a travel agent for the past 10 years. I would have even understood them allowing me to at least reach my threshold and then cutting it off due to no sales but $20 shy of reaching my threshold? After months of working to target every single hotel on my website to generate leads for the Hotels Combined Affiliate Program?? Boy, I could kick myself. Read the fine print, my friends.

    My Hotels Combined Affiliate Review is pretty simple. If you are looking for a long term Pay per Lead relationship with the Affiliate Program Hotels Combined has to offer, they are not the ones to go with unless you truly have thousands of targeted visitors because we all know travel sales is a numbers game. You have to actually have the numbers in order to get the bookings and at the end of the day Hotels Combined only wants to pay you for leads IF those leads turn into actual bookings. So, disappointingly, this is not the Pay per Lead program so many think it is and that they advertise for you to "think" you are signing up with.

    My advice to the Hotels Combined Affiliate Program? I sincerely understand your need for conversion but Pay per Lead is Pay per Lead and Pay for Bookings is simply..... Pay for Bookings. You know deep down that people like myself are drawn to your Affiliate Program thinking it's Pay per Lead, no matter the fine print. Otherwise, you would show booking conversion stats so your partners would know from the beginning that is truly what you are willing to pay them for. Suggestion: You should change your fine print to big print so that suckers like me would read: "The Hotels Combined Affiliate Program will only pay you for leads up until a certain point. If your leads do not turn into bookings then you will not be able to cash out. We do thank you for your efforts in bringing those leads to us, though.”

    Lastly: “Kudos to a GREAT strategy on that fine print, though.” Although unethical, the affiliates that are scammed into it can actually advertise for the company for a few months. When they realize they will not get paid for every lead brought to the table the affiliates will naturally quit. What happens to all those leads, leads that may even come back to book within that 365 cookie? Well, you guessed it. A percentage of those leads will definitely come back because they now know Hotels Combined exists yet Hotels Combined won’t have to pay for the advertising because the affiliate that created that lead/booking is gone. I give them an A+ for their marketing efforts.

    So there you have it: My review of the Hotels Combined Affiliate Program.

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  26. #23
    Account Manager
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    Hi Virtual effort,

    Thanks for your feedback,

    Just to clarify our model is a revenue share model, like all affiliate programs in existence we can only pay for traffic which converts. For the sake of complete transparency, we are paid when we bookings are generated so paying affiliates for leads which we earn nothing for is not an option for any reasonable business model. My understanding is that your affiliate account made no bookings and therefore generated no income for HotelsCombined to share with you and the affiliate team was forced to suspend your account. I'm sorry for the misinterpretation of the pay per lead model, this is done so that our affiliates can enjoy a regular payment instead of potentially waiting months for the booking to be executed.

    We work with thousands of satisfied affiliates such as RyanAir, SkyScanner and Hipmunk. If you want to post your affiliate ID, I would be more then happy to further investigate and pay you in full if the affiliate team wrongly suspended you.

    I can be reached directly at Jordan@Hotelscombined.com

    Thanks

    Jordan

  27. #24
    ABW Ambassador I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
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    Don't you provide the affiliates any info on their booking rate in your control panel?

    Have you reconsidered your choice of marketing your program as pay per lead?

    There is a disconnect in your marketing and your practice. That is creating the bad wrap in this thread. Attracting the wrong affiliates for your program, reaping the benefit of the exposure for your site, then only making things clear at termination.

    If I were an affilliate you would be interested in, I would stay away if I had no transparency in my booking rate in light of the issues others who had the rug pulled out.
    Matt Bidinger
    Online Community Engagement


  28. #25
    Account Manager
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    Hi Matt,

    Thank you for your valuable feedback,

    We're currently undergoing changes to ensure more transparency between HotelsCombined and our affiliates. In the future we hope to better manage the expectations of affiliates and ensure consistency across the board.

    Again thanks for the feedback

    Regards

    Jordan

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