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  1. #1
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    Phone call from Ebay
    I've had "the" phone call from EPN asking me how I drive my traffic - which I told them, I've nothing to hide, I'm not doing anything I shouldn't be.

    My concern now is that I'm going to get the expired email and they will keep my commissions. What are the chances of them trying that do you think?
    I did email to ask if I were going to be terminated as I don't want to spend any more on advertising if they intend to steal my commissions from me. I didn't get a reply.

    Stupidly, I set up my advertising campaign a few months ago BEFORE searching the internet for affiliate feedback. DOH!! There are some real horror stories out there regarding EPN.

    As an aside, I spoke to Queens Council this morning (I work for a law firm and I was on the phone to them anyway) and asked them what rights did EPN have for requesting server logs and information on how we drive traffic to Ebay. They have NO right to request our server logs or any site statistics. They have a right to ask how we drive traffic to Ebay but they have no right to ask how we drive traffic to our sites. The line of questioning I was getting was 'how are you driving traffic to your site to get to Ebay" - they have NO right to this. EPN also have NO right to with-hold commissions past the due for payment date without providing the reason for doing so - stating that the account is under review or related to a previously banned account isn't a reason, they have to state exactly what they think you are doing that may be against their TOS or provide you with the details of the previously banned account.

    So... I'm waiting for "the" email. I'll keep you all informed.

    xx
    Last edited by Jammster; November 5th, 2009 at 06:52 AM.

  2. #2
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Hi Jammster,



    When it comes to affiliate management, there's a fine line between due diligence and arrogance. Hopefully this will work out for you.. else it might be a time to open a can of whup-ass on them!
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  3. #3
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    Well, unfortunately people can talk all day long about what eBay "must" do or "cannot" do, but the reality is that eBay can do damned well whatever the heck it feels like all day long... until someone takes them to court over it and prevails. eBay has so many resources at its disposal that it could either drown the plaintiff in motions or simply stall inevitably until the plaintiff's budget runs out. Then there's the whole issue of countersuit.

    The laws in your particular country or jurisdiction may be completely counter to eBay's behavior, but until someone with deep pockets decides to press the issue, or federal/state/government authorities decide to press the issue, eBay has carte blanche.

    And they know it.
    EPN - Cautiously, but paranoically, optimistic.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    From the eBay Partner Network Agreement:

    Remedy for Breach. If ePN, in its sole discretion, believes that you or your Agents have breached this Agreement or that you or your Agents have engaged in fraudulent activity, it may take any and all steps it deems appropriate including without limitation:

    * Issue a warning;
    * Conduct an investigation;
    * Suspend your account from participating in a specific Program or from the Network as a whole so that you shall no longer be entitled to any future-compensation for a Qualifying Transaction;
    * Terminate your account from a specific Program or from the Network as a whole; and/or
    * Withhold or recover any compensation.

    In addition to any other available remedies, ePN may, at its sole discretion, seek, without limitation, specific performance, injunctive relief and/or attorneys' fees.

    The sad truth is: When we sign on with EPN, THEY HOLD ALL THE CARDS and with or without reason, they can grab up the deck, go home, and refuse to let us play any more!
    Generate more fake news.

  5. #5
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    Yep, I understand what you are saying guys, but sole discretion bla bla or not, they have a legal requirement to inform you what the exact problem is if they keep/delay paying your commissions.

    I was told by QC that if I get "the" email to go straight to watchdog (I'm in the UK) http://www.bbc.co.uk/watchdog/gotastory/ and if no joy to return to them.

    I honestly wish I'd never started with EPN. The worry that "the" termination might come is almost worse than actually being terminated!! I'm an affiliate for lots of REAL programs online and I don't have these concerns with them.

    xx

  6. #6
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    Gary is right, up to a point ... but EBAY must state categorically what consititutes a breach. They cannot just make them up as they go along or it is not a valid contract.

  7. #7
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    Just as a quick update. I called Mike Kansa because I had worked myself up about it so much and he was very helpful. He said that they could see how I was driving traffic and that I had nothing to worry about.

    xx

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by net4biz
    Gary is right, up to a point ... but EBAY must state categorically what consititutes a breach. They cannot just make them up as they go along or it is not a valid contract.
    I'm sure, if anyone were to challenge them in court, they'd find a maneuver with some high-priced lawyers to overcome such insignificant things as "valid contract."

    I'm afraid I've known too many horror stories of EPN's chicanery to believe they don't make it up as they go along.
    Generate more fake news.

  9. #9
    I like traffic lights
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    Also, they can write certain things into the contract, but if those things contradict state or federal law, then those parts of the contract may not be enforceable.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jammster
    I was told by QC that if I get "the" email to go straight to watchdog (I'm in the UK) http://www.bbc.co.uk/watchdog/gotastory/ and if no joy to return to them.

    xx
    Is there such a "watchdog" link state side? They terminated me without even stating a reason.

    Lin

  11. #11
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    http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/complaints/ ??

    You can only file if they terminated you and refused to pay you. Did they refuse to pay you?

  12. #12
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    They have disabled my login and told me that I am banned and that I would not be paid. I have appealed their decision by resubmitting the log files (http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=125433). The last correspondence I had from their end was about 3 weeks ago. I appealed 2 weeks ago and sent a followup email last week. Still no response.

    So ... would you wait or go ahead an file the complaint?

    Lin

  13. #13
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    Hell yes. They have STOLEN your commissions.

    They haven't even had the decency to tell you what you've supposedly done wrong and as far as you are aware you haven't done anything, so file a complaint.

    It seems that ebay is regularly expiring peoples account and keeping the funds the affiliate has earned without providing a reason for doing so (so there is no reason other than they can). If all aggrieved affiliates make a complaint that's the only way this will stop!

    xx

  14. #14
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    You are not the only one!! At first I didn't believe this link but if you copy and paste these quotes in to Google they ARE all on the net.

    http://www.ripoffreport.com/internet...ermi-6b87d.htm

    "My site drives very targeted traffic to eBay, I often hear from my visitors how much they enjoy my site and use the eBay links on my site...I can't imagine how much better a site can be targeted than mine, offering more than just eBay ads but a LOT of other information related to the topic. My site ranks #1 for most eBay searches for this topic and it was all EARNED, not purchased...WHO can possibly stand up to whatever standards they require?"

    "I've been affiliating for eBay for over a year as well and never used any practices to drive traffic that could be construed and questionable."

    "I totally depend on ebay. I have been an affiliate for almost two years. This is my year to date earnings; clicks-189684 epc-7.50 income-14,220.95...I have e-mailed ebay to try and find out what exactly I did wrong. We should be given a warning to fix, correct or stop any unethical behavior that we are not aware of."

    "I've been an eBay affiliate for 3 years now, and my site is 11 years old."

    "...with ePN I had high hopes, dreams, aspirations of true success....
    gone are those days."

    "How can eBay treat it's affiliates this way? I've invested countless hours developing and adding content to my sites for EPN to drop me."

    "...just got my email, ebay affiliate for several years, high quality niche sites, no junk, no spam, no black hat. Ebay listings are on my blog sites, one gets 20,000 visitors daily, many go to ebay and buy. Like some of you above, significant ebay income, mid to high 5 figures yearly."

    "We actually built our community around ebay. I can't tell you how much traffic we've driven to ebay...It just hurts me that I've worked so hard with Ebay...and to have formed such a great community now over this, and now my incentive to keep going is gone. Like I've been kicked in the teeth as a thank you for driving traffic that would not have otherwise been driven there."

    "I got the boot also. I just spent over $2000 and countless hours getting my EPN setup."

    "We have been with eBay for over 6 years, Total Motorcycle is a top website worldwide, the leading motorcycle website in North America and gets 1.5 million uniques per month for traffic with our 500,000 pages of content (with eBay being on 90% of those pages)"

    "I was a small guy. I made less that $1000 this year with EPN, so it is not just the big ones they want out.."

    "After 19 very good months as an ebay affilate, the EPN network has sent me my expiration email...i am unaware of what I have done. I am a disabled Vietnam Vet confined to my home, and trying to eek out a living from the web, This seemed to be a wonderful way to do it...now it seems like all this will come to an end."

    "Ebay has hurt people here and still is not classy enough to respond. A good business practice might have involved a warning to improve your sites or performance. Even Google does that."

    "Last December I found something I really loved to do, eBay affiliate marketing. I devoted my entire life to it. I love it!! And I feel like I am pretty good at it. I even paid for a TV commercial in my area to promote one of my websites. I have about 30 well developed, content rich sites and I make a modest amount of money from them, it's a great supplemental income for my large family. I was planning on going full-time this month. But last night I got the "letter"."

    "What adds to the insult is not even a peep from epn. At least come on here and say we're looking into this on a case by case basis. I've never seem customer service run like this or an affiliate program.

    "This is just sick, a flawed system running wild, the Rude part about it for the rest of us left in the program is the not knowing why every one is getting booted and are we next!"

  15. #15
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    Thank you for the links ... I have filed my watchdog complaint. I will post here if/when I get a response.

  16. #16
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    Exclamation
    Reading the different posts makes it clear I am not the only one here who ebay are trying to steal commission from.

    Having been a very successful affiliate using google and yahoo plus various lesser known affiliate systems I decided to look at ebay. What I didn't do was research it as well as I should have.

    After spending a lot of time and money (I work on investment, as long as I am making more than I spend I am happy) I promoted my site and generated a substantial amount of earnings.

    Anyway out of the blue I receive an email from Mike Kansa wanting to know how things were going and how I had generated my earnings. I replied and received a nice email back saying thanks and if there is anything I can do let me know. I was really pleased, it seemed like good support and gave me a point of contact.

    Anyway a few days later I receive an email from network quality control telling me my account had been suspended pending a review. I have to be honest I was surprised having had the recent email from Mike.

    The email seems to be the standard email, it asked for the previous 7 days logs ( I had not been promoting my site for about 2 weeks at this point ) so it seemed a little odd asking for logs so recent. The website I host my domains on does not allow full access to server logs, they provide a downloadable log file in csv format, this gives me the option to download access logs for today and this month but nothing further.

    Anyway I send this off and CC Mike, but get no reply, so I leave it a few days and drop Mike an email (in his second email he said to contact him if I needed anything). Sure enough he replied saying it was out of his hands and there was nothing he could do. So I sit and wait... and wait, and wait...

    I then follow up with another email asking whats going on, I then get the first email saying the account is suspended again! I reply and tell them I already gave them the requested info, and nothing.....

    So last week I call Chris Worthy from ro-eye and ask he finds out what's going on, so he comes back saying the network quality team say I didn't reply to their email!! So I forward the email I sent to them (and Mike) and he pass's it onto Mike (His words not mine, clearly showing Mike has a lot more say than he likes to make out)

    He tells me to expect a reply but it never comes so I call Mike up, the guy sounds like his half asleep, he knows who I am. He says that he looked at the account at the request of Network Quality and he felt I was legitimate and had done nothing wrong. When I asked if all affiliates were treated like this he laughed and said of course not (Clearly he feels me being treated like this is a funny thing)

    He said he was unable to give me other contact information but he was happy for me to call him (However he hasn't answered his phone since and chooses not to reply to all emails)

    While on the phone he explains that NQ felt the logs were not accurate and the IP address's didnt match that of the visitors they had logged. Now lets just stop here for a minute, my sales were Sept, the logs they requested where 7 days prior to their email (Oct 13th) it doesn't take a genius to realise that of course IP's wont match!

    I explained to Mike that the service I used didn't allow any additional logs, and said he was free to create an account with them to clarify this. He said that the NQ team would be emailing me, I said all that was going to happen was they would say seeing as I couldn't provide the logs they would expire my account. He replied saying that wasn't always the case. Anyway low and behold the next email was

    "We have received your e-mail. However, the logs were in excel format. We would like to receive your raw server logs for October and September. Otherwise, you we will expire your account."

    Since then I have not had a reply from them, I have called Mike several times but he doesn't like to answer his phone...

    The first thing I did was print out screen shots of my EPN account as proof of earnings, I had already made an appointment with my solicitor for this morning. The call between myself and Mike was recorded, I am sending this off to be transcribed in the morning. My solicitor is filling the papers to take this to court to recover the monies owed plus my costs.

    I don't want my EPN account any more, what I do want is the money they owe me. I have asked for confirmation that they intend to pay me the money they legally owe me, as of yet I have not had a reply. Until I get that I will continue with the legal route I will also contact WatchDog in the UK should I not receive my earnings.

  17. #17
    I like traffic lights
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    Interstate wire fraud.

    File a complaint with the California AG and the FBI.

  18. #18
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    Still nothing, Mike doesn't answer his phone and both him and the NQ team refuse to reply to emails.

    They treat their affiliates like dirt without the decency of replying to emails

  19. #19
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    Jammster - how did you respond to "the call" from epn to satisfy them? (Did you talk to Mike or email him, what did you say/send more specifically) Did you get suspended at all during it? And how do you get your traffic (SEO, PPC, other...)? You've apparently been "blessed" with good traffic so I'd like to learn from your experience. Thank you for sharing.

  20. #20
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    Seether777, it was simple quick phone call from Mike Kansa.

    Mike asked me how I was sending traffic to ebay. I told him my main site name... and he told me my other site so he already knew the answer!

    Mike then asked me how I was driving traffic to my site (which I've since discovered is naughty of him) but I did answer the question fully. (no offence meant but I don't want to discuss my site or marketing tactics with other marketers :-D).

    It was only when I put the phone down that I wondered what the real motive behind the phone call was and started doing some investigatation on the net. I found LOTS of other EPN affiliates that have had a phone call and usually just before payday get their account 'expired' and have their commissions stolen by eBay.

    So as I'm expecting 'the' email and I'm in a better position than most to have access to some excellent legal minds I have been preparing myself for the inevitable.

    Article 29, Data Protection working party, example 15 relates to IP addresses where it expressly states that ‘The Working Party has considered IP addresses as data relating to an identifiable person.’ (The Working Party was set up under Article 29 of Directive 95/46/EC. It is an independent European advisory body on data protection and privacy. Its tasks are described in Article 30 of Directive 95/46/EC and Article 15 of Directive 2002/58/EC. The secretariat is provided by Directorate C (Civil Justice, Rights and Citizenship) of the European Commission, Directorate General Justice, Freedom and Security, B-1049 Brussels, Belgium, Office No LX-46 01/43).

    Or the short-easy-to-understand-version - Data Protection - It is actually against the law to ask anyone for their server logs!

    xx

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