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  1. #1
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    Incorrect Commission Amount
    Last month I got 2 commissions from Pierre Silber - 17% of the sale as they have written in their agreement. The orders amount was 180.42 and 91.84 . But today on those two sales the commission was deducted to 5% ($9.02 and $4.59). They still give 17% according to SAS.

    I have posted a ticket to SAS asking to investigate and correct this amount to 17% as it should be, but my ticket has been deleted. I am not for $48. I also do understand that merchants will do anything to pay less to their affiliates.

    But I didn't expect from SAS to keep this in the dark. I hope someone from SAS will see this post and explain how merchants can change the commission amount days after the sale.

  2. #2
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Kevin Webster
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  3. #3
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    ivantk,

    Can you send me the ticket ID number from the ticket you submitted, i'll find it and see what happened.
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

  4. #4
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    Thanks a lot for your reply, Brian!

    As I said, it has been deleted and I don't have the ticket Id.
    However I will post another ticket right now ...

    The new ticket Id is: AMI-390344

  5. #5
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    I just want to give you an update to this issue guys.

    SAS reviewed my second ticket and told me to contact the merchant directly, because they have used Transaction Edit Trial to reverse/lower the commission without been logged into the returned mechanize section.

    I guess this is the new way to reverse a commission without increasing the return rate (I saw other merchants did that as well, but I haven't noticed it before)

    Few days ago, they did it again with another sales of mine (now $83 are gone). I have contacted them and as I expected - no reply, although in the earlier days when I was making money for them they were very responsive.

    The "Drop Us" button is blinking on my affiliate panel - "Are you sure you want to quit this merchant?" - YES!

  6. #6
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    Just dump them and move on, plenty of other merchants out there

  7. #7
    Newbie IAmMe's Avatar
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    Yet another complaint about SAS...

    Why are so many problems starting to appear with the SAS system?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAmMe
    Yet another complaint about SAS...

    Why are so many problems starting to appear with the SAS system?
    It is the merchant that is the problem here, not SAS

  9. #9
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ivantk
    SAS reviewed my second ticket and told me to contact the merchant directly, because they have used Transaction Edit Trial to reverse/lower the commission
    Yeah, I had a merchant doing that a few months ago. He ended up reducing my commissions more than $2k over a couple months. He was editing high-value transactions to make them 1/10th of the sales value or removing the first digit. I called him on it and he made a manual transaction to credit it back to me. But that was just temporary. Then he started just reversing transactions. 10-20% of them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Julian
    Just dump them and move on, plenty of other merchants out there
    That's what I finally did with this one, and now he has reversed 90% of my December commissions (and I'm sure he'll reverse the other 10% before the 20th). Fortunately, I dropped him right after November transactions were paid, so he could only reverse 20 days worth of commissions.

    It's not a ShareASale issue. It's a merchant honesty issue. In my particular case, I had worked with this merchant before they came to SAS and I'm confident that they skimmed sales. I thought they might stop if I had the visibility of a network so I convinced him to switch. Instead, they just found other ways to cheat. What's worse is that they've been cheating customers, too.

    Because of their dishonesty, they've lost an affiliate who was able to consistently generate them enough sales to earn (what should have been) $100k per year in commissions and will be facing an expensive lawsuit.

    My only regret is not dropping this dishonest merchant sooner.

    [No, I will not be revealing the name of the merchant at this time. But look for ones with high reversal rates this month and I'm sure you can find them.]
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  10. #10
    Newbie IAmMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    It's not a ShareASale issue. It's a merchant honesty issue.
    I Disagree.. It's both...

    If we can still go into the SAS system and check their reversal statistics, then the merchant is still active within the SAS system. This is unacceptable.

    SAS is flirting with culpability for allowing this type of fraud to continue.

  11. #11
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    It seems that nowadays, the affiliate marketing is solely based on the merchants honesty. Unfortunately, my list of honest merchants has become so small for the last 2 years, that I am starting to think where am I going? May be ... nowhere

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ivantk
    It seems that nowadays, the affiliate marketing is solely based on the merchants honesty.
    It always has been. It has always been up to the affiliate to "vet" the merchants. If you trust *any* network to do that for you, you are asking for trouble.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  13. #13
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    "It's not a ShareASale issue."

    It is, an ongoing one. Many threads on this -

    SAS - merchant bs pierre silber
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=128071

    Sale Reversed because customer already purchased from merchant
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread...ighlight=30%25

    Ugh, Sneaky Commission Decreases
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread...ighlight=30%25

    Conflicting Commission Rates 30% - 1%
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread...ighlight=30%25

    Arbitrary Commission Edits - True Swords/True Site Corp
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread...hlight=network

    One where they let a merchant reverse a sale because of no referral url

    OnlineLabels - Reversed commissions due to missing referral URL
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread...hlight=network

    This is where networks are supposed to step in and not let merchants do this on their network. At this point, since affiliates still don't have any notification of commission changes, like other networks, merchants can do this at will.

    Michael, in your comment:

    "It's not a ShareASale issue. It's a merchant honesty issue. In my particular case, I had worked with this merchant before they came to SAS and I'm confident that they skimmed sales. I thought they might stop if I had the visibility of a network so I convinced him to switch. Instead, they just found other ways to cheat. What's worse is that they've been cheating customers, too."

    So you're saying they're cheating and it's thru the SAS network, so don't you think SAS should step in and stop it?

  14. #14
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I'm saying that a cheat is going to be a cheat wherever they are.

    The network should certainly do everything they can to protect affiliates from bad merchants (and merchants from bad affiliates), but I'm not really sure where they should draw the line. In this case, I think it should be very clear where the problem lies, but in many cases (in either direction), it's the affiliate's word against the merchant's.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  15. #15
    Newbie IAmMe's Avatar
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    Michael,

    SAS could complete a decent investigation of your merchant within 24 hours. If the fraud is as you described, it would easily set off all kinds of alarms for SAS.

    The fact that SAS has NOT done this is what amounts to proof of culpability on SAS's part.

    Again, it's a good thing that SAS has taken the time to build a large base of goodwill in the affiliate community. If SAS were a relatively new affiliate network, with no track record, most affiliates would be blasting them for not taking the time to get rid of blatantly bad merchants..

  16. #16
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    ivantk,

    If a commission is Edited - it can indicate something along the lines of a partial return. Of course the only person with knowledge of the order and what was returned, etc... is the merchant in this case which is why we like to start there. If you don't get a reply from them after a reasonable time please let me know and I'll contact them directly.
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

  17. #17
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    IAmMe,

    Unfortunately, there really is no way to do an investigation as you suggest in 24 hours. It takes time to go through these things, one reason is just that we do contact the merchant involved and we like to give them time to reply as well. We never want to just jump to a conclusion without hearing all sides of a story - which I think is a fair way to handle any dispute.

    While I know there is a lot of curiousity about these types of things, we don't post resolutions here in public as they really belong between a Merchant and Affiliate. It is possible that any number of these issues have been resolved without it being posted here. There is also the possibility that they weren't resolved to everyone's satisfaction, but that is our goal.

    Our priority in these situations is to fix the problem. The reason for this is that if we took extreme action (removing merchant or affiliate for example) - it could harm others.

    Example. If a Merchant has 100 affiliates, and 1 of them is reporting a problem... if we jump too early and remove a Merchant... it negatively affects the other 99 affiliates who may be working with the program with no problem at all.

    Each situation is different and requires time on our part to review and negotiate a possible solution. Unfortunately, it just isn't as easy as you suggest with a 24-hour turnaround, etc...
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

  18. #18
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Trust,

    I certainly see your point - but what you also aren't realizing is that a lot of the issues that you bring up were solved to the point where both parties were satisfied as best as possible.

    There are approximately 3,000 merchants now operating on the ShareASale Network, which means we are definitely going to get our fair share of complaints, disputes, etc... I feel confident that the way that we handle these disputes is fair to both parties - and in most cases ends in a positive resolution. I don't feel that a swift sword of removal (for either merchant or affiliate) is the proper solution. You might act differently in my position - but in the end we are happy with the way that we wade through these disputes. I try never to post specifics of any individual dispute here on this public message board, I just don't think it is appropriate. However, it would be incorrect to assume that that means that I haven't looked into it, or offered private assistance.

    I offer my personal email address (brian @ shareasale) to anyone who has a problem - and have in many threads here... if you feel like something is wrong, just email me and I'll do my best to look into it and at the very least give some guidance if it is something that I can't correct directly.
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

  19. #19
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    Brian, let's look at the case at hand. This is another thread on this merchant. And then I read post #5 where it looks like nothing has been done to the satisfaction of the affiliate:

    "I just want to give you an update to this issue guys.

    SAS reviewed my second ticket and told me to contact the merchant directly, because they have used Transaction Edit Trial to reverse/lower the commission without been logged into the returned mechanize section.

    I guess this is the new way to reverse a commission without increasing the return rate (I saw other merchants did that as well, but I haven't noticed it before)

    Few days ago, they did it again with another sales of mine (now $83 are gone). I have contacted them and as I expected - no reply, although in the earlier days when I was making money for them they were very responsive."

    Then another new thread about the Blinky Lights merchant reversing sales based on something that wasn't written into the agreement. They need to be held up to these agreements.

    Also, since it was asked again in another thread and I don't remember a specific date. Can you give affiliates a date where SAS will notify affiliates of commission changes? Because it's now 2010 and in late 2008, SAS said this is something they were going to do. When tho? Because still to this point, merchants can change commission payouts on the fly with no notification. Just doesn't seem like something that would take over a year to do.

    Just to add, Mellie asked about a date in this thread -
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=127023

    Never got a reply.

  20. #20
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Trust,

    You are making the assumption that nothing is being done... which is, in this case, incorrect.
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

  21. #21
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Trust - if you keep editing posts while I am replying, it makes it difficult for me to reply accurately.
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

  22. #22
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    I was reading his reply that I quoted. Maybe more is being done.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian - ShareASale
    Trust - if you keep editing posts while I am replying, it makes it difficult for me to reply accurately.
    I just added this part to it:

    "Also, since it was asked again in another thread and I don't remember a specific date. Can you give affiliates a date where SAS will notify affiliates of commission changes? Because it's now 2010 and in late 2008, SAS said this is something they were going to do. When tho? Because still to this point, merchants can change commission payouts on the fly with no notification. Just doesn't seem like something that would take over a year to do.

    Just to add, Mellie asked about a date in this thread -
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=127023

    Never got a reply."

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian - ShareASale
    ivantk,

    If a commission is Edited - it can indicate something along the lines of a partial return. Of course the only person with knowledge of the order and what was returned, etc... is the merchant in this case which is why we like to start there. If you don't get a reply from them after a reasonable time please let me know and I'll contact them directly.
    Brian,

    I know you and some of your staff are always ready to help affiliates here. May be that is why I love SAS among other networks.

    I don't blame the merchant directly. I just want to say that 2 years ago before the global economy collapse the return rates were extremely low to almost all merchants. Some of them managed to keep this rates low even now, but most started to revert/edit commissions with stupid explanations.

    In result, there are so many posts like this one.

    For example: diet food supplier, has around 50%+ returns rate. I don't send traffic to them at all, simply because they revert around 60% of my sales. They pay fixed amount for a new customer (completed transaction). In the past they had 3%-10% reversal and I have send them a lot of conversions without any returns.

    Somehow they jump to 60%, go offline very often (sales do not count) and guess what is the reason for returns - fraudulent transaction sale.

    I am just wondering how many Americans are going to buy diet food and then chargeback/fraud? My wild guess is 0-1%.

    This is not simply discouraging, but guess how many affiliates just gave up promoting products because of dishonest merchants. At the end we all (merchants, affiliates and SAS) are loosing money.

  24. #24
    Newbie IAmMe's Avatar
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    Brian,

    You're in a delicate position, we all understand that. What we can't understand is why these things get a lot of talk, but very little apparent action.

    Is Michael Coley's merchant still active on the SAS network? If yes, why? Michael described this as being a problem as far back as early December. How long does an investigation take??!!??

    If the investigation is done, and the merchant was not found at fault, why can't Michael name the merchant and you tell us that further investigation found no harm done by the merchant?

    Instead, it's now weeks later, more and more affiliates are *possibly* being defrauded by this same merchant.

    If 24 hours is not enough time, tell us how much time you need.

  25. #25
    Advocate mellie's Avatar
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    While I can't answer for Brian I will say that he has followed up with me regarding my request/question and I am comfortable with his response. Concerns on this issue are being addressed by SAS and I will continue to follow up until it (commission change notification) is implemented.
    Melanie
    President - Affiliate Advocacy 2008 ShareaSale Performance Industry Advocate Award, 2009 Affiliate Summit Pinnacle Award - Affiliate Advocate
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