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  1. #1
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    A resolve for all the bad Merchants and Affiliates!

    Every single one of us maintains a web site with a large variety of categories and links; I am suggesting ALL of us create 1 category titled “Consumer Beware”.

    Create a page and start adding every single affiliate or merchant that has done us wrong and the reasons for it. Instead of numerous threads complaining I would like to start a thread by which everyone simply posts the merchant or affiliate that has done bad thing with a description so we can add it to our page.


    Page description:
    Consumers beware of the below merchants who do not maintain the concern or ethics of there own affiliates much less there customers. We have dedicated this page as our way of assisting you in using caution while utilizing the Internet.

    Example:

    TigerDirect
    Maintains a sister companies called Dirtek, they refuse to honor agreements with there affiliates. Use caution when making purchases with this company.

    WhenU
    They place spyware on your computer to watch your every movement. Normally they place this spyware when you agree to upload free games, screensavers, etc. This is an extremely dangerous company.


    If we each take a moment to add the “Consumer Beware” page to your sites perhaps the creeps will understand ENOUGH is ENOUGH!

    I am eager to see better-written descriptions and a major list of CREEPS!

  2. #2
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    Nice idea Sandra, but iot's also a good way to get sued.

  3. #3
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    "Maintains a sister companies called Dirtek, they refuse to honor agreements with there affiliates. Use caution when making purchases with this company."

    I don't think my site visitors care if they honor agreements with affiliates, they don't even know what affiliates are. Sometimes good merchants have bad AMs. Maybe a page about how to get rid of all the crap the most people visiting our sites have on their computer would be better.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    Trusty:

    Given my recent bout with a particularly nasty Trojan, I'm dusting off the idea of a Savvy Surfer or Smart Surfer channel. It would focus on things like parasites, BHOs, etc., hoping to educate users.

  5. #5
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    That's a great idea. I was hoping somebody big like Oprah, 60 mintues, Nightly News would do a story on this. I know the people i've helped get there computers clean are very happy. Was hoping a lawyer or Tom Brokaw, Petter Jennings, Dan Rather would have these problems, get pissed and do up a story

  6. #6
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    I try to educate my visitors as well about safe surfing and shopping online.

    Here is how I explain it. My site terms

    I personally know people who have been victims of mischievous tactics. I direct them to my personal website for more info.

  7. #7
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    Educating the public is a good idea in theory. But, from what I've seen, the average Joe (or Jill) are either too scared or feel that they "Should Not Have To" learn such.

    Sure, they're pissed off that their computers are infected and plagued.

    In essence, most of these non-tech type folks I know expect thier computer/Internet to be as easy and effortless as using their TV.

    They just want to turn it on and go anywhere they want, unincumbered. There would be some that would be willing to learn. But, only a small percentage, I think.

    As individual affiliates and merchants, we can do what we can to fight it with methods like these. But, the overall impact will more than likely be less than desirable.

    The sad truth is that it is probably going to somebody with big guns to ever solve the problem. It may take laws being passed for the "Affiliate Networks" to get out of the parasite promoting business.

    When that happens, the affiliate network legal departments will no longer be able to say, "It's currently legal - so we can do it - regardless of how unethical it is. We're on safe legal ground to rake in the money until such time as laws are passed against it".

    Of course, those outside the reach of such US laws will continue.

  8. #8
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    "They just want to turn it on and go anywhere they want, unincumbered. There would be some that would be willing to learn. But, only a small percentage, I think."

    Exactly, they want to be able to surf unincumbered that's why i think they will be willing to learn if there was an easy way to teach them so they can understand it. Some upcoming changes should help, lawsuits, MS making some changes to combat this, new laws, etc. I think clean running systems is what people want and that's the way things are heading, one way or another. It won't happen overnite or as quickly as we would like but eventually it will happen. It's a good sign when there are high school kids taking down parasites (Xupiter) so slowly people are getting educated about this stuff.

  9. #9
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  10. #10
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    What's mean?

  11. #11
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    Sandra, I would dearly love to 'out' a few merchants and affiliates who've behaved less than honorably and professionally, but...I don't have a lawyer on retainer! Also, I gotta agree that the average consumer just doesn't wanna hear about our troubles, and I think in the long run the more transparent we affiliates are to the consumer, the better off we'll be.

    IOW, I think your idea is great in principle, but impractical.

    I do however have a dynamic parasites page (see www.doxdesk.com) on most of my sites, and I'm always surprised when folks find it through a SE while looking for ways to get rid of some ugly bugly that infested their browser. I think consumers appreciate information of this type and we should all consider including it on our shopping sites. Also, a "help" page that explains to consumers why they can't see product links and banners (and how to fix it) is a big help, too.

    I try to maintain the POV that what's good for my consumers is good for me, too. (It's not always easy to do.) Educating them about our troubles might only lead to a lot of confusion on their part. They're already pretty confused!

  12. #12
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    I can see the idea will not work, not because it’s not a good idea but because there is such negativity.

    1. Consumer Reports Magazine is a Multi-Million dollar industry. There sole objective is informing individuals of BAD merchants and products. So the consumer does have an interest in knowing…

    2. As long as you state it’s your opinion and IT IS your opinion you are protected.

    3. Being an affiliate is not a bad word, most major corporations who provide networking place their affiliation as a badge of honor. As all affiliations should be.

    My comments on the arguments already posted; NEGATIVITY and the need to ***** instead of finding a solution will always keep Affiliate Marketing a mess.

  13. #13
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    It's not that it won't work, Sandra and it's not "negativity" as much as caution that's at work.

    Posting one's opinion is one thing. A concerted effort to organize a number of individuals to post that opinion is another.

    As we've seen, Claria enjoys going after sites that call their crap "spyware." The lawsuit "hobbiest" at Pets Warehouse is another that sues for posting opinions. This is the USA (at least where I'm sitting) but the cost of speech isn't free when others have bigger pocketbooks.

    Wayne

  14. #14
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    "Consumer Reports Magazine is a Multi-Million dollar industry. There sole objective is informing individuals of BAD merchants and products. So the consumer does have an interest in knowing…"

    But that's not the objective of any of my sites. My objective is to sell stuff. Just yank bad merchants and bad products off your site and use good ones. If i use any space it would be for getting my site visitors computers clean so when they come back to my site i won't have any interference I wouldn't use the space to talk about bad merchants because they won't be on my site in the first place.

    I agree with the WhenU thing you posted. But i don't think a merchant is bad just because their affiliate manager is. They're separate to me.

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador Sam Bay's Avatar
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    It's a very good idea. As long as we don't go into the technicality of problem, instead explaining what it's bad. Not how it effects the AFFILIATES, but how it, negatively, effects the CONSUMERS themselves; privacy concerns, trojans, etc., in a plain English.

    That would work, and it's not hard to do it.

    The USUAL nah-sayers, will say "NAH, IT WON'T WORK" to anything suggested.
    SomethingStore.com - Surprise and Delight!

  16. #16
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    I'd be all for somebody getting a page together explaining this stuff as simply as possible and ways to get rid of it step by step. Post a draft of it here and let ABW members go thru it. Buy a domain for the page so all affiliates can link to it. Make it a neutral page so all affiliates won't have a problem linking to it. I just remember talking to somebody about this exact thing and they said they had something in the works where affiliates can link to.

  17. #17
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I'd be all for somebody getting a page together explaining this stuff as simply as possible and ways to get rid of it step by step. Post a draft of it here and let ABW members go thru it. Buy a domain for the page so all affiliates can link to it. Make it a neutral page so all affiliates won't have a problem linking to it. I just remember talking to somebody about this exact thing and they said they had something in the works where affiliates can link to. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I'm working on it Trust and getting close. There will actually be multiple ways for affiliates to access and use the information including them having it directly on their site if they want so their visitor isn't taken away.

  18. #18
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    Thanks Ms. B

    Let us know when its ready!

    I am of the belief if we warn the consumers they will REMEMBER some of the names posted. Go shopping see a store called "TigerDirect" and REMEMBER then move on...

  19. #19
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    Just to be clear I was talking about consumer education regarding Trust's post....how to get the stuff off, protection etc.

    Not a list of bad doers for consumers. I have to agree that one is fraught with legal issues. In keeping towards more positive, I'd rather see something promoting the good guys to consumers vs 'outing' the bad ones. I've been toying with a few different ideas there and talking with some merchants for their feedback. Haven't decided anything specific yet along those lines. Might not even really be a need for it.

  20. #20
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    What BLFH said, consumer education, trying to get people's computer's clean and keep it clean. Not Merchant X is bad because there affiliate manager sucks or treats their affiliates bad.

    Example: I've always had a good experience shopping at Amazon, most people do. What if they hired an AM that was an ass. You want me to tell my site visitors that Amazon is bad because they have an affiliate manager that is an ass? They don't care. They'll still have a good shopping experience no matter who the AM is.

  21. #21
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Great idea Trustno1 and Ms.B as I wasted countless hours cleaning BHO's adware/spyware. Today I uncovered one that blocks SpyBot S&D from completeing it's scan and it even included a trojan horse computer viruse that blocks the modem from being used with Winfax pro. Ad-Aware 6.0 got some of the nasties. Yahoo toolbar (OEM PestPatrol) identified a few where REGEDIT was needed for manual deletion of a few others.

    Trendmicro.com's housecall didn't find anything and Xblock
    http://www.spywareguide.com/txt_onlinescan.html caught a few more even though that one can be destructive when deleting some of the spyware modifying the Windows winsock settings.

    I know it hijacked the IE 6.0 browser since it refuses to download the Microfoft XP security patch updates. Another strange thing is the IE browser won't perform clicks on external site links or new window links...make you have to ignor the hour glass and hit the IE browser Stop button. Results in page not found and then you hit the "refresh button" and whalla ...the page. Repeat on the next link...

    Diagonsis: They have Norton Internet Security installed popping up an alert every few minutes with a trojan virus IP# 27.01.01.01 (their system port) but norton can't find it on a scan. The bugger is trying to call home with credit card info -keystroke logs -usernames/passwords and other sellable stuff. Some how the combination browser hijacker -adware/spyware perp -dialer & virus stay hidden.

    I said screw this and installed Netscape 7.1 for them to use. Will install new USR PCI WinModem tomorrow after removing the other modem S/W and Winfax Pro. Whack all communication S/W from XP and reboot with crossed fingures. I think this one is as hard to find as Bin-Laden and probably funds a terrorist training center.

    Swat this friggin bug...

    We suggestion would be to pressure Overstock and some other mending their ways to post a spyware/adware page with detect/removal links like yahoo and Google did. The get millions of visitors needing a flea bath.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  22. #22
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Consumer Reports Magazine is a Multi-Million dollar industry. There sole objective is informing individuals of BAD merchants and products. So the consumer does have an interest in knowing… ~SandraR <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Actually I've read Consumer Reports to find out what is GOOD more. Their lab-tested reviews don't only point out the bad--some products actually withstand the pounding CR gives them.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> But that's not the objective of any of my sites. My objective is to sell stuff. TrustNo1 <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Exactly. As a consumer, I HATE IT when salespeople or other people from places I'm trying to spend money at, burden me with their problems. I am there to BUY THINGS not be a psychologist, or offer sympathies, or otherwise do anything to get involved in their sh*t!

    I try not to do to my customers, what would aggravate ME so much that I'd leave fast, and never come back.

    I believe most customers would agree with me, as I've seen the lack of activity in stores where the owners blast everyone who walks in with what sucks about their particular industry.

    Plus, a site/store should give the customers the impression that Nothing Could Possibly Be Wrong At All. It's essential to building consumer confidence.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I am of the belief if we warn the consumers they will REMEMBER some of the names posted. Go shopping see a store called "TigerDirect" and REMEMBER then move on... ~SandraR <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Sad to say, but--NOT. Consider this disturbing chain of events. This really happened:

    A few years ago I was doing a little gig passing out food samples.

    The year before that j*b, Hudson Beef (or Hudson Foods) had done a huge recall--the biggest beef recall ever! Their beef had been contaminated with E. Coli.

    The food I was serving up was made by--you guessed it--Hudson.

    People who recalled the name would come up and say, "Hudson~~!" Then they'd get a bewildered look as they tried to remember where they saw *that* name. I'd say, "Yes, it's from Hudson..." (expecting the worst)... And they'd say:

    "I remember that name, Hudson Meat--it must be a really famous company! (Then they take a taste) And the food IS good, too!" Then they'd buy TWO packs of the stuff!

    This shows that people will remember a brand name, but eventually will FORGET ALL ABOUT some of the worst negative publicity. NO customers remembered that Hudson meat had been BAD--not one! In fact, they thought that the fact that they remembered the name Hudson meant that Hudson sold BETTER meat than other places!

    So don't be surprised if you put up a diss-list and after a few months, people just remember the names of the places and assume that means that they're good...
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador mailman's Avatar
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    Both Wacky Women and Sandra have great points. I think and I have said this before, the only way to curb redirects and bad merchants is P.O.P.
    Proof of Purchase! An online receipt when a customer makes a purchase from your site.
    It could be worded something like this.
    Thanks for shopping on our site.We sincerely hope that you found what you want and that your shopping experince was good. In order for us to provide you with good customer service from our merchants could you kindly take the time to provide us with the details of your puchase.(form)
    1. The name of the merchant.
    2.The date of your purchase.
    3.A description and dollar value of your purchase.
    Thanks for your support.
    How can a merchant deny your commission with a POP?
    You then have some recourse and proof.
    This is just my 2cents.

  24. #24
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    Personally, I'd like to see the network (or merchant) send a confirmation to the affiliate that the order has been placed. Nothing like a system of double-checks to make a person feel comfy.

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador mailman's Avatar
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    Do you really think that will happen Rhea? We the affliates have to come up with our own method of insuring that we are getting credit for sales generated from our sites. What I have suggested is at least going to provide us with some documentation that a sale came from our site. We then have some recourse. We can also then post the bad merchants without fear of being sued.

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