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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    Large Sale Reversal Excuses
    I almost fell off my chair when I logged in to SAS two days ago and saw a the largest sale ever! from a site that does not sell high ticket items, mainly small stuff. I was pretty excited but didn't wanted to get my hopes up since I know what can happen.... So contacted dear Carolyn and she went to check for me.

    Two days of waiting, and no news.

    Then tonight, got an email from the merchant that the sale has been reversed!

    Here is the email and excuses:

    Hi,

    I had to void the following transaction due to Credit card fraud.

    The above order was plaved on our website for delivery in San Antonio, TX 78249 but when we did a reverse IP lookup to see fom where the order was placed it wasa found that it was plaved from Malaysia. We usually do the reverse IP lookup for larger orders like these. The IP address from where the order came from is 189.161.191.148 which if you wil do the reverse lookup you will find that its in Malaysia. We tried contacting the buyer via the phone number provided but no one picked up the phone. We have also sent emails asking the buyer to contact us but havent heard back so far. Hence we have cancelled the order on our website and also the affiliate transaction.
    If you have any question please let me know and I will be happy to answer them for you.
    So, is this a valid reason to claim credit card fraud if the credit card was not reported stolen, or compromised? I replied tonight asking the merchant if this was the case but from the email the reason for canceling is because the IP does not match, the phone was not answered and the email they sent they didn't get a reply. NOT that the credit card was reported STOLEN, or that there was fraud.

    One scenario that could not be uncommon is that someone made the purchase on vacation to be sent home in the U.S. or to a relative? Not possible?

    One thing that also happened, right after the big sale, the merchant went offline. So by canceling my order, it brought their status automatically back online. So am I wrong to say that merchants make these kind of excuses to not pay the network, not pay the affiliates, and then when they hear from the customers a few days later, they fulfill the sale without having to pay SAS or the affiliate?

    [/bummed]
    Last edited by ladidah; March 24th, 2010 at 12:22 AM.

  2. #2
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ladidah View Post
    The above order was plaved on our website for delivery in San Antonio, TX 78249 but when we did a reverse IP lookup to see fom where the order was placed it wasa found that it was plaved from Malaysia. We usually do the reverse IP lookup for larger orders like these. The IP address from where the order came from is 189.161.191.148 which if you wil do the reverse lookup you will find that its in Malaysia.

    One scenario that could not be uncommon is that someone made the purchase on vacation to be sent home in the U.S. or to a relative? Not possible?
    It could be possible... especially if the order is for delivery in San Antonio, TX, and it was made in... (Read below)

    I just used the IPNetInfo utility, and it says that the IP above is from Mexico, not Malaysia... so maybe try to get a better answer from the merchant....

  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager BlogBonnieBlog's Avatar
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    Ladidah! I'm sorry that happened to you! You totally freaked me out though because I had to contact an affiliate and reverse a very large sale yesterday and I thought maybe you were talking about me LOL!

    After breathing a sigh of relief that it's not me you're taking about, I'd be interested in knowing how others feel about using the IP address too. Trying to give the merchant the benefit of the doubt, I'd be interested in knowing how many large sales they get cause that is an awful lot of work to go to if they get a large volume of sales that are all big amounts.

    I personally would be a bit hesitant to totally cancel a sale based on an IP address as they can be a bit misleading. I know my IP comes up as being in a town 60+ miles from here where Cox Communications is located and my friend who is on a satellite shows as being half way across the country.

    Being in the middle of spring break time (lots of people traveling) doesn't seem like a lot of time to allow for a response.

    I know on the few sales I've had to reverse, I've tried hard to explain the whole situation and document so that the affiliate is hopefully as comfortable with the situation as possible and knows that I'm being as open and honest as possible about the issue.

    I think knowing what type of product it is could make a difference too.

  4. #4
    Full Member JCSupSvc's Avatar
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    I don't know about the rest but I did an IP lookup at IP2Location dot com and it says that IP is from Mexico, not Malaysia.

    IP - 189.161.191.148
    Country - MEXICO
    Region - JALISCO
    City - ZAPOPAN
    ISP - GESTIN DE DIRECCIONAMIENTO UNINET
    :rankn-scp John - This is our chosen profession. This is our way. This is what we do.

  5. #5
    Full Member JCSupSvc's Avatar
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    Oops, Mr Sal beat me to posting.
    :rankn-scp John - This is our chosen profession. This is our way. This is what we do.

  6. #6
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCSupSvc View Post
    Oops, Mr Sal beat me to posting.
    Try the free utility from the link I posted above... it's quicker than going to IP2Location, or to search the net... (one click away from the taskbar.)

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    That is a good find Mr Sal and JCSup. I didn't think of checking the IP and it is indeed Mexico! Not Malaysia!

    Bonnie, that is also a good point too about the IP radius, it can have a broad range. Yes, and this is indeed March break where people can be away on vacation! What better time to shop when you are relaxed, on vacation, and you are sitting by the pool clicking away...

    I am so disappointed that the merchant has already reversed the sale and I fear that the credit card fraud is just an excuse to not pay the commission. Arrgghhhh!!!!

    I was just curious to see if anyone here have encountered this kind of situation before and what if anything I can do about it. The great thing is now the merchant shows in its stats very nice EPC, weekly sales stats, but the reversal does not show.

  8. #8
    15 years and counting
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    ladidah, you said it yourself. The merchant sells mainly small stuff. I believe it's a fraud if the buyer don't answer email or phone.
    It's not the best interest of the merchant to reverse the transaction.
    Things like this happen all the time. Don't think about it.

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager ParadigmWilliam's Avatar
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    Sometimes the person will not know about the fraud for a long time, but if its out of the ordinary its most likely fraud.
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  10. #10
    Affiliate Manager BlogBonnieBlog's Avatar
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    If someone was sending the order to San Antonio, TX and the proper IP is actually mexico, that could be a totally valid sale. My friend was on vacation once in san diego and her cell phone bill was like $700 when she got home. Her phone was actually bouncing off the cell towers in Tijuana and they were charging her "out of the country" rates, though she was very much inside of the USA. If it was a business person using a wireless card, they could very well be near the beach and bouncing off a cell tower somewhere that's throwing their IP.

    Did they actually look up the phone number to see if it matches the name or anything or just call and didn't get an answer? I know even ordering pizza, I give my house number though I'd not be there cause I don't give out my cell phone number.

    I'd take him up on the "i'll be happy to answer them"

    I'd at least challenge them -- ask them what program they use to check IP addresses to start and tell them what you've found.

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    Bonnie that is an interesting circumstance you are describing. The merchant sent an email tonight and I did challenge him with questions about the credit card whether it was checked or not. Haven't heard back since it's late tonight and don't know where they are located. With people being mobile these days it is ridiculous to base it on IP alone.

    Regarding the phone and email not being answered Zeus, what about the possibility of being on vacation? I know the idea of being in Malaysia, half way around the country does bring up red flags, but if you think Mexico instead, it's not so unusual since it's pretty close to San Antonio, TX.

    I was hoping that you would pop in here Zeus with your sage advice since I know you have experienced many scenarios like this before, especially reversals of big sales. Not worth the fight huh? Part of me just wants to chew the merchant out and the other part wants to drop him and move on. Problem is I can't find any other replacement. OK, Don't think about it.

    I think what irks me the most is not losing the commission, but that people think they can fool you or cheat you with one *click*.

    Don't think about it.

    Trying real hard.

  12. #12
    15 years and counting
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    I'm always on vacation, ladidah. My kids live in Sydney, London and Paris and I'm always between Orlando, Atlanta and Bordeaux. I'm the first victim of these merchants checking my ip and declining my online orders because I'm never in the right country. It works most of the time after contacting them.
    Believe me, I know the feeling of big orders being reversed. Even at Shareasale I had huge orders void. The merchants have to do it, they can't take such a risk. I'll fight to death scummy merchants but it seems it's not the case for this one.
    Now, you have the choice, forget that order, move on and book more sales than ever or mess up your mind thinking all merchants are scum. Think positive. It's the cost of doing business as an affiliate. Even if a legitimate commission is lost, it's not the end. For a merchant, it could be much worse.

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    Some good words of valuable advice Zeus. That is probably why you have been in business so long because you can stay positive. You can definitely be in the mindset that all merchants are out there to get you, cheat you, steal your keywords, steal your SERPs position, etc. Perhaps I was in that mindset for the past couple of days with another incident with another merchant. I will remember this. Thanks

  14. #14
    Member vicjg's Avatar
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    Just for the record, geographic ip lookup has an accuracy rate of less than 99%, so the occasional mistake will be made.

    In addition to reverse IP, we typically look at a combination of the AVS result of the credit card and a manual bank verification of the billing phone number. Alot of factors go into catching fraud, I don't think ip lookup should be the only reason for cancelling an order.

  15. #15
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Yeah, I've got to (sort of) go along with Zeus. Just a week ago I had a $2300 order reversed from a merchant that usually has MUCH smaller orders. But I didn't let it get to me. The merchant, of course, did not contact me and I've been too busy to ask them about it. If it happens again, I will. But this particular merchant is on SAS, is on AutoDeposit and never goes off-line.

    On the other hand - I am used to (or hardened to) having large orders canceled. Being in the hotels business for ten years I am used to a 25% to 30% cancellation rate. Because my main niche is in a couple of "expensive" markets, I see a lot of $1500 to $2000 summertime bookings. They hurt when they disappear, but sure are sweet when they are consumed and paid.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
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  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    You might want to look at that merchant's checkout process. Some people sell online with only a MOTO merchant account and can't get proper authorizations for every transaction. The bank leaves it up to them to decide whether to chance it or not. If they don't use one of the mainstream gateway processors they may be MOTO (Mail Order/Telephone Order) and manually processing and authorizing every transaction. They can't check CVS.

  17. #17
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Not to CYA for the merchant but I know that fraud does happen.

    And for a merchant, the credit card companies would often charge the merchant for the chargeback + some crazy fees. Trust me, if I am a merchant, I would like to ship that $xxxx order out too as oppose to sitting on the inventory.

    Here is a real live situation:
    At lost golf balls, we saw orders coming through. They did a test order with a stolen CC and if it was shipped via next day air, they hit us for some big amount. The address on the CC is different than the Ship to address with diff names. Yeah, talk about shipping to your aunt.

    Called the cops at that state of the ship to address. The lady has no idea that she was in a scam like what you see in Dateline. They did find other stuff there too from other merchants.

    Ask the merchant, if it was shipped via next day air. Usually, these people would like to have the products before the merchant notice it and get it rerouted by UPS/Fedex.
    Last edited by Eric Ewe; March 24th, 2010 at 10:12 AM.

  18. #18
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
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    Many merchants don't ship outside of the USA and those that do often have very high shipping prices. It is possible that they had placed an order to be shipped to a friend's or relative's house to pick up later.
    I can imagine doing that if it were something very unique that I couldn't get otherwise.

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vicjg View Post
    In addition to reverse IP, we typically look at a combination of the AVS result of the credit card and a manual bank verification of the billing phone number.
    Not being a merchant, what does AVS stand for?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    Because my main niche is in a couple of "expensive" markets, I see a lot of $1500 to $2000 summertime bookings. They hurt when they disappear, but sure are sweet when they are consumed and paid.
    Bill, I must be in the wrong market! Pretty awesome to get such large sales. My site is small numbers and when a big one like this hits, which is my first biggie, it hurts when it doesn't go through. Good to know that you also take the same attitude as Zeus and not let those reversals bother you. Got to learn from the veterans.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2busy View Post
    You might want to look at that merchant's checkout process. Some people sell online with only a MOTO merchant account and can't get proper authorizations for every transaction. The bank leaves it up to them to decide whether to chance it or not. If they don't use one of the mainstream gateway processors they may be MOTO (Mail Order/Telephone Order) and manually processing and authorizing every transaction. They can't check CVS.
    This is another good point of view from how the merchant's back end works. I looked at their site again and seems they offer 4 ways of checkout, via credit card using Zoovy, Google checkout, Paypal and then Amazon checkout. I was surprised to see the Amazon checkout eventhough the cart did not work, perhaps they are also selling on amazon. Will need to look.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Ewe View Post
    And for a merchant, the credit card companies would often charge the merchant for the chargeback + some crazy fees. Trust me, if I am a merchant, I would like to ship that $xxxx order out too as oppose to sitting on the inventory.
    I see, quite the risk for the merchant. The merchant never shipped the order, so they just canceled based on the little information of what they had, IP address and no contact reply back from the customer during these 2 days.

    Interesting story about the lady with the credit card fraud. Definitely reminds me of a scene from those Dateline shows as we have all seen on tv. I am sure you have plenty of those stories!

    Quote Originally Posted by lostdeviant View Post
    Many merchants don't ship outside of the USA and those that do often have very high shipping prices. It is possible that they had placed an order to be shipped to a friend's or relative's house to pick up later.
    I can imagine doing that if it were something very unique that I couldn't get otherwise.
    That is what I thought too. The merchant is a B&M in New York and they do ship to UK, Canada and of course US. There are so many endless possibilities that goes through my head, but in the end, it's up to the merchant to make the decision.

    Update:
    Today the merchant told me that the address on the credit card and the shipping address where different, but in the same city and are still waiting to hear form the customer. If the sales goes through, they "assure" me that they will give me credit. Will just have to wait and see what happens. Thanks for all your points of view and feedback.

    Love that multi-quote thingy

  20. #20
    Full Member JCSupSvc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Sal View Post
    Try the free utility from the link I posted above... it's quicker than going to IP2Location, or to search the net... (one click away from the taskbar.)
    Thanks Mr. Sal. Always appreciate finding new tools to make things easier/quicker.
    :rankn-scp John - This is our chosen profession. This is our way. This is what we do.

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    AVS= Address Verification Service. It is done automatically when your payments are processed through payment gateways like Authorize.net and VeriSign and it makes sure that the address entered in your cart matches the address that the CC company has on file for you. It is an important deterrent to fraudulent orders but many small merchants don't want to pay the gateway fees so they go with MOTO and manually decide whether to accept the order or not. They do commonly use IP address lookups to help them decide.

  22. #22
    Affiliate Manager BlogBonnieBlog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Ewe View Post
    Here is a real live situation:
    At lost golf balls, we saw orders coming through. They did a test order with a stolen CC and if it was shipped via next day air, they hit us for some big amount. The address on the CC is different than the Ship to address with diff names. Yeah, talk about shipping to your aunt.
    This is very similar to the issue we're facing right now only it deals with checks and multiple fake bank accounts. People preying on the turn around times of check processing.

  23. #23
    Affiliate Manager bcwaller's Avatar
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    The merchant takes a huge risk if they do not reverse suspicious sales. They will be shipping out merchandise and will have to pay chargeback fees if this is fraud. As a merchant as well, we always look at IP address vs other information collected (check out MaxMind, we use them). We will also call the phone number. Virtually every one of the calls we make are to some random person or invalid. This pretty much guarantees that the card is fraud.

    That address in Mexico is not even close to the border. It is near Guadalajara, about 600 or more miles from San Antonio.

    The worst case here is that it is a legitimate order and the customer will be pissed off. If they do come back and make the order, and it gets verified, the merchant should credit the affiliate with the sale.

    When it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's usually a duck.
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  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador superCool's Avatar
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    Good luck ladidah - superCool hopes the sale is valid and you get your commission. big sales are awesome! you never know when you will get one. if this one doesn't come through there will be another.

  25. #25
    Affiliate Network Rep Louis's Avatar
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    Just to reinforce bcwaller and the rest, I can say that before working as a network rep I worked for a small online retailer and we got A LOT of credit card fraud. Some months 10% or more of our orders were clearly fraud.

    Was it a major brand or more of a niche retailer?

    My sense is that a lot of these fraudsters go for the small to mid size etailers because they have less advanced credit card processing so the order is more likely to go through before the fraud is detected.
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