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  1. #1
    Newbie
    Join Date
    May 4th, 2010
    Location
    san francisco, Ca
    Posts
    8
    Mercola Affiliate Program Tracking Problems
    I was inspired to write this post because of the
    TERRIBLE treatment that I had under the hands of
    Mercola dot com who has an extensive health and
    wellness affiliate program.

    I had been using their affiliate program for about 6 months without a problem when I got an email
    stating, 'Be sure to check your links affiliates.
    All affiliates should check their links on
    occasion so please make sure that all of your
    links are working'. With no explanation.

    So, I put my site through a link checker and there
    was no problem. All links worked. A few days
    later, I get an email from a friend who stated
    that she had someone purchase a product through
    her and she didn't get credit for it. She calledthe affiliate manager who said that they had
    CHANGED some of their links and people weren't
    getting credit for their links.

    So, I call the affiliate manager and ask, "Which
    links were changed". He says that I should just
    check and make sure that my links work because
    they had changed 'some' of them. He told me that
    it should just take 2 or 3 minutes because
    affiliates only have one or two page non-content
    sites, right?

    WRONG!! My site is over 1500 pages with their
    links on nearly every single page. I tell him that
    this is a full time week long job and that I
    shouldn't HAVE to change my links. Why don't THEY
    fix the affiliate problem.

    He tells me in no uncertain terms that they may or
    may not EVER get the problem fixed with the
    current links- but they are working on it. In the
    meantime, the links they changed (that he couldn't
    tell me which ones they are) will not register
    when they go through. But, oh, they've redirected
    them, so the link won't be 'Broken', it'll just go
    through to the new page without registering a
    cookie. (and give them free traffic)


    Too bad, my problem. And if they change
    links in the future, too, they may or may not let
    me know- and that's why I should check my links
    regularly.

    Jeremy, the affiliate manager, has no idea that you have to check links by
    hand to see if they have been redirected. He does
    NOT understand the difference between a 'broken
    link' and a link that has been changed and
    redirected that is not registering cookies. He
    does NOT understand BASIC affiliate concepts.

    So, I call his manager for 3 days in a row and she (Amber)
    keeps sending it back to the affiliate manager to
    call me instead of calling me herself. Finally, on
    the third day (when I 've spent 8 hours a day
    changing links and still have only touched on the
    SURFACE of all the links that need to be changed)
    she says ,

    "You don't have to do that. We're
    getting the problem fixed- and in the meantime,
    we'll be hand tracking sales to make sure that
    everyone gets their proper commission."

    Whew! But that doesn't get me the 8 hours a day
    for the past 3 days back now does it. And why did
    the affiliate manager not know this?

    So, a couple weeks later, I get an email saying
    the problem is fixed and we've ESTIMATED your
    sales from the time the links were broken and
    we're sending you a $200 check.

    ESTIMATED!! That's NOT what I was told. I was told
    that they would be HAND TRACKING all sales. So, I
    send complaints to the customer service department
    that keep getting send back to me saying that the
    links are all fixed now, so I shouldn't have any
    complaints! Good day!

    So, I keep sending angrier letters saying that I
    want a manager, but I keep getting blown off. A
    manager finally leaves me a message while I'm out saying that
    the problem is fixed and he's sorry that I had to
    spend 3 days of my life changing my links because
    THEY didn't think about that when they decided to
    change URL's for no good reason- and here's the
    kicker- he says, 'But that's what needed to be
    done if you wanted to track your sales.'

    BTW- he does not leave a call back number and he called me from a number that I can't call him back on.

    I'm floored. Amber LIED to me!! She said that the
    links would be tracked and they WEREN'T!! The
    affiliate manager told me the truth and SHE LIED
    to me about the problem!!

    I write back to customer service and get a letter
    back saying, "this is an affiliate problem, please
    contact the affiliate manager"- when I
    SPECIFICALLY stated that I wanted to talk to his
    and Amber's superiors. I send a letter back saying
    that I want to TALK to a manager. So, far (6 days
    later) no response.

    Mercola affiliate program will be happy to screw
    you over, change your links, lie to you about it and take your
    traffic despite Dr. Mercola's smiling face and their assurances that
    they are there to serve you.

    DON'T DO MERCOLA AFFILIATE PROGRAM!!!


    Sincerely,

    Kerri Knox, RN

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador beachcom's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 11th, 2006
    Location
    Myrtle Beach SC
    Posts
    723
    Kerri...sorry to hear about what happened. Is Mercola in house managed or what? Sounds like the AM (Jeremy), and everyone involved had absolutely no affiliate training whatsoever.

  3. #3
    Newbie
    Join Date
    May 4th, 2010
    Location
    san francisco, Ca
    Posts
    8
    Hi Joey,

    Yes, it is in-house managed- and the situation is really bad because I'm ABSOLUTELY SURE that the owner of the site, Dr. Mercola himself, would be HORRIFIED about this problem. But I've been unable to reach him personally and can't even get through one layer of managers.

    I even asked Jeremy about his experience with Affiliate programs and he said, "I'm really just here to answer questions about the affiliate program."

    I complained to his manager, Amber, about his lack of experience and suggested getting him affiliate training or hiring someone who does.. but pretty much no response to that.

    OH, they also didn't inform any of their OTHER affiliates other than the initial email that said, "Check your links".

    I worked REALLY REALLY hard to get them to inform the rest of the affiliates about this problem and let them know that "Check your links" is not sufficient. I even offered to craft the letter. I got my husband, who is also their affiliate, to call in about this problem and complain- and STILL got no email to the rest of the affiliates explaining the problem.

    REALLY REALLY awful. And the worst part is simply that they changed URL's on many of their products without even CONSIDERING their affiliates first. So, I just want to get the word out that they only give lip service about their affiliate program- and I'm hoping that someone from their company will actually get notified of this post and contact me to see what they can do to remedy this problem.



    Kerri Knox,RN

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager
    Join Date
    May 14th, 2010
    Posts
    1
    Reply to Original Post
    I would first like to say, that as a company with over 90% customer satisfaction, we take every call, comment, and complaint very seriously.

    Jeremy, as the Affiliate manager was the person who could best handle the situation. He has a much wider knowledge base than Amber (the Customer Service Manager). While Customer Service and the Affiliate Program sometimes work together, Customer Service just doesn’t have the background information to handle any problems with the Affiliate Program. That’s why there was such reluctance to pass Kerri to anyone else. Also, due to the nature of the problem, Dr. Mercola was made aware of the situation as soon as the problem was found.

    The actual problem occurred with 4 of our product pages: krill oil, probiotics, the tanning units, and cookware. The problem was not a broken link. It had to do with the cookies attached to those pages. The pages were updated to provide easier access for consumers from the affiliate’s page. However, when those URLs were changed, the code was not preserved. There were an incredibly small number of affiliates who were affected by this.

    Once the problem was found, we were able to quickly discern how long it had gone on for. Once that was discovered, a solution was quickly found. The cookies were fixed in approximately 1 month. For the affiliates that were affected, it was decided that they would be compensated for potential sales lost as well as for any grievances experienced. The amount for the check was determined by average sales and an additional amount was added on for additional compensation.

    As soon as the cookie problem was discovered, an email was sent out to all of our Affiliates to remind them of the Agreement:

    12. Tracking of Sales
    Mercola.com will be solely responsible for tracking sales made to customers who follow an Affiliate's links using the proprietary tracking interface from Direct Track. An Affiliate will be solely responsible for ensuring that its links are formatted properly and maintained in a manner, which allows Mercola.com to track such sales. No commission shall be paid if the application cannot be tracked by Mercola.com or if the customer accesses the Mercola.com site other than through the Affiliate's links.

    Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the Affiliate to ensure his/her links are working. Mercola.com will take responsibility for the pages and everything else tied to them, but there is no easy way to check each and every Affiliate link for them on our end.

    Whenever links are changed, the Affiliates are notified of the change. Mercola.com would, in no way, wish to cut off a very important population of people. To do so would undermine the company’s morality and mission. The 4 product pages mentioned did not undergo such a change. There was simply a redirect put into effect. So, the links the Affiliates were using were still valid.

    Kerri was never asked to check each and every one of her links. Each Affiliate has a link for each product he/she wishes to sell. There was no need to go through 1,500+ pages. All she needed to check was the link to the various products she was promoting. So, if an Affiliate has 500 links to Krill Oil, the Affiliate would only need to check a single instance to verify it works.

    As far as the integrity of Jeremy and Amber go, they are two of the highest rated employees currently working for Mercola.com. Jeremy and Amber would neither intentionally lie to a customer nor would they talk about something they don’t have the knowledge base for. Neither Jeremy nor Amber ever mentioned anything about hand-tracking sales. Hand-tracking sales isn’t a practical solution for anyone.
    Both handled the situation as best as they could. In the end, less than 0.5% of the pages were affected and of the affected Affiliates, only one had an unsatisfactory experience.

    He tells me in no uncertain terms that they may or
    may not EVER get the problem fixed with the
    current links- but they are working on it. In the
    meantime, the links they changed (that he couldn't
    tell me which ones they are) will not register
    when they go through. But, oh, they've redirected
    them, so the link won't be 'Broken', it'll just go
    through to the new page without registering a
    cookie. (and give them free traffic)
    Jeremy told her that our IT department was working on the problem but did not have an estimate for how long it would be until it would be corrected. He did not tell her that the issue may not ever get fixed. She again states that he wouldn’t tell her which links, as previously mentioned he gave her the 4 product categories right away.

    Too bad, my problem. And if they change
    links in the future, too, they may or may not let
    me know- and that's why I should check my links
    regularly.
    Jeremy let her know that if an issue like this ever occurred again that affiliates would be notified. He would never say that we wouldn’t notify people of a problem.

    Jeremy, the affiliate manager, has no idea that you have to check links by
    hand to see if they have been redirected. He does
    NOT understand the difference between a 'broken
    link' and a link that has been changed and
    redirected that is not registering cookies. He
    does NOT understand BASIC affiliate concepts.
    Jeremy does understand that you have to check links by hand, but that doesn’t mean that when we’re experiencing a problem like this the links shouldn’t still be checked. He also understands what a broken link is, but was trying to let the affiliate know that her links still took customers to a live page and all that needed to be fixed was a tracking cookie being inserted on our end, meaning that when the problem was resolved she would not be required to update or change links.

    So, I call his manager for 3 days in a row and she (Amber)
    keeps sending it back to the affiliate manager to
    call me instead of calling me herself. Finally, on
    the third day (when I 've spent 8 hours a day
    changing links and still have only touched on the
    SURFACE of all the links that need to be changed)
    she says ,
    Amber sent the affiliate back to Jeremy because customer service does not deal with the affiliate program and Jeremy was able to answer her questions far better than Amber could. Amber finally talked to the customer because they clearly did not want to talk to the actual affiliate department any more

    "You don't have to do that. We're
    getting the problem fixed- and in the meantime,
    we'll be hand tracking sales to make sure that
    everyone gets their proper commission."
    Amber did not tell her she didn’t have to do that (update/check links), Amber actually told her that she sympathized with her and felt that she shouldn’t have to change her links. Amber also did not tell her that we would be tracking sales by hand, because we can’t do that. Amber did tell her that we would be working on getting her commissions somehow.

    Whew! But that doesn't get me the 8 hours a day
    for the past 3 days back now does it. And why did
    the affiliate manager not know this?
    Jeremy did know that we would be working on getting her compensation, he didn’t know that we would be tracking sales by hand because there is no way to this.

    So, a couple weeks later, I get an email saying
    the problem is fixed and we've ESTIMATED your
    sales from the time the links were broken and
    we're sending you a $200 check.
    Her sales did not fluctuate during the time that the links were not functioning, so the $200 was a generous compensation for her time as well as any potential lost sales that may have come in due to an unforeseen jump in her sales.

    ESTIMATED!! That's NOT what I was told. I was told
    that they would be HAND TRACKING all sales. So, I
    send complaints to the customer service department
    that keep getting send back to me saying that the
    links are all fixed now, so I shouldn't have any
    complaints! Good day!
    Again, she was never told that sales would be hand tracked. Her complaints to customer service were going to the wrong department (which she was told repeatedly) and she was never told that “she shouldn’t have any more complaints”,but rather she was told that any further complaints should be brought up with the affiliate department.

    So, I keep sending angrier letters saying that I
    want a manager, but I keep getting blown off. A
    manager finally leaves me a message while I'm out saying that
    the problem is fixed and he's sorry that I had to
    spend 3 days of my life changing my links because
    THEY didn't think about that when they decided to
    change URL's for no good reason- and here's the
    kicker- he says, 'But that's what needed to be
    done if you wanted to track your sales.'
    The pages weren’t changed for “no good reason”, they were moved to product categories to clean up the site and make products easier to find for customers. Since we already explained on several occasions that those products weren’t producing tracking cookies, then of course during that period she would have to update her links to track sales. Her “kicker” is just common sense.
    She has contact information for us.

    I'm floored. Amber LIED to me!! She said that the
    links would be tracked and they WEREN'T!! The
    affiliate manager told me the truth and SHE LIED
    to me about the problem!!
    Amber never lied. The customer may have mis-understood what was said, but we’ve already covered what was actually said.

    I write back to customer service and get a letter
    back saying, "this is an affiliate problem, please
    contact the affiliate manager"- when I
    SPECIFICALLY stated that I wanted to talk to his
    and Amber's superiors. I send a letter back saying
    that I want to TALK to a manager. So, far (6 days
    later) no response.
    Customer service has covered every bit of ground they can on this issue, and as Kerri has been told many times now she needs to contact the affiliate department with any affiliate issues.


    Yes, it is in-house managed- and the situation is really bad because I'm ABSOLUTELY SURE that the owner of the site, Dr. Mercola himself, would be HORRIFIED about this problem. But I've been unable to reach him personally and can't even get through one layer of managers.
    Dr. Mercola is aware of this issue and has been from the beginning, and has been updated through the entire process.

    I even asked Jeremy about his experience with Affiliate programs and he said, "I'm really just here to answer questions about the affiliate program."
    Jeremy would never say something to the effect of “I’m just here to answer questions”. He’s quite knowledgeable about the program and is happy to answer questions for customers, but we’ve already extensively covered her misunderstandings.

    I complained to his manager, Amber, about his lack of experience and suggested getting him affiliate training or hiring someone who does.. but pretty much no response to that.
    Amber would never respond to such an ungrounded attack on a co-worker any more so than any employee would.

    OH, they also didn't inform any of their OTHER affiliates other than the initial email that said, "Check your links".
    We have worked with other affiliates, each on an individual basis, during this tracking issue. We don’t share information about our affiliates with other affiliates, and so did not do so in this case with her. Suffice to say, our affiliates have all been taken care of.

    I worked REALLY REALLY hard to get them to inform the rest of the affiliates about this problem and let them know that "Check your links" is not sufficient. I even offered to craft the letter. I got my husband, who is also their affiliate, to call in about this problem and complain- and STILL got no email to the rest of the affiliates explaining the problem.

  5. #5
    Newbie
    Join Date
    May 4th, 2010
    Location
    san francisco, Ca
    Posts
    8
    My Response
    Thanks for responding to my post.

    So, first of all, I'm upset that Mercola changed their links in the first place before taking their affiliates into consideration. This should have been one of your primary priorities that SOMEONE in the organization should have thought of before changing these links. You have hundreds if not thousands of affiliates.

    And just like in this email, I keep being told that I 'misunderstood' when I actually clarified most of these points with the person that I was talking to by saying, "So, am I to understand that......" . So, I KNOW that I did NOT misunderstand the points that I am making here.

    You said,

    "Jeremy, as the Affiliate manager was the person who could best handle the situation. He has a much wider knowledge base than Amber (the Customer Service Manager). While Customer Service and the Affiliate Program sometimes work together, Customer Service just doesn’t have the background information to handle any problems with the Affiliate Program. That’s why there was such reluctance to pass Kerri to anyone else."

    Unfortunately, Jeremy was NOT able to handle the situation effectively and did NOT understand affiliate problems, that's why I wanted someone higher up.


    You said, "The actual problem occurred with 4 of our product pages: krill oil, probiotics, the tanning units, and cookware. The problem was not a broken link. It had to do with the cookies attached to those pages. The pages were updated to provide easier access for consumers from the affiliate’s page. However, when those URLs were changed, the code was not preserved. "

    Jeremy DID tell me 4, but it's actually 6 products:

    Krill oil
    probiotics
    Tanning beds
    Cookware
    Protein powder
    Water Filters

    We had to find these other 2 out on our own. Yes, and because the code was not preserved was what upset me in the first place.

    The email that went out to affiliates basically said, "Check your links". I DID check my links and none were dead, so I assumed everything was OK. It shows a basic lack of understanding of how websites and affiliates make money to tell them to 'check their links' when those links are are not going to be DEAD, they are simply not going to be tracking. Most affiliates would consider redirecting a page to a new one without registering the tracking code to be 'stealing'.

    It is a basic 'trust' issue with an affiliate company that when they redirect a page that the tracking link is preserved. I tried patiently on 3 occasions to get Jeremy to understand this and to get him to send out an email explaining that the links won't be dead, but that they will be redirected and won't be tracking.

    I even offered to craft the letter for him so that affiliates would understand what was going on. But a second letter was never sent to affiliates explaining this.


    You said,

    "Jeremy told her that our IT department was working on the problem but did not have an estimate for how long it would be until it would be corrected. He did not tell her that the issue may not ever get fixed. She again states that he wouldn’t tell her which links, as previously mentioned he gave her the 4 product categories right away."

    Jeremy DID tell me that he did not know if the problem would ever get fixed. That's why I was panicked and called Amber several days in a row. I did NOT misunderstand him. In fact I clarified this with him after he said it. And as I said before, you are telling me (as he told me) that it is 4 links when it's actually 6.


    You said,

    "Amber sent the affiliate back to Jeremy because customer service does not deal with the affiliate program and Jeremy was able to answer her questions far better than Amber could. Amber finally talked to the customer because they clearly did not want to talk to the actual affiliate department any more."

    Correct. Jeremy did not understand the gravity of the redirected links, nor did he 'seem' to understand that this would seriously affect me and others. So, I wanted to speak to someone higher up. Is this not reasonable when one is not getting satisfaction at a lower level to ask for their manager?


    You said,

    "Amber also did not tell her that we would be tracking sales by hand, because we can’t do that. Amber did tell her that we would be working on getting her commissions somehow."

    Getting my commissions to me 'Somehow' is not very reassuring, now is it? Yes, I WAS told this by Amber. This was one of the points that I made sure that I clarified. I said, "So, I understand that you'll be checking all sales on these products during this time to find out who initiated the sale and to give them credit for this?" The answer was YES.

    So, I was FLOORED when I got a check for my 'generous' estimated sales. The reason that I was specifically concerned about this is that I have at least 50 (probably closer to 100) links on my site to Dr. Mercola's tanning beds. I've already sold one- and the commission for ONE sale is $225. If I had even made one sale of a tanning bed and nothing else during that period, it would have been a larger commission than the 'estimated' $200 that you provided me.

    At the point that Amber told me that you would be hand tracking sales, I stopped changing those links assuming that your company had the integrity to actually track the sales like they said they would. So, I KNOW that I was told this because I would have AT LEAST gone through and changed all the banners that I could find to the tanning beds. But I stopped because of what I was told.

    So, could I have sold 3 tanning beds during that time for a commission of $675? It's not likely, but it is possible as I've already sold ONE for your company- and it's EXTREMELY upsetting to be told that sales would be tracked by hand, but now I'm being told that was never a possibility.


    You said,

    "So, if an Affiliate has 500 links to Krill Oil, the Affiliate would only need to check a single instance to verify it works."

    And since the link did not work, I would have had to search through my 1500 pages on my website and change all 500 links to Krill Oil on my site. NOT an easy job! I have a Q and A and recommend products or place banners based on the conversation that I am having. I don't have all my links placed in neat organizational patterns that I could quickly go through and change them.

    I would have to literally go through each and every page on my site and LOOK FOR incidences where I have recommended each of the 6 products changed. This is why any changes that you make should have affiliates in mind BEFORE you make these changes instead of afterwards.

    For this reason, it took a MAJOR amount of research for me to promote Mercola in the first place. It HAD to be a program that was going to have integrity and be around for as long as I plan to be promoting my website. So, I was GREATLY upset when I found that the links were changed and the tracking links did not get changed with them.

    Can you understand why having to go through 1500 pages by hand and finding the incidences of these links and banners might be upsetting to me?


    You said,

    "The pages weren’t changed for “no good reason”, they were moved to product categories to clean up the site and make products easier to find for customers. Since we already explained on several occasions that those products weren’t producing tracking cookies, then of course during that period she would have to update her links to track sales."

    Yet affiliates were NOT told that their links were not producing tracking cookies, they were ONLY send a quick email that said to 'check their links'.


    You said,

    "In the end, less than 0.5% of the pages were affected and of the affected Affiliates, only one had an unsatisfactory experience."


    I personally know 2 other affiliates who called Jeremy several times and never did get satisfactory answers from him. The first is Joshua Tucker who is aware that I'm putting his name on this board and who would also love to be contacted regarding this. You can contact me for the name of the other affiliate. She was the one who initially notified ME of this problem after not getting credit for a sale and speaking to Jeremy.

    So, if she was the one who initially told ME about the problem and contacted Jeremy several times, then how is it that I was the only one who had an unsatisfactory experience?

    She also felt that Jeremy never addressed her questions and she was 'disappointed' in the way the problem was handled. She was told some of the same things that I was that you claim that I 'misunderstood'.

    Maybe no one else had an 'unsatisfactory experience' because they 'checked their links' and didn't realize, as I didn't until it was brought to my attention, that they were redirected without the tracking links being recorded. If the email explaining this HAD gone out as I requested, maybe more affiliates would have been aware of the problem and would have had an 'unsatisfactory experience' too.

    You said,

    "Suffice to say, our affiliates have all been taken care of."

    Since the two people that I mentioned did NOT feel that they were 'taken care of', this is NOT a foregone conclusion that I should have made.


    Basically, I wanted Mercola to acknowledge and apologize that:

    1) They didn't consider affiliates in the first place when the links were changed.

    2) They caused me an excessive amount of stress and hassle

    3) They didn't handle it the best way that they could

    4) And give me the reassurance that this would not be a problem in the future

    But, including this email, all that I've received from Mercola is reasons why they did the right thing and that I was wrong and 'misunderstood' everything the entire time. That is what prompted me to put this up in the first place.

    I never had my concerns addressed adequately in my entire dealings with Mercola. And they never acknowledged that they caused me distress. My 'feelings' going away from every conversation and email (including this one) is that I'm simply being unreasonable and a nuisance.

    I think that ALL affiliates on this board would agree that they would have wanted to be notified that the links that they were supposed to 'check' were still live and sending traffic to Mercola but that they were NOT registering tracking links- and that was one of my MAJOR concerns that was never addressed.

  6. #6
    Newbie joshtck's Avatar
    Join Date
    August 12th, 2008
    Posts
    40
    Hello Anonymous Mercola.com spokesperson.

    Mercola affiliate here, (though I'm not a big money affiliate I have been removing my Mercola affiliate links.)

    1. You said I would first like to say, that as a company with over 90% customer satisfaction, we take every call, comment, and complaint very seriously.

    Twice I wrote Jeremy and Amber with a concern that affiliates had not been told that cookies were not being tracked, that it was bad business, and that it was unprofessional. Especially since Jeremy stated to me that Mercola.com did not know when this would be fixed/if this could be fixed.

    I only knew links weren't being tracked because I asked Jeremy and, to his credit, he told me they weren't.

    I have never received a response of any kind regarding this.


    2. Let's pretend for a moment that Amber didn't say what Kerri said she said.

    Let's just go with what Jeremy said. (Nothing personal to Jeremy, that just happens to be the name of the guy responsible for the affiliate program)

    Jeremy told me that:

    A. Mercola was not tracking cookies for the affected links
    B. That it was being worked on but he did not know when it would be fixed.


    The fact is (which you have agreed with) is that changes were made to affiliate links, and those links were not getting tracked.

    I wrote Jeremy twice stating that I thought it was very unprofessional and very unfair that affiliates were not informed of this. Personally, I wouldn't have cared if you had informed me, because we were friends and business partners, but you purposefully hid this information from affiliates.


    3. You say there is only one unhappy affiliate. This is not true. I am not happy.

    I suspect that you would have more unhappy affiliates if you informed them that their cookies weren't being tracked for at least a whole month, AND THAT YOU HID THIS FROM THEM.

    I used to trust Mercola.com implicitly. I was a big Mercola.com fan. I still am, but I don't trust the affiliate program anymore, because if the Mercola.com affiliate program has no issues keeping its affiliates in the dark....

    The fact that you have no interest in being truthful and proactive with your affiliates is a big negative mark, in my book. Even if it's just once. How do I know it's just once?

    You make a big point that it is the affiliate's job to check their links. True. Valid.

    But from our end it looked like the links were working. How is an affiliate supposed to know that Mercola.com is not tracking the cookies on Mercola's end?

    You say you'll tell affiliates if this happens -again-. That statement proves my point. Why should I believe you? You didn't tell us this time. What if something similar happens? Is it your policy to only be truthful with affiliates the second time something happens?


    It's not about the money for me, because I don't make much from my few mercola links. It's about trust. And you seem uninterested in your affiliate's complaints about not being told.

    Losing trust hurts worse than losing money.


    IN SUMMARY:

    1. Mercola.com wasn't tracking the cookies from some product links they changed, for at least a month.

    2. Mercola.com didn't, and isn't, informing their affiliates of this.

    3. Anonymous Mercola.com spokesperson thinks there is only one unhappy affiliate. I believe this is because the affiliate force has no idea that their cookies weren't' being tracked.

    4. Thus, one must conclude the possibility that Mercola.com has done this before, possibly each time they've changed links, etc. One must also conclude that lack of full disclosure is likely to happen again in the future.

    5. Truth in business practices makes everyone happy. Hiding the truth makes people suspicious and untrusting, which is bad for business for everyone.
    Joshua Tucker
    [URL="http://www.tendonitisexpert.com"]www.TendonitisExpert.com[/URL]

  7. #7
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Moderator Note: Thread moved and title updated.
    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

  8. #8
    Reply To Mercola Affilate Program
    I have to admit that I am new at this affiliate marketing. But it did not take long for my first affiliate program to leave me without a commission for the sale that my friend made. I called and found out that I should have changed my links long ago because they were changed. I thought it was me, I just don't know much about this. But then it hit me, this was really wrong. They should let affiliates know to change the links. If my friend never told me she made a sale, I would have never found out taht I am not getting paid for some refferals and I am just giving FREE traffic to these pages.

    I was given different explanations, I even was given the credit for my friends purchase. But NOTHING was given to me for the LOST sales that I probably otherwise had. I don't have as many pages as Kerri, but changing around 100 pages took time and energy for me. I have links to Mercola products on most of my pages, too. I did not have this reimbursement check for possible lost sales or my time. Is one coming my way?

    There was more than 4 links, I think it was 6 of them.

    By the way, the tanning link is STILL NOT Working. It's funny that it happens to be the most expensive one. I keep hoping that the next day it will get fixed for months and months. And nothing yet. Why is it that the only one that is still not registering the cookies is the most expensive one?

    I had very similar experience as Kerri, just on the smaller scale. You have to understand that as white hat webmaster doing everything by the book and maintaining your integrity as a health professional you expect to have the same respect back. I honestly, don't know if I can completely trust Mercolla affiliate program now. I don't even know if I will deal with other affiliate programs after this.

    It is possible that it affected small number of affilates because there's only a small number of great quality, honest and real healthcare related sites that do their business the honest way. And those are the ones that give you THE REAL customer with the real email address and the actual sale. The rest arejust fooling your programs with black hatting.

    I certainly hope that all this was unintentional. And I still hope that you guys will make it right.

    Sincerely, Inna

  9. #9
    Newbie
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    November 9th, 2010
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    Program Dead
    Mercola Affiliate Program to be cancelled shortly. He's the email I got :

    Dear Mercola.com Subscriber,

    As a member or our affiliate program, we would like to personally thank you for helping promote our healthy lifestyle products.

    Unfortunately, as of November 30th, 2010, due to the needs of the business, we will no longer be able to support the affiliate program. In short, we will close the program, thereby ending your ability to earn affiliate commissions for new sales you generate for us.

    You will continue to earn any outstanding commissions from sales generated until that date. We'll also continue to honor subsequent sales from customers you've referred prior to this date for a full 90 days after the program has concluded. Such subsequent sale commissions will be honored for sales thru February 28, 2011.

    Final commission checks will be cut by March 31st, 2011, and checks will be made out for the remaining balance in your account.

    The good news in all this is we'd like to invite you to join our Wholesale Partners Program... so we can continue to do business together.

    In fact, if you decide to become a wholesale partner, we're prepared to offer you an additional 5% off your very first order. Plus we'll throw in FREE shipping on that first order as well*.


    And there's more for you to consider... as an affiliate you earned 15% commission on your orders. As a wholesaler, you can make up to 50% on margins based on retail price or more. So, you should enjoy even higher margins.

    Plus, a familiar 'face' in Jeremy Dixon, will be available to help you transition from affiliate to wholesale partner.

    You can contact Jeremy at (847) 252-4353 to find out if our Wholesale Partners Program is right for your business. Also, you can even have a look at our wholesale pricing catalog prior to calling if you want. Click here for Price Catalog.

    Once again, thanks for your business and we look forward to expanding our partnership together through the Wholesale Partners Program.

    Call (847) 252-4353 today, and ask for Jeremy to learn more and get started.



    The Mercola Wholesale Team
    * Continental US and Canada Only, Offer expires December 29th, 2010


    Good thing I only made $0.20 with them. Seriously.

  10. #10
    Newbie
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    I Hate Mercola
    Yeah. Unfortunately, I was making $500 a month and they've cut me off. Now I get to look forward to going by hand through 3000 pages on my site and make sure that every ad and text link is removed.

    Mercola disgusts me and I'll never ever work with them or recommend them ever again...They have caused me more inconvienience than I can even say...

    Goodbye Mercola. You will no longer get any recommendations from me.... ever.

  11. #11
    Newbie
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    Quote Originally Posted by kerri38846 View Post
    Yeah. Unfortunately, I was making $500 a month and they've cut me off. Now I get to look forward to going by hand through 3000 pages on my site and make sure that every ad and text link is removed.

    Mercola disgusts me and I'll never ever work with them or recommend them ever again...They have caused me more inconvienience than I can even say...

    Goodbye Mercola. You will no longer get any recommendations from me.... ever.
    Sorry to hear that...

    Since I won't be working with them now, I was wondering if you could answer something. Promoting the newsletter is (was) supposed to get you an income that "compounds over time" since you'd get 15% if a subscriber ever made a purchase (and the newsletter markets products very aggressively) . Was there any truth to that? Did subscribers have to click through the newsletter in order for you to get the commision or could you get it if they bought through the site?

  12. #12
    Newbie
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    Not sure exactly what you mean
    Not sure exactly what you meant by that, but the way it worked if you 'promoted his newsletter' is that you could put a banner on your site saying 'sign up for mercola's newsletter'. If they signed up, you get a 60 day cookie and anytime they bought something during that time you got the commission.

    They did not have to go through the newsletter to purchase something.

    Kerri Knox, RN

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kerri38846 View Post
    Not sure exactly what you meant by that, but the way it worked if you 'promoted his newsletter' is that you could put a banner on your site saying 'sign up for mercola's newsletter'. If they signed up, you get a 60 day cookie and anytime they bought something during that time you got the commission.

    They did not have to go through the newsletter to purchase something.

    Kerri Knox, RN
    Gotcha. Thanks for that. Guess it's time to look forward to better things. Feel free to flip em the bird on the way out

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    Now I get to look forward to going by hand through 3000 pages on my site and make sure that every ad and text link is removed.
    Just a quick tip for anyone faced with this kind of problem:
    If you have copies of all your webpages on your computer (as you should) you can use Notepad++ (a free download) to find every page where you have a link, and in some cases, remove and replace links without ever opening the files. It can make a job that could take days to do manually become a job that can be done in a few minutes.
    Notepad++ | 5.8.3

  15. #15
    Newbie
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2busy View Post
    Just a quick tip for anyone faced with this kind of problem:
    If you have copies of all your webpages on your computer (as you should) you can use Notepad++ (a free download) to find every page where you have a link, and in some cases, remove and replace links without ever opening the files. It can make a job that could take days to do manually become a job that can be done in a few minutes.
    Notepad++ | 5.8.3
    Great tip.. I've done this before with "Advanced Find and Replace", trialware.

  16. #16
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    Unfortunately, that won't word with mine since I don't upload using html. I wish it would, though.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by kerri38846 View Post
    Unfortunately, that won't word with mine since I don't upload using html. I wish it would, though.
    What do you use?

  18. #18
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    SBI.

    When I go through and remove the ads, I'll be using an iframe for each ad and that will make it a snap in the future. But I didn't know about that when I started out, so am out of luck. Text links will still have to be done by hand in any case, and I likely have hundreds of them as well.

    Mercola disappointed me greatly. They are supposed to have integrity and that's why I chose them.

  19. #19
    http and a telephoto
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    Be careful using iFrames for affiliate links, they are not allowed by a number of networks and merchants. Framing affiliate links and using iframes are both problematic issues. Using a javascript or php or SSI include are smarter and also easy to update.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  20. #20
    Newbie
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    Wow! I didn't know to avoid doing Iframes.

    I don't have a clue what a php or SSI include is or whether I could do it with a 'block builder' without having to do html uploads.

    Do you have anywhere you could point me to in order to learn these techniques and/or if you know if I could do these without uploading html? Any info would be appreciated.


    Kerri Knox, RN

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