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  1. #1
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    Thumbs down Level9sports Disdain for Affiliates and Unfriendly Policies
    Can you believe this?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    This message is sent in response to your application for the affiliate marketing program of Levelninesports.com, hosted on ShareASale.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Note: we have recently been forced to reduce initial commision to 4% due to the dishonesty of most affiliates.

    After making sales we will review and if you are generating new traffic you will be increased to 8%, if you are simply siphoning off our existing customers (by use levelninesports coupons) then you will be dropped. (I DROP YOU LIKE A PILE OF S**T)
    Thanks for becoming a Levelninesports.com affiliate. We look forward to a mutually profitable relationship. We will provide any support materials required and can be contacted directly.

    affiliate@levelninesports.com

    If you need to use our name, please use the logo provide in jpg form.
    While we welcome value added partners if you come up first 3 pages google, bing, or yahoo for our domain name or any variant (such as levelninesports coupons, specials, etc) you will be dropped and any sale canceled.

    Best to avoid this by using our name in image form wherever possible.

    Now be proactive and go make us money

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by janew View Post
    Best to avoid this by using our name in image form wherever possible.
    Best to avoid this by not promoting them at all.

  3. #3
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janew
    Can you believe this?
    Well, I had a hard time "believing" that. I thought it belonged in the Daily Chuckle forum - as a kind of twisted humor.

    Sooo...I wandered over to my SAS interface and looked them up. There intro was a bit strange - so I clicked the "JOIN" button - just to see for myself. They are not on auto-approve so I just got the informational (and wait a bit) email. And, yes, that included some of what you have above. Like dropping anyone who ranks (page one or two of Bing, Yahoo or Goog) for any use of their "name."

    In other words, Unbelievable. Now, they have a right to market in any way they see fit - and we, as affiliates, need to decide to do business with them or not. So...maybe...this really does belong...in the Daily Chuckle section.

    Either that - or it could be a cool challenge - to, evidently, easily rank above their affiliates - and promote a competitor, of which there are many.
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  4. #4
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    I'm not sure I could stifle the urge to reply thusly:

    Dear Level9sports,

    I wouldn't promote you if you were the last sports merchant on the Internet. In fact, I'm going to do all I can to rank #1 for your name and promote the hell out of every last one of your competitors WHETHER THEY HAVE A PROGRAM OR NOT. I will also go out of my way to let visitors to my site know exactly what I think of your pitiful a$$ by posting portions of this absolutely ludicrous e-mail you had the audacity to send, you pitiful excuse for a merchant.

    Make you some money my a$$. I'm going to do everything I can to put your sorry a$$ out of business.

    Sincerely,

    Your New Competition
    Whata ya think? Too mild?

    -wematt
    wesident wabble wouser
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  5. #5
    Full Member gamweb61's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janew View Post
    Can you believe this?
    While we welcome value added partners if you come up first 3 pages google, bing, or yahoo for our domain name or any variant (such as levelninesports coupons, specials, etc) you will be dropped and any sale canceled.
    I'm not their affiliate, but this sentence just gave me a GREAT IDEA on what to do for fun today!

    :coffeetim

  6. #6
    Full Member gcarson's Avatar
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    I have an idea. Set up 20 sites. Then, spam the sh*t out of those 20 sites to rank for their brand name. But, sell their competitors products. Maybe then they would see how wrong they are.

  7. #7
    Plain Ol' Affiliate Rainmaker's Avatar
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    Hmmm.. sounds like a Google Bomb would be the perfect response to this.

    Oh! how I wish I had some sports sites to give some g-juice links to my brethren, to help the cause.
    Last edited by Rainmaker; November 10th, 2010 at 10:19 AM.

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager
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    This is going to get interesting

  9. #9
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    Wow, somebody at level9 really has issues.

    Here they show what contempt they have for their customers

    http://www.levelninesports.com/articles/Newsflash-Canadian-Provinces-That-No-One-Lives-In-Expensive-To

    All they would have to do is charge actual shipping costs, there would be nothing offensive about that. That "guy in the Yukon" and others of that ilk are just a pest to them.
    Last edited by MichaelColey; November 10th, 2010 at 11:11 AM. Reason: Unlinked - no need giving them link juice.
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  10. #10
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    level9onskype: good afternoon, can i help you?
    customeronskype: do u have some nice cowboy boots? or trail hiking boots?
    level9onskype: no, we sell arctic exploration boots, rated for temperatures lower than minus -60 degrees farenheit
    customeronskype: what, do you think i live in nunavut or something?
    Last edited by davidh; November 10th, 2010 at 11:03 AM.
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  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    No kidding -
    All they would have to do is charge actual shipping costs, there would be nothing offensive about that. That "guy in the Yukon" and others of that ilk are just a pest to them.
    They ship DHL to Australia, why not look at alternative shipping methods for those "14 residents of Canada". It is bad when a merchant has more business than they want.

  12. #12
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    I am in shock that this contest exist. As fun as this sounds ABW should help merchants understand why this is so so so wrong not plan an attack on them.

    Such an easy keyword to rank for I am sure at the end of the day this thread alone will be in the top 10.

  13. #13
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinny O'Hare View Post
    I am in shock that this contest exist. As fun as this sounds ABW should help merchants understand why this is so so so wrong not plan an attack on them.
    In most cases you'd probably be right, but....

    When a merchant starts out a WELCOME e-mail with:

    Note: we have recently been forced to reduce initial commision to 4% due to the dishonesty of most affiliates.

    They've just opened themselves up to attack and ridicule. I work very hard and I am highly offended by this merchant's attitude. I doubt if this merchant can be educated, lobotomized maybe...

    -wematt
    wesident wabble wouser
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  14. #14
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    Rematt I totally understand the merchant doesn't get it. But a contest to outrank them. What have we become here.

    You wouldn't work with this merchant and neither would I.

  15. #15
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Vinny, I doubt if anyone really has the time to participate in a contest right now anyway. And I probably wouldn't even if I did have the time. But sometimes ya just get sick of the way that some merchants view and treat affiliates. I only hope that someone has directed the AM and the sites owner to this thread.

    -wematt
    wesident wabble wouser
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  16. #16
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Moderator Note: Thread title updated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinny O'Hare View Post
    I am in shock that this contest exist. As fun as this sounds ABW should help merchants understand why this is so so so wrong not plan an attack on them.

    Such an easy keyword to rank for I am sure at the end of the day this thread alone will be in the top 10.
    Sometimes we educate by telling. Sometimes we educate by showing. This is the natural consequence when a merchant has such disdain for affiliates and such affiliate un-friendly policies.

    When a merchant has such obvious disdain and distrust of affiliates, most affiliates will just not work with them. Some who don't realize the attitude at first but get caught in it later will do exactly as has been suggested here - actively promote their competitors.

    When a merchant prohibits their affiliates from ranking well for their trademarks, it just leaves a gap for competitors and detractors to fill. It's much better for a strong hedge of positive search results to show up to supplement a merchant's search results.

    Thread ranks #1 for "level9sports affiliates", "level9sports affiliate program", "level nine sports affiliate program", and many others. Affiliates deserve a warning.

    Perhaps this merchant will come to their senses and treat affiliates (and Canadians) with respect. And if they do, they can always make a mea culpa and turn things around by offering any members who rank well a higher commission to promote them instead of their competitors.

    At the very least, they can be an example of what not to do.
    Last edited by MichaelColey; November 11th, 2010 at 11:22 AM. Reason: Submitted before done typing!
    Michael Coley
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  17. #17
    Newbie zire's Avatar
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    I find strange that some people think they can go around and just walk on people and expect no repercussions. Like they own a company and think everyone they deal with is a peon below them?

    Some people learn the hard way.

    I am interested to see some of the results in this contest. lol

  18. #18
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    I am sure that by the end of the day when this thread ranks #2 for level9sports the owner will be in here. Should we change the title to levelNINESports ?

    I agree the merchant doesn't get it and it makes a great example of what not to do. I just don't agree with the contest idea. Let's say a new merchant who wants to join abw and participate comes across this contest. I know if it was me I would be running for the hills and never return.

    To be honest I was expecting everyone here to jump on me after I posted. I am not sticking up for this merchant I just didn't like the idea of a contest. Lets link to this thread and get it ranking better

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinny O'Hare View Post
    Rematt I totally understand the merchant doesn't get it. But a contest to outrank them. What have we become here.

    You wouldn't work with this merchant and neither would I.
    I completely agree with you. This contest is shocking. We should be educating merchants, not starting a contest to ridicule them. ABW is better than that, isn't it?

  20. #20
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
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    I am with Vinny, too. This contest is a far cry from a kinder and gentler ABW.

    Just move on from the merchant and focus on what's important during Q4.

  21. #21
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Okay, point taken. I'll remove the contest.
    Michael Coley
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  22. #22
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Okay, the contest and the posts directly related to the contest have been removed. (I've left the discussion on whether the contest should be removed or not.)
    Michael Coley
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    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  23. #23
    Affiliate/AM Moonlighter dflsports's Avatar
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    I've emailed levelninesports twice, once through the SAS interface and once via my email. No response. I doubt they have a dedicated aff manager and have no clue how this business works.

  24. #24
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Here is the content of a message that I sent to their AM last Thursday:

    mailto:affiliate@levelninesports.com

    Subject: Content Critical of Your Affiliate Program

    There is currently a thread on ABestWeb (ABW)regarding a recent acceptance email that was received by one of your affiliates. The general tone of the message has created quite a bit of discussion at ABW regarding your management style and general attitude toward affiliates.

    If you are not familiar with ABW, it is the largest forum dedicated to professionals within affiliate marketing, including; affiliates, affiliate managers, outsourced program mangers (OPMs) and merchants.

    This message is purely to inform you of the thread in the event that you would like to respond or rebut any of the comments that characterize your program as "less than affiliate friendly".

    The current thread is located here:

    Level9sports Disdain for Affiliates and Unfriendly Policies - ABestWeb Affiliate Marketing Forum.

    I look forward to your response and urge you to use this opportunity to defend your position and the general tone of your message.
    I can think of many reasons why they may not want to respond or participate in this thread, however in fairness I thought that someone should give them the opportunity.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  25. #25
    Full Member Lanny's Avatar
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    +1 rematt I found that line extremely offensive
    Quote Originally Posted by rematt View Post
    In most cases you'd probably be right, but....
    When a merchant starts out a WELCOME e-mail with:

    Note: we have recently been forced to reduce initial commision to 4% due to the dishonesty of most affiliates.

    They've just opened themselves up to attack and ridicule. I work very hard and I am highly offended by this merchant's attitude. I doubt if this merchant can be educated, lobotomized maybe...
    -wematt
    wesident wabble wouser
    +1 for rematt. I was going to write about that line and it took awhile for someone to comment on it here. Extremely offensive. SAS should consider getting rid of merchants like that.

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