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  1. #1
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    Hello everyone:
    I just finished dealing with by far the strangest thing I have ever dealt with as an affiliate/affiliate manager and felt the need to share this experience with others.

    I promoted a merchant's affiliate program about 1.5 years ago. I did pretty good earning: several thousands of dollars in the course of 5 months. When my conversion dropped, I dropped the program and forgot about them completely.

    About 3 weeks ago, I got a non-certified letter from a law firm in Pennsylvania. This law firm represents the debtors for the merchant I promoted as an affiliate more than 1 year ago. You see, the merchant had filled for bankruptcy protection about 8 months after my last affiliate check.

    The letter described all my affiliate payments and then demanded that I pay it back to the debtors and cited that those payments were not appropriate and lawful. At first I thought it was some type of scam but then I got another letter requesting information for their investigation. At this point I started to get really nervous: I had stopped promoting them more than 1 ago and I didn't have their affiliate agreement or anything that I could use to prove my business relationship with the merchant. I asked several people in the industry about it and nobody had heard of such thing. Upset and prepared to fight, I called my lawyer.

    My lawyer was finally able to get the BK law firm off my back due to limit on the statue of limitations, UCC rules and the protection I get as a Florida Corporation but I am still astonished that the BK lawyers didn't recognized affiliate earnings/revenue as a lawful business expense and even tried to get it back. I cannot imagine other former affiliate for this merchant trying to settle with the BK lawyers.

    Can you believe this? How can we protect our industry from this type of things?

  2. #2
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    your lawyer should be able to tell you how the other parties could establish credence in the matter. you may find it was a quirk in a particular state law they could lean on.

    one wonders, though, if they were just fishing with a heavy hand. didn't even register the first letter? wow.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    "... am still astonished that the BK lawyers didn't recognized affiliate earnings/revenue as a lawful business expense..."

    And that they didn't recognize that you had an agreement with the Merchant as well. Most agreements spell out services rendered by the affiliate (or agent), and the compensation provided back to the affiliate. Or perhaps it wasn't in there?

    Another reason to double check indi-affiliate T & C's. I think I'll go back and look at mine now

    Fred

  4. #4
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    Along those lines,when I was designing retail stores since 1955, I was overexposed to asbestos,lead paint,and a lot of toxic chemicals,when a class action suit was started,John's Manville Corp. was high on the list, in fact, they had a large plant in Manville,NJ, when we went there the entire town had so much asbetos in the air it look like it was snowing.The class action suit was started by a group of hot shot Tort laywers, as well as the paint, etc., after we spent months waiting, and testifying, the company declared bankruptcy, changed their mname to "The Manville COrp", and reopened, with a different name, doing the same things, we got stuck with fees,and poorer health, i found dealing with law firms,collection agency is best served by ignoring them,legal aid lawyers don't practise
    fincial claims, only crimes, to me most lawyers and some dotors are notheing but overpaid crooks, they all hang together, some law suits, like the lady who spilled hot coffee on her llap, had one of these tort lawyers sue the food store for millions, and that started another round of ambulance chaser.
    About 2 to 3 years ago, Linkkshare had an online conference with the CEo, one affilaite was furious that one of their merchants owed him over $8,000, and that he spent a lot of time and money promoting that merchant, the answer he got was "The merchant is in Japan, and filed bankruptcy,and the affiliate should hire a lawyer", how could he get a low cost lawyer to sue a Japanese merchant? At least you got some satisfaction, which is good.My nickles worth.
    JJ

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador
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    what are BK lawyers ?

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador JJJay's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by womanht:
    what are BK lawyers ? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    BK lawyers = bankruptcy lawyers. Which program was it, to give the rest of us a heads up.

  7. #7
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    Hi Marifer

    &gt; off my back due to limit on the statue of limitations

    You did good in contacting your lawyer. Those are some of benefits of living and having a corporation in Florida.

    &gt; non-certified letter

    Unless they send you something certified it's not even official just a "letter attempt to collect a debt" similar to a collection agency sending you a letter.

    I think they just wanted you to panic and pay as all attempts by lawyers and agencies will do this hoping you don't have a good lawyer.

  8. #8
    Eternal Optimist Look4's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JJJay:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by womanht:
    what are BK lawyers ? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    BK lawyers = bankruptcy lawyers.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Oh, that explains it. I really couldn't figure out why Burger King lawyers were asking for money...
    Tom C.
    [URL=http://www.cafepress.com/simplesignshop]Simple Sign Shop[/URL]

    Every day leave someone or something better than you found it.

  9. #9
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by jrami:

    &gt; non-certified letter

    Unless they send you something certified it's not even official just a "letter attempt to collect a debt" similar to a collection agency sending you a letter.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    When you say "ceftified" do you mean a letter sent by a courier i.e FedEx, UPS and other that require a signature to get the letter?

    I'm just curious because I have received one of these recently via FedEx.

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador
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    when getting something like this, always consult a lawyer.

    Please remember, that lawyer sending the letter is hoping that you just cave in out of fear. Some people actually do.

  11. #11
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    Affiliate = Debtor too. We "invoice" them for promoting their campaign.

  12. #12
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    Well... the lesson I learned from this is to never ever trash the terms of an affiliate program even if I do not promote them anymore and to create invoices on my accounting software for my earnings.

    I just wanted to give everyone a heads up on how ruthless lawyers can be....

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador Jane's Avatar
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    yeah but who was the merchant? They must have lots of other affiliates.

  14. #14
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    Come on, tell us. If they ever start a new program, we would KNOW not to join them.

  15. #15
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Look4:
    I really couldn't figure out why Burger King lawyers were asking for money... <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Me 2, LOL!
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  16. #16
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    &gt; When you say "ceftified" do you mean a letter sent by a courier i.e FedEx, UPS and other that require a signature to get the letter?

    Well, a letter "Certified" is usually only done by regular mail, USPS (US Postal Service), they might send it UPS or Fed Ex but as long as it's certified that they have proof you received it with your signature.


    &gt; I really couldn't figure out why Burger King lawyers were asking for money



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