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  1. #1
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    What happened to Cashbaq? [Out of Business]
    I run a blog and personally used the cash back site Cashbaq a few years ago and then mentioned it to my readers a number of times. In the last week I have gotten two complaints from readers that they have had cash back rewards noted as "pending" for months, have emailed Cashbaq numerous times without response and I even emailed them on my readers' behalf (using a contact I made at Think Tank in Oct 2011). I notice their Twitter account hasn't had any activity in months. Anyone know what happened to them? Any recommendations on what I can tell my readers in terms of recourse. If nothing else, can they file a complaint with the BBB in Cashbaq's home state? Other thoughts or wisdom?

  2. #2
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    The company name didn't "ring a bell" for me, so I searched ABW and I see that the company has been mentioned "in passing" in a few discussion threads, but I can't find any substantive posts about the company anywhere on ABW.

    There have been many hundreds of "incentive web sites" (cashback, charity, contests, MLM) which have defaulted on their payment promises, including some "big names." Many of these companies were Ponzi schemes from the beginning, while some were just poorly-conceived or poorly-implemented businesses. There have been some very active discussion threads on ABW about some of the unethical and probably illegal conduct of some companies operating "incentive web sites."

    From a quick internet search, I don't see any reason to think that this particular company is even among the top 100 such schemes (assuming that they've defaulted on their promises, as alleged in some internet posts in the past 2-3 months).

    As a practical matter, it's usually a waste of time to try to file BBB complaints against these companies; by the time consumers discover that the companies aren't honoring their promises, the companies are usually defunct (and in any event, few consumers ever check BBB ratings until long after they've spent their money).

    I suppose there's some potential for "action" if you file a complaint with the state Attorney General's office in the state where a company is based, since lots of State AGs love to announce investigations and sometimes even file lawsuits against scammy companies (it's great PR for the AG, and sometimes they can get an injunction barring the already-defunct company from doing business -- but I'm not aware of any meaningful benefit to consumers from any of these cases).

    (I don't have any direct knowledge about the company named in the original post here. My comments here are based on what I've learned over the past 15 years about many other "incentive web site" companies which have defaulted on their promises. Of course, there are also some "incentive web sites" which have operated for years and continue to operate now, with few or no complaints of non-payment or other broken promises.)
    Last edited by markwelch; January 26th, 2011 at 01:45 AM.

  3. #3
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    Times are difficult for everybody. It seems Cashbaq lost most of its Google organic traffic.

    Cashbaq is owned by a well known marketer David Lewis. An active member of ReveNews:
    David Lewis | ReveNews

    ABW had a problem a few years ago with David brother. Richard and his website "Return on Affiliate" Richard was using adware and had the not so good idea to target ABW to grab the traffic. For the old timers (It's a 2006 story)
    Return On Affiliate Drama Continues...... - ABestWeb Affiliate Marketing Forum

    Re: Cashbag, it doesn't look too good either:
    Cashbaq Complaints - Unresponsive to non-payment

  4. #4
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    Ahhh... Richard Lewis. I actually was thinking about that fiasco recently.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxly View Post
    Ahhh... Richard Lewis. I actually was thinking about that fiasco recently.
    Are we talking about Richard Lewis here -- or David Lewis? Are they the same person?? Anything's possible online??

    Gary
    Generate more fake news.

  6. #6
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I've emailed David Lewis (the owner of Cashbaq) to let him know about this thread.
    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

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by writerguy View Post
    Are we talking about Richard Lewis here -- or David Lewis? Are they the same person?? Anything's possible online??

    Gary
    Richard is definitely a different person. He was at Affiliate Summit in Orlando even though he had been removed as a speaker.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  8. #8
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    Thanks all for the input. I am such a naive type sometimes that I don't think of the possibility that companies/people might not fulfill their word and pay as they said they would. *insert rose colored glasses*

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
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    As the owner of a rewards site, I can tell you that I have seen SOOOO many come and go over the years and end up screwing over their members. But I do think that Cashbaq is one of the most above board. David has a really good reputation in the industry, so I am surprised to hear this. I think I saw him at both ThinkTank in October and at the recent Affiliate Summit? Hopefully Michael's email will nudge him to come over here and take a look. If nothing else, maybe he will at least email you personally, Carrie, with some kind of explanation. Hopefully it is just a temporary issue. Cash flow is usually good in January from all of those Oct/Nov sales.
    --Tricia Meyer-- I love being the exception to the rule.

    Tricia Meyer | Helping Moms Connect | Wine Club Reviews and Ratings | Hunger Games Fan

  10. #10
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    That's a reason why I've never been thrilled with this business model. IMHO, it's not sustainable. He was offering cash back with a threshold of $10 and a $5 bonus to signup. Way too low! To stay in business, just to cover the administrative cost, you have to make money on the side, and it's a problem.
    Anyway, the damage is done. With their evil activities, Google can put you out of business in no time. We all know it and I'm not going to blame anybody. His coupon site seems to die slowly, too.
    What I don't understand, it's the lack of communication with people who trusted him. You don't let them holding the bag. Blast an email to your list. Put a sign on your site explaining it's temporary.
    Attention to anyone using cashbaq!
    Cashbaq Shopping | Facebook
    Anybody else having trouble getting paid by cashbaq.com - DVD Talk Forum
    Attention for those using Cash Baq - Slickdeals.net
    Slickdeals Entertainment.com Deals, Coupons and Promos: 2010 Entertainment Books: - Page 10 (07/15/10 12:52pm)

  11. #11
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    His tweets are protected, but we have search:

    Twitter Click the link and it looks like he's been talking to people just 4 days ago about the Packers. So all you have to do is hop on Twitter, say hey is anybody following TheDavidLewis or if he's following you, if so (link to this thread or the other stuff).

    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey View Post
    I've emailed David Lewis (the owner of Cashbaq) to let him know about this thread.
    Just to be sure, at @ the domain that starts with 77? Because that's the one I know he's used in the past.
    Last edited by Trust; January 27th, 2011 at 02:37 AM.

  12. #12
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Yes, that's the email account I sent it to.
    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

  13. #13
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    Thumbs down Definitely unethical :-(
    This company has disappeared without paying back. Definitely unethical that they are still signing up new users, website up, but they don't pay, nor respond to contact even after BBB complaints. I urge readers to submit a complaint to the Attorney General. All very easy to do: www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/cashbaq-c401911.html
    Last edited by 2busy; January 30th, 2011 at 08:36 PM. Reason: Unlinked URL

  14. #14
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    I use cashbaq...had about $40 balance, with $14 or so payment pending since at least November. Several emails, no response.

    Today, I bought some shoes, clicking through Cashbaq with no problems.
    Went to log back in a few minutes ago, and this is all that's on their page.

    "Like so many other companies, Cashbaq was hit by the worst recession of our lifetime.
    We regret that Cashbaq is unable to continue operations and has shut down.

    You can earn cash back at other sites including iGive, uPromise, Mr. Rebates, FatWallet, and Ebates.
    You can also compare cash back rebates at Evreward."


    Figures, I'll never receive any refund from them.

  15. #15
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    I saw David at Affiliate Summit and as well as PubCon. He may not be actively managing the site himself and working on other ventures. He was awarded a CJ Horizon Award for what this is worth. He is a friend of Shawn Collins so you might ask Shawn.

  16. #16
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    I am somebody who is owed more than $350 from Cashbaq - I tried contacting them (including a personal email to the owner) but no avail. What bothers me is that they were paid by the merchant - is there a way to contact the merchant and have them reverse the payment to cashbaq? Cashbaq got paid off my purchases but just kept the money. Pretty scummy, and very different than the message they are portraying, that they are victims of the economy.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Wall View Post
    I am somebody who is owed more than $350 from Cashbaq - I tried contacting them (including a personal email to the owner) but no avail. What bothers me is that they were paid by the merchant - is there a way to contact the merchant and have them reverse the payment to cashbaq? Cashbaq got paid off my purchases but just kept the money. Pretty scummy, and very different than the message they are portraying, that they are victims of the economy.
    You're the victim of a Ponzi scheme not of the bad economy. The fraud involves the payment of bonuses and commissions to existing customers from funds contributed by new customers. David Lewis knew what he was doing, if I remember he's a former CPA. In a perfect world I would expect the networks to freeze the money owned to Cashbaq.
    Why am I not surprised by the deathening silence of his (well known) friends? Not a word on their blogs.
    You may contact the affiliate department of the merchant with your PO numbers. Don't expect too much.

  18. #18
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    "He may not be actively managing the site himself and working on other ventures"

    It's the one he associates himself with. Was checking the PMA site and a working group he's in, David Lewis - Cashbaq.

    Don't understand the recession excuse since it's a rebate type site so sales had to be made for members to earn money. And if a lot of money is owed, then a lot of sales were made. Maybe cut out the Affiliate Summit, Pubcon trips etc. and use the money that would be spent there to pay what's owed. And if he's making money with the other ventures, take that and pay up.
    Last edited by Trust; February 2nd, 2011 at 03:09 AM.

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
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    This saddens me to see because it is just one more reason that people do not trust my business model--either merchant OR consumer. Consumers assume it was a scam all along. Merchants don't want their names brought into it because they most likely already paid the affiliate.

    Another thing that it does is hurts ALL of the small cash back sites. People will be less likely to use mine now because I'm not as well-known of a name and they will only want to use the ones that are talked about on Oprah. The kicker is that THOSE sites are the ones cheating other affiliates with their toolbars and other unethical practices. It's a no win.

    It's not that I don't like the idea of less competition in my space, but not in a way that hurts consumers.
    --Tricia Meyer-- I love being the exception to the rule.

    Tricia Meyer | Helping Moms Connect | Wine Club Reviews and Ratings | Hunger Games Fan

  20. #20
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    carrierocha where is the network relationship with Cashbaq? What is the money trail here? Since Cashbaq is an affiliate then the consumer would need to complain directly to the merchant and the merchant would take it up with the network. If you are a third party then you are powerless to help them get their rebates. If you are the affiliate you have to work through the network help ticketing system to get it addressed. Those are recorded and monitored by management. As a merchant when I had an affiliate fraud issue I would run it through the network help ticket system several times until I got an answer. Use the system and follow the money trail.

  21. #21
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    Wow, I just saw the shutdown notice...
    It's not that I don't like the idea of less competition in my space, but not in a way that hurts consumers.
    I'm in complete agreement.. the administration and attention to detail required for this business model is no small feat. It should make other sites think twice.. make sure they can handle the responsibility.

    Recession is no excuse - the site earned commission, they should have been refunding agreed-upon points back to the customer.
    Last edited by teezone; February 2nd, 2011 at 01:56 PM.

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