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  1. #1
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    Hi! I have several responses from various merchants that I have posted at Amazon. I am copying those postings from Amazon and moving them here so that more affiliates can be aware of what the responses are from various merchants. Many have not responded and a few have responded saying that they would look into it. It is the other resopnses that I have posted. Come on affiliates, we need to stand up and be heard, we are STRONG!!

    Diane Dennis
    TheContractorsGroup.com
    diane@thecontractorsgroup.com

  2. #2
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    Following in order from oldest to newest, here is the first:

    The time has come for every affiliate to stand up and be heard. We are a very strong group, and together we can make a difference. My first move, I am going to email Amazon and ask them about this. If I am unhappy with their reply, my next step will be to drop Amazon and then devote a page at my site entirely to Amazon and WhenU, to announce these rotton, unfair practices. Next step, I will contact the rest of the ones on the list that I participate with and ask them the same thing. Next step, you guessed it, devote pages to each company involved with WhenU, post them, enter them at search engines, and let the carnage begin! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] Sorry, I am a bit upset over this, I have been spinning my wheels with a couple (Iprint.com is another one) companies, and all along this is what has been going on! We have power, affiliates, and all we need to do is use that power to let other potential affiliates know what is going on. Once we all pull our ads, where will WhenU be then? They can't get the commissions if they can't piggyback onto our programs, which we have pulled! Here's another kicker though, if you already have good placement in search engines, you can use this to your advantage! Just because we drop our programs does not mean we have to dump our pages, we just change the text on our pages to announce the dirty work, and keep our good search positions because the page already exists in that particular search engine! Come on everyone, let's be heard, let's show them that they cannot carry on successful affiliate programs using these unfair business practices. I invite anyone to contact me about this.... diane@thecontractorsgroup.com

    Let the *games* begin.... [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    ps: Why don't we also each devote a page to WhenU, and list their dirty practices, along with the companies that are participating. We may not deter a whole lot of potential customers for WhenU, but we will deter affiliates from using the various programs that use WhenU, which will have an impact on the participating programs, and we can *clog* the search engines with WhenU search terms, so that the actual WhenU won't be found easily!! Sneaky yes, but not as bad as what they are doing.... Let's show them all how strong we affiliates can be!

  3. #3
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    Hi All! I wrote to 1800flowers, as well as Amazon and many others. Here is the first response I have received, this one from 1800flowers:

    Dear Diane,

    Thank you for your inquiry. We are aware of Whenu.com's software and their
    participation in our affiliate program. We are obviously concerned about the
    effect this could have on our other affiliates, and have had detailed
    discussions with the CEO and Sr. Mgmt. of of WhenU.com. We have made it very
    clear to them that their practice is unacceptable, and they are working to
    accomodate our requirements.

    Diane, our's was one of the first affiliate programs in the industry and
    nothing is more important to us than to make every affiliate satisfied and
    rewarded. As an affiliate, you have been witness to the continuous changes
    we make to our program to keep it the best in the industry.

    Please be assured that we are working to resolve this issue. Do not be
    swayed by public discussions made by individuals who have not verified the
    accuracy nor have the adequate and correct knowledge about our company's
    position.

    Our personal contact info is below. If you have any further questions, either now or later please contact us personally.

    Prakash Bharwani
    Affiliate Manager
    (516) 237-7928
    Fax (516) 237-6069
    pbharwani@1800flowers.com

    Anna Di Chiara
    Assistant Manager
    Affiliate Marketing
    (516) 237-7829
    fax (516) 237-6069
    adichiara@1800flowers.com

    I wrote them back and told them that I would prefer that they dump WhenU.com until this is resolved and that if they don't, I want to cancel my program with them. Even if they are in the middle of "discussions", I sure don't want to be earning WhenU.com commissions during the "discussions".

    Diane

  4. #4
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    Great work Diane,

    Thats some good reading on the Amazon Board!!

    Haiko ... Diane has put up a link to AWB in the Amazon B.B. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    It's great to see you have gotten Merchants to drop WhenU from their affiliation with a few emails. There is power in numbers with us Publishers.

    Petsmart ... Needs a wake up call though :mad:

    Keep up the great work!!

    Regards,
    Dave

  5. #5
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    Hey All! Here's another one, this one from OfficeMax. Looks like it's time for everyone to email OfficeMax about this problem as they have no intention of doing anything about it! Here's their reply:

    Dear Affiliate Partner,

    Thank you for your message. Basically, WhenU.com is a browser companion that
    end users choose to download and attach to their browser. As WhenU end users
    surf the web, coupons will pop up for different retailers. Therefore, if an
    end user reaches an affiliate site that promotes OfficeMax, and they are
    using WhenU, a pop-up coupon might entice the user to visit OfficeMax. This
    might be what is occurring when you mention stolen commissions. The fact
    that WhenU.com is an affiliate partner of OfficeMax has no bearing on your
    situation. Simply put, if a customer chooses to download this program and
    then surf your site, OfficeMax has no way to prevent them. To be honest,
    though controversial, this is a legitimate business practice. I apologize
    for any inconvenience. If you have any further questions feel free to
    contact us. Thank you for your interest in OfficeMax.com.

    Sincerely,

    The OfficeMax.com Affiliate Team

    Time to dump OfficeMax and stop shopping at their brick and mortar stores!! Diane

  6. #6
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    Hey All!

    Here's the response I just received from OfficeDepot.

    Diane:

    When you is not an affiliate of Office Depot or our other company
    Computers4Sure.com. They were at one time, but when we learned of their
    unethical practices, we removed them from our program immediately. Thank
    you for your email and concern. Be rest assured that our affiliates
    business and our reputation is of great concern. If you have any other
    questions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at the number
    below.

    Diane Seals
    Manager, Affiliate Channels
    Office Depot, Inc.
    3366 East Willow Street
    Signal Hill, CA 90806
    Phone: 562-988-5267
    Fax: 562-424-4835
    Email: dseals@officedepot.com

    Because I have Macintosh, I cannot download and use the WhenU.com to see who is currently listed. Can someone who has downloaded the software run a test on their OfficeDepot link to see if WhenU is showing up at OfficeDepot? Thank you!

    SPECIAL NOTE: It has been found that WhenU.com has not removed the links from OfficeDepot, causing clickers to be redirected to the Linkshare default error page with a statement something to the effect of either the offer isn't available or the link isn't valid. OfficeDepot loses a customer, I lose a commission and the purchaser goes elsewhere to purchase!

  7. #7
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    My communique with PetSmart.com

    From: "Jodi Beuder" <jodi.beuder@petsmart.com>
    Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2001 11:33:22 -0800
    To: <diane@thecontractorsgroup.com>
    Subject: RE: WhenU.com

    Hi Diane,

    Thank you for your email, and for being a PETsMART.com Affiliate. In
    response to your concerns, Whenu.com is a standard PETsMART.com Affiliate.
    It is my understanding that they provide a service for customers interested
    in receiving the best deals at online merchant. The Whenu.com service,
    however, is a software that customers must download to their computer in
    order to benefit from their discount listings. Should a customer from your
    site have the Whenu.com shopping software in their computer, it's possible
    that when they click through your site's link to PETsMART.com, once they get
    to PETsMART.com the Whenu.com pop up comes up with a special promotion offer
    link. (**Please know, also, that the special promotions Whenu.com provides
    their customers are the same offers available to you at the PETsMART.com
    Affiliate Member Center at http://petsmart.reporting.net.) In order for
    Whenu to get commissions on a possible click through session from your site,
    the customer would first have to click through the Whenu pop up. Whenu.com
    pop ups only occur for the customers who voluntarily downloaded the
    software.

    I hope this helps you understand the Whenu.com services. Please let me know
    if you have any further questions or concerns. We're delighted to be
    working with you!

    Best wishes,

    Jodi
    PETsMART.com Affiliate Program
    jodi@petsmart.com <mailto:jodi@petsmart.com>
    626.817.7100

    My response to her:

    Hi Jodi!

    I appreciate your response. Please take a look at this
    discussion board, which is all about WhenU.com and
    how very unhappy affiliates are with WhenU.com and with
    all merchants that have affiliations with WhenU.com.
    PetSmart is currently on a blacklist, which is being
    circulated amongst affiliates. This blacklist was created
    by someone who was able to download the WhenU.com software
    and obtain the info that the blacklist contains. I cannot
    download and use the software because I have a Mac and it
    doesn't work on Mac, which is why I have to depend on lists
    circulated by others. Here is the link to the discussion
    board:
    http://www.prospero.amazon.com/n/mb/...&ctx=&msg=95.1

    After you read the postings, you will have a better grasp
    of how affiliates feel about WhenU.com.

    At this time, I must request that, as long as PetSmart.com
    continues to allow WhenU.com to operate in this manner, I
    be removed from the PetSmart.com affiliate program. Please
    get back to me asap as to the position that PetSmart.com
    will be taking in this issue.

    Thank you again for your time.

    Sincerely,
    Diane Dennis

  8. #8
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    Hey Everybody, Good Morning!!

    Thank you to Bee for downloading and installing WhenU.com to see if OfficeDepot still comes up! Guess what, WhenU.com pops up a window for OfficeDepot but the window link directs to Linkshare instead of to OfficeDepot. Also, a window for SaveNow (part of WhenU.com) pops up with a link to TechDepot. My guess is that when a merchant discontinues WhenU.com but WhenU.com doesn't take down the link, the link then redirects to the affiliate *overseer*, in this case Linkshare. This happens when a merchant discontinues through Linkshare, so I guess it would happen when an affiliate discontinues, or is discontinued, through Linkshare, but does not take down the merchants links, which it appears that WhenU.com has not. Here is the reply from OfficeDepot, when I told them what Bee found out...

    Wow! I don't know why, but I am always surprised to hear about these
    things! We permanently rejected them from our affiliate program and so did
    Computers4Sure. We have been checking as well and had notified Linkshare
    that they had not removed the links. Linkshare sent us a message this
    morning confirming that they were going in to block it for us.

    As for Tech Depot, this is really strange. We are in the process of setting
    up an affiliate program for them, but it hasn't launched yet. So that is
    definitely an unauthorized link. Our legal department will handle that.

    Since we have shown up on the list of merchants, we have been looking into
    all of our options to try and rid them of any connection to us. I really
    appreciate you taking the time to keep us updated. It is very concerning to
    us what is happening and we want to make sure that the business of all of
    our affiliates are protected.

    Again, many thanks for the heads up!

    Diane Seals
    Manager, Affiliate Channels
    Office Depot, Inc.
    3366 East Willow St.
    Signal Hill, CA 90806
    Phone: 562-988-5267
    Fax: 562-424-4835
    Pager: 888-464-4305

    So, it looks as if we may be in this for the long haul. Because, even though the merchant discontinues the affiliate program, if WhenU.com doesn't take down the links then the popup windows continue popping up. Everybody loses though because when the consumer clicks on the window, they end up at a default page at LInkshare that tells them that the link is no good. The customer doesn't place his order, OfficeDepot doesn't get a sale, we don't get a commission and WhenU.com doesn't get a commission. Interesting thing though, WhenU.com is charging people to use this software, after the 30 day trial. How many of these people know that the software they are paying to use is flawed in that the special coupons they are supposed to be getting by paying for the software are no longer valid coupons AND the very software they are using is responsible for them arriving at the default/error page at Linkshare and/or other merchant's programs?

  9. #9
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    PETsMART.com decides against all other affiliates and chooses to keep their affiliation with WhenU.com...

    From: "Jodi Beuder" <jodi.beuder@petsmart.com>
    Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2001 11:06:30 -0800
    To: "'Diane Dennis at TheContractorsGroup.com'" <contractors1@earthlink.net>
    Subject: RE: Here you go Jodi... [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    Hi Diane,

    Thank you for sending me this information. This is the very first we've heard from an Affiliate regarding this situation. Please know that we'll be keeping our eye out for further inquiries, but at this time, we won't be taking any action against Whenu.com. We would still love to partner with TheContractorsGroup.com. Please let me know if there is anything further I can help you with today.

    Take care,

    Jodi
    PETsMART.com
    ======

    Whoever has PETsMART.com needs to write to them.... For the time being, I am dumping them, and will also now boycott their brick and mortar, which I shop at all the time for all my animals.

    Diane

  10. #10
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    Whoo-hoo, looks like PETsMART is getting upset, look at what they just sent me...

    Here is a copy of what PETsMART.com just emailed me, in response to my email that I had posted their unfavorable response to the Amazon discussion boards and the ClubMom discussion lists...

    Hi Diane,

    I'm sorry you're taking this viewpoint. Please know that I never allowed you to post my email to you on any message board, and ask that you remove it from all message boards immediately before action is taken. If you wish to deactivate your PETsMART.com Affiliate account, please confirm.

    Talk to you soon,

    Jodi
    PETsMART.com
    =====

    Here's my response to her response...

    Yes I do wish to deactivate. I too am sorry, that PETsMART has taken the position they have taken.

    No, I will not remove the postings I put up. If PETsMART believes in the position they are taking then PETsMART should have no problem with the postings. If you have changed your position then please advise and I will post the info accordingly.

    Good day,
    Diane
    =====

    Come on affiliates, looks like I need some backup here...

    Thank you!
    Diane

  11. #11
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    Hi Diane,

    I'm sorry you're taking this viewpoint. Please know that I never allowed you to post my email to you on any message board, and ask that you remove it from all message boards immediately before action is taken. If you wish to deactivate your PETsMART.com Affiliate account, please confirm.

    Talk to you soon,

    Jodi
    PETsMART.com
    ===

    Jodi: Yes I do wish to deactivate. I too am sorry, that PETsMART has taken the
    position they have taken.

    No, I will not remove the postings I put up. If PETsMART believes in the
    position they are taking then PETsMART should have no problem with the
    postings. If you have changed your position then please advise and I will
    post the info accordingly.

    Good day,
    Diane
    ===

    (This next response from Jodi is due another email I sent her telling her that other affiliates are also upset)

    Diane,

    Thank you for forwarding this along. PETsMART.com is definitely concerned
    with the situation. We are in the process of investigating. We have noted
    all of your comments, plus the comments on the message board you forwarded,
    and now this Affiliate's. Our goal is to make sure all Affiliates are
    satisfied with our program.

    Do you wish me to hold off on deactivating your account?

    --jodi
    ===

    Hi Jodi,

    I will hold off on deactivation, but my position is still what it was. I ask that you notify me immediately as to PETsMART's decision, once it has been made.

    Thank you,
    Diane Dennis
    ====

    Your viewpoint is duly noted.

    Jodi Beuder <jodi.beuder@petsmart.com>

  12. #12
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Diane,

    Welcome to ABW! <IMG src=http://www.abestweb.com/smilies/welcome.gif>

    Good work!<IMG src=http://www.abestweb.com/ubb/icons/icon14.gif>

    Funny thing was that I was in the amazon board last night and looking around and mostly saw SPAM for jim world forums so I just left, Your certainly ABW material and I'm glad your here!

    Haiko

  13. #13
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    Thanks Haiko!! I am glad to be here!!

    Diane

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Packy's Avatar
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    Diane, awesome posts. First chance I get I will be dropping the programs you mentioned. I will also email them as to why. It won't be worth much to them seing how I don't ptomote them much but I believe the more emails they get the better they will understand that affiliates are against this kind of BS. <IMG src=http://www.abestweb.com/ubb/icons/icon14.gif>

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador
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    Good to have you among us, Diane! I will be browsing the merchant list of those that continue to partner with whenU. BTW, are there any civil suits against the scumware companies? and, if there is, where can I browse the latest news on the subject? scumware.com?

    Thanks!

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador
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    Diane,
    Great job...some time ago there was mention of us having a union...who needs a union when you have ABW...

    Big Chuck,
    There was discussion about this too in the old CJ forums. My thought is it would have to be illegal in some form. I've always said it's no different then hanging my own logo and phone numbers over a billboard on the side of the road......

    Tom Pyles

  17. #17
    Newbie
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    Pay real close attention to this fact:

    Relative to AFFILIATE PROGRAMS:

    It is not illegal for CJ, Linkshare, beFree or any other ad netowrk or company to use
    When U or scumware on their site.

    (It may be illegal to change your site without your knowledge or interfere or steal your traffic thru your content but that is a
    separate issue.)

    Relative to AFFILIATE PROGRAMS:

    It is however, illegal for them to advertise for affiliates and NOT tell the affiliates about exactly how their programs work and how and when you will get paid or not be paid.

    For example: If they have 800's on their site and you do not get paid your commission if someone you sent to their site calls the their number and buys.

    If they DO NOT TELL YOU this fact about the 800# and they know about it BEFORE you join their program and they sell just one order thru their 800# and don't pay you for it, after you join - It's FRAUD and unlawful conversion and false advertising - if they say you wil get paid for all traffic sent to them.

    If they use scumware, they have to tell you, if, when and how it effects your payouts.

    They cannot say you will get x% of sales referred to them and not specifically catalogue the exceptions.

    They have to be extremely specific about the how, when, why and where of payments to be made in their affiliate agreements and all the exceptions that apply.

    This point is where we have every ad network by the legal gonads and it's almost time to twist real hard.

    It's called FULL DISCLOSURE. None of them make it. And contract law is very specific about what makes and breaks a contract.

  18. #18
    Newbie
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    The goal is not for all affiliates to be satisfied with any program but for the programs to be legal. Affiliate programs are
    based on contracts - they make an offer, list the payments terms and exceptions and post a time period for the contract to run.

    You either accept or reject it. If you except it then any material change must be disclosed or the contract becomes void and you are allowed redress. If the offerer fails to disclose all the 'known exceptions'
    and new exceptions pop up, they have to tell you about it as soon as they know about the exceptions.

    For example: For Amazon to not make a good chunk of their affiliate agreement null and void they would have to send every affiliate
    a statement about When-U and how it may or may not effect an affiliates payments.

    Once they make this announcement, it's up to the affiliate to continue or not as an affiliate.

    Then Amazon can do whatever they want to do.

    Contracts always are two sided deals. Only when both sides get to make a choice based on the known facts are they valid.

  19. #19
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    Diane ... hope you keep posting these responses. I've written to what I thought was my best program, and still no reply after 24 hours.
    Karin

    [ 12-13-2001: Message edited by: KariBon ]

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador
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    Sent my first batch of emails to:
    American Blind & Wallpaper
    Autobytel.com
    Baby's Heaven
    BooksaMillion
    Catalog City
    Fingerhut
    Frederick's of Hollywood
    Home Visions
    Imaternity
    JC /whitney
    MuseumCompany
    partsamerica
    StacksandStacks
    Webclothes
    Later today will send out more!
    Cazzie

  21. #21
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    fantastic work diane and cazzie, FANTASTIC!!

    none of my merchants are on the whenu list or i would be pumping out emails also

    of course, we really should be boycotting cj and other affiliate networks until they and our employee advertisers start to take us seriously, its early days yet but im sure such a show of strength is on its way judging by this post, maybe, just maybe, the days of being pissed on are coming to an end

    fantastic work, dont ever give up<IMG src=http://www.abestweb.com/ubb/icons/icon14.gif>

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador
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    Has anybody contacted and/or heard back from Amazon.com yet?

    I emailed them, but have not heard back. Let yous know what happens...

    If you are in their affiliate program, you might want to drop them an email or call the big man himself (see number on Amazon's board) just to let em know how you feel.

    I have confidence this grand-daddy of all affiliate programs will respond in a positive manner.

    PS. And shame on CJ once again for profiteering from this crap.

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador
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    Hi Guys! I got 2 responses back from the merchant emails so far.
    1. Booksamillion Their response
    Thank you for your email. We are not familiar with the WhenU program so I cannot give you a specific course of action right now, but I will look into it and let you know our course of action. Thank you.

    2. JC Whitney I received 3 replies.

    1 of 3: Thank you for letting me know. Frankly it can be difficult to keep track of what all the affiliate partners are doing. Would you consider giving me a call or allowing me to call you directly. I''d like to get a better understanding on this. I -am- familiar with and sympathetic to the pirating of advertiser traffic and revenue but was not aware of this. Could I give you a call?

    2 of 3.
    I''ve contacted WhenU.com and deactivated their links. For what it''s worth since January throughout the course of this whole year they''ve generated all of five transactions. Probably why I''d never noticed them.

    3 of 3. Notice sent to WhenU
    It has been brought to my attention WhenU.com''s practice of offering up competitors offers on our affiliate partners websites. Frankly I must agree with their concern over pirating the control over their own websites, their traffic and ad revenues. JC Whitney cannot support this practice and will be deactivating our WhenU.com links through Performics today. Additionally please remove any JC Whitney links or presence from your site or offering.
    I think JC Whitney should be promoted to the "White List"
    Cazzie [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

  24. #24
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Cazzie,

    Shall do! GREAT JOB!<IMG src=http://www.abestweb.com/ubb/icons/icon14.gif>

    Haiko

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador
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    Received a response from Catalog City

    Thank you for your message. I can assure you that Catalog City is not affiliated with WhenU. We have no desire to work with WhenU nor will we work with WhenU in the future. I am currently investigating the blacklist and how Catalog City was included to begin with. Again, thank you for your concern - as we wish to avoid working with such predatory advertisers.

    Beth Kroenke, CatalogCity.com


    Well? Do you think this is a mistake?
    Cazzie

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