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July 23rd, 2013, 01:48 PM #1Irv's Will Only Take Valid CJ Coupon Over Phone???!!
So, I'm working on back-to-school stuff and Irv's has some items that are decent. They have banner and text ads in CJ promoting 15% off w/ a coupon code. It ends in 56 days. There are exclusions, but not the item that I had in the shopping cart. So I call --
The woman was very nice, BUT, after checking w/ her manager she said that they would give me the discount, but the sale would have to be processed over the phone because Irvs does not offer coupon codes and I probably just got it off a website with inaccurate information. I said I wanted to shop more and she said to call back when I'm ready. Like really??? Come on Irv's! Stop ripping off your hard working affiliates.
Needless to say I've taken them out of my back-to-school blogs.
Last edited by leeann; July 23rd, 2013 at 01:54 PM.
July 23rd, 2013, 02:10 PM #2
Couple of possibilities here:
1) Coupon could have been an Affiliate Channel only coupon
2) Call center not aware of Affiliate Channel promotions
3) Call center used to getting calls from customers claiming they saw a coupon
4) Call center used to getting calls about websites with outdated coupons
5) Call center is TRAINED to not let the customer off the phone without an order
And it appears the merchant does not have phone tracking support for the Affiliate Channel...Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...
July 23rd, 2013, 02:10 PM #3
I'm so angry right this minute. I feel like Irv's reached their hands in my purse and stole my wallet.
July 23rd, 2013, 02:12 PM #4
July 23rd, 2013, 02:14 PM #5
From Irv's TOS:
"Publishers may use any coupons or promotional codes that are provided through the affiliate program or otherwise available to the public "
July 24th, 2013, 03:00 PM #6
- Join Date
- July 24th, 2013
It seems that there was a break down in communications. Please contact me directly at email@example.com or 847-952-7663 so I can properly research and resolve your issue. Thanks, Renee Silverman, VP of Marketing
July 24th, 2013, 03:14 PM #7
IMHO this thread should be in the Unethical Merchants sub-forum.
July 24th, 2013, 03:50 PM #8
July 24th, 2013, 04:16 PM #9
I do not buy this usual "breakdown in communication" crap, a catch-all for when this type of intentional conduct is uncovered.
July 24th, 2013, 04:37 PM #10
Yes, it would be nice if the merchant offered phone tracking - but the merchant isn't being unethical...Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...
July 24th, 2013, 04:59 PM #11
July 24th, 2013, 05:11 PM #12
July 24th, 2013, 05:23 PM #13
Once more - Leeann said the person she spoke to told her "a customer has to call to get the coupon discount". How could that be any clearer?
July 24th, 2013, 05:27 PM #14
NOW - if the coupons offered to affiliates DON'T work at all, then we have a problem. If the coupons offered to affiliates have too many exclusions that a visitor will never find an item in which to use the coupon and it causes the visitor to call to complain, then we have a problem.
Or if you want to discuss the great big leaks all over the bottom of the site to Bizrate, Shopping.com, and The Find - I would agree on that.
But NONE of that was mentioned by Leeann...
Last edited by Convergence; July 24th, 2013 at 05:42 PM. Reason: wrong spelling Leeann's nameSalty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...
July 24th, 2013, 05:45 PM #15
But they DO have coupons. THAT is the scam. They say they don't but still give the discount only if you call.
"Oh, no, that couldn't POSSIBLY be OUR coupon - we don't have any. Let me check with my supervisor. [pause, while the rep leafs through her "How to Cheat our Affiliates" Manual, then comes back to say] "Oh, my supervisor says you CAN get the discount for the coupon we don't offer but NOT if you make a trackable online purchase, only if you buy it over the phone, which our affiliates will never know about"
July 24th, 2013, 05:50 PM #16
Haven't seen anyone who said they have done this.
Again, if the coupons they offer don't work (as I mentioned above), then grab a rope and we'll go after them and string them up on the tallest ABW tree. I'll even kick the chair out from underneath.
But right now, based on what Leeann said, there is no basis nor merit for calling them unethical...Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...
July 24th, 2013, 05:53 PM #17
July 25th, 2013, 01:25 AM #18
This is what happened. Apparently my post wasn't clear. I placed an item in the shopping cart. I began the checkout process. On the first page it asks for the code. I entered the coupon. No discount amount appeared. I tried it again. Again, no discount adjustment was made. Also, when I entered the code a message appeared above it that says:
The Coupon code you entered is not valid. Please check the code again and try re-entering, or call customer service at 888-300-4787
Which is what I did. I reentered it and it did not take it so I called the number.
I told the woman that the code did not work. I told her that I checked the exception list and that this brand was not listed. She did not ask for the code. She put me on hold to speak w/ her manager. When she came back she said I probably got it from a website with inaccurate information and that Irv's doesn't offer coupon codes, but that they would go ahead and give me the discount, but the sale had to be processed on the phone. I told her it was from a banner, what the code was and the discount. That seemed to stump her a bit. She said they would still have to process the sale. I told her I had more shopping to do and she said call back when I was ready to check out.
I'm sorry if I didn't make it clear. I would not have come flying over here to post my experience had it not been so terrible.
1) the code that was in the last newsletter to affiliates did not work.
2) When I called I was told that the website I was on had inaccurate information. That makes it appear that my site is in error.
3) I was told Irvs doesn't even issue coupon codes. Why would they say such a thing? This is not the first time I've seen coupon codes for Irvs.
4) I was told they would give it to me (like they were doing me a favor) but that it would have to be over the phone. Basically stealing my commission.
Unethical? Yeah, unless it was some very untrained people answering the phone, but she checked w/ her manager...
This is what bugs me. That code has been around (according to CJ) for a year. How many times has this happened?
Last edited by leeann; July 25th, 2013 at 01:34 AM.
July 25th, 2013, 01:28 AM #19
Convergence -- I know how to check if a coupon code works when I'm shopping online. Of course I went through the process. How else would I have known it didn't work?
Last edited by leeann; July 25th, 2013 at 01:54 AM.
July 25th, 2013, 01:35 AM #20
Thanks for the additional info, Leeann. That is pretty much how I understood your op.
It seems to all boil down to this:
1. Irv provides coupons/discount codes to their affiliates.
2. Affiliates promote Irv's products and convinces visitors to buy products from Irv's, at least in part because of the discount.
3. The visitor tries to buy from Irv's and finds out the only way to get this discount to over the phone, bypassing tracking and saving Irv the commission.
times 100?, times 1000? ....?
Last edited by Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound; July 25th, 2013 at 01:37 AM. Reason: typo
July 25th, 2013, 01:47 AM #21
I know what you are saying AffiliateHound. It really bugged me. My only hope is to give the benefit of the doubt that this was an isolated incident, but who knows now? Had they said -- they were aware of coupon, did not understand why it didn't work, would be happy to honor it, but the only way would be to do it over the phone...and either have tracking in place for that or ask what website I got the coupon from, then I would have applauded them (after I checked that I got credit for the sale of course..lol) But just the opposite happened.
July 25th, 2013, 01:52 AM #22
I thought maybe when I mentioned the code came from a banner on the coupon website, then that would change the direction of things, but it didn't. Sorry my first explanation left out some key points. It was a definite fail on the part of Irvs. Too bad, too. I liked Irvs.
Last edited by leeann; July 25th, 2013 at 02:14 AM.
July 25th, 2013, 02:24 AM #23
Anyway, now you have made yourself clear.
I just went to Irv's and used the code you mentioned. Guess what. This is what I got EACH time:
Only one code can be used per order
Promotional Code BTS15 has been applied to your order if applicable. Please see Coupon Restrictions if your discount was not applied
Not one discount was applied. Only thing I could find in common on the products I selected - they were already on sale.
Based on everything expressed before me - I agree with Leeann and AffiliateHound. This merchant is UNETHICAL.
Grab the rope - I have the chair!Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...
July 25th, 2013, 03:21 AM #24
Thanks for running all those test. I had to do a "find" search with the name of the brand because that list is very extensive. Then I double checked and that was one reason I went ahead and called. I wanted to make sure that I was right about it not being an exception.
So what do you think? Do you think they are running coupon codes that don't pass and show the discount so customers will call and ask? Then they capture the sale? What about off hours? Do they risk losing the sale all together? Or is it just a false lead to get people to the site?
July 25th, 2013, 05:17 AM #25
It sure looks intentional.
Bad user experience - If I was a customer I would be pissed and never return to Irv's Luggage.
As an affiliate, I will no longer risk alienating our visitors. Too many "exclusions" for starters, then there are all the major leaks in the footer: Bizrate, Shopping.com, and The Find.
Just not worth it, we'll send our traffic elsewhere...Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...
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