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  1. #1
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    I got a call from my bank this morning telling me that $9000 in Reporting.net checks that I deposited last week had been rejected with the reason being "Refer to Maker". They had never had a check come back with this message so they couldn't interpret it for me.

    At first I thought it might be a problem with my bank (that has happened before), so I though it was just going to be a long process to get the checks reissued, but now I am not so sure.

    Other forums have a couple post indicating that other people are having the same trouble as I am. If all Befree checks are bouncing, that could be really bad.

    Anyone else having this problem. I am hoping that a Befree bankruptcy is not the next news that I will hear.

    ivandollar

  2. #2
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    The definition of Refer To Maker: Unbankable returned check due to reasons such as conflicting or missing information on the check. I had a check returned for the same reason in the past from one of their merchants, but it was not issued by Reporting.net. In that case, as I recall, the merchant had opened a new account at the same bank and my check was issued from the old closed account. The merchant apologized and reissued a new check. Your post has me more than a little worried if you had multiple checks returned that were issued by Befree. I just recently deposited all my checks! Would you post the forums where you read of others having checks returned?

  3. #3
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    Kat,

    Thanks for my information. My hope is that they just started a new account, the account number was wrong, etc. I would hate to lose 9k, but more importantly I don't want to have to lose some of the merchants we use at Befree.
    http://www.associateprograms.com/dis...tml?1006530178

    Anyone else have info?

    ivandollar

  4. #4
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Never had a BeFree account check bounce on me yet. I've cut way back with showcasing BeFree merchants since I don't trust their reporting sales. Sure hate to see someone get stiffed for that high amount so keep us all informed as I have several BF checks due to come in the mail. I for one wouldn't mind BeFree going belly up if their VC backers pull out the money. That would make those prime merchants have to come out from under the BF rock and join a trusted network like CJ and pay monthly with EPC ratings.

  5. #5
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    Mike, sometimes your ignorance absolutely amazes me. This is the second place you have put something about BeFree's VC backers pulling their funds. For a guy who professes to know business, and has stated publically that you have worked directly with people like Michael Dell and Bill Gates, you should know that BeFree is a public company trading on the open market. Their backers were well paid when the firm went public.

    Statements so far off the mark of anything even remotely close to fact make me wonder if ANYTHING you say is factual.

    Obstinatedon

  6. #6
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    Here is the email BeFree sent me (see below). I am very impressed with the way that they handled this. I have already told my banker to process these checks again. It seems most people's checks were not affected.

    As for the BeFree discussion that seems to have broken out. I make at least 3 times more money with my BeFree merchants than with my CJ merchants. I agree that I would like to see epc tracking with BeFree, but I don't think you can argue that their whole system is corrupt. I make $10,000 a month minimum from just BeFree, so I am obviously fairly happy with them.

    ------------------------------------

    Dear Affiliate Partner:

    Be Free is the company that provides the affiliate infrastructure to online merchants that you have partnered with. Part of the service that we provide to your merchant partners is the processing of affiliate commission checks.

    Recently, we have had several counterfeit checks presented against the affiliate commission bank account. Without consulting with us, our bank stopped processing checks against this account on Friday, November 16. We were notified of the bank's action only when an affiliate contacted us on Monday, November 19. Within two hours of that notification, our bank was again processing checks.

    However, from Friday through Monday, our bank rejected several hundred checks. And, regrettably your commission check was one of those rejected.

    Please redeposit the check that was returned to you. It will now clear the bank account. If your bank has any concerns, please provide them with a copy of the correspondence from our bank. It is attached to this e-mail as a PDF file.

    If you are unable to open the file, please click on the following link: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html to access the download page for Adobe Acrobat Reader 5. Once this application is installed on your computer, you should then be able to open and view the PDF file properly.

    Next week, Be Free will also mail you a check for an additional $50, for each check that was returned. We hope that this amount will reimburse you for any direct expenses that you may have incurred and any inconvenience that this incident may have caused.

    Please accept Be Free's sincerest apology for your inconvenience. We are currently modifying our procedures to assure this incident will not be repeated. In addition, if we can answer any specific question or address any specific concern, please call either Steve Joseph or Steve Pike as of Monday, November 26 at the number indicated below.

    Thank you for your understanding.

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Packy's Avatar
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    Ivan, Nice to see it all worked out for you. Jeeez, I hope some day I can have a problem with a $10,000 monthly check.

  8. #8
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    Jeez Louise! $10,000 monthly check? My god, I would be jumping out of my skin making that kind of money. Wow! Maybe one day it could be me. I would be happy with a 1,000 a month, don't want to be greedy LOL
    Ivan, I wish you continued success
    Cazzie [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

  9. #9
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    Packey and Cazzie,

    Thank you for your good wishes.

    I must say that I am very happy that there is still an affilate forum available that gets a decent amount of traffic and seems to have a diverse group of affiliates that can help each other out with information.

    As for the 10k comments, we have been fortunate (and worked really hard) to make the amount of money we make now.

    It is my business collegue and my only means of financial support (i.e. being an affiliate is our full time job). So it is important that we do well with it.
    [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    I think one of the keys is to never stop building on what you have already accomplished and never to limit yourself for how much money you can make (I know, sounds like a bunch of MLM BS), well it is and it isn't. I am fortunate to know a number of other affiliate who make more than me, so that keeps me motivated and prevents me from slacking off. If their little operation can do a million a year, I should be able to make it eventually.

    And along the way, $10,000 checks are going to go along way towards some cool presents for family and friends this Christmas.

    ivandollar

  10. #10
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Kat,

    Welcome!

    ---------------

    ivandollar,

    Welcome!

    Congrats on the 10K and Glad to see it worked out for you!

    quote:
    I must say that I am very happy that there is still an affiliate forum available that gets a decent amount of traffic and seems to have a diverse group of affiliates that can help each other out with information


    Yep ... and Merchant Watch will also be an invaluable tool for all affiliates!

    Haiko

  11. #11
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    Packy & Cazzie, It's right there in front of us all. I was sooooo close last March, that's why I know it's so attainable.

    Anyway, in March I made 4,700 on Cj merchants alone. Then the whole thing caved in on top of me. Since then I have not come close to those numbers, now I am just getting by. One thing that's for sure is this:

    If you keep on doing what you have been doing, you will keep on getting what you have been getting. (for the most part anyway)

    Testing testing testing is EVERYTHING. STATS STATS STATS, TWEAK TWEAK TWEAK.

    When you finally find a model that will work you must sacrifice almost everything and give it all of your energy. Expand as fast as you can, all the while watching the STATS STATS STATS.

    The only thing that ever remains constant is change itself.

    One thing I have discovered is this. The times when I am gaining ground on the competition are times like tonight. (When everyone else is out in the bars and the clubs) All those people whom are happy to work their 40 hour slave jobs, those people whom want nothing more from their lives than what they currently have.

    Well obviously that is not us, if it were we would be somewhere other than here!

    Go for it, give it ALL YOU HAVE.

    There is plenty of time and opportunity for those who are ready!

    Life always seems toughest just as you are approaching the summit!

  12. #12
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Typity typity type type...

    (comes across thread, reads post)
    quote:
    I would be happy with a 1,000 a month~Cazzie


    THAT gets old...

    Typity typity type type...[Uploading More New Ad Pages]


    Breeze, I'll agree with you! I may see it a bit differently (is it really a "sacrifice" to do this all the time?), but I've come to agree with the basic ideas!

    Ivandollar, glad to hear the good news. That's a lot of $$$ at stake! I hope it gets paid okay this time.

  13. #13
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    quote:
    Breeze, I'll agree with you! I may see it a bit differently (is it really a "sacrifice" to do this all the time?), but I've come to agree with the basic ideas!


    Thanks Leader, I guess I need to be more specific. It's not that I don't enjoy 99% of what I do everyday. The sacrifice comes in where my "social life used to be" I just keep telling myself there will be plenty of time for play when I get my own island in the tropics! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    New Sig -
    Whether you think you can or think you can't - you are right - Henry Ford

  14. #14
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Well after enduring 5 minutes of popups and unders from clicking on "Breeze's" webchasm site ..obviously someone nutured within the porno web industry..I'm ready to respond to ObtinateDon. This mystery individual has never posted a positive tip on any affiliate board to help us generate one cent of revenue from his sponsor networks. My statement regarding BeFree's getting their VC capital (loans) pulled to cut investor bleed was wrong. They are now public and out of the quiet period on NASDAQ. ( BFRE =symbol). My bad...and theirs too since they did bounce some affiliate checks. Regardless of reason this is unacceptable for a public company.

    My point was to stress to affiliates here that even those few making money at BeFree would be better off if those same merchants were forced to migrate to CJ or Linkshare. No one I've ever run across is satisfied with their dealings with BF. Merchant, critic or affiliate. I'd just love to see their merchants at CJ playing by the new rules of disclosure.

    Speaking of disclosure: Quarterly Report (SEC form 10-Q) BeFREE ( BFRE)
    We have incurred significant net losses and negative cash flows from operations since the commencement of our online marketing business, and, as of September 30, 2001, we had an accumulated deficit of approximately $228.2 million. This loss has been funded primarily through the issuance of preferred stock, borrowings, and public offerings of our common stock. We raised net proceeds of $70.6 million and $104.7 million during our public offerings in November 1999 and in March 2000, respectively.

    RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

    REVENUE


    Through September 30, 2001, revenue includes integration and monthly service fees for BFAST and BSELECT. Revenue increased 13% to $6.0 million for the three months ended September 30, 2001, as compared to $5.3 million for the same period in 2000. Revenue increased 28% to $16.9 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2001 as compared to $13.3 million for the same period in 2000. Although our customer base decreased by 26% in the quarter ended September 30, 2001 in comparison to September 30, 2000, our average monthly revenue per customer increased by 53%, due to a shift in our customer mix from Internet pure play companies towards established brick and mortar companies.


    NETWORK COSTS


    These costs consist of expenses related to the operation of our hosting services. Network costs include depreciation and operating lease expense for systems and storage equipment, costs for third-party data center facilities and costs for Internet connectivity to our customers and their marketing partners.

    Network costs increased 27% to $1.3 million for the three months ended September 30, 2001, as compared to $990,000 for the same period in 2000. Network costs increased 78% to $4.4 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2001, as compared to $2.4 million for same period in 2000. The Company made significant investments in additional systems and data storage equipment in order to increase capacity and redundancy and to accommodate growth in the number and activity level of our customers. This additional investment resulted in an increase in the current quarter of $216,000 in depreciation, equipment lease and data center facilities expenses. Third-party data center bandwidth charges also increased by approximately $50,000 due to an increase in traffic volume.

    SALES AND MARKETING EXPENSES


    Sales and marketing expenses consist of payroll and related costs for our sales, marketing and business development groups. Also included are the costs for marketing programs to promote our services to our current and prospective customers, as well as programs to recruit marketing partners for our current customers.

    Sales and marketing expenses decreased 28% to $3.4 million for the three months ended September 30, 2001 as compared to $4.7 million for same period in 2000. The decrease of $1.3 million in the current quarter is attributable to a $767,000 decrease in personnel and related costs as a result of a reduction in headcount of 48 employees and a decrease of approximately $511,000 in affiliate recruitment and other marketing programs. Sales and marketing expenses increased 1% to $13.1 million for the nine


    months ended September 30, 2001 as compared to $13.0 million for the same period in 2000. The increase for the nine month period ended September 30, 2001 is due to a higher headcount and partner marketing costs during the first three months of 2001 as compared to the same period in 2000.

    CLIENT SERVICES EXPENSES


    Client services expenses relate to the cost of assisting our customers in managing their relationships with marketing partners, as well as providing marketing integration, training and technical support to our customers. These services are designed to increase the success of our customer's performance marketing sales channels and their overall satisfaction with our services by providing best practices techniques, channel analysis, training and technical assistance. We also provide similar services to our customer's marketing partners on an optional basis for additional fees.

    Client services expenses decreased by 9% to $1.6 million for the three months ended September 30, 2001 as compared to $1.7 million for the same period in 2000. The decrease of $154,000 in expenses for the current quarter was largely due to a $159,000 decrease in personnel and related costs as a result of a reduction in headcount of 34 employees partially offset by nominal increases in miscellaneous costs. Client services expenses increased by 6% to $5.4 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2001 as compared to $5.1 million for the same period in 2000. The increase in expenses for the nine months period ended September 30, 2001 was due to higher headcount during the first three months of 2001 as compared to the same period in 2000.

    link: http://biz.yahoo.com/e/011113/bfre.html
    summary excerpts:
    Our accumulated deficit as of September 30, 2001 was $228.2 million. Our current business has never achieved profitability and we expect to continue to incur losses for the foreseeable future in light of the level of our amortization of intangible assets and planned operating and capital expenditures. We also expect to experience negative operating cash flow for the near future as we fund our operating losses and capital expenditures. If our revenue grows more slowly than we anticipate, or if our operating expenses exceed our expectations and cannot be adjusted in a timely manner, our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects would be materially and adversely affected. We will need to generate significant additional revenue to achieve profitability. The near- term economic outlook is very uncertain, especially in light of recent terrorist activities and the current and expected future responses to such activities. As a result, the level of commerce, including amounts conducted over the Internet, may be materially and adversely affected which would materially and adversely affect our revenue and profitability. Continued economic slowdown could cause companies to defer or reduce expenditures on online marketing programs, which could materially and adversely affect our revenue and profitability. Even if we do achieve profitability, we may not be able to sustain or increase profitability on a quarterly or annual basis in the future.

    I rest my case!!

    [ 11-25-2001: Message edited by: EcomCity.com ]

  15. #15
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    Hello Mike...

    Good to see you at your rambling best this morning. By the way, that particular disclosure statement is typical of any you might read. For instance, should you decided to look at MSFT or even IBM, you would also see far-reaching statements that bespeak of lower expectations. It is de rigeur for public companies to have those statements rather than paint rosey pictures that could entice the unwary to buy stock.

    As to your statement that I have not offered constructive advice to a single affiliate to help him/her make money, you are again off the mark. As a matter of fact (and public record) I offered you specifically some advice concerning marketing and merchandising for your ecomcity site. As I have well over two decades of experience in marketing and merchandising, I thought it might have been useful to you. Instead of taking that advice, you decided to instead break out with verbiage to defame.

    BeFree, as a public company, must be very careful with anything they publish. They did indeed send e-mails out to their affiliates explaining the bounced checks, and should any of that be non-factual you can believe they will be held accountable with the SEC. Therefore, you can probably rest assured that what they claim happened - happened. It sucks for affiliates who received those checks, but as you stated in another post, you don't have to worry about it because you will only have to spend enormous amounts of time planning how to spend your $400+ dollar commission check from CJ.

    Obstinatedon

  16. #16
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Obstinatedon:
    Hello Mike...

    Good to see you at your rambling best this morning. By the way, that particular disclosure statement is typical of any you might read. For instance, should you decided to look at MSFT or even IBM, you would also see far-reaching statements that bespeak of lower expectations. It is de rigeur for public companies to have those statements rather than paint rosey pictures that could entice the unwary to buy stock.

    As to your statement that I have not offered constructive advice to a single affiliate to help him/her make money, you are again off the mark. As a matter of fact (and public record) I offered you specifically some advice concerning marketing and merchandising for your ecomcity site. As I have well over two decades of experience in marketing and merchandising, I thought it might have been useful to you. Instead of taking that advice, you decided to instead break out with verbiage to defame.

    BeFree, as a public company, must be very careful with anything they publish. They did indeed send e-mails out to their affiliates explaining the bounced checks, and should any of that be non-factual you can believe they will be held accountable with the SEC. Therefore, you can probably rest assured that what they claim happened - happened. It sucks for affiliates who received those checks, but as you stated in another post, you don't have to worry about it because you will only have to spend enormous amounts of time planning how to spend your $400+ dollar commission check from CJ.

    Obstinatedon



    As a BeFree merchant, I can only say that my experience so far has only been positive and they have handled all of our tracking issues with great expertise.

    We upgraded our shopping cart, we needed them to do a re-submission of affiliate commisions and they came through like a star.

    Just me 2 cents....

    [ 11-26-2001: Message edited by: Andy Rodriguez ]

  17. #17
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Andy Rodriguez,

    Welcome!

    I don't know what I wouldn't do for product links for Tiger Direct!

    Haiko

  18. #18
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Haiko,

    We are very, very close. We are releasing drop down banners this week, and are working the bugs out of product links via BeFree.

    Stay tuned...shall i announce here as well?

    AR

    quote:
    Originally posted by Haiko:
    Andy Rodriguez,

    Welcome!

    I don't know what I wouldn't do for product links for Tiger Direct!

    Haiko



    [ 11-26-2001: Message edited by: Andy Rodriguez ]

  19. #19
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Andy,

    quote:
    Stay tuned...shall i announce here as well?


    Please do!


    Haiko

  20. #20
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Well Andy ..I see you made it over to this great board. Please tell the folks here that it took your continued efforts, as a concerned affiliate manager, to correct the fact that your shopping cart and reporting sales back to BeFree didn't function right for over 4 months. I recall it was me and a few other to alert you to the obvious problem. You run a good program on a bad network just like Overstock.com. This probably comes from the fact you do commumnicate with affiliates and work under the sales department ..not advertising.

    Now that I earned $226.00 in Sept/Oct once tracking was enabled see if BF can't post your payment to them and send me my check without delay. I might even consider SE PPC keyword purchases if you start the individual product links to normally stocked items and those DarTek Systemax clones.

  21. #21
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    If you guys hadn't noticed no official reply to any BBS posting on the net by the BeFree management. I recall them lauding their history of paying all affiliates within 5 days of receiving funds from the merchants. I haven't received any BeFree checks marked "paid" to affiliate since October 1st so I certainly did not get caught in the bounced check fiasco. Except for Andy and the guy at OverStock ( one of those marke paid)none of the other merchants there have replied to numerous requests to followup on payments. Normal autoresponders from BF.

  22. #22
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Andy the affiliate manager at TigerDirect is a tiger but he seems to have hit a stone wall at BF over getting me and others paid for last months sales. Since the end of October my 226.00 payment on reporting.net has shown "awaiting funds" ...at least this one won't bounce. 5 other BF merchant checks marked "paid to affiliate" this month have never arrived in my mail box. Merchants and affiliates are getting perplexed to say the least. Next come the excuses they are having to perform a network wide payables audit but the checks will be in the mail.

    Revenews ( currently offline) refuses to make this one a frontpage issue but side postings now show an affiliate that re-deposited the 1st bounced check ( a big one folks) as instructed by BF had it bounce a second time. Where the love or even a official statement as we burn through "days to Christmas".

  23. #23
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    WebMaster Mike,

    Could you provide me with the url of the post about the person who had the BF check bounce again. I looked at some of the topics over at Revenews.com, but I couldn't find it.

    I appreciate the help.

    ivandollar

  24. #24
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    So let me guess, if an affiliate asks Befree about the tracking problems that they did not mention, they would send the old canned response to the effect that Befree is justa third party and questions should be directed to the merchants (who also hid the truth)?

  25. #25
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    I want to thank and congratulate all of our affiliates that generated sales in November. Due to a lack of space, I am only posting the top 25 affiliates in this post, however there are many more of you out there and you all have been contacted individually.


    Affiliate Net Shipped Sales
    dealnews $ 1,3210.79
    techbargains $ 1,1268.05
    Netfree $ 1,0843.49
    Got Apex $ 8,915.68
    Internet Shoppers $ 6,049.84
    Calling Card Heaven $ 5,668.93
    CommonName $ 5,630.31
    Ben's Bargain Center $ 5,583.79
    DailyeDeals $ 4,678.93
    Schoolpop $ 4,393.09
    NC-MALL $ 3,655.02
    iGive $ 3,132.05
    Cabozone $ 3,039.92
    Blink $ 2,956.84
    Frugally Yours $ 2,849.46
    anewShop $ 2,579.83
    Sharif $ 2,505.91
    Savings Count $ 2,451.49
    Cash-Us $ 2,226.37

    December and January are great months. Place those banners, continue
    generating sales and i'll see your company here next month.

    **** November commisions have been processed and are being sent
    overnight to BeFree.



    Thank you again,

    [ 12-06-2001: Message edited by: Andy Rodriguez ]

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