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  1. #1
    Newbie
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    40
    For those of you who are thinking of using Direct Response (also known as DirectLeads). Let me give you a warning - don't deal with them.

    Apart from having Net90 payment terms, they seem to allow (and delight in) letting merchants carry on with their programs despite not paying a cent. I now have debts outstanding by 400 days (yes over a year). But no sign of payment. DirectResponse even encourage me to keep sending clicks while they drip-fed small checks to me. Now the days have turned into months (and even a year).... and still no payment coming.

    DirectResponse even had the audacity to send one of those emails saying "Hi, we are here, how can we help you?". I send them replies.... but nothing ever comes back.

    Help anyone? Is there anything legal I can do?

    Look at this:

    Amount Due Aging Reason
    $413.25 400 Partial Payment Received
    $520.55 370 Partial Payment Received
    $0.02 309 Partial Payment Received
    $42.90 278 Partial Payment Received
    $379.50 217 Partial Payment Received
    $250.85 186 Partial Payment Received
    $307.20 186 Partial Payment Received
    $26.10 156 Partial Payment Received
    $829.50

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador qball0213's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    2,158
    Which merchant is it? I've always been paid on time by directresponse.

  3. #3
    Newbie
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    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    3
    I have also been paid on time by DirectLeads. It must be something wrong went with the merchant.

  4. #4
    Newbie
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    40
    Errmm - its actually a total of 6 different merchants.

    Generally the checks will arrive.... but usually missing about $500 or so.

    With these sort of bad debts - how can they sleep at night? How can a company run, knowing that half of customers don't pay. 400 days overdue?

    I don't know what to do :-/

  5. #5
    Newbie
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    31
    Rather than contact DirectResponse.com, I would contact the merchants instead and see if they can shed any light on why you have missing payments. Is it possible that some of your transactions were reversed and that is what's causing the lower payment? I"ve never used DirectResponse.com myself, but I"ve always heard good things about their company and the merchants that use them.

  6. #6
    Newbie
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    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    40
    Hi Karen,

    For the most part, in the beginning, directresponse was good. A continuous selection pay-per-lead programs. Over the last 6 months they seem to have really 'dropped the ball'. Hardly any new programs. Hardly any emails, and no responses from emails.

    The money I'm talking of was not reversed, it's just a bad debt. DirectResponse deal with a lot of different merchants, and obviously do not have strong enough accounting practices to keep these merchants in line.

    I suspect the merchants are 'fly-by-nighters' and would be impossible to track down. Frequently pay-per-lead programs can hide some rather unscrupulous lead gathering companies, who are looking to fill up an opt-in list.

    Once they've got it - they're gone.

    I now no longer subscribe to any of DirectResponse's program. Here ends the lesson!

  7. #7
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    St Clair Shores MI.
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    17,328
    Sounds typical for a lead fee merchant let alone a lead fee network. I looked at them several years ago and ran like hell after seeing all the slime ball Adwhore middleman info scrapers/spammers on their roster. Unless it;s a branded, stockmarket listed operation I'll never place a link to these lead companies.

    PS: every cybercriminal -spammer -BHO -identity theft and CC theft operation runs a LEAD program if they have a program. They're too crafty to allow the other thieves click script cheat them on a CPC basis.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  8. #8
    Newbie
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    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    31
    Dear Jimster,
    Thank you very much for sharing your experience. I do appreciate it.

  9. #9
    Newbie
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    40
    I do feel that DirectResponse do have some culpability. They have Net90 terms (rather large in the industry). This gives them 3 months to get the money off the merchant from when the first lead/click/sale roles in.

    Heres the twist: Some of my bad debts are > 1 year old, some are 3 months old. Some are from the SAME merchant. This indicates DirectResponse had not received any/enough payment from the merchant but CONTINUED to let them operate on their network for a further 6-8 months.

    You may wonder why I didn't immediately abandon sending traffic to these programs. Early on DirectReponse assured me that it was just fine, and they would get the money no problems.

    In fact, in the early days, AMs from DirectResponse would phone me and ask me to send as much traffic as possible to these programs!! Now they won't even answer emails... What's going on inside that company?

  10. #10

    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    204
    I assume you're referring to Direct Responses' DirectTrack program? Yes, the merchant is required to pay DT and then manually approve the affiliates for payment so that DT can disburse the funds to the affiliates. DT is an independant platform for the Merchant, so it definitely sounds as though the merchant cut-and-run on you (assuming the traffic you sent was legit). PPL campaigns are difficult to verify.

    We use DirectTrack for our independant pay-per-sale program - consisting of 30 stores - and have never had any problems. We approve the affiliates for payment on the 1st or 2nd of the month, and DT cuts the checks the same day.

  11. #11
    Newbie
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    January 18th, 2005
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    40
    Since that post, DirectResponse have been a lot more forthcoming about this problem. It turns out virtually all the merchants that failed to pay belong to a single company - LeadForward - who has gone bankrupt. Creditors are having great difficult getting any money from them.

    In addition to this, DirectResponse have undergone a large structural change, and have moved their CPA division back into DirectLeads (which it used to be called). They have moved their payment terms from Net90 to Net15 - so things are looking a lot better.

  12. #12
    Member Azam's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Bloomsbury, London
    Posts
    395
    We have been using DirectLeads for years and can't recommend them. Their interface is awkward to use and the company seems to lack direction. They are terrible at communicating with affiliates: they closed down their white-label myfreebies sites without informing their thousands of affiliates.

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