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  1. #1
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    Has anyone ever had a reversal because "Overture provided the first click to the site"?

    My wife used one of my sites to make a rather large purchase that had a $45.00 commission through a CJ merchant (who shall remain nameless).

    The transaction was reversed as an "unqualified lead". I e-mailed them and got the "customer cancelled the order" as a reply. Of course I know it was a valid order because my wife made it.

    I called them and spoke with the AM who gave me some story about them having a policy of reversing transactions where the session id showed that the visitor entered through an Overture link before the affiliate link.

    They have since issued a refund toward the original purchase since they could not reverse the reversal in CJ.

    I run a program (WebUndies.com) and we wouldn't even think of having a policy like that. It bugs me that other companies might be doing something as underhanded as denying commissions because someone used an Overture link at some time.

    Your Thoughts, Comments...

    Scott Marino
    WebUndies.com

  2. #2
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    I would like to know which merchant it is so that I can drop them.

  3. #3
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    wonders sarcastically if this is possible for them to know who was first click why then do the merchants pay out all the parasites where the first click obviously comes from our sites first

    It was so cold last winter that I saw a lawyer with his hands in his own pockets.
    Give a man a fish he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish he spends the day drinking beer in the boat.

  4. #4
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    Did you contact CJ about this? Does their agreement state this as such (I doubt CJ would accept such a thing)? Otherwise that is 100% theft.

    What program?

    Chet

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador JJJay's Avatar
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    The affiliate manager is speaking pure BS. If the comission showed up its because your wife clicked on your link and the cookie was read by the merchant. I would expose them here and report them to CJ.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    Yes, yes and yes.
    Theft is theft.

  7. #7
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Tar and feather that merchant AM as he/she lied to you on the first chance to explain the reversal. They he/she lied to you a second time when you phoned them as they have no way to to verify a Overture cookie even being present on your wifes computer after it was overwritten by your valid affiliate link.

    Wonder if this AM also has the balls to eliminate the parasites sales when that commission bill comes through. Any parasite supporting merchant care to come forward and explain how your reversals policies are applied evenly across both normal affiliates and your BHO wanks? Whould be nice for the AM's to tell us they reversed $50,000 in commissions from WhenU, Upromise or eBates last month or are they restricted by the parasites from reversing any sales.

    Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador ToughTurkey's Avatar
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    quote:
    (who shall remain nameless).

    Why?

  9. #9
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    Before I name names, I want to make sure they are dirty.

    Their charge-back % is only 4.75 which is not out of the ordinary, and is low for the category they are in. If they were in the 20% range I would have already screamed RAT!

    I'm going to try to reach out to CJ to get their opinion. Maybe I will get a decent response since I am also a paying advertiser of theirs.

    I have also been on the receiving end of a negative post, and know the wrath that can be inflicted.

    I'll post the results from CJ when (if) I get them.

    Scott Marino
    WebUndies.com

  10. #10
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    quote:
    The transaction was reversed as an "unqualified lead". I e-mailed them and got the "customer cancelled the order" as a reply. Of course I know it was a valid order because my wife made it.

    I called them and spoke with the AM who gave me some story about them having a policy of reversing transactions where the session id showed that the visitor entered through an Overture link before the affiliate link.



    Excuse my language but HFS!

    Haiko


    The secret of success is constancy of purpose. ~ Disraeli


  11. #11
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    Spoke with a rep at CJ....

    The rep I spoke with hemmed and hawed and said it was kind of okay that the sale was reversed because some AM's don't want to pay affilitates who find their sites from sources other than affiliate links. Even if the affiliate link was used at some time.

    Sounds crappy to me. That would mean that if we referred a person to the site, and they found what they liked, but didn't make the purchase, but them used a search engine to find the site again (many people do this instead of typing the url or going back through the affiliate link) that we and CJ are not entitled to our commission.

    The rep did ask that I go through CJ and send a message to thier "Network Quality" group detailing the story. I will do so and post an update when I have it.

    Scott Marino
    WebUndies.com

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Akiva's Avatar
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    Such a policy is destructive in terms of affiliate marketing IMHO. The whole point of a tracking cookie with a duration is to credit sales that do not occur within the "initial session". A merchant can make their own policies BUT THEY SHOULD LET AFFILIATES KNOW BEFORE THEY SIGN UP!

    It's called 'full disclosure'

    Akiva Bergstrom
    Business Development
    akiva@essentialapparel.com
    800-556-2937 ext 751
    www.essentialapparel.com
    6% PER SALE ~ RECURRING COMMISSIONS FOR 1 YEAR ~ ABW MEMBERS CONVERT AT LESS THAN 1/30 ~ DEDICATED AM WHO'LL DO ALMOST ANYTHING ~ TONS OF CASH WAITING TO BE TAKEN! ~ PARASITE FREE ~ PRIVATE FORUM AT ABW
    Join our program through CJ now!

  13. #13
    Affiliate Manager Allen Nance's Avatar
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    Is this merchant affiliated with Ebates or any other topmoxie user? If that would be the case, then I could see not giving the commission to them as they have just sucked up the cookie. But on the other hand, if they were with Ebates, many of their customers would be screaming for loss of the rebate. Very interesting.

    Allen

    Show me the Big Bucks!

  14. #14
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    This is the just the tip of the iceberg...

    These sort of policies will become more prolific in the future. More and more merchants are going to become more zealous about competition with affiliates in areas that they can directly control or pay one entity to control.

    Where affiliates the building blocks of Overture's success? Of course they were. Affiliates are the most resourceful when it comes to finding new ways to attract targeted visitors. This is one powerful advantage to affiliate marketing, the ability to tap into many creative ways of doing business and thinking.

    But merchants (I'm talking about large brands not markets that are commodity driven sans dominant brands) are scrutinizing their margins. They are just starting to look at the impact of discounting, customer behavior training, paying commissions, promotion stacking, management overhead and inflated media costs due directly to affiliate marketing. This is why some companies have taken a complete pass on the model and some will discontinue the model in the future. Not all, but some brands are sensitive to this and I believe will become more so.

    Remember most merchants are promised new customer acquistion and traffic from affiliate channels not paying for customer retention or media they can buy. Not saying this is fair to the affiliate, only that fundamental value shifts are occuring and strong merchant's dictate this shift.


    Yes Akiva- I agree- this should be disclosed in their agreement. As an affiliate I would not participate in a program with such a policy, but perhaps others would. I guess we go back to the basics of full disclosure in affiliate agreements three years ago. i.e. http://affiliateunion.com/drafts.html

    -wayne

    Wayne Porter
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    AffTrack LLC.
    http://www.afftrack.com
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  15. #15
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    I think Wayne's right. Now that aff marketing has been around for a while, merchants can take a step back and really analyze its overall role in their marketing and branding approaches.

    I think we'll see a lot of changes in the coming months...be on your toes folks and watch those numbers carefully.

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador webmarm's Avatar
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    There is a merchant who even has a forum here on ABW who reverses transactions if the ppc was the last entry to their site. Many of us have lost commissions from this. I can't find a clause about it in the Operating Agreement, which actually is only for their in-house program. Their CJ program doesn't seem to have its own official Operating Agreement.

    And yes, that merchant works with Ebates. But you see, the way Ebates works, I think even "proprietary tracking software" will show the Ebates site as the last entry.

    The case you're stating, Scott, is very disturbing since it doesn't even follow the usual "last entry" status quo that the industry has been following for crediting the sale.

    - - - - -
    42. Yup, the answer to life, the universe, and everything.

  17. #17
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    quote:
    I'm going to try to reach out to CJ to get their opinion. Maybe I will get a decent response since I am also a paying advertiser of theirs.


    This is just a crock. You have the info you need. The rest of us are getting ripped off in the meantime.

    This place is getting more and more run by the Affiliate Managers every day.

  18. #18
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    As far as I'm concerned, if an affiliate wants to outbid what I'm bidding for a term, go for it! The more affiliates that bid on PPC, the less I have to. If I get enough agressive affiliates, I won't mind stepping back from PPC and letting them fight it out. Heck, I'll even forward a list of keywords for them to bid on, if they want.

    I can see making an exception for them bidding on 'tarice.com', and I can see not allowing a url like 'taricetarps.com', because that's got my company name in it. But beyond that, the way I look at it, a couple hundred affiliates are going to be much, much more creative than I, so unleash the hounds, lol.

    In my contest, that is ending in a couple of days, I am giving away free urls, in addition to some money. Now, I already own these urls, and some of them are up and running generating hits for me. But my thought was, if I reward the affiliates that are trying to generate sales with a free url and hosting for a year, they might go out of their way to promote my tarps, and develop those sites - and their SEO skills are probably much better than mine! So, if I was counting pennies, I didn't need to hand over 5 urls to strangers, especially when a couple of them are already in msn and soon to be in google. But in the end, a couple of dollars investing in affiliates could pay off big, and I'm not in this to make small change.

    I only have a small program, and my site is certainly not as professional as I want it to be, but I'm smart enough to know that affiliates can make or break your site, and a motivated affiliate is more likely to generate sales. Ticking them off with prissy little limitations on the program will, in the long run, damage the program. This thread is a erfect example: if the merchants name gets mentioned, he/she is going to have a very,very bad day.

    Time Is A Parasite's Friend

  19. #19
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    Hoiw do they know it was a paid listing on Overture? It could have been a free backfill spot filled by Inktomi.

    Does CJ think it is ok for merchants to reverse transactions because a user previously clicked thru from Google?

    Look, whether or not the merchant is dirty is besides the point. There is at the very least a reporting problem that could get fixed real fast. You don't have to accuse them of anything when you tell us who it is.

  20. #20
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    The tip of the iceberg that might just sink the small affiliate ship.

    Wayne has touched a dangerous point: "More and more merchants are going to become more zealous about competition with affiliates in areas that they can directly control or pay one entity to control."

    Merchants, associated with BHO parasites and their network enablers, know they cannot control the BHO behavior on a case by case basis. They cannot control the relationship between Overture and CJ who share VC funding sources and IdeaLab influences. They can only leverage this to rule the PPCSE keyword traffic by weeding out the small affiliate from competing on targeted keywords. Merchants can only control the commissions going to the huge group of small affiliates who are domain bound. The huge % of commissions sucked off by the automated S/W only affiliates, pooled under folks like Top Moxie, creates a power vacuum that negates all ABW efforts on putting teeth into a CoC.

    If Overture -Yahoo -AOL -Looksmart -All the Web -Google and others, who embrace PPCSE models are getting special network affiliate status to set/overwrite merchant cookies our efforts are negated at the source of all our domain traffic. Up to the point the networks secretly allowed BHO's to penetrate our ranks the merchant tracking cookie was sacred.

    Now their seems to be a move to create a monopoly where the sacred cookie can be manipulated to assure ONLY the BHO's, "incent" Dupers, PPCSE users and Opt-out spamming machines or merchant e-mail campaigns get credit for sales. Wayne's smart enough to see this by watching his AffTrack client base. My EcomCity sacred merchant return day cookie gets overwritten at every turn explaining my 60% drop in income month over month from a year ago.

    Isn't it about time for ABW to wake up our forces, which have been neutralized by promises since Dec 2002, and battle the networks -BHO's and supportive merchant AM's??? The only victims from this move by branded advertising merchants will be us small site owners. Obviously the above AM is the norm and sees their workload deminished if they don't have to field complaints from their underpaid masses of affiliates. The butt holes hiding the plans of Top Moxie to rule the roost is deplorable.

    Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  21. #21
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    quote:
    This is just a crock. You have the info you need. The rest of us are getting ripped off in the meantime.


    Innocent until proven guilty...

    Having been flamed over a post here about my company, I don't want to cause him undo grief if he is not guilty. With reversals of less than 5% on a 2 dollar sign merchant, he can't be doing this to too many people.

    Does anyone have a good contact at CJ who you can alert to read this post? I would be happy to tell them the story.

    Scott Marino
    WebUndies.com

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador JJJay's Avatar
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    Scott, if you don't want to tell us the companies name then the least you can do is forward this thread to the affiliate manager and let him explain his side of the story, right here at ABW. In the meanwhile your hesistance in naming the said affiliate program is probably hurting others. In short if your cookie caused the sale to show up in CJ it is rightly yours. You're being screwed if you think otherwise.

  23. #23
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    quote:
    Does anyone have a good contact at CJ who you can alert to read this post? I would be happy to tell them the story.


    Call CJ. They have a toll free number. No need to alert them to this thread if you are unwilling to name the merchant.

  24. #24
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    quote:
    Call CJ. They have a toll free number. No need to alert them to this thread if you are unwilling to name the merchant.


    I already did call them and the rep I spoke to was somewhat unconcerned. With some hesitation, he said merchants can reverse sales if they see them coming from another source if they want to. He suggested sending a message through the CJ site to the attention of the network quality group to investigate.

    I was hoping to find a contact at CJ with a little more pull than the regular phone support staff.

    Scott Marino
    WebUndies.com

  25. #25
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Tell me the merchant Scott, I'll talk to CJ!!! mwahahaha

    Haiko


    The secret of success is constancy of purpose. ~ Disraeli


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