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  1. #1
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    Well, what do you know! Linkshare would not fix the "Missing Data" problem or answer my e-mails... So, I contacted one of my merchants, which called Linkshare Tech Support. Guess what! Voila! the missing data shows up after next posting period!

    What does this mean to affiliates you say? It means that the traffic being managed by Linkshare is corrupt at best, and lost to reports and accounting at times.

    I don't mind missing impression data, or even CTs, but does this mean sales and sales management is also faulty? Linkshare needs to clean up their accounting software and take the designers to task. Software either works correctly or it doesn't - and LS data management software is failing.

    These failures and shortcomings are not being shared with affiliates. Linkshare needs to step up and show integrity in advising members of problems, and the steps to resolve them, with a timeline.

    Ask your merchants to assist you in your dealings with merchant data representation in LS reports. Sure couldn't hurt. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    Jim D. in Texas

    ----------------
    Here is my previous post that went unanswered...
    ----------------

    Missing ALL data for 13 June 2002 - Impressions, CTR's and Sales!!! Linkshare data collection and reporting is becoming very questionable!
    E-mails to Linkshare are unanswered, as always. (my experience)

    My concern is that system failures and database corruption are not being reported to affiliates. In addition, timely data posting is getting worse each day - specifically since 9 June 2002.

    Addressing these concerns to affiliates should be timely and truthful. Either by E-mail to our Linkshare mailbox, personal, or on this forum. Does anyone agree with this position?

    We all need less grief in our lives!

    Regards from Jim in Texas...

  2. #2
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    If merchants would monitor their sales activity reports and look for periods where NO SALES show up to normal affiliates ( not the parasites) they could challenge the networks interface. You can bet merchants would have a hissy if their impressions and clicks dropped by 80%. If they showed no sales for 30 days it wouldn't phase them since their e-catalog/cash register rings up normal daily sales.

    Batch reporting allows them to hide 50-80% reversal ratios without ever telling affiliates ( except at CJ) they've been had! Of course the 843 defunct merchants and the 2000+ active ones would never do this if they were honest and not just advertising.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Packy's Avatar
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    Jim, ever since Linkshare had the DOS attack or whatever crash they had awhile back I have been a little skepticle about tracking and reporting. I wonder if they went to some new kind of tracking system or something. Maybe Sarah can explain more????

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador mousejockey's Avatar
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    After the LS crash or whatever, although sending thousands of clicks through, no sales to merchants that were previously rocketing along.
    I've since pulled most of my LS links.
    Really not worth the hassle, I haven't got time to check everyday whether graphics and links work, and if they do, where they resolve too!

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador LinkShare Moderator's Avatar
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    Hi Jim,

    Apologies, I believe you posted your message twice, and I did respond to the one on "What's Up With Reports?". Again, LinkShare did experience some technical difficulties which may have caused delays in the posting of your affiliate activity during the time period to which you refer. We addressed this situation shortly after the problem was reported, and your activity should now be current in your reports. I do want to emphasize that your activity was in no way lost, nor was tracking of sales impacted in any way. This was a matter of taking the data collected within our numerous backend systems and aggregating that data within your reports. We continue to use our patented tracking technology, and have not changed this technology. To clarify, the DOS attacks that many of you have referred to did not impact tracking, no data was lost, and it would not have been the cause of any decrease in sales experienced. LinkShare takes our tracking technology very seriously, and we have incorporated tools in both the merchant and affiliate interfaces to ensure that any transaction inquiries can be submitted and reviewed appropriately.

    I'd also like to reiterate that I would be happy to follow up on matters concerning LinkShare not responding to inquiries. All emails are responded to within 24 hours, except during weekends. We have a system that logs every incoming email. If you have any emails for which you have not gotten a response, please forward them to me at abw@linkshare.com so that we can further investigate.

    Thanks,
    Sarah

  6. #6
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    Thanks for responding Sarah,

    I forwarded the 2 emails that received no answer.

    Reports seem to be performing better, but there still seems to be different extract procedures from the database for some reports. For example, IMs, CTRs and Sales will show on one report but not on another. This is odd since it is the same extract dates exactly. Do all reports extract from the same database set? The Revenue report is notorious for this.

    Now, since I am a newbie to this forum... how exactly do you do a "transaction tracking" procedure without a transaction number???

    Again, thanks for the response and listening... [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    Jim in Texas

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador LinkShare Moderator's Avatar
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    Hi Jim,

    Thank you for forwarding those emails, and I am in the process of investigating why you did not receive a response. On our end, it does not appear that we received the emails, but we did have a few days around this time when we experienced difficulty with the Customer Support email system that may be related to this issue. Please give me a few more days to track down this exact nature of this issue and conduct some tests.

    In the meantime, to address your comments about the reports, we do extract data for affiliate reports from the same central source; however, that data is compiled in a variety of ways to help you better analyze your program performance from different vantage points. The Sales & Activity report, which is one of the most comprehensive reports, allows you to see impressions, clicks, sales, commissions for your merchants, while the Revenue Report, which you mention, is geared toward helping you discern which days of the week, weeks of the month, and months of the year generate the most activity for you. If you run reports for the same period on the same day, total impressions, clicks, and sales displayed in different reports should always be the same. Because your reports are displayed on a transaction date basis, the only exception that can occur is in the number of orders, items and amount of sales if you run your reports for the same period on different dates. For example, if I run a report today for yesteday's sales, I will see all the sales reported by merchants to date which were transacted yesterday. However, some merchants may not report yesterday's sales to us until the following week. Therefore, if I run the same report for yesterday's date next week, I may see that additional sales for that date have been reported. If you notice any discrepancies, please let me know so that I can investigate.

    Finally, as to your question about LinkShare’s tracking, I’ll try to give you a basic overview that I hope will clarify how the system works, but you may also find more specific information within the Help area of your affiliate account. LinkShare links are re-directed to the merchant site after first hitting a LinkShare server. When the link hits the LinkShare server, all the information about where the link comes from (the affiliate), where it is going (the merchant), and what kind of link it is (banner, text, etc), is included in the code itself. It is at this point that we record the click-through, and information that tags the user as coming from your site is passed along to the merchant. After a transaction is completed on the merchant site, the merchant compiles information about the transaction, sends it to LinkShare, and we in turn display it in your reports.

    I hope this information proves helpful, but please feel free to contact me, either in the forum or via email, if you have further questions.

    Thanks,
    Sarah

  8. #8
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    Sarah, I think you read more into my post than I actually said. For example, for certain periods of time, I can run a "Sales & Activity" report for 1-30 June and get ALL the IM's and CTR's thru the 30th... then only seconds later when I run the "Revenue" report, the 30th doesn't even appear in the report. It seems that the same data is not being extracted -- the data is in one report, not in another. Like items considered, IM's to IM's and CTR's to CTR's. We must wait and wait for some reports to "Extract" the same data.... like it was searching different databases, or using different criteria.

    Also, on "Tracking"... I was referring to tracking a transaction by an affiliate. How do "WE" track a transaction through the process if we don't have the transaction number?

    Jim from Texas [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    [ 07-01-2002: Message edited by: jimbet7 ]

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador LinkShare Moderator's Avatar
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    Hi Jim,

    If you're running your reports on the same day for the same time period, then the data should always match between them. If it does not, then please forward me a specific example from your account and I'll check with our technical team.

    The transaction inquiry system is designed to allow you to search for those transactions that you know occurred through your site but are not reflected in your reports. If you know that a sale actually took place, then you will be able to obtain the transaction number, or orderid, to search and submit as a missing transaction. This tool may not be as useful to you if you are evaluating activity over time and trying to discern why there is a decrease for a certain period. In those instances, it is better to go straight to the merchant - open the lines of communication and try work together to develop a successful relationship and grow sales.

    Hope this information better addresses your concerns,
    Sarah

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador LinkShare Moderator's Avatar
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    Hi Jim,

    After further investigation, we only found one record in our system of an email you sent to us on 5/1/02, which was answered within our standard 24-hour period. On our end, it does not appear that we received the emails, and as I mentioned previously, we did have a few days around this time when we experienced difficulty with the Customer Support email system which may caused this to happen. After performing multiple tests from my own private AOL account, all emails were received, except those sent in HTML format. For HTML emails, I receive an auto-response: "Sorry your email was not read, the attached may have a virus. Our email program does not support HTML emails. Please resend your email in plain text."

    Except for a few days at the end of last month, our Support team has logged and responded to all email inquiries it has received, and there should never be an occasion for which you do not receive an answer. If ever you have an experience where your email is not addressed within 24 hours, save for weekends, please contact me directly at abw@linkshare.com so that I can investigate.

    Thanks,
    Sarah

  11. #11
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    Hi Sarah,

    The E-mails in question were sent on 6/18/02 and 6/21/02 and I STILL have had no response to those 2 E-mails.

    Kind of a moot point now as life goes on. It is discouraging to affiliates to be sending inquiries and not even an auto-responder answer. I am kinda new to this business of assessing IMs CTRs and Sales, so I may see objectionable practices that old-timers may take for granted now. Maybe they just have more patience than I do. Being retired military with over 35 years of data processing experience, maybe I expect too much attention to detail. Or a reasonable, posted explanation of events.

    The "Reports" section of LinkShare is the customer interface with affiliates. Good customer service to affiliates should always be a priorty with LinkShare. In this respect, affiliates expect accurate, timely reporting of data, and rightly so. Happy customers are a value to any business. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    June is closed, and also my comments concerning this topic(for now). Better days ahead, hopefully. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    Regards, Jim in Texas

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