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  1. #1
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    On more than one occasion, we have learned that links we have obtained directly from the CJ interface with no modification whatsoever were not tracking. This was ultimately confirmed by the merchant.

    It is CJ's fiduciary duty to their affiliates to insure that all links available through their interface properly track and commission.

    Todd, why aren't procedures in place at Commission Junction to insure proper tracking of all links provided to affiliates?

    I am posting the same message on the BeFree and Linkshare forums as we have had the same problems with some of their links.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Grumpy's Avatar
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    I've had this suspicion that links might not be tracking correctly for a long time now. Thing is how can we prove it? According to CJ everything is honky dorey. It would be an impossible task to ask every single CJ merchant whether their links are correct in CJ's interface. I think you might be right that LS has the same problem

  3. #3
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    CJ only checks the tracking tag for the merchant's shopping cart when their program goes live. WHO BENEFITS IF THE TRACKING DOESN'T WORK LATER ON? The merchant! CJ and all affiliates are at the mercy of the honest merchant and often their brain dead computer illiterate AM.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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  4. #4
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    Grumpy, I know I'm right as to all three networks. As I said, in each case it has ultimately been confirmed by the merchant. I've also learned that is the only way to get it confirmed. CJ, Linkshare and BeFree have all been absolutely useless with tracking issues and that statement is not made lightly. In fact, we removed the largest merchant in our industry from the most prominent place on our website because they provide no affiliate contact whatsoever. They rely on BeFree for everything and BeFree was absolutely useless. Their M.O. was simply to wear me down so I would go away. Yep, I went away, along with their links.

    The only way you can prove this is to either have a sale you made yourself not track (which has happened to me quite a few times including all three networks) or have a customer who wouldn't mind the imposition provide his sale info. to you from a sale that was made through one of your links. Fortunately, I have friends who bid through my links and always send me their sale info. so I can check my reports.

  5. #5
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    quote:
    CJ only checks the tracking tag for the merchant's shopping cart when their program goes live.

    If that is true, then CJ has grossly misrepresented the service they provide. As I said, it is their responsibility to insure proper tracking for all links that they provide on their website.

  6. #6
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    Right now we should be more concerned about whether sales are credited to the proper account than whether they are tracked or not.

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Grumpy's Avatar
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    Snowman I did approach one of my best converting merchants about my concerns with the tracking, as I've been seeing a big drop in sales despite clickthroughs being normal. I think there is a problem with the "product linking" codes in the CJ interface. It's a bit difficult to explain but have you noticed there are some strange characters appearing in the links. One example, it seems to substitute "http://" with "http%3A%2F%2F". This happens throughout the code.

    At first I thought it might be a problem with FrontPage, but it is not. It actually appears like that in the CJ product linking code. It does not happen if you use text links or ordinary banners (the code for these are clean).

    Anyway I didn't get much joy from the merchant as they maintained that the codes are OK. Of course the merchant probably doesn't care one way or another as long as they get the sale. I might be clutching at straws but there must be some explanation why some linking codes have this "mumbo jumbo" in them and others don't. Hell who knows!! But you're absolutely right... CJ and the other networks should ensure that all linking codes are correct.

  8. #8
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    Grumpy, I can't help you on that one (hopefully someone else can) because I only use text and banner links. Is there an inexpensive product you could purchase yourself to see if it tracks? That is really the only way you can prove it.

  9. #9
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    http%3A%2F%2F = http://

    %3A is the hex code equivalent of :
    %2F is the hex code equivalent of /

    You can change them on your page if you like. I do sometimes on pages with lots of links just to get the page size down a bit.

  10. #10
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    That is interesting re: product links!! That's where most of my sales come from and that's where I have lost 50% of my sales for the last couple of weeks?

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador Grumpy's Avatar
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    Thanks Rhea . However, been there done that. Still wonder though why it does that only when you use the product linking. I think I should probably ask Todd this question. That way one can be sure that everything is kosher.

  12. #12
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    I am researching a new product that will tell you EXACTLY how many sales you have on each network or indie and provide proof to the network or merchant that the sale happened and you should have gotten credit. It will even tell you if a parasite intercepted your link and took the sale or even if Gator popped on the merchant site and took the visitor elsewhere.

    If the product does all this, like I am told it does, do I have any takers?

  13. #13
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    Catalyst, as a Moderator, I'm sure you can respect that a different discussion should have its on topic. Please respect the topic I started and post yours as a new topic. I don't think it's too much to ask that posts on my topic remain on topic. Thank you.

  14. #14
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    I would avoid using frontpage to code sites as it will corrupt urls, while the example shown is valid, when i used it, it really hated &'s.

    Catalyst. The question, how? How could it know a sale happened or was intercepted? I can't see how a piece of software on an affiliate site could do that.

    I could see how software on a merchant site or network could, but not on an affiliate site.

    Chet

  15. #15
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    Snowman,

    Sorry, the issue was assurance that links track and I was simply mentioning there may be a solution that would help people.

    Yes Chez it works on the affiliate site, but we better not talk about it on this thread. I will post more on another thread some day and let you know more about how it works.

    We better keep this thead on topic. I didn't mean to hijack it - thought this fit right in.

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador Grumpy's Avatar
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    Catalyst you can certainly count me in. Sounds like a promising product if it can do all you say it does. As Snowman says, why not start a new post so that it stands out for everyone to see. Im sure you're going to have a lot of takers on this one, as we all need to be able to set our minds at rest once and for all that we are getting what is due to us.

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    I thought Catalyst topic fit in too, don't see the problem. As a matter of fact, I think it is most pertenent. I'd be very anxious to see the product, Catalyst.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
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  18. #18
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    I am asking Todd from CJ to comment on my allegations. May I respectfully request that anyone who would like to know about Catalyst's program either email her or start a new topic as it has nothing to do with what I am asking CJ to comment on.

    Geez people! Nothing like killing a topic.

  19. #19
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    quote:
    Still wonder though why it does that only when you use the product linking.


    Grumpy, that's because often the product link has stuff like "?" in them and it's then that redirect urls have to be encoded or it won't work. That's what I've found out anyway through SAS (that happens too with their links). Home page ones usually redirect okay wihtout the coding. That's what I've discovered anyway...

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  20. #20
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Every once on a while a customer contacts US - instead of the merchant - with an "I ordered this a while ago, where the hec is it" question.

    We ask they send us their original email order confirmation.

    You would think if you forward the customers entire email confirmation with ALL the order information to the merchant, it would be easy to check.

    It appears it's not. We only get one of 3 replies:

    1. The usual NO RESPONSE whatsover.

    2. We're still checking (several MONTHS pass by)

    3. After several months pass by with no response - We couldn't find it, but we'll take your word for it and credit your account.

    NOT A SINGLE merchant has ever said "We FOUND that particular order" you forwarded us.

    (We've got one from January 2nd - forwarded the merchant ALL the customer's email confirmation info, plus 4 UPS shipping confirmations showing receipt, but they're "still checking"!!)

  21. #21
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    re: My previous response:

    I've always fantasized about telling the customer to return it and issue a chargeback.

    Then, after 4 months of the merchant "still checking" I would tell them "It's the order that appears in RED in your books as a $540 chargeback - Hope that helps you locate it"!!!!!

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    quote:
    Geez people! Nothing like killing a topic.


    LOL!

    People are not staying on topic because we all know what Todd will say. They are all as frustrated as you are and any alternatives, like Catalysts, is worth discussion here. Sorry. I suggest you email Todd, or send an acutal letter to CJ, with your comments.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
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  23. #23
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    quote:
    Right now we should be more concerned about whether sales are credited to the proper account than whether they are tracked or not.


    Well, that's been a big concern ever since CJ has admitted on the boards in the past that this can and sometimes does happen.

    Alot of you affialites out there have CJ links that are not setting cookies. Without a cookie, there is no chance of a reported sale to your credit.

    The lure for so shady merchants to CJ is that there are so many fortunate situations like this, coupled with the option to easily reverse your sale even when everything does happen to work.

  24. #24
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    quote:
    Catalyst, as a Moderator, I'm sure you can respect that a different discussion should have its on topic. Please respect the topic I started and post yours as a new topic. I don't think it's too much to ask that posts on my topic remain on topic. Thank you.


    Well! I guess you sure told her!

    Cranky, toady, aren't you? I see you are a full member. I would think by now you would have a clue or have you just not been paying attention?

    Here's the news flash. Just because you start a topic does not mean you OWN the thread. Nor is anyone obligated to talk about only what you are personally interested in the thread.

    I certainly hope you don't act that way in "real" conversations because few will be very interested in talking with you very often.

    If you won't listen to other peoples ideas and thoughts, what makes you think you are so darned special that anyone will be interested in what you have to say?

    Get off your high horse and apologise. You need to.
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  25. #25
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    To my mind the "Tracking is not affected" is just a load of codswallop. If they know this for certain and their tech guys are so good they can assure us of this, then why cannot the same tech guys know what is causing their many other problems?
    One day parasites and their ilk will be made illegal, I bet a few Lawyers will be pissed off when the day comes.
    Mr. Spitzer is fetching it nearer

    YouTrek

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