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  1. #1
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    Each time I have been to these forums I have seen numerous postings about the reversal, or non-tracking of commissions apparently legally earned by affiliates for referrals to eBay.

    The cause of this is not important.
    Your bank is not allowed any excuses for computer errors or software upgrades or any other reason.

    Why should this company (or any other company)be allowed to apparently lose legally earned commissions over and over and over again?
    This should not be allowed!

    Affiliates expend substantial amounts of money and time promoting eBay according to the terms they have laid out.
    If done intentially - that's theft or fraud.

    It appears from these forums that over and over and over again affiliates promote eBay, figure out that they are not getting paid what they are owed, and post questions here, and then give up on making any money with eBay and move on.

    Infrequently I see a post from someone saying they are making money with eBay.
    Is this just a fluke?
    Is it just window dressing to allow eBay to say "see, some people are making money, it's not us"?

    Far more posts are about how an affiliate has tested their eBay links and they don't track, or their commissions suddenly fall off without explanation.

    This cannot be happening over and over and over by mere chance.

    Affiliates are consumers.
    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) protects consumers from fraud.

    Consumer fraud perpetrated over the internet is a current issue of great interest to the Federal Trade Commission. There have been several *big* cases which have been reported widely in the press.

    The FTC responds to the number of complaints it receives. Many times the media reports the number of complaints received by the FTC on a particular issue.

    The more complaints, the more attention the issue gets from the FTC.

    Perfect example right now is SPAM.
    The FTC has received thousands of complaints.
    So they act on those complaints.

    The time has come to make some noise about this issue and get it into the public eye and mind.

    First
    -----
    File a complaint with the FTC here:
    https://rn.ftc.gov/pls/dod/wsolcq$.s..._ORG_CODE=PU01
    FTC Complaint Form

    Every time you think you are getting ripped-off, file a complaint.
    Include as much documentation as possible. Save this documentation.
    The FTC may contact you months from now.
    I have had government agencies call me 6 months later after I notified them I thought someone was ripping off a pension fund.
    (I used to be a Registered Investment Advisor)

    Second
    ------
    File a complaint with your state consumer affairs agency.
    For example in California this is the Department of Consumer Affairs.

    Many state consumer protection agencies can be far more aggressive than the FTC on certain issues. The New York consumer protection agency is very aggressive in some areas.

    Time to make a stand.
    It appears fraud is rampant in the affiliate world.

    It seems that there is a real problem with eBay commissions that has been going on FOR YEARS. It doesn't matter if it is fraud or if it is an "oversight" of some kind. You should be paid by eBay for what your hard work has earned.

    I welcome your comments.

  2. #2
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    eBay affiliates are not "consumers".

  3. #3
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    The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit www.ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261.

    The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinal, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

  4. #4

  5. #5
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  6. #6
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    Lame.

    If you believe you have been injured by eBay then you can sue them. The
    subpoena is a very powerful tool.

    Otherwise, if you don't like how someone does business with you, don't
    do business with them.

  7. #7
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    Welcome to econsumer.gov!
    A joint project of consumer protection agencies from 17 nations

    ecomsumer.gov

  8. #8
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Greg:
    Lame.

    If you believe you have been injured by eBay then you can sue them. The
    subpoena is a very powerful tool.

    Right.
    The hundreds (or thousands) of little affiliates are going to hire attorneys for thousands of dollars and sue billion dollar eBay.
    And then continue fund a case which would invariably be dragged out for years by eBay, as does any large corporation when confronted by an opponent without the same deep pockets to pay lawyers.

    Exactly how and with what authority were you going to serve this powerful subpoena?

    Right.
    Lame yourself.

    quote:

    Otherwise, if you don't like how someone does business with you, don't
    do business with them.

    Why do you think agencies like the FTC exist?
    How many people should a company be allowed to mislead without consequences?
    If someone on eBay sells me bogus products I should just "not do business with them" ?

    Right.
    Lame yourself #2.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador swampy_webber's Avatar
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    I think you'll find that the FTC, as with local consumer protection agencies, does not extend protection to businesses (which include affiliates) in the same way as it does to consumers. I would agree that your only true recourse is to not do business with them or sue them. The best bet is probably the first of the two but if you wanna give the second a shot, let us know how that goes for ya.

    Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game.
    Donald Trump (1946 - ), "Trump: Art of the Deal"

    [This message was edited by Swampy_Webber on February 27, 2004 at 11:15 PM.]

  10. #10
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    National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators.
    NACAA represents over 160 consumer agencies at all levels of government in the United States and several other countries.

    NACAA Member Links

  11. #11

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador swampy_webber's Avatar
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    What are all of these links doing for anyone? Again, we are NOT consumers.

    Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game.
    Donald Trump (1946 - ), "Trump: Art of the Deal"

  13. #13
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    "Affiliates are consumers."

    No they're not. I would stick to selling monitors.

    I work in lounge pants

  14. #14
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    It appears that the FTC would have jurisdiction based on the cases on the web site (including Gateway computers) and a review of the law available at:
    Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (eCFR):
    Title 16--Commercial Practices
    CHAPTER I--FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

    I'll call the FTC on Monday and get a definitive answer and any recommendations that they may have either way.

  15. #15
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    Theoretically, a class-action suit is the way to go...


  16. #16
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    quote:
    Originally posted by TrustNo1®:
    "Affiliates are consumers."


    Nice.
    You just make up quotes?

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador swampy_webber's Avatar
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    KenMcD,

    I understand being upset but I have been this route with my local Consumer Protection over an issue (not exactly the same but...) and they basically told me that not being the consumer I could not register a complaint. They advised that I take legal action.

    Trust's quote is NOT wrong, I'm still not sure why you are posting all of these links for us when we have explained we are NOT the consumer? I DO think the FTC would certainly have some authority on an item like this but would they take it up and even if they did, it would still probably have to go to court to determine a final stance.



    Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game.
    Donald Trump (1946 - ), "Trump: Art of the Deal"

    [This message was edited by Swampy_Webber on February 28, 2004 at 12:05 AM.]

    [This message was edited by Swampy_Webber on February 28, 2004 at 12:27 AM.]

  18. #18
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    It's what you said in your first post. Are you drunk right now?

    I work in lounge pants

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador swampy_webber's Avatar
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    Trust,

    I had to read it again. Your eyes are better than mine. Maybe I'll get drunk myself...

    Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game.
    Donald Trump (1946 - ), "Trump: Art of the Deal"

  20. #20
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    Whether filing complaints with the FTC or initiating a class action lawsuit is the way to go, I think the affiliates should get on the offensive.

    Why should eBay fix their tracking? They probably save millions with all the bids and registrations that are not properly tracked. The only consequence for them is they periodically lose affiliates who know they are getting cheated. I'm sure their affiliate base continues to grow with new websites coming online daily. So, why should they fix their tracking?

    Bombalini

  21. #21
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    quote:
    Originally posted by ATKOgirl:
    Theoretically, a class-action suit is the way to go...

    I agree. That is the only way the many potential claimants would be able to hire legal counsel to try and collect damages.

    My original post is about simply stopping the practice of knowingly not paying people (ie. ripping them off). The potential penalty for the company is legal action by the government which could result in fines, etc.

    This would be a benefit to all in the affiliate community as they would collect more because companies would be less likely to under-report earned affiliate fees.

    I do no business with eBay.
    I have no financial incentive here.

    Under-payment and just blatant fraud seems to be rampant in this industry.
    It's not fair.
    It's not right.
    It should stop.

    As an infrequent forum poster, I now understand the stories I have heard about the negative types who always have something to say in the forums - baseless or not, usually negative, and not helpful to anyone.

    I know eliminating underpayment of referral fees and commissions is a stupid idea.

  22. #22
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Swampy_Webber:
    KenMcD,
    I understand being upset but I have been this route with my local Consumer Protection over an issue (not exactly the same but...) and they basically told me that not being the consumer I could not register a complaint. They advised that I take legal action.


    Good input. I've found govt. types in the higher levels are very helpful. I'll call them on Monday and see if I can get any feedback as to different courses of action that are possible. I won't call the toll-free line. If you get a direct number you can get to much higher levels, and more knowledgable people.

    quote:
    Trust's quote is NOT wrong,

    Yur rite, found where I wrote that. I'm not completely convinced that the FTC would not have jusridiction. They are also involved in things "which affect commerce."

    quote:
    I'm still not sure why you are posting all of these links for us when we have explained we are NOT the consumer? I DO think the FTC would certainly have some authority on an item like this but would they take it up and even if they did it would still probably have to go to court to determine a final stance.


    Yes, court is the final thing that they do.
    They can send "public letters", "opinions" and all kinds of other govt. arm twisting too.

    [This message was edited by KenMcD on February 28, 2004 at 12:39 AM.]

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador swampy_webber's Avatar
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    I totally agree that affiliates should get on the offensive for many of these issues. My point was just that I don't believe that consumer protection will do it for us. When it comes right down to it, affiliates are really a commision based sales force for merchants and would probably need to take whatever action any business would take given the same scenario.

    I am by no means a legal expert just stating opinion based on some personal experiences. I also did not mean to come off as a 'negative type' I just didn't see the point of the continued posts. And Trust, although he can defend himself, did quote you correctly.

    Personally, I welcome the discussion and welcome you to ABW!

    Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game.
    Donald Trump (1946 - ), "Trump: Art of the Deal"

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador swampy_webber's Avatar
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    PS - I work for government myself just not in this arena!

    Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game.
    Donald Trump (1946 - ), "Trump: Art of the Deal"

  25. #25
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    quote:
    Originally posted by bombalini:
    Whether filing complaints with the FTC or initiating a class action lawsuit is the way to go, I think the affiliates should get on the offensive.

    Why should eBay fix their tracking? They probably save millions with all the bids and registrations that are not properly tracked. The only consequence for them is they periodically lose affiliates who know they are getting cheated. I'm sure their affiliate base continues to grow with new websites coming online daily. So, why should they fix their tracking?

    Bombalini
    I agree 100% - obviously.
    Whatever the proper course of action, nothing is going to change by simply taking your business elsewhere.
    How much money is lost by every new honest affiliate before they learn who the cheaters are?
    How many experienced affiliates are short-changed by bogus tracking, sudden payout drops, and "technical problems"?

    It's theft - plain and simple. Fraud.

    No single affiliate can force change.
    Unifed action is needed.

    Proactive action is needed.

    Organized affiliate strikes?
    Organised drives to spread the word to Affiliates who don't know?

    For example - if eBay wasn't getting a constantly refreshed supply of new affiliates to have "technical problems" with, they might actually report actual referrals.

    How would you cut-off a cheater's continuous supply of new victims?

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