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  1. #1
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    I'm looking for some advice. I had a transaction approved/locked and a check sent (and spent!) from CJ. I now recieve an email stating that this PAST transaction was fraudulent and I need to send the company a check for $54. Am I legally obligated to send this company a check, or is it their accounting fault and I do nothing ? BTW, this is the only sale I've made through this affiliate so if I'm dropped (or drop them) it's no big deal.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    Was this e-mail from cj or the merchant. If it was from the merchant then I would contact cj and let them investigate it. I wonder if the merchants are allowed to contact the affiliates directly like that?

  3. #3
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    This was from the merchant into my CJ inbox (addressed to my first name, Dear xxxxx).

  4. #4
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    Hi,
    I would definitely call or "Ask a Question" with cj. They need to investigate this. Send them a copy of the letter.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Yes, I agree. Send it to CJ Support. CJ pays us the commissions and takes care of reverals, etc for the merchants. Merchants should not be contacting you directly, I would think.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  6. #6
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Back in January I was asked by a merchant to let CJ deduct a small commission that they had paid me the previous month from my account, because the customer returned the merchandise.

    So after I verified the transaction link and I was able to mach all the numbers, I said ok and CJ deducted the money from my then current balance.

    Even if you where not legally obligated to send that company a check, it will be a good idea to return that money, you wouldn't like the merchants hold on to your commissions for over 90 days until their money back guarantee expire.

    Sal.

  7. #7
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    Do not send him a check. If they want to make a correction it has to go thru CJ, otherwise you pay taxes on the money and have a BS issue with trying to back it out of your taxes. If this is legit, he should have no issue having CJ help him handle it, but it smells to me.

    Not like merchants make exceptions with cookie days, so unless this was a big merchant for you, hell no.

    Chet

  8. #8
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    What Chet said.

    Also the merchant is contractually obligated to pay you according to the contracts made between you and CJ, them and CJ. You may accept it as income and pay taxes on it, they may claim it as "shrinkage expense" on their tax paperwork.

  9. #9
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Chief_Bobbit:
    "shrinkage expense"




    I'm sorry I couldn't resist.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  10. #10
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    Which merchant was that?

    Sounds like someone to avoid.

  11. #11
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    quote:
    Harri wrote:

    Am I legally obligated to send this company a check ...?



    Merchants, by contractual agreement (with you through your trusted third party) have a time limit in which to look over transactions. Once that time is expired, transactions becomed "locked" and payment due to you ...to be paid the following month.

    If Commission Junction doesn't show a reversal for this transaction in your reports, by all means don't give the money back. It means they don't have a right under contract to take such payment back.

    Notice that Mr. Sal had to give Commission Junction special permission to allow a charge back. By contractual agreement he did not have to do that.

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    I would definitely get CJ involved in this. If a merchant made a habit of doing this, their EPC figures would not reflect these reversals, and would make the numbers even more useless than they already are.

    I would also think the merchant would make a good faith suggestion of splitting the difference with you, since they waited too long to handle it in the normal manner.

    Andy

  13. #13
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    I think the Hot Place would be a very cold place before I'd send a check.

    The fact that they're leery about going through CJ on this, for whatever reason, is a red flag. It stinks!

    Make 'em go through CJ to try to get it!

    I also agree with those who said you should report the incident to CJ yourself.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  14. #14
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    The company in question is Vitality Medical. I have reported this to CJ. I think this was an accounting error & they knew they screwed up and tried to get the weak to "give in." I am not going to pay the tax ($12-13 dollars) for this problem that is/should be resolved between CJ and Vitality Medical.

  15. #15
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    I have a similar problem. Vitality Medical are asking me for a cheque for $201.62 I really dont want to give it to them for two reasons.

    1. They shouldnt have paid me for it in the first place.
    2. In another thread people are saying that CJ have stopped converting although traffic is up and other networks are ok, this has happened to me also and will make a considerable dent in this months earnings.


    quote:
    From Vitality Medical
    Subject June Fraud Order
    Date 9-Aug-2004
    Message Body

    Dear *****

    We are regretfully informing you of a fraudulent order #******-***** in the amount of 2016.27

    Our records show that you have already been paid in full for this transaction. We are unable to back it out of July sales since you had no sales to deduct from.

    We would like to maintain a positive relationship with our affiliates and would appreciate a resolution of this transaction immediately. Please send a check to Vitality Medical in the amount of $201.62

    You may contact me by phone if you have any questions

    Thanks,

    Brad Packer
    Vitality Medical
    10080 Wasatch Blvd
    Sandy, UT 84092


  16. #16
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    According to the CJ Terms (Publisher Agreement), Section 3.4, 3rd paragraph, it's still supposed to go through CJ even if your CJ balance isn't enough to cover the reversal:

    "You may have a negative balance if Your Account is debited amounts equivalent to previous Payouts for Charge-backs and You do not have an adequate Account balance to cover the Charge-back amounts. Whenever You have a negative balance, You must immediately remit a payment **to CJ** in an amount sufficient to bring Your Account to a zero balance."
    (Emphasis added by me)

    On another note, they said you had "no" further sales to deduct from. This concerns me a bit.

    For the sake of reversals, it doesn't matter if you haven't had any more sales from VM, specifically. It doesn't matter which merchants contributed to your CJ balance.

    And VM shouldn't know whether you have had "no" sales at all in your CJ account, since that covers many merchants and is none of their d*mned business [your proprietary information, to use corporate-speak]. If there's not enough money in your CJ account for the reversal, they may be informed about *that,* but that should be all...
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  17. #17
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    I do have sales from other merchants and I do have enough in my cj account to pay. They mean, I have no further VM sales at this time that thay can deduct it from.

  18. #18
    Merchant Linda's Avatar
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    This thread is really bothering me. This merchant nor any other should ever be asking for a reimbursement of any kind for anything from affiliates.

    I'm not affiliated with this merchant so I don't know anything about them but they are either trying to pull a fast one and go around CJ or they don't have a clue as to how to do reversals. There is no reason why they can't "back out" July sales since they haven't even been paid to affiliates yet. And even if they had been paid, they can still be reversed.

    And whether an affiliate has had additional sales from this specific merchant has nothing to do with having no sales to deduct from. They'd be deducted from your CJ account, not some Vitality Medical account.

    Worse case senario, if a sale was made thru CJ and then an affiliate sends a check to a merchant for that sale when it went bad (fraudulent, returned, whatever), it could still be reversed thru your account with CJ. In other words, you could find yourself paying it back twice. Then you'd have yourself a big mess in getting that straightened out.

    These types of requests should be sent to CJ AAQ and ask them to educate the merchant on proper procedures for reversals and also respond to the merchant telling them to contact CJ and ask how to do a reversal.

  19. #19
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    WE had a large "refund" from this merchant too, but we had sales to cover it. The fraudulent sale was before the 30 day period for reversals, so they debited it against other sales we had and matched them up. I don't know if they were really allowed to do that or not, but they did.

    When my husband emailed them about all our sudden reversals, they were honest enough to explain it. Although, who knows why it took so long to know an order is fraudulent is beyond me.

  20. #20
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    I have had this happen with a merchant before, the amount was minimal - but I thought on it for about 2 weeks. The email stated I must authorize CJ to take back the funds in question.

    As a merchant I can understand a bookkeeping booboo, and then there are days when you simply have to suck it up. If you’re fortunate enough to get the receiver who has placed himself in your shoes ---- you are a very fortunate merchant!

    Then GREED takes over and you say screws them---- they should have got it right the first time!

    Personally I granted the merchant the right to take back HIS error! My self worth is worth more!

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    So it took Vitality Medical from June to August 9th to realize an order was fraudulent? Do they not process credit cards quicker than that? What were they doing during the month of July?

    I don't know if a $2,000+ order is typical, but it sounds like it might be a bit on the high side, and if so should have been scrutinized a bit more. I think they were negligent in managing their business. and they should just chalk it up to a lesson learned, and make sure things are handled in a more timely manner in the future.

    I still think things like this need to be brought to CJ's attention, since they would be the only ones to be in a position to see how wide spread the requests for refund are.

    Andy

  22. #22
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    Since Vitality is a Medical Supply place, they do have some high priced items, such as beds and such. Our reversed sale was also about 2000, but who knows what their problem is that they didn't know about the fraudulent order(s) in time. That's what's annoying.

    We've never had any problems with this merchant in all the time we've been promoting them, so it's not the end of the world. Aggravataing? Yes. Something to watch for in the future? Heck yeah. But for now, Sandra is right. Let them have their error (as we all make them) and just move on.

    Robin

  23. #23
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    quote:
    We would like to maintain a positive relationship with our affiliates and would appreciate a resolution of this transaction immediately. Please send a check to Vitality Medical in the amount of $201.62


    What *planet* are these people on??

    If they don't generate much business, say "no" and dump them.

    If they *do* generate some business say "no" and that if they make any unauthorised deductions from your account, that this will be treated seriously and pursued through whatever civil and legal channels you see fit.

    Alternatively, if you're going to cave in, make them jump through hoops first. Ask for the exact details of the fraud, originating IP address, product ordered, reason why it is being considered as fraudulent, ask for a full report as to why this wasn't detected in time and ask them to explain the procedures they have put in place to prevent it happening again.

    Personally I'd favour the "f--k off" approach and terminate my relationship with them.. as long as it doesn't hit you in the pocket.
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  24. #24
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    Just as a follow up. This issue has been resolved with the company in question, without me having to send Vitality Medical a check. In addition, apparently CJ cannot deduct this amount ($54+) from my earnings. After an investigation & various emails to each other, the following has been determined: "cj absolutely will not do reversals outside of the lockout period. Requesting a check on a reversal is not something that cj supports but is the only means of resolving a reversal for a fraud/return.. etc after the lockout period."

  25. #25
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    Have they ever said why it took them 2 months to determine an order is fraudulent? Sounds like they were the ones sleeping on the job. Hopefully they will learn from this and process their credit cards immediately.

    It is still odd to me though, because we have ordered for our grandma from them plenty of times and the shipment usually arrives within 2 days. Hence, they should really know immediately if an order is fraudulent or not. Correct?

    Oh well. Glad you resolved it Harri, I think we're still in communication with them over it ourselves. Our chargebacks amounted to almost $200 in reversed sales from them, for one prior 'fraudulent' order.

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