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  1. #1
    Internet Cowboy
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    Merchant playing 'Dualing Domains'
    I recently signed up with a niche merchant, an indy with a forum on ABW. After putting their datafeed up and spending days on them, I placed an order for some items that I wanted for myself.

    The e-mail confirmation I got mentioned another domain 6 times, and the original domain of the affiliate program was never mentioned.

    After an e-mail conversation with the AM, I am told that all correspondance from an order contains domain x (not the affiliate domain) and that sales from domain x are not commissionable.

    So...domain y (the affiliate domain), is the only commissionable domain and the merchant heavily steers all customers to domain x. What a great way to offset affiliate commissions on a program that goes out of its way to offer commissions for returning customers for life.

    I haven't decided whether or not to publically out them. What are your thoughts on this? Is there anything wrong with it?


  2. #2
    Member Chocolate_Chicken's Avatar
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    The merchant makes "lifetime customer" representations then tries to slip a shoehorn in?

    RUN 'EM UP THE FLAGPOLE!

  3. #3
    15 years and counting
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    What are your thoughts on this? Is there anything wrong with it?
    With or without a forum on ABW, this merchant is a crook. It's an old trick but I can see it's still working.
    This merchant is stealing your traffic.

  4. #4
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    that is kind of shady in my mind too.

    It is kind of like your sales manager telling you that you get residuals on all of your accounts and then houses the account on its second month so it is no longer yours and you no longer get paid on it.

    Of course both happen way too frequently.
    Chris Mayr
    When amassed, even dust can become a mountain.

    There is a finite amount of intelligence but an infinite amount of stupidity in the universe

  5. #5
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    since they are on Haiko's board, you might let him in on it via PM first -- get another opinion there, too.

  6. #6
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Can you grab the information from their Terms that discuss what defines a returning customer or reference lifetime residuals, etc.

    If they are misleading you into believing there's residuals, and at the same time, using blantantly overt methods, in an ongoing fashion, to get the customers you brought them to no longer be associated with your affiliate contribution (which were done under the auspices of promised lifetime comms), then I'd out them.

    They're not telling the full truth upfront. So you should.

    I'd say give them a chance to correct their course first - before posting here. Ask the AM for a few minutes on the phone - explain your feelings on what's being done. Ask for a change (to Terms, to practices, to your email confirms to the customers).

    If none come. Post what's happening. Ask the AM to then reply to the situation here in a public forum.

  7. #7
    Internet Cowboy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herb ԿԬ
    what is the cookie duration on domain y supposed to be?
    Domain y is 365 day cookie, BUT, they say that as long as the customer lands on domain y in any way and makes a purchase, the affiliate gets commission indefinately.

    That is why they direct everyone to domain x. Domain y is only there to get affiliates to send customers in. The customers come back out with the other domain on their mind, and on all of the paperwork and e-mail.


  8. #8
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    quoted
    xxxxx is excited to offer an affiliate program like none other out there. xxxx.xxx feels that all affiliates should receive a X% to X% commission on an order placed within 365 days of the referral. Not only do we offer a generous cookie duration, but our state of the art affiliate program will track all the new customers you refer to us, and pay you X% on every future order they place with us. It doesn't matter how they land on our site. You referred them. We want to make sure that you continue to get the credit.


  9. #9
    15 years and counting
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    I agree with Donuts
    If they are misleading you into believing there's residuals.
    They should not link or advertise an other domain in their emails. They are THIEVES.
    It's worse if they have a forum here with such wording.
    We want to make sure that you continue to get the credit.
    There's no room for this kind of parasitic activities.

  10. #10
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    based on those terms you posted, I'd out them for sure. and seeing their golden halo desription of why they're going to pay you, I might not call them (but do check with Haiko first) - if this is the whole story, it's laughably outrageous.

    it may be illegal as well. I'd contact the FTC or the Attorney General's office in your home state.



    One tiny little fraction of an inch down that slope they're on is...

    for them to set up a redirect script that runs intermittently and redirects visitors from Y to X. server side so you can't catch them on film.

    and certainly when they send out periodic emails, they'll be one about a sale or discount or something special that takes them away to X - where their earlier confirm emails received were step one in the acclimate-them-to-X-instead-of-Y strategy...

    cool off - sleep on it - but then tomorrow, after appropriate deliberation on your part... out them.

  11. #11
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scohaz
    ... and pay you X% on every future order they place with us. It doesn't matter how they land on our site. You referred them. We want to make sure that you continue to get the credit.
    Ask the AM to revise it to read:
    ...We want to make sure you believe that you continue to get the credit.

  12. #12
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    The merchant scohaz is talking about is AmazingSocks.com The following are the contents of the emails between us regarding this issue, and we feel that the readers of this thread would benefit from seeing the other side of the story.

    > We have both websites for various reasons. Sockcompany.com is located
    > on Yahoo's servers and has very limited capabilities. We started
    > AmazingSocks.com to get a site that is fully customizable, which is
    > why we have the affiliate program running on it, and not
    > Sockcompany.com.
    >
    > Our operating agreement states: If the visitor that clicked on a
    > special link from your site to ours is a new customer and creates an
    > account through the forms in the checkout process on our site, you
    > will thereafter be considered the "Original Referrer" to this customer
    > account. Any sales generated through this account after the original
    > order will be considered a "Passive Referral".
    >
    > Since Sockcompany.com is not part of the affiliate program, and a
    > customers AmazingSocks account is inaccessible from Sockcompany.com
    > the referral can't be tracked.
    >
    > We've analyzed customers buying trends, and AmazingSocks customers
    > continue to purchase from AmazingSocks, and Sockcompany customers
    > continue to purchase from Sockcompany. There are few who cross over.
    > If our order management software that sends out the order notices
    > allowed us to customize the emails for each site, we would, but since
    > we can't, all the notifications are branded Sockcompany.com since it's
    > the parent company.
    >
    > If you really want to make money from repeat customer business your
    > best bet will be to add value to your sites so the customers will come
    > back to your site and click through again for an active referral
    > credit, and not the passive credit you would get if they were to come
    > back directly to AmazingSocks.com.
    >
    > Mike
    > AmazingSocks.com
    ===========================================

    I've been completely open and honest with you. You can believe whatever you'd like, and try to read between the lines, and dream up conniving scenarios, however that won't change the fact that we value and respect our affiliates, and have never planned to use them to build up a customer base on another website, nor does that happen in reality. I'm sorry you view our technological limitations as conspiracy.

    Mike
    AmazingSocks.com
    ==============================

    Our company has used a certain order management software for almost a decade and can't readily move to another solution. This software won't let you customize the email notifications sent to customers based on the location their order originated from. If it could, all the order notifications for customers that originated at AmazingSocks.com would be branded AmazingSocks.com Since we can't do that, the parent company, The Sock Company is used for branding on all notifications that go out. There is no deceit intended, and we have hundreds of affiliates who continuously earn their repeat commissions because the customers they refer to us see the value in coming back to AmazingSocks.com
    Last edited by Kellie aka Ms. B; March 18th, 2005 at 03:10 PM. Reason: edited scohaz's email communications

  13. #13
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    Donuts, for your info, the customers who opt to receive emails for sales and other specials on AmazingSocks.com are sent out from AmazingSocks.com, and branded as such. We don't redirect customers from one site to the other, or do any other parasitic activities. We run a clean program, and treat our affiliates with the utmost respect.

  14. #14
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    Our company has used a certain order management software for almost a decade and can't readily move to another solution.
    What kind of excuse is that?

  15. #15
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Incredible.

    ScoHaz, you know how this story ends.

    Have fun!

  16. #16
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    Exclamation
    Someone please delete Amazingsocks post. It is nobody's business what I sell. That was a private e-mail. That is a violation I do believe.


  17. #17
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    We store the original affiliates id in the account the customer creates. Every time they come back through, and use that account the affiliate gets the passive referral commission.

    We can't control the length of duration a cookie stays on a users computer. We set it at 365 days, and after that it's subject to everything all the other cookies are subjected to.

  18. #18
    The Eternal Optimist zimmy's Avatar
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    We run a clean program, and treat our affiliates with the utmost respect.
    I am just curious if you asked scohaz's permission prior to publicly posting his email.



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  19. #19
    The Eternal Optimist zimmy's Avatar
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    Nevermind...didn't see his prior post. That answers that question!



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  20. #20
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmazingSocks.com
    We store the original affiliates id in the account the customer creates. Every time they come back through, and use that account the affiliate gets the passive referral commission.

    We can't control the length of duration a cookie stays on a users computer. We set it at 365 days, and after that it's subject to everything all the other cookies are subjected to.
    For the part where you said "and use that account" - how do they do that?
    Log in or something? Or is it a cookie that identifies their account? Both are valid ways - both have limits - just wondering which of these 2 it is, or combo, or something different.

  21. #21
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    So amazingsocks.com is guilty of what is alleged, but it is okay, really, because you know... they really like affiliates. Wow.

    AS, since you have an affiliate setup on one domain and not the other, why not have all confirmation emails mention the affiliate related domain, why the other? There must be some reasoning, surely that is not hard coded in your ancient software.

  22. #22
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    Donuts - they log in to their account, we don't use cookies to identify their account.

    zimmy - I don't see any disrespect in posting our email communications, since they were the basis for the creation of this thread. You can see we fully answered his questions, yet he still wanted to know what other affiliates thought of what we were doing. Posting the emails is the best way for everyone to see what's been going on.

    chetf - The Sock Company is the parent company, that is why it's mentioned in the emails.

  23. #23
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    Why not post my address? It was on my order. I have nothing to hide, but this shows an incredible lack of taste by said AM.

    I gave the abridged version and it varied 0% from your long, lame excuse-filled version.
    I tried to be nice and now you are attacking me.

    You should consider signing up with Ebates, 180 and others. I hear you can make a lot of money that way.

    ***Lesson learned. Moving on now. Yes...I am a xxxx guy and NO....you will not get any of my sock business. There....ya happy?
    Last edited by UncleScooter; March 18th, 2005 at 03:19 PM. Reason: Thanks Andy


  24. #24
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmazingSocks.com
    > If you really want to make money from repeat customer business your
    > best bet will be to add value to your sites so the customers will come
    > back to your site and click through again for an active referral
    > credit, and not the passive credit you would get if they were to come
    > back directly to AmazingSocks.com.
    See, we're all saying the same thing here.

  25. #25
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    I'm sorry you feel attacked scohaz. There was a lot of slandering going on in this thread, and there was a lot of detail that was left out that needed to be said for everyone to fully understand the situation.

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