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  1. #1
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    An Open letter to Stephen...
    An open letter to Stephen Messer;

    Stephen,

    I haven’t been in this business very long. I started in October 2004. I have grown to like and appreciate this business for all of its diverse and interesting challenges.

    Since I have been associated with LinkShare, I have seldom seen a business so poorly run. In the early stages of my learning curve, LS helped me to be calm by having all of my reports for and entire weekend, usually Friday to Monday, be available on Tuesday.. I didn’t know whether I had done well, or if the weekend was a bust. So, 57% of the time your reports were not timely.

    As the days passed I would see in my reports, which are my lifeblood, a day that was 5 to 10 days old increase or decrease, then whole weeks would change. Days when I thought I had shot myself in the foot for ever getting in this business, turned into moneymaking days.

    It drove me crazy. What did I do on that day that made all of those sales happen? I was so depressed from the original results I didn’t take good notes.

    On the next day my reports showed I was loosing money, 10 days later after a string of bad days and lost money, life is good, somebody really did buy the products I was trying to market. Your company nearly drove me out of this business from its lack of reporting accuracy, and timeliness.

    Now your company sent me an email on February 27, 2005. It talked about “Athena”, how it was going to make my life easier. I was somewhat skeptical after my ongoing experience with LinkShare, but was willing to have a wait and see attitude. Of particular note was paragraph 1 under the heading of,
    “What Affiliates Need to Do”;
    “1. All Affiliates Must Register:
    “All affiliates must register for a master account. Existing affiliates will be able to continue to log-in and manage their LinkShare accounts. However, beginning in April, affiliates that have not updated their registration information to obtain a master account will no longer be eligible to receive payment of commissions.”

    And in your signoff paragraph, this jewel;
    “We are pleased to offer such robust capabilities as LinkShare continues to lead the way in launching new features that benefit our affiliates and merchants.” I hadn’t seen any area that had benefited me, an affiliate, to date, and all of the crap about registration and consolidation being of benefit to me was so much BS. But still I had a wait and see attitude.

    Time goes by, LinkShares reporting is atrocious, time between receipt of payment is growing longer. The 13K bonus I have earned in October to December, hasn’t been paid and it’s nearly mid May.

    Today, May 11th, I get another email about “Athena” but it seems to be called “Enhanced Affiliate Registration and Management System”. Again, Stephen, you are trying to sell the benefits of the new system. After reading all of the threads about the horror the ABW folks are having, I frankly am very concerned that you folks have a grip on realty.. Yet again you specify that I must register to get any payments. You have held my March commissions from about April 17, 2005 when they were paid to you by my merchants, and my Bonus money earned from December of last year, to date.

    Your email of February 27, 2005 specifically states: beginning in April, affiliates that have not updated their registration information to obtain a master account will no longer be eligible to receive payment of commissions. It does not say that you will hold my March commissions and last years bonus as hostage to force me to register.

    You are not acting in good faith.

    What if I don’t want to register?

    What if I don’t want to agree to your unilateral contract that does nothing to protect me?

    What if I want to strike out the part in the contract that you can decide to charge me a fee for your services with a 30 day notice? Your services to date are not worthy of any fee, I should be charging you interest on the money you are withholding from me.

    For the above reasons and others to numerous to list, I am going to complain to the BBB of New York.

    I am going to report to the Attorney General of the state of New York that you are withholding money owed to me as a condition of my agreeing to a contract that I don’t agree to.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Go, Go, Go....

    Just wondering what the interest would have been for that 13K and your March commissions, had you been able to put them in the bank.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    I would like to add an item. Checks made out improperly, and sent out as payment.

    I would like you (Steve Messer) to provide us with a name, address, and contact info so that we can get these checks replaced expeditiously. I can only imagine the weeks it will take to replace these checks - at our expense. Steve, these checks are already in circulation, I'm not complaining about something that might happen - it is a reality today.

    This simple act of customer service, will go a long way in ensuring confidence in your business.

    Fred

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Fred,

    An excellent suggestion. One LS should not ignore like the others. This is a service they can easily provide us. In addition, I think there should be some statement as to the length of time (hopefully expidited) that it will take checks to get returned.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  5. #5
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    I've filed so many BBB complaints against Linkshare, they assigned me a "Complaint Rep" - which when you think about it, it's sad!

    If you DO contact the NY BBB (which I'm not suggesting you do ) tell John Levinson that Billy in Vegas says hello!

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Too bad the BBB does not have an affiliate program. LOL

    We could create links and sites for folks to get their problems resolved and get a lead commission to boot. What an idea!!!

    [okay, okay, I can see this is all starting to wear on me...]
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  7. #7
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7-days
    Go, Go, Go....

    Just wondering what the interest would have been for that 13K and your March commissions, had you been able to put them in the bank.
    Never mind the just the 13k.

    I was wondering about the total $$$$$$ amount of interest money that can be earn in three months from just about 100,000 affiliates that still don't have their money mailed to them.

  8. #8
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Why not go big time.

    Don't just file a complaint with the state government.

    File a complaint in Washington, DC with the Federal Attorney General, the FTC, The national BBB, and anyone else that you can think of in Washington, DC.

    Wonder what would happen if thousands of affiliates did this all at the same time.

    I bet you might be able to get your money then.


  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    In another post somewhere, there is a note that LS does not have our funds in an interest bearing account while they wait to pay us. Well, that's good for LinkShare, but not good fur us. If they are going to hold our money, then they should collect interest and pay it to us.

    I have all my house utilities set up on a budget plan (I pay an equal amount every month). Should I every have a positive balance at the utility company, they pay me interest, even if it is just for one month. The same should hold true for LS.

    The following is the response I got back from LS Support (yeah, I actually got a response to one of my requests):
    Please be advised that interest is not earned off of funds remitted for affiliate payments. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you and look forward to a smoother transition of getting commissions to you.
    That was nine days ago and now we hear that checks won't be sent out until next week, if I'm lucky.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  10. #10
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7-days
    In another post somewhere, there is a note that LS does not have our funds in an interest bearing account while they wait to pay us.
    Don't you believe that.

    What they are probably saying is that YOUR money will not be sent to YOU with interest added to it because they held YOUR money instead of paying you.

    The reason they are holding your money instead of paying you is because THEY probably have it drawing interest for THEM to take before they finally pay you.

    The interest drawing time for THEM is probably not up yet and they don't have access to YOUR MONEY until a certain date to use it to pay you.



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