Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    Newbie
    Join Date
    January 23rd, 2005
    Posts
    12
    An Open Letter to Stephen Messer
    I know you are grappling with a lot of issues right now, but I want to pass along some advice to you.

    Based upon my own experiences with trying to log into my Linkshare account, and the numerous postings in this forum, you have an extremely serious problem. Unfortunately, your organization does not appear to be handling the issues proactively. I would suggest you stop and think about the impact on your clients (both merchants and affiliates), and the potential damage to your organization from the current situation and the manner in which your company is handling it.

    My suggestions:

    1. This isn't "business as usual." It's extremely serious, and that means that most of the normal business functions of Linkshare that are nonessential have to stop. I met some of your folks at the summit in January in New York, and was very impressed with them. You need to pull them away from their normal marketing and other duties, and set them up to help your clients.

    2. Your landing page should include a brief statement of the problems you are experiencing, and should also include (a) a toll-free telephone number we can call if we need help or just reassurance, and (b) an e-mail address we can use. Take your staff from #1 above and put them on the phones and computers, and start helping your clients. Communicate.

    3. Establish some interim standards. Make them non-negotiable, and non-flexible. One is that every e-mail WILL be answered within 2 hours or 3 hours. Even if you don't have any new developments to communicate, at least make your company available. Communicate.

    4. As affiliates of Linkshare, we have given your organization our e-mail addresses. Why haven't you sent out e-mails to all of your affiliates, explaining what is going on? You need to do so immediately. Right now. And then, every 24 hours at a minimum, you need to send another round of e-mails updating everyone. I'm a huge fan of Haiko and this forum, but it is unbelievable that I had to log on here to find out what is going on with Linkshare. Communicate.

    5. If possible, scrap your new initiative until you can get it right. Go back to what you had previously. That is the right thing to do. Your company is apparently incorrectly terminating affiliate accounts as part of this problem. Do you realize the fall-out from these actions?

    Hope you have time to read this.

  2. #2
    Newbie
    Join Date
    January 23rd, 2005
    Posts
    12
    Okay, a day and a half later, let's see where we are --

    #1 -- don't know status (but we can guess from the other points below)

    #2 -- not done

    #3 -- not done -- my e-mails to Linkshare and to Stephen Messer from yesterday morning are still unanswered.

    #4 -- not done

    #5 -- not done

    Well, let's just tally up the score here.

    Oh.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Affiliateville, USA
    Posts
    7,927
    Tom,

    Isn't this sad?

    I think I've suggested most of these issues to Mr. Messer over the last few weeks. So have many others. They either are not paying attention or do not care. Frankly, I'm guessing they do not care as no CEO of a company that I've ever worked with would allow this to happen. There has been so much collateral damage from this with both affiliates and merchants that it is not just...unbelievable.

    Just the fact that Mr. Messer could not taken the time to email us more often with updates (even small ones)....just the fact that he does not seem to care about all the bad press being written here...just the fact that he does not give a damn that so many of us have not received many checks for over four weeks now.

    You are 100% correct above. His company does not have the resources to deal with a "hic up" like this. And when you say he/they are not dealing with the issues proactively, you really should have said how poorly they have dealt with tehm even in retrospect.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  4. #4
    Roll Tide mobilebadboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Mobile, Alabama
    Posts
    1,220
    An open letter to Messer. Wow. Never seen...

    Oh wait...

    Shawn Kerr (.com) | Disney World | SEC Football

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    3,234
    Thumbs down
    Steve just does not want to engage in any type of bi-lateral communications with affiliates here, give it up.

    His firm lacks the resources to answer questions from affiliates, we seldom see them here trying to help us. When they do, it's almost as though they have snuck in here while no one is watching at HQ.

    All I ever wanted was a little information - just like any customer of any business (See first post above by Tom). But it wasn't to be.

    The updates so far have been largely PR in nature, saying they are working through the problems, and thanks for our patience. = polite brush-off.

    Then it was - please login again, and help fix our problem with your information - then everything will be perfect. Oh, and thanks for doing this several times. = delay and polite brush-off.

    We progressed(?) from that to everything is fixed, and it's really surprising that any of us are still complaining - their metrics show very little problems. = Polite brush-off.

    I would not be surprised, based on Steve's latest "Update" if we don't hear from him again. He thinks most of his affiliates are, receiving checks, are verified, and are happy again.

    On a related note, have you heard the one about the Moron who beats his head against the wall? It seems he does it, because it feels so good when he stops! Man, does my head hurt.

    I'm done.

    Fred

  6. #6
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    St Clair Shores MI.
    Posts
    17,328
    ...verified ...and unpaid!

    No Results: The specified criteria didn't result in any data. This is often caused by applying filters that are too restrictive or that contain incorrect values. Please check your Request Filters and try again. The filters currently being applied are shown below.

    Payment Status is not equal to / is not in Authorized

    Translation ..I haven't been cut a check for March.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Affiliateville, USA
    Posts
    7,927
    Same here!
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  8. #8
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    St Clair Shores MI.
    Posts
    17,328
    Smile
    Hey 7-Days, Whoever gets paid first buys the next round at the ABW chatroom bar. I'd even leave a tip if your still the official bartender.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  9. #9
    Affiliate Network Rep
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    Posts
    352
    Hi Tom Ė

    Thank you for your thoughts. I know from the outside it must seem as if weíre
    not being responsive, but the fact is that Iíve got all hands on deck here, and
    itís anything but business as usual. Iím not going to go into the specifics,
    but let me assure you that the team here is mobilized 24/7 to get the fixes
    done, and our verification partner is on notice that the troubles that our
    affiliates have been having are absolutely unacceptable.

    I hear you, Iím here, and Iím communicating as much as I can right now. When I have something solid to tell you Iíll let you know. Please understand that the situation has been quite fluid over the past few days, and in order not to create widespread confusion, we opted not to send out emails to the entire affiliate community. However, in the next day or so, as things come together, I promise you I will be sending out an update with useful information in it.

    Again, thank you for your thoughts, and more than anything, thank you for being a LinkShare affiliate.

    Best regards,
    Stephen

  10. #10
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Mansfield, TX
    Posts
    16,232
    Thanks for your communication over the past few days, Stephen. That certainly helps.

    I have no idea who your verification partner is, but I have a feeling that very little of the blame falls on them. Your plan has been flawed from the beginning, your implementation has been awful, and your communication has been inconsistent at best. I've never seen such a flawed rollout.

    Who came up with the idea of restricting checks to only being sent to the primary address for the primary business entity? That is a totally flawed concept. The IRS requires checks to be sent to regional PO Boxes (not their headquarters). Large companies have dropboxes for payments. Many businesses have PO Boxes that are distinct from their registered addresses. Affiliates are an even more diverse group than normal businesses.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  11. #11
    I like traffic lights
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Southern hemisphere - away from Fukushima
    Posts
    2,936
    How about letting us know who your "verification partner" is. Since you're sharing our personal information with them, I think we deserve to know that, wouldn't you agree?

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Denver
    Posts
    1,786
    Unhappy
    "Since you're sharing our personal information with them, I think we deserve to know that, wouldn't you agree?"
    I agree with that 100%!
    Related Note: Just saw on the news where a large credit card co./banks employees have stolen over 100K peoples personal info and sold it!
    This kind of thing seems to be happening more & more....

  13. #13
    Member Chocolate_Chicken's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 19th, 2005
    Location
    The Hen House
    Posts
    1,227
    Doing a Beta test in a Beta environment may have been a good idea. But who would ever think of such a thing!

  14. #14
    Newbie
    Join Date
    March 21st, 2005
    Posts
    18
    I continue to be amazed at how poorly this has been rolled out. If the IT consulting firm that I used to work at had been hired to do this rollout and it went like it has, I would have been fired... several times over by this point.

    There is no excuse for this. This is why you spend a good amount of time getting up to speed with the system, figuring out the potential problems, beta testing your rollout, so that you don't do your testing with a live system.

    Just unprofessional. Oh, and by the way, I'm one of the people who has successfully verified themselves (twice now), yet I continue to get emails that say that I have yet to verify my account. And emails to Linkshare continue to go unanswered... I've never seen anything like it.

  15. #15
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Mansfield, TX
    Posts
    16,232
    Whoever has convinced Stephen that this is how a rollout is supposed to work should be in marketing rather than IT. Rollouts can and do happen far more smoothly than this when done right.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador netnow22's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Columbia, SC
    Posts
    748
    For crying out Load!

    Give Linkshare a Break!!!!!!!!! They know of all the problems and working to fix it, I am sure of it, ASAP.

    Some of you affiliates, act like they are not doing anything to solve the problem,m They are and will!!!!!!

    Thank You,

  17. #17
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Edmonton Canada
    Posts
    5,781
    netnow22
    Give Linkshare a Break!!!!!!!!!
    I can only live so long without food,
    My mortgage people will only wait so long before putting my house into foreclosure,
    The finance people will only wait so long before they repossess my car,
    My kids will suffer because I cannot pay the bus fare to take them to school,
    My garden has turned into a jungle because I cannot pay the gardener,
    My bank keeps adding interest charges to my account because I have put nothing in for a few months,

    Why the hell should I suffer when smesser can keep going off on his travels????
    Why the hell should I suffer when I have legally earned my money?

    If I was employed by this company and they refused to pay my wages for this long they would have been in front of a judge by now I can assure you.

    I think is is you that needs to get off the affiliates case or at least get your facts right before opening your mouth or as they say back in the UK "Put your brain in gear before opening your mouth".
    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

  18. #18
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    2,955
    "Give Linkshare a Break!!!!!!!!! They know of all the problems and working to fix it, I am sure of it, ASAP."
    ------------

    I've given Linkshare a break. They are 45+ days past due now and soon to be 60 days on most what is due (some over 60 days). It is time for Linkshare to clean up their act and do the right thing and not use affiliate money to subsidize this rollout. If they are cash short, they should do what everyone else does -- head to a finance company. I was never consulted on any of this, it has all been dictated, and it isn't working.

    Or is it?

    Using other people's hard earned money to invest in something wasn't an idea born yesterday. As far as I'm concerned, Linshare has moved very close to this practice. How much money has fallen through the cracks onto Linkshare's lap during all of this?

    Once again I've checked the mailbox and once again there is no check from Linkshare. They just got "another chance" again.

  19. #19
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    2,955
    Quote Originally Posted by Drewbert
    How about letting us know who your "verification partner" is. Since you're sharing our personal information with them, I think we deserve to know that, wouldn't you agree?
    I would guess it is the law. I'll ask around.

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    4,423
    Quote Originally Posted by netnow22
    For crying out Load!

    Give Linkshare a Break!!!!!!!!! They know of all the problems and working to fix it, I am sure of it, ASAP.

    Some of you affiliates, act like they are not doing anything to solve the problem,m They are and will!!!!!!

    Thank You,
    And you would have thought they would have tested it better.

    Many of us are owed money, money that we have been getting for years, from our supposed trusted 3rd party who turned around and said one day - "We don't trust you to send a check"

    And you want people to give linkshare a break?

    Sorry, but the vagueness of the original contract did not get fixed because Linkshare knew about it and fixed it on their own.

  21. Newsletter Signup

+ Reply to Thread

Similar Threads

  1. An Open letter to Stephen...
    By ozz in forum Rakuten LinkShare - LS
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: May 12th, 2005, 12:26 PM
  2. Stephen Messer answer please
    By Uphill in forum Rakuten LinkShare - LS
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: May 2nd, 2005, 06:23 PM
  3. RE: CVS.com - Open Letter to Steve Messer and Linkshare Network
    By Bluesx in forum Rakuten LinkShare - LS
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: February 3rd, 2005, 12:55 AM
  4. Stephen Messer
    By Kellie aka Ms. B in forum Rakuten LinkShare - LS
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: October 7th, 2002, 09:35 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •