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  1. #1
    Affiliate Network Rep
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    Update 5/26
    Hi all Ė

    Iíve been looking through the threads and will try to address the issues Iíve seen discussed today:

    *Check Status*

    Hereís whatís going on with checks. Iím going to take you through whatís happened step by step, in the spirit of complete disclosure. I want to remind you that Iíve had the team mobilized around this 24/7, and believe me, weíve been working hard to get you paid.

    A bit of background first: the validation process launched on May 5. After that, if you were not validated, the rule was that you could not be paid. We changed that rule on May 23rd (for reasons I have discussed earlier) so that all newly registered affiliates would get paid, even if they had not been validated. (Once again, "validation" is different from registration and updating the profile information that everyone still needs to do to get paid.)

    There were two check runs originally planned for this month Ė the 9th and the 23rd. The checks from the 9th mailed on the 12th. Only "validated" affiliates got paid in that run. The second and most recent check run was mailed yesterday, 5/25. Because of the timing of this latest run, it took includes only a group of the "validated" affiliates. I know that I have talked about doing additional check runs, and absolutely will do so now that we have made the changes we have made to increase the number of affiliates who get through the registration process. A check run has been added which will go out next week. Iíll get back to you as soon as I have an exact date for it. That should clear up the backlog. If not, we may do another one before the next scheduled check run in the second week of June.

    *Registration*

    Some of you who have re-registered after the email we sent out Monday right may have seen at the end of the process a screen that says you have not been validated and will not be paid. That copy was correct under the older logic, but with the new changes the copy was getting updated. However it may not have been when you tried. It may already be changed by the time you read this. The screen should say that even if you are not verified, you will get paid.

    Hereís what the screen should say, FYI:

    Congratulations, you have now completed the registration process.

    While we were unable to validate one or more pieces of information you provided at this time, you are welcome to participate in the LinkShare Network and will receive payments as if validated.

    Important Information

    As part of the registration process, LinkShare takes steps to validate certain key pieces of information you have provided. Unfortunately, we were unable to validate one or more pieces of that information at this time. We recognize that this may be because the third party databases we employ may not be up-to-date or are inaccurate, or the information you entered was not exactly as they have it.

    Please understand that we may be attempting again to validate your profile information in the future as we make changes and improve our validation process, with the possibility that your account will be terminated if we are unable finally to successfully validate your key profile information.

    This is all part of our fraud prevention effort to protect the LinkShare affiliate network. Fraud costs us all money in the end. So, for the sake of our network, we are working to identify dishonest affiliates who do not provide true information and cannot be validated. They will be removed from the LinkShare network to ensure that every affiliate has an honest, fair chance to build and grow a great affiliate marketing program.

    *Old Accounts*

    If you have old accounts that are not verified, you should have received an email Monday night with the username at the bottom for that account. If you did not get a notice about it, but think you have some old accounts, a good idea has been suggested in another thread: you can use the "Send Username" link if you know the email address that was used on the account. After you get the username, you can use "Lost Password" and reset the password.

    However, if you donít know security question in the Lost Password area, our affiliate support team can reset it for you. Just send an email to: contact @ linkshare.com with your ZIP Code, first 4 of your social security number and username.

    *Deactivating Accounts*

    Some of you have asked if you can just go in and deactivate your old accounts. The best way to proceed would be to consolidate them first, and then deactivate them from your new master account.

    Hereís how to consolidate your accounts

    ē Login to the account that you want to be your main account (we also call it the legal entity account). Make sure that it has been validated, or if it has not, re-register it now.

    ē Even if it has not been validated at the end of your re-registration, you can still consolidate other accounts under it

    ē Click on Update Profile link

    ē Scroll down to the Consolidate Affiliate Channels section

    ē Click "Consolidate Affiliate Channels"

    ē Enter the username and password of the affiliate account that you want to aggregate as an affiliate channel of your legal entity account.

    ē Click the "Consolidate" button. You will see a confirmation screen that the affiliate account was successfully added as an affiliate channel.

    Once that account is consolidated here are instructions to deactivate a channel:

    ē From the home page of your master account, choose the channel you want to deactivate from the drop down box at the top center of the screen. This drop down allows you to select your consolidated channels from master account.

    ē Once you have toggled to the channel you want to deactivate, click on Program Controls under Your Account on the right-hand side of the page.

    ē Click on deactivate account at the bottom of the left-hand column.

    *Payment History Report*

    The new report is called the Affiliate Payment Summary in Synergy Analytics. Since it is still in beta, it is only available to IE users. And we are working to get March and April data into the report. As of this writing, they are still unavailable.

    *Terminated Affiliate Payment*

    Our policy with terminated affiliates is that they are paid commissions up until
    they were terminated. Terminated affiliates can expect to get their final checks in the next two to four weeks.

    Iíll continue to keep you updated as soon as I have more information to share.

    Best regards,
    Stephen

  2. #2
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    yawn...

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    I will keep my temper under control and not use the choice words I had in mind.

    I have worked with your staff and you on almost a daily basis for a week now. I was told today that a check would be in the next batch, sometime the middle or end of next week. Problem is, when I use Synergy Analytics, it still will not verify that I am to be paid (isn't it supposed to?). Every time I jump a new hurdle for you which you say I need to get paid, you throw another one at me when I find out I have not been paid.

    Basically, I don't give a damn about your registration and validation procedure any more. I JUST WANT TO BE PAID! My last commission check was for February. By the time you mail me my check for who knows how much, you have been sitting on my March commissions for eight weeks and my April commissions for four weeks. I know because I asked my merchants when they sent them to you.

    The information above is great for those having those problems, but if you are reading the posts here like you say you are, then you are not answering all the questions. Mine and many other affiliates. Make this post one of eight tonight and do the PR job here you should have done weeks ago.

    Mr. Messer! Your affiliates and your merhchants have had enough! Scrape Athena, pay us, then work on the bugs before you even think about direct deposit or project Zeus or whatever cute name you come up with next time.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  4. #4
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    "The second and most recent check run was mailed yesterday, 5/25."

    Are these checks the ones "issued" on May 17 2005?

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Let's hope so, because I have found no one that has been paid for that run yet. So, that means that the next run I'm supposed to be in will not really be sent until a week later, about two weeks from now?

    This is totally unacceptable!

    I'm sorry if my post above was not relevant to your update, but not getting paid is relevant. You, Mr. Messer, have made no effort to make up for your errors, except to backpedal regarding the validation issue. There has not been any effort to do anything special in exchange for the months you have been holding on to our commissions. Just appologies for the "inconvenience". Well, I'm sorry, but we have gone way past inconvenient and affiliates and merchants will remember this fiasco for years to come. If not, I will be here to remind them!
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    I received an email telling me I'm not validated, but I don't see any errors in my profile. I don't see anything in the interface that indicates that I'm validated or not. How can I check this and what do I need to do to get validated?

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Is there steam coming out of my little pink avatar ears yet???

    Quote Originally Posted by smesser
    Terminated affiliates can expect to get their final checks in the next two to four weeks.
    What??? I've been waiting five weeks from my normal payment with two more weeks until it [may] come and terminated affiliates get a special check cut in only two to four weeks?

    Don't you see how that makes us long term affiliates feel? Terminated affiliates get paid faster than we do.

    Come on Mr. Messer! If you have the power to pay them in two weeks, why should I have to wait seven weeks or more?
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by smesser
    If you did not get a notice about it, but think you have some old accounts, a good idea has been suggested in another thread: you can use the "Send Username" link if you know the email address that was used on the account. After you get the username, you can use "Lost Password" and reset the password.

    However, if you donít know security question in the Lost Password area, our affiliate support team can reset it for you. Just send an email to: contact @ linkshare.com with your ZIP Code, first 4 of your social security number and username.

    Stephen,

    Thanks for the update.

    In the past some merchants opened LS accounts for affiliates rather automatically, but these accounts were never used. Is there a reason as to whay affiliates should be looking for old accounts that they don't necessarily know exist? or they could simply forget about them?

  9. #9
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    "However, if you donít know security question in the Lost Password area, our affiliate support team can reset it for you. Just send an email to: contact @ linkshare.com with your ZIP Code, first 4 of your social security number and username."

    That question wasn't part of LS when i started. So there is no security question for my old account. Also number of characters were different. My first account only had 5, then months ago had to update to what it is now.

    Do we get our past due checks if all the old accounts aren't consolidated into the main or will the checks be held? Also on an old account what happens if the email used for that account is gone or forgotten? You should just take whatever is in the main account and pay that, i shouldn't have to play email tag with LS on any old accounts i don't use/care about/know about.

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    [steam is subsiding from ears of my avatar...please pass the Tums]

    A question along the same lines as Trust above, I only consilidated one old account that had some merchants in it. The other account I have no idea where it came from and where it normally has a link to Deactivate This Account, it said something like Click Here To Reactivate This Account. Your tech support person said not to consilidate it, but knowing my ever longer delay in getting paid, I want to make sure that this one thing will not hold me up. Your tech did not sound 100% sure.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  11. #11
    I like traffic lights
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    >Iíve been looking through the threads and will try to address the issues Iíve seen
    >discussed today:

    Steven, you miss the question about who the third party is that you are using.

    How about answering THAT question?

  12. #12
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    that you want to aggregate as an affiliate channel of your legal entity account.
    Next time try English!

    This whole thing is giving me a headache.

    Just pay people! It is that simple!
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Well, he did his thingy where he sat and watched us all squirm after his post for 30 minutes and then he just left us and ignored us again. Why do I bother asking all these questions.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  14. #14
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    What in the world happened that took EIGHT DAYS (especially if your people are working 24/7!!!) to process the 5/17 checks?

    That's TOTAL BULL HOCKEY to say that there were only two checks planned for May. On 5/11, you sent a newsletter out to all of your affiliates saying that there were three payments planned: "LinkShare will initiate three payment batches to affiliates on 5/9, 5/16, and 5/23." You KNEW at the time that the 5/9 payment hadn't gone out yet. The 5/16 "payment" showed up in our accounts on 5/17. You let us think for OVER A WEEK that it was sent, and only now are telling us that it was not sent until yesterday. You've been giving us updates almost every day. DID YOU NOT THINK THIS WAS PERTINENT INFORMATION? Now, you're telling us that the 5/23 payment probably won't go out until June.
    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

  15. #15
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    Mr. Messer--

    Can you explain why my payment issued on May 17th wasn't sent out until May 25th? I expect payment to be mailed out on the day it is issued--not a week (or more) later.

    Michael

  16. #16
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    I don't even know if I am getting a check even though I am owed money. When I go to check the payment info it doesn't show anything for this year.

  17. #17
    Pit Boss redsand's Avatar
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    Where and how do I change the check payable information ?

  18. #18
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    Every time he leaves an update it seems to make less sense. I also got an e-mail saying I am not validated and I thought I was. I would love to get my March check. Can you imagine when we will get our April check; I would say Sept., if we are lucky.

  19. #19
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSanf
    Next time try English!

    This whole thing is giving me a headache.

    Just pay people! It is that simple!
    Bet the same demand is going out to the major merchants who are NEToriously 3 months behind in paying Linkshare too. Can you imagine getting Dell.com to pay their commission bills on time monthly?? Might be why their are batches as no one bothered to factor in cash flow from slow paying merchants. I said the boiling steam kettle would be screaming this month over lack of payment. No one listened especially LS. LS is probably waiting on their own mailbox for promised merchant payments. No excuses as they too can dip into savings and pay us out ASAP before the dead beat merchants see an exodise of quality affiliates from their programs and even slow down payments to buy PPCSE and alternative Ads.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  20. #20
    Pimp Duck popdawg's Avatar
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    Stephen one request.

    before you pen your next update, make one post.
    Here, I'll even give you a head start on what it should say.


    Hi All,
    We ****ed up.
    We're sorry and we are trying to fix it.
    I would also like to apologize for not understanding what BETA means or having any well paid executives with a dictionary.
    I realize that I have blown a little smoke up your asses in regards to getting paid.
    again, sorry.
    I will now post the truth without smoke and mirrors, answer ALL questions completely and honestly and will have EVERYONE paid the CORRECT AMOUNTS WITHIN the next WEEK.
    It's the least I and we as a company can do (and it is.)

    That would be a good start.
    then, follow through.
    do that and I'll give you a little hint on how to repair your tattered relationships with your affiliates AND merchants.

    **hint ... symposium, line, you, paddle**

    k that's not really my idea, but ... now that I mention it ....
    ================================================================
    Been away, now I'm back. Not as much, but I'm back & starting from scratch. Where I was, was fantastic. Where I am now, less so. Things have changed, become harder. So have I. Game ON!!!
    ================================================================

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    popdawg,

    Thanks for having the nerve to say it like it really is and how we really feel.

    Hey, folks, I said it elsewhere...I sent an email to hundreds of of LS merchants, over 95% of them, directing them here so they can see the crap we are having to shovel from Mr. Messer. They are not happy campers, I can tell you that. You should be on their side of the fence, paying thousands of dollard to LS, only to have them screw up like this. Here is what some of them have had to say already:

    Yes, the mess has been very hard on us merchants as
    well.
    Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I have recently received
    complaints from some of my existing affiliates as well.
    I have sent Steve a very strong email regarding this and other issues.
    I understand what they are
    doing and why they are doing it, they are just doing a piss poor job
    during the transition of keeping us (all of us) informed.
    ...well aware of the issues at Linkshare and how upset many Affiliate Partners are. We have had numerous email and phone conversations with them since the conversion process began. We are trying to put pressure on Linkshare from the Merchant side, but it generally falls upon deaf ears.
    We have heard from a number of our own affiliates about the reach and extent of these issues. This is certainly unacceptable from both an affiliate and merchant standpoint.
    I
    assure you that we are bringing these concerns to LinkShare's attention
    and will make further decisions accordingly. I clearly understand your refusal to work with us within the LinkShare network.
    Each of the above was taken from an email from a different merchant. Merchant names were left out to protect the victimized.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  22. #22
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    What in the world happened that took EIGHT DAYS (especially if your people are working 24/7!!!) to process the 5/17 checks?

    That's TOTAL BULL HOCKEY to say that there were only two checks planned for May. On 5/11, you sent a newsletter out to all of your affiliates saying that there were three payments planned: "LinkShare will initiate three payment batches to affiliates on 5/9, 5/16, and 5/23." You KNEW at the time that the 5/9 payment hadn't gone out yet. The 5/16 "payment" showed up in our accounts on 5/17. You let us think for OVER A WEEK that it was sent, and only now are telling us that it was not sent until yesterday. You've been giving us updates almost every day. DID YOU NOT THINK THIS WAS PERTINENT INFORMATION? Now, you're telling us that the 5/23 payment probably won't go out until June.
    It looks to me like instead of mailing the 5/16 payment on 5/18 they held it until the 25th, and are now trying to make us believe that there were only 2 check runs planned from the get go, the 9th and the 23rd, and the checks mailed on the 25th were from the (supposed) check run on the 23rd.

    How dumb is that? Especially when, as you say, they sent an EMAIL to everyone explaining that there would be 3 check runs (on the 9th, 16th, and the 23rd) AND (a few) people SAW the checks as issued on the 17th in their payment reports.

    I think they are just messing with out heads at this point...

  23. #23
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    Stephen,

    Thanks for the update.

    In the past some merchants opened LS accounts for affiliates rather automatically, but these accounts were never used. Is there a reason as to whay affiliates should be looking for old accounts that they don't necessarily know exist? or they could simply forget about them?
    I could be wrong, but I doubt he is going to say that we can just leave them as they are and forget about them. If that were so, I doubt he would have gone into the step by step instructions for the goofy process of having to hunt down your unused accounts, consolidate them, and then deactivate them. If we could just leave them as they are, I think (and I hope) he would have mentioned that.

  24. #24
    A Real *and* Darn Cool Member! lstolze's Avatar
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    Unhappy
    Again this doesn't answer nearly all the issues raised. I want to know what third party service they are using to help them determine I must be a fraud because their information is wrong or outdated. I don't get this new concocted message when I log in, and I can't change any information. I tried something as simple as writing out my middle name, since that is how it is shown on my SS card, but LS won't take the changes, so how do we change info when the sytem won't allow us? Oh yeah - 3 - 4 weeks for the fix. This is the most unprofessional system change over I've ever encountered... I dumped many more merchants yesterday, and will continue to do so. I am just starting to get really entrenched in a new marketing model, and this has put a huge monkeywrench in that because I really don't want to continue with LS in this way. Thank you Mr. Messer, for breaking my spirit, and my faith in professionalism. I applaud your keen intellect and hard shell, which obviously make it very easy for you to jerk us all around over an extended period of time. I don't think I would have a strong enough constitution for that.
    ~Lisa - Brilliant Mastermind, or Nut? You decide!

  25. #25
    Not Verif-Lidated infoTim's Avatar
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    In other words, the payments from 5/17 are totally fictitious?

    Nice, really nice.
    Tim
    consultant by day, affiliate by night

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