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  1. #1
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    Any Lawyers Involved Yet?
    I was curious if anyone has had a lawyer get involved yet? I just found out that the check sent on the 31st is for about half of what I should have been paid. This is getting beyond ridiculous and I am one step closer to getting our corporate lawyer involved.

  2. #2
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    According to the Affiliate agreement everyone agrees to....Linkshare says they are not responsible for paying you....

    "The obligation to pay any compensation You earn from Your Qualifying Links is solely the responsibility of each Network Merchant with which You form those Qualifying Links, and LinkShare is not liable or responsible for payment or collection. That is true even if LinkShare at any time acts as a Network Merchant's agent for disbursing checks or payments and sends You a check or other payment drawn on a LinkShare account. "

    Can you believe that? How can this be legal?

  3. #3
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    everyone agrees to
    Not me! I closed my Snare account back when the other terms debacle happened!

    Can you believe that?
    Of course (I can believe that they put that in there)--It's SNARE. Their b*lls are made of brass!

    How can this be legal?
    It probably isn't. It may be one of those things that'd get tossed if anyone challenged it in court, despite the "the affiliates agreed" argument. These places have "severability clauses" for a reason! (Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer.)
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager
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    You can always try and get your merchant involved. If your merchant is paying the correct amount and linkshare is not distributing the correct amount where is that extra money going. Im sure your merchants will not be happy to hear that linkshare is skimming from their affilaites.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Oh, yeah, I believe it. From what I have heard here at ABW, Mr. Messer is lawyer and has a fancy team of lawyers that helps him.

    Thanks for that information vplaza...I had asked for something like that in another post.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  6. #6
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Mr. Messer is lawyer
    Even if that's really the case, he could still be counting on the severability aspect to add in that iffy clause. It's lawyers who came up with the idea that clauses in contracts need to be severable, I'm sure--and the "severability" area of a contract usually states outright something to the effect of "if one or more of the clauses of the contract are found to be illegal, that shall not affect the enforcability of the remaining clauses."
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  7. #7
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    Just because the TOS says one thing it doesn't mean you can't fight it in court. Hell the paypal tos says you can't sue them in Small Claims court. People do it all the time and win. A tos is just to scare people who may consider sueing but are to chicken to do so.

    Also the TOS is up to interpretation and if the TOS is not legal even if we agree to it 100 times it can be thrown out in court.

  8. #8
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    This could be a case for Eliot Spitzer--it is based in NYC--and it is getting to sound more and more like fraud.

  9. #9
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    Affiliate agreement
    Just went to the resource tab on the home page--on the lower left is a link to the agreement, but the page that comes up is blank, and the html code has been removed.

    Sounds like some fraud here somewhere!!

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Getting folks together to file a lawsuit, or even doing individually (unless you are a merchant perhaps) would probably be prohibitive, in time and money and I don't think there is enough real hard evidence to proceed. I suggest a better aproach is to contact your merchants, explain how you have been mistreated and that you won't tolerate that in the future. Go a step further and contact merchants you had considered joining but won't now because of the problems. Doing this sort of thing costs no money and just a little bit of your time. The end result will be merchants putting the heat on LS and if LS does not respond, merchants will simply choose a new network when their contract expires and we follow them there. Besides, by the time you got lawyers involved, Mr. Messer would make sure everyone was paid and there would be nothing to litigate.

    The other thing to do is leave LS. Yes, hard, but there are other options besides finding new merchants at CJ and SAS. Another option is to see if they will work outside of LinkShare. I had a merchant contact me today (and not the first) telling me they would like to work with me outside of LinkShare. I will happily build them a new datafeed driven site when and if that time comes. Merchants are frustrated and they are willing to take risks to keep good affiliates.

    It is sad that we as affiliates have to take such drastic actions, but considering Mr. Messer is the one with all the control right now, it is our way of taking control. And frankly, we are the ones who should be in control of our business, not some CEO in New York. Besides, lawyers would be the only ones coming out ahead in a lawsuit and I don't want to give them any of my money.

    Well, this is my plan of action. You all can decide on your own what works best for your business model. I just want to make sure I get paid on time in the future and don't trust LinkShare to be 100% compliant in that area anymore.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  11. #11
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    Great idea! I have some merchants that have their own affiliate network(s). They have total control over it and they pay on time. This is all that I ask for my efforts.

  12. #12
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    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
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    This could be a case for Eliot Spitzer--it is based in NYC--and it is getting to sound more and more like fraud.
    I am just *itching* for the day that I get to laminate a nice big pic of all their directors doing a perp walk!

    Spitzer shouldn't have to strettcch the law even 1 millimeter to win this one, so I would be quite pleased him if he took a little walk down to 215 Park Avenue South.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    I think this should serve as a very good example for new and old affiliates alike of a Network Gone Bad. Everything we have seen is due to poor planning, poor testing, poor implementation, poor affiliate considerations (not paying us for 6 weeks), poor communication. Any other network in this prediciment would have stoped what they were doing and gone back to the more positive way of doing business instead of further alienating merchants and affiliates. Mr. Messer just does not get it!!! I've PM'd him and when I get responses back from him, it is clear he JUST DOES NOT GET IT! This is a business...mine, merchants and Linshare's. One of us in that triangle is not treating it as such and obviously has a different agenda that the rest of us.

    I'd be tickled pink to say that Mr. Messer is a great pioneer in affiliate marketing by implementing his SynergyAnalitics and new Registration/Verification programs. From the top down look, I'm sure it looks that way to him, but to all us us down here who live in the real world we see a network out of control.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  15. #15
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    Sounds like when Mr. Spitzer runs for Gov of NY some of you will be voting for him.

  16. #16
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    "The obligation to pay any compensation You earn from Your Qualifying Links is solely the responsibility of each Network Merchant with which You form those Qualifying Links, and LinkShare is not liable or responsible for payment or collection. That is true even if LinkShare at any time acts as a Network Merchant's agent for disbursing checks or payments and sends You a check or other payment drawn on a LinkShare account. "
    Pardon my English but, after I have read that paragraph over ten times already, this is what I think I am reading there:

    The obligation to pay any compensation You earn from Your Qualifying Links is solely the responsibility of each Network Merchant with which You form those Qualifying Links, and LinkShare is not liable or responsible for payment or collection.


    Up to that part, I understand that LinkShare is not liable or responsible for payment or collection in your behalf, if a merchant that owed you money decides not to pay you, even if they're on the LinkShare Network.

    So I see no escape clause there, if a merchant don't send the money to LS, LS doesn't have to pay you what that merchant owes you. You have to take whatever action you decide, with that merchant first.

    That is true even if LinkShare at any time acts as a Network Merchant's agent for disbursing checks or payments and sends You a check or other payment drawn on a LinkShare account

    And what I get from this last part is that: Even if LinkShare had sent you a payment before for what you have made with that merchant, drawn on a LinkShare account for the amount that the merchant sent to LS as your commission, LinkShare should not have to pay you, if that merchant don't send the money first to LinkShare, so LinkShare can then pay you.

    Unless there are some invisible text in that quoted paragraph above, I don't see anything wrong with it.

    If I have misread that entire quoted paragraph above and I am wrong, I am sorry but I am not a lawyer, I just watch them on TV.

    =================================

    Now, if the merchant has already paid LinkShare your money and LinkShare don't pay you, what they are suppose to pay you, in the time that they suppose to pay you, well........

    That is something else irrelevant here and not relevant to the quoted paragraph above.

    Sal.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7-days
    I think this should serve as a very good example for new and old affiliates alike of a Network Gone Bad. Everything we have seen is due to poor planning, poor testing, poor implementation, poor affiliate considerations (not paying us for 6 weeks), poor communication. Any other network in this prediciment would have stoped what they were doing and gone back to the more positive way of doing business instead of further alienating merchants and affiliates. Mr. Messer just does not get it!!! I've PM'd him and when I get responses back from him, it is clear he JUST DOES NOT GET IT! This is a business...mine, merchants and Linshare's. One of us in that triangle is not treating it as such and obviously has a different agenda that the rest of us.

    I'd be tickled pink to say that Mr. Messer is a great pioneer in affiliate marketing by implementing his SynergyAnalitics and new Registration/Verification programs. From the top down look, I'm sure it looks that way to him, but to all us us down here who live in the real world we see a network out of control.

    I think this just clearly demonstrates stephen's priorities. From what I see, he can't stand having to deal with the masses, he hates the average affiliate. That is just my opinion, but it is based on the actions I see from their company. This all his - we have a million affiliates! - and we hate 999,999 of them...

    Chet

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Mr. Sal,

    What we are not seeing and it may be on the merchant contract, is a statement that states what time frame LS has to pay it's affiliates when the merchant has paid LS. If that is not there, I sincerly hope merchants have realized it needs to be and demand it on future contracts. If they don't, it's open season for Mr. Messer to keep that money as long as he wants (or needs, depending on his cash flow problems).

    Merchants, please let us know if LS is required to send us your money by a certain date? If not, demand it of them.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    According to TOS, LS seems not to want to be 'Responsible' for paying affiliates, merely being a check writing service???lol

  20. #20
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    I believe if we could sue people for programming bugs that effected our businesses then Microsoft would have gone out of business a long time ago. However unlike machinery or other physical products there seems to be an allowance for software to be buggy.

    Why is that relevant, because delays to payment are linked to this software rollout and therefore are a software bug, not legligance. You can argue the point that poor QC = legligance but then we're back to the first sentence again

    Cheers

    Chris
    Affiliate Marketing by AMWSO. Skype - chrissanderson ::: TEL 1-720-336-1784 ::: www.amwso.net
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  21. #21
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    This is actually a question (not related to LS of course at the time) that we brought up to the attorney when we had him on Haiko's radio show.

    The case of who is responsible when payment is not made to affiliates when the Merchant is operating their program through a Network. I went into the issue with the assumption it would be the Network who would be responsible. Turns out that wasn't the case out all. It's the Merchant regardless of why the monies haven't been disbursed to the affiliate (ie a situation where the Merchant has paid the Network). The Merchant is hiring/contracting the Network to fulfill that part of the Merchant/Affiliate agreement and has the ultimate responsibility to fulfill those obligations. At least, that's the legal opinion we got on the issue in general. Now there might be a contractural/legal issue between the Merchant and Network, but from the affiliate's perspective it's the Merchant/Affiliate relationship. The law can be a strange beast at times.

  22. #22
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    I just signed up with a new LinkShare merchant and am building a site just for it - was feeling left out of the debacle...

  23. #23
    Affiliate Manager chucktool's Avatar
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  24. #24
    Crazy like a fox suzigeek's Avatar
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    Smesser sounds like affiliates are sneaky theives. If the affiliate is doing a better job of marketing why should they give there secrets away to the merchant and have the merchant profit solely from their hardwork?

    Sounded totally anti affiliate to me...

    If I were a merchant thinking about openning up an affiliate program and read that I would be totally paranoid. Granted there are alot of tricksters out there but in my shining eyes of a better world there are plenty of honest affiliates.

    He should have slanted the story more about how it benefits honest affiliates and the merchants.

    Take note Mr.Smesser.
    Suz~~GearGirl~~

  25. #25
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    creative affiliates make me nervous, sometimes. but I thought LS was known for rewarding creativity.

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