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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador
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    Very strange program refusal
    This is too cryptic

    Dear ,

    Thank you for submitting your application to the Casual Corner Group
    Affiliate Program. Due to an increase of suspect affiliate activities, we
    now check applications more thoroughly. This is something that the
    Casual Corner Group takes very seriously. Unfortunately, we cannot accept
    your application at this time because we could not confirm the accuracy
    of the information you provided to us.

    If you feel that the rejection cause is not applicable, or if you would
    like to appeal for any other reason, please contact us at
    affiliates@casualcorner.com so we can reconsider your application.

    Regards,
    What the heck could that be? I never submitted any information to them, the info they have is what the network has and the networks have whatever information they ask for.

    So what is that - what could be the issue?

    Added:
    The application was through a network - dont remember which one, I think it's LS but I could be wrong.

  2. #2
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I think I've seen one like this posted here before. It appears that Linkshare lets merchants automatically decline applications for unverified affiliates now. If you haven't successfully completed the verification process at Linkshare, you might want to give it another try and/or contact Linkshare.
    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

  3. #3
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    I'm verified with LS, I took care of it right away with whatever information was needed when they first introduced the "legal entity" requirement.

    But this was't automated, it came directly from the merchant and...

    I think it's LS but I could be wrong
    I was wrong. I went digging through their site, and they're a BeFree merchant.

  4. #4
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    is that some kind of a template response? i mean, i got almost the same letter verbatim from another BF merchant.

    i contacted them by their BF email address and my email bounced back.

    so i emailed every address, cj or befree, that's available and raised hell asking what part of my freaking name can't they confirm.

    the next thing i knew, i received an approval email.

    until now, i still don't know which of the email addresses i sent to did the trick. LOL

  5. #5
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    Ya, this is BeFree and I'm considering responding but I don't like their arrogant tone one little bit and I'm almost afraid of what kind of response or reason I'd get.

    What if it's because of private domain registration on a particular site? I'd be fuming if that was it - since that merchant sells to WOMEN.

    What if it's something dumb like they don't know the national origin of the site or owner? Doesn't the network know? And can't they click on the web design link (or check backlinks at Yahoo like anyone in ecommerce knows to do) and hunt around for 2 minutes to find out EXACTLY who's involved, that it isn't someone in whatever country is doing poop bank transfers to Nigeria?

  6. #6
    Full Member David_NLC's Avatar
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    Hi there,

    I am familiar with the Casual Corner program having launched it just over a year ago. While I no longer work for Casual Corner's parent company, I can tell you that the person running this program is very professional.

    Why not respond to the email address provided? Or, you can PM me with your details and I can put you in direct contact with the AM.
    Best,

    David Rogers
    Sr. Manager, E-Commerce
    New Line Cinema
    212 649-4900
    NewLineShop.com
    WBShop.com
    TheOCInsiderShop.com

  7. #7
    Newbie YouLoveToShop's Avatar
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    Hey,

    It's funny, I have quite a few partnerships through BF and have received a couple of these responses to program applications through BF and when I replied with questions of how to provide them with the necessary info no one ever got back to me.

  8. #8
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    Ah, yes David, I got turned down by you for your programs too (no reason though).

    Kind of a pity, because on one of my niche sites I've got #2 rankings and steady daily traffic for the second *best* broad keyword phrase possible. Does nicely on back to school stuff and AdSense too, being it's that time of year, so I'm not crying.

    Not to mention daily traffic on another site from people specifically looking for Batman stuff "by accident". I'm putting up an even tighter niched site to comfort myself.

  9. #9
    Full Member David_NLC's Avatar
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    Hi Webworker,

    How do you know that it was me that turned you down?

    I think the other assumption that is important to get out into the daylight is that any AM reviewing an application would know this information...we don't. With dozens and dozens of applications to review on a daily basis, there isn't the time to perform whois searches, etc. We only see very basic data and where folks choose to submit even less info, that trips a red flag.

    And, we make mistakes...I am here to admit it. That's why there is an option to email us back. Very, very few folks ever do. I would be happy to do that with your application - there are ABW'ers who will tell you that I did similarly for them.

    As for your issue with the Casual Corner Group, I traded emails today with their manager and she is more than happy to discuss with you directly. PM me for her contact information.

    In the end, I think better and clearer communication helps both our causes.
    Best,

    David Rogers
    Sr. Manager, E-Commerce
    New Line Cinema
    212 649-4900
    NewLineShop.com
    WBShop.com
    TheOCInsiderShop.com

  10. #10
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    >>How do you know that it was me that turned you down?

    I don't and never did David, since there's no name or email address with the company information that we see.

    >>That's why there is an option to email us back.

    Sometimes maybe, but there is too often not that option at CJ. Usually at CJ from our side it just turns up in the declined applications with no information whatsoever, not even an indication of who the party would be to contact.

    FYI, I've applied for programs and simultaneously dropped an email to let the merchant know which site the app was meant for, just to save them time and so there would be no confusion. I'm 100% a believer in establishing communication with merchants - but it isn't possible when they don't provide any way to do it.

    >>We only see very basic data and where folks choose to submit even less info, that trips a red flag.

    The only info we can submit is what the networks ask for.

  11. #11
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    David

    As I said earlier, I received the same type of email from another merchant. So I'm pretty sure, that is a templated response.

    The application that I sent came from a BeFree account that's been active for years. It didn't come from a newly filled up application form, and it certainly contained all the info that are needed to make up my account profile, not less info as you are insinuating.

    As upset as I am, I tried hard to word my email to the merchant politely, and give them a chance to respond. And what did my efforts get me? my email bounced back.

  12. #12
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    As for your issue with the Casual Corner Group, I traded emails today with their manager and she is more than happy to discuss with you directly. PM me for her contact information.
    David, I chose not to respond to that email because by the tone of it there would have been no way I could restrain myself from responding in kind. In fact, I actually went to the site and tried to hunt down a phone number to call, called the only number available, was given another number that I called on MY DIME and was still unable to contact the AM.

    In the end, I think better and clearer communication helps both our causes.
    The original fault lies with a merchant who sends out an email with such a tone without thinking about how it will sound to the recipient.

    We are not beggars standing on a welfare line begging for a public works job or food stamps. It's the AMs job to recruit a commissioned sales force. There may be different perceptions of what's professional, but out in the real world off-line, many commissioned salespeople, especially the high dollar paying 20% commission kind, what they call "closers" actually interview the sales managers - not the other way around.

    These are piddley amounts we're talking about, with the low % most apparel merchants give and with there being MANY to choose from, but there's still a professionalism in how people are treated from the merchant's end, regardless of whether they're underpaying or not.

    That kind of cryptic and insulting cookie cutter email is a definite failure in proper communication. And also - so is not making any contact information available in the first place, not to mention running up phone bills unsuccessfully trying to contact them.

    Believe me David, I do appreciate your concern and efforts - I really do. But it's irrelevant whether there's contact made at this point, for seasonal reasons I'm not workng on womens stuff now, not until after current priority updates, which are dictated by seasonal and inbound traffic demands, so I'd end up with an equally abrasive "activation" email, no doubt with a form again provided by the network.

    Understanding how seasonal sales cycles and search engine updates work, now I'm working on kids stuff and starting to get ready for the holiday season - which is already pulling consumer traffic from the engines for some types of items. It's already started, to the point of some folks bookmarking affiliate pages - still a shock when it happens. But I do look forward to seeing what happens after reapplying yesterday for a certain CJ merchant who has a few items I might be able to use now.

    The reason I posted was to see if anyone had a clue what the possible reasons could be - it really was a mystery and still is.
    Last edited by webworker; July 20th, 2005 at 03:20 AM.

  13. #13
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    some folks bookmarking affiliate pages - still a shock when it happens.
    It's only "shocking" because of the propaganda of content-is-kingers and their ilk. In reality, shopping/trading is a basic human need, akin to sex (just think of how fast a black market springs up anywhere trade is restricted, for instance in Communist countries--regardless of any and all possible penalties!). People WILL be glad to find any site that helps feed that need.

    The reason I posted was to see if anyone had a clue what the possible reasons could be - it really was a mystery and still is.
    Other than it being a templated email, it's hard to have a clue. Who can know, other than the one who did the rejection? I agree that the email's verbiage sucks. If it's really the network-provided one, they really need to change it...it'll make any merchant who does a rejection look bad.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  14. #14
    Not that fat. ReallyBigGuy's Avatar
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    I got those from a lot of the BeFree applications I did. I'd always email them, and they'd say that something in my application didn't jive, (maybe email from different domain), but then they'd add me manually.

  15. #15
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    Now here's what's really sad - and worse.

    I basically had gone on a hunt for merchants for specific "keyword based" products that were getting traffic. I'm signed up for a few BF merchants but don't use them because frankly the network is "unfriendly" and too hard to use, the interface is lousy and so is getting the links (compared to the others).

    So I found Casual Corner and their stuff was exactly what I needed - and I applied. That email I quoted was dated MAY 27th - not having any other merchants there I needed links for, that email was the end of the whole issue.

    What reminded me was a fantastically friendly and helpul sounding "activation" email I got from a LS merchant (best I've ever seen) - I put his links up right away and got a big order within 5 clicks. Then I recalled that rejection email and started to get irritated just thinking about it and wondering what the heck it could have been about.

    I just signed in to BeFree today after finding a survey email from CC that they sent to their affiliate partners this week (still without a person's name) that landed in the bulk email folder and guess what.

    Rejection email - 5/27/05
    Date accepted into the program - 05/04/2005

  16. #16
    Newbie YouLoveToShop's Avatar
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    You want to talk about a sorry state of affairs…this is the email I received on 6.30.05…

    --------------------

    Dear Affiliate Program Applicant,

    We are sorry to inform you that we are unable to accept your application for the Puritan’s Pride® Healthy Profits Affiliate Program at this time due to the reason listed below.

    Incomplete Application
    Please resubmit your application with all the fields completed to reapply to the program.

    Additionally, it might be that we cannot determine if you or someone acting on your behalf submitted this application. Please email us to let us know that the application is valid. Include your website address and applicant name in the email.

    Please refer to our agreement at http://www.puritan.com/affiliate/Aff..._agreement.asp, if you have questions about our application requirements.

    Thank you for your continued interest in Puritan’s Pride.

    Sincerely,

    Puritan’s Pride Healthy Profits Affiliate Program Team
    affiliates@puritan.com

    --------------------

    So what I did was reply immediately with the following professional and courteous email…

    --------------------

    6.30.05

    Puritan’s Pride Affiliate Team,

    Thank you for your response in regards to my request to become an affiliate partner, but could you be more specific to the nature of why my application was declined?

    It was me that submitted the application to you. If you need further verification you can email me at my company email address, which I have enclosed.

    You mentioned that my application was not complete. Could you please clarify what was incomplete on my application, so I can rectify this for you?

    I am not sure what the problem is, as I have filled out everything correctly.

    Looking forward to your response.

    Thanks in advance

    ---------------
    Talk about unprofessional...that was almost 1 month ago and still no response…Go figure!

    Can you imagine if you ran your business this way....not responding to customers or potential partners...you would be out of business...

    Juat makes me laugh at how clueless some people are...

  17. #17
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    OK, so that application was also submitted through a network - the same one. The real question imho is what is the network not doing, or what information are they not getting, that's necessary to meet the needs of the merchants?

    I think what we're dealing with might be more of a network issue than a merchant issue. If merchants need certain information, which is definitely their prerogative and their responsibility, looking at things from a "legal" and ethical business standpoint, then being that the networks are actually acting in the capacity of an intermediary between merchants and potential affiliate partners, it's part of their job to facilitate the recruitment process - not to hinder it, which it's starting to look like might be the case.

    It isn't so much any particular letter or email, it's how the communication process is being handled overall. There's obviously an information gap somewhere along the way - along with a serious failure in effective written business communication. Not to mention that in some cases the network may be hindering the merchant efforts instead of helping them, which is what they're being paid handsome fees to do.

    Sheesh, that's Business Communications 32, first year basic curriculum even at the junior college level.
    Last edited by webworker; July 22nd, 2005 at 02:29 AM.

  18. #18
    Newbie YouLoveToShop's Avatar
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    webworker,

    Great question...but the fact of the matter is even through I have recenlty received 2 declined responses like the one above..I have also been approved by other merchants with no problem, and to add to your question...is this just a new way for Merchants to blow off and decline affiliates...it seems that way since have I have received only 2 of these decliend apps and have replied to the same 2 with no response from merchants...

    Again Just makes me laugh at how clueless some people are...

  19. #19
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    Additionally, it might be that we cannot determine if you or someone acting on your behalf submitted this application. Please email us to let us know that the application is valid. Include your website address and applicant name in the email.
    Might be you or someone else? An application submitted through the network may not be valid?

  20. #20
    Newbie YouLoveToShop's Avatar
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    webworker,

    Exactly...it makes no sense...How and why would someone submit an application on my behalf? What would be the point of it?

    Also is there such a thing as an invalid application that has already been approved? As other merchants have approved me with the same info that these merchants used to decline me…makes no sense at all.

    The real kicker is the fact that I did replay as they had requested and offered to provide whatever info they needed, but to no avail they still have not contacted me back…

  21. #21
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Might be you or someone else? An application submitted through the network may not be valid?
    It actually does make sense. When folks provide fraudulent information when they join Networks. And that happens all the time. Part of the reason LS did the Athena thing. Won't post publicly exactly what all some folks do and run their scams, but it really is an issue for both Merchants and affiliates (although they may not really realize it).

    The amount of fraudulent applications some Merchants get for their programs on a daily basis is significant. I would imagine that leads to the template type rejection email.

    It would seem to me however that BF would be serving all much better to address the problem of inaccurate information in affiliates account instead of providing a template rejection email for Merchants.

  22. #22
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    I see tons of fraudulent applications daily in BeFree. And Kellie is right, I only have two rejection e-mail that I can send in the system. I am unable to customize the e-mails to be specific. It would be helpful if they could design the process so that we could edit the letters if we want to.

  23. #23
    Newbie YouLoveToShop's Avatar
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    Kellie,

    It may make sense when a new user with no background history applies to a program, but not when a user who has been on the network for a couple of years with a proven history applies, it does not make sense.

    Not only that…but with this same “application information” (which I cannot see or change) I am getting declined with at some merchants…and approved by others….so how does this make sense.

    Obviously most merchants are fine with the “application information”….but some are not.

    The question is WHY?

    When contacting merchants to rectify the “application information” they view as a problem and they don’t respond, it leads me to believe that they are the ones who have something to hide.

    I couldn’t agree more with you Kellie when you said “BF would be serving all much better to address the problem of inaccurate information in affiliates account instead of providing a template rejection email for Merchants.”

  24. #24
    Newbie YouLoveToShop's Avatar
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    Alucas,

    I do not doubt that there are fraudulent applications…but what criteria do merchants use to determine that applications are fraudulent. Merchants certainly don’t provide any guidelines if there is any criteria. I have been a member of the network for years and am a superuser with a proven history. So for my situation this does not make sense.

  25. #25
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    now this is funny.

    i remember one time a program manager was fuming that the website being submitted to them is "Google"

    the program manager call this fraud.

    but affiliates call this PPC.

    so, who's right?

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