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  1. #1
    Member SuccessPoint's Avatar
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    Question Why donít the networks test merchant tracking/conversions?
    Hello all,

    Iíve been lurking for a while here and finally decided to get involved in the discussions.

    My question is...

    Why donít the networks (CJ, SAS, and Linkshare) test out the merchants? They could place a couple orders or fill out a few leads forms to make sure everyone is getting tracked properly and people are getting credit for sales/leads.

    Tell the merchants that there will be random testing and they will be warned/removed from the network if they fail multiple times.

    I just think if they were actively auditing the merchants... it would go a long way to stopping those disappearing sales/leads.

    - Kurt

  2. #2
    Internet Cowboy
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    SAS takes an aggressive stance on this and does just this. Furthermore, they audit transactions in an effort to detect and expose fraud.
    The other two networks you mention could take some lessons from SAS in this area.


  3. #3
    Newbie at tooting my own horn M_Diddy's Avatar
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    I think that this Idea has a tremendous amount of Merit as to the help us affiliates as well as themselves....remember if we dont get paid, they dont get paid.

    This definately should be a priority for CJ and Linkshare as they really have no clue to how much revenue we all are losing, furthermore I am still certain that up to 30% off all online orders are consumated over the phone.

    Do you honestly think anyone is getting paid on those other than the merchants, this is a big problem that needs a solution.

    Diddy

  4. #4
    Member SuccessPoint's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply UncleScooter.

    Itís good to know that SAS audits its merchants.

    CJ just doesnít seem to care. They give you the run around... contact the merchant... merchant then blames CJ tracking. Itís a shame.

  5. #5
    Member SuccessPoint's Avatar
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    Diddy, you bring up another good point about phone orders.

    You would think that the networks would have some type of policy about leakage. Phone numbers posted everywhere on the website, adsense type ads, links to other websites that don't pass affiliate cookies.

    I know there are some affiliate managers on this boardÖ I wonder what they would think about a leakage policy.

  6. #6
    Newbie at tooting my own horn M_Diddy's Avatar
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    Not to stir a hornets nest, but I know for a fact that there is a tremendous amount of phone orders happening as many people are still not completely comfortable with e com, may have a question etc etc.....if the AM's tell you any different....they are completely full of shit!

    I think its the merchants dirty lil secret and they laugh their asses off at us, cause there is no current way for the networks to control this, and its bonus money.....So not cool...

    Diddy

  7. #7
    Member Chocolate_Chicken's Avatar
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    Some merchants cheat sometimes.

    Why the blind faith and trust in networks though? Virtually every company in the world has to deal with instances of embezzlement or employee grift at some point. Why the assumption that it does not or is not happening as we speak?

    Even the most trustworthy merchant becomes a traffic drain if the tracking network has a "staff problem".

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador
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    Every network should do unannounced checks on their staff to minimize embezzlement problems and fire any staff caught stealing immediately. The stolen amounts should be returned to the rightful affiliate. What checks do the networks have?

  9. #9
    CPA Network Rep JP Sauve's Avatar
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    I know we do randomly spot test, and it's relatively easy to spot a problem... if a merchant goes a day or so with no sales/leads, it's obvious there's a problem even without testing. I can also say that when there is a problem, we almost always side with the affiliate (often affiliates have proof of a sale made with no tracking by the merchant). So dropped tracking does happen sometimes, but it's not a huge concern as it's spotted and corrected quickly enough.

    A much larger problem than simply not tracking a sale, is when a merchant changes the definition of a sale/lead without telling anyone. That's much more difficult to spot as sales are still generated... just less often.

    For example, I know of one merchant who launches an exit pop when the surfer leaves their site basically offering a better deal for their product as a last ditch effort to generate a sale. They figured it wasn't the affiliate who generated the sale in that case, their thinking was that THEY generated the sale as without the pop-up, the sale wouldn't happen, so they dropped their pixel for those leads. Of course this is against our terms (and probably all networks) and after much discourse, they agreed to resume paying for those sales... but had an industrious affiliate not notified us, it could have gone on for many days without us knowing.

    The problem is there are just too many campaigns and merchants to constantly police. We've got 100 or so campaigns, I can just imagine a company like CJ with over 1000 merchants. You can't expect them test a merchant every few days.... there's just too many of them.

    The sad truth is just like some affiliates try to steal from merchants, some merchants try to steal from affiliates. When you suspect a problem, your best bet is to contact your network rep and notify them of the problem, and back your argument up with proof if you can.
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  10. #10
    Newbie at tooting my own horn M_Diddy's Avatar
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    RICO.....S A U V E la la la la la la RICO S A U V E

    Sorry buddy...just had to do it.

    The bottom line is tracking, not affiliates stealing. As affiliates we should be protected, the tracking of a network should be tight, water tight like a dolphins ass, but we all know this is not true.

    Maybe Linkshare, CJ and the other networks should open up their own call centres to handle the orders.....put them through manually on custom landing pages.

    I dunno, but something needs to be done as I am sure every affiliate would love to see their checks increase instantly by up to 30 percent.

    Rico S A U V E la la la la la

    Diddy

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