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  1. #1
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    "Am I just paranoid or has anyone else had any of these concerns after reading these posts?"

    I'm well beyond paranoid. I'm halfway convinced that Linkshare is deliberately making these changes to improve their cash float or some other cash position.

    I'd be very surprised if some of the merchants aren't talking to lawyers. Some of these guys are making payments in the hundreds of thousands or more each month to Linkshare, and yet Linkshare is not distributing the money in a timely fashion. So who is holding onto the money?

    How many merchants send in their checks the first or second week after month end? In the old days, I got a good number of checks by the 15th of the next month. For example, one of my merchants sent in its check for May's commissions by the first week in June. Before this debacle, Linkshare would have sent me that check a week later. Now, it holds onto the check until 7/25. So Linkshare gets a whole lot of money for a month longer.

    If a merchant didn't pay, it was our responsibility to track it down, but we could easily check with the old report and submit a report both to Linkshare and the merchant.

    Everyone has been complaining about the new system in terms of inconvenience and incompetence and I'm all on board for that, but if you look at what happened, Linkshare removed an enormous amount of information and keeps all the money.

    As I understood it, Linkshare extended the terms to 60 days because some merchants didn't make the net 30 and this would give them more time. Yet if a merchant doesn't pay--and as of last month, a couple of my merchants hadn't paid for 4 months--what does Linkshare do? Shrug and tell us it's our responsibility to check after them.

    Except, of course, that we don't have the information any more. From what I can tell, Linkshare waits at least 30 days to put the payment information online. So if a merchant pays, say, the first week, we won't know it until Linkshare tells us 4 weeks later that the merchant's "payment has been received".

    Linkshare's changes systematically allow them to hold onto merchant cash longer, while giving affiliates less information about where their money is. Does anyone really think it's accidental that they didn't include a "payment report" with the first rollout, and that the "new" payment report gives *less* information about who has our money?

    Look, all but the largest affiliates are completely hosed. All the smaller affiliates individually don't get huge sums, so we can't sue. But the money owed to all of us collectively is huge. Figure 10,000 affiliates getting payments of just $100/month, and them holding onto it for an extra month. You do the math and ask yourself why Linkshare made this change. And while you're at it, call Elliot Spitzer.

    Anyway. Sorry for the rant. I'm really fed up. On topic: If Linkshare is changing the link format, then they are doing it to further benefit their bottom line. I have no idea what, because I don't know the technology. But I'd be very suspicious that it will further allow them to hold onto the money, or in some other way exploit the smaller affiliates who can't sue.

    Even if that weren't my fear, I'd still say it's absolutely insane for them to make a change right now. What I don't understand is why do the merchants tolerate it? Overstock and Dell and the other huge merchants are giving LS the equivalent of millions of dollars in loans. Why don't they leave? There must be some incentive to this I don't quite understand.

  2. #2
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    I think CalGal hit the nail on the head with that one. Y'all say you are running a business. Well, that is a hell of a way to run a business, not knowing who paid you what and when for the services you provide!

    Doesn't seem real "professional" to me. Where are the "professional" police when you need them? They should be jumping up and down on this issue.

    Anyone who does bussiness this way has a lot of nerve calling anything ever posted here "unprofessional", if you ask me. They are the first to whine if they don't like your verbiage on ABW. But, they run the most unprofessional businesses around. They don't even know who has paid them and yet still work with LS!
    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!

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador LinkShare Moderator's Avatar
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    Before addressing some of the concerns regarding our link upgrade and GoldenCAN, let me first address some of CalGal's questions and statements regarding payments.

    LinkShare does not use or hold merchant payments to affiliates to make money or improve our cash position. We serve as a clearing house for collection and disbursement of those funds. Until they are paid out to the affiliate, all monies are held in a non-interest bearing account.

    The link changes have absolutely nothing to do with our payment process or system. Different technology, different systems, different benefits. Yes, we had some kinks associated with the initial rollout of our consolidated payment offering. We have since moved beyond that and have been very clear about the go forward payment schedule. Our merchants are aware of this schedule as well. Different merchants pay us at different times throughout the month, and we distribute those funds to affiliates according to our consolidated payment schedule. As I've stated a number of times, we are working on additional enhancements to our payment reports so affiliates have more transparency into the status of their commissions.

    We have not changed our merchant payment terms from net 30 to net 60. Quite the opposite. Instead, we've put a financial incentive in place to encourage our merchants to pay on time (by the end of the calendar month that the invoice is posted to the merchant's interface). We also have a team at LinkShare that works very hard to ensure merchants are paying on time.

    More to follow later on the link changes and GoldenCAN.

    Kelli

  4. #4
    15 years and counting
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    Kelli - LinkShare does not use or hold merchant payments to affiliates to make money or improve our cash position. We serve as a clearing house for collection and disbursement of those funds
    Because you're talking about payments to affiliates, let me tell you about what did happen to me a few days ago. I was cleaning some old stuff and I found an envelope full of LinkShare checks (never deposited). They are more than 4 years old, ranging from $40 to a few hundreds. I remember having a problem between my accounting and your 1099 around that time. I'm not going to blame LS for being so messy and not organized.
    I'm just wondering how many checks were lost or destroyed. I found LS envelopes misplaced by our postman and others send to the wrong address glued to an other envelope. I'm sure I'm not the only one. I may have lost some I don't know about.
    I've never received an email from LS offering me to reprint the lost checks. One LS merchant paying directly did it on his own as one of my check was not cashed after one year.
    Just a question, where is that unclaimed money? How much?
    Kelli - we are working on additional enhancements to our payment reports so affiliates have more transparency into the status of their commissions.
    With SynergyAnalytics, we have a way to verify if our check was cashed or not. That's an enhancement for me.

  5. #5
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Great question, Zeus. I'm sure I've been sent about a thousand checks by Linkshare in the past six years. Surely some of those were lost. If the money is just sitting in an account, I'd sure love to get any of it that rightfully belongs to me.
    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

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Someone needs to start a "Reclaim Lost LinkShare Checks" thread.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  7. #7
    Affiliate Manager chucktool's Avatar
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    Kelli, do you anticipate that the affiliate payment reports will get back to being posting on the 5th? We anticipate these and look every day starting on the 5th so they can be pulled, verified and paid. All accounting departments pay on certain days of the week so a delay only pushes that back.

    Also, please feel free to PM me so we can have the conversation about GoldenCAN.

  8. #8
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    Kelli,

    The simple truth is the many of my merchants sent in the commission checks in the first week of the next month, and Linkshare sent them out the week after that. So I was getting checks two weeks after month end.

    Those merchants are still sending in their checks in the first week of the next month. But Linkshare is sending them out a month later.

    If Linkshare wants people to believe that it isn't making these changes for the float, then it needs to send out the checks as fast as it receives them, just as it did before.

    Until that point, you'll pardon me but I do not believe that Linkshare didn't plan on an extra month of cash.

  9. #9
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I've split the payment concerns out from the thread about Upcoming Link Changes. I wanted to follow up on one of the concerns, but didn't want to bring the thread off topic.
    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

  10. #10
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    Great question, Zeus. I'm sure I've been sent about a thousand checks by LinkShare in the past six years. Surely some of those were lost. If the money is just sitting in an account, I'd sure love to get any of it that rightfully belongs to me.
    Kelli,

    I just wanted to follow up on this. Does LinkShare have any plans to review and reissue these unclaimed checks? With hundreds of thousands of checks having been sent, surely there are hundreds that were lost in the mail or misdelivered.
    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
    Newbie 9944kb's Avatar
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    Unpaid earnings.
    Ok. And what about money for terminated accounts ? I have few terminated accounts because blocked country(?). As I remember, LS(Mr.Messer) promised send money for this accounts in 3-4 weeks. And what ? NOTHING. Where is all my earnings ? I know my merchants send this money. And where all my earnings now ? In LS wallet ?

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador LinkShare Moderator's Avatar
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    I'm looking into this and will get back to everyone next week.

    Kelli

  13. #13
    Affiliate Manager Sami B - Uncommon Goods's Avatar
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    Just a suggestion. Linkshare, or any company, has to report all unclaimed money to the state government after a certain while. That's why states maintain a database of these.

    I would check one of those "unclaimed money" websites for a surprise from Linkshare.

  14. #14
    Newbie 9944kb's Avatar
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    Question Unpaid earnings.
    Like a Zeus, I have about 10 checks from LS, never deposited. The sum about $600. Where all this money now ?
    And again, Kelli. What about unpaid earnings for terminated accounts ???

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LinkShare Moderator
    I'm looking into this and will get back to everyone next week.

    Kelli
    Any word yet?
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  16. #16
    Newbie 9944kb's Avatar
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    Unpaid earnings.
    Quote Originally Posted by 7-days
    Any word yet?
    Kelli's sleeping...

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador LinkShare Moderator's Avatar
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    I'm working on different options with our Finance team. I'll communicate to everyone as soon as possible.

    Kelli

  18. #18
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    Speaking of payments, did our next payment get ran today?

  19. #19
    Newbie 9944kb's Avatar
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    Smile Unpaid earnings.
    Quote Originally Posted by LinkShare Moderator
    I'm working on different options with our Finance team. I'll communicate to everyone as soon as possible.

    Kelli
    Wow ! I'm impressed. LS making progress ! ASAP ! Is this a joke ?

  20. #20
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I'm impressed, too. I'm not sure LinkShare has any legal responsibility to reissue those old checks, but doing so is certainly a very good business practice.
    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

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador Grumpy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9944kb
    Like a Zeus, I have about 10 checks from LS, never deposited. The sum about $600. Where all this money now ?
    And again, Kelli. What about unpaid earnings for terminated accounts ???
    I don't know if I'm misreading this post, but why on earth would anyone not deposit their checks, especially if it's quite a sizeable amount? When I receive my checks I make a point of depositing them into my account within a couple of days. If you're not depositing them, then it's surely not Linkshare's problem. Admittedly if you forgot about having $600 lying around (which I find rather strange ) you could ask them to reissue the checks if they have expired, but why would you forget about it in the first place? Maybe it's time you got yourself a bookkeeper to take charge of your

  22. #22
    Newbie 9944kb's Avatar
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    Angry No answer
    As I can see, LS has nothing to say.

  23. #23
    Newbie 9944kb's Avatar
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    Unhappy Hello ???
    Any answer from LS ?

  24. #24
    Affiliate Manager
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    Unhappy
    They're too busy trying to fix their server problems. A few of us haven't been able to log on for a couple of days....

  25. #25
    Newbie 9944kb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Netspeed
    They're too busy trying to fix their server problems. A few of us haven't been able to log on for a couple of days....
    I think they dont have any rights to ignore us.

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