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  1. #1
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    Is the Future CJ More Of A Collection Agency Than An Affiliate Network?
    It would take several hundred pages to comprehensively cover all the shady clauses and unethical passages in the new CJ PSA.

    And that's not what this entry is about. I just want to mention a couple things about the "rollout" of this PSA that concern me.

    Frst of all, previously when CJ "rolled out" new PSA's, affiliates always had to agree to the new terms. There were specific places we had to go at the site, boxes to be checked, etc. If you didn't do that by a certain date, you stopped receiving commissions. It happened to me once when I wasn't paying attention. I'm guessing that if you didn't agree to the new terms within a certain time frame, you were completely deactivated from the program eventually. But this time, CJ is doing the roll-out of the new PSA entirely differently, without the screens & checkboxes etc. It seems CJ wants to trap as many people as possible under this new (draconian and clearly unfair) PSA.

    Does anyone really believe there isn't some evil purpose behind that? Is it any coincidence their "updated" reversal policy with the accompanying threat of collection activity coincides with CJ making it 100 times more difficult to opt out of this new PSA than previous PSA's? Previously, opting out of a PSA was a simple matter of inaction. Suddenly this time, opting out requires considerable action within a relatively brief time frame. And for every affiliate who reads forums like abestweb and has some idea what's going on, there's probably 100's who don't have a clue and won't bother to read the fine print of the new PSA because previous PSA changes have not impacted them that much, or because they are new to CJ and don't know what kind of stunts CJ pulls. CJ knows this and is looking forward to exploiting it.

    They also know tons of affiliates will abandon CJ rather suddenly because of this PSA, but will continue to have CJ links on their sites for a long time to come. I'm talking about the people with thousands of pages of CJ links that would take weeks to remove. These links will continue to drive traffic to CJ merchants and make money for CJ and probably the merchants as well. Meanwhile, the "abandoning" affiliates will get zero dollars from this activity. This amounts to what is essentially intentional theft on the part of CJ - driving away thousands of affiliates who they know will take forever to get the CJ links off their sites.

    Can a company whose tracking can't be trusted in the first place be trusted regarding the accurate reporting of alleged reversals? Can this company really be trusted to not generate phony reversal activity that then gives them a (dubiously) legal right to engage in collection activity on their affiliates? Could CJ/Valueclick now be in bed with the same kind of sleazy, scum-of-the earth lowlife lawyers who run collection agencies (e.g. Mann Bracken)? Does their main future "business" involve stealing back/collecting 90% of the commissions they pay to affiliates? Does "CJ" now stand for "Collection Junction" or "Crime Junction"?
    Last edited by cjwhistleblower; October 12th, 2005 at 01:14 AM. Reason: Forgot the question mark at the end.

  2. #2
    Newbie jitygt's Avatar
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    Frst of all, previously when CJ "rolled out" new PSA's, affiliates always had to agree to the new terms. There were specific places we had to go at the site, boxes to be checked, etc. If you didn't do that by a certain date, you stopped receiving commissions.

    CJ is doing what every company in the world is doing, telling you of the changes, if you keep using us then you accept. This is nothing new.

    However, agreements that are "one-sided" such as this, have little impact on your rights in a court of law. While a contract attorney probally wrote this, he should have consulted a trial attorney.

  3. #3
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    Actually, this is something completely new. On previous occasions, CJ said little about PSA changes and required you to go to certain screens and click checkboxes to stay active when the PSA was changed. That is not the case this time. And we are not talking about the other companies of the world. We are talking about CJ.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador ticketguyz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjwhistleblower
    It would take several hundred pages to comprehensively cover all the shady clauses and unethical passages in the new CJ PSA.

    And that's not what this entry is about. I just want to mention a couple things about the "rollout" of this PSA that concern me.

    Frst of all, previously when CJ "rolled out" new PSA's, affiliates always had to agree to the new terms. There were specific places we had to go at the site, boxes to be checked, etc. If you didn't do that by a certain date, you stopped receiving commissions. It happened to me once when I wasn't paying attention. I'm guessing that if you didn't agree to the new terms within a certain time frame, you were completely deactivated from the program eventually. But this time, CJ is doing the roll-out of the new PSA entirely differently, without the screens & checkboxes etc. It seems CJ wants to trap as many people as possible under this new (draconian and clearly unfair) PSA.

    Does anyone really believe there isn't some evil purpose behind that? Is it any coincidence their "updated" reversal policy with the accompanying threat of collection activity coincides with CJ making it 100 times more difficult to opt out of this new PSA than previous PSA's? Previously, opting out of a PSA was a simple matter of inaction. Suddenly this time, opting out requires considerable action within a relatively brief time frame. And for every affiliate who reads forums like abestweb and has some idea what's going on, there's probably 100's who don't have a clue and won't bother to read the fine print of the new PSA because previous PSA changes have not impacted them that much, or because they are new to CJ and don't know what kind of stunts CJ pulls. CJ knows this and is looking forward to exploiting it.

    They also know tons of affiliates will abandon CJ rather suddenly because of this PSA, but will continue to have CJ links on their sites for a long time to come. I'm talking about the people with thousands of pages of CJ links that would take weeks to remove. These links will continue to drive traffic to CJ merchants and make money for CJ and probably the merchants as well. Meanwhile, the "abandoning" affiliates will get zero dollars from this activity. This amounts to what is essentially intentional theft on the part of CJ - driving away thousands of affiliates who they know will take forever to get the CJ links off their sites.

    Can a company whose tracking can't be trusted in the first place be trusted regarding the accurate reporting of alleged reversals? Can this company really be trusted to not generate phony reversal activity that then gives them a (dubiously) legal right to engage in collection activity on their affiliates? Could CJ/Valueclick now be in bed with the same kind of sleazy, scum-of-the earth lowlife lawyers who run collection agencies (e.g. Mann Bracken)? Does their main future "business" involve stealing back/collecting 90% of the commissions they pay to affiliates? Does "CJ" now stand for "Collection Junction" or "Crime Junction"?
    What is with the hysteria surrounding this new PSA? I honestly think the numbnuts didn't think through how everything might be interpreted by the end users (didn't learn their lesson from the "upgraded' reporting), but I don't think they're out to get anyone that is a legitimate money-making affiliate. And why would you think hordes of affiliates are going to abandon CJ because of this PSA? Or should I say, why would you think hordes of affiliates actually making money with CJ leave because of this? While we should certainly fight to get them to clarify some of the confusing and entrapping language, some of the new terms might actually go to improve things with CJ (if properly enforced as always).

    Edit to add: who the heck cares about not having a little box to check? If you didn't check it last time you didn't receive your commissions, so they basically forced you to accept last time as well. They're likely trying to avoid that scenario by giving ample time for affiliates who are serious about leaving to change their links (again, no afflilate making serious money will leave because of this new PSA). Nobody has a gun to your head forcing you to stay a publisher with CJ.

  5. #5
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    ticketguy,

    Are you an affiliate? A merchant? A CJ representative?

    We've been waiting for a CJ rep to answer the questions on the thread Todd started on the new PSA. Any way you could get a rep over to that thread to answer our questions?

    Cj's silence on these issues is deafening.

  6. #6
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    First of all, there's a survey on this very site showing 55% of CJ affiliates are either planning on leaving CJ or thinking of leaving CJ because of the new PSA. HUNDREDS of people have posted very negatively about the PSA on this very board, and they represent a tiny, tiny percentage of the total number of CJ affiliates who are p*ssed off about this new PSA.

    There's nothing positive for affiliates whatsoever in the new PSA. Some people are misinterpreting parts of it as meaning CJ is going to crack down on the parasites and scumware who have been their best pals for oh so many years. That is a pipe dream and a fantasy. The remainder of the PSA deals with petty ways that CJ can deprive people of rightfully earned commissions, ways that CJ can terminate accounts guilty of dubious "infractions" such as not having a privacy policy, and ways CJ can collect on reversed transactions from UP TO ONE YEAR AGO. Anyone who sees anything positive for affiliates in this PSA is living in a delusional fantasy land. Sure, there's people making lots of money who will continue to make lots of money. And there's also lots of good, honest affiliates who CJ seems hellbent on screwing over as much as possible as many ways as possible. Don't say I didn't warn you.

  7. #7
    Newbie jitygt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjwhistleblower
    Actually, this is something completely new. On previous occasions, CJ said little about PSA changes and required you to go to certain screens and click checkboxes to stay active when the PSA was changed. That is not the case this time. And we are not talking about the other companies of the world. We are talking about CJ.
    They just gave you rights, that's all I can say.

  8. #8
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    I don't ever remember having to check any box for past PSAs. And as far as polls and message board posts, what people say they're going to do and what they actually do most of the time are two different things. And it would be interesting for those that say they're leaving, how much they make at CJ. I'm always for merchants providing options to affiliates who don't want to partner with them thru CJ. Also it would be nice for Todd just to knock off any remaining questions instead of just letting these type of threads take a life of their own. Also not sure where you're getting 55%, just checked the poll and it's 21% of people said they're leaving, 4 people.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador ticketguyz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by womanht
    ticketguy,

    Are you an affiliate? A merchant? A CJ representative?

    We've been waiting for a CJ rep to answer the questions on the thread Todd started on the new PSA. Any way you could get a rep over to that thread to answer our questions?

    Cj's silence on these issues is deafening.
    Oh, because I speak so highly of them? READ again. The point I'm making is that this is nothing honest affiliates cannot overcome. There is no reason to get so hysterical about this until we see it in action. The only ones that should be sweating at this point are the crooks out there. It truly is in CJ's best interest to keep honest producing affiliates in business. Whether they supply the means to such an end is up to them. Now, if I'm wrong and CJ flips the table on the honest affiliates, I imagine there would be a mass exodus of affiliates AND merchants.

  10. #10
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    I remember clicking for individual merchant's change in terms, but never CJs.

  11. #11
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    The legit honest affiliates, who never devised ways to game the cookied commission system, are customer facing enities. They only need a network for the behind the scenes gruntwork of providing trackable creative links, collecting and timely dispersing earned commissions, and filtering out the scumbags on both the merchant side and affiliate side. If you send legit targeted traffic from legit network coded links, while employing no commission stealing tricks, this PSA is a big yawn.

    Now if CJ plans to enforce the terms against the cookie tricksters and outright commission thieves then, through flawed, this PSA is a big step towards removing the grey marketing affiliates. It hits them right in the pocketbook if righteously OUTED ... and if enforced. Every cookie stuffing or Blackhat affiliate running from the CJ commission repo-man means more value to my legit cookies and ROI to my merchant choices.

    Forget the lame PSA termonology. What were the cliffnotes handed to the legal wannabee. It would be suicide for CJ to devise a way to piss off their loyal-legit affiliate base. The friggin top 200 are killing off the motivation of merchant's funding affiliate marketing growth while getting gang raped by this 200 elite affiliates. They've been caught padding or pilfering sales while cookie washing out the legit players making all affiliate sales look tainted. It sure isn't my site's traffic freaking out merchant's PR department. The newer anti-Spyware/Adware apps are releasing millions of BHO pissed off captives. ROLMAO ...as I'm one of the few who from day one put the consumer's voice into my thoughts. I'm a salesman ... not some Adwhore. I'm for inventory turns ... not mass traffic schemes.

    It's been a long time since CJ used to call me and figure out if they were headed in the right direct. They knew they fumbled the ball on the goal line from my point of view. Some day they may start calling again when they see the consumers are acepting of the new PSA.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  12. #12
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    This is how they've always done their PSAs. I don't remember ever having to check a box that I agreed. My continued use of CJ implied by agreement. That's always been the case.

    And I don't see any evil intentions in the new PSAs. I think they're just trying to protect themselves. I think some of the clauses (like being able to reverse at any time) aren't right and should be dropped, but those are the same clauses I think they would have a hard time enforcing even if they wanted to.

    I don't think we'll see any change in day to day business.
    Michael Coley
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    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

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