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  1. #1
    Member
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Websponsors
    I have heard that Websponsors has good offers so I recently signed up with them. I now regret that decision.

    I have been a full time publisher for over 3 years now. I am signed up with most of the major affiliate marketing companies. I have never had a problem with a client or charge backs before. That is, until Websponsors/Webclients.

    I generated approx. $900 in sales in Dec. using a zip code only and email only offer. The two promotions were from the same client.

    The problems started when I logged onto my acct and I notice that it was $300 less than it was a few days before. I immediately picked up the phone and called my assigned rep at Websponsors.

    She didnít know money was deducted from my acct. but she did know that the client was claiming that my leads are not valid. She had just emailed me minutes before I called and her email to me told a different story... it said that the offer wasnít converting like the client wanted. I asserted that whatever happens on the back-end isnít my responsibility. The terms of the promo are that I earn a commission when I send valid clicks and someone enters a zip or email addy.

    My customer service rep tells me she will check into it and will call me right back. A week goes by and no call.

    Then I log on to find that an additional $300 was deducted from my earnings, so now I have had 2/3 (480 leads) charged back. Keep I mind I have had no call from my rep... no honest explanation... nothing. This is the really poor customer service.

    I call my assigned rep again... I told her that no logical person would believe that 2/3 of the people would enter a fake zip code. I could understand that some people might fake an email addy because they donít want spam email but people rarely enter fake zip codesÖ much less 2/3 of people faking a zip code. Therefore, I tell her that I would like for the client to provide some kind of documentation showing that his claims that the leads were bad are valid. If he is going to subtract 2/3 of my leads as chargebacks I think I deserve some documentation.

    Just as before, the rep with Websponsors didnít know more of my money was deducted and she says that she will find out what she can do and call me back. That was on Monday. 4 days and still no call back.

    It is obvious to me that Websonsors never would have even disclosed to me that they deducted the money. SO BE WARE... they might subtract money you earned without your knowledge. They didn't realize I keep track of my sales (I have print outs of the reports). Did they think I wouldnt notice?

    For this to be my first experience with them... I am not impressed. Unless this issue is resolved in a manner that is fair and reasonable I doubt I will continue to use them. I feel like I have been taken advantage of by this client and Websponsors hasnít made any effort to protect my interests. At this point, more than anything, itís the principal of the matter. I feel that I have been cheated.
    Last edited by valenkim; January 20th, 2006 at 02:55 AM.

  2. #2
    Newbie
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    January 18th, 2005
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    My story is almost the same as yours. In my case 100% of my 300+ leads were reversed due to "suspected fraud", that's right, every single lead. I can't get a straight answer out of my affiliate manager, which is uncommon. I have never had a lead reversed due to fraud in my 6 years online. These email/zip offers are a fairly new thing for me, but on other networks I have had no reversals with this type of offer.

    I was suspicious of this Advertiser in November. I received an email from Websponsors asking me to remove my links. They said the offers were being pulled because they were doing so poorly. They asked me to email them and let them know as soon as the links were down. I found that odd. I also found it odd that the best performing link on my site was supposedly "doing poorly". I was bringing in 20-30 leads a day for almost two weeks.

    I removed my links, but noticed that the offer was never pulled from Websponsors. So I clicked around to other sites like mine, wondering if it was just me being banned from the offers. I found banners at a few other sites, but when I clicked them they redirected to another offer, as did my affiliate link when it was typed into the browser.

    Be aware that this advertiser has dozens of different zip and email offers on several different networks. They must be getting some heat because they recently (within the past 10 days) removed thier contact info from the terms and conditions page on every one of thier sites. (They are located in a small town outside of Dallas, Texas) The new contact info is on the privacy page: Red Turtle Investments in Nevada.

    I checked my old stats to see if I had unknowingly ran any of thier offers through other networks and to my surprise I had; and with no reversals.

    My affiliate manager only had this to say when I asked if they can just do this without showing evidence of fraud: "We guarantee the client quality, fraud-free leads"

    So, why is the advertiser reversing Websponsor leads and not other networks? In my opinion the answer is simple. Because they can.

    Until now I had a good relationship with my affilaite manager. Now she seems to be between a rock and a hard place and I feel she is unable to tell me the truth.

    I have removed all Websponsors links from all my sites and even six years of archived pages. No great loss. Almost everything they offer can be found at some of the newer networks at a much higher payout.
    Last edited by catland; January 24th, 2006 at 03:01 PM. Reason: edited for typos

  3. #3
    Member
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    Angry Thanks... still no call back from Websponsors.
    Thanks for the info... I think my affiliate manager/ customer service rep is between a rock and a hard place too. I canít even get her to call me back. Still no word back from her.

    Sounds like Websponsors/Webclients has some serious problems and I donít plan to drop the issue. I hope to hear back from them but my next step is to call the client who reverse the leads directly.

    I am also looking into filling a lawsuit in small claims court and/or using a collection agency that specializes working with affiliates.

    Kimberly

  4. #4
    Member
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    Exclamation Webpsonors/Webclients is not affiliate friendly.
    Just wanted to give you a follow up to what is going on... I finally heard back from Anne Nesbella, my customer service rep. She said "I emailed you over two weeks ago regarding this subject ". LOL! She is a bad liar. Our last conversation was on the 14th (exactly 2 weeks ago) and I havenít received any emails from her since. The only reason I heard back from her in the first place is because I left a message on the voice mail of her boss.

    Her answer to my inquiry about this problem was "...we have no reason to not trust or believe him (the client). " Bottom line... Websponsors is not affiliate friendly. Donít expect them to care or fight for you when an advertiser cheats you out of money.

    I would like to go on record as warning any affiliate or merchant that this is not a company you want to do business with.

    Kimberly

  5. #5
    Newbie
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    August 30th, 2005
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    Same thing happened to me early 2005. I dropped them. Affiliate Fuel is much better (for me at least). And the offers are similar. I think they have a script they use when you ask because it sounds verbatim like my experience.
    Brent

  6. #6
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Brent,

    Thanks for the tip. I have been talking to people here and a few other affiliate forums and I am finding out that a number of affiliates are having and/or have had problems with Websponsors treating them in a similar fashion.

    Anne Nesbella at Websponsors forwarded a copy of an email she said she sent to me on the 14th. I never received it and I donít know why but I did want to retract the statement that I made when I said she lied about getting back with me. I now believe she did and for some reasion I never received it.

    This is my first bad experience with a marketing company and I have been doing this for years so I guess I am lucky I made it this long without running into someone dishonestÖ and I mostly blame the client for being dishonest but Websponors has a responsibility to be fair and look out for my interests and I feel that they have acted in bad faith in that regard.

    Kimberly

  7. #7
    CPA Network Rep Lauren-Adsertive's Avatar
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    October 6th, 2005
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    Wow-

    Those are some pretty crazy and unfortunate stories. In my opinion, as I'm sure you will agree-just like an business, from an Affiliate Network to a retail store-affiliates/customers should come first. "The customer is always right." Even if this means that they will take an occasional hit on some crappy leads, etc. Maintaining good and trusting relationships with affiliates should be of upmost importance to networks-they are the people who make networks successful.

    I was also shocked and disappointed to hear about the lack of customer service from your affiliate managers. This, in my opinion, is another crucial aspect of affiliate networks. Your managers should be prompt and curteous, especially when dealing with an issue like the ones you two dealt with. I try to be quick to respond either by phone, email, or IM to any of my affiliates who have a question or concern, big or small. It makes me feel good knowing affiliates can rely on me for whatever they need.

    Better luck to both of you finding better networks to work with in the future.

    ~Lauren

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the update Valenkim. I'm still expecting all my December leads to be reversed as well. Different offers, but the same Company.

    Her answer to my inquiry about this problem was "...we have no reason to not trust or believe him (the client). "
    LOL, that's crazy! In my case, no reversals in 6 years and then a 100% reversal is thier first clue. The fact that it is happening to many (if not all) of us who ran the offer is clue #2.

    Thats it exactly, Websponsors is not affiliate friendly. I only used Web Sponsors when they had something that I couldn't find elsewhere. As soon as another network had these offers, I switched (at a higher payout too). No reversals through these other networks so far. Now, of course, I don't run anything from this Company regardless of the network.

    Luckily Websponsors was a miniscule part of my affiliate income. I won't miss not using them anymore. There are some really good, honest programs out there. Websponsors should take heed.
    Last edited by catland; February 5th, 2006 at 11:13 AM.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador Trying to Win's Avatar
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    I've had the same problem with websponsors, and since Valueclick just pruchased them, I doubt it will get better. I don't run much of their stuff anymore. Besides their payouts are way to low, others pay more for the same offer.
    Just a squirrel trying to get a nut, in the Internet jungle.

  10. #10
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    Just an update. I checked my November stats and the negative amount is no longer there. About 70 leads have just vanished, but the rest show as normal leads. They are marked "stats not final" though. In fact, I have stats as far back as August that are marked not final. I wonder if they are actually going to pay me for those leads. (not holding breath)

    There are a few offers at Websponsors that I can't find elsewhere. Otherwise I only ran an offer there if they got it first. I can't say I'll miss them. But I sure hope they pay me something .

  11. #11
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    Well, I spoke too soon. The negative number is back today. I guess they can't decide if they are going to pay me or not.

  12. #12
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    I'm sure Scott Richter is happy you guys furnished him with all those fresh e-mail addy's for free. Guess the next reincarnation will ask for e-mail + Male or Female check box and forego the zip code.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  13. #13
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    Websponsors is not a company you want to do business with if you are an affiliate. They have their head so far up the merchant's #%@ its pathetic.

    Consider yourself warned that they will cheat you out of money any way they can. The only thing they care about is pleasing the merchants even if its at the expense of treating affiliates fair.

    That is all I am going to say.

  14. #14
    CPA Network Rep Jon@Fluxads's Avatar
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    We have tried a few of Websponsors offers out on our network as well, and just like everyone else here, they pull the offers from us, because they claim they are bad leads they are receiving. The affiliates of ours running the offers were all very well experienced publishers who have no history of fraud, but for some reason with this ONE companies offers, they magically generated all bad leads. BLAH! It's frustrating. I feel your pain people...I feel it.

    PS. Go Padres!

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