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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador MeeMaw's Avatar
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    Merchants failing to pay CJ
    Well, it is starting to add up, and myself and other affiliates I talk to have started seeing the fleecing of publishers.

    The following:

    DirectDegree
    NationalMortgage
    University Alliance

    All have outstanding "locked" transactions with us since November and December (and every month after). It is now getting into the thousands for all of us.

    So, at the suggestion of folks here I wrote to CJ. Here is the response from CJ.com:

    Dear XXXXX,

    You have transactions that are “locked” but not paid out because the advertiser has not deposited sufficient funds into their account. Although most advertisers are very responsive in making sure they have enough funds in their Commission Junction account, from time-to-time some fail to make a sufficient deposit to cover payments before our monthly payout schedule. While we make every effort to contact advertisers who have shortfall, the Commission Junction Publisher Service Agreement specifically says that if an advertiser does not pay us, we cannot pay the publisher. It is in the interest of the advertiser to keep their accounts current so they develop successful relationships with publishers and it becomes a win-win situation for everyone.

    Sincerely,
    Commission Junction
    I have responded back saying that what is going to take to "expire" them if they haven't paid CJ or publisher in MONTHS? Gonna take 6 months? They get to fleece both CJ and the publishers for this many months without paying? I could try to do that with my own mortgage or car payment and I wouldn't have either in 3 months.

    Mind you these transactions were never "extended". They were locked the very month they happened.

    I also have now written to each advertiser asking when they plan to pay CJ so that the rest of us can get paid.

  2. #2
    Internet Cowboy
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeeMaw
    I also have now written to each advertiser asking when they plan to pay CJ so that the rest of us can get paid.
    At this point, this needs to be done via certified mail with return receipt. Looks to me like you are not going to get the money. CJ lets them float becuase if they shut them down they get nothing. As long as the merchant is 'floating', there is a chance that CJ will get paid somewhere down the road.


  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    I only had experience with one merchat at CJ where this happened to me and it took about three months, several emails (to both CJ and the merchant) and a few phone calls to CJ before they were expired.

    I then contacted the merchant and informed them that I was in the process of contacting their state commerce offices and contacting their local BBB. Within two weeks I had a check directly from the merchant for my outstanding commissions.

    Merchants don't play nice when they do this and affiliates have to play hard ball to get the commissions they justly deserve and worked for.

    This is my one big complaint with CJ is they allow way too much time for merchants to pay before taking action.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  4. #4
    general fuq mrbshouse's Avatar
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    The larger the balance gets, the harder it is to pay it off and the more attractive other networks may become.

    How many of the listed accounts are run by an ad house?

    There has to be a better way for this to be handled and it's not at the expense of the reputation that CJ has earned for getting everyone paid. The new PSA seems to be a bit light on the P

    CJ how about adding to the ASA any advertiser who falls behind in publisher payments more than 30 days must then clear the pending balance and add an additional 30 days of publisher payments to cover the next pay period in order to continue as an active advertiser...benefit of the doubt until default style....

  5. #5
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    It sure would be nice if CJ had a way to easily view this.
    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 MeeMaw's Avatar
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    I only had two other merchants do something similar before. First was 4LowRates. They suddenly paid commissions from nearly 6 months previous. I think that is what CJ thinks all merchants will eventually do.

    One other merchant, reversed ALL transactions owed, and then they expired. 6 weeks later they were back on CJ. I e-mailed them asking how about paying for all those sudden reversals? They never responded. It was obvious they reversed all the transactions so as not to owe anyone, and then started fresh later on.

    CJ knows that we spend tons of time on our sites, building our traffic, and using our money to advertise and market. Those leads and commissions were not earned for free at our end. You can't advertise in a newspaper and not pay the bill and reap the benefit of sales or customers from that advertisement.

    UncleScooter has a good idea. Perhaps I should send certified mail to each advertiser, notifying them as well they might be reported to the BBB. Perhaps even have a lawyer (who works for cheap) send it for me.

    I might not be a big fish affiliate, but that doesn't make me any less valuable. Though sometimes big companies forget they were built on the small guys/gals. Ebay is pretty much forgetting it at this point as well. Seems the larger they get the less they think of their roots.

  7. #7
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    Can add Garden Botanika, Perfume Bay (feel sorry for these guys and the mess they are having with legal stuff with Ebay), and Bob Wards to that list. Nothing severly overdue & not huge amounts but they locked and didn't pay out this month.

  8. #8
    15 years and counting
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    Michael - It sure would be nice if CJ had a way to easily view this.
    To view my outstanding commissions, I go to: Run Reports.
    Pending Commissions,
    Locked
    If you click on the amount locked, you have a Commission Summary by Event Date for locked Commissions.
    My oldest commissions not paid are for November 2005. From there, you have access to the Advertiser Detail. I can check their Network Performance, their contact. It will be good to know what kind of credit they have with CJ.
    In the worse case, the expire button is handy.

  9. #9
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    If CJ cared about its affiliates, then they could easily do two things

    1) Highlight that they are behind in payments on the merchant detail page
    2) Email all affiliates of that merchant whenever they fall behind


    Rob.

  10. #10
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    University Alliance owes me thousands and I still can not seem to get anything out of CJ. Anyone know who they are and where they are?

  11. #11
    15 years and counting
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    http://www.bisk.com/

    Bisk Education, Inc.
    Attn: Internet List Services
    9417 Princess Palm Avenue
    Tampa, Florida, 33619

    Contact: John Tarsi
    Email: john-tarsi@bisk.com
    Country: UNITED STATES
    URL: http://www.universityalliance.com

    University Alliance Online
    Phone: 1-888-622-7344 Email: info@universityalliance.com

  12. #12
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    Thanks Zeus, I am going to see what I can do.

  13. #13
    15 years and counting
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    Good luck.

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    I'm experiencing this problem at the moment and my merchant complained that CJ didn't even alert *them* that their balance was low. Of course the merchants should be checking regularly, but it wouldn't hurt to have CJ send out email notifications to it's merchants when they're low.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  15. #15
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    CJ shows it true colors again and again. To point out the PSA terms instead of working to pursue monies owed is a pitiful reply to a real problem, perhaps the most serious problem an affiliate can encounter.

    "Hey, don't be mad at us, we told we'd screw you if they screwed us, remember?"

    And CJ says they're doing something to track down this case, I say phooey! CJ should do something to prevent it from happening!!!!

  16. #16
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus
    To view my outstanding commissions, I go to: Run Reports.
    Pending Commissions,
    Locked
    If you click on the amount locked, you have a Commission Summary by Event Date for locked Commissions.
    My oldest commissions not paid are for November 2005.
    Thanks! Just goes to show how confusing the new reports are at CJ. It looks like it's all one merchant for me. Time to email the OPM. (Nope, nobody on ABW.)
    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

  17. #17
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    wonder if todd will join us?
    Anyone think that todd will join us in this thread?


  18. #18
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webbiz
    Anyone think that todd will join us in this thread?

    It's like the realtor who is unctuously sweet to you (the potential buyer) while showing you different apartments/homes for sale -- and then at the end you find out that the real estate agent (who you think is your good buddy) really works for the seller

    If CJ makes its $ mainly from the merchants, whose side will CJ and CJ's paid employees be on in the final analysis?
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
    Twitter me

  19. #19
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhia7
    If CJ makes its $ mainly from the merchants, whose side will CJ and CJ's paid employees be on in the final analysis?
    Not necessarily. It takes both merchants and affiliates for a network to succeed.
    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

  20. #20
    Member tmmmandm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhia7
    If CJ makes its $ mainly from the merchants, whose side will CJ and CJ's paid employees be on in the final analysis?

    Hmmmm.... :::guessing:::: SAHS and TopMoxie perhaps?

  21. #21
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhia7
    It's like the realtor who is unctuously sweet to you (the potential buyer) while showing you different apartments/homes for sale -- and then at the end you find out that the real estate agent (who you think is your good buddy) really works for the seller
    That s/he does--but, the agent has to find a compromise price that's acceptable to both parties, or the deal won't go through.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  22. #22
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    It's like the realtor who is unctuously sweet to you (the potential buyer) while showing you different apartments/homes for sale -- and then at the end you find out that the real estate agent (who you think is your good buddy) really works for the seller
    In New York State anyhow, they have to have you sign a letter of dual agency to do that to you

    But on topic, this is another reason I prefer Shareasale. At least if I'm going to get screwed, I have time to take a shower first...
    Kevin Webster
    twitter: levelanalytics

    Kayak Fishing
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  23. #23
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    Not necessarily. It takes both merchants and affiliates for a network to succeed.
    Yeah, just like it takes buyers and sellers to sell a house or a condo or a co-op
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
    Twitter me

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador MeeMaw's Avatar
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    I agree it's more than a one-way relationship. CJ is the go between and makes money with both advertisers and publishers. You really can't have one without the other. Lately it seems that the publishers are on the lower end of the totem pole. Most things reflect to protect only the advertiser and CJ itself.

    I agree that there is a lot of shady things, gray areas and fraud being done but it's not only on the publishers end of things. Advertisers have the ability to verify nearly every transaction, reverse them and check on traffic. Publishers are given very little by most adnetworks to protect against fraud.

    Reversals happen usually without any explanation, not even a boilerplate drop-down menu one. If we knew why a reversal happens we could help prevent such actions in the future.

    Lack of payment happens without explanation. You have to be proactive and contact CJ yourself. "Extended" transactions also happen without any explanation to the publisher. Yes, this has been going on for years, but that doesn't mean it's good.

    If I see a reversal I would like to know a bit more about it, and why it happened and perhaps where it came from in the first place. Sure we have log files and tracking stuff, but that gives us only a few numbers.

    Okay, fine, I will get off the soapbox now.

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador MeeMaw's Avatar
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    Response from University Alliance via affiliate e-mail:

    Sorry about the delay, we are in the process of cutting a check. It takes about two weeks to get a check cut, approved, signed, and mailed out. Again sorry about the delay, we have been trying to reconcile our numbers, and I sent the check request in yesterday.

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