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  1. #1
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    Shari's Berries
    Shari's Berries used to be an affiliate merchant (on Befree) of ours. Sale conversion had been pretty good. A couple of months ago at the peak of the holiday season, their conversion rate simply plunged down to zero whereas click-throughs were increasing. Meanwhile, their paychecks for previous months never arrived. We sent them email and placed calls only to receive sporadic response (ratio 10:1) saying they will look into it. CJ wasn't too helpful either and hasn't really follow up on the issue.

    I guess my patience has run out. My question is that are they in some sorts of trouble? Or are we just simply unlucky in being stuck with a nonresponsive contact there? I wonder if any other affiliates experience similar problem with them?

  2. #2
    Web Ho - Design B!tch ~Michelle's Avatar
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    I have wondered the same thing.

    Sales plunged to zero late in the fall for me too.
    ~Michelle
    "All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy."
    "Work to become, not to acquire." -- Confucius

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
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    I sent an email to Shari's Berries affiliate email address a few weeks ago and they never responded. So I filled out a Befree support form about the fact that I see the clicks tracking but not any sales. I specifically mentioned that I know that I have had sales in the last couple of months because my members have mentioned that they sent them for Mother's Day. CJ finally responded to my ticket and basically said that you can't judge how your sales will be based on clicks and that I could have a lot of clicks and no sales. Then they pointed me to a bunch of CJ resources about how to have better conversion rates.

    They totally ignored my questions about whether Shari's Berries is still active, whether they are tracking sales, and if there is someone that I can contact there who will actually respond to me.

    Terrible customer service on the part of both Shari's Berries and CJ. I pulled all of my Shari's Berries ads off of my site. I'm just going to assume that they are defunct, but I cannot figure out why CJ didn't just tell me that.

    Tricia

  4. #4
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by helpingmoms
    I sent an email to Shari's Berries affiliate email address a few weeks ago and they never responded. So I filled out a Befree support form about the fact that I see the clicks tracking but not any sales. I specifically mentioned that I know that I have had sales in the last couple of months because my members have mentioned that they sent them for Mother's Day. CJ finally responded to my ticket and basically said that you can't judge how your sales will be based on clicks and that I could have a lot of clicks and no sales. Then they pointed me to a bunch of CJ resources about how to have better conversion rates.

    They totally ignored my questions about whether Shari's Berries is still active, whether they are tracking sales, and if there is someone that I can contact there who will actually respond to me.

    Terrible customer service on the part of both Shari's Berries and CJ. I pulled all of my Shari's Berries ads off of my site. I'm just going to assume that they are defunct, but I cannot figure out why CJ didn't just tell me that.

    Tricia
    Good advice that should be heeded by all who run into unresponsive merchants.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  5. #5
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    Yes I believe they are a defunct merchant. I pulled all my ads after getting no response from the merchant or the network. A friend of mine who was also their affiliate had emailed and called them all the way to their VP about the "sudden death" of sales. Other than some "we will work on it" kind of response, nothing really happened. Neither Befree nor CJ has offered any help or useful advice. I am not sure why Shari's Berries didn't bother terminating their program. Seems sleazy to me.

  6. #6
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    They owe me money, too.

    A Shari's Berries brick & mortar store is just down the street from me. I just called them and they are no longer Shari's Berries but another choc covered berry merchant. They are not affiliated with the online store but told me the main head quarters for Shari's Berries is in Sacramento, CA - phone number in Sac: 916-928-3333 - just called and they're giving out their web address as www.berries.com - on which it says: "Currently, we are not accepting any new affiliates. Please check back with us in the future. Thank you very much for your interest."

    Was on hold for more than 5 minutes and finally hung up.

    Bottom line: SLIME merchant
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    Why do merchants insist on doing things like this? Do they think affiliates are going to be quiet about the whole thing and that their not going to get negative publicity b/c of it?

    Things like this just keep me in a constant baffled state...

    I hope you guys get this squared away.
    Follow my dog, Maya, and I, as we fumble around the affiliate marketing world: www.MarketingMaya.com
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  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
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    What's sad is that they started out really well and had a great product. Remember how they allowed you to order items at a deep discount when you first joined their program so that you could see what the products were like and want to promote them? I have given their berries as gifts and received them as well many times since then because they were so good. Their affiliate manager was great about hooking me up with the products. Then once I actually started selling through the links, she disappeared. I even saw a special about them on FoodTV one time. It's not like they were a little fly-by-night company that you had reason to believe might not be legit.

    Hopefully it is just a part of a larger management/corporate issue that they are having and they will emerge again after some reorganization or takeover of some kind. I hate not promoting a product that I really like, but I'm not going to do it out of the goodness of my heart when they already stiffed me.

  9. #9
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Just got this:


    Due to a major website change in December 2005, which affected our ability to efficiently track business from affiliates, Shari's Berries International is terminating its affiliate program effective June 15, 2006. We truly appreciate your past support.

    If you anticipate you are eligible for any unpaid commission, please respond appropriately to affiliates@berries.com by June 30, 2006. If we do not hear from you by this date, we will consider the matter closed.

    Sincerely,
    Shari's Berries Affiliate Program
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador
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    "Due to a major website change in December 2005, which affected our ability to efficiently track business from affiliates, Shari's Berries International is terminating its affiliate program effective June 15, 2006."

    So they knew they had problems since December but kept the program going regardless. And how are you supposed to know about any unpaid commissions if they weren't tracking. I guess make up a number or something.

  11. #11
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    "Due to a major website change in December 2005, which affected our ability to efficiently track business from affiliates, Shari's Berries International is terminating its affiliate program effective June 15, 2006."

    So they knew they had problems since December but kept the program going regardless. And how are you supposed to know about any unpaid commissions if they weren't tracking. I guess make up a number or something.
    Didn't you get the memo Trust>? We're supposed to have confirmation of all people who drop into our sites from the great global unknown and buy something through our aff links ... how else could we possibly KNOW what has and hasn't tracked? Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

    This is something some merchants don't actually get ... they're not doing US a favor by allowing US to have their oh-so-f****** wonderful merchandise on OUR sites ... as if it doesn't matter to US that we've been sending them FREE traffic all these months.

    I honestly think some merchants don't really understand the concept that we're GIVING them space on OUR sites. Doesn't occur to them that they're being deceptive and slimy by just letting us eat that non-tracking traffic.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  12. #12
    Outsourced Program Manager tmartini's Avatar
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    My favorite part of this message is that they ask you to contact them at affiliates@berries.com if you feel you're owed any commissions. Well I did that and the message bounced back saying the mailbox doesn't exist!
    Todd Martini
    Digital Marketing Manager
    Jones Soda Co.
    Follow Me on Twitter

  13. #13
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmartini
    My favorite part of this message is that they ask you to contact them at affiliates@berries.com if you feel you're owed any commissions. Well I did that and the message bounced back saying the mailbox doesn't exist!
    Oh even better ... Good God ...

    I'm just gonna shut up before I say something I might one day regret ... I really should have considered using a different screen name when I joined ABW. LOL
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
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    This irritates me in so many ways. How did it take them 6 months to realize that they were not tracking any sales? Why didn't Commission Junction answer us honestly over the last several months rather than avoid our questions and keep the links active? Of course, you would not really even realize that you were losing money until after you had already lost it.

    Even assuming that we prove to Shari's Berries that we sent them traffic, who thinks that they will really pay the commissions? I'm so disappointed in BF/CJ for letting things get this far with them.

    Tricia

  15. #15
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    If you have sent them 500 visitors, this would have cost them at least $50 via ppc if not a lot more. So for every 1000 you sent them, figure on $100 owed to you. They ought to be forced to pay out accordingly to all affiliates based on number of clicks since their tracking was messed up. In any other arena, that would be the case.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  16. #16
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmartini
    My favorite part of this message is that they ask you to contact them at affiliates@berries.com if you feel you're owed any commissions. Well I did that and the message bounced back saying the mailbox doesn't exist!
    My email to them bounced too, Todd.

    This is their phone number in Sacramento, CA if anyone wants to try to collect commissions due them: 916-928-3333 - I was on hold so long I finally gave up when I tried to call them.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    I can't believe a merchant can get away with this. Everybody affected should file a complaint with the BBB against these scumbags. How can they steal your traffic for 6 months and simply drop it. If they did the right thing they'd estimate your lost earnings based on your history with them. Of course if sales completely stopped I wouldn't be sending free clicks for 6 months. I'd have pulled them as soon as something seemed awry.

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

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Checking their web site, which is still active, I clicked on their affiliate program link and found this:

    Currently, we are not accepting any new affiliates. Please check back with us in the future. Thank you very much for your interest.
    Now, their home office is in Sacramento, CA and they have local stores in Sacramento so I would do what I have done in the past with some success. Contact the merchant at their home office (see Contact Us link on their website). Tell them your history of non payment for services rendered and how you will be contacting their local Better Business Bureau if they do not make restitution. I usually do this by phone and it gets prompt attention that way.

    Do not feel bad about doing this. You entered into a business transaction with this company and you were never paid for services due you and you have every right to try to collect.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
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  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador
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    How could CJ not know there was a tracking problem for 6 months? How could they not share that information with affiliates? Oh wait. I forgot. Tracking is never affected at CJ.

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
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    Yeah, remember their response to me? It could not have been that I actually had any sales. It was that I should not have expected sales based on a certain number of clicks. And this was less than a week ago that they told me that. They had to had to have known at that point. It was completely irresponsible of them to dodge my question.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rexanne
    ... If you anticipate you are eligible for any unpaid commission, please respond appropriately to affiliates@berries.com by June 30, 2006. If we do not hear from you by this date, we will consider the matter closed.

    Sincerely,
    Shari's Berries Affiliate Program
    That's what I was trying for months to no avail. I think I've had enough of emails or calls. The 6/30 deadline is only a couple of weeks away. For each affiliate, they only need to ignore 2-3 more emails or calls before "the matter is considered closed". In addition, what about the PPC $ wasted since December?

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador
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    I'm glad I found this thread as I also tried to contact them as they still haven't paid for commissions owed and got a bounced email which is like a bounced check. Lets hope they make an appearance soon.
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  23. #23
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    For anyone still wanting to promote chocolate covered berries ... there are at least 2 other merchant options out there. One is even on SAS (you know who you are - speak up!).
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
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    Please do speak up about who else has them!! Chocolate covered berries are one of my favorite gifts both to give and to receive. I would love to hear about another merchant I can promote in SB's place on my site Helping Moms Connect.

  25. #25
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by helpingmoms
    Please do speak up about who else has them!! Chocolate covered berries are one of my favorite gifts both to give and to receive. I would love to hear about another merchant I can promote in SB's place on my site Helping Moms Connect.
    Dang ... there isn't a merchant on SAS - thought there was but Proflowers has chocolate covered berries through BeFree. Might want to see where they land after BeFree dies before putting up links. There's also a Kolimbo merchant that offers them but I'm not real thrilled with their program so can't recommend them. Proflowers seems to be OK, although I did have tracking problems with them a few years ago. If anyone else knows something I don't I'm open for enlightenment.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

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    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


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