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  1. #1
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    April 11th, 2006
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    Angry Major Linkshare Cancellations Bug
    Hello all,

    I just noticed a major bug with the way Linkshare handles transactions and suggest that all of you run reports to see how much money you've lost. I reported this problem to Linkshare several years ago when I noticed they were not duplicate checking cancellations and I was ending up with negative commissions. I guess they never fixed it because I never heard back from them. So let me repeat:

    Linkshare does NOT verify that you can end up with negative commissions for an order.

    Scenario #1
    Since approximately Nov 2005, Office Depot has been sending cancellations to Linkshare as the following: (snips of the relevant fields)

    Skunumber Sales Quantity Commissions
    XXXX -29999 1 -300
    Discount -4000 0 -40
    XXXX 29999 1 300
    Discount 4000 0 0

    Prior to Nov 2005, Office Depot sent negative SKU# Discount correctly.

    Bottomline: At the end of the day, your commissions have a negative amount and your OVERALL commissions are decreased.

    Senario #2
    If your offer level changed during the month where a cancellation was sent to Linkshare, the cancellation reflects the new offer's level. I noticed this with several merchants so far...

    Example: The original order's process date is in March but the cancellation's process date is in April. The cancellation will reflect your April's offer.

    I highly suggest everyone export your transactions via the MemberID Field Report into a SQL database i.e. MySQL

    Here's the query I used that clearly shows negative commissions for orders:
    SELECT merchantname, transactiondatetime, processdatetime, orderid, merchantid, sum( sales ) AS s, sum( commissions ) AS c
    FROM `transactions`
    GROUP BY orderid, merchantid
    HAVING c <0
    AND s >=0

    You can then see the offending orderID's and see for yourself what's going on.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Well, for those of you with Direct Deposit, remember that LS can remove money as well as put it in. You've given them permission to do so.

    I'm sure it would be a rare event, but I forsee the day someone got a whole bunch of these negative transactions and got money pulled from their bank account.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  3. #3
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    January 13th, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7-days
    Well, for those of you with Direct Deposit, remember that [a company that has your direct deposit information] can remove money as well as put it in. You've given them permission to do so.

    I'm sure it would be a rare event, but I forsee the day someone got a whole bunch of these negative transactions and got money pulled from their bank account.
    Bingo [my edits in brackets] -- that's exactly why I refuse direct deposit transactions with affiliate companies -- it could possibly happen with any network.

    I understand that direct deposit is convenient, but the potential situation described bothers me: I don't want to worry if someone is scooping into my account.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
    Twitter me

  4. #4
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    April 11th, 2006
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    This might be yet another reason why Sale and Commission reports never match up. Unfortunately, there is no way to know what transactions make up a Merchant's invoice for each month either.

    I'm not worried about a merchant withdrawing money via Direct Deposit. This huge cancellation bug has been going on for years and has cost Linkshare and affiliates a lot of money. I wonder if Linkshare is going to go back and re-invoice everyone.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Buggyman,

    Thanks for bringing this important issue to our attention. Hopefully the folks at LS are reading this and will consider it equally important. Might I suggest you try one of their support vehicles to bring this to their attention officially? (yeah, that dedicated ticket system would sure be great on this item).
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  6. #6
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    Anyone in particular that you suggest? I sent a request about this a few weeks ago with no response. I think everything with Linkshare goes into a black hole. I'm surprised no one at Linkshare has noticed this the past 10 years.

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    LS Moderators:

    This is another example of how support is not working! When, when, when are you all going to get the message? This is not new...this has been going on for years. You even admit spam filters are stopping some emails, yet you still give out a email address for people to use.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  8. #8
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    FYI, Linkshare does have a ticket system for their technical support people.

    I'm not sure if the people who post here (Customer Service Reps) have access to this system or how problems get escalated through the chain of command.

    I'm 100% positive that a tech support ticket was opened internally about the duplicate cancellation bug a few years ago because the Merchant involved told me this was a problem. Unfortunately, no one told me the resolution to the problem and it seems that years later, Linkshare's Database Administrators can't do simple queries to see if orders and commissions end up with negative amounts.

    You'd think there would a system setup automatically to do this or with their antique offer system!

  9. #9
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    February 8th, 2006
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    Returns and cancelled orders are something I reconcile all the time in reporting. I am sure that this particular problem you mention is only occurring with Office Depot.

  10. #10
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    Which report are you running for your cancellation analysis? I only figured this out with the memberID report since it includes transaction line items and you can clearly see commission amounts.

  11. #11
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    February 8th, 2006
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    buggyman,

    I actually download sales every day and keep the daily transaction files so I can search whenever I need to, in addition to using the member id field report.

    There's actually a great reporting tool for Linkshare if you use signature. If you go to the resource center, and view the pdf document, there are directions to use a report called the member field id download feature. I run this daily to create transaction reports and keep them as text files. And you cn run this for any date range whenever you want. The online memberid field report in the linkshare interface is better when i am looking for a particular merchant report. When i get a return, i go back and check to see if i received the original order. By the way, i do this in CJ and the bfast download as well to check this.

    In this particular instance with Office Depot, this is what I saw. In one daily file, I would see a whole series of purchases, with discounts, and then all line items as a return, and the discounts as positives. I find this somewhat annoying, as it seems that the order didn't process, maybe the credit card validation failed. Anyway, I would just rather not recieve those. But when I took the entire order and loaded it into excel, the Order amounts netted to 0, which is correct, however, the commission column netted out to -.20 for example, which is the problem. I understand that it is something that office depot is correcting, its due to the discounts on a purchase/return at the same time.

    This is the only problem i have found with purchases/returns with Linkshare in at least three years.

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    It should be noted that you have to apply and be approved (yes, another hoop for us to jump through) for the signature program.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  13. #13
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    Yes I am running the MemberID report as stated in my first post.

    With the offer bug, I noticed it occuring with Target and Overstock when I opted into a new offer the next month.

    Once again, my main point is that Linkshare does not verify that you can receive negative commisions for an order.

    What kind of quality assurance testing goes on at Linkshare?

  14. #14
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    I just checked a number of orders that have returns processed when a different offer was in place than when the order took place (not overstock or Target, I had no orders that fit that criteria), and it seemed to me that the commission calculation was done based on the transaction date, not the process date. I will check a few more to see if I can find the same error

  15. #15
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    Here's a transaction from Target

    Transaction Date/Time Process Date/Time Sale Commissions
    2005-07-15 23:29:00 2005-07-19 12:47:00 6999 350
    2005-07-15 09:29:00 2005-08-05 13:00:00 -6999 -490

  16. #16
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    ouch

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    You have got to be kidding? And this is not being taken seriously by LinkShare? I would think the bad PR from such a thing would have had them fixing this years ago.

    Wow!
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  18. #18
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    February 18th, 2015
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    Question
    Sorry to bump old thread,

    Does linkshare already fix this "Linkshare Cancellations Bug"?

    I've got the same problem few days ago. I've got negative amount commission in one day though there are many (positive) commission from success order. I see it from signature order reports.

    Can anyone tell me what's going on with negative commission in Linkshare signature order reports? Why LS doesn't gives 0 (zero) commissions for cancelled or returned order? Why they gives negative value which sum it up with success order?

    thx

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