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  1. #1
    Internet Cowboy
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    Ben Edelman is a member of eBates.
    See the post

    Does this come as a surprise to anyone else that someone who spends so much time exposing parasites is actually using one?

    Am I wrong to be preheating my flamethrower?


  2. #2
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    It does seem a bit hypocritical. You don't want to feed the hand that bites you.
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  3. #3
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    Yeah, that's bothered me a little bit. On this page he does research on them and outs them but also has a sign up link, so he's also an affiliate.

    http://www.benedelman.org/news/121504-1.html

  4. #4
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    I have to apologize to Haiko. I accused Haiko of unwarranted attacks on Ben some time back.
    Haiko, you are right, I am wrong and I apologize for challenging you on your attack on your boy Benji.

    So Ben is a member of eBates and promotes them. Is it the money Ben or is it something deeper than that?

    Do you promote and use 180solutions, Metareward and the others too? How about screensavers.com? Do you promote them too?


  5. #5
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    Don't think 180 or metarewards has an affiliate program I think ebates is the only one I saw.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    I want to hear what Ben has to say. We can all speculate all we want, but first I'd like to hear what Ben has to say about this.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
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  7. #7
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7-days
    I want to hear what Ben has to say. We can all speculate all we want, but first I'd like to hear what Ben has to say about this.
    Can you read?

    Quote Originally Posted by bedelman
    I personally use FatWallet (which has never offered a download) and Ebates (for which I consider their web site just fine, even as I have serious concerns about certain of their download practices). That's not to say that these sites offer merchants a good deal -- that's a bigger question, requiring further discussion. But for me as a consumer, I'm happy with what they offer me. http://forum.abestweb.com/showpost.p...0&postcount=10
    ...

  8. #8
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    How much money could that link be earning to be worth what that link gives up?

  9. #9
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    .
    ...

  10. #10
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    To the best of my knowledge, I have earned exactly $0 through my link to Ebates. Since I posted that link, I referred one friend to Ebates -- and I received the associated $5. That's it -- so $5 from that personal referral and, I believe, $0 from my article and from my site.

    I posted the Ebates affiliate link as an experiment: If I panned Ebates in an article (saying their MMM software gets installed without consent), would anyone still read my article, click through the link to Ebates, sign up, and make a purchase? If so, I'd get $5. But it always seemed unlikely. And sure enough, I earned nothing from this.

    In another experiment, I off-handedly linked to Dell (via an affiliate link) in another article recently posted to my site. Did I earn anything? Not yet, and traffic to that article is way down.

    Folks, I hate to be a downer, but there's really just no conspiracy here. I am an Ebates user, and I think their web site is legitimate and OK. But I think their download crosses the line in several important respects (discussed on my site and in various discussions at ABW). Some folks may say I should abandon Ebates altogether -- close my account there, cease mentioning them favorably in any light -- since I have negative views of some parts of Ebates. Maybe. I'm not sure, though. I have negative views of some Google practices, yet they remain my preferred search engine. I think there's more Microsoft could do to make Windows spyware-resistant, yet I still run Windows myself, and I still advise family and friends that it's the best choice. Could users more readily avoid Ebates than they avoid Google and Microsoft? Sure. But the core point here is to criticize bad actors for what they do that's bad, while avoiding criticizing any substantial legitimate parts of their businesses. It may well be that Metareward has some legitimate business, along with their substantial worrisome practices (perhaps to be covered in some future article). I don't think 180 does, though; their core practices involve tracking, pop-ups, and software no one actually wants. So, UncleScooter, it's harder for me to imagine having anything favorable to say about them.

  11. #11
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Not even after a hurricane would I hire a roofer to fix my house, if I knew for sure that the roofer like to steal some shingles from some of the houses he visits, and much less would I recomend that roofer to any of my neighbors, not even if he's the best roofer, and the only roofer around.

    I rather get wet now, than be hung to dry later.
    ...

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    Red face
    I think Ben E. has done a lot of valuable work re: spyware.

    But I just had a mental image of Ralph Nader tooling around town in a Corvair. (old fogeys will get it!)

  13. #13
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    BENi Bedi Beci

    I came, I criticize, I support

  14. #14
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    To the best of my knowledge, I have earned exactly $0 through my link to Ebates. Since I posted that link, I referred one friend to Ebates -- and I received the associated $5. That's it -- so $5 from that personal referral and, I believe, $0 from my article and from my site.
    Maybe the commissions you were due from ebates was stolen by some parasite program !!!!


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  15. #15
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    I like what Ben has done and he has had way more effect than all of abw combined.

    I don't see anyone here doing any real research and writing about it. Kelli does some, but that's it. Some of you make me feel ashamed.

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador kaizen's Avatar
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    I like the work Ben has done too, but you have to admit that it seems like he is supporting a company whose aim is to rip off honest affiliates' revenues. I am very disappointed in his decision to promote ebates.

  17. #17
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    >>Kelli does some, but that's it.

    It's Kellie and she does a heck of a lot more than most ABW members realize. She is just too busy to post here anymore.

    The work she has done for my clients is excellent.
    Her new service will be coming out of beta in June so get out your check book.

  18. #18
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bedelman
    I have negative views of some Google practices, yet they remain my preferred search engine. I think there's more Microsoft could do to make Windows spyware-resistant, yet I still run Windows myself, and I still advise family and friends that it's the best choice. Could users more readily avoid Ebates than they avoid Google and Microsoft? Sure. But the core point here is to criticize bad actors for what they do that's bad, while avoiding criticizing any substantial legitimate parts of their businesses. It may well be that Metareward has some legitimate business, along with their substantial worrisome practices (perhaps to be covered in some future article). I don't think 180 does, though; their core practices involve tracking, pop-ups, and software no one actually wants.
    It is normally a matter of degree - weighing the negatives against the positives, but there needs to be a point where no amount of good can outweigh the bad.

    As an intentionally EXTREME example to make my point, if you could buy yourself a beautiful, accurate, classic, gold masterpiece watch for $100, but you knew that it's makers used Nazi slave labor from the Buchenwald concentration camp to make it, would you buy it?

    There must be a point in every persons ethics where offenses, which were intentional, mean there's absolutely NO weighing left to be done.

    If your family depends on your affiliate income to pay your bills, you cannot measure eBates' legitimate aspects against their bad and decide that there's some salvagable parts that are attractive for your own use - they are thieves and they are stealing from you, your work and your family.

  19. #19
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    By supporting their "legitimate" side, you're making them money that they can put into funding their commission stealing efforts. How do you not see that?

    ...hey, how 'bouts you post your address, so we can break in and steal some stuff from your house & your family & then sell 5% of each item back to you at full price? Oh, and since we're "legitimate" affiliates on the side, it will be okay.
    Hi, I'm a signature.

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador JJJay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    Don't think 180 or metarewards has an affiliate program I think ebates is the only one I saw.
    I've been emailed dozens of times by 180 to include their app on my download website, I would consider this an affiliate program.

  21. #21
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    I am seeing the message shown below when I click on the ebates link.


    That is fine by me - it gives visitors a chance to see ebates and see how the ebates service is promoted via affiliates. With just this, I see more good than harm done.

    It is a little confusing however to then say what a great service they offer and in essence promote it, especially when the prime party you are trying to protect are affiliates.

    It is sort of like the Walmart scenario. They shut down small businesses. As an average guy on the street I visit Walmart on occasion but try to stick to non-Walmart stores. If I were a representative of Small Businesses and their plight, I think it would be a bit troubling to those I represent to openly say "Walmart is a great place to shop even though I don't like some of their practices".

    Walmart is sometimes hard to avoid - I am in a hurry to get home and need a bunch of stuff I don't have time to shop all over for. Ebates, on the other hand, is easy to live without.
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  22. #22
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    Celicaphile, I've actually always thought of this in exactly the opposite way: By telling Ebates that I think they do have a legitimate business -- their web site -- I'm encouraging them to focus on that business. If Ebates abandoned Moe Money Maker, I think most folks here would have no problem with them. I seek to mention that point frequently, in hopes that it will inspire Ebates to focus on the business that does not harm other affiliates (by taking their return-days traffic), that does not harm merchants (by claiming commissions on their organic traffic), and that does not harm users (by placing MMM on their PCs without consent or without informed consent).

  23. #23
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    I'm pretty sure they have a good handle on their business and what they do. I really don't see a point in having a sign up link to them and your affiliated encoded one at that. You said you made $0 or $5, so what is the point in keeping it up? What I'm not getting is what exactly does that do? I see nothing positive coming out of it, only negative stuff like you're seeing now. Just doesn't make sense.

  24. #24
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bedelman
    in hopes that it will inspire Ebates
    Thinking like an honest man when dealing with criminal types is indeed, just hoping.

    Ben, the only time cheaters change is when your reports cause enough pain for them to change. Your work and commentary on their behavior doesn't inspire them at all.

    They know what elements of their business are shady, it's intentionally so and they can control it remotely and through other means.

    They want to discredit you, avoid you, outlast you, out manuever you, out PR you, out Eula you, out legal team you, etc. They do not want to please you or have you tell them what they can't do.

  25. #25
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    Ben, your argument makes no sense. If you want to work with ebates because it saves you a buck here and there, just say so. But don't try to convince me that you really believe that ebates will change its nasty ways if only the legit side of their business gets enough love. You've lost my respect more because of your bogus argument (that presumes we are all naive idiots) than your fondness for ebates.

    Is your reputation really worth compromising your ingegrity on this issue?

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