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  1. #51
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    OK, I found them in my CJ account and expired them. Thanks for the tip. They signed up last week so the URL was fresh in my mind. Interesting that they first joined CJ in November and their 7 day EPC is triple their 30-day. BugMeNot is listed as their second site and their country is Australia.

    I also submitted this thread to McAfee SiteAdvisor and posted a comment.

  2. #52
    Outsourced Program Manager tmartini's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick
    OK, I found them in my CJ account and expired them. Thanks for the tip. They signed up last week so the URL was fresh in my mind. Interesting that they first joined CJ in November and their 7 day EPC is triple their 30-day. BugMeNot is listed as their second site and their country is Australia.

    I also submitted this thread to McAfee SiteAdvisor and posted a comment.
    Thanks Chuck.

    -- Todd
    Todd Martini
    Digital Marketing Manager
    Jones Soda Co.
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  3. #53
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gr_Sacc
    This is bordering on ridiculous. If DealNews gets their own exclusive coupons, why are they posting the exclusive FlamingoWorld coupon for ACLens? The code is obvious...it's: FLAMINGO

    Is DealNews related to RetailMeNot?
    Thanks for letting me know about the Flamingo exclusive on DealNews. I've contacted them about removing it immediately.

    I don't believe retailmenot and dealnews are related in any way.

  4. #54
    Outsourced Program Manager tmartini's Avatar
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    Looks like Retailmenot is up to their old tricks. This time they've posted our exclusive coupon for Montana Legend:

    www retailmenot com/ view/montanalegend.com (made the link non-linkable, this guy doesn't need any backlinks from us!)

    I'm pretty sure they're still inactive at SAS, but just in case I've emailed Brian and Brook Schaaf about it.

    -- Todd
    Todd Martini
    Digital Marketing Manager
    Jones Soda Co.
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  5. #55
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    I noticed someone searching my site for the word "exclusive" - gee, I wonder who that could be. I see that they have at least one of my exclusive codes on their site. Yuck!

  6. #56
    ABW Ambassador newestuser's Avatar
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    That site is up to more than 20 of my exclusive coupons posted around there

  7. #57
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    I just received a Google Alert for Little Giant coupons on Retailmenot. They are not in my programs but they still scraped the coupons. I found them for another site that doesn't even have an affiliate program so their site is totally automated.

  8. #58
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick
    I just received a Google Alert for Little Giant coupons on Retailmenot. They are not in my programs but they still scraped the coupons. I found them for another site that doesn't even have an affiliate program so their site is totally automated.
    Have you requested to be removed from the site? I emailed them and they pulled all coupons from us with this note:

    "Sorry for the inconvenience but this merchant has specifically requested to have all non-authorized discounts removed from the RetailMeNot system."

    http://www.retailmenot.com/view/aclens.com

    Bob

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Drumm
    Have you requested to be removed from the site? I emailed them and they pulled all coupons from us with this note:

    "Sorry for the inconvenience but this merchant has specifically requested to have all non-authorized discounts removed from the RetailMeNot system."

    http://www.retailmenot.com/view/aclens.com

    Bob

    Nicely done - thanks!!

  10. #60
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    I see that they have my programs still listed with affiliate links that give them no credit. Do they make their money on AdSense or advertising?

  11. #61
    Affiliate Manager Sharon Page's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update
    found them and now dropped them, they were using an exclusive coupon. Gets your back up.

    Thanks,

    Sharon
    Sharon Page - MGECOM.COM
    Affiliate Manager

  12. #62
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Found who and dropped who?

  13. #63
    Affiliate Manager Sharon Page's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update
    There was a thread I was answering to was on retailmenot and by the time I finished writing and posting to the thread it disappeared.

    Found them and found them using exclusive coupons so now they are bye, bye.

    Thanks,

    Sharon
    Sharon Page - MGECOM.COM
    Affiliate Manager

  14. #64
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Admin Note: Merged Sharon's new thread into the existing retailmenot thread.

  15. #65
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    I was cleaning up the Register.com program and found RetailMeNot has posted multple exclusive coupon codes. I am removing them from the program and will discuss this with LinkShare on our weekly call.

    Haiko I am requesting the RetailMeNot have a subforum here and we treat them as a parasite. I intend to go after them on all top networks.

  16. #66
    Affiliate Manager
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    Interesting, I searched their site and they had 3 coupons for LastMinuteTravel.com ... we don't even have a coupon redemption system in place! Yet all 3 had at least 1 "success" vote. Obviously there's some deceptive processes in place here.

  17. #67
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    I tripped across this site being mentioned today and saw something just like Bob's post #58 above and I came here to post about it and see this thread is active today as well.

    If I were iFrogz, this would piss me off:
    http ://www. retail me not.com/ view / ifrogz.com

    They have iFrogz affiliate links on this page, but no coupons. They have the notice up in red with the scare-tactic warning symbol that says:
    "Sorry for the inconvenience but this merchant has specifically requested to have all non-authorized discounts removed from the RetailMeNot system."

    Followed by a list of suggested alternate merchants titled:
    "Try these instead:"

    Imagine that, a merchant requesting that unauthorized stuff not be posted...

    If you don't want to promote them (and don't want to be their affiliate), you've got a (limited) defined right to suggest alternatives under fair use competitive marketing clauses of the FTC's position on trademarks. But as their affiliate, telling your traffic to go elsewhere because they don't allow you to post unauthorized coupons, seems likely to violate the merchants terms and to be at the very least, very antagonistic towards the merchant "partner".

    If I were iFrogz, I'd fire them from my aff program and consider having my lawyers shoot them a C&D re use of trademarks. Bait and switch of non-existing coupons is not what the FTC allows when using someone's trademarks.

    The reason I want to post this, is that this thread mainly deals with RMN's abuse of other affiliates (swiping codes). People should keep in mind that one abuse oftens means many others are there as well. To treat a merchant partner with this kind of intentional disregard tells me their abuse is certainly not limited to just their competing affiliates.

    I'm ashamed to see this kind of behavior by an affiliate in my industry. It undermines our value as partners. I hope merchants see these guys are rogues and snip them.

  18. #68
    Not that fat. ReallyBigGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    ...Followed by a list of suggested alternate merchants titled:
    "Try these instead:"
    They are not just capitalizing on stores, they have every coupon site, (even other parasites) listed with the same type of thing... look up ebates, upromise or any other affiliate site on their listings.

    That RMN is the most unethical site.

  19. #69
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Donuts, I think your signature says it all.

    Why should we expect a site that has been nothing but unethical to be anything other than unethical. They deceive their customers, cheat their merchants and steal exclusive coupons form other affiliates. But until more merchants say enough is enough, they'll just keep on doin' what they do.

    My hats off to Greg, Gary, Adam, Bob, Chuck, Sharon and everyone else that's dropped them from their programs. This is the only way to let them know that their tactics are totally unacceptable.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  20. #70
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick
    Haiko I am requesting the RetailMeNot have a subforum here and we treat them as a parasite. I intend to go after them on all top networks.
    Chuck,

    Did it a bit differently, set up a new domain - unethicalaffiliates.com as a subforum of the parasiteware forum (see http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=98573) and moved this thread to that subforum. We'll build out the domain unethicalaffiliates.com and get sites listed so that the networks and merchants actucally have a public list of sites that engage in unethical practices (not necessarilly parasiteware [technology based] in affiliate marketing.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  21. #71
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Very cool Haiko, I am notifying CJ,LS, PFX of this thread and made my personal request to have them removed as an affiliate at the network level. I assume that Shareasale and AvantLink had already denied them.

  22. #72
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    I view RMN as a piece of trash, however, I don't see this particular issue as a network issue (I would if there were an abundance of pissed off merchants - even a relatively small abundance). Right or wrong in my eyes, of real value or not, some merchants may want to partner with these kinds of sites. I think the best a network could do is to identify or classify coupon affiliates as those that only post published coupons and those that will post anything they, or their members, want to - but given how things change so often, I see great difficulty in that.

    Whatever feedback mechanisms are being put in place for merchants to aggregate affiliate feedback, I hope there are typical offenses listed and counted / indexed. It would be close to ideal if merchants could filter apps saying...

    auto-disapprove-with-invitation-to-dispute anyone in the last year with:

    >= T # of forced clicks
    or
    >= U # of posting unauthorized coupons / offers
    or
    >= V # of plagiarism events (including scraped content or coupon codes)
    or
    >= W # of banned ppc keyword or trademark violations
    or
    >= X # of adware violations
    or
    >= Y # of other merchant's terms violations
    or
    >= Z # of total merchant complaints of any kind

    But then again, I wonder how many merchants are interested in using another merchant's opinions for their own screening, perhaps a flag / information system rather than an action system would be better received and used...

    In any case, personally, as a merchant, I'd prefer "more info" over the network making every decision for me. So as long as I'm given info, I'm probably fairly happy. If I'm given info and configuarble tools to use it, then I'm ecstatic. For me, I see something like configurable enforcement tools being preferred over blanket network enforcement of network determined rules. Without though, I do like a very high bar set by the network.

    If I were a merchant and had this kind of system, I'd adveritse my settings to prospective affiliates. And my "0" for AdWare would be in bold letters - I don't believe that happens by accident or ignorance.

    PS - see how creative we affiliates are? Hehehee.

  23. #73
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    I just educated a new affiliate on these issues and used RMN as an example. He asked why I wouldn't allow an affiliate like that to continue posting exclusive coupons since the merchant gets the sale in the end. My answer, because I have to answer to my affiliates and couponers are among the biggest.

  24. #74
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Admin Note: Redtagdeal's question and subsequent answers of how to run a community posted coupon site ethically has been split off into http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=98602

  25. #75
    ABW Ambassador
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    Thank you, Haiko.
    I was feeling a bit knocked that I may have derailed the discussion on this thread. Separating my comments into a separate thread is the best way to go.

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