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  1. #1
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    Strange restrictive language from merchant
    One of the SAS merchants sent me the following email last week:

    > "Dear Affiliates, | I wanted to write and remind you of the new rules that we sent out last week. The due date for compliance is June 1st. So please make sure that your advertising for us meets the rules that we have set forth by then. Also please put the terms that were sent out to good use. There is great potential in the commotions you will bring in with the terms relating to the industry. Be creative; send out emails use banner ads, use Google, yahoo, msn. All these are great tools for your success. If you have any questions, please ask. Your success is our success, we want to help. | Thank you, Electrique Boutique " <

    Unfortunately, I searched but could not find any earlier emails listing any new "rules" or "terms," so I logged in to SAS and found the following language in the affiliate-agreement section for this merchant:

    > "We will pay a percent commission on all completed sales, we will also pay a percent commission for leads that result in a sale from the customer if they return within a 30 day period, less the amount returned and excludes shipping and taxes. Commissions will not be paid on fraudulent or rejected orders. The commission on any sale where the legitimacy cannot be tracked will be voided. (i.e. redirects) Also there can be no use of our name in any search engine advertising that results in commissions. Any account deploying what we deem as dishonest leads will be canceled. The banner ads are there to use for the shareasale program, please use them for this purpose." (sic - it actually says just "a percent," not any specific percentage)<

    I wrote to the merchant, advising that I could not find any earlier emails, and specifically asking the meaning of the language, "The commission on any sale where the legitimacy cannot be tracked will be voided. (i.e. redirects)"

    Quoting that sentence, I wrote to the merchant: "This requires more explanation; I think that you are actually prohibiting all PPC search bidding, since the vast majority of PPC-search traffic has blocked referring-URL data. In addition, with the advent of privacy software, fewer than half of web requests now include referring-URL data."

    The merchant's response was a terse email stating:

    > "Thanks for your input and you do have a choice."

    I wrote again:

    > "You did not address my request for clarification about the meaning of your language." <

    And today the merchant responded tersely:

    > "WE sent out 3 emails to all affiliates." <

    Since the merchant clearly didn't want to answer my question, I tried searching my old emails again, and discovered that Eudora's email index was corrupted (something that happens with increasing regularity).

    So I "re-indexed" and then searched again, and found an earlier email from the merchant. Here it is (in relevant part):

    > "Affiliates are not to use the Electrique Boutique brand in any of their advertising for the sales they bring to us. * * * Use our banners, we have posted several banners for you to use on your sites. Please use these when linking your customers to us. Don't use text ads on your site advertising the Electrique Boutique brand." (emphasis added) <

    So I was right, but more so -- they are prohibiting the use of ALL text ads, not only any direct-to-merchant PPC text ads but even text ads on the affiliate site. According to this email, they will ONLY allow affiliate to promote them using banners, never mentioning the company name in text. Of course, that restriction is NOT included in the agreement language on the SAS site, nor does the SAS data reflect the prohibition on all direct-to-merchant PPC advertising.

    I'm removing the merchant from my "to-do" list. Am I being unreasonable?
    Last edited by markwelch; June 2nd, 2007 at 02:15 PM.

  2. #2
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    forget the rules changing, appears from here that basic communications are broken - it's completely reasonable to bail under those circumstances in my view. why invest your time, money and talent to bring success and benefit to someone who makes little or no effort to communicate with you. there's too many to choose from bud, move on.

    they need an OPM. :-)

  3. #3
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    They really need to come here and learn. Seems like a big headache, lots of other merchants out there.

  4. #4
    Classic Rocker Mack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwelch
    Am I being unreasonable?
    Not at all. It's obvious this merchant needs some training or an OPM to help them out. The rules they wrote are so generic and restrictive that they should just change it to "we'll reverse anything for any reason at any time".

    Thanks for pointing them out. Adding them to my steer clear list.

  5. #5
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Any affiliate who accepts these terms and communication problems, and still promotes this merchant, is shooting themselves in the foot. And, if this merchant can get away with such restrictions, and still have a viable affiliate program, it sends a very bad message to other merchants who may try to include similar restrictions in their programs.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

  6. #6
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    I'm removing the merchant from my "to-do" list. Am I being unreasonable?
    Heck no, that's not unreasonable! I'd dump them immediately!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dead Program Walking
    "Affiliates are not to use the Electrique Boutique brand in any of their advertising for the sales they bring to us. * * * Use our banners, we have posted several banners for you to use on your sites. Please use these when linking your customers to us. Don't use text ads on your site advertising the Electrique Boutique brand." (emphasis added)
    That restriction ITSELF is so ridiculous and sales-killing that it's not worthy of further discussion with them, and from that alone, I'd rip links.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dead Program Walking
    "The commission on any sale where the legitimacy cannot be tracked will be voided. (i.e. redirects)"
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark
    with the advent of privacy software, fewer than half of web requests now include referring-URL data."
    For once, I can sum something up in a word: Crooks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Welch
    Of course, that restriction is NOT included in the agreement language on the SAS site, nor does the SAS data reflect the prohibition on all direct-to-merchant PPC advertising.
    Oh heck no. It wouldn't be crooked enough for that blighter merchant to state that kind of rot outright. If they list it, all upcoming affs will immediately know to stay away. But this way, even though they'll lose any old affs that both have sense (and have read those emails) those looking at their program later on won't realize it's rotten clear through (unless they check here first). So they'll continue to get people signing up, who they can then sucker out of commissions until they, too, rip links.

    I sure hope Brian makes the merchant hold to the Terms they've actually got listed in SAS!

  7. #7
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    What do they gain here?

  8. #8
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan367
    What do they gain here?
    affiliate program >>> unsuspecting affiliates join program >>> links placed on affiliates' sites >>> affiliates spend $$$ promoting merchant's product >>> traffic to merchant >>> sales rung up by merchant = $0 commissions paid to affiliates
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

  9. #9
    Internet Cowboy
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwelch quoting the most idiotic merchant in the business:
    Don't use text ads on your site advertising the Electrique Boutique brand.
    That has got to be the most laughable quote of 2007. We need an award for the Stupidest Action by a Merchant. This merchant is clearly seeking reasons not to pay commissions because nobody can be that clueless.
    Quote Originally Posted by markwelch
    Am I being unreasonable?
    You gave these fools way more chances than I would have, so NO you are not being unreasonable.


  10. #10
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    This was an example of a merchant I was referring to in Think Tank with weird and restrictive policies!

  11. #11
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    Can't believe that they would stop text links as we all know those are much more effective than banners.

    U made the right choice in leaving.
    Richard
    Affiliate Marketing Manager AMWSO
    Digestinol, Luxe-Design


    Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. Pablo Picasso

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    Not unreasonable at all. Those terms demonstrate they don't have a clue. Most of my affiliates' sales come from text links. If I removed all text links, I may as well get out of this biz.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
    www.gocmc.com info(AT)gocmc.com | 330-259-1223

    Join us! - MiNeeds.com | DiscountCandleShop/CheeseSupply | Feng Shui Plaza

  13. #13
    Online Marketing Consultant
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    I have been getting PMd and IMd about this post....This is not my program Electronics Nation...the program in discussion is completely seperate and I have nothing to do with it and am not an affiliate (if I am, which I do not think I am, I am removing my links) or associated with it.
    Adam Riemer Marketing, LLC. Online Marketing Blog and Affiliate Management Company
    Do you need help with your Marketing or Sales funneling, write me at adamr (at) adamriemer (dot) me

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