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  1. #1
    Newbie
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    Linkshare Severing Ties with SunRocket
    I just received this email from Linkshare. SunRocket hasn't been paying their affiliates for months now and basically Linkshare has told us to fend for ourselves. Do the right thing Linkshare and pay your affiliates. It's about maintaining long term relationships with your affiliates. NEVER AGAIN!



    As of July 5, 2007, LinkShare placed the SunRocket affiliate program on "hold." Currently, all SunRocket-LinkShare links are no longer functioning. This decision was made to protect both LinkShare as well as SunRocket's affiliates.

    SunRocket maintains outstanding affiliate commissions for transactions made since March 2007. Based on the company's current business situation, we are unable to determine if and when payment will be received. Until we can determine the status and capability of SunRocket to remit payment for orders referred by you and tracked through our network, we will not continue to allow any further transactions to occur. Again, this action by LinkShare is for the protection of all partnerships and to prevent any further debt to affiliates within our network.

    We have been, and will continue to work diligently to secure payments for affiliates in a timely manner.

    We apologize for any inconvenience this action may have brought you. Thank you for your work with LinkShare and this merchant. We hope that this situation will be resolved in a way that allows your hard work to be compensated appropriately.

    We will provide further updates to you as soon as we can.

    Best Regards,

    LinkShare Network

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    I think this is terrific and a long time coming. The networks have historically allowed merchants to remain in arrears for far too long.

    When you joined Linkshare, you agreed that payment is the sole responsibility of the merchant, not Linkshare.

    Payment; Fees
    11.1 Network Merchant Responsible for Payment. You acknowledge that Your entitlement to any compensation reported with respect to any tracked activity (including if reported) is solely a function of the terms of Your agreement with the relevant Network Merchant and that such Network Merchant is solely responsible for its payment. LinkShare is not liable or responsible for payment or collection. This is true even if LinkShare performs the function of processing payments to you on behalf of Network Merchants.
    http://www.linkshare.com/affiliates/terms.shtml

  3. #3
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowman
    The networks have historically allowed merchants to remain in arrears for far too long.
    Can you be more specific please, which networks? All of them?

  4. #4
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Snowman is right, and this time we do have to give kudos to LS.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador
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    I'm affiliated with merchants from Linkshare, CJ and Performics and I've had merchants from all of them be past due by three months or more. I had one six months past due with Performics last year and Linkshare allowed Delta Air Lines to remain past due for months before Delta filed Chapter 11 and then affiliates lost all chances of being paid. Never once during that time did Linkshare take any action and Delta is still a Linkshare merchant.

  6. #6
    Believe knight01's Avatar
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    August 14th, 2006
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    Well, crap!

    This is the first time this has happened to me at LinkShare, any advice on what can be done? Is this simply a 'kiss it goodbye' situation or will LS actually pursue the money on behalf of the affiliates?


    I should have known something was wrong when they dropped the commission 40% a couple months ago.

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador
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    The email says they will continue to pursue payment but if they felt there was much of a chance collecting, they wouldn't disable the links. Kiss it goodbye.

  8. #8
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knight01
    I should have known something was wrong when they dropped the commission 40% a couple months ago.
    The opposite action can be a huge indicator as well. Less scrupulous companies will drastically increase commissions, trying to eke out as every last drop of sales they can, knowing full well that they'll never pay out the commissions.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  9. #9
    Believe knight01's Avatar
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    August 14th, 2006
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    Found this:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...070201805.html

    Looks like some bean counters some where that know how best to turn the company's outlook around.

    Lets see if I can follow this.

    You need to more rapidly increase your customer base.
    You should:
    A. not pay your sales people.
    B. cut off the free branding being done on your behalf.
    C. Build ill will amongst your current customer base.

    Based on my experience in corporate America, a bean counter will say "D. All of the above"

    What really has me concerned now is, I'm not just an affiliate but I'm a customer. If they go belly up, I'm out almost 4 years service that I paid in advance. So, they'll get me both ways.

    I'll say it again, CRAP!

  10. #10
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by knight01
    Is this simply a 'kiss it goodbye' situation or will LS actually pursue the money on behalf of the affiliates?
    I think LS might try to get the $$ for the affiliates.
    Personally, I would be proactive and start looking for a collection agency if nothing pans out after some time. There are a few people on ABW that have used a collection agency before. If it is a small amount, don't waste your time as you will spend more time running chasing it down.

  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager cbsturg's Avatar
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    January 24th, 2007
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    I almost went with SunRocket a while ago when considering a VOIP plan. I'm glad I decided to go another route...

    My condolences to you that are getting screwed over by this. Such action is reprehensible at best, but most closely fits under my understanding of fraudulence. Keep us all posted if you are able to get any of your money out of them, with details that others can follow.
    Chris Sturgill
    "All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals." - H. Simpson

  12. #12
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    June 20th, 2007
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    It's funny...LS did not even contemplate doing anything until they found out that SunRocket was switching to the Commission Junction platform. Than they did everything in their power to make it appear like they were a bad affiliate. Apparently SunRocket had problems with LS, decided to change platforms, and then got smeared by LinkShare who was just mad about losing revenue not about their affiliates being mistreated. Anyone else think that maybe the deactivated SunRocket for changing platforms and not for failing to payout affiliates?

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador
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    accidentalfate, on what basis do you assert what you have posted; i.e., who are you?

  14. #14
    Newbie
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    June 20th, 2007
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    Only on the fact that it seems like there are plenty of other advertisers who have gone longer in the network without being removed...Could be wrong considering they weren't paying their affiliates...

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador
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    accidentalfate = a total untrustworthy poster. Please do us a favor and go back to lurking. Most of us who participate here are professionals. Clearly you aren't and crap like you posted only serves to diminish the tremendous value of ABW that we have come to rely on.

    BTW, anyone who knowingly posts false information on my forum is banned.

  16. #16
    Newbie DrPink's Avatar
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    SunRocket advertised 10 return days on Linkshare however, roughly in the summer of 2006 they quietly reduced their cookie to 1 day while still advertising 10 return days to affiliates. In addition, they increased their commissions so as to attract a larger push by affiliates. When my sales dropped, I discovered the 1 day cookie, stopped advertising and sent a complaint to both Linkshare as well as Sunrocket. I received no response.

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador
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    DrPink, could you please indicate how you found out what you posted about their cookie? If they made any change, it would have been indicated in Linkshare and that change should have generated an email from Linkshare. While the Linkshare email would not have said what the change was, it would have been indicated on the merchant detail page on Linkshare. When merchant sales are transmitted to Linkshare, it's Linkshare that determines if the cookie duration has been exceeded, not the merchant.

  18. #18
    Newbie DrPink's Avatar
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    Hi Snowman,

    This is what happened. I was doing really well with SunRocket until May of 2006, starting in June of 2006 my sales started to drop drastically even though I was still investing the same if not more for search advertising. I was very puzzled and though perhaps it had something to do with Skype offering free North America calls starting in May through the end of 2006. Next, I thought it may be related to the fact that SunRocket had dropped the 2 free phone promotion, however both of these scenarios did not seem plausible.

    Later in the summer I decided on a whim check the SunRocket cookie. I cleared my cache in Firefox, clicked through on my Linkshare link and checked my cookies. The SunRocket cookie had dropped to a two day cookie. I had periodically checked my cookies on previous occasions and I always received a 10 day cookie. LinkShare's affiliate link continued to list 10 return days. Subsequently SunRocket dropped the cookie to 1 day.

    I currently use the Web Developer extension for FireFox so as to check the cookies.

    I agree, that the cookie change should have generated an email from LinkShare and the merchant detail page on LinkShare should have been updated. LinkShare did not send an email announcing a change and the detail page was not updated. Why? I don't have a clue.

  19. #19
    Newbie DrPink's Avatar
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    I just cleared my cache and went directly to SunRocket.com and then checked my cookies, here is the 1 day cookie. Apparently they are giving a 1 day cookie regardless if the click through is an affiliate link or a direct link.

    Name L127
    Value 1.1184019937520
    Host .sunrocket.com
    Path /
    Secure No
    Expires Tue, 10 Jul 2007 22:25:37 GMT

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador
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    Sounds like Linkshare was aware that SunRocket was out of compliance more than six months before they fell behind in payment.

    Ranae, could you please comment?

  21. #21
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    January 4th, 2006
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    Can someone tell me how SunRocket can still advertise on Google, Yahoo, and MSN when they refuse to pay their affiliates?

  22. #22
    Newbie DrPink's Avatar
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    March 30th, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by insomniac
    Can someone tell me how SunRocket can still advertise on Google, Yahoo, and MSN when they refuse to pay their affiliates?
    Good question. How can they continue to pay their employees when they refuse to pay their affiliates?

    Just think of all of free advertising that they received from affiliates for over a year by claiming 10 return days and only setting a 1 day cookie.

    I am an honest affiliate, I invested a lot of money in SunRocket advertising and I pay my bills. It would be nice to be paid.

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador LinkShare Moderator's Avatar
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    DrPink,
    I talked to the LS rep for SunRocket. He said all of SunRocket's offers have at least 10 return days and he checked their reports and they are definitely commissioning affiliates for up to ten days.

    He thought the cookies that you mentioned above were cookies not used for return days. Itís not possible to tell return days from the expiration date of a cookie. That expiration date is set by the merchant, who uses cookies for a number of purposes.

    Ranae

  24. #24
    Newbie DrPink's Avatar
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    March 30th, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by LinkShare Moderator
    DrPink,
    I talked to the LS rep for SunRocket. He said all of SunRocket's offers have at least 10 return days and he checked their reports and they are definitely commissioning affiliates for up to ten days.

    He thought the cookies that you mentioned above were cookies not used for return days. Itís not possible to tell return days from the expiration date of a cookie. That expiration date is set by the merchant, who uses cookies for a number of purposes.

    Ranae
    Hi Ranae,

    Thank you for checking. If SunRocket was commissioning affiliates for up to ten days then this is indeed a puzzle. As I stated, when I previously checked for cookies SunRocket always set a 10 day cookie which changed to a 2 day cookie and then a 1 day cookie when I checked in the summer of 2006.

    My SunRocket sales are reflected below for a representative 3 month period in 2006 as well as 2007.

    4/1/2006 - 4/30/2006 85
    4/1/2007 - 4/30/2007 3

    5/1/2006 - 5/30/2006 41
    5/1/2007 - 5/30/2007 7

    6/1/2006 - 6/30/2006 10
    6/1/2007 - 6/30/2007 2

    Perhaps I am wrong, however I have no other explanation for the drastic drop in sales.

    While we are on the subject, I would be very appreciative if you would check to see why SunRocket never paid the $20 "bounty bonus" for the months of November and December 2005. In my case they still owe me an additional $1100 for those months. I am sure that Linkshare is also due a commission on the bonus which was not paid.

    I wrote directly to SunRocket however they never paid the bonus. I would be pleased to provide you with a copy of my email however I do not have enough posts to respond in a PM via the ABW system.

    Thank you.

    Date: Sat, 05 Nov 2005 01:54:36 GMT
    From : {*}SunRocket, Inc.
    To :

    Subject : SUNROCKET NOVEMBER SALES BONUS

    SUNROCKET is please to Announce that the free phone promotion is being extended through November AND effectively immediately we are adding A NOVEMBER BONUS OF $20 DOLLARS TO THE COMMISSION PAID. That means there will be a total commission paid for each sale of $60 During the rest of November. This is only for the month of November so let do everything we can to get those sales.

    Michael Hodge
    VP-Partner Marketing
    SunRocket


    Date: Fri, 02 Dec 2005 17:41:41 GMT
    From : {*}SunRocket, Inc.
    To :
    Subject : SUNROCKET announces significantly expanded Network coverage,


    SUNROCKET is pleased to announce significantly expanded Network coverage,
    continuation of $20 Fall bonus AND FREE Phone offer through December 31.

    Sunrocket the premier low cost Internet Telephony provider is pleased to announce significantly expanded availability of our residential VOIP phone service. Effective December 2, Sunrocket will be in available in hundreds of thousands of additional households as a result of a network capacity upgrade. This means that a large number of households that were previously outside of our service area are now eligible to receive SunRocketís amazing low cost VOIP phone service. In addition, and in an effort to get the word out, Sunrocket is continuing the FALL $20 bonus (for a total bounty paid of $60) and the Free Uniden Phone offer through December 31, 1005. Now is the time to start selling Sunrocket on your web site.



    Michael Hodge
    VP-Partner Marketing
    SunRocket

    Date: Tue, 03 Jan 2006 22:24:37 GMT
    From : {*}SunRocket, Inc.
    To :
    Subject : Payment Special
    All,

    Although the bounty for sales in the month of November and December still shows $40 in Linkshare, we will be reconciling these sales next week to properly reflect the $60 per sale special which ended Dec. 31.

    Thanks,

    Jeremy Guerin
    SunRocket Partner Marketing Manager

  25. #25
    Newbie
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    October 28th, 2006
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    Sunset for SunRocket
    Looks like broadbandreports.com has a huge thread with almost 10,000 unique views discussing the demise of SunRocket. Gigaom has confirmed that SunRocket is not taking any new customers and have hired a business consulting firm (Sherwood Partners) to handle the closing of the doors. Thanks SunRocket!

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