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  1. #1
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    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    2,973
    Pages not loading, datafeeds not accessible
    OK, I finally followed up on one of my merchants which is dropping its Kowabunga/MyAP program, and they suggested that I join their program through Performics/ConnectCommerce. While I had some frustration with Performics that led me to quit in 2005, I decided it's worth giving them another try.

    (1) This afternoon, nearly 50% of all pageviews are failing -- that is, I am getting "page not found" or "timeout" errors or something (I'm using MS IE so the error messages aren't clear). This is extremely frustrating, since the pages take a long time to load and then I must hit "reload" half the time in order to try to see the actual page.

    Once I posted this on ABW and tried to re-login at Performics, I found that neither performics.com nor connectcommerce.com are responding at all any more. Perhaps this was planned "down time" but I wasn't notified since I hadn't joined any merchant programs yet, even though I was approved by Performics a couple of weeks ago?

    Is this typical? Should I be looking for some other method of interacting with this system?

    (2) I can find no reference to datafeeds on the Performics site. Since I generated something like $30,000 in sales for this particular merchant using their datafeeds, I certainly think this is pretty important, but I can't find anything at the Performics site that would indicate that there is a way to access datafeeds.

    (3) Apparently Performics doesn't have any kind of automated trouble-ticket or support system? The only link for "Contact Us" is a plain email address link.

    Given my experience two years ago, I'm very reluctant to invest a lot of time on this, especially with the red flags I am seeing today. Are other affiliates having similar problems? Is there some secret doorway or menu that I'm not currently finding, but which will make this relationship work?

  2. #2
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    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    2,973
    I finally found a phone number (it turns out that once you're logged in as an affiliate, there's no "contact us" link except an email address, but if you log out and return to the home page, you can get the contact info), and I called Performics, and spoke with "Chris," who first informed me that access to datafeeds must be set up manually by Performics staff (can you say "CJ"?), and after a few moments, he also informed me that the merchant who had suggested that I switch to Performics does not offer a datafeed through Performics.

    "Chris" also claimed that although they were having system problems earlier this afternoon, all problems are now solved. However, I am still getting errors for most attempted pageviews at Performics.com and ConnectCommerce.com.

    It looks like I've wasted my time on this whole adventure, and I have only myself to blame since I went through the same experience two years ago.

    To make matters worse, I now see that the merchant has not replied to any of my emails in the past couple of weeks, which leads me to believe that a bigger transition may be happening than just the switch from Kowabunga/MyAP to Performics.

    It was nice money while it lasted, but it looks like this relationship has ended.
    Last edited by markwelch; August 10th, 2007 at 08:27 PM.

  3. #3
    Affiliate Network Rep
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    89
    Hello,

    You can contact affiliateATdoubleclick.com for support. To receive a list of feeds vailable, please email that email address. We are more than happy to provide all of the information and set up feeds for you.

    The link problem is in fact resolved. We've identified the root cause and have taken action to ensure it will not recur. I'm sorry for the error and inconvenience.

    If you are still in need of assistance and are having additional issues, please contact me directly.

    Thank you,

    Jamie Ross
    Manager, Affiliate Customer Support
    jarossATdoubleclick.com

  4. #4
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    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    2,973
    Jamie: Thanks for your reply. However, I must admit some concern here, because I'm getting the same "vibe" from your firm that I got from CJ and LS, which is a mix of indifference toward affiliates and incompetence.

    It appears that your system is not set up to provide affiliates with meaningful information, which in turn demonstrates an indifference toward the success of merchants' programs.

    I would hope that you, or someone at Performics, recognizes that [my merchant] is going through a major transition away from Kowabunga/MyAP, which represents an opportunity for somebody; apparently Performics isn't interested in that opportunity. [My merchant] has strongly urged me to enroll in their CJ program, but offered the Performics program as an alternative after I made clear that I won't work with CJ, even if it means giving up this relationship. In other words, they didn't exactly give a strong endorsement of Performics to begin with, and I'd already had a time-wasting experience with Performics in 2005, but since my relationship with [my merchant] has been quite profitable for several years, I wanted to try to continue it.

    I'm very concerned that your firm doesn't disclose the availability of datafeeds, has some kind of manual process to allow access to datafeeds, and limits affiliate communications to email only by default -- and apparently when an affiliate does track down the correct phone number, your staff gives affiliates incorrect information (in this case, [my merchant] says that it does offer a datafeed through Performics, and was concerned that your staff told me that no datafeed was available for [my merchant] through Performics).

    I certainly hope that you are correct that the technical problems that I experienced yesterday have been resolved, but again I am concerned that that's exactly what your staff told me yesterday, and yet I continued to experience the same technical problems after he said this.

    All of these factors give me a very strong sense of "deja vu," in that these are the same experiences I had at LS and CJ, before wasting considerable time trying to work with those systems and eventually concluding that those companies were unethical and incompetent.

    I'll try to speak with [my merchant] during the next week, to determine exactly what options, if any, will be available to continue my relationship; I certainly will be urging the merchant to consider some alternative that doesn't involve inept, incompetent companies.

    If my experience with Performics is an aberration (and thus far, I've not seen replies from other affiliates suggesting that it is), then perhaps I will try again using your system, but I'm not very optimistic. I've already begun working on link strategies for competing merchants.

  5. #5
    Affiliate Network Rep
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    89
    Mark,

    Your feedback is important.

    I have sent you an email regarding the feed you requested. In the near future, feed availability will be published in the interface.

    Thank you,

    Jamie

  6. #6
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    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    2,973
    Jamie: I appreciate your feedback (both in this forum and via emails).

    Unfortunately, you've now refreshed my memory about Performics. In 2005, I attempted to work with Performics, but discovered that you offer only two options for datafeeds; both are "push-only" methods. The first option is for you to upload datafeeds to my ftp server; the second is to attach datafeeds to emails.

    In 2005, I expressed concern about both the security aspects of this (enabling an ftp server on my server OR allowing immense-size email attachments through my email server), as well as the problem of "validation" (there is no way to determine whether a datafeed version that I'm using is actually the most current, since an upload or email may have failed since that date). When I tried setting up an FTP server for Performics to use in 2005, I was unable to get it to work with your system (though I'll readily admit that I gave up pretty quickly, given the level of annoyance that you folks presented).

    The lack of any way to determine whether a datafeed is even offered as an option is certainly an added problem, though you indicate that this will be changed "in the near future." If the interface also identifies the last-update date for each merchant's datafeed, and allows for automated [script] access to that data, then this would resolve my "validation" concern.

    In 2005, it was clear that Performics didn't really care whether I became an affiliate, nor did I view Performics as a high priority. In 2007, my largest merchant's planned closure of its program at Kowabunga has created a much stronger motive for me to make a relationship with Performics work, but your staff's indifference or incompetence isn't helping.

    Right now, I am going to continue to work with my merchant to try to resolve this, because of the value of our multi-year relationship, but I'm not optimistic that we are going to find a way around these problems. If I do successfully create a working relationship through Performics for this single merchant, I do NOT expect to seek out any other relationships with merchants through Performics, given the obstacles that your firm has put in place to make relationships more difficult.
    Last edited by markwelch; August 12th, 2007 at 02:52 PM.

  7. #7
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    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
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    Apparently Performics is having their annual conference today and tomorrow, so hopefully I can get a reply later this week.

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