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  1. #1
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Orbitz Affiliates Beware - Sales Not Showing
    This is simply outragous!

    I joined Orbitz last January - NINE months ago. Made a test sale. It didn't show up.

    Made other test sales. Had friends and some affiliates here make test sales. Never saw a sale in Linkshare.

    I contacted Orbitz. They said there's technical issue with hotel-only sales, they're working on it.

    Contacted them several more times, same "we know - we're working on it" response.

    Then they stopped responding altogether.

    No pay + no response = I contacted the BBB. They responded:

    After discussing your issue with our Marketing Manager, I would like to share my findings. Our Marketing Manager has advised us that our Marketing Department is working very closely with our Technical Support Management staff to fix the technical problems associated in this regard.

    Furthermore, they have mentioned that once the technical problem will be fixed; all missing transactions will be sent to Linkshare and affiliates will be paid accordingly. Meanwhile, your patience and understanding in this matter are truly appreciated.
    I responded with

    No! It's been NINE months! And they've blamed a "technical issue" for 9 months. With no stated end in site! I did what they told me to do. Put up the special links, invested my time and money into marketing them, and made sales. They state they will pay on the 20th of the month after the sale is made. That's the only acceptable resolution. If not, they can claim they're working on the issue for another 20 years and not have to pay - and if their technical team hasn't fixed the issue in 9 months, they need to hire a new technical team! I made the sales, I want the commissions they promised. Further, if they haven't paid their affiliates in 9 months, they should say so in big red letters on the affiliate interface - because they are still recruiting people with websites to become affiliates, knowing they have issues that will preclude payment.

    ----------
    Just want everyone to know that your hotel only sales (there may be others, but I only promoted hotels) don't show up in your reports. They haven't shown up in your reports for at least 9 months. There's no end date when they may ever show up in your reports.

    Also want to point out that both the merchant and the network know about this, but choose NOT to let anyone know.

  2. #2
    Affiliate Manager
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    Hey Billy,

    Can you tell me where the several other emails are that you mean? Or who else you've spoken with? I would like to know so I can talk to them too. You and I have only talked about this once, in March which is when you helped me to find the problem in the first place. Otherwise, I haven't heard about the other numerous tests or contact.

    And yes, this has been an open issue on my end for this long, it's been impossible for me to get it fixed any sooner, since the fix will involve fundamental code changes it needs to go through numerous testing channels to ensure no site breakage.

    All, this is not every one of your hotel-only transactions at all. It's happening less than 3% of the time. All transactions are being accounted for and you will be paid accordingly. The fix to the problem is on the code side and was ironically just discovered last week. It's still being tested to make sure it will work on the next build which is due to go live at the end of this month. As always, full disclosure was always on my agenda via emails once i knew exactly when the fix was working and definitely going into effect and when the commissions would be in your next check. At this point I still dont' know that, but I give you my word that nothing has been irrevocably lost.
    Last edited by Angela - Orbitz; September 7th, 2007 at 03:21 PM.

  3. #3
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Angela,

    I KNOW how you feel, and went out of my way to stall as long as possible, and didn't even mention you in my complaint. But 9 months is enough.

    Here's headers from the last 2 unanswered emails (and click "show recent history" in Yahoo, you'll see I was unanswered there to):

    Subject: [Fwd: Orbitz BBB Complaint]
    Date: Thu, 06 Sep 2007 08:40:38 -0700
    From: The Mail Order Shoppe <me>
    To: nette.martino-at-orbitz.com, affiliates-at-orbitz.com

    Hi,

    A response to any of my emails (Aug 3rd email copied below) would have
    been professional. But none ever came.

    I've had to take my complaint outside of Orbitz.

    Regards,
    B

    and

    Subject: Re: Orbitz Affiliate Program Updates 7/31/07
    Date: Fri, 03 Aug 2007 06:45:11 -0700
    From: The Mail Order Shoppe <me>
    To: Orbitz Affiliate Team <affiliates-at-orbitz.com>, <someone -at- linkshare.com>
    References: <200707312301.l6VN1mjq010601 -at- lvmail2.linksynergy. com>

    All my Orbitz sales - every single one from the day I joined - end up in
    the Linkshare error report.

    When will I get paid on them?

    I've been patient for months - I'm ready to swap links to Travelocity.

    Regards,
    Bill
    Last edited by MichaelColey; September 7th, 2007 at 03:33 PM. Reason: Unlinked Emails

  4. #4
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    mod - i tried to change the email addresses so they couldn't be spidered, but failed miserably. can someone pls alter them

  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager
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    Billy, I sincerely apologize, but I never saw either of these emails at all.

    The affiliate inbox has no record of the 8/3 email, though it received others that day. And Nette and I have checked her emails from yesterday and don't see the most recent one either. I don't know if brackets caused it to get bounced, but it is very strange.

    I have been diligently working on getting this fixed since we first spoke about the one missing transaction in March.

  6. #6
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    My goal is

    if enough affiliates read this

    and enough affiliates email Orbitz with "Do I have any sales that aren't showing in Linkshare?"

    then the "primadona tech team" will adjust their priorities accordingly and move solving the payment issue up on their list of things to do

  7. #7
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    Uh Angela, why haven't you responded to ANY of my emails in months or the voice mail I left for you several months ago?

    Everyone, I've been an Orbitz affiliate since the very first day of their affiliate program in 2002 and I can tell you that Orbitz has had more tracking problems just that I've found myself than any other affiliate program.

    Angela was a delight to work with until Orbitz hired Lynette Rowlands as the affiliate manager two years ago (after Carolyn Tang left). At that time, Angela became a totally different person to work with and she's never returned to being the former Angela despite the fact that Lynette is no longer there and Angela is now the Affiliate Manager.

    Regardless of whether you've identified a solution or not, it is ABSOLUTELY your responsibility to make your affiliates and Linkshare aware that there is a problem. Why was there no mention of this in your frequent affiliate emails, Angela?

    I also hold Linkshare partially responsible as this is yet ANOTHER example of Linkshare failing to monitor their merchants.

    Although it's been quite some time, I have posted here in the past asking if anyone else was noticing abnormalities and I never got any responses.

    Angela certainly enjoyed touting their increased rental car commission this summer and then REMOVED all rental banners from Linkshare!

    I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the ONLY reason I haven't posted publicly about this recently is for fear of reprisals. I'll let the community know if those reprisals come.

    THANK YOU, BILLY KAY!

  8. #8
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    BTW, all of my emails to Angela have been to her personal email address. Do you have me filtered, Angela?

  9. #9
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    Ranae, will these repeated tracking issues with Orbitz finally be addressed?

  10. #10
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    I also want to add that the last time Angela did communicate with me (I think last year), she very adamently stated that she would not look into whether there was a problem unless I provided a confirmation number.

    And I don't for a minute believe that this is only impacting 3% of their hotel sales with no other tracking issues. I haven't had a retail hotel booking (SKU #3) report since May 25th.

    And just think how much Orbitz is spending with all of those large banners all over the major Internet sites like cnn.com. You better believe they aren't allowing Orbitz to advertise for free.

  11. #11
    Full Member ske9963's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowman
    I also want to add that the last time Angela did communicate with me (I think last year), she very adamently stated that she would not look into whether there was a problem unless I provided a confirmation number.
    I think that is the least you can do by providing a confirmation or a transaction #. That is what Fatwallet requires too. That is the least you can do.

    I have never approached a merchant without any transaction details. It's just his words against mine.

    As for Billy, he have a stronger case.
    Ma, where the beer? :escape:

  12. #12
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    ske9963, in most cases I would agree with you but given the number of tracking issues there have been with Orbitz and my former strong Orbitz sales, I cannot agree on this one. And now that we know that Angela has intentionally withheld this information from affiliates and Linkshare, would you not always be suspect of them in the future?

    And just so you know, in an email I sent to Angela on 5/17/07 about a couple of different issues, I included:

    "I am confident that Orbitz is still not tracking all affiliate sales generated from [my site]. We have had no rental car sales reported in more than three weeks. I didn't report it at the time, but a rental car booking that I made for [person's name] (Conf #44568010US4 ) on 1/5/07 did not track. The email address used was [my personal email address]."

    As I said before, she has not responded to my emails. So you see, providing what she requires didn't do a thing. And she knows good and well that I'm not the only affiliate with the amount of traffic I send that hasn't had a single retail (non-merchant) hotel booking in 3-1/2 months. And on 5/25, the last day I had such a transaction report, I had two of them. So two on 5/25 and not a single one since. Yeah, right.

    A good affiliate manager would take into account the affiliate's program history. Until the latest round of tracking issues, I had multiple Orbitz sales every day. You don't need to see a confirmation number to know something is wrong.

  13. #13
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    To those sending me PMs...

    I differentiate between a program and an AM. Orbitz the program has tracking issues. As does every travel merchant. Any time I have ever rented a car and used an affiliate link, it has never tracked - not once - thru any travel merchant. When Loxly moved to San Francisco, she used my Enterprise link. Did it track? No! And she had that car a loooooong time!!!

    Orbitz - the program - doesn't seem to get emails from it's affiliates. Neither does Linkshare. Neither does my top performing merchant. The only way I've found to contact him is thru PMs here at ABW.

    Angela, the AM, doesn't do the coding so can't fix the tracking. Angela doesn't control the site's spam filters - or whatever it is that keeps emails from arriving.

    I have as much respect for Angela as I do for Carolyn, Kristen and Loxly. She's passionate about her job. She cares deeply about her program. She sincerely wishes for the success of her affiliates.

    Besiides the tracking issue, there were others. And each time I contacted her, she thanked me for bringing it up, she addressed it, and if it was something out of her control, expressed frustration about it.

    Angela has helped me in MANY ways. There's an odd sized search box in Linkshare that was created just to fit my website. And she had it tweaked - my Vegas site doesn't need Cruise Ship listings LOL - until we were both satisfied.

    I complained - and posted here - only because tracking is out of her hands, and I needed a way to "motivate" the tech team.

    For those asking me if they should join Orbitz, or if they should drop Orbitz... that's not my decision. I still belong!

    There's another travel merchant, also on Linkshare. Do a search here. They're having the exact same issues.

    There's a travel merchant on CJ that doesn't pay on hotels.

    There's still a travel merchant on BeFree. Is there even a way to contact a merchant on BeFree??

    There's a well known travel merchant on CJ with absolutely no one at the drivers wheel. For 2 years, my site still says "Waiting merchant's response" for key information like what credit cards they take, return policy, etc.

    Now that Michelle has left MGM, I can say that ALL my MGM sales are "pending". They've BEEN pending since I joined. Whoever takes her place is gonna get an earful!

    I've posted many times that all things being equal, if you have an AM that cares, you stand a fighting chance.

  14. #14
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    Billy Kay, you said you've never seen an Orbitz sale on Linkshare. You then come to Angela's defense because technical issues are out of her control and she's been pleasant for you to work with. You said she cares so you stand a fighting chance. She has never publicly acknowledged any issues to affiliates despite frequent promotional emails. Would that be OK with your other merchants whose AMs are nice to work with? Are you in affiliate marking to give free traffic or are you in affiliate marketing to make a living? I don't understand your latest comments here when you come down hard on other merchants.

    As to other affiliates who have PM'd Billy Kay, why are you afraid to post here? For those who are Orbitz affiliates, how do you feel about the revelations in this thread?

  15. #15
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    I'll bite on that Snowman. I'm not currently in their program (I rarely do any affiliate marketing for myself anymore). I PM'd him with specific questions about something he posted. They were questions that I'm not sure he would want to answer publicly, so out of respect for him, I sent them in PM.

    It doesn't have to be Dateline NBC to get things done all the time

    If I'm going to be critical of someone in Public, I like to have math to back it up. In this case, I didn't have any.
    Kevin Webster
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  16. #16
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Snow...

    I post my experiences - good and bad - for the whole world to see. It's up to each affiliate to choose for themselves if they think what happens to me may happen to them

    I've posted many times that success in this business is built by relationships. Because I have relationships, I'm privy to things that aren't common knowledge

    I also have access to people in the business that most don't have access to. I researched the Orbitz tracking issue with a lot of people before complaining. I know the issue is due to their tech team - who I referred to as a bunch of primadonnas for reasons I learned in my research.

    I stand by my posts. What YOU do after reading my experience is totally up to you.

    Right now, the problem is all orders are theorically being tracked and they know about them. I have a BUNCH of Orbitz confirmations on my computer. When they finally post to my account as a sale and they're all there - fine. If they're NOT all there... then I'll be back!

    And if they don't post as a sale as quickly as I think they should - then I'll be back to post about that.

  17. #17
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    Hi Snow.....

    I am a newbie but I think that saying that Angela 'became a totally different person to work with and she's never returned to being the former Angela despite the fact that Lynette is no longer there and Angela is now the Affiliate Manager' is counterproductive and not a solution to your problem.

    There has to be another reason as to why Angela has not answered you (publicly or privately) .....I have been fortunate to meet Angela at Affiliate Summit and found her personable and a very caring AM. Her passion far exceeds any other AM I have come in contact with. And she does care about her affiliates.

    Perhaps the reason she has never publicly acknowledged any issues to affiliates despite frequent promotional emails is because she was unaware of the technical issues at the time? A lot of times it seems that we need to point these out and then the AM goes into action with their tech team.

    I am not trying to take sides here but attacking somebody like that on here seems to go against the core of the Affiliate Community.....just my opinion - I hope you don't take it personal - but I think we're all trying to work for the same common goal here.....

    MaxVon

  18. #18
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    MaxVon, I'm afraid your comments are not welcome at all. The fact that this is your first post calls into question your motives. Angela has been fully aware of this problem. Her silence is deafining.

    If you have personal experience with this issue, by all means share it. If you are here to comment about someone you have never worked with on what is a very serious issue, please go away.

  19. #19
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    Gee Snow,

    My post was just an oberservation on my dealings with Angela and that I found her to be an AM who really cared about her affiliates. I must admit that if this is your 'welcome to ABW' then you can rest assured that I will not come back.

    I have worked with Angela since my days at Carlson Travel and that is why I posted here. Period. I will not return so you need not worry and thanks for the 'warm and fuzzy' welcome.

  20. #20
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    On September 13, 2007, the business provided the following information:
    Dear Ms. Kxxxxx:

    Better Business Bureau has forwarded your follow up comments to our attention for review. Thank you for writing us again. I'm sorry you're disappointed with my previous response and regret your perception that it was not empathetic to your circumstances. Truly, it was not my intention to be insensitive but rather informative about some of our procedures and policies regarding your concerns.

    Although, we are unable to erase the negative experience you had with us, however, we can act upon your feedback to prevent such occurrences in the future. In fact the constructive criticism of our customers is one of the most significant means of quality control and is helpful in detecting shortcomings. Please be assured that we are listening and that your constructive comments have not gone unheard.

    To reiterate, our Technical Support Management staff is working very diligently to have this problem fixed.

    We regret any disappointment it causes you, however, we would request for your patience and understanding in this matter.

    Sincerely,


    Nadeem Burney
    Orbitz Customer Relations

    ----------------

    Now I'm a "Ms"

    Still not paid on sales

    No mention of payment at all

    Hmmmmmmmmmm

  21. #21
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    Has this issue been resolved, or at least any updated information? I have made hotel purchases and have never seen a record of it. At this point I am searching for another affiliate and have suspended use of Orbitz.

  22. #22
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    No it hasn't been resolved nor have affiliates even been notified of the problem other than Angela's post here which she never followed up on.

  23. #23
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowman
    No it hasn't been resolved nor have affiliates even been notified of the problem other than Angela's post here which she never followed up on.
    That, indeed, is a shame.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
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  24. #24
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    I'll get rid of those BHO loyalty players in the program if you guys can make up for all those "lost" sales.

    And I was gone.

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