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  1. #1
    Verbosely Virtuous Mutt spacedog's Avatar
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    Temporarily Offline - cookied sales possible?
    I have this SAS merchant partner that keeps going temporarily offline every several days (they're not on auto-deposit). They used to be on auto-deposit but apparently dropped it, citing problems with their credit card company where the merchant's deposits would be denied due to false positives on fraud detection. That is, every time the card was auto-charged the CC company thought it was a fraudulent transaction and stopped the charge from taking place.

    OK, so when this merchant is temporarily offline, what happens when a customer goes back to their site during the cookie referral period, by name (directly; not via aff link), but already has my code in their cookie and makes a purchase? Since the merchant has no money left to pay out, do I as an affiliate just lose the commission permanently? I assume there is no queuing up of temp-offline transactions such that once the merchant makes a deposit, the queued transactions are paid out. Correct?

    Obviously no new affiliate clicks work during the temp-offline time. They come up with an error page. But do all those older referred clicks become useless too during offline time? How about after the offline status goes back to online?

    There needs to be a system so that affiliates don't lose cookied sales unfairly like that. Some code that keeps track of cookied sales and queues them up for payout while the merchant is offline. Anything else seems completely unfair to the affiliate. A merchant can conceivably abuse this by going offline for a few days at a time, or a day here and there, and not have to pay for the accumulated pre-referred cookied sales generated while they're down.

    This is a merchant that sells big ticket items, so I have a fair idea that many of my sales come from clicks that happen days before they come back to make the purchase.

  2. #2
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    There are many, many auto-deposit merchants without this problem.

    I'd make that very clear to them and insist that they need to resolve this issue themselves.

    Auto-deposit is something I consider being a commitment to pay affs, a statement of financial health and an indicator of risk in my doing business with them.

    If they didn't indicate a willingness to fix it soon, I'd dump them. And tell them as soon as it's fixed, I'd be happy to do business with them again.

    Every aff can obviously make their own call on the indicators they are provided. Personally, I highly value the auto-deposit status indicator at SAS. Part of my daily weekday work routine includes viewing this staus for every SAS merchant that I work with.

  3. #3
    Verbosely Virtuous Mutt spacedog's Avatar
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    You're right of course, Donuts. I appreciate the advice. But I've had success with this merchant before and it's the only one in its niche I've found with an affiliate program. I don't want to give up on them. In the meantime I'm trying to work with them to fix this problem, but they do not put much effort into their aff program due to their small size and the fact that the president is pretty much the only one handling the aff program.

    Brian @ SAS, if you read this and have a moment: please address my concern with your "temporarily offline" policy and how it works. Perhaps you would consider setting up a queue system as I've described that makes your system more fair (and foolproof) from the perspective of affiliates who partner with the large number of merchants who don't participate in auto deposit. Thanks.

  4. #4
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    I have my favorite merchants too, some that are so valued by me that I'm willing to bend some of my own rules or allow them more time to get in line... so I know what you mean! However, with auto-deposit, I'm very inflexible.

    I wish all the other networks offered me the risk abatement that ShareASale's Auto-Deposit and Merchant Status does. It, combined with SAS's ethics and responsiveness, are the three reasons why SAS is my network of choice.

    Have your contact there look at the Top 100 PowerRank at SAS, looking to see how many of them are on Auto-Deposit... it's a well-known key to success at SAS.

  5. #5
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spacedog
    ...citing problems with their credit card company where the merchant's deposits would be denied due to false positives on fraud detection. That is, every time the card was auto-charged the CC company thought it was a fraudulent transaction and stopped the charge from taking place....
    That sounds like a pretty lame excuse to me. A phone call to the CC should be able to take care of that problem. If it can't then the CC company is doing something wrong and deserves to lose them as a customer.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
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