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Web-Merchant stole 55.000$ from me -

meier

Affiliate
affiliate
Hi guys - Im happy I found this forum - im a full time affiliate. Soon I will however launch my own programs - because im tired of webmasters - cheating and Fu... up ...

I wanted to hear if any one have heard of an Affiliate Union, are there such a thing - I think there should be - so that the web merchants cant treath affiliates like the want ..

I just lost 55.000 $ in accumulated commision, because the Merchant decided to change the "Terms of Service" without notice - to contain a section - with some rules one of my sites violated. :mad: :mad:

First of all this company never had a "TOS" when i was signed up - I never accepted anything - I even worked close with the affiliate manager sharing ideas ect ect - and was planning an import to EU of their products - thats the reason i accumulated my commision - they said I could use my earned commision as payment for an order.

So everything was going good - I have some prequalifier sites with good conversion - so i did around 6-7000$ a month.

But then i received a letter stating my site violated the "TOS" so my commision due was lost. :eek:

I wrote the company, and stated that if i had just knew that there was a "TOS" i ofcourse woulkd have read it - and made sure i didnt in no way violate it - because this was the last thing you want to do.

So now i have contact with a Lawyer - that will run the case on a contingency basis - wanting 50% of the claim and $1000 in retainer to get started ...


SO - guys girls ...any one ever experienced anything like this ??? :confused:

Can it really be legal for a company to treat their affiliates like that - having a TOS - that can change with no notice - and allow them to keep commision earned even earlier.

I mean think if you where working for MCDonalds - and then the day before you where to collect your pay check - they said - oooh sorry - but yeaster day we changed the contract which you never signed, to state that if you did not wear a pink butterfly every day - well you are fired and also the money you have earned - we keep them ...


Well I have been so frustrated about this .. so it felt great getting it out - I hope for some links to legal matters and cases like this ...

Meier
 
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Linda Buquet

Affiliate
affiliate
Hi meier,

Welcome to 5 Star. Sorry you are having to go through this.

You know when I 1st read the headline I though $55.00 not such a big deal.
But now in reading it and seeing you are from Denmark I think 55.000 means $55,000??? Is that right? :mad:

Wow that's a lot of money to be out. One of the unfortunate things about affiliate marketing is that there are not a lot of legal standards that govern our industry. Ethical AM's can all talk about best practices and agree for the most part. However bottom line is the merchant calls the shots on their own program and seems to be able to run the show the way they want to. Not saying it's right at all, just saying that's the way it appears.

Even if you could find a laywer that understood affiliate marketing and would take the case you would need to have proof I would think in the form of before and after screenshots and dates proving the sequence of events.

There should be an affiliate union and there has always been talk about one, but there isn't one. There is a guy that has an affiliate collection agency that says he's been successful getting many affiliates paid. May be less costly to try him than to try an attorney.

He posted here a long time ago - here is the info:
http://affiliate-marketing-forums.5staraffiliateprograms.com/showthread.php?t=781

When I just clicked his link I got a time-out. Hopefully it's temporary and he's still in biz. Hope it helps.

Normally I don't like to do this without substantiation, but your story has enough detail that it sounds very credible. If you want to OUT 'EM to warn other affiliates and if it would make you feel better, go ahead.
 

meier

Affiliate
affiliate
Hi Linda - and thanks

Yes it is $55000,- otherwise i wouldnt have been so mad ..

Also mad at myself for letting the company hold my commision obviously I should have taken it out every week :)

Yeah - i think its strange that in the US a company can be allowed to do things like this - here in EU .. you could risk all kind of charges ..

MMM -maby I can sue the company with an EU Atorney - for breaking EU laws .. well its a bit complicated ...

Im in contact with the company - and have tried to make them realise what they did was NOT ok - and that im willing to agree upon some settlement ..

Latest news is an offer - that my account is reactivated ( they made it track again) and now its generating approx $45 a day ($1300 a month) - but the company have implemented a new cookie policy, and NATs based tracking - also i have removed some linking to them ...

But I have to sign an agreement stating that i accept that the $55k is lost - yeah right they must be mad ...

Ill try to convince them to reinstate my account - because my traffic is SEO traffic - that really cant be converted on another site - and i have used a year or so to build my traffic/sites and serps ..

So yeah Ill wait to go public with their name - until i see what the final decision is - BUT i sure will do anything i can - to stop other affiliates signing up with them .. and investigate the options for an openclass case against them for "shaving" .. well I for sure will dedicate a few hours each day to make things a bit more difficult for them !

Mean while im looking for other options ..

Btw i tried the link - to the affiliate collecting agency - but when i saw they only had collected $3500 - i dont really know ...

I have evidence that their "TOS" did in fact never mention "the reason for termination" until a day or so before my account was terminated - also I have never accepted any "TOS" -

But ill bump this tread when i know more - also with information on which organisations - that can help people and lawyers that has the knowledge to help - I have written to i think 30 law firms and only 2 replied - one which is willing to talke the case on contingency basis - and another which needs a $3500 retainer to take the case - both are confident we can win -

But dont they tell everyone that :)

What have i learned :

1. TAKE out your commision !! every week
2. If you engage in building prequalifier sites - have a signed agreement
THAT does not contain some lines saying "we have the right to change the terms and agrements without notice"

Because in my opinion those lines makes it possible for the company to f### you anytime they like.


Meier

Considering how we could start an affiliate union - that would fight for better Terms and affiliate rights - and offer legal advise.

Maby we could make an union that - collected 1% of the affiliate commision - the serious webmasters - could advocate they where members/approved by the "GlobaAffiliateUnion, and maby offer to pay the 1% for all their affiliates
- or something like that ...
 

AffiliateGuild

Affiliate
affiliate
Affiliate Union - Affiliate Guild

Hi Meier,

If it makes you feel any better, I've been through that same thing many times. My losses probably add up to the same as yours, so I get your frustration.

I started a website called Affiliate Guild to try and help support affiliate's efforts. I can't help you legally, but what can be done is to promote the ethical affiliate programs and let you know about the unethical ones.

Probably posting here on Linda's forum was like putting the fear of God into them. I always tell the unethical marketers that I will blog negatively about them if they don't get their act together. I'd prefer not to do that though, and will give them every opportunity to make things right. However, I have a three strike policy and if they go there, then you will know about it through the Affiliate Guild and on this affiliate forum.

Sometimes there's nothing you can do but warn others. That's why I don't like Google. They boot affiliates without any explaination, keep their earnings and frankly, they do it on a pretty regular basis ... nice pocket change for them. It's always good to diversify your affiliate programs ... have a plan B just in case.

Best wishes to you!
 

Larwee

<b><font size=2>In Memoriam - Loyal Administrator<
affiliate
That comment about Google is one that is made at times. But Google says that isn't what happens.

According to Google, if a publisher is removed from the AdSense program that publisher doesn't receive the money that was shown in his or her account. That money is returned to the advertisers. Google doesn't doesn't just keep the money for themselves. That is the Google side on this issue.
 

AffiliateGuild

Affiliate
affiliate
Comforting

Yeah, I heard that too. It's comforting isn't it?! But, isn't it a little curious that Google booted out all those affiliates right after it lost that big court case? Maybe it's just a conidence?! If so, based on what they've said ... jeeperz, that would have been a double whammy on them financially. :eek:

Diversify!
 
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