Merchant Won't Pay - What Would You Do?

by tommyp 11 replies
I only realized after I was finished that I wrote a lot so if you don't want to read all this just skip to the last three lines. Thanks

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There is one product that is one of my main sources of income but I have had problems with the person on and off for about a year and a half or more.

I'm supposed to get paid at the end of the month following the month when I made the sales. So if I make sales in January I get paid at the end of the month of February, etc.

Anyway...

At first this person answered questions after hunting them down for almost a month or something and their info didn't line up with the info in my affiliate stats page or with the names of the people who contacted me to get their bonuses.

This person made excuses, said that the Butterfly Marketing Script was to blame for something and whatever else. I can't remember all the details.

They never gave any answers and it was sort of a "Take it or leave it because what are you gonna do about it?" type of thing (That's why I like sites like Clickbank. It has more competition but I know the check will come. When affiliate programs are in house not everyone may be able to promote but you're basically in a trust situation hoping they pay you)

This person is often very late paying, I'm never sure that I am getting all I've earned and even if they do pay me all that they owe I sometimes rely on getting paid on time or it seriously messes me up, they won't give any explanations, even their customer service guy can barely ever get a hold of this person (that's what he tells me) and never gives any satisfaction whatsoever not even a typical "I'm sorry but I'll get you straightened out as soon as possible" type of thing.

This person is practically impossible to reach.

But they must be paying the customer service guy (who almost left once for not getting paid himself) otherwise he wouldn't be there.

I've heard all sorts of excuses one being family problems and I think hearing these things through the grapevine is what has made me be more patient. I've suspected these things may not be true but then I think "what if they are" and I try to be understanding but this has been going on practically since they launched the product and it's always excuse after excuse. Lately I've heard no excuses but then again I've heard nothing. Almost no one can reach this person.

Once I heard this merchant was having some crisis and that's why they couldn't handle problems as quickly as they'd like, except then I find out that this person is at a seminar on another continent (I personally suspect it was the 7 Figure Code).

I'm not the first to complain and many have been pissed and screamed bloody murder in the past. I don't know if I'm one of the top affiliates or not but I usually sell a reasonable amount and sometimes I am on top or close judging from the transaction id numbers.

This person still owes me for June, July and also August will be due before I realize it and I don't have much hope of getting that either.

I stopped promoting this product once because I had finally had enough but then I was thrown some money and I picked it up again.

This person seems very unappreciative and they can't even give any satisfaction with an excuse or tell the customer service guy to tell me their excuse. I get so many complaints from people who take it out on me because they think I am the merchant and some get stupid with me even if they know I am not this other person. Some are okay but then I often get swamped with complaints and cries for help because of all their various problems not being able to download their product or whatever, even those who didn't buy through me and make me a commission, and I'm sick of doing damage control for this merchants apathy or incompetence and taking care of all their customers.

It makes me feel bad when I ignore people asking me for help, but I can't do it much longer.

They are in another country and even if I could do something it would probably cost more just to scare them than what I am owed. So maybe this is a hopeless situation that I should just quit and call a loss.

But I really want my money, especially since I use Adwords and I'm basically throwing that campaign money away being that I'm not getting paid.

What would you do in a situation like this to get your money?

Any advice whatsoever?

Thanks very much.
#main internet marketing discussion forum #merchant #pay
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  • Profile picture of the author Nicola Lane
    Stop promoting this product immediately and promote something that will pay you - like clickbank.

    Then get a lawyer.
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    I like to keep an open mind, but not so open that my brains fall out

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    • Profile picture of the author grumpyjacksa
      suggestion.......

      let's form a "retaliation group". If any warrior gets done in, regardless, we ALL add it to a page on a blog somewhere, all linking back to the original post, pref on the plaintiff's own blog. with a few thousand links promoting this marchant's non-payment, it should show up quite nicely on google, so we will have leverage to stop it from happening again.

      the last step before publicity would be for everyone involved to send an email with a warning to the company of the consequences . imagine the effect of getting a thousand "warnings" in your mailbox in 24 hrs.....

      anyone who decides to ignore the final "message" will lose a lot more than what was owed. but then again, only someone really stupid, or really broke, will do that.

      what do u think ? Shall we call it an "Affiliate Union", or something ?


      As i am living in south africa, i am also wide open to this kind of situation. and having to fight a legal battle over country borders will cost a s%&load of money.......
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      • Profile picture of the author sparrow
        Here is something else you can do

        write them and let them know you will expose them about his practices with affiliates

        Do what others have done by setting up a blog or site exposing the practices they are doing

        There has been a famous case about this Home Depot Sucks where the guy out ranked Home Depot for a very very long time and people would see his site before the home depot site

        by doing this if someone is to do some research about this person or affiliate program will at least be alerted about what he is doing

        As long as you provide the truth on what happen people who have done this have stood the test of treaths from the other party

        Ed
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        • Profile picture of the author grumpyjacksa
          Originally Posted by sparrow View Post

          Here is something else you can do

          write them and let them know you will expose them about his practices with affiliates

          Do what others have done by setting up a blog or site exposing the practices they are doing

          There has been a famous case about this Home Depot Sucks where the guy out ranked Home Depot for a very very long time and people would see his site before the home depot site

          by doing this if someone is to do some research about this person or affiliate program will at least be alerted about what he is doing

          As long as you provide the truth on what happen people who have done this have stood the test of treaths from the other party

          Ed
          that's why i suggested a lot of us link to that post / site. if the person done in does not have a high PR, we can help put it into the limelight.

          and once this has happened to a few merchants out there, the rest of them will start taking their affiliates seriously.
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          • Profile picture of the author ExRat
            Hi Tommyp,

            I hate to say it, but in these circumstances -

            a) fight with all you've got to get what you have earned

            b) learn a lesson from it -
            There is one product that is one of my main sources of income but I have had problems with the person on and off for about a year and a half or more.
            Don't make this mistake again. Yeah, I know it sounds obvious and unhelpful. But if you think about it, that lesson could be worth tons to you - it could make or break you in future.

            Often, the very best lessons we get in business (and life) are paid for with blood, sweat and tears - if you find yourself in that position, NEVER forget the lesson because it happens this way for a reason. When lessons are handed to us on a silver platter, we often forget them. When we get up off the floor with claret running out of our nose, the lesson has been handed to us in a way that suggests that we NEED to pay attention in order to keep the claret off the floor.

            Yes, many of us have also gone through this type of thing. But you just have to read the part I quoted over and over and you will see what NOT to do in future.

            The system you used to profit from this one thing is (presumeably) totally replicable across the spectrum of offers out there. Yes, there is no real way to establish whether a merchant is genuine or not without testing them out.

            But as you mentioned here -

            I get so many complaints from people who take it out on me because they think I am the merchant and some get stupid with me even if they know I am not this other person.

            Some are okay but then I often get swamped with complaints and cries for help because of all their various problems not being able to download their product or whatever, even those who didn't buy through me and make me a commission, and I'm sick of doing damage control for this merchants apathy or incompetence and taking care of all their customers.
            ...if you find a good merchant to promote (and they ARE out there) then you can be happy that you are less likely to be passing on the same issues to the people you send to them.

            HTH
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            Roger Davis

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            • Profile picture of the author tommyp
              BIG Mike, Nicola Lane, Kim Standerline

              Thanks for your replies! Yea, I have tried a competing product but it didn't do as well.

              BIG Mike, yea, I know those are my options but unfortunately it isn't worth it. I'll just have to quit him.

              grumpyjacksa, sparrow

              Thanks for your replies! I had thought about exposing this person. But I had a dilemma. I didn't want to do it out of malice and so I wrestled to make sure that if I did it it would not be "so I could get them!" but rather for the benefit of others, and because I wasn't sure what my true motive would have been I've said nothing except to some people in private. Others have wanted to do and recommended I do the same. I have been pissed enough to do it but then I calm down. You know how it is.

              I think doing what both of you said could be a great idea, but it would be important to make sure that those who are getting screwed over make sure that they have allowed a reasonable time for the seller to respond and to explain and be understanding because we all have setbacks and to avoid knee jerk reactions like people do many times. But, yes, at some point it may be time to go public.

              It's something to think about.

              ExRat

              Originally Posted by ExRat View Post


              a) fight with all you've got to get what you have earned
              I plan to. I'm not sure how yet but I'd like to get it.

              b) learn a lesson from it - Don't make this mistake again. Yeah, I know it sounds obvious and unhelpful. But if you think about it, that lesson could be worth tons to you - it could make or break you in future.
              I know what that lesson is. I have most of my eggs in one basket. I need multiple streams so that when this happens I don't find myself in a pinch.

              Thanks for your very helpful post!
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              • Profile picture of the author Eric Johnson
                I'm gonna be honest. I don't like the idea of "exposing people". I like the way it is done now.

                Main reason is that there are many people out there who will get mad at a person and then trash them for no good reason at all.

                Experienced marketers think...how many times have you had a customer just get crazy on you over something like you not being willing to give them free stuff...

                People are just not that trustworthy, unfortunately...
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                • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
                  Okay, here is what I don't get. You say you've been having problems with
                  this person on and off for over a year and a half.

                  I have one problem with somebody getting paid and I'm done.

                  But okay, you've made your bed so now you have to deal with it.

                  1. Stop promoting the product. The guy is a loser.

                  2. Depending on how much the amount is (if it's a lot) get a lawyer and fight
                  this thing to the bloody end.

                  In the future, you promote a product, the first month they don't pay, you're
                  done.

                  There are way too many slime bags out there who do this and you need
                  to learn to recognize them, cut your losses QUICKLY and move on.

                  I am speaking from experience with a bunch of deadbeats over at PDC,
                  which is why I will NEVER promote a PDC product ever again unless I
                  personally know the owner of the product.

                  Take this as a very expensive lesson learned.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kim Standerline
    why are you still promoting them

    Look for a competitive product, and promote that
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  • Profile picture of the author tommyp
    @ Eric Johnson

    I agree and I don't like many of the scam web sites out there. Some do more harm than good. That's why I said they would have to have made a reasonable effort first and maybe see if there is a regular pattern of behavior from the merchant, because too many people go crazy and call everyone scammer over the slightest thing. I've had to deal with it, too since I don't just sell affiliate stuff. I know customers can sometimes be a nightmare. So if it were done it would have to be moderated.

    That's why I use "them", "they", "the merchant" and "person" and I don't mention the product either because I don't want to make things worse if I don't have to, even though I know this is true, and it's better to try and avoid doing such things when possible. Plus, if I can get my money I want it. It's not HUGE but it can make a difference for me because I'm not one of those $10,000 or $30,000 a month affiliates.

    @ Steven Wagenheim

    Part of the reason I guess was my kindness taken for weakness. Like I said I'd end up getting paid so I'd resume promotion and I kept hearing things about problems so, yea, you wouldn't have but I did I guess that's because it's the way I am and also for personal reasons over the last year. Besides, compared to many here I haven't been in this business very long. I guess I need thicker skin.

    I agree with you about PDC. I had to chase commissions there, too and some of those who don't pay or don't pay unless contacted are members of this forum. I guess they spend 100% of the payment before waiting so that they can pay affiliates at the end of the month or they just don't care. So I ended up deciding I would stay away from there, too.
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    • Profile picture of the author Chris Lockwood
      Originally Posted by tommyp View Post

      I agree with you about PDC. I had to chase commissions there, too and some of those who don't pay or don't pay unless contacted are members of this forum. I guess they spend 100% of the payment before waiting so that they can pay affiliates at the end of the month or they just don't care. So I ended up deciding I would stay away from there, too.
      Did you contact PDC about the lack of commissions?

      At least you have some leverage there.

      It's silly to not promote a product just because you found it there.
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