Warning: Watch Your Clickbank Accounts . . .

by Jim Stone 21 replies
Hey all.

A quick warning and a little Clickbank gripe.

I had an old clickbank account with a limit set at $500 for payment.

I received several nice checks from that account, but eventually the method I was using to drive sales to the account kind of fizzled out, and the balance was at about $370 when all was said and done.

I logged into the account a couple days ago to start a new promotion with the account, and I discovered that Clickbank had been deducting $15/pay period for a "dormant account" fee.

I don't remember anything about that when signing up, and, even though the total they've taken so far is only about $80, it feels a bit like they've been pilfering from me.

I'm trying to get CB to see my point about this with no luck so far. I'm not that concerned about the $80, but I feel kind of violated.

Anyway. Just a heads up for others who might have accounts that haven't seen much activity lately.

Lower your threshhold and get them to cut you a check for the balance, or they'll start dipping into your pot after a while.

I'd also be interested to hear what others think of this Clickbank policy. It seems to me that whatever money they score by this method can't outweigh the ill will they create when they dip into your balance like that.

Jim
#main internet marketing discussion forum #accounts #checks #clickbank #dormant #warning #watch
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  • Profile picture of the author write-stuff
    Jim, I'm kind of new to the Clickbank thing. How does it work? Or if that's too big of a question, just disregard and I'll do my own research.
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    • Profile picture of the author Chris Farrell
      [DELETED]
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      • Profile picture of the author write-stuff
        Originally Posted by Chris Farrell View Post

        Hi writestuff,

        It is a pretty big question - but I've made a video here just for newcomers to Clickbank that you may find helpful (no opt in or anything to watch it by the way...)

        Chris Farrell's How To Create Your Own Successful Web Business

        Chris
        Excellent, Chris. Nice job on the video and I did find it very enlightening. I signed up on your mailing while I was there.

        - Russ
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  • Profile picture of the author sparrow
    I have noticed this change a while ago and I too think its a little shady , but they are the owners and can change the rules at will

    people have multiple accounts with them so I wonder if this is to reduce these accounts,

    They are the only ones who manage everything for you paying the affiliates handling all the sales etc...

    every alternative I use deals with paypal and we all know what kind of a nightmare that can be if you do some heavy sales in a very short period of time, Click Bank is use to this so they are prime candidate for this type of business

    Ed
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  • Profile picture of the author GabeKillian
    I bet that was a nice surprise That's a significant amount of money to lose without any benefit.

    Without a doubt, it is absolutely vital to keep your threshold at an amount that can can be achieved regularly. I'd be kinda ticked too if I lost $80 for simply not bringing in $500 of sales per two weeks.

    I do recall such a policy... but I don't remember where. In all honesty, I am sure it doesn't cost them much of anything if at all if your account is "dormant"... if anything, it saves on paper cost, right?

    Sorry for your loss, and thanks for giving everyone a heads up.
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  • Profile picture of the author SolomonHuey
    Yes, clickbank does that if you don't meet the minimum threshold and have money sitting there for too long. I'm not sure if continually making sales will help prevent this deduction.

    I learned this a long time ago when I was newer to IM and didn't make many sales. I quit the clickbank promotions for awhile, logged in a LONG time later, and found that they were slowly deducting money from my balance for the last several months.

    Solomon
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Mayo
      Hi Jim,

      I found this out a couple of years back.

      If you have the checks cut at their minimum allowed then you get most of
      your money(less the reserve)although you also get charged for each
      check they cut you so, I found it better to pay the check fee amount and
      leave the reserve until it could be distributed.

      Normally, It starts off in a dormant account as a small amount charged per
      period then increases as the account remains dormant to the point they get it all.

      I've noticed this happening a few times when working on other projects
      and not checking my CB accounts.

      The Moral of the Story is?
      Don't leave Money in Clickbank for the Same reason you don't leave it in
      Paypal....You'll loose it!

      Hope that Helps,
      Have a Great Day!
      Michael
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  • Profile picture of the author Jim Stone
    I guess my account hadn't seen any influx for a little over a year, so the $80 was a bunch of little amounts over the last several pay periods. The dormant status starts after 90 days, though.

    Here's the policy:

    ------------------------------
    Dormant Accounts
    Accounts with a positive balance but no earnings for an extended period of time are considered dormant. Dormant accounts are subject to a charge of $1 per pay period after 90 days of inactivity, $5 per pay period after 180 days of inactivity, and $15 per pay period after 365 days of inactivity.
    -------------------------------

    The thing is, they could just cut you your check. In fact, that's what they should do. When the dormant period hits, they should just cut you your check. I can't see how this isn't just a money grab.

    Anyway . . .

    Easy come, easy go, as they say :-D

    Jim
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  • Profile picture of the author Felix Makmur
    I also have similar case with Clickbank last time. I've got my first commission around 2 years ago. And it's only $25 mind you. I've tried to request my check but Clickbank said that I must have 5 payments from different credit cards or something like that. Till now, I still don't know why they set up this stupid rule.

    At that time, I stopped doing internet marketing for a while because I'm kinda busy with my school. Couple of months later, when I checked my account, my commission had gone, it's ZERO, puff... When I checked the details, it looks like Clickbank has deducted couple of dollars for my "dormant" account every month. I want to complain but it's only 25 bucks. But still, that's my first commission online and I feel cheated by Clickbank for taking the money of my hard work.

    Felix
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    • Profile picture of the author Susan Hope
      Originally Posted by zenmagic View Post

      I also have similar case with Clickbank last time. I've got my first commission around 2 years ago. And it's only $25 mind you. I've tried to request my check but Clickbank said that I must have 5 payments from different credit cards or something like that. Till now, I still don't know why they set up this stupid rule.

      At that time, I stopped doing internet marketing for a while because I'm kinda busy with my school. Couple of months later, when I checked my account, my commission had gone, it's ZERO, puff... When I checked the details, it looks like Clickbank has deducted couple of dollars for my "dormant" account every month. I want to complain but it's only 25 bucks. But still, that's my first commission online and I feel cheated by Clickbank for taking the money of my hard work.

      Felix
      This is what happened to me and why I recently left ClickBank. I became aware that my measly earnings had been dipped into by CB under the dorman account rule. However, because of the 5 payment thing and they cannot be PayPal I wasn't able to ask for my money, it was never a lot but it all went back to clickbank and yes I was very pleased a few years ago to make those first few sales of something.

      Once your earnings are gone and if the account is still dormant, then the charge is still made, for me straight from my bank account, at that point, I cancelled.

      A month after cancellation I noticed another charge from them in my bank account. I contacted them straight away though and they immediately sorted that out and refunded me.

      I do think they need to rewrite one or other of those policies.

      Anyway, I moved on

      Sue

      PS I do not buy all that much stuff myself now, only things I know will help me but it is a tad annoying when I could then also earn some extra pennies by putting my affiliate link out there only to find I have to have the CB account to be able to do that with some products, I wish those product owners could give an alternative, but there you go, it is what it is.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        It is a double money grab for Clickbank - and they get by with it because users are so diverse and are not organized and thus have no leverage...and because they have no real competition.

        Charging for a dormant account is ridiculous and charging your bank for a $0 account should be illegal in my opinion.

        Both the 5 credit card limit and the domant fees are design only to funnel more money to CB. The card limit used to be 3, then went to 4 and was changed to 5 ONLY when CB went to accepting Paypal. Strangely, Paypal sales don't count at all to meet the limits.

        I've had a problem with these terms for a long time. CB is to be a service and is paid by the sellers to promote their products. With the current regulations Sellers are paying commission to CB because CB is not paying those commissions to affiliates - and does not return them to the seller.

        The dormant fee is $1 a month after 90 days, then goes to $5 and then $15. Can you imagine how many new marketers sell only a few products at clickbank - but not enough to reach the 5 card threshold to be paid? You could have 200 sales from customers using Paypal - and never collect a dime of your commissions.

        I think we'd find these two regulations add a lot of money to the CB bottom line. The agreement is that an affiliate sells and is paid by the seller for those sales - and these regulations interfere with that agreement. I've been surprised that no one has seriously challenged them.

        One good thing to know - is that if you close a CB account, they will send you a check. (hint, hint)

        kay
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Lockwood
    Tip: if you have a dormant account and your product isn't selling, you could always make one affiliate sale (of any product, not just yours) using that account, which I assume would knock your account out of dormant status for a while.
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  • Profile picture of the author IMChick
    So this is a double-dip by clickbank. They have charged fees for the product, and are now charging for the use of the account. They'll probably argue that it's fair, but it really is bordering on unethical. One or two simple changes would keep their hands out of the money-grab in our accounts.

    1. watch your accounts, (thanks to the OP for the heads up) and be aware of what is in each

    2. don't be afraid to close dormant accounts. CB should actually send warning-dormant account status emails, and then close accounts with notice. Not nice to money-grab.

    Is clickbank listening here? What is their response?
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    • Profile picture of the author Jeff Henshaw
      Yes I was caught by this “scam” a few years ago. Most of the money I earned was from a particular geographic area, so I could not withdraw it and then it was gradually "siphoned off" by CB, month by month. I ended up with nothing!

      The “scam” is legal though. It is contained somewhere within their Terms & Conditions.

      One other thing that I don't like about CB is that if you live in the EEC, you are charged VAT (Value Added Tax - currently at 17.5% in the UK) on your purchases, even if the product you buy is zero rated for VAT purposes. Zero rated products include books and education (inc. learning materials) as I understand it.

      Unless ebooks and training/learning materials are not regarded as books and education under EEC VAT regulations, I dread to think of the millions that CB would have to repay if customers banded together and took legal action against them for recovery of VAT “unlawfully” charged.

      Well that's my rant for the day!

      Regards,
      Jeff Henshaw.
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        I'm going to take off my fishing hat for a moment, and put on my devil's (advocate) horns...

        I don't see a whole lot of difference between Clickbank running their dormant account fees and memberships/subscriptions that continue to bill whether you access the site or not. Both count on inattention and laziness to create some unearned extra income.

        The requirement to have sales from multiple credit cards is actually intended to protect sellers from buyers who use their accounts to purchase products for themselves, and use the commission as a discount. To be fair, requiring 5 different cards in addition to Paypal does seem a bit excessive.

        I'm not a total bystander in this, either. I have an account that I use for testing, and sometimes it's dormant for months. Over the years, I've lost a hundred dollars or so to their dormant fees. I've never seen a charge to my bank for a dormant account fee. Maybe it's because I always make them send me a paper check, rather than granting access to my account for direct deposit.

        Like most other third-party services, Clickbank has its pluses and minuses. If the minuses outweigh the pluses, find another alternative. Otherwise, about all we can do is find ways to minimize the damages. Like setting low thresholds for payment and living with the processing fee rather than let balances drip away to other fees...

        Horns off, fishing hat back on...
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  • Profile picture of the author Doran Roggio
    Yes, I experienced the same thing. As a result I am not altogether happy with CB. If you do not do large amounts of sales over a given time, much dwindles away from charges.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      If CB cared about buying through your own link - they could disallow it just as Amazon does.

      I still wonder if the "terms" would hold up legally. There's something odd about holding earned commissions to meet a "credit card rule" when you can also siphon off those commissions with a "dormant acct rule". As long as they have no real competition, CB can do it.

      There is no logic to not counting paypal transactions when those clearly come from different paypal accounts. This rule was seldom mentioned before CB began taking paypal and also raised the credit card limit again.

      I use CB but keep the payout at the lowest limit and take checks rather than trust them with my bank account info.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jim Stone
    I emailed a link to this thread to the Clickbank Accounting department. We'll see if they have anything to say about it.

    I really think they would improve their image if they did away with this policy.

    Quick question about the legality thing.

    Let's suppose the dormant fee thing wasn't in effect when you started your account and agreed to the terms.

    And then let's say they changed the terms, but didn't tell you about it or have you agree to the new terms.

    Can they still take your money?

    I know they have some clause (probably) that says the terms can change at any time and all, but it seems there's a limit to what can be covered by a clause like that.

    I mean if they put in something about taking custody of my firstborn child if my account goes dormant, clearly that wouldn't hold up. But it seems a court might have some misgivings about confiscation of funds without full (acknowledged) disclosure, too.

    Thoughts about that? FWIW, I have no idea what terms I agreed to at the beginning :-D

    Jim
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Who knows how the law applies? Because people deal with CB on an individual basis, it's unlikely anyone would take the time and money necessary to get a court decision on it.

      For a long time I hoped a competitor would show up and then CB would need to change some of its ways - but perhaps there is not enough profit in that type of business as the competition isn't there.

      The advantage - a big one - with CB is that they pay you directly and you're not left hunting down seller that owes you money.

      It is what it is - but if you put your thinking cap on - there are ways to get past it.

      kay
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  • Profile picture of the author pmore
    I sure do hope CB takes the time to read through this thread and hopefully do away with that policy.

    I too noticed this a few months back and as a result have stopped promoting CB products. If that dumb policy didn't exist I would still be promoting CB products as an affiliate.
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    • Profile picture of the author sylviad
      You'll find that most sites state their policies/guidelines can change and it's up to you to check them now and then to see if they have changed. That seems rather lazy on their part. They know who their members are. Why not just ship off a quick email to let you know the policy has changed? Too much work, I guess.

      It's perfectly legal for them to do this because they put the responsibility back on you.

      I would suggest you keep your CB payout at a low number. Mine is $100. That way, if your account DOES go dormant, you should jave received a check in 2 weeks, which is well ahead of any "dormant" period.

      My very first CB account was to sell one of my products for $12. I sold one in a year, so I never saw that money. I think the minimum payout is $50.

      Sylvia
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