Beware of Plimus!! I need to pay for the refunds as an affiliate.

by Ilse 63 replies
Hi All,

Would you like to refund Plimus?? First off, i am an affiliate, not a vendor.

Here are the messages they wrote to me about 14 days ago:

1 st message from Plimus

Regrettably, there is an issue with your account and we need your cooperation to resolve it quickly. As of 11/3/2010, your account has a negative balance of $499.50 (U.S. Dollars). This is a result of refunds and chargebacks requested by and paid to your customers for your product(s). Please review the full details by logging into your Plimus account monthly Payment Report. If you have any questions, please contact accountsreceivable@plimus.com immediately.

Per the terms of your Agreement with Plimus, we require complete payment of your negative balance within 14 days from the date of this letter. You can make payment by PayPal, credit card, check, ACH or wire transfer. Instructions follow below. We advise you to act immediately. Failure to make payment within the 14 day time limit may result in your account being suspended or additional debt collection costs, interest and legal fees being incurred.

Payment Methods: (blah, blah,...)

Important (bold text)
Some or all of your balance is being held by Plimus as a reserve until we re-evaluate your account next month. This amount will be carried over until we are certain there is no risk of your account going in to a negative balance. Some reasons for this decision could be, but are not limited to, a high amount of refunds or chargebacks brought against your account recently, problematic issues with your product or process, or recent low activity or no sales. Please contact payments@plimus.com for further information and specific details.

2nd message

You have in your Plimus account 2 refunds (actually one) (attached the payment reports from months: April and May 2010) in total of $499.50 USD.
Also attached the sales report with the 2 refunds (only one) transactions.
As an affiliate you are responsible for all refunds for products you sell. (Really?)

Plimus policy for refunds is on the contract that has been signed by you.
Please find attached the specific relevant paragraph:
19.1. Customer refunds shall be processed by the Seller using the Plimus refunds facility in the Plimus Services. Plimus has incurred charges even if the monies are refunded due to cancellation or chargeback, and therefore the Seller shall continue to be responsible for any commissions assessed at the time of payment and shall be liable for them and these shall be deducted by Plimus when accounting to the Seller.
19.4. The Seller is required to maintain a refund policy that allows customers to request a refund within 30 days of their purchase. Such refunds shall be necessary if the product does not work properly or it was not as described by the Seller. In order to prevent chargebacks, the Seller is encouraged to maintain a more lenient, no questions asked, refund policy whenever possible. Only one refund can be made for each transaction, whether it be total or partial.
The meaning is that the affiliate is responsible for any refunds.
Plimus already made the 2 refunds and return the money to the buyers. now it's your responsibility to pay Plimus the money you owe.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

End of messages

What's your opinion on this matter?

I am pretty upset, they threat me like a thief. At first they pay me affiliate sales through Paypal, now they claim their money back while they clearly state:

Some or all of your balance is being held by Plimus as a reserve until we re-evaluate your account next month. This amount will be carried over until we are certain there is no risk of your account going in to a negative balance.

Thanks

#main internet marketing discussion forum #affiliate #beware #pay #plimus #refunds
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  • Profile picture of the author webfighter
    Originally Posted by Ilse View Post

    As an affiliate you are responsible for all refunds for products you sell. (Really?)
    Sorry, I don't really get it. Is plimus asking you to pay for the products you sold in "full" or only the commission you earned when you promoted them?

    If the case is latter, then it really is okay for them to act that way.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ilse
      Originally Posted by webfighter View Post

      Sorry, I don't really get it. Is plimus asking you to pay for the products you sold in "full" or only the commission you earned when you promoted them?

      If the case is latter, then it really is okay for them to act that way.
      Commission
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by Ilse View Post

    At first they pay me affiliate sales through Paypal, now they claim their money back while they clearly state:

    Some or all of your balance is being held by Plimus as a reserve until we re-evaluate your account next month. This amount will be carried over until we are certain there is no risk of your account going in to a negative balance.
    They don't mean (or say) that there can't be circumstances under which they don't ask you to repay money, though, I think? They probably couldn't possibly run their business on those lines: they'd be far more open to fraudulent transactions than they are now. They'd have to "retain" 100% until the end of each guarantee-period. :confused:

    If you'll excuse the observation, it seems to me to be a long way from the content of their email to the conclusion that they're "treating you like a thief". :confused:
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  • Profile picture of the author Ilse
    The guarantee period was expired. So, why should i return the money as an affiliate? I never had the same problem with Clickbank (using them for over 3 years)
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    • Profile picture of the author Kirk Ward
      Originally Posted by Istvan Horvath View Post

      I don't see the problem...

      An item was sold. The vendor and you (as an affiliate) got paid.
      Now the buyer is asking for a refund for the sold item. > Both you and the vendor should give back your share. The buyer gets his/her money.

      In your opinion WHO should pay the refund if not the people (= you & vendor) who got the money?
      Originally Posted by Ilse View Post

      The guarantee period was expired. So, why should i return the money as an affiliate? I never had the same problem with Clickbank (using them for over 3 years)
      If the guarantee period has expired (30 day guarantee, etc.), I can see where Ilse is upset.

      Personally, I would think that in general the product developer/seller would be the one responsible for paying the refund. Ilse did their job and referred a buyer. If their agreement is that the affiliate loses a commission, then the seller (or Plimus) should hold commissions until the guarantee period has expired and then release the commissions without recourse.
      .
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      • Profile picture of the author Ilse
        Originally Posted by Kirk Ward View Post

        If the guarantee period has expired (30 day guarantee, etc.), I can see where Ilse is upset.

        Personally, I would think that in general the product developer/seller would be the one responsible for paying the refund. Ilse did their job and referred a buyer. If their agreement is that the affiliate loses a commission, then the seller (or Plimus) should hold commissions until the guarantee period has expired and then release the commissions without recourse.
        .
        That's part of doing business, isn't it?
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        • Profile picture of the author Kirk Ward
          Originally Posted by Ilse View Post

          That's part of doing business, isn't it?
          It is a part of business to do a chargeback, but ...

          If the chargeback comes after the terms of the sale allow for a refund, then neither the affiliate or the seller should be liable to the buyer. (Note the extensive use of the word "should," an obtuse parent word.)

          If Plimus holds funds for the guarantee period, then it is their obligation to release them and fight the chargeback on their own after that point. Although, they may have written their TOS to stiff you on that, or decided to do what they want anyway, by modifying the TOS after your original agreement.
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  • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
    I don't see the problem...

    An item was sold. The vendor and you (as an affiliate) got paid.
    Now the buyer is asking for a refund for the sold item. > Both you and the vendor should give back your share. The buyer gets his/her money.

    In your opinion WHO should pay the refund if not the people (= you & vendor) who got the money?
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    • Profile picture of the author Ilse
      Originally Posted by Istvan Horvath View Post

      I don't see the problem...

      An item was sold. The vendor and you (as an affiliate) got paid.
      Now the buyer is asking for a refund for the sold item. > Both you and the vendor should give back your share. The buyer gets his/her money.

      In your opinion WHO should pay the refund if not the people (= you & vendor) who got the money?
      I do not agree. Plimus should have kept the money until they are save to release it to me as an affiliate. "This amount will be carried over until we are certain there is no risk of your account going in to a negative balance." According to what they write, they are lying...
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  • Hi --

    I don't believe they will try and 'collect' it from you. They just simply won't make any payments to you until your balance exceeds $0. (So you'd have to make $500 worth of affiliate sales to pass the $0 balance, and then you'd start receiving cheques again).

    I'm curious though -- when was the refund processed? Credit Card companies will (usually max) only allow refunds up to 90 days (3 months). If that was in April/May according to what you wrote, that is almost 8-9 months ago, so is quite wierd that they would process a refund now.

    John
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    • Profile picture of the author Ilse
      Originally Posted by InternetSuccess001 View Post

      Hi --

      I don't believe they will try and 'collect' it from you. They just simply won't make any payments to you until your balance exceeds $0. (So you'd have to make $500 worth of affiliate sales to pass the $0 balance, and then you'd start receiving cheques again).

      I'm curious though -- when was the refund processed? Credit Card companies will (usually max) only allow refunds up to 90 days (3 months). If that was in April/May according to what you wrote, that is almost 8-9 months ago, so is quite wierd that they would process a refund now.

      John
      They ask me to return the money.
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  • Profile picture of the author christopher jon
    It's actually standard business practice.

    Whenever I've had a refund or a charge back I always get a $-30 or whatever the amount is. I guess I've never been in your exact situation since I've never had an account go into a negative balance due to refunds.

    I'd be kinda cranky if I had a $-500 balance.
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  • Profile picture of the author christopher jon
    Well, it's certainly not a standard business practice to issue refunds after the expiry of the guarantee-period. This is a different matter altogeth
    No, that part I don't understand. But each affiliate program has it's own way of doing things.

    If the guarantee period had expired I don't know why they would be issuing a refund. It is possible that the refund period hadn't expired and the OP made a mistake. We're all kinda working off the limited information we've been given and our own experiences to make our assumptions... and you know what they say about assuming
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    • Profile picture of the author Floyd Fisher
      Originally Posted by christopher jon View Post

      No, that part I don't understand. But each affiliate program has it's own way of doing things.

      If the guarantee period had expired I don't know why they would be issuing a refund. It is possible that the refund period hadn't expired and the OP made a mistake. We're all kinda working off the limited information we've been given and our own experiences to make our assumptions... and you know what they say about assuming
      Three words come to mind: credit card fraud.

      Guarantees don't matter when fraud is involved.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ilse
    Plimus needs to learn how to conduct business.
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  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    If this angers you, then you need to get out of Affiliate Marketing now!!!!

    All of the affiliate networks do it.

    If the customer refunds, whatever dollar amount you earned on the transaction will be refunded to the affiliate network from YOU!!

    Otherwise, you and I could scam the hell out of them. I buy the product, you get paid for the product on your commission, then I refund. We split the revenue on the fake transaction.

    I cannot think of a single affiliate network that will allow you to keep the commissions on a product that refunds.

    On RapBank, a 50% commission is paid by sending 100% of the full payment to you, then 100% of the next transaction to the vendor.

    If you sold the product through RapBank and you got the full 100% for the one transaction, then you would be liable for the full 100% refund.

    That is just the way it works.

    Why should you expect to get paid for a transaction that failed to complete? A refund voids the transaction, so therefore it voids your commission.

    You appear to be having a stomping tantrum, because you cannot get paid on an incomplete transaction?

    Correct me where I am wrong.


    Originally Posted by Ilse View Post

    Plimus needs to learn how to conduct business.
    It is not Plimus that needs to learn how to conduct business. It is you that needs to learn how affiliate networks do business.

    If you still think that it is unacceptable to be asked to refund what you are paid, when the customer asks for a refund, then YOU my friend are in the wrong business model.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ilse
      Originally Posted by tpw View Post

      If this angers you, then you need to get out of Affiliate Marketing now!!!!

      All of the affiliate networks do it.

      If the customer refunds, whatever dollar amount you earned on the transaction will be refunded to the affiliate network from YOU!!

      Otherwise, you and I could scam the hell out of them. I buy the product, you get paid for the product on your commission, then I refund. We split the revenue on the fake transaction.

      I cannot think of a single affiliate network that will allow you to keep the commissions on a product that refunds.

      On RapBank, a 50% commission is paid by sending 100% of the full payment to you, then 100% of the next transaction to the vendor.

      If you sold the product through RapBank and you got the full 100% for the one transaction, then you would be liable for the full 100% refund.

      That is just the way it works.

      Why should you expect to get paid for a transaction that failed to complete? A refund voids the transaction, so therefore it voids your commission.

      You appear to be having a stomping tantrum, because you cannot get paid on an incomplete transaction?

      Correct me where I am wrong.




      It is not Plimus that needs to learn how to conduct business. It is you that needs to learn how affiliate networks do business.

      If you still think that it is unacceptable to be asked to refund what you are paid, when the customer asks for a refund, then YOU my friend are in the wrong business model.
      I totally disagree with your post. You get a commission, then you need to refund. Hello, come to the real world of affiliate business. That's not the way it works.
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
        Banned
        Originally Posted by Ilse View Post

        You get a commission, then you need to refund. Hello, come to the real world of affiliate business. That's not the way it works.
        That honestly is exactly how it works, Ilse.

        The place where you may be in the right, here, is over the issue of a refund having been given outside the guarantee-period. If you can prove that, you'll perhaps have some justification on your side, and perhaps some sympathy from others here, too. Without that, I'm afraid you really have nothing at all, much though many of us can appreciate your misfortune in this regard.
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        • Profile picture of the author Ilse
          Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

          That honestly is exactly how it works, Ilse.

          The place where you may be in the right, here, is over the issue of a refund having been given outside the guarantee-period. If you can prove that, you'll perhaps have some justification on your side, and perhaps some sympathy from others here, too. Without that, I'm afraid you really have nothing at all, much though many of us can appreciate your misfortune in this regard.
          I know how affiliate buisness works. You don't have to teach me...
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          • Profile picture of the author Westin Thompson
            Originally Posted by Ilse View Post

            I know how affiliate buisness works. You don't have to teach me...
            People are just trying to offer reasonable advice. Everyone in this thread has experience with affiliate marketing and they've obviously been down this road before. There really is no way around it. Get yourself back out there and keep pushing it. You can easily have that made up in a weeks tiem if not earlier.
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            • Profile picture of the author Ilse
              Originally Posted by Westin Thompson View Post

              People are just trying to offer reasonable advice. Everyone in this thread has experience with affiliate marketing and they've obviously been down this road before. There really is no way around it. Get yourself back out there and keep pushing it. You can easily have that made up in a weeks tiem if not earlier.
              I stopped promoting products through Plimus because they threat me like a thief.
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              • Profile picture of the author theimdude
                Ilse I am with you on this one and fail to understand some of the comments here

                1. You sign up as an affiliate marketing the product
                2. You get a sale did all the work
                3. Then AFTER the guarantee gone plimus want you to pay back as the buyer now want's a refund

                Not on and that is not how affiliate marketing work. Some compare Clickbank here. I market CB and I can assure you that after the 60 day period I get my money and CB will not honor a refund and if they do it is at there cost not mine
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      • Profile picture of the author tpw
        Originally Posted by Ilse View Post

        I totally disagree with your post. You get a commission, then you need to refund. Hello, come to the real world of affiliate business. That's not the way it works.

        Hmmm... Who exactly is not living in the real world?

        Actually that is the way it works, and I have done refunds through affiliate networks before.

        Like Istvan said, the persons responsible for giving back the money to the consumer is:

        * The Vendor should return what it was paid;

        * The Affiliate should return what he was paid; and

        * The Affiliate Network should return what it was paid.


        If the shoe was on the other foot, you would see nothing wrong with this arrangement.

        Fair is fair, until you have to pay your fair share, right?

        The Affiliate Network and the Vendor may have had a 30-day refund policy, but some of the credit card companies provide their customers a longer window of protection. For example, American Express will protect the consumer, for I believe, 6 months after the purchase.

        Let's re-examine what you said:

        Originally Posted by Ilse View Post

        You get a commission, then you need to refund.
        When I was selling TV's for a living, I was paid "on what I sold".

        If the customer brought the product back within 90 days, the store refunded the money to the customer.

        The moment the item went into "refund", the item was no longer sold.

        Therefore, I was no longer entitled to a commission on that product sale, because the product sale no longer existed!!!

        In the Real World, you do not get to keep commissions that are no longer earned, on sales that no longer exist!!!
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        • Profile picture of the author Ilse
          Originally Posted by tpw View Post

          Hmmm... Who exactly is not living in the real world?

          Actually that is the way it works, and I have done refunds through affiliate networks before.

          Like Istvan said, the persons responsible for giving back the money to the consumer is:

          * The Vendor should return what it was paid;

          * The Affiliate should return what he was paid; and

          * The Affiliate Network should return what it was paid.


          If the shoe was on the other foot, you would see nothing wrong with this arrangement.

          Fair is fair, until you have to pay your fair share, right?

          The Affiliate Network and the Vendor may have had a 30-day refund policy, but some of the credit card companies provide their customers a longer window of protection. For example, American Express will protect the consumer, for I believe, 6 months after the purchase.

          Let's re-examine what you said:



          When I was selling TV's for a living, I was paid "on what I sold".

          If the customer brought the product back within 90 days, the store refunded the money to the customer.

          The moment the item went into "refund", the item was no longer sold.

          Therefore, I was no longer entitled to a commission on that product sale, because the product sale no longer existed!!!

          In the Real World, you do not get to keep commissions that are no longer earned, on sales that no longer exist!!!
          That's bull** and you know it.
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          • Profile picture of the author tpw
            Originally Posted by Ilse View Post

            That's bull** and you know it.

            Nope. I don't believe it is bull****...

            I just think that you want to play by your own rules.

            And yes, Clickbank has taken dozens of refunds out of my commissions. So good luck with preventing them from doing the same to you.
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            • Profile picture of the author Black Hat Cat
              Banned
              Originally Posted by tpw View Post

              Nope. I don't believe it is bull****...

              I just think that you want to play by your own rules.

              And yes, Clickbank has taken dozens of refunds out of my commissions. So good luck with preventing them from doing the same to you.
              How many checks have they told you to send back because someone requested a refund after CB paid you your commission?

              If the customer brought the product back within 90 days, the store refunded the money to the customer.
              What did they do if the customer brought it back on day 120? Did they issue a refund, and tell you to give them back the commission you earned?
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              • Profile picture of the author Kevin Williams
                Originally Posted by Black Hat Cat View Post

                What did they do if the customer brought it back on day 120? Did they issue a refund, and tell you to give them back the commission you earned?
                Bah, I was going to say this. He complains about how refunds are valid and then gives an example that completely agrees with the point of the thread. I'm wondering if he even fully read through the thread before posting this?
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                • Profile picture of the author tpw
                  Originally Posted by Kevin Williams View Post

                  Originally Posted by Black Hat Cat View Post

                  What did they do if the customer brought it back on day 120? Did they issue a refund, and tell you to give them back the commission you earned?
                  Bah, I was going to say this. He complains about how refunds are valid and then gives an example that completely agrees with the point of the thread. I'm wondering if he even fully read through the thread before posting this?

                  In no way did I contradict myself on this matter. and I have read the thread in full.

                  Yes, the store I worked for did not take American Express as a valid form of payment.

                  But I am confident if someone had done a chargeback after the 90-day guarantee had closed, they would have taken my commissions back out of my next paycheck.

                  Just because it had never happened when I worked there does not mean that they would not have taken that step, when confronted with that situation. I was a commissioned employee, so therefore I expect that goes with the territory.

                  Additionally, I do not know how long between payment and refund on the products I earned commissions on in Clickbank, but all refunds ended in refunded commissions.

                  Like it or not, it happens.

                  As long as we sell products on commission, be it for a brick-and-mortar or an online company, chargebacks will lead to our commissions being withdrawn from our reserve, and if the reserve does not cover the amount of the refunded commission, they will send us a bill.

                  We can complain about how wrong we think it is to do, but that is the way it is. You can complain or move one. The OP prefers to complain. I prefer to move on.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kirk Ward
      Originally Posted by tpw View Post

      If this angers you, then you need to get out of Affiliate Marketing now!!!!

      All of the affiliate networks do it.
      I am not an affiliate marketer. I pay affiliates, but do not sell as an affiliate.

      Your acceptance of this angers me. It is this acceptance that allows the networks to "set their own rules." Paying a refund after the terms of the sale is in violation of every ethic I know of, and of a few laws that I know of. In my book, it is tantamount to extortion. The network holds the affiliate and the seller hostage to their continued network.

      Originally Posted by tpw View Post

      If the customer refunds, whatever dollar amount you earned on the transaction will be refunded to the affiliate network from YOU!!

      Otherwise, you and I could scam the hell out of them. I buy the product, you get paid for the product on your commission, then I refund. We split the revenue on the fake transaction

      I cannot think of a single affiliate network that will allow you to keep the commissions on a product that refunds..
      AFTER the refund period has expired? That is the networks responsibility to handle. That is part of why the affiliate and the seller joined the network.

      Originally Posted by tpw View Post

      Why should you expect to get paid for a transaction that failed to complete? A refund voids the transaction, so therefore it voids your commission.
      The transaction was completed when the guarantee period expired. After that the buyer had no right to a refund. Any refund given after that point is the full responsibility of the entity who authorized the refund.

      Originally Posted by tpw View Post

      You appear to be having a stomping tantrum, because you cannot get paid on an incomplete transaction?
      You appear to be on a self-righteous high horse and not absorbing all of the information. The OP stated that the guarantee period had expired. He (or she) did not mention that there was any claim of manufacturing defect or fraud, which are both subject to the laws of the states or territories involved in the transaction.

      Originally Posted by tpw View Post

      Correct me where I am wrong.
      I tried to in the notes above.

      Originally Posted by tpw View Post

      It is not Plimus that needs to learn how to conduct business. It is you that needs to learn how affiliate networks do business.

      If you still think that it is unacceptable to be asked to refund what you are paid, when the customer asks for a refund, then YOU my friend are in the wrong business model.
      And you are again getting on a self-righteous high-horse. I think Ilse has discussed this in a very professional manner.
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  • Profile picture of the author christopher jon
    I totally disagree with your post. You get a commission, then you need to refund. Hello, come to the real world of affiliate business. That's not the way it works.
    Not to start an argument, but, what tpw said is exactly how it works. Like it or not, I don't think you're going to find an affiliate program that works differently.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ilse
    Thanks for all your responses. I appreciate it.
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  • Profile picture of the author DonDavis
    It sounds like it probably wasn't a refund, but a chargeback. If I am not mistaken I think the allowable period for a card holder to file a chargeback is generally 6 months.

    Isle- would you rather they hold your commish for six months so you are safe from a changeback as well?
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    • Profile picture of the author Kirk Ward
      Originally Posted by DonDavis View Post

      It sounds like it probably wasn't a refund, but a chargeback. If I am not mistaken I think the allowable period for a card holder to file a chargeback is generally 6 months.

      Isle- would you rather they hold your commish for six months so you are safe from a changeback as well?
      I am "pretty sure" the chargeback period on a credit card is sixty days.

      If it was a chargeback past the "guarantee" period, then it is the networks duty to fight the chargeback, and be a little more polite in their communication.
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      • Profile picture of the author Andy Fletcher
        Originally Posted by Kirk Ward View Post

        I am "pretty sure" the chargeback period on a credit card is sixty days.

        If it was a chargeback past the "guarantee" period, then it is the networks duty to fight the chargeback, and be a little more polite in their communication.
        Without wanting to throw fuel on a fire...

        Why do you believe this is the network's duty? To fight the chargeback that is, I don't want to discuss the rights and wrongs of their email copy.
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        • Profile picture of the author Kirk Ward
          Originally Posted by Andy Fletcher View Post

          Without wanting to throw fuel on a fire...

          Why do you believe this is the network's duty? To fight the chargeback that is, I don't want to discuss the rights and wrongs of their email copy.
          The network is legally the seller of the product.

          If this were in court in any jurisdiction I have been in (and it was a bunch, in a field related to this type of matter) then the seller has a legal obligation to defend the sale.

          And the rights and wrongs of their email is merely my personal and judgmental opinion. You are quite correct in avoiding a discussion of that. I do get on my own high horse about that ... just before I get in a cra*ppy mood and start mouthing off at the seams.
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          • Profile picture of the author Andy Fletcher
            Originally Posted by Kirk Ward View Post

            The network is legally the seller of the product.

            If this were in court in any jurisdiction I have been in (and it was a bunch, in a field related to this type of matter) then the seller has a legal obligation to defend the sale.
            Are Plimus the seller?

            I know that's how Clickbank operate but it's not the case for all affiliate networks.

            I'm obviously interested in this discussion because I run one and I can tell you we're not the seller, the vendor is.

            If Plimus aren't the seller and the vendor is, does your answer change?
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            • Profile picture of the author Kirk Ward
              Originally Posted by Andy Fletcher View Post

              Are Plimus the seller?

              I know that's how Clickbank operate but it's not the case for all affiliate networks.

              I'm obviously interested in this discussion because I run one and I can tell you we're not the seller, the vendor is.

              If Plimus aren't the seller and the vendor is, does your answer change?
              I cannot state for Plimus, but the few networks I have looked at all work that way.

              I'd be interested in looking at your model to see how you have it constructed. How does your contract state that you earn your money. NOTE: I'm not an attorney and can't give any sort of legal advice. I can only comment from a bankers opinion of accounts receivable sales and collections. If you want, send me a PM with any feedback.
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              • Profile picture of the author Andy Fletcher
                Originally Posted by Kirk Ward View Post

                I cannot state for Plimus, but the few networks I have looked at all work that way.

                I'd be interested in looking at your model to see how you have it constructed. How does your contract state that you earn your money. NOTE: I'm not an attorney and can't give any sort of legal advice. I can only comment from a bankers opinion of accounts receivable sales and collections. If you want, send me a PM with any feedback.
                For us the payment processor is PayPal. We use their adaptive payment system to instantly pay commission to the affiliate and the network.

                In PayPal it appears as if the money was paid from customer to Vendor then as if the vendor immediately paid the correct amounts to affiliate and network.

                Who do you think is responsible for challenging the chargeback in this case?

                I acknowledge you're not a lawyer/accountant etc
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                • Profile picture of the author Kirk Ward
                  Originally Posted by Andy Fletcher View Post

                  For us the payment processor is PayPal. We use their adaptive payment system to instantly pay commission to the affiliate and the network.

                  In PayPal it appears as if the money was paid from customer to Vendor then as if the vendor immediately paid the correct amounts to affiliate and network.

                  Who do you think is responsible for challenging the chargeback in this case?

                  I acknowledge you're not a lawyer/accountant etc
                  Actually, the closest analogy to my occupation is accountant. I was an auditor who analyzed the sales and accounts of bank borrowers and expressed an internal opinion about their collectability in court, if the bank should have to go to court to collect on the receivables of the company borrowing the money. Clear as mud?

                  In this case, I would look at the matter as if PayPal is the bank. In cases like that, then the bank is advancing money to the seller and acting as their agent or impartial middleman to collect from the buyer.

                  Beyond that, I would have to look at the terms of the agreements between the seller, the network and the referring agent (affiliate) to ensure that there was no creation of agency by any party.

                  Other than that, my opinion is worth diddly.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ilse
      Originally Posted by DonDavis View Post

      It sounds like it probably wasn't a refund, but a chargeback. If I am not mistaken I think the allowable period for a card holder to file a chargeback is generally 6 months.

      Isle- would you rather they hold your commish for six months so you are safe from a changeback as well?
      Yes, no doubt about it. It cost me about $100 extra to return their money.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ilse
    We're talking about guarantee sir.
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    • Profile picture of the author Christian Sawyer
      Originally Posted by Ilse View Post

      We're talking about guarantee sir.
      SIR, the point Bill is trying to make to you is that guarantees and refunds could be irrelevant if it were to be a chargeback.

      Credit card companies honor these chargebacks between 3-6 months after purchase...

      If this were the case in this situation, Plimus LOSES money...therefore they deduct the purchase amount equally from you and the vendor, assuming the commission was 50%.

      What's wrong with this? **** happens...

      You can't honestly just expect Plimus to take the hit...be realistic!

      -Christian
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      • Profile picture of the author zerofill
        I don't care what you make your guarantee or refund period... don't care what the network states is their max refund period...

        If they get a chargeback they are taking it from you period... There is no other network on this planet that you will find that won't.

        Go get a real merchant account and watch wtf happens...

        90 days down the road... oh chargeback pops up...

        You think your merchant account provider isn't going to charge you the amount and $39 dollars on top of it usually and some other bull**** fees they throw in some times?

        Then play games with you filling out this and answering that for another 60 days? Then on top of that unless your doing something like verified by visa... your still screwed.

        If you think the way they are doing it is any different than a normal merchant account your sadly mistaken....

        Plain and simple... it boils down to this...

        It wasn't their product it was your product... if someone wants to refund or do a chargeback it's is your problem.

        Your product = Your Problem
        Your affiliate Commission = Your Problem

        I am getting the feeling that not many people saying Plimus is wrong ever had a real merchant account before.

        Think PayPal cares about your refund guarantee window passing or their 60 day or whatever window for refunds passes if they get a chargeback? NOT...

        Whether anyone thinks it is fair, unfair, bull****... or whatever... it is what it is and it is no different no matter if you use a payment processor online, a real merchant account... The outcome will be the same.
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        • Profile picture of the author Black Hat Cat
          Banned
          Originally Posted by zerofill View Post

          If they get a chargeback they are taking it from you period... There is no other network on this planet that you will find that won't.
          So, if Clickbank gets a chargeback 6 months from now, they're going to take it from me if I have no balance in the account, and they've already sent me the check?
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          • Profile picture of the author Christian Sawyer
            Originally Posted by Black Hat Cat View Post

            So, if Clickbank gets a chargeback 6 months from now, they're going to take it from me if I have no balance in the account, and they've already sent me the check?
            Actually, yes. They take it from your reserve, and if the money isn't there, they put a hold on your future commissions until your account reaches a positive balance.

            -Christian
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  • Hi --

    I can understand -- if this is the first time you have gotten into affiliate marketing, it really hurts when you get a refund. Especially if it is/was a large order, as it appears you have gotten.

    I've had that happen, and I know the first time it did, it was upsetting. However, that is just part of the business/game, so just keep promoting & make new sales.

    John
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    • Profile picture of the author Kirk Ward
      Originally Posted by InternetSuccess001 View Post

      Hi --

      I can understand -- if this is the first time you have gotten into affiliate marketing, it really hurts when you get a refund. Especially if it is/was a large order, as it appears you have gotten.

      I've had that happen, and I know the first time it did, it was upsetting. However, that is just part of the business/game, so just keep promoting & make new sales.

      John
      Ilse has been with Clickbank for three years. So he/she doesn't appear to be new.

      $500 is a sizeable affiliate commission, and should be defended by the selling network. It looks to me like Plimus is being rude and lazy.
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  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    Originally Posted by Kirk Ward View Post

    You appear to be on a self-righteous high horse and not absorbing all of the information. The OP stated that the guarantee period had expired. He (or she) did not mention that there was any claim of manufacturing defect or fraud, which are both subject to the laws of the states or territories involved in the transaction.
    I absorbed the information just fine, thank you.

    That does not change the fact that I had paid refunds through Paypal and a merchant account, because American Express chose to only listen to one side of the story -- their customers' side of the story.

    Services delivered in full. Amex charges back on the customers' request. I am hosed, with little recourse, except for litigation across state lines.

    The last one burned me for $1500 four months after the work was completed.

    I had paid all of my employees and vendors to get the work done, yet after the guarantee period was expired, I was left holding the bag for a customer that decided to beat me over the head with their American Express card.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kirk Ward
      Originally Posted by tpw View Post

      I absorbed the information just fine, thank you.

      That does not change the fact that I had paid refunds through Paypal and a merchant account, because American Express chose to only listen to one side of the story -- their customers' side of the story.

      Services delivered in full. Amex charges back on the customers' request. I am hosed, with little recourse, except for litigation across state lines.

      The last one burned me for $1500 four months after the work was completed.

      I had paid all of my employees and vendors to get the work done, yet after the guarantee period was expired, I was left holding the bag for a customer that decided to beat me over the head with their American Express card.
      I'm sorry for your loss, but having worked with banks and bankers in matters like this for over two decades, I can tell you that they do not listen to just one side of the conversation. Banks and bankers are totally asexual as far as who is right, customer or seller. All they care about is what will stand up in the local court.

      My "opinion" is that if you paid an impartial third party to analyze your documentation, you would be told that your evidence was weak and that you would lose in any litigation. Of course, this would cost money, and would only be worthwhile if you had a strong enough case to win, in which you would most likely recover costs, which throws your argument of litigation over state lines out the window.
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  • Profile picture of the author Caleb Spilchen
    Hey There,

    In this case, essentially, you have already been paid
    out the commission for the sale to X Person, and so
    Plimus has already paid out the commission that was
    refunded upon. Although, most networks do hold a
    reserve amount, there may not have been a reserve
    large enough to cover your negative balance, so they
    asked you to pay back the money to cover said refunds.

    If you promoted my product, it would be instant commissions,
    and say that someone chargebacked, that would be ON YOUR
    paypal account, not mine, because you were the affiliate, so
    you would be responsible to pay up, no matter whether it was
    a year later. Is plimus responsible for the chargebacks towards
    you?

    No they aren't.

    I've never been to an affiliate network, where I was given the
    cash and told that "if there were refunds", I was in the clear
    and could keep the money...

    It's like bill selling my product to alexa, she refunds, and bill
    still keeps the commission. Where would bill's commission
    $$ be coming from? Out of pocket from me, because the
    refund meant I would have no money.

    It's understandable that you are p'od and trust me, all of
    us would be upset about this $500. BUT, someone refunded
    and it's not exactly Plimus's fault that they did, so yes you
    do need to refund people.

    Your not "paying the refunds", you are returning the money so
    they can give it to the proper place.

    Caleb
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  • Profile picture of the author halmo
    Originally Posted by Ilse View Post

    As an affiliate you are responsible for all refunds for products you sell. (Really?)

    NOTE: Does "all refunds" mean "full refunds?"

    Plimus policy for refunds is on the contract that has been signed by you.
    Please find attached the specific relevant paragraph:
    19.1. Customer refunds shall be processed by the Seller using the Plimus refunds facility in the Plimus Services. Plimus has incurred charges even if the monies are refunded due to cancellation or chargeback, and therefore the Seller shall continue to be responsible for any commissions assessed at the time of payment and shall be liable for them and these shall be deducted by Plimus when accounting to the Seller.
    Based on the red highlighted texts above, do the terms "affiliate" and s"eller" mean the same? And, if refunds shall be processed by the seller, then who authorized and processed the refund AFTER the guarantee period? Plimus or the product vendor? As far as I understand from the original OP, the affiliate didn't process the refund.

    It is not clear to me whether Plimus considers the product vendor or the affiliate (or itself) to be the "Seller" as stated in their policy above.

    Was it really a refund or a chargeback?


    The difference between a refund and a chargeback is quite notable.

    Clickbank takes title of the product the moment when it is being sold to the buyer, and transfers that title to the buyer immediately when the purchase is completed. Since they take title, they process the payment as their own, through their own payment system (and their merchant account that they maintain with some merchant account provider). That's why "Clickbank" appears on the credit card statement of the buyer, instead of the name of the vendor./product creator or the name of the affiliate.

    Since Clickbank processed the initial transaction as its own, Clickbank is the only person (entity) that could fight a chargeback. That's why some people here mentioned that they never had any chargeback issues with Clickbank after 60 days. That's also the reason Clickbank requires its vendors to provide 60 days refund guarantee -- to minimize chargebacks.

    I don't know whether Plimus takes title of the product or not, or they just serve as a network, and provide payment processing as part of their services to their members. It would be useful to read the whole TOS of Plimus (which I didn't do, but could be useful to the OP).

    NOTE: I am not a lawyer, and this should not be taken as legal interpretation or advice.
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    • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
      That section 19 is from the Plimus ecommerce agreement, most of it applicable to just product sellers and not affiliates.

      However, section 5 from the Plimus affiliate agreement permits affiliate accounts to be debited for refunds, nonpayments, and chargebacks up to 6 months from the date of the chargeback.

      Always helps to actually read the contracts instead of getting into emotional arguments.
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      • Profile picture of the author halmo
        Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

        That section 19 is from the Plimus ecommerce agreement, most of it applicable to just product sellers and not affiliates.

        However, section 5 from the Plimus affiliate agreement permits affiliate accounts to be debited for refunds, nonpayments, and chargebacks up to 6 months from the date of the chargeback.

        Always helps to actually read the contracts instead of getting into emotional arguments.
        Thanks for looking it up.
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      • Profile picture of the author powerspike
        Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

        However, section 5 from the Plimus affiliate agreement permits affiliate accounts to be debited for refunds, nonpayments, and chargebacks up to 6 months from the date of the chargeback
        This doesn't suprize me at all. Once i had to do a chargeback on my credit card (non deliveried goods), it took around 6 weeks for the chargeback to be accepted.

        I don't agree with plimus doing a refund 5-6 months after the sale. But if the person wanted a refund after the expire period, they could of agured with them for a few weeks, and started a chargeback after that. Reading inbetween the lines, the product could of been some type of monthly membership product, or product payments (ie pay XX per month for 2 months). This might explain a few things.

        I might be blind, but the op hasn't specified if this was the full price of the product or just the commision as an affiliate?
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        • Profile picture of the author halmo
          After I re-read my post, I realized that it may have implied a bias toward the side of this Plimus issue that I didn't mean to imply. Just wanted to raise some questions that I thought needed answers before the overall issue could have a definite answer.

          Just for the record.



          And, thanks to kindsvater for looking up the answers.
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        • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
          Banned
          Originally Posted by powerspike View Post

          I might be blind, but the op hasn't specified if this was the full price of the product or just the commision as an affiliate?
          My guess is that he regarded it as going without saying that it was only what he received in affiliate commission. If it had been more than that, he really would have something to complain about!
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  • Profile picture of the author WD Mino
    I really don't see why there is a lot of heat coming in this thread.

    I mean clickbank is the same if a customer does a charge back the commissions earned are forfeited to cover the refund why should the affiliate network be responsible to pay the customer it is the seller's responsibility to ensure the customer is taken care of using a third party service does not excuse that responsibility and refunds happen no matter what you do to ensure they don't I know some who have had thousands debited out of their accounts due to a refund/charge back. places like click bank plimus payspree etc they have their own name to protect and customer service is right up there.
    Like it is not a huge deal if you don't like it drop out and make your own products or whatever but man alive why get so heated up over something that really for most of us would be just part of doing business it inevitably comes down to taking care of your customer. affiliate or no.
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    • Profile picture of the author paulie888
      Originally Posted by WD Mino View Post

      I really don't see why there is a lot of heat coming in this thread.

      I mean clickbank is the same if a customer does a charge back the commissions earned are forfeited to cover the refund why should the affiliate network be responsible to pay the customer it is the seller's responsibility to ensure the customer is taken care of using a third party service does not excuse that responsibility and refunds happen no matter what you do to ensure they don't I know some who have had thousands debited out of their accounts due to a refund/charge back. places like click bank plimus payspree etc they have their own name to protect and customer service is right up there.
      Like it is not a huge deal if you don't like it drop out and make your own products or whatever but man alive why get so heated up over something that really for most of us would be just part of doing business it inevitably comes down to taking care of your customer. affiliate or no.
      -WD
      Those were my thoughts too. Why get so incensed over this when this is exactly what Clickbank (the largest digital product marketplace in the world) also does? Clickbank holds a reserve of your pending commissions so that they can deduct from that when the inevitable refunds occur. Of course, if the refund rate is higher than usual it could obviously exceed the reserve held, and in your case it was so high that they felt the need to request payment from you, which is perfectly understandable.

      One way or the other, the merchant will inevitably get the money for refunds back from you. Think about it from their perspective - if you want to run a profitable business you'd definitely not want to pay affiliates out of your own pocket, right?

      Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author dagaul101
    Pretty worrying if an affiliate network suddenly gives you a negative balance, that will turn anybody off, even if those leads were fraudulent, refund the advertiser and scrub the leads, not go after the affiliate
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    • Profile picture of the author celente
      Originally Posted by dagaul101 View Post

      Pretty worrying if an affiliate network suddenly gives you a negative balance, that will turn anybody off, even if those leads were fraudulent, refund the advertiser and scrub the leads, not go after the affiliate
      I would scrub those leads agreed that is just going to get you introuble down the track.

      Better to stay on the legal side of the fence too.
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  • Profile picture of the author thegabrieljibril
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    • Profile picture of the author tpw
      Originally Posted by thegabrieljibril View Post

      they should hold the money until it is safe to pay an affiliate.
      In this case, you would never be paid as an affiliate before the expiration of 6 months after the sale.

      Do you want to wait 6 months to be paid for ALL affiliate transactions?

      Honestly, I would imagine that most chargebacks will come before 60 days after the original transaction -- most as in 90-95% of cases, although I can only speak from my personal experience as a seller.

      So in most cases, the affiliate network waits the 60 days, then they issue a check.

      This allows affiliates to be paid as quickly as possible, with only an outside chance of a chargeback happening.

      As an affiliate, I prefer to be paid 3 months after the sale, rather than 7 months after the sale.

      Bigger affiliates, who make a lot more money as an affiliate, can be paid by some companies 2 weeks after the sale, because 1) The affiliate leaves a reserve balance at the affiliate network, and 2) The affiliate has historically run enough volume to allow potential chargebacks to be covered by future earnings.

      The only time this basic policy is ever questioned is in times like these when a smaller affiliate seller gets caught in a chargeback situation of this nature.



      In a hypothetical, if the IRS gave you too large of a refund, how do you think they would handle that, when they discovered their mistake?

      Would they say, "Well, we gave you the money already. We cannot ask for it back"?

      Honestly, they would send you a bill. And if you refused to pay it, they would take it out of future refunds until the money was paid in full, with interest.

      The difference in this case is that the OP has quit Plimius, so its only recourse is to send a bill and if it is not paid, to pursue the OP through the debt collection agencies.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jayzee
    Long time before I referred some affiliate products to my friends. Most of them purchased it but a few of them couldn't work on schedule so they decided to refund. And refund was with Plimus. Everthing went okay but no I wonder whats wrong after you're post?
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