Pepperjam Network, you’re really, really useless. I have proof that you’re stealing commissions from affiliates and not paying them for all the sales they generate. I have proof that when a merchant’s tracking screws up, you do nothing to solve the issue for affiliates, let alone pay them what they are rightly due while you handle the merchant.
To any and all affiliates reading this, I strongly encourage you to go direct, rather than rely on PJN.
Search Engine Watch (SEW) is a merchant with a number of products you can promote, such as their Search Engine Strategies conference series and their job boards, where you buy a job posting. I recently needed to hire an SEO for Ice.com, as I was preparing to return to school full time this fall and Ice.com needed someone to take over from the work I’d been doing for them.
I went to the SEW job boards to post an ad. As I was going through the checkout – but before I paid – I remembered that SEW was a merchant on PJN and that I was already accepted into their program. I figured that going through one of my affiliate links would be a way to get a discount off the price of a job posting.
So I opened up the affiliate interface on PJN, found a link to the job board and clicked it. Then I bought the ad, which you can see here: http://jobs.searchenginewatch.com/c/job.cfm?site_id=2660&jb=4683913
It reads “Posted: August 12, 2008.”
Shockingly, my PJN backend shows that there were clicks from… August 12! Imagine that!
Of course, there isn’t any revenue associated with that, nor did they show up subsequently as might happen with a delay in reporting. It’s a month later though.
Some of you might be thinking that the problem is with the terms and conditions of SEW’s offer, and that you can’t use affiliate links to purchase the products at a discount. They’d be pretty odd and unique terms, but stranger things have happened. Well, here are SEW’s terms, verbatim. In fairness, they’re the current terms and conditions, since I couldn’t go back in time to check what they were on August 12.
New York, NY 10271
I contacted Drew Eastmead, who runs the affiliate program for SES. He was very helpful and responded within 24 hours to my question as to whether there were any changes to the program’s terms and conditions. His response?
He said that no, they hadn’t changed the terms recently.
I followed up to let him know that I’d be blogging this, and his point was that they had outsourced this and were now working on fixing the tracking. Done. In 48 hours I had an answer. He also asked where I wanted the check sent and sent it where I asked.
Dated Aug 12:
I posted a job at SEW’s job board after clicking an affiliate banner of mine, and would like to see the commission in my account/reports. Any idea what the tracking problem is?
Dated Aug 14:
I’d be happy to help you look into this. I’m going to contact their account manager. However, before I do, I just want to make sure I have everything correct. You clicked on one of your own banners for SES. From there, you proceeded to post a job on the site. I see that you clicked on the banner on the 12th, or at least someone had clicked on the banner on the 12th. Is this the day you are referring to?
I have an email out to them right now inquiring about their commission payouts and tracking in terms to that particular site. I just want to make sure I have any additional information they may need to answer my question.
[Sounds reasonable, right? Keep reading.]
That’s exactly right – clicked on the 12th. Would love to hear what’s up. I’m also debating whether to promote SES SJ on my blog, which got 22,000 visitors last month and could plausibly drive conversions for them there.
Still working on a solution and have another question. When you posted the job, did you pay the 395 for the job posting?
The 395 was paid for on my boss’ credit card.
I’m still in the dark what’s up with my SES commission.
I was awaiting a response from our Supervisor Of Advertiser Relations. She is responsible for direct contact with the account manager for SES. As of this morning he has responded informing us that the individual who need to look into that issue are away for the week at Ad Tech.
I assure we are working on solving this problem.
I apologize for the wait and I appreciate your patience. I will be in touch as soon as more information is provided.
Ah ok then, thanks for the update. Look forward to hearing more!
I wrote Jen again during SES, when she was out of the office. No answer when she returned on the second either. And nothing since.
What’s the point of working with an affiliate network when they don’t deal with the merchant’s issues for you, and give you the runaround over a single measly commission? To any network people reading this, you need to understand the role of an affiliate network if you’re going to be taken seriously. Affiliates, don’t waste your time with these guys – go direct.
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