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Bad Companies & Lost Commissions

It’ not often that I get burned for money online…actually it’s very rare. Unfortunately sometimes it still happens. The first time I got screwed out of earned commissions it was from a deadbeat merchant through CommissionJunction.com. One of their sweepstakes merchants apparently did not pay around $100,000 in commissions to them, so the affiliates also didn’t get paid. I was only owed around $1500-$2000, but it still hurts. I’ve worked with a lot of networks, and the best ones always made sure the affiliates were paid… even when payment from the advertisers didn’t come in.

The second time I got burned was a big one. Yet another sweepstakes related site, WebmasterSweeps.com (now out of business, click here to take a look at their old site)… located in Boca Raton, Florida. The first few checks from them were based off some small volume and were sent without a problem. Since I was making money with them I decided to promote them a bit more. Soon enough I was up to around $20,000 in owed commissions for the month. Near the end of the month they found it necessary to close out my affiliate account based on advertising that was against their terms and conditions. Before heavily promoting their offers that month, I had often talked with the company and what sweepstakes I should push for the month. Once I started racking up commissions so fast, I noticed it was getting ridiculously hard to get in contact with this company. They were so unscrupulous. They would no longer answer emails or appear on instant messenger. To make things even worse, they would screen calls (which seemed to be just for me)… no matter what time I called, anyone I requested to talk to was "out to lunch" or some other b.s. excuse. It wasn’t till I called up and told them a different name a company, that they actually accepted my call… and of course, the guy was in! I ended up trying to get a collection agency, which was located a couple blocks from WebmasterSweeps.com actual office building in Boca Raton, FL. They managed to do nothing as well. While my father and I were in Florida for an affiliate marketing event, we decided to unexpectedly drop by this collection agency (which graciously took our money to start the processing against WebmasterSweeps)… they were of little help and eventually did nothing for us in getting this case anywhere. In the end, I never got my owed money from 20,000 leads sent to WebmasterSweeps.com… along with the several hundred spent with the useless collection agency. Moral of the story?…Boca Raton, FL isn’t looking good. (whether it be to get paid for leads… or to try and work with a collection agency)

Here I am, yet again… it’s been several years now since the whole CommissionJunction fiasco, and a few years since taking the $20,000 hit from WebmasterSweeps.com. Unfortunately it’s time for someone else to get added to the list. Looks like mStyle.com is now on the run and not paying any of their affiliates. I am now in the hole for over $5,000 from them. I have since stopped promoting their offer a few weeks ago, as I could not get in touch with anyone and some recent searches online show I am not the only one looking for payment. But honestly… I should have known better. Let’s take a look at where mStyle is located:

mStyle, LLC.
1801 N. Military Trail, Suite 203
Boca Raton, FL 33431

I feel bad for all the legitimate companies located in Boca Raton, FL… as I have yet to find one, but I’m sure there are a few. I’m sure mStyle will only follow in the steps of WebmasterSweeps.com. What goes around, comes back around…

About the Author Zac Johnson

My name is Zac Johnson and I have been an online entrepreneur for the past 18 years and blogger since 2007. This is my personal blog and I welcome you to the site. In full disclosure, it is safe to assume that I am benefiting financially or otherwise from everything you click on, read, or look at while on my website.

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Marc says

Man OMFG!! I feel so sorry for you =( I'm doing affiliate now for about an year and i'm already doing really huge volume, only working closely with azoogleads they have always paid me on time, but that is what I am scared of tough, not getting paid amounts like $20K or more from an company. I just hope it never happens to me *knock on wood*

Oh and the Boca Raton FL stuff…awesome, really. That could be exactly my luck =) Two times bad luck with advertisers, both from the same city? … Same Guys? ^^

Patrick Ramseyer says

Hi Zac

having read this article with interest it astounds me that some companies can be so naive in their approach to handling their affiliates. I mean , this is really short term thinking. Looking at your page rank with Alexa alone tells me that you know what you are about, and obviously know what you are doing. As A company starting in a very competitive market (web Hosting). I can see the true value of a professional affiliate. It goes back to the old saying, If you pay peanuts -you get monkeys , we are happy for every single lead-customer that we receive. And I firmly believe in paying for that. I am from Ireland and we have a saying there that "money is like shit, It's no use unless you spread it around". 🙂 Its obvious to me that the companies you mention did not have their homework done and did not realise the implications of signing a super affiliate. I am glad you published this article as it is a warning for companies who set up affiliate programs to do their research first. It would not be my intention to appear on this page as a "hands off" company…. Just think what that would do for my business…I could close up shop..

patrick Ramseyer

CEO

Goldhosting Switzerland windows hosting
http://www.goldhosting.ch

Edgar says

thats lots of money to loose, that sucks

calmighty says

Zac,

In re: CJ, I thought CJ accounts had to mainain at least $500 if not what is projected in the AOF. I sure as heck get low account balance reminders if I don't have my account at $500.

I had an affiliate come to me and say that CJ wasn't paying them for referrals to my site even though it has plenty of funds. Really bizarre. Do you have any idea why CJ wouldn't cut them off after their funds were depleted?

At any rate, those unscupulous Boca fools suck.

Best,

c

    Zac Johnson says

    The merchant in question with CJ, had already left the CJ network and funds were still owed.

Comments are closed