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:
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…