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busted

It looks like there might be problems brewing for Clickbank.

The popular affiliate marketing website is now being called out on RipOffReport.com for shaving sales.

It’s hard to know, however, whether or not this report can be believed.  First, the writer claims that he has videos proving his case but that Clickbank, as part of their “ongoing investigation”, has asked him not to release them.

He does say, though, that he has had friends whom he KNOWS purchased products through his link for which he did not receive any credit.

An excerpt:

This company has been shaving commission on a level that most people would have a hard time comprehending. For me and a couple close friends of mine it happened once we started pulling in large amounts of cash. After making over 1k a day, I slowly started noticing that the more targeted traffic I sent them the less money I made. So I decided to contact Click Bank and ask them what the problem was.

Now if you ever contacted Clickbank.com about an issue related to their tracking system or your pay, they reply with some generalized email with no real explanation other then it’s your fault. ‘Check your traffic, the economy is bad’ and so on. They had me believing that it was the state of the economy, until I wised up after speaking out to other top ranking affiliates.

I was getting emails left and right from people sharing similar stories. So one day I said to my self I’ll start documenting and recording transactions I my self will make through my own affiliate Id. I did this using numerous credit cards and pay pal accounts from family members.

Later, he goes on to add…

To let everyone know I am the type of person that documents everything, so I knew it would be a good idea to have Camtasia running and recording all of this as it happened. Sales were good that day until I hit 30 sales or more. Then a sudden stop again, ok this could have been the time of a day or something, right? Wrong, there has never been a sudden stop in sales for an entire day. My account showed $0 the whole next day. That’s like saying burger king was open and not a single customer ordered a meal.

That day I had over 6500 unique hits to the product page and not one single sale. A week went by with my sales dropping more and more. I then decided to change my click bank Id again, by this time it wasn’t that I was trying to earn money, it became more that I wanted to share this information with the authorities and with affiliates that promote CB products.

A senior member over at the Warrior Forum, Steven Wagenheim has done a little digging of his own and even brought some of these issues to Clickbank’s attention, eliciting the following response from “Jennifer” with Clickbank:

“Hi Steve,

Thank you again for providing us with information to help us research the affiliate problem you reported. Our technical team researched the hops and hits to the order form through the IP address that you were using. There were 7 total hoplinks made from your IP address between March 5 and March 7. There were also 3 hits to the order form from your IP (two were for creation7 and one was for easyo). In all 3 cases, “swagen” was tracked successfully as the affiliate. There were no hits to the order form from your IP address in that timeframe (or any time after March 1) for which the affiliate was “none”.

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It is possible that your ISP changed your IP address on the day that you saw [affiliate=none]. In this case, we’d have your queries under another IP address. However, for thoroughness we did check all hits to the order form for “creation7″, and did not see your user agent appear in any order form hits where [affiliate=none].

If you see this happen again, please let me know right away! Check your IP address right after you see the problem, and capture a screenshot if you can. Any additional information you can collect will help us track down any potential problem.

The message we need the forums to hear and remember is that ClickBank is only successful when our clients are successful! Our vendors are more successful when our affiliates are successful! The key to ClickBank’s success is our AFFILIATE DRIVEN marketplace! If there is a problem, we are devoted to finding it, but from what we have researched so far, the system appears to be working correctly.

ClickBank has been in the affiliate business for over 10 years. We have sent out over one million checks to our vendors and affiliates for a total of over one billion dollars. We continue to see increased affiliate driven sales. In 2008 we achieved 75% affiliate driven sales; our best year ever. As you know ClickBank makes exactly the same amount, whether an affiliate is credited with the sale or not. We just want to see overall sales increase and we all win. We are looking forward to sending the next billion dollars to our clients.

There are always legitimate circumstances when affiliates believe they should have earned commissions that were not credited to their account, and there are also periods of sales fluctuations. So anytime you or any of your contacts have concerns, please give us the opportunity to research and respond to the concerns. If there is an issue, we will work quickly to make sure you are receiving the credit you have earned. It is through your hard work that we all succeed! Please provide any specific information or links to videos to research@clickbank.com with the subject “ClickBank Commissions”, and we will look into the problem!

This is really important to us, so feel free to post this message or part of this message to the forums!

I appreciate you working with us all of these years and trusting me to help track down any problems!

Thanks,

Jennifer
V.P. Operations
www.clickbank.com”

So why would Clickbank want to bite the very hands that feed them? Is this all just a big misunderstanding or perhaps a legitimate tracking problem?

It’s too soon to tell.

Wagenheim himself summed it up best…

“Ultimately, each person is going to believe what they want to believe. I
choose to believe that they’re doing everything that they can within
reason to make sure their system works properly.

If I’m wrong, in the final analysis, it’s Clickbank who is going to suffer.

And I think they’re smart enough to know that.”

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