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Old 02-15-2001, 11:11 AM   #1
SSacobie
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Unhappy HitBox Banner Network Closes

I haven't used them, but I'm sure there are thousands of webmasters who are getting hit by this. A company always shows it cares when it gives less than a day of notice.

Quote:
Subject: IMPORTANT Notice for HitBox Banner Network members

Dear Webmaster,

Thank you for being a member of the HitBox Banner Network. Your contribution has helped serve more than 100 million impressions each month.

As you know, the Internet advertising market has changed in recent months. For this reason, we sincerely regret to announce that we will no longer continue operating the HitBox Banner Network.

According to the HBN Agreement, it may be cancelled by either party at any time by notification in writing via e-mail. Accordingly, this email is your official notification that we are terminating your HBN contract with WebSideStory effective as of Thursday, February 15, 2001. After this date, we will no longer pay you for advertising fees on the banner displayed on your web site. A final check for any outstanding earnings to you will be issued at the end of February, provided that you are entitled to $25 or more in earnings as of February 15. In accordance with the contract, no checks will be issued for less than $25 and any earnings balances below that amount will be forfeited. Unpaid amounts for accumulated revenue from multiple quarters for $25 or more will be honored.

Of course, WebSideStory will continue to provide you with the hundreds of statistics you are used to receiving from the HitBox service, and your historical statistics will not be lost when the HitBox Banner Network ceases operations. You may elect to change the size of your current button/banner by choosing an alternative choice in the 'Edit Account' in your HitBox stats page. Make the new selection and click 'Update Now'. You will then need to replace the HitBox code on your site with the updated code.

Thank you again for your participation. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact Support at http://www.hitbox.com/cgi-bin/page.c...pport/helpdesk

WebSideStory Marketing
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Old 02-15-2001, 04:25 PM   #2
sdarken
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There are some other comments about this over on Jims World: http://gethighforums.com/Forum10/HTML/001046.html

Does anyone else think that legally it might doutful that these affiliate programs have a righ to withhold final payments? I would imagine that the Hitbox network probably has thousands of affiliates with small sites who have not earned the $25 minimum payout.

I wasn't with the Hitbox program but this seems to be quite a common occurrence.
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Old 02-15-2001, 05:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by sdarken:

Does anyone else think that legally it might doutful that these affiliate programs have a righ to withhold final payments? I would imagine that the Hitbox network probably has thousands of affiliates with small sites who have not earned the $25 minimum payout.

I wasn't with the Hitbox program but this seems to be quite a common occurrence.
I think legally they can withhold the money if their terms say there is a minimum payout amount. Personally, I don't think it is right but I don't think there is much that can be done legally.

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[This message has been edited by Lil_Red (edited 02-15-2001).]
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Old 02-15-2001, 05:30 PM   #4
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<Does anyone else think that legally it might doutful that these affiliate programs have a righ to withhold final payments?>

No

Assuming these terms where in the original TOS which you and I agreed to and it appears that they were. This fact is the only relavent issue.

I'm not an attorney but those that think otherwise on this issue need to hire counsell and persue their case in the ascribed venue. Given the money involved it's doubtfull that this will happen.

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Old 02-15-2001, 07:10 PM   #5
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It's very unfortunate that HitBox are discontinuing this program. If participating webmasters are looking for a replacement, though, they could investigate MyComputer's iClicks program, which provides similarly detailed stats, along with banners that pay 10 cents/click:
http://iclicks.mycomputer.com/


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Old 02-15-2001, 07:20 PM   #6
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I wonder if this might be seen as a truly last-ditch financing effort by some floundering companies?

I imagine that while an affiliate program is running, the payments must accumulate in some kind of "suspense account" that is maintained legally separately from the rest of a company's funds. But once they decide to dissolve their affiliate program, they can "repossess" the money their legal terms allow them not to pay out.

For a medium-sized company with a popular affiliate program, there could be several hundred thousand $ locked up in the account. I guess it's no real surprise that when things turn bad for the company, more and more eyes turn towards this essentially "free" money (in the short-term; in the long-term, the cost in terms of new customer acquisition costs, relationships lost etc. may be high!) as a way to save the business, or at least to keep the Grim Business Reaper away from the door a little longer...

Edwin

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Old 02-15-2001, 08:07 PM   #7
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Didn't they have it written into the agreement they could change it at any time? Therefore, if any legal action were brought forth, which is unlikely as you said, they could just change it to make it seem as though they are doing nothing wrong. Granted, this is morally reprehensible.
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Old 02-15-2001, 09:47 PM   #8
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Edwin - I was wondering along the same lines as you. Up until they cancelled their program they probably had a mounting balance of small accounts payable.

In order to justify their decision to cancel their program just to save the money for themselves however, they would have to come to the decision that the amount of money recovered was going to exceed the amount they would make from their program in the future....except of course, if they waited a month or two then started a new banner program. Now that really would be a nasty thing to do....
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Old 02-15-2001, 10:30 PM   #9
Edwin
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'fraid I have to disagree. I believe the decision is generally much more short-sighted than that, and goes something along the lines of "Hey, guys... We can either shut at the end of the month - or we could pay ourselves another 45 days' salary if we kill our affiliate program. Who knows what could happen in the next 45 days?"

My tongue is in my cheek, but not much - I really believe there are a huge number of companies with essentially no-to-negative incomes each month, *gasping* for cash anywhere they can find it.

It's like those little "safety leaflets" they have in airplanes - they usually tell you to make your way to the nearest emergency exit and don't take your belongings with you. Same for failing .com companies: why do they care about sales 6 months out when they can't make payroll 6 weeks out?

I'd bet that at least 75% of all companies that axe their affiliate programs precipitously (i.e. 1 week or less notice) go bankrupt within 3 months following the move.

Edwin

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[This message has been edited by Edwin (edited 02-15-2001).]

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Old 02-16-2001, 11:31 AM   #10
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Hi all,

On the strength of Czar's advice, I signed up for iclicks.mycomputer.com earlier today. So far I'm thrilled with what they offer in terms of stats.

Unlike Hitbox, with mycomputer.com I can lump all my pages together under one account and *still* get the referral info my vanity and curiosity require.

And because all my pages can be lumped into one account, it's much more likely that I'll hit the payout amount in my lifetime. With Hitbox I only once made the minimum and received a check. Yet there's probably over $100 in my various Hitbox accounts which can't be combined. http://geekvillage.com/ubb/frown.gif

As an aside...I signed up for websitesponsors.com's affiliate program today and was approved within a few hours. While their banners aren't hugely appropriate for a humor site like mine...beggars can't be choosers these days. And I *still* haven't heard back from adscholars.com. Hmmmph.

Thanks Czar! I LOVE geekvillage.com.



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