Make sure to read this in its entirety especially if
you either HAVE a 2 tier affiliate program, or are a
member of one.
Say goodbye to 2-tier affiliate marketing programs.
I received notice from Paypal this past week that I
was shut down. At first, they wouldn't say why, but
to their credit, they did let me withdraw my funds.
After continuous phone calls professing my innocence,
they told me it was because of the affiliate program
I was offering here:
First things first - I bought the site about 2-3
years ago as a turnkey website. It came with that
page, but I never used it, never activated it, and
the page is, has been, and always will be non-function.
It is a dead page, no affiliate program for masterights.biz
I have only used the site mainly to get signups to my
mailing list here:
(im really not advertising, but showing people the
I had not ever even promoted the site for the products
on it because shortly after getting it, I started learning
other ways to make money on line that were more effective
than just trying to promote individual products, so in
2-3 years, about 3-4 sales were made from people just
happening to look around after signing up for the mailing list.
three to four sales through the email address associated
with those paypal buttons should have tipped them off that
not only was no affiliate program in place, but the site
wasn't even being promoted. A warning would have been nice,
like, "Remove that page, etc" but their official response was
your account is closed and you have no appeal.
Well, I've learned that what companies say mechanically is not
the god's honest final word written in stone. I'm appealing
to cooler heads higher up to take a closer look at the facts.
I am moving up the chain very slowly, but so far I haven't a
need for drastic measures.
BOTTOM LINE -
The program described on my non-functional affiliate program
page is what all of us marketers have long thought to be
acceptable to paypal - that it met their criteria and did not
violate their acceptable use policy. But in light of this
situation, that no longer seems to be the case. Here is their
acceptable use policy pertaining to this:
Thank you for contacting PayPal with your concern regarding the limitation on your account.
The website that was found to be in violation of the Multi-Level-Marketing policy is http://www.masterights.biz. Your program of offering "commissions" for personal sales, and sub-affiliate sales cannot be offered, using PayPal as a payment option. Multi-level marketing plans, include any business in which a person receives proceeds from his or her own sales of goods or services, of recruited members, or any combination thereof.
We regret to inform you that we cannot overturn the limitation on your account. Due to the violation of PayPal's Acceptable Use Policy regarding MLM, Pyramid and Matrix Programs, your account has been closed. Please remove all references to PayPal from your website(s) and/or auction(s). This includes not only removing PayPal as a payment option, but also the
PayPal logo and/or shopping cart.
If you have any questions, please contact the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy Department at email@example.com.
PayPal Acceptable Use Policy Department
PayPal, an eBay Company"
Now you have to understand something. You can try to quietly go about your business looking straight ahead and hoping not to be noticed, but I'll repeat the words of the 1000s of others I've read about since investigating this,
"I thought this sort of thing only happened to other people."
"I never thought it would happen to me."
In my heart and mind, not only have I never violated their policy, but I have actually made it a point to be very careful not to. Did we not all think that 2 tier affiliate programs were acceptable? Are there not virtually THOUSANDS of 2 tier programs using Paypal as a payment processor?
Let me paraphrase something I heard the other day,
"When they came for X, I didn't say anything. When they came for Y, I did not stand up for them. And when they came for me, there was no one left to stand up for me."
This is something we all need to attend to, as a group, and soon. Because any one of you reading this could easily be next. This is what paypal's compliance dept does day in and day out, look for violations. And if they think 2 tier affiliate programs are a violation, you can bet your life they are looking for more of them right now.
And you can bet that anyone who has received payments from 2 tier programs using paypal, or has ever made payments through such a program, is in real danger of getting their livelihood disrupted in a major way.
Please post your thoughts by clicking on "comments" below.
PS. UPDATE 7/29/05 5pm- Someone from compliance returned my call and cooler heads prevailed. He took my information seriously and without promises, went off to review it. He called back later and said that what the page described was a violation but that based on the evidence, there was no way to join, and not one affiliate payment ever made for that site. So while he was basically saying that I'm reinstated, he had to technically say that I was reopen for appeal and had to accomplish 2 things - remove the offending program page and sign an affadavit that I read and understand the Acceptable Use Policy.
I can honestly say that it took all the patience, restraint, understanding and brainpower from my 30 years in a prolific successful family business to get my case heard and properly resolved, and so my concern now is for those who not only aren't ready for such disruptions, but who don't even see it coming.
Again, your comments via the link below are not only welcome, but full encouraged. People just like you need to hear what you have to say and get different viewpoints, and suggestions, etc.