An open letter to Amazon.
I was excited to be an Amazon Associate.Maybe that is naive, but I think you have great deals and a quality processsing system set up that is, for the most part, reliable to its customers. Those things are great for new online businesses and I felt comfortable recommending that people purchase through your site. My only reservation when I signed up was the reputationof how you treat your warehouse employees. Now I've found that you don't treat affiliate marketers that support your business any better.
Like many people, I am trying to build a businesss, which as you know is not easy. Many people just starting out in business rely on their friends and family members to help get them off the ground and gradually expand to a larger audience. Imagine my surprise, when I called to find out why my sister's Amazon purchase, which she bought through my site links, would not "count" toward my associate account because she was "linked" to me. She is my sister. Her name is different, her address is different, and she wants to support her sister's newest venture. It is hard enough to ask for support from the people in your life, let alone when it counts for absolutely nothing to help your business grow. Your business gets money from every purchase whether they are "linked" to me in some way or not. Treat those who are willing to support your business with respect. I know you don't have to, but it should go without saying that it is the right thing to do.
When I called to ask your "support team" why it was not credited, I was told that Amazon does not credit any purchases made by anyone "connected to you". When I asked what criteria was included in that decision...your representative said she "did not even know, that was just policy" and directed me to the associate agreement.
I looked through the agreement and particlarly at the disqualifying purchases section, which I also read before I became and Associate. There was nothing in this area of the agreement about parties that you indiscriminately decide are linked to me or what you consider a "link" at all. Doesn't this seem like the most logical place to list this information for new associates?
I am throughly disappointed in my relationship with your company after only a few weeks and I have great difficulty continuing to promote that anyone purchase through your site without serious reluctance. You probably don't care, since I am one of many startup businesses and you have an unfathomably enormous following and many bigger companies that promote you. Congratulations on your success, but you have obviously forgotten that you began as a start up at one point too, and the right thing to do is support other people who are trying to get their businesses going as well. Our success begets further success for your business as well.
A thoroughly disgusted Amazon Associate