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  1. #61
    colin3005 is offline Private Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackTenSuited View Post
    spot on, it also doesn't incentivise affiliate to send high value players to the site. Affiliates may just send players who will deposit 10 or 20 and never play again in order to make the quota to get the money they are owed. No affiliate is going to send high value players to skybet after this term is introduced, one bad month and your out 10,000s
    Exactly, I knew the type of business I was sending last month was going to make a loss due to the majority signing up for the 10 no deposit bonus, but took the long term view that hopefully, in the future some or most of these would convert to real players that I would make 25% from. Although I only sent 11 depositing players (not 12 as I thought), I did get 52 registrations. If, over the next year or two, 30 of these turn out to be active, and lose 10 a week each, thats 300 a month for me down the line. One girl won 2500 from her free tenner, she has been back and is a regular player now, but I was taking the long term view with them. I didn't take a long term view that in a couple of years I might get 60 a month rather than 300.

    Under the new T&C's I might as well go through affiliate future and just get 60 for everyone who deposits & spends 20, looking at my stats, I would have made over 500 last month doing this, which, I would suggest, is more than I will make from these customers with a 5% commission, and then I don't care what type of customers I send as i get paid regardless.

    Quote Originally Posted by AndyBonus View Post
    I would love to know if this was even legal to do? This is the 4th time a big brand has sent me this sort of ultimatum. Affiliates must be losing a hell of a lot of money collectively.
    I am fairly sure it isn't legal. I can't see how its not a breach of contract, or, if it is allowed, wouldn't be an unfair contract term.

    Quote Originally Posted by DanHorvat View Post
    It is not.

    The two parties have a contract in which they exchange a customer for a certain commission level. It's a contract where both parties need to uphold their end of the bargain. If one party does not, it is in breach of contract.

    These things, contracts, can get very logically complex and sometimes even though you think it's obvious someone is in breach of contract he actually is not. For example, a common mistake is not realizing someone had done a "promise to make a gift", in which case it's not a contract enforceable by law. But this situation is clear - what Skybet has done broke the contract and the UK law.

    And that's even without the fact that there was most likely a mention of "lifetime" commission somewhere in the T&C of the deal.

    If you guys go to court, you'd win.
    Agreed

    I'm not sure the reporting is entirely accurate either.
    Quick stats show for me year to date 73 registrations, and 16 depositing accounts. However when I go to account reports and check the same time frame, it only shows 37 accounts, of which 3 were registered from before this year, so where are the other 39 customers? Do others show the same mismatch of information or is it just me? Maybe Matt could comment on this, I have actually sent a message through affiliate hub regarding this, but from past experience, I'm not expecting a reply for a few weeks so might be quicker on here!

  2. #62
    damage83 is offline Public Member
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    You would think it was illegal but if taken to court I would expect you would lose. If you look at clause 14 it says that the affiliate can have there account closed without any reason given at any time. What this basically means to me is that we need to adhere to all of the terms and conditions however if they are in a position like now where they need to cut back then they are allowed to just screw us over any way they like.

    Point is if any of us make such a big fuss about it then there is nothing stopping them closing our accounts anyway as per the terms.

    It does suck big time. Sky are one of my biggest earners and are accountable for around 20% of my revenue. Really not happy and hope there is something that can be done about this.

  3. #63
    Triple7 is online now Public Member
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    Well, not every clause is fair. A judge first will take a deeper look at the clause. Otherwise it was simple: just put some clause "I do what I want and you have to accept it" in your T&C's ...

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  5. #64
    JackTenSuited is offline Private Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by damage83 View Post
    You would think it was illegal but if taken to court I would expect you would lose. If you look at clause 14 it says that the affiliate can have there account closed without any reason given at any time. What this basically means to me is that we need to adhere to all of the terms and conditions however if they are in a position like now where they need to cut back then they are allowed to just screw us over any way they like.
    They can't change the law just by adding it in to their terms though, best speak to a contract lawyer based in the UK to find out if there is a case.

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  7. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by damage83 View Post
    If you look at clause 14 it says that the affiliate can have there account closed without any reason given at any time.
    A good lawyer should beat / dodge that easily and focus on the retroactive change of terms and the blatant attempt to steal money from affiliates.

    The contract I'm reading (the new one) doesn't mention the duration of the revenue share, but even a decent lawyer should be able to classify this as an agreement between the two parties that the duration is "indefinite" and then build the case from there.

    Besides, you can't just put any clause you want, you're not allowed to break the law with clauses.

    14.4 This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and each Party submits to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts.

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  9. #66
    Spin21 is offline Private Member
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    No surprises that Sky Bet is owned Private Equity firm CVC Capital Partners now. They are just "fattening up the goose" before selling it on, but I am surprised that they would resort to such unethical tactics while still operating under the Sky Brand.
    They have lost all their trustworthiness in one fell swoop- that's a hard thing to win back. Poor.

  10. #67
    colin3005 is offline Private Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanHorvat View Post
    A good lawyer should beat / dodge that easily and focus on the retroactive change of terms and the blatant attempt to steal money from affiliates.

    The contract I'm reading (the new one) doesn't mention the duration of the revenue share, but even a decent lawyer should be able to classify this as an agreement between the two parties that the duration is "indefinite" and then build the case from there.

    Besides, you can't just put any clause you want, you're not allowed to break the law with clauses.


    I agree with this. You can't just significantly change terms and conditions of a contract whenever you feel like it, UK law would class it as an unfair contract term.

    You can of course change them at certain points, and you can certainly insist that from xx day the new terms apply, but you cannot backdate the new terms if they are detrimental to one side without their agreement.

    The problem that usually happens with the smaller brands that do this is that they are located in countries that is off putting to many, it would cost a fortune, as an example, for someone in the US to take court action against a UK company.

    The cost is also a factor, even if you get round the geographic location differences. Most larger affiliates wont care as it won't affect them. If you are a smaller affiliate making, as an example, 200 a month, the cost of court action would outweigh the benefits, certainly short term. To take this to court with a solicitor or barrister would cost in excess of 5k, thats around 2 years of affiliate payments, which you won't still be getting, so would need funding from your own pocket.

    However, Skybet are UK based and have a lot of UK affiliates, making it a lot easier to go to court, plus it isn't that hard to take someone to court without legal representation, especially if you have some knowledge of the law. That might cause them problems going forward as I'm sure some people will be looking at doing this. As regards Sky closing the affiliate's account, well I'm sure tey would if someone started legal proceedings against them, but if your earnings go from 200 a month to 40, or 100 to 20, would it really make that much of a difference?

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  12. #68
    damage83 is offline Public Member
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    Yeah I get what your all saying. But I just think even if someone did win a case against the change in the terms or revenues stole they are still entitled to close your account without question according to clause 14.

    Problem with going to court is that a small affiliate is simply not going to do this because they would be out of pocket even more. I hope some of the larger affiliates who are earning 1000s every month do take them to court over this though.

  13. #69
    RacingJim is online now Public Member
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    I hope someone does take them to court, legal costs in this country are extrortionate though, solicitors charge 200+ an hour for their time.

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  15. #70
    PremShip is offline Public Member
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    Would it not be an idea for everyone to take a joint case against SkyBet? Everyone would then contribute to a fund which will go towards the legal costs associated with court action.

    If a joint action is not possible then I think there is something where you can put forward one case as the precedent case, and the ruling that comes from that will then be binding for all of the other cases. As the terms of agreement between SkyBet and most of the affiliates on here seem to be the same I don't think there would be any issue with that.

  16. #71
    colin3005 is offline Private Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by damage83 View Post
    Yeah I get what your all saying. But I just think even if someone did win a case against the change in the terms or revenues stole they are still entitled to close your account without question according to clause 14.
    I'm not entirely sure they would, certainly if you started a claim against them and your account was closed, a court wouldn't look favorably on it and they would likely know it would harm their case if they did that, unless the affiliate had breached any terms.

    It will be interesting to see what fall out happens because of this, as I'm sure there will be a lot of small affiliates remove them from their sites due to this, or replace them with CPA schemes indirectly managed by others like affiliate future. That is certainly one option I am currently looking at.

  17. #72
    philrush is offline Private Member
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    I'm hoping that affiliatehub will rethink this idea. Until this announcement I also thought affiliatehub was a great program. Conversions weren't the best, but players tended to stay and spend.

    They probably haven't really accounted for the free advertising they will also lose. Many small affiliates will have tons of existing players going through their links which are simply not being accounted for. Nor does this quota account for player value. 1 good player can be worth far more than 5 players simply after a free bet.

    I'm not sure why they are even attending the Berlin Affiliate Conference. I find it hard to believe new affiliates will fancy a 5 players min quota. Even super affiliates have bad months so I can't see them jumping ship.

    As for hoping the quota will increase affiliates player count this is wishful thinking. No affiliate in their right mind would promote this program now. What if your site gets hit by google? What if you have a bad month? What if 5 years down the line you can't meet the quota? Affiliate marketing is risky enough without silly quotas to worry about.

  18. #73
    pendil is offline Public Member
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    hi

    i wouldn't take this to law - too expensive and time consuming.

    a few years back a big European bookie closed me down and would not pay me what i had in revs.

    got in touch with The Office of Fair Trading (now the Competitions and Marketing Authority - the CMA).

    they gave an unofficial ruling that to get access to your affiliate account only by accepting new terms and conditions was unfair - if you did not accept those new terms,your account was in effect closed,as you could not get in.

    to stress again,this was unofficial,and just me chatting to official at OFT - i was also careful not to give them the bookmakers name until i proceeded with an official complaint - which was not necessary.

    never had to proceed as the bookie,when i explained to them what i was going to do,paid up pretty quickly.

    The CMA have wide powers in England,and they could stop anyone trading or advertising, if they were seen to be taking advantage of their customers,which i assume would include affiliates.

    i have took all Sky info off site,and not bothered as never earned much,but if you are losing loads of money over this,and live in U.K. the CMA is the way to go - it's free and they take the case over if it merits investigation - but,as i understand it,be careful,as if you do proceed and make it official you cannot pull out (to prevent corruption i guess) and you have to see it through to the end.

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  20. #74
    Triple7 is online now Public Member
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    If you don't take this to law, programs will keep on scamming and stealing affiliates. If you unite the powers of perhaps 100 affiliates, costs aren't that high anymore.

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  22. #75
    -Shay- is online now Public Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triple7 View Post
    If you don't take this to law, programs will keep on scamming and stealing affiliates. If you unite the powers of perhaps 100 affiliates, costs aren't that high anymore.
    Agreed that if the "legality" of their theft is in question (sounds like it is), then this must go to the courts to prevent further and future thefts.
    Not even two years later...

    I'll be posting here.

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  24. #76
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    Joint case is the way to go.

    I've just applied as an affiliate before these changes rolled out so I just can walk away, but if something is happening I'll chip in on a monthly basis to get this thing sorted.

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  26. #77
    colin3005 is offline Private Member
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    Personally I think it would be a pretty simple case as it would be based round contract law, not that time consuming, and not that expensive, although I still think 5k as a ballpark figure. which is obviously a lot of money, it isn't when compared to a lot of cases.

    It isn't really that complex, the court would be looking at

    Does the contract allow changes like they are making?

    If it doesn't then skybet are in breach of contract and would be penalized accordingly
    If it does then they carry on as they are.

    I can see nothing in it that allows them to reduce commission to 20% of what was promised when anyone was promoting them. Yes, they can certainly apply it to any customers you sign up from 1st November, not so sure they can do so to anyone you signed up last week.

    Last month I converted visitors to my website to skybet, on the promise of 25% of their net revenue for the life of that player. I would be very surprised if a court would view them, a month later, changing that to 5% as not being an unfair contract term.

    I am also surprised we haven't had any further comment from the sky rep, as I'm sure he has read the thread today.

    Those who think its futile going to court, look at it another way.

    Sky sell TV subscriptions through various outlets. I know this isn't the case, but just say for example, they had an agreement with Carphonewarehouse to resell their products and services. Instead of being paid 100 per customer sign up, they were told, we will pay you 10% of the monthly bill spend for every customer you sign up for as long as they are a customer. If at some point sky said to CPW, oh we've changed our mind we are only going to give you 2% from next month, but that includes all the customers you have already signed up, do you think CPW would take them to court and would they win?

    The affiliate business is pretty unique as I cant think of any other business that pays by way of revenue share. Im sure there are some but I can't think of any, and that makes it more complicated as case law regarding this specific situation will be hard to come to. That doesn't mean a claim wouldn't be successful though.
    Last edited by colin3005; 5 October 2015 at 3:07 pm.

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  28. #78
    PremShip is offline Public Member
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    Default Skybet changes terms to steal from affiliates

    Quote Originally Posted by DanHorvat View Post
    Joint case is the way to go.

    I've just applied as an affiliate before these changes rolled out so I just can walk away, but if something is happening I'll chip in on a monthly basis to get this thing sorted.
    I'm happy to chip in too. I've never had any intentions to promote skybet, even before these developments, but the issue is wider than that. And maybe even the fund itself could be put to a wider use to protect the legal interests of affiliates. If everyone contributes whatever they can afford you'd be surprised what could be done.

    Of course it would all take some administering.....


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  30. #79
    colin3005 is offline Private Member
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    It seems to me that skybet are at the point where they have a high level of saturation, and most new players are coming either direct or through large affiliates such as oddschecker, therefore they don't need smaller affiliates, as the level of business from them is so low it won't actually affect them that much.

    I do think they are under estimating the role affiliates play in repeat business. I run a forum with a decent amount of uniques every month. I rarely get new sign ups through there simply because, by the time they find my site, they have already joined the major bookmakers. However, I do still highlight good skybet offers, and in cases where they are top priced on big races, football matches etc I do highlight them and insert an affiliate link. I usually get hundreds of clicks per week/month, which I know isn't massive, but I would bet a large proportion of those already have accounts, login and have a bet on whichever horse is being highlighted. When 2 or 3 firms are joint top price, I will usually go with Skybet, because I have the higher number of players signed up with them already, and it is in my interest to keep them going back and spending money there.
    The same applies to the big twitter account affiliates who will push the big bookies especially on football accumulators etc. I imagine most of those don't get high numbers of sign ups but do get a lot of repeat business.

    So my choice from 1st November will be, promote Skybet at top price and get 5% revenue, or put Bet365, PaddyPower, Ladbrokes or whoever's links in istead of Skybet's and get 25%, even though the number of players is likely to be smaller. Without even testing it I know I won't be picking the 5% option.

    I will still keep a small Skybet banner on site so I can't have my account closed for not promoting them, as I will take the 5% for now rather than nothing, but in a few months when I have promoted the other companies more, Skybet will be going the journey.

    I don't see how Skybet can think this is a good business decision, unless they are wanting to sell up, a short term revenue increase that this will create will push the value of the company up, making it more attractive for anyone wanting to buy, as the short term profits will increase.

  31. #80
    MattPrice is offline Non-sponsor Affiliate Program
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    Quote Originally Posted by colin3005 View Post
    I'm not sure the reporting is entirely accurate either.
    Quick stats show for me year to date 73 registrations, and 16 depositing accounts. However when I go to account reports and check the same time frame, it only shows 37 accounts, of which 3 were registered from before this year, so where are the other 39 customers? Do others show the same mismatch of information or is it just me? Maybe Matt could comment on this, I have actually sent a message through affiliate hub regarding this, but from past experience, I'm not expecting a reply for a few weeks so might be quicker on here!
    I don't think this email has reached us. Please drop me a private message or add me on Skype (mattpricesky) if you want to discuss it further.

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