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  1. #1
    loquax is offline Private Member
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    Default Gala Bingo - Immediate Account Closure

    Hi All..

    This is just a post to share our experience of Gala Bingo (galapartners affiliate program)

    Gala Bingo have recently launched a new TV campaign and one of the things we do is review the ads. In general we poke a bit of fun at them and don't always like what we see - and as in this case we thought the ad was a bit rubbish. A few days later we followed it up by reviewing comments on a #galalala tag on Twitter - and many of them felt the same as we did - so to create a unique article we covered that as well.

    Now whilst we didn't like the ad, we at no point said "don't play at Gala" infact the piece said quite clearly we love the games and promotions not the advert.

    Thursday afternoon we received this email

    Hi Jason,

    I hope you are well.

    Due your Gala Bingo press releases your players are no longer welcome and your account will be closed.
    As per our terms & conditions you will still receive 35% rev. share for the next 6 month for the players you have send in the past.

    Best regards,
    Sabina
    So without warning and without discussion - someone at Gala Partners terminated an 8 year (or so) relationship.

    Since then the AM who sent the email has been on Skype saying she'll be talking to her boss. End of Day 5 and still nothing - although she does reply on Skype saying her boss isn't available - which makes me think it's not going to happen or something is not being told to me.

    So did we do anything wrong? According to the affiliate terms we're not meant to be disparaging towards the brand - I guess not liking their advert and saying as much may well fall in to that bracket. Embedding tweets (of which one did have a swear word in) from Twitter folk in an article could also be taken that way. But then as an affiliate am I meant to like everything a brand does and just post flowery lovely articles about them? I think not.. in fact negative articles can spark more debate.

    Now I'm not going to protest that we've done nothing wrong - obviously we upset someone - but I'm of the mind that if there's a problem talk about it and resolve it. If we did overstep the mark then surely a phone call/email could have resolved things. We've worked with Gala for a long time and never had any problems. We've posted plenty of positive comments about them too - and we've also disliked other brands promos/adverts etc.. and said so - without issue.

    So be warned about what you write/publish about the brands you promote - if someone takes a dislike to it then it could result in a costly closure.

    However - this also throws up the issue of should brands dictate what you write? If we'd written we love Gala's advert then that'd have been fine, but because we didn't like it, and then tried to spark interest because others didn't like it, they decided to terminate our affiliate relationship. Personally I think that's a worrying scenario and it'd be interesting to know if anyone else has had a similar experience.

    I don't know whether things will be resolved and/or our account reactivated - but a revived relationship will be a tad sour and they'll be a lot of mistrust and I'm not even sure how we could include them. A sad way for a long business relationship to end up - but you lives and learns.

    Anyway, that's our experience of Gala - hope it saves someone else suffering a similar fate.

    Jason

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    -Shay- (11 November 2014), Gamer (13 November 2014), justbookies (13 November 2014), universal4 (11 November 2014)

  3. #2
    -Shay- is offline Public Member
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    Default

    That is very disappointing to hear. Hopefully they will become reasonable and realise your intent as you explained it.

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    loquax (11 November 2014)

  5. #3
    loquax is offline Private Member
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    Good news - this has now been resolved.

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    -Shay- (12 November 2014)

  7. #4
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    universal4 is offline Forum Administrator
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    Was there an explanation of why the decision was made to close the account, especially without first contact initially?

    I am glad you got this worked out, but I wonder how many more affiliates might suffer the same fate if they have players that give an honest but sometimes less than stellar review of their properties.

    There is not a single program or property on the net that is 100% perfect, and it appears that the method of closure they used against you could easily hit ANY affiliate that gives honest feedback.

    I haven't had the opportunity to look at their terms yet, but did they use a catch-all to close the account or do they have terms written that if you (or a visitor to your site) leaves a comment that contains any negative information about them they reserve the right to close your account and keep future commissions?

    Does the fact that I even posted this mean I now have one strike against me, before I even join the program?

    Rick
    Universal4

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  9. #5
    loquax is offline Private Member
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    Was there an explanation of why the decision was made to close the account, especially without first contact initially?
    No, I'm still unclear as to the process that went on which resulted in closure or who actioned it.

    The terms do say "We may terminate this Agreement, without cause at any time" and the only element of the rest of the terms I could see that may apply is if it was felt we were being disparaging towards the brand.

    Like you said any affiliate could potentially be hit the same way - no explanation and immediate termination of relationship. On the plus side I have been told that this (i.e. closure of an account in such a way) won't happen again so that's something to take at face value.

    I have enquired as to whether an amendment can be made to the terms so that a proper procedure is adopted so that no other affiliate discovers that their accounts have been closed without explanation or right to reply.

    It has made us aware of terms a lot more (although we're not going to walk on egg shells - otherwise may as well just give up) and if it makes disputes between brand/affiliate better at least with Gala then some good may come out of this.

    Jasin

  10. #6
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    universal4 is offline Forum Administrator
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    Right....a catch-all anytime they wanna use excuse.....I mean termination clause.

    Again, congrats your issue is fixed.

    Rick
    Universal4

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  12. #7
    Topboss is offline Private Member
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    I think its ridiculous that they closed your account due to an honest opinion of their advert.
    If their advert is crap then its crap - but it doesn't necessarily mean their brand is crap or their games are crap which you quite rightly pointed out.

    Fact is that us Affiliates should be honest if we want to have any kind of credibility with our players. If we sugar coat everything then wha'ts the point of reviewing casinos in the first place!

    HaHa, It just dawned on me that I think I have a Gala Affiliate Account...... Oh Well - If they close it for being honest and posting on here then so be it.

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  14. #8
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    Being an affiliate is always about treading a fine line.

    You are not a direct employee, but you are being paid by the company, and they can reasonably expect a generally positive outlook on their products most of the time. However, that does not mean that you have to be giving them a #1 spot, or rating everything as perfect, there are pros and cons will all products, so there is clearly some leeway for an honest opinion.

    Perhaps the item was too negative, or the twitter feedback too abusive? Perhaps you were also a victim of your own success and these negative comments appeared highly in some search terms and came to the companies attention?

    People always have the right to free speech, but let's also be aware that companies also have the right to choose who they work with too.

    Whatever the case, outright closure of the account is clearly a over-the-top reaction, and it's good to see that Gala EVENTUALLY thought so too and that the problem has been resolved.

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  16. #9
    justbookies is offline Private Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by loquax View Post

    The terms do say "We may terminate this Agreement, without cause at any time" . . .
    This ridiculous term would not have an earthly chance of being upheld if it went to court.

    PS: Their tv ad is pathetic!
    Last edited by justbookies; 13 November 2014 at 4:12 am.

  17. #10
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    It's good you have post your "adventure" with Gala.
    I am always sad reading such stories and how they treat hard working affiliates.
    If you have upseted someone there, we (potential affiliates) are upseted as well to them now.

  18. #11
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    Glad it resolved. Very good for you.

    Still, what was the reason? Until you are sure and have it explained by them in full, all is but speculative.

    And, not less important: The way they did it makes you wonder / shiver.
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