The evolution of the internet has added a layer of new business definition: Online and Offline. And, advantages and reach of the online business have led to its unbelievable rate of growth worldwide.
Interestingly, believe it or not, but India, despite being considered a third world country in terms of broadband penetration has turned up as a hot place for online businesses. No surprise, Amazon considers India the most favorable market for future growth in its online business, which has been a loss making entity despite 20 years of blood, sweat and tears. Relatively, the cloud service business, where Amazon holds more than 70% of the market worldwide has been consistently making profits. But not only Amazon, even Google, and Microsoft, the second and third biggest player has been doing great with some pleasing profit numbers.
I am not much aware what Microsoft has to offer to small businesses, but Google seems working out on many small tools that are priced affordable. Cost-effective Google App services are becoming very popular nowadays. I would suggest you to try Gmail for work service. It is the best way to keep your online contact always active and protected. Further, the server where your website is hosted gets additional protection as hosting emails on the same server might open a window to hackers.
What is Affiliate Program?
Name it whichever way you want but the nature of this service has been in existence since business competition started in human civilization. The process is simple: some commissions are paid to those who help either to sell or buy a product/service.
If I am not wrong, Amazon was the first to understand true potential of affiliate service in online space and setup a complete eco-system to regularize this. You like something, speak about it, write about and get the thing sold at Amazon and in return earn some commission. This sounds really interesting; and, a good way to make money online. Actual commissions are paid when business/sales is done.
Over the time, the idea of affiliate service helped Amazon to become a giant in online space. Even other online businesses understood and started offering affiliate programs for their product and services. In a way, it is a win-win situation for all the three – buyer, seller, and affiliate service provider.
Fraud in Affiliate Service
Over the time, what has been seen is – in the equation of buyers, sellers, and affiliate service provider, the biggest loser is the affiliate service person. And, that is because according to the service term, money has to be paid when business is done. Sometimes, despite sales being done, one of the sides, either buyer or seller, whoever has to pay commission according to terms backtrack from commitment and do not pay. In such situation, an affiliate service provider cannot do much as going to court, fighting legal battle for many years, spending many times than what was the actual commission is not feasible choice. Thus, in 95% case of fraud in affiliate payment, the service giver just let that pass by considering that just a bad luck.
Therefore, affiliate service providers always have some suspicion whether the company will actually pay them or not. And, that is way, a genuine affiliate service provider try to work with the organization that has a market reputation and has been fair in paying to associates.
Trustworthy or Fraud Corporation
No doubt- Amazon, Flipkart, Google, Microsoft, and many other IT giants operate in the world market with a high set of standards. Like others, I, too, trusted Amazon for making some regular income.
I have been an associate of Amazon.in affiliate since the year 2013. When I started making some serious money, the so-called some Amazon business played a big game to cheat my hard earned money. At present, as it seems Amazon India has cheated mine close to one lakh rupees.
Amazon fraud is unbelievable. And, if you are an associate with it, then abandon as quickly as possible because my recent experience says the American corporation is indeed a big fraud.
Important update ( 27 September 2016): My relentless follow-up with Amazon associate customer support yielded result today as I received credit of eligible earnings in my bank account.
However, I would advise Amazon that it would be better if customer support shares accurate information on a payment query. I was accused of violating operating agreement when enquired about delayed payment. Today’s credit asserts that the allegation was inaccurate.
My suffering has been enormous in last six months. Nevertheless, I am thankful to Amazon India for releasing the pending payments. Thank you!!!
Amazon fraud with me
Usually, Amazon India makes payment to associates last week of every month on any bank day. In order to make you easy to understand Amazon fraud with me, I will follow the timeline of my struggle with Amazon.in associate customer support from start to till date.
30 March 2016
I received an email from Amazon Associate that the payment for January 2016 will be delayed due to annual audit process.
As you can see, the official email says – due to the ongoing annual audit process, the payment for January 2016 advertising fees will be delayed until new communication. According to the email, the next communication in this regard was expected on April 15, 2016.
Do you find anything abnormal here? I, too, did not sense a fraud motive because it is a regular thing. Sometimes due to audit or other reasons, a regular payment process can’t be followed.
31 May 2016
When I did not get any update on April 15, I registered a query, and the same was answered by Mr. Shareef from Amazon India on May 31, 2016.
02 Jun 2016
When there was no response, again I contacted to Amazon associate customer support. This time, response was quick with a reference number to assure me that my complaint is under follow-up. Now the question is what happened to the complaint that Mr. Shareef made on May 31, 2016.
03 Jun 2016
According to an email correspondence on 03 Jun, the Amazon associate team was still in follow up with Amazon business which holds decision power to release the payment.
06 to 08 Jun 2016
No change in the status: the query was still under follow up with Amazon business team.
However, I decided to send some evidence to prove how Amazon has been delaying my payment without factual reason.
I wrote to Amazon:
“As of today, 57198.82 rupees is unpaid. I have not been paid in the last four months. The first query for unpaid balance, I had registered eight days before.
I have not experienced such slow response from Amazon.
Exactly what is going on. Is this problem for all Amazon associates or specifically to me?
When will I get paid? I am losing my trust in Amazon.
Please find the attachments. ”
By Jun 08, 2016, Amazon was trying to cheat my hard earned 57198.82 rupees.
09 to 10 Jun 2016
When Amazon business team came under huge pressure because of my persistent follow-up, they played a new trick. I got an email (on Jun 09, 2016) from Mr. Vineeth with a surprising statement: “we have released your accumulated payments on 31st May, 2016”.
I cannot believe how shameless and fraud Amazon is in playing dirty tricks. Amazon is a large corporation and its CEO is the third richest man but see in reality how they cheat hard earned money of a poor Indian publisher.
I have not received any credit from Amazon on 31 May 2016. The last credit I had received from Amazon was on 26 FEB 2016.
And, my second response was again on Jun 10:
I have not received any credit from Amazon after 26 FEB 2016. The payment history in my Amazon India associate account is also confirming that.
Find the attachment for your clarification.”
Violation of operating agreement Theory
It is unbelievable that Amazon was using such cheap tactic to swallow 57000 rupees (the eligible pending fund in my account then) of a poor Indian publisher. On Jun 10, 2016, they brought a new theory to get control on me. It was due to violation of operating agreement, my payment is on hold.
It was impossible for me to keep quiet, thus, my immediate response to Amazon was:
I never expected such wrong working practice from Amazon. As far as I know, I have never violated any terms and condition. Who is attempting fraud is very clear now.
First, I was told that the payment for the month of Jan, Feb, and Mar 2016 was transferred on 31 May 2016. Now you are saying violation of operating agreement.
I have never received any notice from Amazon informing me that I am violating working agreement. Suddenly, how this violation matter has come when I am asking for my hard earned money.
In fact, you had also confirmed that a payment of 40969.34 rupees ( reference Case ID:0081924961) has to be credited to my linked bank account.
I run a respected technology website: http://gadgets.shiksha. We believe in genuine business practices. Just for 40969.34 rupees, which is just a fraction and matters nothing for Amazon, why such wrong approach?
I still hope that I will get my earning for the month Jan, Feb, and Mar 2016 credited into my bank account soon.
After this, I got two responses on the same day Jun 10 from Amazon associate customer support.
20 Jun 2016
When I did not hear anything from Amazon on the delayed payment, I decided to reply to Mr. Nelson T’s 10 June email on Jun 20. And, my response was:
There has to be an end to this ongoing investigation. It has been 10 days now since the investigation began to check whether there is violation of working agreement or not. On the name of investigation, Amazon cannot harass me. Hope you remember, this is India and Amazon has to follow rules of Indian land.
In fact, this is a clear violation of the operating agreement by Amazon’s part. First, Amazon informed fund transfer will be delayed due to annual audit. Second, when I enquired about it recently then I was told that accumulated referral income from Jan2016 to Mar2016 has already been transferred to my bank account on 31MAY2016. When I proved that fund was not credited to my bank account, then Amazon is using wrong tactic of “payment hold due to investigation of violation of operating agreement”.
I have not received any notice from Amazon that I am violating operating agreement. When I am asking for my hard earned money then I am being told that there is violation of operating agreement.
It is unbelievable that just for few thousand rupees, Amazon – a brand known for trust is doing such wrong tactic.
I know that I have not violated any operating agreement with Amazon. I run a genuine website. Through my website referral (for the period of 1 Jan 2016 to 31 Mar 2016) Amazon made revenue of 6, 70,131.43 rupees. And for that my total commission is 40969.34 rupees (for Jan2016 to Mar2016).
One thing Amazon should remember, Amazon needs me, I do not need Amazon. I run a genuine where people come to read opinion on the latest gadgets. I can transfer traffic to any online shopping website and make money from them.
Please try to understand, I have to pay salary to my employees. Therefore, I request – please release my payment. I know this is not standard of Amazon.
There was no response again for next seven days.
27 Jun 2016
On a new payment query, I had got an email in usual format with threat that no further information will be provided.
There has to be some logic in argument. An investigation has to have some time limit. It cannot be endless. This is a well-tactic played companies’ marketing/business team to swallow hard earn of customers. Delay until customer forgets.
I have never been given any notice that I am violating operating agreement. When I enquired for payment for the period of Jan to Mar, I was told that the accumulated fund was transfer on 31 May 2016. When I proved that I did not received credit in my bank account then the argument of operating violation brought in.
I work hard and run a reputed technology review website. Through my referral Amazon made revenue of rupees 15,48,972.81 (From 1 Jan 2016 to 26 Jun 2016). I am certainly not going to keep quite as Amazon business team is hoping.
I have now to explore all options so that you people work according to Amazon’s reputation.
I would also like to add here though the so-called Amazon business team has picked a wrong account for playing games.
Auditing Your Account theory
01 Jul 2016
Actually, the problem is Amazon made a big mistake in account selection for this fraud. It was bad luck of Amazon payment & business team that they got a person who is not ready to back down.
When I countered effectively the fraud argument “violation of operating agreement”, they brought a new trick to silent me. In fact, for Amazon using this trick is lot easier: “We are in the process of auditing your account and will be delaying the payouts till the activity is completed.” You can understand why I am saying this is a solid statement for Amazon to get rid of me.
At Amazon, the auditing process time is infinite. It will never end. Shame you Amazon for such mindless and poor fraud tricks to hold payment of a poor Indian online publisher.
13 Jul 2016
18 Jul 2016
26 Jul 2016
27 Jul 2016
My response to this fraud response was:
Just hold for a moment think. If your salary is put on hold, and whenever you ask reason, you are told
“Sorry for the inconvenience. We cannot provide any additional insight on this matter until we receive an update from our concerned teams.”
How will you feel?
Amazon is holding my payment, but why the payment is on hold – for that no reason will be given. None of you bother to ask the so-called Amazon business team what is the reason for the payment delay and when it will be released. This shows how poor is working ethics of Amazon customer support.
The problem is you do not bother for those who work tirelessly for Amazon. Such poor work ethics will not take Amazon anywhere.
I am not going to keep quite. I will expose Amazon for such deliberate fraud. I will make aware other publishers that what Amazon can do to them. Only thing is it will take time.
I do not know how many publishers have been victims of this so-called Amazon business team. Because when I searched on Google, found many publishers complaining about Amazon associate scam. Thus, I am sure I am not alone, who has been victimized this way.
Yahoo went out of business, Nokia lost, and Microsoft also facing heat. Let us see how long Amazon holds with such poor work ethics.”
Remember the customer associate who had first reverted my query, Mr. Shareef was once again on my query with this response
Let us revisit Amazon’s fraudulent reasons to withhold my hard earned money.
30 March 2016: An official email to inform the regular payment will be delayed to annual audit.
31 May 2016: I made my first complaint on the payment delay.
02 Jun 2016: I was given a reference number with an assurance of high priority follow-up of this issue.
09 Jun 2016: I was told that the accumulated payment for Jan, Feb and Mar’16 has already been transferred to my bank account on 31 May 2016.
10 Jun 2016: When I confronted with facts that I did not receive the payment, I was told that the payment is on hold because of violation of operating agreement.
(A basic rule is – when violation of TOS is detected, immediately a notice is served to associated party with warning. I would like to make it very clear: I never got any communication from Amazon, warning me for violating of the operating agreement. Actually, I am accused of operating agreement violation because I raised finger on Amazon fraud).
01 Jul 2016: When Amazon realized I cannot be accused of violation of operating agreement, then brought a new theory that my associate account is under audit process.
18 Jul 2016: Amazon again twisted the reason as my associate account is pending for audit. Before it was under audit now it is pending for audit. Can anyone understand this?
27 Jul 2016: I am not sure how much this is true, but according to Mr. Shareef’s email, the issue has been escalated to senior management.
How much money Amazon is trying to cheat?
At the time of writing this report (11:20 PM, Aug 5, 2016), I am eligible for the payment of 90016.94 rupees. But the payment is only for the month of Jan’16 to Jun’16. The earning in July month and in current month till date is also there.
|According to update at 05 August 2016 ( 11:20 PM)|
|Jan 2016 to Jun 2016 ( cleared for payment)||90016.94|
|July 2016 ( to be cleared for payment)||6301.19|
|August 2016 Till 05 August 2016, 11:20 PM ( to be cleared for payment)||1651.04|
I have shared all the communications received officially from Amazon.in associate customer support with some fraud reasons to cheat such huge money from a poor Indian publisher. This is indeed shocking.
I had sent tweets to PMO, and was hoping that our great Prime Minister Shree Narendra Modi Ji will take some action against such visible fraud of Amazon but nothing happened. I had also sent tweets to Amazon support but no positive response till date.
I will continue to expose Amazon until I receive my hard earned money. The same time, this is also warning signal to those website owners hoping to earn money with Amazon. Beware! You cannot be sure of making serious money with Amazon. However, they never do such fraud with big websites because they know the consequences of that.
At GS, we offer almost 24×7 support to readers and has been very honest with our work. Check our comments, unlike other websites, we never censor comments that are critical to us. We have only one mission – present true facts, argue with good common sense, and have an honest verdict. I request to readers please support us.
I would like to clarify here – I have no intention to defame any individual or organization. I just want my hard earned money.