I have been an Ether seller since October 2006 before it was sold to AT&T.
Ether was trustworthy and efficient.
David Krantz became CEO of AT&T Interactive a couple of years ago. Since then Ether has gone from being trustworthy to fraudulent.
All of Ethers sellers pay 15% to Ether for the use of their toll free system.
Ether also benefits from all its sellers who provide free advertisement for Ether by adding the Ether button on their Websites, Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Ether, Keen Ingenio (collectively AT&T Interactive) annual gross for 2011 according
to CEO, David Krantz:
We announced our last -- our last quarter that we announced was 252 million in
interactive revenue. (See, July 27, 2011 CNN Money whose URL is): http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/07/27/how-local-can-tech-get/
Two weeks ago (November 2011) I was unable to view my Earnings which I customarily do each time I take a call. When I emailed Ether Customer Support I was told, I was being blocked since I had a Keen and Ingenio account.
I explained to Customer Support I had no such accounts but knew that back in 2006 when one became an Ether seller their info was sent to both Keen and Ingenio. This did not resolve the problem.
I was told to go to Ingenio Play Fair and remove my listing. When I called Ingenio and ultimately Keen, these were the same Customer Support reps that I spoke to at Ether!
This made me more suspicious. Factually the reps admitted that all three companys were in fact the same as was the parent AT &T Interactive.
Nine days later, Ether claimed the problem was resolved and I was permitted to view my Earnings. To me, this was reminiscent of socialism. I have never heard of anyone being denied access to viewing their earnings....never!
My suspicions were confirmed on December 2, 2011. The money in my account was not Debited to be sent to my checking account.
Since October 2006 at midnight on the end of each consecutive month, sellers earnings are debited either via Direct Deposit or paper Check. I have Direct Deposit.
Upon seeing this, I immediately emailed customer support:
Content of support request follows:
I am concerned since Ether usually begins the deposit process to my account at the end of the month but has not...is there a problem? Meaning at the end of the month ether begins to make the deposit to my account.
This was the insane response to the above quoted email
Thank you for contacting Ether.
Your account is verified to receive Direct Deposit. During the time of when we debit the accounts you were currently on a call. Unfortunately the system can not debit your account during that time and your account was not debited for this payment run. I apologize for the inconvenience this may cause. At then end of this month please be sure to not be on a call so we can debit your account accordingly.
EPC Customer Service Rep
Customer Support (800) 975-1379
Hours of Operation Mon-Fri 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM Pacific
I read it twice since it made absolutely no sense whatsoever in light of the fact that since October 2006 I have a Client who calls me at 11 PM. I am on the phone with him until 1 AM sometimes 2 AM. Aside from that, what does being on the phone have to do with a website taking money to debit it. Absolutely nothing of course.
Ether is my only source of income. When I spoke to Yvette on the telephone on December 2, 2011 she rattled off the same paragraph as her response email stated to the point of ad nauseam whereby I asked her if she was a recording.
Ether is unlawfully holding my earnings without cause and in violation of their own Payment Policy which I have read several times and I am in not in any violation of their Payment Policy. Noteworthy, there is nothing that states a seller should not take calls at Midnight on the end of the month!!! Not only is Ether fraudulent, their reps make false statement and in writing.
Below is a screen shot (December 4, 2011) of Ethers Payment Policy:
I have posted this to warn others who have a service to sell, be very careful should you choose Ether, Keen or Ingenio. I have researched these companys and thus far have found Click4Advisor to be trustworthy during my research.
During my research, I further discovered I am not unique there are many posts about Ether fraudulent tactics. One woman never received her money! Should this happen to me, I will file a lawsuit. In addition, I will file a complaint at the BBB.
This Payment Policy is part of the Terms of Service and is incorporated herein by this reference. The term "Ether User(s)" means user(s) of Ether Services or the Ether.com site. Capitalized terms not defined herein will have the meanings set forth in the Terms of Service and other policies incorporated therein.
1. Ether's payment responsibilities for Info Provider Services you provide are subject to restrictions and limitations. In connection with your use of Ether Services, you are obligated to use Ether's payment mechanism as your sole means for payment. The Ether User who initiates an account transaction with an Info Provider through the use of Ether Services or the Ether.com site is solely responsible for payment of any and all fees for the Transaction. Ether shall not be obligated to pay any Info Provider fees for which Ether has not been fully paid by the Ether User or Ether User's credit card issuer or bank, as applicable. You hereby authorize Ether to collect payments from Ether Users on your behalf for any and all account transactions that you conduct and to make adjustments to your account balance for Ether connection charges and commissions, tax withholding, taxes, refunds, discounts and requested chargebacks. Ether will credit to your Ether account the fees collected by Ether, less Ether's connection charges and commissions set forth below, any tax withholdings required by law, and any refunds, discounts, requested chargebacks and chargeback fees payable by Ether (the "Net Fees").
Live Calls. As an Info Provider, you may charge Ether Users a price per-minute fee or a bulk minutes package as part of the listed rate. Ether may collect a minimum fee. Ether will retain connection charges for each call in the amount of Ether's then current connection charges. Ether reserves the right to change the amount of connection charges retained by Ether at any time. In addition to connection charges, Ether will retain a commission equal to fifteen percent (15%) of the Net Call Fees for all live calls. The "Net Call Fees" means the Gross Call Fees less Ether's connection charges. The "Gross Call Fees" means the fees collected by Ether for each call (live or recorded) to your Info Provider listing at the listed rate for the duration of the connection. *
Paid Mail. As an Info Provider, you may charge a fee for responding to the paid mail requests that you receive. Ether will receive a commission equal to fifteen percent (15%) of the Gross Mail Fees. The "Gross Mail Fees" means the fees collected by Ether for each paid mail sent from your Info Provider address that is accepted for payment by an Ether User.*
Special Programs. Ether may, at its option, invite you, as an Info Provider, to participate in special offerings that may include custom branding, promotional pricing, qualifications verification and/or targeted promotion. You do not have any obligation to accept such invitations; however, if you do accept such an invitation, you agree to be bound by the terms set forth in the invitation in addition to the terms and conditions of the Terms of Service and the policies incorporated therein.*
2. Info Provider Fee Remittance.
a. When you request to receive your Info Provider fees, Ether will distribute Info Provider fees to you from your Ether account. Ether makes payments only in U.S. dollar denominations.
b. If you are enrolled in monthly payments by check and fees that are due to you for any month are less than $25, Ether will hold the payment until the amount due to the Info Provider at the end of any month is at least $25. Ether will send fees by check mailed to the address you specify via U.S. Postal Service approximately ten (10) days following the end of each month.*
c. You may register to receive fees by direct deposit via ACH if you have a registered U.S. bank account that is eligible for ACH transfers and otherwise meet the direct deposit requirements. If you are enrolled in direct deposit and are eligible to receive funds daily by ACH, Ether will send fees monthly through ACH to your U.S.-based bank account or daily through ACH to your U.S.-based bank account for a 2% processing fee. Ether reserves the right to terminate an Info Provider account's ability to receive funds daily by ACH at any time without reason or notice.
d. You are solely responsible for (i) all hardware, software and other costs incurred in using the Ether site and Ether Services, and (ii) determining, collecting, reporting and paying any applicable state and federal sales, income or other taxes. Ether may withhold taxes from amounts issued to Info Providers as required by law.
e. Ether reserves the right to withhold issuing payment for your fees without notice on any transaction which in our sole discretion suggests that the Ether User or Ether User's credit card or issuing bank may not fulfill his or her payment obligation. Ether reserves the right to hold funds beyond the normal distribution periods for transactions it deems suspicious to ensure integrity of the funds.
f. Ether reserves the right to close an at any time without reason, including, but not limited to, a violation of this Payment Policy, upon notice to the Ether User and any payment to the Ether User of any unrestricted funds due them.
g. Ether is hereby authorized to and reserves the right to deduct funds from an Info Provider's account when Ether is assessed with a chargeback from an Ether User's credit card or issuing bank for services provided to an Ether User by the Info Provider. Ether is also hereby authorized and reserves the right to also deduct any additional fees assessed to Ether on account of chargebacks.
h. Ether reserves the right to withhold payment and/or restrict accounts when needed to investigate account activity and history due to disputes, unusual account activity or other issues involving your account. Reasons Ether identifies your account for review and withholds payment and/or restricts an account may include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. Reports of unauthorized or unusual credit card use associated with the Ether User account including, but not limited to, notice by the card issuing bank
2. Reports of unauthorized or unusual bank account use associated with the Ether User account
3. Receipt of potentially fraudulent funds
4. Disputes or chargebacks
5. Refusal to cooperate in an investigation or provide confirmation of identity when requested
6. Sending unsolicited email or posting referral links on websites where they are not permitted
7. Opening multiple Ether User accounts under different names, or listing names to facilitate fraudulent activity, or opening a new account using different identities, names or credit cards after Ether has terminated your account
8. Suspected violations of the Terms of Service or Ether Policies
9. Name or information on the bank account/or credit card associated with the Ether User account does not match their name or information
10. Return of an incoming Electronic Funds Transfer for insufficient funds in the bank account, incorrect bank routing number or incorrect bank account number or incorrect credit card information
11. Use of an anonymizing proxy
12. Use of Ether for suspected money laundering, tax evasion or other illegal purposes
13. Any other circumstances which cause Ether to believe that a Ether User may be being used for unlawful or fraudulent purposes
If Ether identifies your account for review and restricts your account and/or withholds payment you will be notified by mail and may be requested to provide information relevant to your account. Ether will use reasonable efforts to promptly investigate the matter and/ or reach a final decision on the withholding of payment and/or restriction of account. If the investigation results in your favor, Ether will lift the restriction from your account(s) and release payments that have been withheld. If the investigation result is not in your favor, Ether (i) may return funds to the applicable Info Purchaser or credit card and lift the remaining restriction from your account, (ii) may continue to restrict your account or suspend account activity and withhold payment for up to one-hundred-and-eighty (180) days as necessary to protect Ether against the risk of chargebacks, (iii) may lift the restriction or activity suspension from your account and continue to withhold payment for up to one-hundred-and-eighty (180) days as necessary to protect Ether against the risk of chargebacks, (iv) may terminate your account or (v) may terminate your account by giving you notice and mailing a check for the any funds in your account that are not in dispute or subject to withholding to the address that you have provided. If you are later determined to be entitled to any such funds, Ether will make a payment of such funds to you.
* Amounts used in examples are not guaranteed amounts and are subject to change at any time.