ED Magedson – Founder
Rakuten, Inc.http://www.rakuten.com/ Internet United States of America
Rakuten, Inc. also known as Rakuten Ichiba is a well known
Japanese company. Rakuten owned company Linkshare Corporation is a well known
entity in the Affiliate Marketing world. CauseLoyalty, LLC. is also owned by
Rakuten Inc. and has been promoting affiliate marketing through the website
OneCause.com (CauseLoyalty, LLC) runs a charity program where they share money earned through affiliate marketing among various charity programs and good causes. As per their website (www.onecause.com), they have donated over 200 million USD to good causes, which means, they earned over 400 million USD through their affiliate marketing channel. These are the figures that are displayed on the OneCause website. However, they do not share the information HOW they generated over 400 million USD.
OneCause offers a browser toolbar software and when a client/customer installs this toolbar on their computer, it shows up like a regular toolbar at the top of the browser. Whenever a customer shops at a web store, the toolbar suggests that the user could donate some money on their shopping if they clicked on the toolbar. The toolbar acts as a cookie-overwriting software. Stunning? Yes, this is what the purpose of this toolbar: Over-write cookies and steal away commissions from other affiliate marketers and merchants. How? Read below to know what and how it does all the unethical stuff:
When a customer visits an online web store to purchase a product, this toolbar drops down and inform the user that they could help a cause. Customer will not have to pay anything out of their pocket. OneCause will donate half commission earnings to the cause this customer supports. Now, this toolbar drops down the information bar REGARDLESS of how the customer ended up on the web store.
See this scenario: If a customer visits my site and reads information about some product and then clicks on my affiliate link, the cookie is set on customer's browser. Customer is direct to the web store and all of a sudden, the OneCause toolbar drops down encouraging the customer to click on the toolbar and donate some money from his purchase. The customer clicks on the toolbar and BOOM .. Cookie Over-write! I'm going to lose that commission to OneCause.
Take a different scenario: The customer searches for a product on a search engine and clicks a link which goes directly to merchant's web store. The OneCause toolbar will still drop down and ask the customer to donate by clicking on the toolbar. Customer clicks on the toolbar and BOOM .. A direct sale converted into a commissioned sale! Loss for a merchant
Take another scenario: The customer searches for a product on a search engine and happens to click on a merchant's PPC advertisement and visits the merchant's web store. The OneCause toolbar will still drop down and ask the customer to donate by clicking on the toolbar. Customer clicks on the toolbar and BOOM .. A PPC advertisement sale just converted into a commissioned sale! Double loss for a merchant.
All in all, donating to help causes and charities is good and I'm not against it. However, Rakuten, Inc. chose unethical marketing to earn commissions by asking users to install the toolbar software that "steals away commissions" from other marketers. The toolbar also affect merchants by converting their direct sales, non-commissioned sales and PPC sales into commissioned sales.
For proof of what they are doing, please visit ABestWeb forums that are well known in the affiliate marketing industry.
Here you can find video recordings and other material that proves that Rakuten Inc. uses unethical means to rip off money.
I am an affiliate marketer and I work hard to earn money. But Rakuten, Inc. is stealing away my commissions and other affiliate marketer's commissions in the name of good causes and charity. Rakuten, Inc., Linkshare Coropration and CauseLoyalty, LLC should be taken to the court and should be fined heavily for ripping off so much money in the name of good causes.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/28/2009 03:42 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/rakuten-inc/internet/internet-marketing-companiesrakuten-incrakuten-inc-rakuten-ichiba-da45bhtm-486402. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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