Warning: RP Affiliates are retroactively shaving commissions

Discussion in 'RP Affiliates' started by CL-Ed, Oct 1, 2018.

RP Affiliates
  1.  
    CL-Ed

    CL-Ed Affiliate Guard Dog Member

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    We've had a flat rev share deal ongoing with RP Affiliates for the past 3+ years, no quotas, no time limits, no conditions. The affiliate manager Onno van ‘t Hoff approached us and offered it to us in order to have Royal Panda casino reviewed on our site. Now Onno has this month chosen to shave us by shifting all existing referred players back to the default tiered rev share. This is the typical story of affiliate program greed. What makes this one special is that we have referred one or two high rollers who are earning them loads of money, more than almost all other affiliate programs in fact. Apparently that isn't enough.

    I've tried to be reasonable. I offered to meet them halfway and go back to the default system for new players referred from now on, which I think is a fair compromise. But no, Onno insists on cutting the commissions for all the players on our account who were referred under the flat rate agreement. Of course we can remain on the current agreement if we would only refer more new players, regardless of how much money they earn, which doesn't even make any sense. He even offered us a quite amazing incentive: an €8 CPA if we referred 500+ payers a month. No, that is not a joke or an exaggeration. That is exactly what he offered, and I suspect that it was deliberately set up to be so bad that it was never meant to be accepted at all.

    I don't understand the mentality of affiliate managers like this. They think by threatening to cut your commissions that you're going to do what they want because ... I don't know why exactly? Is it that they are stupid or do they think we are stupid? What's going to stop them from doing the same thing again in 2 years time or whenever else they feel like it? You would be an idiot as an affiliate to cave in to this sort of extortion. Once they have revealed how they operate there is no going back as all trust is lost.

    At this point I'd like to point out this this complete load of bullshit that they have the gall to publish on their affiliate website on the commissions page:

    Here at RP Affiliates, we have a very straightforward philosophy when it comes to revenue share agreements: that lifetime deals really should be for life. So when you become an RP affiliate, we’ll ensure that you’ll get your fair share of the revenue from every player you refer to us, for life. It really is that simple.

    So take the warning folks: RP Affiliates are cutting lifetime commissions and they will shave you when they feel like it. It really is that simple.
     
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  3.  
    Onno - RP Affiliates

    Onno - RP Affiliates Affiliate Program Representative

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    Dear CL-Ed,

    Thank you for addressing this on Affiliate Guard Dog.

    In December 2014, RP Affiliates talked to X from casino listings and offered a long term 40% deal (I want to point out that this is not an 40% lifetime deal). This has been running now for more than four years later (in which period we have always paid 40% revenue share or higher, promoted or not promoted on casino listings). I believe this is a long period, especially considering our business.

    In 2018, you have sent us just six NDCs and we haven't felt the support from your side. No contact was made in 2018, regarding deals that were of any significance, and when I reached out with an offer, the only reply was that you wanted high fixed fees and there wasn’t a better spot on the site than third position until December 2018. Also, we had to take a minimum of three months and pay upfront. When I pointed out that your casino rankings in the UK dropped a lot lately, your only response was that you still see strong performance from your top casinos. This, of course, brings great risks with a rank dropping SEO site.

    With the above, we didn't feel like being in a partnership was worth 40% anymore with the very low volume of NDCs you are sending. After the long-term deal of 40% we decided to put you back on our standard reward plan.

    We have always made decisions based on individual cases instead of treating all our affiliates in the same manner. We also see this as an isolated case. The fact that we don’t have any complaints on AGD since our launch in March 2014 also comforts me that we make the right choices.

    I would also like to ask an Admin here to change the title and ask CL-Ed to treat this as a business disagreement. Additionally, RP Affiliates have issues with the word ‘shaving’ because it’s a very serious accusation. Setting back a reward plan is not considered shaving in our eyes.

    To avoid lengthy discussions on the forum with no other outcome then the above this will be our last statement regarding this case with CL-Ed/ casino listings.

    Best regards,

    Onno van ‘t Hoff
    Head of Affiliates,
    RP Affiliates

    Skype: RP Affiliates
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2018
  4.  
    Biti

    Biti Affiliate Guard Dog Member

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    It's simple.

    Let's fix the date at 1 September in my example.

    40% for players send before the 1st of September and the default reward plan for new players = OK and nothing wrong.

    The default reward plan for both new traffic and old traffic (before the 1st of September) is just not OK.

    Calling it stealing, shaving, setting retro-actively back a reward plan, etc. is just a semantic discussion.
     
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    Zuga

    Zuga Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi there, you should not be enforcing the new reduced deal on the previously sent traffic (that was agreed on 40% deal ).

    You are obviously entitled to negotiate new deal, and new % should be applied to newly sent traffic only. But your explanation that the 40% deal was for a "long time" but not for life is unfortunate to say the least ( unless the 'long time" was specified in terms of the exact longevity, which seems not to be a case here ).

    So you can understand why this would make CL-Ed upset. Actually it would upset pretty much anyone.

    So technically you are 'shaving' commissions in regards to players sent on a 40% deal, by applying new reduced % on those players too.

    You cant retroactively enforce new deals, or new quotas. Simply not cool.
     
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  8.  
    casinonewbie

    casinonewbie Affiliate Guard Dog Member

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    Yes...another thank from me for telling us all about as you say "This is the typical story of affiliate program greed"
     
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  10.  
    danniee

    danniee Affiliate Program Representative

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    Just wow!! Shocking really. I work with RP Affiliates and have sent them a highroller or two, but now I have to seriously reconsider if I want to work with these people. This is nothing but rogue behavior and it is INDEED shaving. No other way around it. You can decide whatever you want for new players, but when you mess around retroactively, that's just bs!

    I will be very careful working with you and you're burning bridges right now. This is even worse than Kindred if possible.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
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  12.  
    eenzoo

    eenzoo Affiliate Guard Dog Member

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    Yeah, these retroactive changes are shit and I think Biti`s idea would be a good solution for both parts of the deal. On the other hand, I can follow Onno´s post in parts.

    For sure if you run a portal with hundreds of casinos listed and you want to give a newcomer a chance too you can be in trouble fast. A top 10 list has ten places only, period.
    And if, to make matters worse, Google is no longer your friend, the disaster is perfect and the partners get impatient.
     
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    Guard Dog

    Guard Dog Guard Dog Staff Member

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    I agree with this solution also, it appears Royal Panda have imposed a minimum quota and then retroactively cut commission on players referred on CL-Ed's account which is a Rogue move. This is what landed Buffola partners in the RogueHouse.
     
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  16.  
    CL-Ed

    CL-Ed Affiliate Guard Dog Member

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    Onno:
    Still being an unprofessional smart-arse I see Onno. I warned you, but you wouldn't listen, nor would you negotiate. I do not give in to threats, intimidation, and extortion. This is the end result. You are clearly triggered and affiliates can clearly see right here how they can be expected to be treated by you in future whenever they start to earn a significant amount with your program.

    I find it interesting that you think it is appropriate to disclose private personal information in contravention of GDPR laws in this forum. Of course you will cry "not fair" because your name is published here, but you are the one who decided to post here using your name on your account. Neither I nor my employees did though. Your conduct is yet again unprofessional and most likely illegal.

    Thank you, thank you, and thank you again for this golden quote! :D You could have written nothing else but just that. That is all you needed to say and it is all affiliates here need to read. You are fine with retroactively cutting commissions and don't consider it shaving.

    But what is "treat this as a business disagreement" supposed to mean? It seems to mean something significant in your head that absolves you of responsibility for your actions, though I can't work out what. It sure is a disagreement, and it was triggered by your greed, lack of ethics, and willingness to break a contract and shave us.

    For other affiliates' benefit:
    Onno started playing this "long term" game of semantics when he asked us to prove that he offered us a flat rate deal. When we showed him the evidence that he thought we would not be able to produce he tried to weasel out of it by saying "long term" does not mean "lifetime" even though 1. the affiliate program terms say all deals with RP are lifetime; 2. not specifying any end date or any terms or metrics that would lead to invalidation; and 3. being on the agreed deal for 4 years without a problem until quite bizarrely it became a problem when players we referred started earning his casino a lot of money.

    What Onno seems to have difficulty understanding, among many things clearly, is that when you make an offer and it is accepted that is a binding contract. So he is breaking a contract that he offered. It is theft, both legally and ethically. It is retroactive shaving of affiliate commissions.

    As I have stated we are the only party here that has tried to be reasonable. We could not accomodate his wishes to refer the impossible fantasy number of players for a €8 CPA from the small number of countries his casino accepts. So I said fine put us back to the default deal for all new players from September 1. I have no problem with this. But no, this is not good enough for Onno. If I was dishonest I would just pay a bunch of people to sign up and bring in NDPs that earn almost nothing just to keep the deal. But I do not work like that.

    The real reason here isn't anything to do with performance as the earnings are very high. The NDP numbers are just an excuse being used to enable them to shave payments off high rollers that are earning his program pretty much more than any other affiliate program we have. This fool tried to play hardball and bluff us into sending more traffic that we didn't have and now it has backfired on him. That is how stupid this whole situation is and how moronic this affiliate manager is. Almost every other affiliate program would love to be in Onno's shoes with our account.

    This is a lesson for Onno and any other affiliate manager who thinks they can pull this stunt with us. For other affiliates, don't cave to these sort of demands, don't keep quiet, make others aware of what is going on.

    By the way, activity on our account has gone very quiet the past few weeks since this has blown up. Not a surprise sadly. I will be keeping a close eye on the account and I'll let you know if the players return. But given Onno's actions I'll not be holding my breath waiting.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2018
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    Eddie G

    Eddie G Affiliate Guard Dog Member

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    Success is a lousy teacher :))

    Pretty obvious to me that the original rev share should be honored on past traffic. Nothing wrong with cutting the % for new traffic IMO.
     
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    bonustreak

    bonustreak Administrator Staff Member

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    They should be tossed into the rogue pit for this ... IMO
     
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    danniee

    danniee Affiliate Program Representative

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    Indeed. If this is not rogue behavior, I dont know what is.
     
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    CL-Ed

    CL-Ed Affiliate Guard Dog Member

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    I have been reminded that Royal Panda are in the final few months of their earn out period after being acquired by Leo Vegas at the end of last year. It is highly likely that they are desperate to boost their NDP and margin numbers before the period expires so that they can maximise their payout from Leo Vegas via the earn out clause. If so it wouldn't be a stretch for them to lean on their affiliates to bring in more NDPs or cut their commissions to push up the margin numbers.

    I wonder if Leo Vegas would be interested in knowing about the kinds of things RP are doing to to try to inflate their numbers to ensure a bigger payout. It would be a pyrrhic victory for Onno if this unprofessionalism and stupidity with our account ends up costing his employers millions.
     
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    Guard Dog

    Guard Dog Guard Dog Staff Member

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    To Royal Pandas credit they have ensured me that the account will be moved back to 40% for all the old players and Cl-Ed will be compensated for any amount that was underpaid previously.

    :)
     
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    danniee

    danniee Affiliate Program Representative

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    That is very good news. Too bad it had to come to this in order for them to do the right thing however. But in the end RP Affiliates choose to do the right thing and that's what's most important. Thank's for the update.
     
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    BetOnlineUK

    BetOnlineUK Affiliate Guard Dog Member

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    I will reserve my judgment until CL-Ed confirms it has happened.
     
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    CL-Ed

    CL-Ed Affiliate Guard Dog Member

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    I can confirm that today Onno promised to return the existing players to the agreed rate and to repay any shortfall.

    Big thumbs up and thank you to both AGD and other affiliates here for expressing your solidarity and showing your support.
     
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