Amazon Associates - won't say but won't pay

I signed up to the Amazon Associates scheme some years ago.   The reason for the sign up was to generate a little bit of income to help support my WWII Memories site, which I fund totally myself.

It has taken me about 3 years to build up to the princely sum of £16.44 so to say it is slow going is an understatement. But do you know what, every little helps.

With Christmas coming up I have reminded friends and in-laws about the link on the WWII site and asked them to please order via it.  I am optimistic about reaching the £25 pay-out level in the next 3-4 years ;-)

My sister-in-law very kindly ordered some of her Christmas shopping just that way.  I could see the orders. She had purchased some items from the Wish Lists that I keep for us all.  How kind :)

Anyway, I see the items showing up as Orders but nothing further seemed to be happening.  So, yesterday, I contacted Amazon to see why the Earnings did not show up.  Of course, you cannot phone these people so I wrote an email.

Today I received this reply:

"I have checked your account and found that you have not received advertising fees for the order not appearing on your reports as a result of personal orders being placed through your Associates links.

Due to the proprietary nature of the process, we will not share with you the criteria by which we detect personal orders placed by an Associate. Please know that we are able to determine when an order has been placed by an Associate via their Associates links."

So, Amazon have accused me - totally incorrectly - of ordering items using my own link. This I have never done. I know the rules and abide by them.  The only time I have clicked the link in my site was yesterday - to check that it did indeed have the correct ID in it for me to receive payment. It took me to Amazon, I looked at the ID in the URL and then shut the web page down.  As this was after the event in question and no order was made, surely they cannot be referring to that?

However, as you will see from the very statement contained in Amazon's reply to me, it occurred to me that there is no way what I can challenge this fact.  Why?  Well clearly because Amazon won't disclose to me how they 'know' this incorrect fact. So, clearly I have no recourse.

Today, I sent a rant of an email back to them.  I am absolutely disgusted with Amazon.  It seems to me that all these 'pay per click/view' sites are a total scam.

Looks like I am not the only one to be met with their all encompassing T&Cs (commonly called a 'get out clause').  Have a look at Joshua Odmark's experience with them.

Here are just a few more of the examples from doing a quick Google search:

Is Amazon's Affiliate or Associate Program a Scam?
Amazon Associate Scam
Amazon Assoicates Program is a Scam

I have just sent them another email saying close the account and have now removed all their 'free advertising' from my WWII site.  No more of this advertising on my site for nothing. If you want to show your products, you're gonna have to bloody well pay for it!

23rd January 2013 - I would not let this lie so after numerous emails and complaints, despite me shutting my account down as I was so furious over this, Amazon paid up in gift vouchers which I am happy to use.  I feel I achieved a small victory.


  1. Wow! that is totally disgusting of them, i do not think they have an excuse, if they cannot prove it to you then maybe they should prove it to watchdog and trading standards, then see if you get the money!

    1. I have put this on Twitter and have written in to Watchdog. It seems from a quick Google search that I am far from the only one!


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