Beware of ADBRITE, my story

  • g07
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Beware of Adbrite

The following may happen to you, so I guess I thought I'd share it with fellow webmasters.

I've been a publisher with Adbrite since June 2006. Everything's been going well, that is until early 2009 when their ads' performance started seriously deteriorating on my site (earnings divided by 2.5X, then by 10X the following months).

I emailed them a few times asking them why their ads which worked so well before now were so bad. I received answers straight from their answer templates, which did not help at all. So, I considered taking them off the site, but I was too busy with other things to do it, or maybe just lazy.

Anyway, on July 28th 2009, I received the following email:

Quote:
Hello,

Your account has been flagged for generating invalid clicks or impressions. After a careful review, your account access has been limited by our Trust & Safety department.

Generating invalid clicks or impressions is against AdBrite's Terms and Conditions and program policies. Earnings from these clicks will be invalidated. AdBrite's terms and conditions can be reviewed at: *url*

If you feel this decision was made in error, please provide us with the following information:

1. Server logs containing IP’s and timestamps for your traffic.
2. A detailed description of how your site generates traffic. For example if you are participating in an affiliate program or purchasing advertising to generate traffic, please let us know the program or site you are using.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation. Regards,

Robert S.
Adbrite Trust and Safety



Needless to say I was very surprised, upset, and angry. The only time they bother contacting me, it's not to suggest ways to improve the performance, it's to accuse me of something I did not do!

My answer was not very nice, I admit it. I forgot about it, finally took off their ad tags, and moved on to something else. I really did not mind that they disabled my account. Sending them proof was more trouble that it was worth (the size of the log files is huge and my connection is pretty slow). And since I wanted to drop them, no big deal.

That is until I noticed I did not receive what was owed to me since April. They never mentioned that I would not be paid for what I earned in the previous months and that had not been paid out yet. They never bothered answering my email in July.


So last week I decided to contact them to know why I had not received my earnings. They replied the following:

Quote:
Hello,

Below is the email we sent to you on July 28, 2009. The logs requested in the email would need to be from the time period around July 28, 2009. Without this information to valid your traffic, your account will remain closed and in violation of AdBrite's Subscriber Agreement.

Your account has been flagged for generating invalid clicks or impressions. After a careful review, your account access has been limited by our Trust & Safety department. Generating invalid clicks or impressions is against AdBrite's Terms and Conditions and program policies. Earnings from these clicks will be invalidated.

AdBrite's terms and conditions can be reviewed at: *url*

If you feel this decision was made in error, please provide us with the following information:

1. Server logs containing IP’s and timestamps for your traffic.
2. A detailed description of how your site generates traffic. For example if you are participating in an affiliate program or purchasing advertising to generate traffic, please let us know the program or site you are using.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Best Regards,
Tony Y.



I complied with their request:


Quote:
Hello Tony,

1. I still have the log file for July. Its size is 7.7 Gigs (16200208 blocks, see attached screenshot). How exactly am I supposed to get this to you? Do you have a server I could send that file to? If so, please send me a login/pass so that I can upload it there.

2. My site is ranked for thousands of keywords in search engines. It gets on average X visitors DAILY. X% (removed for privacy) of its traffic comes from Google. You may also check Alexa to evaluate the amount of traffic that the site gets. We're not participating in any affiliate program, or pay for traffic.

Regards,
Greg



Ok, then. At that point, I think they'll give me their server info, I'll upload the logs, they'll see I did not cheat, and they'll pay me legitimately owned earnings. Good! But then I get this:


Quote:
Hello,

We previously notified you on July 28, 2009 of invalid traffic to your sites. We provided clear instructions and multiple opportunities to validate your account or ask questions. You did not provide a response until now and we will no longer be able to reinstate your account.

Your account will remain closed and this decision will not be reconsidered. Generating invalid clicks or impressions is against AdBrite's Terms and Conditions and program policies. Earnings from these clicks will be invalidated.

AdBrite's Subscriber Agreement can be reviewed at: *url*

Best Regards,

Tony Y.
Adbrite Trust & Safety



I was so upset at this, that I forbade myself from writing back before I calmed down. I guess the time is now, almost a week later. It took me that long to calm down.


Quote:
Hello Tony,

once again, I will repeat that I did not do what you accused me of. I did not "generate invalid clicks or impressions". The logs are here to prove it. I'm more than happy to upload them wherever you'd like me to upload them despite my rather slow internet connection.

In your next to last email, so just 4 days before your decision not to review anything (because it's too late now), you said "Without this information to valid your traffic, your account will remain closed and in violation of AdBrite's Subscriber Agreement." Well, I offered the information and I'm more than willing to send it to you. What exactly changed in 4 days? Your subscriber agreement mentions nothing about such a situation. I've not been paid so the "fees and payment" paragraph does not not apply in my case and I certainly did not waive any of my rights.

If you're not ready or not willing to give me a fair chance to prove I'm clean, please forward my request to someone else (maybe a manager?) who will treat my case fairly. I do not want my account to be reopened. I just want you to bother looking at the proof you're been requesting, see that everything's legit, and pay me what I legitimately earned.

Thank you,
Regards,
Greg



I'm now waiting to hear back from them... I'm not holding my breath, but I thought other webmasters should know about the way they may treat you in the future... I'll post their answer when I get it.
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I guess it never occured to you to burn the logs to DVD and mail it to them ?

I wonder how many of these ad networks pull this stunt hundreds of times a year just to get ahold of access logs they can pull all kinds of yummy statistics out of to sell to other companies.
  • g07
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well, I will be happy to do so should they just ACCEPT to LOOK at them... Right now, it seems it's not even an option, which is exactly why I'm angry with them, and I'm sharing this story.
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Yeah I know, I've seen this type of story more times than I can remember. :)

I'm more interested in how many people actually get around to sending these logs though, because of how often I see this.
I wonder what sort of privacy concerns a site owner should have about sending such logs. I imagine they don't want anonymized logs, and sending un-anonymized just sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen, or at the very least something that could cause a mass exodus of a sites visitors if word ever got out.
  • g07
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Update: Adbrite has accepted to look at my logs, and has re-enabled my account. The logs they requested were not even for the right site... The fraudulent traffic apparently came from United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and Romania. I don't live in any of these countries, so I'm not sure why I would be responsible for it, but anyway...

I should never have had that much trouble in proving I did nothing wrong. If it had not been for my persistence, they would have kept my earnings for basically, no good reason. Feel free to do what you want but, personally, I don't plan on using them ever again.
  • darkman
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Post 3+ Months Ago

g07,
after reading this i will not use adbrite anymore.
i'm currently looking for a ad service but adbrite i won't use.
it's really a shame that you use it for such a long period and then they pull out a stunt like that.

regards
  • 995sunglasses
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Adbrite is a rip off, I told them to refund my money and they wouldn't I had to charge back the money they took from me cause they were sending me bot and out of the country bad traffic. Their system claimed to send me traffic also when it didn't..

These guys are a bunch of scammers just google adbrite scam and you'll find out who those people are.
  • ArthurM8
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Yep, I had a not so pleasant experience with them as well. basically set up my campaign and paused it before it was approved, and when they approved my campaign they automatically changed my settings to run my campaign.

I went to sleep only to wake up to a hundred dollars spent and 1 sale for 97 bucks so I lost 3 dollars. I wanted to be able to live monitor it before it hit a certain point, but was screwed.

I contacted them, and they told me, oh well basically, the traffic was sent. the sons of you know what. Well, I parted ways and chose to not deal with them again as well.

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