MyPoints Violates Affiliate Network Rules

January 20, 2006 · 0 comments

Today, a judge is expected to officially bless United Airlines bankruptcy organization plan and release them from bankruptcy protection on February 1. Like many of you, I’m very anxious to find out how this is going to affect MyPoints, particularly in light of the fact UAL announced they want to sell the program. Despite a member care employee’s claim that MyPoints was no longer owned by United and was now “independent,” I can’t find any information about it, and MyPoints’ media kit still shows UAL as their owner. The latest financials don’t reflect its sale, either, so all I can assume is that the employee was sadly misinformed.
Meanwhile, I came across an article posted earlier this week on the website of vocal adware opponent, Ben Edelman. He shows how MyPoints, in its relationship with a company called Direct Revenue, is violating the terms of its affiliate network agreements with both Commission Junction and LinkShare.
I’ll try to explain this the way I understand it: MyPoints contracted with Direct Revenue, an adware firm that sticks popups over some merchants’ websites. Direct Revenue is putting Join MyPoints type popups over the websites of some of MyPoints’ merchants. So… I might have been getting ready to make a purchase directly at The MyPoints popup prompts me to join their program first to get a reward. Now is out however-many percent because now they have to pay commission on the sale… the sale I would’ve made WITHOUT a rebate (remember, your rebate is just a cut MyPoints gives you of their sales commission).
Okay, from the end user’s standpoint, whoo-hoo, we were given the heads-up on a rewards program that’ll give us a rebate for the purchase we were going to make anyway! But from’s standpoint, they’re paying MyPoints for a sale that would’ve made on its own. AND, this is the kicker, MyPoints as an affiliate of Commission Junction and LinkShare (the sites that manage and other merchants’ affiliates) AGREED IN ADVANCE not to interfere with their merchants’ websites in this way. They’re violating the affiliate agreements.
I think this goes back to what I reported on a few months ago: MyPoints is hurting for business. Word of the program’s uncertain future has gotten out, no thanks to any sense of full disclosure on the company’s part but due to news reports about United’s bankruptcy and intention to sell MyPoints. They’re desperate to get shoppers in and will go to any lengths to do so.
The dying gasps of a once-mighty giant, my friends. :(

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