Update 02/04/08
Got a rather constructive followup call from Advertlet’s Josh Lim discussing on this dated post issues, you can read more of it in my future blog post here.

Collected my Advertlets cheque today, it came in registered mail from HSBC KL office, they underpaid me about 5 times lesser than what I’ve cashed out in total, about 5 months late too. I wasn’t amused either, after all, previously drenched with a daunting sense of incompetency in their job so I didn’t set my standards too high for them in the first place.

I have read quite alot about this less than a year old startup company, with so many complains coming in and out around town I slowly learnt that I wasn’t very much alone. I won’t be bragging about this just because of the trivial fact that I was not paid or feeling cheated- it is part of a constructive argument and comparison I will bring forward my point and perspective on the issue, highlighting my personal viewpoints as well as including relevant external references and experiences.

Extremely slow customer response
Advertlets took 2 weeks to a month to reply my support emails, even if they do, it’s largely automated or based off templates from my experiences, it’s like the staff are afraid to discuss any issues with you, even if you do, their extremely long reply time will simply turn you off. This is contrary to Nuffnang (their direct competitor) where I can get a real personalized human response with my message forwarded to their relevant departments within 1-2 days.

Extremely long payouts
Based on feedback, 2 months is the fastest, for those in Singapore. It took 5 months from me, even if they do pay, as I have learnt, your earnings might be audited. I have a feeling that their ad fraud system is not fully mature to the extent of paranoia, given the fact that why blog advertising had not caught on in the US is due to the fact that unlike traditional media, there are no reliable ways to measure the ad effectiveness or to even verify if a blog has as much traffic as it claims. Nobody uses their demographic polls on my site and I felt they were obligated to send me a cheque possibly to fill me up on my previous comment on them about their rather slow payments. It’s also worth noting that there are people who are not paid at all. For the record with Nuffnang, they does theirs by a full month from cashout.

Unprofessional
This is a whole long bit. The first part reminds me like comparing 2 detergent brands, brand X & Y- Instead of business and relations building, well, Advertlets is widely known in the community to pillowfight indirectly against their competitors, something bloggers like myself come to detest Advertlets for (also as supported by this Cnet.com article). The ultimate laugh for most bloggers now would being able to name a company anytime who runs a notorious online business who failed to avoid domain renewal problems while still in active operations, this will go into history.

I won’t be digging up old past issues of vulnerability, bugs or claimed hijacks they previously had on their site or during their downtime, neither on the controversy of them forgetting to pay for their blogger’s gathering event, due to the questionable creditability of the stated resources. But these are worth highlighting if you want to know a little more history of Advertlets.

However, I can commend them on some of their rather effective but rather notorious motion into paying bloggers (sponsored posts) to write constructive blog posts to review/advertise their website- a rather good way to get incoming links, traffic and increase search engine rankings from robots especially from high traffic blogs. The catch is that you have to get the post up live with a set of requirements (i.e use certain images and must have a link to their site) and though some freeform content is allowed, ultimately only approved posts meeting their interests will be paid, so these posts will usually spot a biased and unnatural sense of positive energy towards them.

Overall, it’s the whole picture I am taking about, the whole package from the blogger and advertiser perspective, the professional company- customer approach. Speaking from a web developer point of view in dealing customers and more than 10 years of web creation experience, if they were to treat bloggers in such a lowly manner, I won’t see that to be much different to their advertisers either, remember it’s the overall package I am talking about, not only making or giving preferences only to the hand which feeds you.

It is sad to see how such a company starting to stray away from their users, I had high initial hopes for them. Only time will tell how they will do in the future, given their recent promising partnership with SPH media.

Disclaimer: The author of this post will accept no responsibility to the possible causes, actions or events (including bodily harm or even death) arising from the content of this post. This post aims to serve as information based from actual and unbiased experiences with no defamatory intentions. This post is written from a neutral point of view and do not reflect the opinions of either ad agency in any other way.

P.S I appreciate constructive viewpoints, please do not post masquerading posts in the comments.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Here is my last account screen capture before my last message to advertlets “You can keep the RM 537.33. I’ve enough Dealing with advertlets”

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3264/2494293050_6678500916_o.jpg

    RM 537.33 is nothing compare to the time i’ve spent reading excuses, answering stupid question & writing emails to them. I’ve Enough With Advertlets…

    (You might see this comments on other blogs, but i have to update my comments before 100% close out the Advertlets issue.)

    • yea, I am quite in the same boat as you too, I have quite few (2-3) cashouts unpaid till now, but don’t think I will (or will) push them for payment, as we are not obligated to do so, also given the fact that it’s their accountability and responsibility as business to rightfully pay the bloggers as promised- which advertlets is not doing at all.

      If they take all these “dead” accounts as a way of capitalizing on users, I have nothing to say.

  2. I’m still waiting for my 6 month+ prize to arrive.
    They promised me for more than 10 times already.
    “Delay. Will send early next week. We have to go to party first. We want to spent the money we ‘pow’ from stupid blogger.”

    My cheque? 1 has been flag as fraudulent, I more status set ‘sent’ about 1 month +. I’m sending my first warning today (after dozen of polite complaint). So if I didn’t receive any respond from them within this week, I’ll start war with ADVERTLETS!

    Who wants to join me?!

    p/s: I have that so called c.e.o phone number since he called me about the prize 6 month ago. So if anyone interested, leave your message here. I’ll come often 🙂

  3. My cheque? 1 has been flag as fraudulent, I more status set ‘sent’ about 1 month +. I’m sending my first warning today (after dozen of polite complaint). So if I didn’t receive any respond from them within this week, I’ll start war with ADVERTLETS!

    • haha, well I usually won’t spend so much time even bothering about it. The amount of time and effort to get something which most likely won’t happen is not worth your time on them anyway.

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