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MSE News: Over 40% of cashback site users don't get paid
in Shop but don't drop
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I'm not sure this is fair. The advice given by MSE is, in my experience, ALWAYS 100% spot on and unbiased. As Martin has stated in the past when similar critisism has been levelled, the articles and tips always seek out the best buy irrespective of whether or not it is the most profitable for the site.
Again, to be fair to Martin and the site, they have an article which clearly sets out how the site is funded and they also provide 2 types of links where applicable; one referral link which helps the site and one non referral link. I'd say that this approach is pretty unique. I can't think of any other sites that operate like this.
I'm not sure we can expect MSE to release such information. Is that fair??
IMHO the site strikes the balance pretty well. They have a cashback section that clearly explains how cashback sites operate and how to utilize them.
I agree, and on reflection it seems to be this one MSE author in particular is a bit of a serial offfender (There was a random article by him the other month about sainsbury's suddenly having the best energy deal on the market.... -which they didn't by a long way**)
Personally I'm convinced the SMALL minority of those who don't get paid generally either don't know how to manage/clear their browser coookies or make a point of phoning up the company they purchased from to fiddle with their order/take it offline and get voided that way.
The MSE article author either doesn't credit his audience with much intelligence or simply falls into that category themself.... either way not a good advert for the site
So why not explain to customers about the MASSIVE benefits of NOT clicking through MSE?
They might have an article but what greets you straight away when you enter the main site??? It isn't that article, it is headlines about switching energy providers.....
They might provide 2 sets of links BUT they do not explain the benefits of switching using other methods.
To resolve this conflict of interest?
I think it's grossly unfair NOT to explain how to go about it and publish front page articles saying 40% of cashback site users haven't received cashback.....
Where on the whole they have benefited consumers massively.
Like a number of others I have been using few different cashback sites, but one in particular has proved to fail their promise, namely Mrs Cashback. I have had some cashback from them in the past and have therefore continued using them but now I have number of transactions that are either showing as Untracked or Pending for absolute ages (the winner must be one from 2007!!!), At the same time curiously some of the recent (small) transactions are showing as available in my total?! All attempts of contacting them fall on death ears or get an automatic response at best and now the website itself seems to be unavailable?! Martin, surely this is worth a proper investigation?
"Never count the cash as yours until it's in your bank account as things can, and do, go wrong." "
Cashback is a material part of an offer - you can't use it to make a sale and then say it isn't there. If payment isn't timely or isn't made at all, you should be able to claim the money.
I'd hate to think this article puts off anyone who so far has not been bothered with all this cashback malarkey (and bizarrely there are still lots).
No it's not, you don't seem to understand how they work.
The adverts that you see on websites give the website commission when people click on them - that is exactly what cashback websites are. The only difference is they pass some/all of the commission they receive from your click on to you.
At no point is the cashback ever promoted as part of the offer on the actual site you are buying from. If there is a problem and the website doesn't receive the advertising payment then you don't get paid.
Quidco for example says "Just start your purchase at Quidco" so you purchase the cashback from the cashback site by starting your purchase there instead of with the merchant or another business. Cashback is their offer. If you start your purchase there, the offer is they pay the cashback.
Articles like this will make people think cashback sites are scams and they will miss out on savings
Although I understand the general claim that it should be seen as a bonus (after all, you shouldn't be paying more for the goods or services than you would if you just went and bought them straightaway, so in this way it is), I don't agree and now generally factor cashback into the deal. With the technical reliability of the affiliate network and (some!) cashback site systems now involved, then there should be no reason not to. As a result, if the transaction is genuine and has tracked correctly then there is no real (honest) reason why the retailer shouldn't pay the affiliate network, the affiliate shouldn't pay the affiliate (in this case,the cashback site) and the cashback site shouldn't pay out to members.
I am an advocate of cashback and have converted many of my family and friends onto this and my general message is if you clear your cookies and ensure that your browser can track properly (most cashback sites have instructions to check) and go direct from the cashback site to complete your purchase, then in the vast majority of cases there isn't an issue.