Sale & referrals

I sent this to support, but with 450+ open requests I figure I might get a response a little faster here.

Hello, yesterday I had about five people sign up with dreamhost and use me as the referrer. After the fourth, I switched the mode to one time $65 payments. One person signed up, then I went to bed.

This morning I see I had two more people sign up, but the mode has been switched back to 10%. Is there any way to change those users to one time $65 payments instead?


Woah nelly. I got a response from support

[quote]I just want to verify that you want them switched to the one time
referral even though you will not receive the $65 referral credit unless
they renew next year correct?[/quote]
Woah. It might be nice if you guys updated the referrals page to tell us such things. Right now it just reads “You decide! Either get 10% forever of everything your referrals (plus 5% for people they refer!) spend on hosting with us, or choose to just get a $65 one-time payment (plus $5 for sub-referrals!) per referral!” Had I know there was a change in policy, I wouldn’t have spent so much time over the past few days trying to send you guys customers. There’s a big difference between 92¢ and $65. Instead of making about $100/hr for my work, I’m gonna make less than $2/hr.

I can see why you guys have to postpone the referral payment, but this goes along with the removal of features. I signed up with you guys, made an agreement… don’t ever recall reading a bit that you guys could remove features or lower the services you offer without my approval. I have 24 new referrals this year alone. Making changes like this doesn’t make me too happy.

Well, it did say in the description of the 777 sale (in the popup window on the front page) that referrals for this sale won’t be paid out until the new customer renews.


someone reads my pitch on DH and clicks through to sign up.

Because DH is having a sale, I get nothing.

I don’t care what the fine print says, I’m getting screwed out of the very rewards program they told me was so unbelievably fabulous.

When they said their rewards program was “the most flexible affiliate program of the web hosting world”, they meant it is flexible for THEM - to change the rules as they see fit.

I ask DH to inform their affiliates when they will NOT be paying bonuses - that way we can all stop referring people during that time.

Shame on DH.

As an existing customer, I’m not apt to be surfing the home page of the site. Secondly, that statement is contrary to the one which was on the member’s rewards page (which has now been updated.)

That’s correct, but I got the impression that some people put in an extra effort at referring customers in the past days because of this sale. I’d imagine that they learnt about this sale by seeing it posted on Dreamhost’s website. Maybe that’s just me :wink:

[quote]Because DH is having a sale, I get nothing.


Well … to be fair, how on earth are they going to get $65 out of $9.24?? If memory serves me correct, they continue to give out rewards during their other sale campaigns. - Register your own domain with DreamHost for just $14.95 now

Why is that my problem?

And you tell me - if they came up with $ to pay bonuses with other sales, why can’t they with this one?

I saw the splash on the home page, then went to my referrals page to read the details again.

I haven’t actually tried this, but if someone signs up for a monthly payment plan, and they pay the $7.95 and $25 setup fee, don’t I get a referral fee too?

When I heard about the sale, the first thing I did was read the details, because I logically assumed it wouldn’t generate referral credit.

Nobody is being screwed out of anything. The payment is just deferred.

So then you read on the referrals page, in the web panel, and saw no changes had been made to the referrals system for this sale?

It’s deferred if they renew in a year. Otherwise there is no one-time payment.

You don’t get referral fees until 3 months after the signup. If the referred customer cancels before that, you don’t get the fee at all. 3 months is also the time period that Dreamhost has for their money-back guarantee.

The $7.95/month is only for plans that are paid 2 years in advance, so the customer has already paid about $190. If they decide to pay monthly, the plan costs $9.95/month plus setup fee, which after 3 months amounts to almost $65 (take a few cents).

So, Dreamhost always has their referral fee covered by the customer’s payment. That’s clearly not the case with this sale.

[quote]…because I logically assumed it wouldn’t generate referral credit.


Why did you just assume that? I don’t think it’s logical to screw over your business partners just because its the web.

What the fine print says is completely irrelevant to me, and here is why:

DreamHost promotes and invests heavily in their affiliates program because THEY KNOW HOW EFFECTIVE IT IS.

As an individual affiliate, I provide an extremely valuable marketing service on their behalf, and I expect to be compensated for it, per the agreement.

I generate $sales$ (not to mention countless leads which I don’t get paid for) for them, and in return, they pay me a bonus. It’s simple and fair, and IT WORKS.

You can’t have it both ways, and you can’t just make up rules as you go along.

DH is shooting themselves in the foot by messing with their affils. You treat your affils right, they will generate business - its simple common sense. Play take-away, and the relationship between a company and its affiliates is damaged. That is NEVER good for business.

DreamHost can do better than this. They ARE better than this. What’s up, DH?

doh! yeah, so I’d only get the $65 after the user had paid $54.85 (or maybe $64.80, I’m not sure.) Either way, DH does give the flat referral fee before the new customer has paid the full amount of the referral fee.

Maybe my math’s wrong, but it doesn’t look like the fee is covered by the payment.

In any case, the fact that DH would have put themselves in a bad position doesn’t justify the fact hey failed to notify their affiliates of either the change to the referral program or include in our agreement with them that they could change it.

For several hours I posted the sale on popular forums on the net, emailed people looking for hosting, fielded feature questions, tech questions and lots of other stuff on behalf of DH because they had an agreement with me to give me a one time $65 payment for referring someone.

I had 10 referrals in the time of the sale - that’s $650 under DH’s policy. Instead, my options at this time are $0.00 or 92¢. That’s $640.8 less than I should have, and (if all new users had been referred) shortchanges DH users nearly $50,000.

One could argue that the sale price would have sold those accounts without the need for referrals. However, with the agreement that a referrer would make $65 each, I’m not the only user who spent tons of time sending users to check out DreamHost. Sure the sale is over, but there are tons of links and ads still up telling people to check out DreamHost. More and more people will find the posts and messages, and then come to check out DH. We can only hope that after they realize the sale is over, if they do sign up, that they still put in our referral ID.

I’m not debating this because I want the cash, but because I want DH to at least update their policy. In other industries (eg, mortgage brokering) the tactics DH used are highly illegal.

Furthermore, I asked a very clear question of the billing team: “Are you telling me DH doesn’t want to live up to the terms mentioned on rewards page?”

The answer:
“If they signed up for the ‘Sale’ plan you have to wait until they renew
next year (since they are paying significantly less than the normal
yearly price for hosting - we cannot give you a $65 referral fee on a
year of service that we receive less than $10 for). If they renew for the
next year at full price we are more than happy to give you the referral
fee though. Hopefully that clears things up.”

I have used DreamHost since 1997 and my primary & secondary referrers have earned DH over $4500 in the last 12 months alone. Who knows how much my referrer’s referrers make DH. I guess that’s not enough to encourage support not to skirt my questions.

It was common sense. All business have conditions on big sales–and this one was rediculously good! At 77 cents, they’re losing money on these customers, so I wasn’t expecting to get $65 for it. (And it said as much right there on the offer page.) I referred people just because it was such a good deal.

In any business, commission works by paying based on the sales you generate. That remains true in this case. If you generate revenue, you get commission. Perfectly fair.

This only really affects people who cancel within the first 12 months. These referrals are unprofitable, so why expect to be paid commission for them? In every other case, you will get your $65. This fact alone invalidates most of the arguments I’m reading here.

Without this policy, it would be too easy to scam the system (sign up friends, collect $65 each, cancel.) This costs everyone – either higher prices, fewer sales in the future, or lower commission. That’s basically what you’d be asking for. (If I were in Dreamhost’s position and got enough complaints, I’d be saying, “this $65 thing is too much trouble, let’s cancel it altogether.”)

Also, adding “subject to change” on one page is a non-solution, because if people don’t even read the offer details, you can’t expect them to read all the fine print on the referral page. That’s another business fact–people will complain no matter what you do. :slight_smile:

[quote]In any business, commission works by paying based on the sales you generate.



Commissions are paid based on PRIOR AGREEMENTS, many of which are not straight sales commissions. One example is the $65 bonus DH pays it’s affiliates.

Look, some people think DH not paying for the sale is OK. Fine. I do not. And I’m trying to explain why.

I go to my referrals list and see 6 new referrals (in bold). I then notice none of them have been paid to my account. Do you really expect me to be happy about this?

I had no idea there was a sale. I had no idea the agreement had changed. All I know is that people followed the MY LINK to DH, and signed up. Seems I should get something… after all, I GOT THEM THERE! I don’t think that is unreasonable.

Aside from the mistake of not informing affiliates, DH could have done better than the “deferred” payment smoke screen. E.g. give us half the bonus now, and the rest IF the referees stay with DH.

That is a compromise I could live with. DH?

It seems that the DH referral policy is inconsistent. If you’re on the $65 reward option, you get nothing-nil-nada, but if you’re on the 10% reward option, you do in fact get $0.92 in reward!

That means that DH is giving rewards for ALL referrals on the 10% option, but not on the $65 option. That is inconsistent, and even more important, not what they claim!!

In Denmark, this practise would be illegal. I don’t know about US though?

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[quote]If you’re on the $65 reward option, you get nothing-nil-nada, but if you’re on the 10% reward option, you do in fact get $0.92 in reward!


Apparently, they are able to squeeze 92 cents out. But to be fair, I wouldn’t mind wait a bit for my $65 when the referree pays in 12 months’ time.

DreamHost may not have covered their … back well enough when preparing the fine prints, but my take is to give them a break, so they won’t be delving too much into speaking with their attorney instead of running a good hosting service. :wink: - Gung-ho Web Hosting :: $7.95/mo for 2,400 MB Disk and 120 GB Transfer