When you blog for so many years like I do, slowly your blogs move up in the page ranking and advertisers become interested in your page. That is as flattering as getting comments from readers, I have to admit. So I had some advertisers over the years and made some pocket money on the side. When Google Affiliate Network came up with advertisers that could match, I never joint any program until I saw SIXT, the German car rental company from Munich.
Every tourist who comes to Calabria rents a car at the airport, unless they drive all the way down to Southern Italy. So I thought, why not give it a try with my Italian blog.
Just this summer holiday, my friends needed to rent a car. They decided to do it online in advance rather than on spot at the airport. They compared prices and thought that SIXT is competitive. This is when I suggested to them to book the car via my blog. I said this is the best way to find out how the Google Affiliate Network Program with SIXT works.
And I found out: It does NOT work!
When I asked the agent who was indicated by Google Affiliate Network for help, he seemed customer oriented in the beginning and asked for my customer ID etc. But then I never received any explanation. And another month later, when I asked again what he found out I got this reply by email:
Mark DeBenedetto from Direct Agents, the agency that handles SIXT via the google affiliate program, did not give any explanation why there was no commission for an online booking. He does not even bother or apologise. - Why is he an agent? What for? - Oh, here no more answer at all.
I do not see any help center at the Google Affiliate Network site where I could complain directly about this agent. And I have no interest in waisting my time to search for any SIXT contact person.
The only way I can complain, is to blog about it.
Usually, I do not abuse my blog to talk about bad experience with restaurants, airlines or other public entities because my personal experience might be coincidence. But in this case, I write about it because I have no other voice. Also it is in the interest of other bloggers who trust these programs which are not directly under their control.
I assume that SIXT was too new to the program and I was a victim of a technical error.
But then, at least I want an apology.
Today, I removed the banner of this company from my blog roll. Never again I will sign up for any other affiliate program (beside the one from amazon, the one I know and trust since many years).
Please leave a comment if you have any good or bad experience with affiliate programs. It is an interesting topic.