Geno Prussakov of AM Navigator was hired by my company to take over our Affiliate Program. In the initial emails prior to our contract, I shared with Geno my concerns both verbally and written regarding coupon affiliates. We agreed that their deceptive habit of creating and posting false sales and coupons to get cookies attached to customer orders (thus receiving a commission for a sale they did not initiate) was a problem that needed to be fixed and would be. Here is part of my Sept. 2012 email to Geno:
Found out that 90% of my affiliate commissions are going to coupon sites with 47% of those commissions due to a customer clicking off my check-out to go out and see if there is a coupon, finding nothing, and coming back with a cookie that I then pay a commission for. Not acceptable (no I do not have a “Coupon” window in check-out). Affiliates should add value to a sale and not just tag sales I already have.
Here was Geno’s response:
Understood you on everything. The problem you are describing is a very common one, and there are several solutions to it that we can implement
Based on this mutual agreement that coupon sites would be policed and corrected, his claimed expertise with affiliate management, and the fact that he had written a book on the subject of affiliate marketing, an agreement with Geno Prussakov and his company AM Navigator was signed. Shortly into the relationship, problems started arriving with Geno. He and his company did not go off and simply manage our affiliate program after the initial transition. Instead they became a burden to my company resources. Geno kept contacting my company employees and associated partners, and giving them projects. Employees who worked with him were complaining about his attitude and finger-pointing. Geno was always right, and we either had not done something he needed to have done, or we were simply wrong. He would copy many top managers over an email issue he was having. In May of 2013, his April report arrived, and the top affiliates receiving the most commissions were again, the coupon sites. So, I Googled some of them and once again found they were displaying false coupon codes and discounts our sites did not have. In our contract, Geno and AM Navigator were to monitor affiliate promotions and promotional placement. They had not, in spite of many discussions on this issue over many months. A termination letter was sent to Geno on May 31st and he was paid in full. There was a clause in our agreement to provide 60 days notice of termination. However, he and his company failed to monitor and correct these false promotions. AM Navigator’s fee agreement included a percentage of commissions paid to affiliates. Keeping these coupon sites commissions high increased the monthly payments to AM Navigator. Thus, immediate termination was appropriate and needed to stop the overly high affiliate and management commissions my company was being charged. Well, Geno Prussakov and AM Navigator are now legally attacking me. They are asking for over $15K – his estimate of lost commissions and payments for the 60 days after termination. It feels to me like a shake-down. Geno and AM Navigator did nothing for us during that 60 day period, yet they are aggressively attacking me for more money. I have since hired another affiliate manager. They quickly were able to clean up the coupon affiliates and drastically reduce their commission percentage – something Geno should have done. There have been zero issues with these coupon affiliates since Geno and Am Navigator were removed from our affiliate program. I therefore cannot recommend Geno Prussakov or AM Navigator. I feel they do not work on a client’s behalf, but rather work by leveraging an affiliate program to maximize their payment rather than the clients.