Late last week JohnTP posted an email exchange he had with the folx at TextLinkAds.com. JohnTP writes “a blog on Technology news, Softwares, Tips to Tweak Windows Vista and XP, WordPress Themes and Plugins, Blog tips and Making Money Online.” TextLinkAds (TLA) is an advertising broker connecting advertisers with webmasters/bloggers looking to sell text links on their website. I highly suggest you read the exchange at the link above, as I’m only going to briefly summarize it below.
Apparently John lost some significant PageRank with the last update and therefore decided to remove the Text Links from his site. While I think that was a bad move, it’s his blog and he’s free to decide whatever he wants about it, and this post is actually about TLA. He notified TLA that he would be removing all of their brokered ads as of November 1st. TLA replied that they would have to refund the advertisers for their October ads (which had already run on the site) and would therefore be unable to pay him the $170 they owed him for the month of October. There are several problems with TLA’s actions here-
- John ran the ads for the entire month of October. He was merely doing the courtesy of notifying TLA that he would be ending his association (aka terminating his contract) with them as of November 1st. He provided the services that they (and their advertisers) had contracted for already. Therefore they should have paid him for those services.
- According to the TextLinkAds.com Client / Publisher / Affiliate Agreement Section 13 – “Either party may terminate the Services at any time by notifying the other party by any means. Any fees paid hereunder are non-refundable and non-cancelable.” In other words, they had zero reason to refund the fees their advertisers paid even if the ads were removed before the end of their paid term (which they were not).
In other words, this is just another case of a company violating the contract written by their own legal team in order to keep money rightly owed to one of their clients. Unlike those threatening to sue Google over their reduced PageRank JohnTP actually has a solid case against TLA. In the former case there is no contract between Google and the blogger, in the latter there is an enforceable and legal contract.
The lesson we can all learn from this? Unless you’re willing to file a lawsuit to recover what you’ve rightfully earned never consider ‘earned’ revenue yours until the money’s in your account.