For All of You Hostgator Affiliates Out There…Hostgator Responds

Recently, I wrote a post titled “Getting Screwed Out of Hostgator Affiliate Commissions?” where I discussed my frustration as a Hostgator affiliate, because it seemed as though all of my affiliate sales were being labeled “invalid” for one reason or another, causing them to never be paid out.  As it turns out (based on the comments the post received), many of you had a similar issue.

Well, to my surprise today, someone from Hostgator just responded to these concerns in the comments of that post.  I figured this affects enough of you that it warrants its own post here, especially because many of you won’t go and look back at the comments from that post.  Here’s what he said…

“Hello Everyone,

My name is Taylor and I’m the CMO at HostGator.

I wanted to let everyone know that I will personally address any issues you are having with sales showing as invalid and am more than willing to provide you more information.

Please contact me with any questions you may have regarding sales, not getting paid, etc.

We are definitely not out to scam ANYONE and we absolutely want to make sure you receive credit for any valid referrals you send to us. We pay out over $500,000 in commissions to thousands and thousands of affiliates every month, we’re definitely not scamming affiliates.

I can assure you that we want to make sure that you are correctly awarded on sales you send us.

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact me personally (my email below) or email our affiliates department (affiliates@hostgator.com). I will look into the issue for you and make sure that it is resolved.

Please provide me with your affiliate username (for our in house affiliate program) and the domain names of any sales in question. For CJ affiliates, please provide me with your CID.

Thank you very much and I apologize for any inconveniences or issues you may have had in the past.

I certainly look forward to hearing from you and working with you further!

Best Regards,
Taylor Hawes

taylor […@…] hostgator.com”

Thanks Taylor, I really appreciate the response.  I’ll admit I haven’t been happy with Hostgator’s affiliate program lately, but this is certainly a step in the right direction.  I look forward to straightening this issue out (not just for me, but for everyone), and continuing to work as a Hostgator affiliate.  Also, shortly after receiving this comment from Taylor, I noticed 2 of my Hostgator commissions were paid out via PayPal, so they have already begun looking into my account.  I’ll still need to check on the other commissions though.

I encourage you to take advantage of this offer to connect with Taylor, if you’re having a similar issue with your Hostgator affiliate commissions.

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41 Responses to “For All of You Hostgator Affiliates Out There…Hostgator Responds”

  1. Well, it’s good to hear that they are taking steps to alleviate the problem.

    It does make you wonder, though, if someone at their company actually Googled “HostGator screwing affiliates”. Your blog post just so happens to rank #1 on the SERP for that keyword phrase. :)

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Really? I had no idea. 😛 Oh well, regardless of how they found me, it’s nice to see that they’re making an effort to resolve it.

    [Reply]

  2. Based on your previous post, it doesn’t seem like you contacted their support before you posted. Shame on you!

    Every business has an issue from time to time. Yes, it is a big deal if they weren’t paying out your affiliates automatically as agreed – but at least make them aware of the problem before airing it in a public forum like this.

    I look up to you quite a bit, and I’ve learned a lot on this blog. Still, if you were my affiliate, I’d have to give some strong thought to canceling your account right now. It would sure look like more of a liability that an asset right now…

    [Reply]

    Cory Buckles Reply:

    From the comments he received on that post and from a quick Google search, it seems like this has been a very common problem for the affiliates. I hate to badmouth a company I’ve never worked with, but it does seems like HostGator has made a habit of doing this to its affiliates, and there is no way they didn’t know it was happening.

    It may or may not be the case, but it really does seem like HostGator has been using an old insurance-industry tactic on some of its affiliates. Some insurance companies deny every claim the first time, knowing that many claimants won’t bother refiling. HostGator may have made bogus chargebacks, knowing that many of its affiliates won’t be paying enough attention or care enough to call them out on it. If they do, it’s easy enough to apologize and pay out the money due, but they could seriously pad their bottom line by being dishonest.

    Frankly, I don’t buy that this has been happening to people accidentally. Charging back against affiliate accounts should not be something that could happen due to a software glitch as often as what it is. Even if it is purely accidental, this is exactly the kind of negligence that needs to be called out in public forums.

    Intentionally or unintentionally, HostGator *has* been screwing over a lot of its affiliates, they have known about it, and they have not yet taken the steps necessary to correct the problem. They deserve the bad press at this point. Now it is up to them to correct the issue to regain the trust that they have rightfully lost with their affiliates.

    [Reply]

    Lyndsy Simon Reply:

    I believe in civil discourse in business – it is not civil to level a charge at a company without giving them the opportunity to act to resolve the issue.

    In the end, it doesn’t even really matter that much to me – I’m not a HostGator affiliate, I’m an affiliate for Webfaction. I have, however, been called out for something that was not my fault and recall with some pain the damage it can cause to your reputation online.

    We bloggers wield a weapon of words, and sometimes we seem to forget exactly how powerful a weapon it is. When we wield it without forethought, we can harm both the innocent and ourselves by mistake.

    All that said, it looks like HostGator has an issue here. I hope they follow up and fix it, and do so in a transparent way.

    [Reply]

    Taylor Hawes Reply:

    Hello Cory,

    Thanks for your comments. I can assure you, we have not been intentionally screwing over our affiliates. You have to realize that in web hosting, there is a LOT of fraud. To add to that, we pay out much larger amounts to our affiliates than what the initial sale amount is many times. We unfortunately see many people trying to cheat the system due to both of those factors. We have checks in place for sales and affiliate sales/referrals. From time to time, these checks do catch good sales and put them as invalid referrals/bad sales.

    Just like I said from my original post, I know we’re not perfect. I know there have been issues that affiliates have had in the past.

    What I can tell you is that I came in here several months ago, and I’ve made many big changes for affiliates and will continue to do so to make sure that our affiliates are taken care of and that they receive credit for valid sales sent to us. We WILL take care of you like the valued partner you are. And I’m reaching out to everyone I can to make sure that happens.

    Again, if anyone has any questions you’re more than welcome to reach out and talk with me further about it and I’ll do everything I can to help you and get any issues resolved.

    Thanks again. I certainly welcome more comments, good and bad and I’m all ears to any issues, suggestions, etc.

    – Taylor

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Lyndsy, I appreciate the comment and definitely understand what you’re saying. My intent with the original post was not malicious in any way – I did a bit of research before posting, and it seemed the issue was already a public one (with similar complaints on other blogs and forums). I also prefaced my post with:

    “Before I begin my little rant, I want this to be clear: I don’t believe Hostgator is screwing anyone. I think they’re a legitimate hosting provider, but I think the terms of their affiliate agreement are a little quirky, and that you could very easily not get paid for your referrals.”

    I wanted it to be clear that I wasn’t trying to blindly blame them for something that I hadn’t completely investigated on my own yet.

    The more important purpose of the post was to try and point people toward the direction of CJ, where they could potentially receive better payouts with a little bit more reliability.

    At the end of the day, my post served its purposed wonderfully – Taylor, from Hostgator, has kindly stopped by to give us his support and reassurance that they will take care of us.

    Anyway, I do see your point, Lyndsy, and I don’t blame you if you’ve lost some respect for me.

    [Reply]

    Lyndsy Simon Reply:

    No respect lost – you’ve been transparent about the whole ordeal, and we will always do things from time to time that others don’t agree with. You have a different view on this issue, and that’s fine.

    [Reply]

  3. Hey!

    Thank you for posting this Eric. I certainly want to help out anyone who has issues.

    I can tell you we are working VERY hard to take care of our hundreds of thousands of affiliates, but we certainly do make mistakes from time to time and I want to make sure that our affiliates know that we do want to take care of the issues for them.

    I came on to HostGator several months ago after many years in the web hosting industry and HostGator’s affiliates has been my #1 focus since day 1. We’ve already made many big changes to help out affiliates and we have many more coming *VERY* soon. There’s a lot to be excited about being a HostGator affiliate! 😉

    Anyways, I just wanted to say thank you for putting this up and as I said before, I certainly welcome affiliates that are having issues to contact our affiliate department, affiliates@hostgator.com or myself personally and we will definitely take care of any issues for you!

    Thanks again, we look forward to working with y’all! :)

    Regards,
    Taylor Hawes
    taylor@

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Taylor, I’m extremely pleased that you’ve taken an interest in my original post and in these comments here. It’s refreshing to see a company respond to its customers/affiliates the way that you have.

    I’m sure others here appreciate it too – thanks again.

    [Reply]

  4. AND I of course forgot to touch on a couple of other points from your previous post.

    Our in house affiliate program has *many* advantages compared to CJ, here are just a few:

    Custom coupons: You are able to create custom, unique coupons for your referrals to receive their first month for 1 penny or 25% off (can save you well over $100 depending on the package and term length purchased). The amazing thing about these coupons is that they are unique to your affiliate account, and any time they are used (even if they never click your affiliate link) you receive credit for the sale. This allows for some great social media and blog promotion of our services without looking spammy with affiliate links!

    The ability to see who you referred: Our in house program allows you to receive notice of the referral via email notification as well as tell you the domain name of the user that you referred. This greatly helps in further tracking your sales.

    Additional tracking stats: Our in house program allows you to setup sub campaigns/sub ID’s so you can track exactly where the clicks and sales are coming from. With this you could even create a unique sub campaign for each link on your site… knowing if the blog post text link converted more compared to your 728×90 banner, etc.

    Extras: With our in house program you receive FAR more in stats, and that is only expanding even more over the next few weeks with the release of our all new affiliate control panel that is truly better than anything out there on the market!

    We are also introducing special promotions, contests, the works!

    And to top it all off, if any of you are simply still deciding to use CJ compared to our in house program because of the $100 flat payout amount, we will match the $100 payout in house without the restriction on sending 11+ sales per month.

    Please feel free to let me know if you have any further questions or want to talk about anything further.

    Thanks again!

    – Taylor

    [Reply]

  5. This is the way businesses should be handling themselves online. At my previous employer, I was always aware of what was being said online about the business, but seeing someone go out of their way to go to the blogs to respond is great.

    I’m sure people reading Taylor’s comments will be more encouraged to promote HostGator even more than they have been.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I completely agree, James. :)

    [Reply]

  6. If it’s any consolation, Eric definitely isn’t a “liability” to HostGator, like one of the previous posts mentioned.

    Mostly based on the fact that a blog I respect (this one) uses HostGator, I purchased a year’s worth of hosting from them yesterday. I didn’t use your coupon Eric, because a 25% off saved me more on the year package, but I actually think I may have clicked through to HostGator from your site. Maybe you’ll get something for it, who knows.

    I knew I needed at least a year of hosting, and I know I’m gonna host more than one domain, so your endorsement was probably the little push I needed to go with Gator over Godaddy.

    Also, the response from Taylor here is encouraging and says a lot about HostGator. It’s always *very* positive to see representatives from a company interacting with the communities that depend on them.
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    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Great points, Justin. Even though I was initially giving Hostgator negative publicity, I think it has ultimately turned positive with the responses from Taylor. It’s definitely made me feel better about being a Hostgator affiliate.

    [Reply]

  7. I was actually surprised lately because I received a commission from Hostgator without having to email them first 😀

    It’s good to see that they’re being proactive about the issue overall; let’s hope they keep up with it haha.
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    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I know! It sounds like they are trying to get everything right, so I’m feeling a lot more comfortable with it now.

    [Reply]

  8. Thanks for giving Hostgator the heads up, Eric. I too was experiencing some delayed and canceled commissions. I contacted them and mentioned your post and their reply, and they’re looking into it :) Looks like your post was not a cry in the dark after all.

    Hostgator has a good name out there, i personally have used several of their services and I know they always try to make a customer happy. Hope they’ll straighten this one up too.
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    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Glad to see this whole ordeal helped you out, Aloys. Hopefully in the future we won’t need to contact them to get our commissions fixed. :)

    [Reply]

  9. I just had 1 sale with HostGator and it was paid on time. 3 months after my client signed for his hosting account and wham, got paid.

    I wished I had more experiences so I could contribute more to this thread but that’s as far as I can go.

    I really kind of blind trust these guys 😉
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    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Good to hear you had a good experience, Sergio. I think they’re a trustworthy company, but maybe have a few things they can tweak with regards to how affiliate commissions are handled. Going forward, hopefully we’ll continue to see a good response from them.

    [Reply]

  10. Thanks for all of the comments and kind words guys. I’ve gotten to speak with several of you now personally and I definitely appreciate you reaching out.

    I’ll definitely be watching the blog, have subscribed to the newsletter and I’ll be around long term to help with any issues or needs. Looking forward to being a part of the community, even outside of HG stuff!

    Thanks,
    Taylor

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks again for following up here, Taylor, and more importantly, following through with your promises. It speaks volumes of not only Hostgator, but you as an individual representative.

    [Reply]

  11. I had at least two commissions I never got paid for. Twice I had recommended Hostgator to friends and they clicked on my affiliate link yet no sale was registered.
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    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I’d suggest reaching out to Taylor – he has been able to help several people with their affiliate commissions so far, myself included.

    [Reply]

  12. I used to be an affiliate and a client, but one day they canceled my account because they said I was getting too much traffic. They didn’t suggest I upgrade to another package or anything. Left me high and dry. I had a day of downtime as I moved everything over to another host. They lost a client and also an affiliate in the mess. It’s too bad too because the service was great until i found out they cancel you without warning if you outgrow them.

    [Reply]

  13. I don’t think I’ve ever missed a commission from Hostgator – I even had one that showed as ineligible, that then came through anyway (much to my surprise).

    Sounds like I’ve just been lucky, but I’ve got nothing but good things to say about Hostgator service and affiliate program.

    [Reply]

  14. Now this is a bummer…I was just about to go full blast promoting Hostgator and then I found this post, and the original post, about commission payment problems.

    Now I’m having second thoughts of promoting Hostgator exclusively.

    I am glad however that Taylor is being proactive and judging from the last post before this (April 16), there’s less complaints now.

    No disrecpect for Taylor but has any one of you guys tried promoting/or currently promoting the other hosting providers like Bluehost, Thinkhost, Dreamhost, etc? If yes, any comments on their affiliate program?

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Ever since I brought the issue to light here, I have to say, I’ve been very pleased with Hostgator. My affiliate commissions are being paid out without issue, and Taylor has been very responsive and supportive for any issues that others have expressed here. I’d give them a shot.

    As an aside, I’ve heard good things about Bluehost, but because I use Hostgator as my host for my websites, I felt more comfortable promoting them.

    [Reply]

    Charles Reply:

    I did a lot of research first before deciding on promoting Hostgator. It would be a shame if the commissions would be affected and make all the trouble, etc. come to waste.

    Thanks for the heads up and I guess I’ll give them a try. I’ll also maybe try doing 2 promotions, one through their direct affiliate program and the other through CJ.

    [Reply]

  15. I have signed up recently as an affiliate with hostgator directly and and having problems as well. When I check refered domains it says I have 9 but no commissions listed at all. Hostgator told me that refered means those that converted to customers of hostgator. so I don’t understand why they dont show up under commissions. When I contacted Hostgator again regarding discrepancy they said they would research it. Seems like they don’t want to pay unless you make them “research”. So I was thinking about changing as well to CJ but wasnt sure if Hostgator will allow since I already have my afilliate account direct with them. Do I need to cancel that one first?

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Hi Lisa,

    Sorry to hear about the problems you’re having. I’m not sure what the issue is, but you can e-mail Taylor at thawes@hostgator.com, and he could hopefully help sort out the issue. As for using CJ, you can use it simultaneously with Hostgator’s affiliate program – commissions will be driven by which affiliate URL you use. There’s no need to cancel anything.

    Hope that helps!

    [Reply]

  16. A great affiliate program (or any other program for that matter) is best described by how well it responds to problems and how fast it fixes them.
    When you’re in the game with a program that doesn’t even realize it has a problem, then it’s time to start worrying.
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    [Reply]

  17. Hey Everyone,

    As Eric has said, please feel free to reach out to me. I’ll look into the issue and let you know more detailed information as quickly as possible (sorry it may sometimes take a couple of days, things are very busy around here).

    Thanks again!

    – Taylor

    thawes ….. at … hostgator.com

    [Reply]

  18. Taylor,

    I have been reaching out to you for the past 4 weeks, with pretty much no response (except 1 reply to my ticket, which I then answered, and after that my ticket has been ignored.

    This is a real shame, because my company is looking to be referring, 75+ new signups to whatever hosting we work with per month, within the next 2-3 months. We sent you guys about 15 in the last 2 weeks of Feb, when we just started.

    As I said, I have a quality source of new customers, and it’s a shame, but it looks like I’ll be moving to bluehost, as they actually seem to give a $£$£ about their affiliates. (they have an affiliate manager who you can actually call on the phone, unlike hostgator)

    I have tried numerous ways of making contact over the past 3-4 weeks, including emailing you directly at taylor [at] hostgator.com, posting in the affiliate section, and sending in multiple tickets.

    Not only have you guys wasted my time, but half of my commissions that I sent are getting “overdue” status, which means I won’t be getting paid for the valid customers I sent you (I know their valid, because my company is in communication with them, and they are still signed up for their hosting)

    So pissed with HG and the lack of caring on your affiliate team, not to mention, pretty much scamming affiliates out of their commissions.

    I guess you guys will just be losing my business. You could always just reply to your emails, and we could chat and sort this out, but as of yet, doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.
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    [Reply]

    Joe Robertson Reply:

    All these great replies from Taylor and how pro-affiliate HG is. Well obviously they dropped the ball again.

    No reply for over 4 weeks for me. And it’s bad enough to have every sales canceled but worse is to have Credits back to your account never pay and then after 6 weeks be canceled.

    Did my “credits” forget to pay the recurring hosting or did they have prior HG accounts?

    One lame affiliate program through CJ or in-house.

    Not one reply from multiple emails and support tickets. Time to voice concerns with the BBB in Texas and the Texas Attorney General.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Sorry to hear about that, Joe – I wish there was something I could do aside from providing a little forum where hopefully someone from HG reads it. I haven’t had problems with payouts lately, but then again, I haven’t had any recent affiliate sales for HG. Best of luck, and I hope you’re able to get this resolved.

    [Reply]

  19. Oppsie! I was just about to go for HG program when I read this post. I am really confused. I don’t think I should put something in my blog that would damage my rep. Author: Can you please suggest some Programs that definitely pay you no matter what?
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    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I’ve had no problems with Hostgator ever since switching to promote them through Commission Junction, but if you want a good alternative, promote BlueHost (which is also a great hosting company).

    [Reply]

    Rohan Shankar Reply:

    Do you need to submit your site in CJ to get approved?
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    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Once you get one site approved by CJ, you can create affiliate links to use on any sites that you own. Certain affiliate programs within CJ require manual approval before you can promote them, while others approve you automatically. I believe it’s pretty easy for both Hostgator and Bluehost to get approved through CJ.

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