First of all you need to know that I actually like the AndyPad tablets, for their price range and feature set I personally don’t think there is anything to touch them on the market today however this is where my love for AndyPad ends. I’ve never hidden the fact that I’m not AndyPad’s biggest fan however let me explain to you why I feel the way I do about the UK Company owned by mattressman.co.uk MD Andrew Kerry.
It took almost 3 months since being announced on the 23rd of May to launch the tablet officially on September 1st this year. During the 3 month period sites like Land of Droid, Cool Smartphone, Android UK News etc.., and many more created a massive hype about these low priced tablets and were promised by the then PR guy George Eastmead that a review unit would wing its way to us just after launch day.
Now 3 months down the line since launch day, the small sites who helped promote the AndyPad are still awaiting their review units however sites like Stuff.tv, Flush The Fashion and Know Your Mobile who done very little if not nothing to help promote the launch seemed to get review units without any problems.
Now, don’t get me wrong here, the above statement seems like I am being the green eyed monster however you couldn’t be more wrong if that’s what you are thinking. It is highly important for manufacturers to get their kit out there and reviewed by the best sites on the web that cover that area of interest, hell they will end up being your make or break reviews that ensure sales.
My issue lies in the fact that sites like this one were sweeped aside quite literally after launch day. Despite several mails back and forth and the change of PR guy from George Eastmead to Paul Edwards we were still unable to get our hands on one of these budget tablets.
You would think this is where my grumble comes from however there is more which has lead to me posting this article tonight.
AndyPad launched an affiliate scheme which offered sites and individuals a “Massive” 5% commission for all orders and affiliates and to help with this they would also offer a 30 day cookie period to ensure that affiliates would still get commission from people who visited their site via the affiliate link one and bought the tablet a few days later.
After watching my site grow to receive over 1 million hits monthly and on knowing someone who bought two of the AndyPad tablets on recommendation from me via the link on site I was eager to see what my affiliate account looked like given that I hadn’t really looked at it since the 2nd week after launch.
Imagine my surprise when I logged in to see this:
That’s right, the two AndyPad tablets that I knew were bought via my site weren’t showing anywhere. Not only that but the impressions for the site seemed impressively low considering the sites hits.
Immediately I spoke to the guy that bought the two tablets and asked him to send me a mail to advise that he had purchased them via the link on my site and to provide the serial numbers of the devices he purchased so that I could contact my affiliate manager Danny Carter (who is still listed as my affiliate manager).
On Friday the 2nd of December I mailed Danny coping new PR guy Paul Edwards to say:
Wondering if you can help? One of my colleagues bought 2 AndyPads using the affiliate link on my site however the affiliate scheme does not show the purchases?
Following that email and upon receiving the email from the user who bought the two tablets I forwarded the users email directly to Paul Edwards on the same day.
I write to letl you know that I think I know why the two Andy Pads we
bought do not appear in your stuff. Although we went to the store from
your site, we didn’t buy them that day. My wife sent an email asking for
posting dates, as one of them was to be taken to Peru for my little niece
and we didn’t have time to spare. Therefore, when they answered, we went
straight to www.andypad.co.uk to order them, not trought your site. Please
let me I f you want me to write to the andy pad guys to let them know that
the only reason why I bought them -and not any other-, was because you said
they were ‘the best value for money’. The one I kept for my daughter is
SN: APxxxxxxxxxxxx, and we are really happy with it, thanks for the advise. I
can dig out the other Serial number by asking my brother in law. So let me
know if you need it.
After hearing nothing for 2 days I sent the following tweet from my personal twitter account “I wonder if @AndyPadUK actually reply to emails or they just wait till I post shit on here before they reply?”. Within 36 minutes I got a reply “Of course we do! We are actually very speedy repliers :) – are you sure you’re emailing the right address? (customerservices@..)”. I found this very funny and decided to reply “no, I emailed people directly – Paul & Danny – bring back @GEastmead when replies were almost instant”.
Within 13 minutes of that Tweet I received a mail from Paul Edwards…
Saw your Twitter comments.
Is this regarding the affiliate scheme?
This was great, we were now on the same page, he knew I was talking about the affiliate scheme mail I had sent on Friday so this was a great start. I replied:
I then got the following reply:
Okay – this was being dealt with by my colleague. From the email that you later forwarded on, I thought that this was then the explanation?
Put into an email what you need looking into on our end clearly, and I shall then make sure that it is looked into.
Danny no longer works at the company, so that would be why you have not received a response from him.
So now we know that Danny (my affiliate manager who is still listed) is no longer with AndyPad however didn’t I mail Paul too? Oh well, I will reply anyway
The affiliate page still shows him as being the affiliate contact.
The request was pretty straight forward I thought, someone had bought 2 AndyPad’s from the link and ad on my site and it wasn’t showing in the affiliate scheme.
Its a shame I had to tweet something to get a reply though.
Now back to Paul:
Right, but as he said, he came back and bought the devices at a later date – I will once again get my colleague to look into this for you.
It is a shame you had to tweet, yes.. I would suggest if you want things doing in the future that are urgent, just ping me an email and have the subject line in CAPS LOCK and set to urgent, as I generally receive about 60-80 emails a day and can miss some, so apologies for that.
I’ll keep you updated – we should have it fixed within the next day or so.
When I read this reply to say I was angry would be a mild adaptation. The fact that “he came back and bought the devices at a later date” shouldn’t have mattered considering there was a 30 day cookie period surely?
I also now need to remember to write in caps when emailing the team who claimed “We are actually very speedy repliers” or ping an email to Paul directly, oh wait, I did that didn’t I?
This was the end of the communication stream thankfully.
Now, if you have done your math then you will realise that this was not about the money, the return on an AndyPad tablet being sold via the affiliate scheme is just £6.45 and even with two of them I would only get £12.90 – hardly bank bursting money. The issue lies in the fact that these were not showing and the impressions were showing so low.
How many other people bought a tablet through the Land of Droid link? Was I missing more comission? Was I missing out on rewards via the “top performing affiliates” scheme being offered? How many other sites were affected by this issue and were they / are they even aware of this situation?
Now you may think this is a bit dramatic on my part but lets not forget that this is a company who we already know to have performed underhanded techniques with the AndyPad tablets.
I guess the jury is out on this one however I for one felt strong enough about this to post my feelings, I would be very interested to hear yours.