Is BlogAds Scamming Bloggers?

You may recall that I initiated a pledge drive here. The reason for this was because BlogAds had failed to pay me out for ads that had run on this site. The remaining ad, for which I have still not been paid for, was a large, month-long ad in September from the Library of Congress that appeared here and on other literary blogs. The payment was due by the Library of Congress on September 30th. Well, the money didn’t arrive then and it didn’t arrive by October 30th. Which meant that even if it does arrive by the end of this month, I’m not going to see it until December 15th. (BlogAds pays out bloggers on the 15th of each month — for monies that have come in by the end of the previous month.)

Since I received no response — indeed, no information whatsoever — from BlogAds on what was happening, I was forced to become my own collection agency. After a few voicemails to Matt Raymond, Raymond was good enough to promptly inform me that the Contracts Office had indeed executed this order. Indeed, when I contacted him a few weeks ago, Raymond had passed along my concerns to Marc Wasserman, the middleman at BlogAds who had set this up.

But Wasserman has not given me any information as to when the Library of Congress paid BlogAds. Indeed, he failed to email me weeks ago and he has failed to reply to any of my emails on the subject. This presents Matt Raymond and I with an awkward situation, having to atone for the lack of communication and professionalism by Wasserman and BlogAds.

In other words, as far as BlogAds is concerned, bloggers come last and they can be paid three months after an ad appears, as far as they are concerned. If they are indeed holding onto the money rightly due to me and other bloggers who ran the Library of Congress ad, for which they have collected a commission, then this is an unethical operation. It does not help matters that Wasserman has remained dishonest and uncommunicative about the true status of payment. I understand that sometimes things happen. But not communicating is worse than laying down the cards of truth.

It turns out that BlogAds actually has a history of screwing over bloggers. Billy Dennis experienced a similar scenario. The monies were received before the end of the month and BlogAds failed to register it properly within their system and reducing a month-long ad after the fact to two weeks, causing Dennis to be paid late.

If Wasserman does not provide an answer to me in the next two days, then I am done with BlogAds for good and I will proceed with alternative options. (And if there’s a service along these lines who can promise communication and competence, I’m happy to entertain offers.) I’m not supposed to be the one making calls and trying to collect and clarify. Wasserman and BlogAds are.

The moral of the story: BlogAds cares more about “ads” than they do about “blogs.” And if you’re expected a professional and reliable sideline, you’re going to be in for a major disappointment.

[11/9 UPDATE: I’ve spoken on the phone with Miklos Gaspar at BlogAds. We had a constructive conversation about this imbroglio and exchanged respective information. Gaspar was apologetic about the lack of response. He says that the Library of Congress has not paid. I have also put in calls to the Contracts Office at the Library of Congress to find out what has happened, including one gentleman who gave me an elaborate overview of how contracts are signed and payment is allocated. It is very possible that this is caught up in governmental red tape. So for all the bloggers who ran this ad and didn’t get paid, I’m hoping to get a very specific idea about when everybody will get paid for this ad early next week.]

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3 Comments

  1. Wow, a business paying its less powerful vendors up to 90 days late? I’ve never heard of such a thing before.

    Oh wait, yes I have. It’s called “the standard business practice of screwing vendors.” Everyone does it, especially to freelancers or small-time vendors like blogs. “Net 30 terms” (being paid within 30 days of invoice) is a lofty ideal… 60 is typical and 90 is not at all unheard of. You get beyond 3 months and then you’re allowed to complain.

  2. Ed et al, to clarify our payments policy: if this ad gets paid before the payout date on the 15th, you will get paid on that 15th. The rule is that we pay you on the 15th of the month after the month in which you accepted the ad, provided the advertiser has paid us. If we have not received payment from the advertiser by then, we’ll pay you on the first payout date after payment arrives.
    You cannot be serious when you are saying that blogads is “screwing” bloggers. Why would we? If for nothing else, without bloggers we would be out of business. We are in the same boat, Ed. If we do not collect payments for you, we have not collected our commission either.
    I sincerely apologize for any mistakes we may have made, but categorically reject that we would be playing games with or “screwing” bloggers. I do not recall Billy Dennis’ case, but please ask him to contact me in case this is still unresolved. Or so that we can at least learn from anything we may have done wrong and tweak our internal procedures to make sure we will avoid further problems in the future.
    In the meantime, we are contacting the AP people at the LoC and hope to collect this payment quickly.

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