Beware of ADBRITE, my story

Beware of Adbrite

The following may happen to you, so I guess I thought I’d share it with fellow webmasters.

I’ve been a publisher with Adbrite since June 2006. Everything’s been going well, that is until early 2009 when their ads’ performance started seriously deteriorating on my site (earnings divided by 2.5X, then by 10X the following months).

I emailed them a few times asking them why their ads which worked so well before now were so bad. I received answers straight from their answer templates, which did not help at all. So, I considered taking them off the site, but I was too busy with other things to do it, or maybe just lazy.

Anyway, on July 28th 2009, I received the following email:

[INDENT]
[I]Hello,

Your account has been flagged for generating invalid clicks or impressions. After a careful review, your account access has been limited by our Trust & Safety department.

Generating invalid clicks or impressions is against AdBrite’s Terms and Conditions and program policies. Earnings from these clicks will be invalidated. AdBrite’s terms and conditions can be reviewed at: url

If you feel this decision was made in error, please provide us with the following information:

  1. Server logs containing IP’s and timestamps for your traffic.
  2. A detailed description of how your site generates traffic. For example if you are participating in an affiliate program or purchasing advertising to generate traffic, please let us know the program or site you are using.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation. Regards,

Robert S.
Adbrite Trust and Safety
[/I][/INDENT]

Needless to say I was very surprised, upset, and angry. The only time they bother contacting me, it’s not to suggest ways to improve the performance, it’s to accuse me of something I did not do!

My answer was not very nice, I admit it. I forgot about it, finally took off their ad tags, and moved on to something else. I really did not mind that they disabled my account. Sending them proof was more trouble that it was worth (the size of the log files is huge and my connection is pretty slow). And since I wanted to drop them, no big deal.

That is until I noticed I did not receive what was owed to me since April. They never mentioned that I would not be paid for what I earned in the previous months and that had not been paid out yet. They never bothered answering my email in July.

So last week I decided to contact them to know why I had not received my earnings. They replied the following:

[I][INDENT]Hello,

Below is the email we sent to you on July 28, 2009. The logs requested in the email would need to be from the time period around July 28, 2009. Without this information to valid your traffic, your account will remain closed and in violation of AdBrite’s Subscriber Agreement.

Your account has been flagged for generating invalid clicks or impressions. After a careful review, your account access has been limited by our Trust & Safety department. Generating invalid clicks or impressions is against AdBrite’s Terms and Conditions and program policies. Earnings from these clicks will be invalidated.

AdBrite’s terms and conditions can be reviewed at: url

If you feel this decision was made in error, please provide us with the following information:

  1. Server logs containing IP’s and timestamps for your traffic.
  2. A detailed description of how your site generates traffic. For example if you are participating in an affiliate program or purchasing advertising to generate traffic, please let us know the program or site you are using.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Best Regards,
Tony Y.
[/INDENT][/I]

I complied with their request:

[I][INDENT]Hello Tony,

  1. I still have the log file for July. Its size is 7.7 Gigs (16200208 blocks, see attached screenshot). How exactly am I supposed to get this to you? Do you have a server I could send that file to? If so, please send me a login/pass so that I can upload it there.

  2. My site is ranked for thousands of keywords in search engines. It gets on average X visitors DAILY. X% (removed for privacy) of its traffic comes from Google. You may also check Alexa com to evaluate the amount of traffic that the site gets. We’re not participating in any affiliate program, or pay for traffic.

Regards,
Greg[/INDENT][/I]

Ok, then. At that point, I think they’ll give me their server info, I’ll upload the logs, they’ll see I did not cheat, and they’ll pay me legitimately owned earnings. Good! But then I get this:

[I][INDENT]Hello,

We previously notified you on July 28, 2009 of invalid traffic to your sites. We provided clear instructions and multiple opportunities to validate your account or ask questions. You did not provide a response until now and we will no longer be able to reinstate your account.

Your account will remain closed and this decision will not be reconsidered. Generating invalid clicks or impressions is against AdBrite’s Terms and Conditions and program policies. Earnings from these clicks will be invalidated.

AdBrite’s Subscriber Agreement can be reviewed at: url

Best Regards,

Tony Y.
Adbrite Trust & Safety[/INDENT][/I]

I was so upset at this, that I forbade myself from writing back before I calmed down. I guess the time is now, almost a week later. It took me that long to calm down.

[I][INDENT]Hello Tony,

once again, I will repeat that I did not do what you accused me of. I did not “generate invalid clicks or impressions”. The logs are here to prove it. I’m more than happy to upload them wherever you’d like me to upload them despite my rather slow internet connection.

In your next to last email, so just 4 days before your decision not to review anything (because it’s too late now), you said “Without this information to valid your traffic, your account will remain closed and in violation of AdBrite’s Subscriber Agreement.” Well, I offered the information and I’m more than willing to send it to you. What exactly changed in 4 days? Your subscriber agreement mentions nothing about such a situation. I’ve not been paid so the “fees and payment” paragraph does not not apply in my case and I certainly did not waive any of my rights.

If you’re not ready or not willing to give me a fair chance to prove I’m clean, please forward my request to someone else (maybe a manager?) who will treat my case fairly. I do not want my account to be reopened. I just want you to bother looking at the proof you’re been requesting, see that everything’s legit, and pay me what I legitimately earned.

Thank you,
Regards,
Greg[/INDENT][/I]

I’m now waiting to hear back from them… I’ll paste it here when I receive it.

Hello g07,

That was a harrowing experience and not one to expect from a reputable company like adbrite. Its so so sad.

thank you for your information i’ll stay away from adbrite…:smiley:

I also remember when my friend told me that adbrite really sucks. This could not give you a good earnings.

I’m sorry, something doesn’t sound right here.

You can send that file to them. They have given you instructions on how to do this.

Or, at the very least, send them a link that takes them to a page you can copy and paste the numbers to.

But, what I do not get is why aren’t THEY sending you THEIR files that indicates the supposed clicks they say you have done???

Why are THEY asking for your files?

That doesn’t make a bit of sense.

For some people it could take several months for them to be able to upload a 7Gb file. Requiring that someone send you a file that big is ridiculous. Once it had been identified that the file with the info in it actually was that big alternative arrangements should have been made. Obviously the persomn making the ridiculous demands was a very junior staff member and you should have gone over their head to someone more senior.

i’m don’t believe with Adbrite too

For a file that size they should give the OP a registered office address which they could send a disk on containing the required log file via registered post

I dont think you gonna get a penny from them. Unless you can take them to the court prove your case, better off moving on.

g07, what is your website???

I would be incline to move on and someone else,i tend to steer clear of adbrite as the payout is not the best.The best one is still adsense but on sites that adsense is not allowed i use clicksor.

Eh, I smell <snip>. I think he is just *****ing, making stuff up, and, and laying blame elsewhere.

Update: Adbrite has accepted to look at my logs, and has re-enabled my account. The logs they requested were not even for the right site… The fraudulent traffic apparently came from United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and Romania. I don’t live in any of these countries, so I’m not sure why I would be responsible for it, but anyway…

I should never have had that much trouble in proving I did nothing wrong. If it had not been for my persistence, they would have kept my earnings for basically, no good reason. Feel free to do what you want but, personally, I don’t plan on using them ever again.

Jack32: I hope your 427 other posts were WAY more insightful than the ones in this thread… :shifty: But I guess that’s what happens when you don’t bother reading the original post in its entirety, or with attention… No need to answer…

yeah i stopped using them long time ago

Maybe they thought you hired someone from that area to click on the links.

I’m glad it worked out. Such a harrowing experience.

My goodness, if you dont have logs of visitors, you wont get a single cent! I think they should have checked on their end instead of wrongly accusing you of generating invalid clicks.

I dont see much wrong on adbrite side in this case really. You happen to fail to respond for long time.

Click fraud is a very common thing. Anybody using a proxy can pretend they been coming from different places and do click fraud. specially when the ad network system isnt much sophisticated enough to handle this, its piece of cake for many. And I think the log really doesn’t prove that you didnt do click fraud(not that I am saying you did), the ip addresses could be faked by proxy.

Guess AdBrite was nice to let go on this.

And to mention, your first post on this forum was to bash against adbrite.

Just my opinion.

Well, that’s really horrible experience you explained and no one expect this and hard to believe that at adbrite it may happen.

Coming from an ad serving side of the business, I can bet that someone was using a bot on one of your sites. We have received reports from a number of users of our ad serving platform who have experienced / observed something similar whereas Publisher Site A experiences an increase in fake or fraudulent traffic due to some poorly configured indexer, some jack*ss is trying to get Publisher A booted using proxies, etc. I would have expected the network to filter this type of behavior, but as webcosmo states, not all networks employ that type of filtering (not sure why not, personally).

It may make sense for you to look at selling your own space and backfill with a network.

-Bing

Same thing happened to me. Had an account with them for many years… then suddenly got an email saying there was some invalid clicks or something and got suspended. Ask me to send my logs to them and a few IDs like my driver license.

I said my log files are insanely huge. If anything I can show you in person at your office or at a trade show Ad Tech, but nope they didn’t agree to it. So yea… I would be wary of using ad brite. You could get dropped at any time.