I'm going to keep my cool here but I need to get this said here and now. I consider this an issue of joint responsibility. It's not 100% CJ and it's not 100% the fault of the advertiser.
I will tell you I'm flabbergasted at my recent experienced with CJ. I will also say that I speak knowing that many other publisher are getting royally shafted and may be unaware. The fact is I'm not talking about thousands of affiliate dollars lost personally, but collectively it would certainly be a significant number.
I have had 2 issues with 2 separate advertisers. In one instance they have a "clause" whereby they have to "manually" approve added PIDs. If not, then you will see your stats behaving normally with one exception. You won't see any sales. Sure you can count your clicks but sales? Nope.
The other advertiser changed their program to the extent that CJ essentially booted everyone out. Then you have to manually accept that pending offer. If not, guess what? You have your links to that advertiser but you won't be getting anything. At the point of the new terms, if you didn't accept, you are dead to the advertiser. Yes, normally new terms auto renew. Aha, but this was more than just "new terms" which means it's handled differently that 99.5% of all the other CJ advertiser notices you get. Oops did that notice about needing to apply end up in your junk folder? Too bad for you. Feel good knowing all those links were sending traffic to the advertiser and you were collecting squat. I'm sure they don't mind that CJ has this juicy little loophole.
I should also add that the advertiser I just mentioned sent out emails to affiliates for those special deals and offers. You know the ones. They have the codes right there for you! What they didn't mention is the fact that some of those products (actually their most popular and expensive items) fetch you....ready? ZERO commission. Yes, just paste those codes up on your site and collect nothing other than great karma.
I use the word scammed and I don't take that lightly. I'm not getting into specifics just yet. In my instance I'm at a peak season for sales. During this time I have had dead links (well links that send them traffic but don't track sales) for a good chunk of time.
My fault you say? Well that's the debate isn't it. If you make things confusing enough you won't know your A from a hole in the ground. The biggest scam in my opinion is the fact that "some" advertisers have to manually approve a PID. Nice one. I bet you might forget about clause #5 from advertiser B that is the only one out of the 20 programs you're part of that requires this. Not sure when you created a PID? You better. What if they didn't even authorize those PIDs that were in your account at the time you signed up and were accepted into their program? Ah just details right. Sure.
Again, I'm not the thousands of dollars lost situation. I say that collectively it most likely is. At some point the question gets asked. Are these situations fair, honest, in the best interest of one party, loopholes, intentional, coincidence, etc. You be the judge. Be careful whatever you're doing.
Frankly if I'm an advertiser, I'm adding that clause about manually approving PIDs. That way, there a percentage of people who will use codes that won't track. I'll still get the sale but I won't have a commission to pay. Heck it's in the rule book! There will be a few suckers out there who didn't read the fine print or forgot the terms. Bury'em with BS I say!