His internet marketing exploits go back as far as 1996 when he worked part-time building an internet-based business whilst also still serving in the US Air Force.
On his blog he claims to have over 2,400 websites.
In addition to running these websites Crawford has also spoken at many different internet markeing seminars throughout the US and also in the UK and the Far East.
His main products include the Internet Marketing Inner Circle - a membership site for internet marketers, the "International Association of Joint Venture Brokers" and a cookbook on a site called "Chitterlings".
In 2010, Ian Del Carmen advertised an online seminar called the "Internet Marketing Main Event". On his sales page he pictured Willie Crawford along with a caption underneath that suggested Crawford was earning around $120,000 per month from his online businesses.
Membership to the Internet Marketing Inner Circle (TIMIC) costs $37 per month. Members can refer other members and in doing so collect a commission on this monthly fee.
For example, refer one member and you will earn commission at a rate of $25.90 per month. This is 70% of the monthly fee.
Most affiliate marketers would be happy to promote a membership site that offered a monthly commission of 70% of the membership fees for each new member you introduce.
Unfortunately, despite introducing other members to TIMIC, it is seemingly impossible to reach Crawford and request a payout.
Since February 2009 I have been accruing commission and I have not been paid despite putting in several helpdesk tickets requesting payment. It seems that Willie Crawford is either unwilling or unable to pay commissions.
Here is the history of my dealings with Willie Crawford and the Internet Marketing Inner Circle:
21st March 2008:
26th March 2008:
Referred first person to TIMIC.
4th June 2008:
Received $51.80 in commission to my PayPal account.
7th August 2008:
Received $25.90 in commission.
19th November 2008:
Received $25.90 in commission.
8th February 2009:
Received $103.60 in commission. In total, the payments add up to $207.20 which is the total amount of commission earned up until the 14th January 2009.
14th December 2009:
With my total outstanding commission at around $500 I open a helpdesk ticket (J0KWxxxxxx) at williecrawford.com/helpdesk which says:
"Hi Willie, Just wondering if there was an affiliate payment due soon for TIMIC? Thanks, Ben P.S. Merry Christmas!"
23rd December 2009:
Reply to helpdesk ticket J0KWxxxxxx received which says:
"Hi Ben, Yes, we are scheduled to pay out commissions this week. We are running a little behind on things. Thank you, Willie Crawford"
15th May 2010:
No payment has been received so I follow up to ticket number J0KWxxxxxx with the following message:
"Hi Willie, Hope you are doing well. I've got almost $700 or so in commissions in my account but the members seem to have stopped paying now. Will there be a payout anytime soon? Thanks, Ben"
This helpdesk ticket remains open to this day (16th February 2011) but I have received no reply.
25th May 2010:
I open a new helpdesk ticket (7E85xxxxxx) and ask:
"Hi Willie, Just looking in my affiliate area I see I've got $673.40 due. Is there a payment due soon? Thanks, Ben"
29th May 2010:
Reply received to 7E85xxxxxx:
"Hi Ben, There are payments scheduled to go out within the week. Thank you, Myra - Customer Support"
This ticket was then marked as closed.
12th July 2010:
Still no payout, I open another ticket (8FKQxxxxxx):
"Hi, My total affiliate commission for TIMIC is now at $699.30 and has been building since February 2009 - is there a payout due soon? Thanks, Ben"
This ticket remains open still as I write this (16th February 2011).
14th September 2010:
Another helpdesk ticket logged (V256xxxxxx):
"Hi, Is there a payout due soon for TIMIC affiliate commissions? I'm up to $777 in earnings now and just wondering if these were going to be paid out. Thanks, Ben"
4th October 2010:
I add another comment to V256xxxxxx:
"Hi, Are these messages getting through to anyone? Thanks, Ben"
With no reply from Willie or any of his support staff, V256xxxxxx is closed shortly afterwards.
19th October 2010:
Yet another ticket opened (5D15xxxxxx):
"Hi, As of the 19th October 2010 I have built up $802.90 in affiliate commissions by promoting "The Internet Marketing Inner Circle" membership site. Are there any plans in place to pay out this commission in the near future? My last support ticket was closed without any reply (V256xxxxxx). Thanks, Ben"
This ticket was replied to the same day and closed:
"Hi Ben, Yes, I will see to it that all commissions up through Sept 30th are paid out in full by the end of this week. Thank you, Willie Crawford Skype: [removed] Phone [removed] (personal cell)"
5th January 2011:
No payout or further word from Willie Crawford's team or himself. I raise another ticket (6AR4xxxxxx):
"Hi, Happy New Year! As per the following tickets: [ticket numbers here]. I have quite a bit of commission built up from referrals to The Internet Marketing Inner Circle. Today the total outstanding sits at $828.80. Any chance of a payout? Thanks, Ben"
No reply was received to this ticket and when I search for it now I simply get an error; "Sorry, no ticket was found with those details."
1st February 2011:
I submit another ticket (3ZT1xxxxxx) which reads pretty much exactly the same as the one from the 5th January.
16th February 2011:
With no reply from my last ticket (3ZT1xxxxxx) and no commission received, I grow tired of trying to chase my money and post this page to the internet.
Many marketers use helpdesks in order to be easily reachable and to give a reliable contact method to customers.
Email is not reliable and people can claim that they didn't receive an email.
However, helpdesk tickets are trackable by both the customer and the company.
Also, providing no one deletes the ticket on the server end, they can be useful for proving that messages got through to the company.
In all my attempts to get my commission paid I made sure to use Willie Crawford's helpdesk.
Not once did I email him, post messages on his forum or try to contact him in any other way.
I only used his helpdesk because that is what he asks his customers to do.
Some of these messages were definitely read. Others may not have been but they should have, because they were submitted in the correct format.
Who knows why I haven't been paid. Perhaps the money isn't available, perhaps PayPal is down each time he has tried to pay or perhaps he just doesn't want to pay me.
All I know is that affiliate commission is never the product owner's money.
If you run an affiliate program then you need to be sure that you put all affiliate commission to one side as * it isn't your money *.
By publishing this article I hope to alert people to the problems with "in-house" affiliate programs and show that even the most respected internet marketers can choose not to pay commissions.
The marketer in question here is quoted as earning $120,000 per month yet, for some reason, appears to be having tremendous difficulty paying less than $900 in affiliate commissions.
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