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I signed our church up for the Dell Affiliate Program through TechSoup. I just want to provide a little bit of feedback on what a complete waste of time and (a little bit of) money it has been for us.
First, you have to pay the $10 for the Affiliate Program 1 year membership to get access to the "exclusive savings" website. You cannot browse the site ahead of time in order to see if the product you're interested in is even offered under the program. In our case it was not. We wanted a Dell switch. We knew exactly what we wanted but we were delayed in ordering it elsewhere because we wanted to wait for the whole TechSoup / Dell Affiliate process to complete and see if we could get a better deal on it there; only to find out the product wasn't even offered through the Dell Affiliate site. Wasted a couple days waiting for absolutely nothing, but not a huge deal as it wasn't a particularly urgent purchase.
Today I decided to give it another shot as the church is looking to purchase a few laptops for staff. So I log into the special Dell TechSoup website to see the "exclusive savings" for our organization. I see there are some 38% off deals on specific models of laptops. So I spec'd one out and added it to my cart, applied the 38% off couple code and was promptly told that the code was expired. <sigh>
So I jumped in a Dell Support Chat and asked about it. I learned that the coupon code had actually expired less than 4 hours prior and there were no new coupon codes at this time. I also learned that even if the code was still active, I would not have been able to apply it because the system I spec'd out already had a 43% markdown. So I hopped on over to the regular Dell website, purposefully avoiding all of the TechSoup "exclusive savings". You can probably tell where I'm going with this... I spec'd out the exact same system on the regular old Dell site that any Joe Blow with internet access can get to. Guess how much the system cost? The exact same as through the TechSoup Dell Affiliate "Exclusive Savings" site. The system has a 43% discount for EVERYONE. It should be called the The TechSoup Dell Affiliate EVERYONE Saving Program, as there is nothing "exclusive" about it.
Now don't get me wrong. 43% off is pretty good. But I don't appreciate being charged to see expired exclusive deals that aren't even as good as the current sale that everyone gets. In my book the Dell Affiliate Program through TechSoup has 2 strikes against it. I MIGHT give it one more chance; but it's 3 strikes and they're out. I'll probably just work through my normal vendors and sales reps and avoid the whole hassle.
Hopefully others have had a different experience with this program. If so, I'd love to hear it and be encouraged to give them another chance.
Sorry you were disappointed by the program. I can't speak for TechSoup and until now did not know much about the program. I did find this page from 2016 which had some information and then many comments which had more.
When I hear about an "Affiliate program", it means to me that a 3rd party becomes an affiliate of a company with the purpose to promote products and receive some money in exchange when someone they refer makes a purchase. I don't know if the TechSoup program is like that, because I would not expect there to be any cost to be referred somewhere in an affiliate program. While the $10 fee is not very much, it is expensive for anyone who does not make a purchase after joining.If this program actually has savings for buyers, then a $10 seems reasonable. But it sounds like more details need to be posted and more current examples (which change over time) should be updated on a regular basis to avoid any appearance of "bait and switch" which I think some members are feeling.
But if TechSoup is receiving fees based on what is purchased, I think the $10 fee should be reduced or eliminated. I think more people would be interested in exploring the program and any increase in product sales should easily make up for the loss of some $10 fees.
Reducing resistance to joining the program and later possible buyer's remorse from paying a blind fee seems like it would benefit everyone.
Steve, it looks like you're not the only one to be disappointed. Reading the comments on the page Christian linked to, it seems like there's quite a few organizations unhappy as well. It seems like people feel they can get better discounts elsewhere, while others are unhappy with the $10 fee charged by TechSoup.
Might be worthwhile for TechSoup to review this program and re-evaluate the current situation based on the feedback received from members so far.
Yann ToledanoForum Moderator, TechSoup.orgDigital Marketing ConsultantYTConsulting.com@MarketingYann
Guessing you didn't get a chance to see the pages of other questions about the Dell program, nor read my overview about this program here, but no matter - it's clear you had a rotten experience, and I just wanted to get online and tell you that I'm deeply sorry you had such a negative outcome after all your efforts. I hope you know that is never what we plan for here at TechSoup.
One of the most difficult parts about adding discounted external offers is that there is so much we can't control or influence, and that's why we strongly advise people that while excellent savings exist, it cannot and will not mirror the kind of offers TechSoup crafts itself.
Certainly, I'd be glad to make sure your $10 is refunded - just reach out to me in a private message here and I'll make sure that happens ASAP.
As for the rest, I do need to share that due to how the Dell site is structured, we cannot give people access to it without also giving them the ability to place orders. The $10 fee is part of our process to make sure only valid and up to date non-profits get access to the savings on the co-branded site. I mention this because clearly Christian (who knows how to contact me, so I'm surprised he didn't ask for the details) is quite incorrect about how the affiliate process needs to proceed here.
I've just sent over a message to our senior Dell contacts, as I have always been informed that EVERYTHING in the standard Dell catalog can also be found on the co-branded site.
My last bit of insight, that I hope is helpful is this - if you are having difficulty placing an order, the phone call line is absolutely the best way to get something quickly and easily resolved, and I recently visited their call center, and met with there reps, and I came away deeply impressed with their dedication to TechSoup nonprofits, and how they make the ordering process easier for our users who talk with them.
STEVE I do hope to hear from you so I can learn more about how we could have (where possible) saved you all this frustration and difficulties.
My most sincere apologies, and thanks for sharing your insights, so we can work together to improve this for all the nonprofits we serve.
Gayle Samuelson Carpentier, Chief Business Development Officer, TechSoup Global
I just had exactly the same experience. They even called me when I got too frustrated to continue the chat session. They point blank told me that even they don't know how to identify any special deals though the "affiliate" program. Affiliate members are paying the same prices as everyone else.
I am very disappointed that Tech soup has allowed this to go on even though other members have complained.
I am so sorry to hear you got that incorrect information. At minimum selected products are 5-10% cheaper than on Dell public site. Please feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll make sure your $10 access fee is credited back to you. After nearly 1 1/2 years we've seen hundreds of pleased users, but even one unhappy user is one too many. Also if you could help me identify who gave you this incorrect information, I'd be glad to reach out to them and help them better understand this problem.
Looking forward to talking with you directly soon.
As a follow up - I am so pleased with the responsiveness to these posts. Thank you Gayle for reaching out and being concerned enough to continue to follow up so that the little kinks that may exist in this program are ironed out. I have decided to stay with this program for the year and see if I am able to take advantage of some savings. From what I see in other posts, things change roughly monthly so I am hopeful there can be some great savings down the road!
Delighted I could provide some additional information for you! And consider this a standing offer, if anyone has further questions about Dell (or any of our other programs for that matter) please let us know ASAP. If you tell us when something is off, we can help! And that's why we're here after all!
All the best
Came here to express my disappointment in this program as well (sorry for resurrecting a several-month old thread, but I felt it was better to tag on than start a new discussion)
We're pricing out some new latitude laptops, so I went to the affiliate page and requested my coupon, which right now is "save an additional 5% off select OptiPlex/Latitude PCs". Then I went to Dell to start looking, but Dell is already running a sale coupon on laptops for everyone, with either $100 or $200 off. The affiliate 5% coupon is less than both of those public coupons, and it can't be stacked on top of the public coupons, so using my affiliate coupon would actually cost me more.
I've looked several times at our affiliate coupons and either they're 'out of stock', equal to, or, as above, worse than a sale available to the general public.
What a waste of $10.
First, let me share that the Dell program has changed since it originally launched, and we are also feeling that the values here are not what we had originally hoped to see. That said, I want to immediately offer you a refund of your $10. Just write me directly at email@example.com and I'll get it handled ASAP. Nonprofits have enough challenges and I'm glad to make this one right immediately. Just for others who are on this thread, anytime you see coupons 'out of stock' it's an online hiccup, so if you call the 800 number, they'll be able to active coupons manually for you.
Apologies for the difficulties here.
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