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Report Date: January 27, 2015
Test Date(s): January 2015
Installation Source: CouponMate.com
Version: 1.66.2 FireFox; 1.75.0 Chrome
Browsers: Chrome, FireFox, Safari
EULA Provided During Installation: No
Associated Domains and IP Addresses
Joey Burzynski is the founder of both CouponMate.com and MarketKarma.com. An affiliate account may be connected with any of these names.
Commission Junction PID 5418291
Rakuten LinkShare (encrypted) W8p8wpHNv2k
In addition to their own affiliate accounts, CouponMate.com is also promoting merchants through sub-affiliate relationships:
VigLink Network IDs:
Rakuten LinkShare (encrypted) je6NUbpObpQ
FlexOffers Network IDs:
Rakuten LinkShare (encrypted) PPkX79/c*b0
SkimLinks Network IDs:
Rakuten LinkShare (encrypted) TnL5HPStwNw
Outside of the CouponMate extensions, we had concerns on the CouponMate.com website. While it seemed obvious the website is primarily focused on installation of the extension, affiliate coupon codes for merchants are displayed. When clicking on the clip coupon link that sets the affiliate link, the coupon code is copied to your clipboard but the merchant’s website is not displayed. The affiliate link tracking happens without actually bringing the user to the merchant’s site.
We installed the Firefox and Chrome versions of the software. A browser icon was installed in the upper right-hand corner of the browser. In theory, this icon has two states: active (red) indicating coupons are available and inactive (gray) indicating no offers are available. In reality, we found to the icon states were inconsistent particularly with the FireFox extension, which remained red regardless of the site we were viewing. The icons become active regardless of the traffic source to the merchant’s site.
When you click on an active icon, an overlay displayed listing available coupons and deals. Clicking on the scissor icon copies the coupon code to the clipboard and silently calls the affiliate link. The call is silent since there is no visible redirection of the browser window or opening of a new window to the merchant’s site.
Affiliate links were not always used on the website or through the software with coupon code activation. Even with a particular merchant, inconsistencies existed for the use of an affiliate link through the software.
We found more than one reference by CouponMate.com describing their process of obtaining coupon codes used in their software. The explanations were basically the same and one source is shown below:
CouponMate.com claims to scrape various sources of coupon codes. This can lead to promotion of unauthorized coupon codes if true.
Summary of Behaviors:
- The website engages in a form of cookie stuffing since the merchant’s site is not displayed with tracking of an affiliate link.
- A EULA is not provided per FTC guidelines.
- The software may set an affiliate link once the user is on the merchant’s website.
- The software does not bring any new traffic to the merchant’s web site
- CouponMate.com may not have a direct relationship with a merchant but may earn affiliate revenue through a third-party like VigLink, SkimLinks or a CPA network.
- The use of affiliate links is inconsistent for a given merchant.
- Unauthorized coupon displays can happen based on CouponMate.com’s own description of how coupon codes are obtained.
- We found no evidence of forced clicks of affiliate links with the software.
- A merchant’s presence on their website or through their software does not necessarily mean affiliate links are in use.
- Because of the inconsistencies found with link delivery by the software, difficulties verifying a merchant’s inclusion in the software is difficult.
Would You Work With CouponMate.com?
- No (100%, 1 Votes)
- Yes (0%, 0 Votes)
- Yes, with certain restrictions (0%, 0 Votes)
- Undecided. I'd need more information to decide (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 1