No Amazon for Illinois Residents
Are you kidding me?!?!
I was searching Amazon today, getting a second look at some Father's Day gifts I had found for my husband. After looking around, I started wondering about my Amazon Affiliate account and whether I had any earnings.
I don't check my affiliate accounts very often. To be honest, there isn't much reason to. I'm not a big earner here and I'm fine with that. So, checking my affiliates once every four to six weeks is plenty for me to see that I still have a total of three cents....
Needless to say, when I clicked on my account, I was confronted by a startling warning.
"Account Closed" It said in bold red letters on the top of the screen, followed by, "This account is closed and will not generate referrals. Access to this site is for historical purposes only."
What?!?! My account is closed?!?!
What did I do, I wondered. Have I broken a rule somewhere and not realized it?? Is it because I haven't been very active on my HubPages account? Do my hubs violate some one's TOS??
I needed answers!!
My first thought was to check my email for an explanation from Amazon and/or HubPages. Easier said than done, considering I have five email accounts and couldn't remember which one I had signed up with for Amazon.
I pulled up my HP account on another screen while I scoured my various emails and found that HubPages seemed to have no idea of my recent account closure. There were no warnings on any of my hubs and my Amazon affiliate status said (and still says) 'active.' Apparently, the problem originated with Amazon...
Within a few minutes, I had discovered the email. The one stating that my account was closed and why. I was shocked. I was mad. I was confused. I don't think I have ever seen anything quite so dumb, or unfair.
One more thing....
For those of you who don't know, I live in Illinois. For many years, our poor state has been synonymous with one thing, crooked politics. Our Governors haven't always been the most upright citizens and Springfield has always been accused of only keeping Chicago's best interests in mind and conveniently forgetting the rest of the state.
So I guess this email shouldn't have really surprised me that much. I think the only way to really share is to copy/paste excerpts from the email itself.
I do have to say that the email came to me from Amazon, not my state government or anyone affiliated with it and the tone of the email is that Amazon, the company, is as appalled with this whole situation as I am. They didn't think it was right or fair to close my account either, but they had to, by law. So I give you the email, or parts of it...
What Amazon says...
"For well over a decade, the Amazon Associates Program has worked with thousands of Illinois residents. Unfortunately, a new state tax law signed by Governor Quinn compels us to terminate this program for Illinois-based participants. It specifically imposes the collection of taxes from consumers on sales by online retailers - including but not limited to those referred by Illinois-based affiliates like you"
"We had opposed this new tax law because it is unconstitutional and counterproductive...We deeply regret that its enactment forces this action"
"As a result of the new law, contracts with all Illinois affiliates of the Amazon Associates Program will be terminated and those Illinois residents will no longer receive advertising fees for sales referred to Amazon.com"
So, as you can see, unless I want to move out of state, I no longer have an Amazon affiliate account. I can still shop on Amazon. com, that hasn't changed, I just can't earn anything with or through them.
It isn't Amazon's fault and I have no ill feelings toward them at all. They just got stuck in the middle and not only had to terminate God knows how many accounts, but also had to be the bearer of bad news and explains Quinn's ridiculous law to us surprised IL residents. I can only imagine how many complaints Amazon will have to field because of this or how much revenue they will lose.
As I mentioned before, I wasn't swimming in cash from my Amazon referrals but now it seems pointless to have Amazon capsules on my hubs if there is automatically no way for me to make money from the products I feature. That means a lot of editing and a lot of hubs with no products to be shown. It makes me wonder if any of the members here who do specialize in product hubs and rely on an income they gain from their Amazon affiliate reside in Illinois. If so, I feel for you.
I'm so tired of living in a place that walks all over the little guy. For years certain regions of the state, certain areas have been and continue to be overlooked. And while this law might not affect an entire region, I still feel like I'm being crapped on by my Governor. This whole situation just stinks...