Tuesday, February 23, 2010

UpClick.com

UpClick, although considered a new processing business, is actually an old company with a new name.

Formerly MarketingEngines.com, Upclick.com is run primarily by two individuals: Daniel Assouline and Michael Dadoun. Daniel Assouline used to be a big client of IBILL beginning in 2002 .

UpClick.com is one of the worst offenders when it comes to playing fair. It's management team has a dark and questionable history.

The company was formed around selling free MP3 software to unsuspecting customers. They would market their websites with language like: "Unlimited Music Downloads - 100% Free, 100% Legal".

In 2002, while processing his porn websites with IBILL, he built a relationship with his then IBILL Representative Todd Dugas. Todd Dugas informed him of the money that could be made with a MP3 website, and the two partnered up, forming MP3University.com and running it together.

Millions of dollars was made from this website. Assouline eventually started to open up on his own websites secretly and engaged in 'typo-squatting' without the knowledge of his current partner. Once Dugas discovered this, he sued Assouline in Florida court. Since Assouline was the one holding the cash, he withheld payments to Dugas, and Dugas was forced to walk away from the lawsuit. The Public document is here:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/27319687/DOC01300-Todd-dugas-2884-001


The MarketEngines & Cashengines team, lead by Daniel Assouline, has mastered the art of Skimming sales. Their system is so advanced, the algorithms will not skim for the first fifteen sales, just in case the merchant is testing the system, and it will only skim if a certain volume of transactions is reached. Each merchant can have their own skim setting. So for example, if there is a merchant or affiliate the management doesn't like, they will increase the percentage of skim on that individual. Official policy was that this is 'risk-management', and helps to offset chargebacks...complete fiction. The reality is this money became all profit to the company. Of course there were individuals with higher chargeback and refund rates, and they would receive a healthy amount of skim also - usually in the neighborhood of 5-10%. This is thievery pure and simple. If a sale was generated by the affiliate or merchant, then it rightly belongs to them.

David Lyons, a former and current employee of Daniel Assouline had also been exploited. David had started out as a PPC advertiser on Overture (now Yahoo), and Daniel had promised David a nice commission. As David increased the volume of transactions, his commissions became larger and larger. Daniel eventually felt that he was earning too much money and began to reduce his commissions. Then Daniel finally removed David entirely from this project and made him his assistant and gopher-boy. David would do odd jobs, including setting up appointments with prostitutes and outcall agencies (Assouline was married at the time).

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