Hostgator Reverses Commissions

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Hostgator Reverses CommissionsBelieve it or not I have been in the web hosting review niche for over 3 years and while I have had a lot of success with it there is one thing I have learned as a full time affiliate marketer/SEO/niche marketer etc.  There are bad business partnerships and there are good partnerships.  Hostgator is a bad partnership.

Don’t get me wrong Hostgator is a great company.  I actually have a VPS there, but from an affiliate standpoint they are hell and quite frankly a waste of time.  True, having adds on our blogs for web hosting pays nicely at $100 a sale from Hostgator, but the cold hard facts are they get reversed like no other.  Drives me up the wall.

True story I used to promote Hostgator like no other.  I had 39 sales from them 26 of them got reversed.  So, lets break it down 39 sales at $100 a pop should be $3900.  Well, you take that 13 sales I actually got credit for and 13 sales at $100 a pop are $1300.  Hmmm…. that means 66% of my commissions got reversed for no reason at all.  Thanks Hostgator for screwing me!

Had a couple of friends test it out tracked there sale and would you believe it they got reversed or corrected.  I email them numerous times and they basically told me their policy and all that bullshit.  I finally, told them yeah I promote them, but I will recommend other hosting companies over them by far.

Needless to say they didn’t really care and assured me 66% of sales they reversed were legit.  It was complete bullshit, but why argue with them.  I am running a legit business and if I don’t want to do business with someone I don’t have to.

Take a look at my sales in February of 2012

Hostgator Feb

Take a look at what I got paid from them on the 6 sales:

No Sales Hostgator ?

Nothing, well that was when I finally just took it as a loss and switched to companies that I had been working with that payed me more and never reversed.  Just so you don’t think this post is just a load of crap Google “hostgator not paying affiliates”.  This post was a long time coming and I feel better about spreading the word on them from a business standpoint.  Great business, but NOT for affiliates!  Fill free to take advantage of the offer down below which is a partnership with Dead Dog Design Inc (my company) if you’re unhappy with Hostgator or just want more money promoting web hosting.  Please leave your thoughts down below:

Update 1/23/13

So just an update on Hostgator. They sent me a message basically stating they have a new affiliate manager, Sefa. This was an excerpt for the email they sent:

I am aware that historically, there have been some questions and issues with regards to our affiliate program and our affiliate control panel. We have made many positive changes to our affiliate program recently and it’s my priority to ensure we properly support our affiliates and work directly with you to make certain that we resolve any issues and answer any questions you may have.


Update 08/22/13

Never have heard back from them, but yet they precede to send me offers stating that they’re having a promotion, but when I contact them to show them why I will not do business with them they don’t ever respond to any of my emails. I guess there affiliate manager isn’t doing his job or doesn’t feel I am important enough to write back.

Once upon a time they followed up by wanting me to keep promoting them. I sent them a message back to this post. They told me we are sorry and would like to look into the commissions. I told them they could call me on the matter but had to agree to let me record it. Never heard back from them and stated that they have burned that bridge years ago. Will I hear back from them, probably not. Do I care, not really!

Dead Dog Design -Web Hosting Hub

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  • Enstine Muki

    Hey Garen,
    That’s terrible. I lost three sales two and that brought down my interest so much. They are easy to sell but hard to earn from. That looks like the begining of their downfall.

    • Garen Arnold

      Yeah Enstine,

      They have been doing this crap for years. I know the feeling of being like yeah $1,000 coming my way only to be like “what $100.” That’s bullshit! I should post their responses on my emails if I wanted to take the time to dig through all of them.

  • Brankica

    I was promoting them through CJ and didn’t get credit for any of the sales that went through, and I know they went through cause my friends were buying hosting.

    • Garen Arnold

      Yeah I know the feeling. I had my buddy buy it through my link and made sure we tracked that one. When I asked about that transaction they stated that the person didn’t renew their account which was a load of crap! I really need to dig through my emails and post what Hostgator told me!

  • Sergio Felix

    Hey Garen,

    I’ve never promoted Hostgator through CJ and even though I have only made a few sales, none of them have been reversed, ever.

    I’ve been paid $50 per sale (not $100) but I’ve been paid on time and promptly right after the 3-month grace period is completed.

    I’ve heard other companies such as Liquid Web Hosting actually pay you recurrently, their service is over the top but the prices are also a bit higher.

    As you say, from the HG user standpoint, they are great but I’ve also seen a lot of buzz out there on HG not paying their affiliates.

    It’s just not my case or maybe I’m not profiting enough with them to start having reversed commissions, who knows?


    PS. Great blog btw man, I’ve been wanting to do something like this in Spanish but I’ve never find the time for it.

    • Garen Arnold

      Hey Sergio,

      What $50 a sale? That’s highway robbery. I could easily get you $125 a sale for promoting by signing up through my tier 2. I got 3 almost 4 years working with web hosting companies (for affiliates), I don’t think your on Hostgator’s radar since they are paying you bottom dollar.

      Thanks for the complements on my blog.

  • Dee Ann Rice


    That is very interesting. I had no idea HostGator was so poor when it came to affiliate sales.

    I will definitely beware of this. I have casually promoted HostGator but may not anymore. I do use it for my hosting and like them as a hosting company.

    Thanks for the info.

    Dee Ann

    • Garen Arnold

      Yeah they have been doing it for a long time now. Pretty sure as soon as this post gets more popular they will pop over and state there policy…lol. Yeah, I love their hosting this site is hosted with Hostgator.

  • Jena Isle

    Hostgator is a great webhosting service. I never have had any problems with them.

    As an affiliate, I still haven’t tried. Thanks for the vital info.

    • Garen Arnold

      Thanks for stopping by :). Yep I use them, but won’t promote them much. Learn from my mistakes.

  • Adrienne

    Hey Garen,

    I don’t use Hostgator and my experience with them was hell. Pure hell… I use Bluehost and they pay me monthly recurring commissions promptly and on time. I’ve been with them for over three years now and think the world of their service, their techs and their payouts.

    I think I’ll just leave it at that. I could go into a rampage about this but why! You’ve pretty much said it all.


    • Garen Arnold

      Yep, BlueHost is a good web hosting company to promote and pays on time. I run this site which you can see my full review on BlueHost here:

    • Justin Germino

      I also use Bluehost and am a BlueHost affiliate but I don’t massively promote web hosting and only made 2 sales in a year.

      • Garen Arnold

        Dang, I had 108 just from InMotion last year :)

  • Kal

    try getting 70+ signups in a month and only getting 20%. It really is a joke I am really only getting 30$ per sale. Oh well, i no longer put any time into promoting them

    • Garen Arnold

      Wow that is insane! Sending you an email right now!

  • Sadie-Michaela Harris

    Wow Garen

    I’m surprised to read this. I have been a reseller with Hostgator for 4 years and host over 100 sites currently.
    I have never had any issues but that said selling as an affiliate and selling as a reseller not not really comparable. Service wise as a reseller I can only say the service I receive is 1st class and it needs to be so that I can extent the same 1st class service to my clients.

    I’m pop back in a few days and read of others experiences. Good of you to give this topic a place to air Garen. Have a good weekend. :)

    • Garen Arnold

      Hey Sadie,

      Yeah selling as a reseller is completely different thing. I sold tons and tons for them and was so surprised because they are such a good hosting. But, as stated from an affiliate standpoint I can pretty much count on 90% of my sales getting reversed. I do use there service, but if you look at (in their forums) under affiliate issues or something you will see many people complaining about the same thing. Also, Google things like Hostgator reverses commissions.

  • Mark


    Yeah. I’m pretty much done with the HG affiliate program. I promote BlueHost.Com now.

    I am interested in your 2 tier system, but first, how do you recommend promoting???

    Just curious as to what you find to be the best method…???


    • Garen Arnold

      Hey Mark, I will send you an email later on tonight.

  • Astro Gremlin

    I promote BlueHost and they are a great company.

    • Garen Arnold

      Yeah, BlueHost is a great company and they actually pay affiliates too :)

  • William Amis

    Well, good luck with all that hard sales pitch pages stuff. That is all affiliate hard cores sales business. That is so time consuming which brings allot of stress related challenges as you just vividly shared with us.

    I can feel you disappointment yet never could understand why people continue with companies that are not ethical in there transactions with you sales people. Yes, you have your commissions and all yet is it worth all the hours and hustle you put into it?

    Something for everyone. I am honored to hear such craziness is still going on after being in business for myself for over 32 years.

    Hey, thanks for allowing us readers to get a glimpse of what you go through.

    • Garen Arnold

      Hey William,

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time out of your day to leave me a comment. Yes, I develop info driven sites to build useful content so that others can either decide if a product is right for them or go click the X button. I am a full time affiliate marketer and wouldn’t promote anything I wouldn’t use myself.

  • wpfix

    Bad to hear that hostgator has reversed so many sales.

  • ADDTabz

    Yeah, you’re right. You can’t always count on Hostgator to come through. Even their service is down some of the time throughout the day. It all depends on the product you buy so you get what you pay for.

    • Garen Arnold

      Yep their affiliate system is pretty bad. Which is widely known by internet marketers.

  • Rohan

    I have referred quite a number of sales to them but more than 60% never got credited to my account. I know the sale went through correctly because people are using my discount code so HG has no way to pull their ‘ohh the cookies were incorrect’ scam. Rightly so, the sale shows in my account for a month or so, then suddenly it turns Inactive/Invalid/Overdue/[add another fancy name for an excuse here].

    I am going to write a blog post about it soon with screenshots of responses from their customer ‘support’ team who are obviously not only aware, but are also trained to dodge the complaints regarding the malicious practices that HG follows. This is no way to treat the affiliates that keep the company running by bringing in fresh sales and they need to realize that they will get pounded by the online community, like Godaddy, if they mess with it. We bloggers need to collaborate and make a viral trending thread and bring HG to terms. They will soon realize that the same people who helped make the sales by writing rave reviews about a company are very well equipped to pull it down overnight.

    • Garen Arnold

      Hey Rohan,

      It’s almost criminal what Hostgator is doing. Yeah, I know what you are talking about it I got the same BS excuses time and time again. It got to the point where I said fine I will not say anything bad about your company, but since you don’t ever pay me I just won’t promote you. It’s almost like talking to a bot because they could really care less if I existed or not.

      I have gotten so much feedback from angry people about Hostgator’s affiliate program it’s getting quite sad now!

      • Rohan

        I contacted HGSupport on twitter and it is being reviewed (or so they claimed) as we speak. You can chime in and add your thoughts here :

        Try to tag at least one more friend who has been affected by this scam and ask them to do the same, lets try to create a long chain of complaints and possibly a viral trend here. Hopefully they will sack the scam artist if they do care (most probably Adam B’s name will be recurring in most cases) or present us with another excuse consistent with their scam tactics, at which point, at least we will all know the truth about HG.

        • Garen Arnold

          Hey Rohan,

          I am leaving Hostgator today for this site and using InMotion. They were bought out in June of 2012 and I no longer recommend them. They were bought out by Endurance International Group (EIG) and have been going downhill quickly. Support has been going downhill, heard they treat their employees like crap, and I no longer trust them. I will be sure to check out your Twitter.

          • Rohan

            UPDATE : An hour after I pinged them on Twitter, I received an email from Jousha Martin who is the director of customer service acknowledging that their affiliate system and the team itself is flawed, immediately followed by an email from Adam B who is their affiliate manager claiming to go through the matter (a bit more seriously this time) and clear my dues. An hour later I received my payment for 4 valid referrals which I had made over a period of 6 months, which their system had duped me of. I wont say that I am happy, because it is never cool to have to beg for your own money, but then its better than losing the money and getting a completely raw deal.

            Attachments : Screenshot of email received from Jousha Martin :

            The bottom line : Its just an attempt on part of HG to save face after being caught with their hand in the cookie jar. Understaffing leads to delayed responses at the most, not planned scams and ‘errors on part of our Affiliate manager’ part could well be avoided if the manager actually read the errors that the affiliates bring to their notice hoping to get it sorted in good faith (never mind) and wanted to sort them in the first place.

          • Garen Arnold

            Hey Rohan,

            Wow, thanks for information. At least you got some money, but it shouldn’t be that hard! I am actually in the process of moving my sites away from Hostgator because I believe they are going downhill quickly, as they were bought out in June 2012.

  • Sam

    I stopped promoting Hostgator for the same reason. I promote hundreds of programs, if I have to hunt down every payment an affiliate program owes me, I’ll have no time left to build sites and create content.

    In my book, a company that doesn’t honor its agreements with its affiliates, is a company that will sooner or later f**k its customers as well. Now every time I blog about hosting companies, I make sure I mention the bad experience I had with Hostgator.

    • Garen Arnold

      Hey Sam,

      Yep, it’s just not worth your time. I agree how can you trust a company that doesn’t treat affiliate right? I have even read articles about them treating their employees badly. It’s why my instinct just saids avoid Hostgator right now. I could be right, but I do feel good about my choice.