Cashback website users may have lost money as a major affiliate network, Deal Group Media UK Ltd (DGM), has gone into administration.
Customers of one of the biggest cashback websites, Quidco, may miss out on anticipated cash, though other major sites have promised to pay out regardless (see the Top Cashback Sites guide for full information).
Companies such as DGM are the intermediaries that pass commission from retailers to cashback sites, which they then give to you if you click through to that store via the link on a specialist moneyback site.
Quidco emailed potentially affected members on Friday saying it will not pay out to anyone who has made a recent purchase from a retailer who used the DGM network, if it hasn't received the cash.
However, since then, Quidco has said this decision is under review as it tries to establish the company's situation.
Andreas Andreou, Quidco sales director, says: "We are waiting to hear back from DGM's administrators about the slim chance the company can be saved.
"If it is, hopefully our members will not be affected. If it isn't, we will need to look at many factors before we can make a decision on how to proceed.
"We don't want to make a rash decision so are asking our members to be patient with us."
Quidco hopes to make an official statement on its stance by the end of this week.
What other cashback sites say
As retailers can offer their links via one or multiple affiliate networks, the affect of DGM's collapse on each cashback site will differ greatly depending on how often each dealt with it.
Topcashback has confirmed: "We have identified marketing budget which we can use in this instance to make sure none of our members lose out as a result of this affiliate network going into administration.
"Where due, affected transactions will proceed to payable status as normal."
Richard Yendall, head of websites Cashback Kings and imutual, says: "A very tiny proportion - less than 1% - of our Cashback Kings members will be affected by this. There has been some concern about DGM for the last few months so whenever a link was available via DGM or another affiliate network, we went with the other option.
"Although affiliate networks are able to clarify which transactions are valid and genuine, and which have been rejected, DGM cannot do this now. However, we want to protect our members so will probably honour all transactions."
Cashback site imutual did not use the DGM network for any of its affiliate links.
How cashback sites work
The web has a host of moneyback sites, specialist websites that list retailers and product providers.
These sites are paid by the retailers (via an affiliate network, such as DGM) if you click through their special links to the shop's website and spend. But, importantly, cashback sites give some or all of this money back to you, provided you've registered, which is free.
MoneySavingExpert.com's stance on these sites is cashback should be seen as an added bonus, rather than a core part of the decision for getting a product.
Quoting from our cashback sites guide: "Never count the cash as yours until it's in your bank account as things can and do go wrong."
DGM's current situation
DGM's administrator, RSM Tenon, is trying to find a buyer for the company as DGM hasn't stopped trading. Yet most, if not all cashback sites, are expected to stop using the network.
Dan Carter, a spokesperson for DGM, says: "DGM officially fell into administration on Tuesday 13 July at 11am. The administrators are working on trying to sell the company so we are not officially closing the door."
DGM hopes to update its website with more information by the end of tomorrow.
Which retailers are affected?
The following retailers still use or, until recently, used the DGM network, so transactions made to them via a cashback website could be affected (though sometimes retailers use more than one network so your cashback may still arrive).
Potentially affected merchants
|121 doc-private healthcare online||Greenpeace||Pleaseandthankyou.co.uk|
|192.com||Halpern Personal Relationship Management||Poker Strategy|
|3 Mobile Broadband||Haven Holidays||Pontin's Holidays|
|Aabro||Heart Telecom||Practical Action|
|The Accident Advice Centre||helpucover||Present Aid (Christian Aid)|
|Accident Advice Helpline||Hitstore UK||Prime Scratch Cards|
|ACCOUNTZ Ltd||Holidaylets.net||Private Eye Property|
|Action Medical Research||HorseTourneys/SportsTourneys||Proporta|
|AFA Systems Limited||Holiday Shed Limited||Quote Zone|
|Affordable Mobiles||HomesDirect365||Reader's Digest Travel Insurance|
|Apropos Conservatories||Hot Watches||Red5|
|The Aspinall Foundation||Humyo.com||ReportBuyer|
|BabyMonitorsDirect||Icebuyer||The Royal British Legion|
|Baby Security||iCodes Voucher Code and Offer units||Roses Only|
|Beepy||Interior Addict||RU Books|
|Ben 10||J Shoes Online||Save the Children|
|Bidbroo||Jean Patrique Cookware||Send a Cow|
|Bingo On The Box||Jackpot City Online Casino||Sense|
|Book Direct Rooms||January Sales||Sleeping Solutions|
|Brilliant Specs||JD Harris||Snow+Rock|
|BSI British Standards||JD Williams||
|Bump to 3||Jetbull||SOLETRADER|
|Car Audio Centre||Lakeland Leather||SwapGame|
|Car Loan 4U||LawShield UK||Summer Clients|
|CashMyGold||Lebara Mobile||Talk Mobile|
|Charity Sector||LetsBuyGold.com||Tariam Satellite Broadband|
|Charles Clinkard||Linguaphone||Telecoms Sector|
|Chums||Machine Mart Ltd||Terry's Fabrics|
|Club Med||Magnet Broadband||The Adventure Company|
|Communication and Subscription Policy||Mazuma Mobile Ltd||The Art Fund|
|Concern Gifts||Mental Health Foundation||The British Red Cross|
|Costbiter||Microwarehouse||The Dog House|
|Debenhams Personal Finance||Miss Penny||The Fuelcards Company|
|DEC Haiti Earthquake Appeal||MO-Call||The Menswear Site|
|Decode Car Hire||Mobileshop||Timberland Flooring|
|dgm TravelMaps||Must Have Gifts||
|Direct Save Telecom||Mya Ltd||Travel Sector|
|Dobbies Garden Centre||My Offers||TravelSpec|
|EasyContent Units||National Trust Membership Scheme||Txt Local|
|Eclipse Internet||National Trust Online Shop||Unique Menswear|
|Eclipse Internet-business||Natural Collection||Viking Airlines|
|EcoCharlie||Nickelodeon Online Store||Villa Select|
|engage mutual||Optical Express||Virgin Games|
|Fair Exchange||Orange Free Simcard||Voucher Code and Deal Feed|
|Farm Africa||Orange Mobile||Warner Leisure Hotels|
|Finance Sector||Orange Mobile Broadband||Washbag.com|
|Financial Times||P&O Ferries||Webmoney (NHI Services)|
|Fitness Megastore||Park & Go||WHSmith Mobiles|
|Forest Holidays||PC World Business||Winegifts4u|
|FortHill Home||PDSA Charity||World Land Trust|
|Foxy Bingo||PDSA Pet Insurance||World Vision|
|Garmin||Pet Drugs Online||WWF Adoption|
|Gerald Online||Petplan||WWF Membership|
|Gizoo||Phone Box||XIn Telecom Ltd|
|Gray and Osbourn Limited||Play and Win|
Further reading/Key links