Since I don't really believe in mincing words, I'll just cut to the chase here and admit I'm in a horribly foul mood tonight. Why? Well, first and foremost, Gamefan / Express.com still hasn't paid me any of the money they owe me for being on their network and serving up their banner ads. I have no idea when (or even if) I'll be getting paid. Thanks to Gamefan / Express.com's lack of professionalism, I haven't been paid a dime for nearly two months. My income has been zero. I signed a contract with them, agreeing to serve up their banner ads in exchange for payment, and they decided to neglect their end of the agreement. As a result, I'm broke. I've kept from seeking legal council as long as I could, under their promise that this would all be taken care of and they'd give me the money they owe me, but they haven't shown any indication whatsoever of paying me this money.

As a result, I'm going to the California Board of Labor tomorrow and speaking with some attorneys. My affiliation with Gamefan / Express.com has ruined my bank account, credit rating, and personal life. I have begged them repeatedly to simply give me the money they owe me, and this whole mess would be over. However, despite the fact that Express.com is a multi-million dollar company with tons of cash, they seemingly have no interest in doing this.

Now comes the big question: why? Why would a huge corporation like Express.com decide not to pay its hosted sites the money they owe them? According to the person I spoke with at Gamefan / Express.com, it is simply because the advertisers haven't paid them yet. Since I know nothing about their advertising affiliates, I accepted his explanation (even if it didn't seem to make too much sense to me)... until I got an anonymous email from somebody claiming to know the real reason behind why Gamefan / Express.com hasn't been paying their hosted sites. I cannot confirm any truth to this email, but it does seem to make a lot of sense:

...Eventually, Dave Bergstein [the original Gamefan owner] conned Eidos into investing $55 million into GameFan/GameCave. Afterwards he conned Express into buying the whole thing (dubbed Maximum Holdings) based on such hideously false numbers of profits, traffic, and "market share". Express found this out about 8 months ago, got really pissed off, ordered Dave "Embezzlement" Bergstein to "evacuate his office", and is beating everything GameFan / GFN around. This is why GameFan.com lost personnel, this is why the GFN has no budget, and this is why you are not getting paid. Because Express doesn't want to. Express.com sells DVD's by the assload- they have millions upon millions of dollars. The reason they aren't paying you isn't because of advertising revenue or because they don't have the money, it's because they don't want to. They are probably going to kill off the GFN because they don't know how to deal with it or run it, and they probably don't care, because it doesn't sell DVD's and isn't what Dave Bergstein sold them.

If I were you I'd get legal representation or at least file a complaint with the Board of Labor/ Better Business Bureau.

Nice, huh? So, according to this inside source, the hosted sites aren't being paid due to the company simply not wanting to pay. My financial record is being shoved into the toilet because Express.com doesn't feel like paying. I'm broke and penniless because Express.com is mad at Gamefan for lying to them. I'm having to spend my time getting a lawyer, filing complaints, and trying to squeeze a paycheck from this company because of their own little inside grudge.

Now some people out there may be saying, "Lowtax, you're an idiot for relying on your webpage to generate enough money for a full-time job." You're wrong (athough I still admit I'm an idiot). If Gamefan / Express.com paid me the money they guaranteed to, I would have no problem living on that salary. In the last two months of my contract with them (the two months they haven't paid me for), SA served up over 9 million of their banner ads. At $2.50 per 1,000 ads served, it doesn't take a supergenius to realize that they owe me a considerable sum of money. I fulfilled my end of the bargain: I served their ads. They did not fulfill theirs. As a result, I'm now screwed.

The other issue which has caused me to deteriorate into the foul state of mind I'm currently in is the fact that since I just joined Backbeat Media and they haven't had a chance to get any sponsors / advertisers lined up yet, I've been serving pay-per-click ad banner on SA. As the name implies, I get paid based on how many times people click the banners. So far, in almost a month's time of being on the network, I've earned around $600. This is not good. Keep in mind that this has nothing to do with Backbeat Media or the guys there. I have absolute faith in the guys working there and know that they're getting advertisers lined up as quick as they can. The people at Backbeat Media are the most friendly and professional people I've ever worked with, and I'd recommend them to anybody. However, until they have enough time to get the advertisers in place, I'm going to be on a really cheap pay-per-click revenue program. This, combined with the fact that I'm going to have to afford an attorney to get me the money that Gamefan / Express.com owes me, is not "a good thing."

So what can anybody do to help the site out? Here are the two main things:

1) Click on the banner ads. Sure, some of you guys may not be interested in having your breasts examined and a few ladies may not need a cure for jock itch, but clicking on the banner ads is how I make money. It requires little effort or monetary cost on your part, so if you don't want to see this site die, click the ads.
2) If you work at some company that would like to advertise on this site, please contact Greg Snyder, the ad guy at Backbeat Media. SA served up 5.9 million pages last month alone, so if you've got an ad you'll want people too see, this site will help them see it.

I appreciate all the help and support everybody is giving me and this site, but I simply can't continue to run it if I'm going to go broke in the process. I love writing SA, I love updating it every day, and I love getting reading the email I get every morning upon waking up. I take tremendous pride and pleasure in everything I do with SA. However, I can't pay server hosting bills if I'm broke. I can't afford to pay rent if I'm broke. I can't do anything if I'm broke. Sorry for ranting about all this, but the whole Gamefan / Express.com situation is ruining my entire life.

Hopefully, with your help and support, SA will live.

– Rich "Lowtax" Kyanka (@lowtax)

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