Microsoft Monetize - Understanding invalid traffic

Invalid traffic, while low on the platform due to proactive monitoring, is a legitimate concern for buyers and sellers of digital advertising. As part of the effort to combat this, in March of 2018 we implemented policies that streamline the refund process for buyers (excluding bidders) who have purchased invalid traffic.


Full details of the current policy can be found in our Part of Service Policies.

Claim submission

Buyers who have paid for non-human traffic may submit a claim through the Customer Support Portal (CSP) according to the following rules:

  • Claims must be submitted for the previous month's activity within 10 days of the month's close. For example, for June activity, claims must be submitted by July 10.
  • Buyers should submit one claim covering the entire month's activity.
  • The claim must include reporting from one of the approved verification partners.

On receipt of the a buyer's report, Client Finance takes the following steps:

  1. We check that confirmation was received from the buyer of the third-party verification partner where the data originated, should it be required to support disputes at a later date.
  2. We then pull our own data to review what the buyer actually purchased from the seller(s) involved in the claim and what the seller subsequently invoiced.
  3. With the data from our systems, we calculate the average CPM for seller and buyer (member or advertiser depending on the input from buyer) and arrange a credit note for the buyer and an adjustment on the relevant sellers account. For example, if Buyer X purchased 1000 impressions from Seller Y, of which Buyer X claims 500 impressions are due to invalid traffic, we will refund to Buyer X the cost of purchasing those 500 impressions and reduce the revenue based on the average media cost for the month.


Because we do not receive buyer claims until after the monthly seller activity statements are generated, we make refund calculations based on the original revenue amount, pre-adjustment.

Seller adjustments and disputes

Adjustments related to invalid traffic will be quoted on the Seller Remittance Statement, which is sent to the seller when the associated revenue payment is released to them based on the contractual payment terms.

To obtain information on invalid traffic adjustment amounts sooner, the seller can submit a Client Finance case or email the Microsoft Advertising Billing team after the 15th of the month following the activity period in question.

To dispute the invalid traffic amount claimed by a buyer, the seller may contact the representative or verification partner responsible for the relationship.