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Posts Tagged ‘scams’

Why You Will Never Get Past the Gatekeeper

How To Get Past Gatekeeper

 

With modern technology, communication has never been easier. Mail, telephone, cellphones, text messages, email, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Open Q & A sessions and Town Hall Meetings – the access to the knowledge we seek is right at our finger tips. And when that fails, we can just write it to a blog, get found on the internet,  go viral, and responses will pour in.

 

Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way. Mail gets trashed, voice mails deleted, Facebook algorithms your posts out to make room for advertising spam, LinkedIn charges you to send a message, Twitter is run by robots, town hall meetings (don’t tase me Bro!) and live debates/chat sessions are all pre-screened. Think Bill Gates checks his LinkedIn? Do you?

 

I’m writing this as I wait for a call back from a Comcast “Supervisor” after being on the phone with a “Customer Account Executive”  for 30 minutes to get a installation fee waived after we being told that there was no fee to fix a faulty box. Jennifer (the account executive) told me there were no notes indicating that the fee was waived and that she has been instructed to not waive fees without notes or she would be fired. It was supposed to be a 2 hr call back, which still hasn’t happened over 12 hours later.

 

The Decision Maker is always NOT Available

You can never find them. “I can’t do that” “I can’t give you a refund” “It doesn’t work that way”. Yes, it does, and yes they can.

 

Do you think I’m making this up? Well, it took me over 6 years to get my drivers license back. I wrote to every official I could about the injustices I received in California, such as not receiving a trial (though I went to court 12 times) , to getting denied removal from the PDPS (Problem Driver Pointer System) in New Hampshire. I had to ride a bike around everywhere including court appeals, in the rain, only to find out that trial wasn’t that day. It wasn’t until I moved back to my home state and got an office across the street from the state capital building, requested a hearing, filed an appeal and harassed my local representative, governor and DMV Commissioner weekly that I got my license back. I literally slept at that office – secretly living there at the beginning. Then, one day, all holds on my license magically “vanished”, along with most of my friendships. I never did get an explanation or meeting with the decision maker, so I remained quiet and content with just my message making it past the gatekeeper.

 

Another example is being harassed by a website registration company Register.com for two days when I tried to transfer my website away from them. After showing them the article I wrote, I got offered $500 as an apology, accepted, only to be told the next day that it could only be a credit to their horrible company. I declined the credit and was not given a reason except they looked at my account and they could no longer offer me the cash. I know why though. See, all the top searches for “Register.com Review” belong to hosting groups and review sites that companies like Register.com pay to be a part of, which in turn censors the reviews. They researched it and knew I didn’t pose a threat, therefore they could continue to milk other unsuspecting customers with much less time than I.

 

I have lists of other issues from countless other companies and organizations that have wasted my time and yours. It seems now there are more and more groups using bureaucracy as a shield to swindle money and time away from consumers. After all – it works for the government.

 

What really kills me is that growing up, I always believed that people wanted to help me out. That we could find the right solution if we asked the right questions and learned from others, whether from books or mentorship. I have been searching ever since for that place of scholarly wisdom and discussion to no avail. Now there are all types of meetup groups, networking events and such with one thing in common: they are lacking the decision makers. Filled with corporate lackeys and pyramid scheme marketers, members are unable to make any decision besides taking your money as they have been instructed to. There is no deal making or bartering. I want to talk to Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerburg, my local representative, or anyone else besides Sales Associate Level 1.

 

What Can We Do About It?

I’ve racked my brain over and over about this topic, and the only thing I can think of is to only do business with organizations you can communicate directly to the top with. This includes who you vote for. Why? Because every time you do business/vote, you give away your power.

“It is not beneficial to give power to those that you cannot contact.”

You loose control. Example – Ron Paul. He claims to fight injustices abroad, so I sent him my injustices. No response other than a few “We are reviewing this” from some person that looks at emails that get sent to his site. Never a decision, no “Robert, we are sorry but we don’t see any injustices in your letter and think you should grow up” or “Robert, we are sorry to hear about your problems, how can we help?” . Eventually I got an email to join his pay to view site. Ron Paul is not a man of the people.

 

I tried it during the recent election when I got a few follows and requests to help campaign (meaning make a bunch of phone calls for free on their behalf) for some local candidates. In turn, I asked them about their thoughts on the issues I faced. No response. No response = No Vote or Support from me

 

So, since we only have 2 choices usually for office, if none of the candidates respond to me, I do not vote. If did vote, it is for Robert Tanguay, as I would rather get my name out then give my power to my enemy or someone who cares even less about me than my enemy does. I understand people are busy, especially those that run for office, but have someone respond to my inquiry. If you are going to have a Twitter account discussing how open you are, then you best make sure you actually respond to any inquiries made on your posts. It’s what the internet was made for.

 

When it comes to business, at every chance I get, I work with an independent, small business owner. They care about me. I can always reach them, and most of the time, I’m really just investing in my own community. If an independent is not available, then I go to a small company that I have the most sway over. We can make deals as we are both decision makers. I only go to companies with gatekeepers if I have no other choice such as internet services (for which we are all screwed), and I dream of a day when I can choose from a plethora of small business without gatekeepers for my necessary services.

 

We will never get past the gatekeeper as long as the gatekeeper wants us out. I welcome all discussion and comments and will always respond. Will you?

 

 

My Register.com Review – Website Domain Transfer Nightmare

A little over a year ago, I decided to give Register.com a try and so I registered a domain with them at a special rate. I own/manage a lot of websites for myself and clients, so any chance to save money and find alternative to Godaddy (where most of my domain registration business is conducted) is welcome. Not that I’ve experienced any problems with GoDaddy aside from the slowly increasing renewal prices and dwindling promo codes, but any smart business person knows not to put their entire supply chain in one basket. I had hoped to that Register.com would be that alternative source of inexpensive domain registration.

 

During the year, I received little to no email contact from Register, which makes me happy as I hate redundant email marketing. It wasn’t until the 60 day renewal mark that I got a notice reminding me of my domains expiration date. Another one followed at the 30-day and at the 7th day prior to my domains expiration. I checked the renewal process after receiving the 30 day expiration and was shocked to see the cost of renewing a single domain name through register.com : $38.00 ! No discounts in the emails, no apology for taking my initial registration of $1 (plus ICANN fees)  and multiplying 38 times to over 3 times the industry standard rate of $12.

 

A few days after discovering this rate, I called in to Register.com to prepare to transfer out my domain name (getting the authorization codes), fearing it would be a difficult process and wanted to start early. After explaining to the Register.com rep my situation and discussing with him the onerous $38 domain renewal fee, I was informed that I could get a special discount for only $9.99. I explained that I wanted to think about it, as the regular price of $38 or more would come back, and I didn’t want to have to burn 30 mins of my time when renewals come around to maybe get a discount. I was told that a note would be made in my account for the discount and I requested and received the domain authorization code via email. Please note this was exactly two weeks prior to my domain renewal date (November 4th)

 

The registration date came, and that is when my Register.com  Domain Registration Nightmare began…..

My first move was to call into Register.com on the renewal date and review the procedure with them, sand actually had every intention of just renewing for the $9.99. I mentioned how I called two weeks prior and was offered the discount renewal, however, was informed that there were no notes on the account. Feeling the squeeze, I spent some time discussing the business, why the rate was so high, the Register.com company, and general website business, I was again offered the discount rate, but only after saying I was going to transfer to Godaddy. The lady was nice and seemed to be based in the US, but bearing the burden of this reoccurring every year, I committed to transferring to GoDaddy . This phone call took just over 30 minutes, including hold time.

 

Immediately after getting off the phone with Register, I logged into GoDaddy and transferred my domain name, plus renewed a soon to be expired domain. The total cost for a transfer and two 1 year .com renewals was only $21.18, including the extra ICANN domain fees. This order/transfer has a receipt time stamp Nov 4, 2014 at 10:53 AM. I was pleased and eager to work on websites and make money for the rest of the day. That was until I got alerted of transfer denied by Register.com.

Many emails from register.com saying transfer cancelled, transfer accepted,and more noise.

Many emails from register.com saying transfer cancelled, transfer accepted,and more noise.

 

With 9 more email notices and a couple 30+ minute phone calls spanning over 2 days, Register.com was giving 1 & 1 Internet a run for their money as worst domain registration companies I have ever dealt with. I have the domain transferred to Godaddy now. Register.com claimed that they had issues with the registrar codes. They gave me a new one. Didn’t work. Then we conferenced GoDaddy , didn’t work. All rejected from Register.com – two days back and forth, not until I messaged them

“Why are you keeping my website hostage?”

that it took to transfer a domain out of Register.com’s clutches

 

Can you risk that? What if I only had a lunch break to work on this?

 

I wasn’t even going to write this review of Register.com as I have a million other things on my plate to do, I was going to put it in the back burner of all the other bad companies I’ve dealt with. But here is the kicker. They charged me after sending a cancellation letter. It’s still there, on my statement, processing, and indisputable (I can’t charge it back):

 

Card Statement - Register.com Charge After Cancellation

Register.com Charge After Cancellation

Card Statement - GoDaddy Transfer cleared

Card Statement – GoDaddy Transfer cleared

 

This is why our economy is so messed. Why do we have to waste our resources fighting slimy corporations that just push through the meat grinder called “customer service” until we give up? It’s inefficient. It is my belief that Register.com purposefully set this system up to increase profits through unscrupulous means. I feel many large corporations do this, intentionally, knowing it is more profitable to service customers in such a manner.

 

If you are ever looking to get new website domains or transfer existing domains, I strongly recommend GoDaddy. I use them for most of my domains only, haven’t tried their hosting in years, or any of their other website services. I do know when I’ve transferred I haven’t had any issues and I got my first website domain with them over 10 years ago. American customer service and low prices with discount coupons. You can get them here:

GoDaddy.com

 

 

Please share this. Even if you don’t have a website as it deals with many companies we know and use. You can make a difference. Let me know if you’ve used Register.com and would like to Review them as well, especially if you have experienced issues transferring  domains from them.

 

*****UPDATE

 

 

About The Domain Name & Trademark Dispute: Business Name

About The Domain Name & Trademark Dispute: Business Name

I got this email today, which happened to make it into my inbox. It seems to warn me of a company, THD Import & Export Co. Ltd, attempting to steal my brand name:

“Dear Manager,

(If you are not the person who is in charge of this, please forward this to your CEO,Thanks)

We are a Network Solutions Service Company which is the Inernet Brand and domain name registration in China. Here we have something to confirm with you. We received a formal application on 11/08/2013. A company named “THD Import & Export Co. Ltd” was applying to register “company name” as its Brand name and the following domain names:

[brandname].asia[brandname].cn

[brandname].com.cn

[brandname].tw

[brandname].hk


After our initial checking, we found the names were similar to your company’s, so we need to check with you whether “THD Import & Export Co. Ltd” has any relationship with you and whether the registration of the listed domains by “THD Import & Export Co. Ltd” would bring any impact on you. If no impact on you, we will go on with the registration at once. If you have no relationship with that company and the registration would bring some impact on you, please inform us within 10 workdays.Out of the time prescribed we will unconditionally finish the registration for “THD Import & Export Co. Ltd”

Please contact us in time in order that we can handle this issue better.

Best Regards,

Bill Zhou
Auditing Department.
Registration Department Manager

4/F,No.9 XingHui West Street,
JinNiu ChenDu, China
Office: +86 2887662861
Fax: +86 2887783286
Web: http://www.cn-network.com

 

I get things like this ALL THE TIME,

however, this spam email is quite clever. It looks like a legal notice. Makes you look at it to protect your brand. Further, as you read the email, it tells you to confirm that you own your brand and wish to protect it.

Fortunately for you, you have searched Google to see if the company is real or not. If you hadn’t, you would be put on a marketing list and solicited endlessly to purchase .asia, .cn, .com.cn and .hk domain names to “protect your brand”

DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS EMAIL SOLICITATIONThe company most likely won’t buy your domain name but may be inclined to register it if they feel you want to “protect your brand name” or even just from the contact.

Anyone brave enough to call them?

 

 

There is No Place to Live Free or Die

I have tried everything possible to be a good citizen.

Just got out of the police station after being arrested while riding my bike 50 ft on the sidewalk (at time of arrest I was off sidewalk) while waiting for my sandwich to be made at a local small business. Police claimed I had an open warrant from 2004 for unlawful possession of alcohol (Statute of Limitations for Misdemeanors is 1 yr, Felonies 6) but would not at the time tell me anything about the warrant, including what it was for or when.

Instead,  the police proceeded to handcuff me in front of my fellow customers and business owners (I have an office a block away on the same street), remove my possessions and transport me to the police station. I lost my sandwich, however, I was lucky enough to have them lock up my bike for me instead of leaving it on the side of the street for criminals to take…

At the station I was polite as could be because if I wasn’t, they would have, though not legally, kept me in jail until Monday to see a judge to have this case thrown heard. I was questioned, fingerprinted and photographed after being let out of a cage during a process which took over 2 hours. Finally the bondsman showed up to let me go after I paid him $40 non-refundable for his service. I got back all my possessions and began to walk back to my bike, empty stomach, to write this story to you.


 

I want to be clear that the officers were doing their job, and so was the bondsman and everyone involved conducted themselves professionally, but THIS HAS TO STOP.

Over a minor Violation – the police arrested and made me pay bail, in effect, breaking the law themselves in the process. Not just a minor violation, but fundamental constitutional rights to due process.

No place in America is free or without some sort of oppression waiting for you to slip up. This weekend, please make sure that your shoe laces are tied in accordance with the law. They arrested me for Failure to Appear for charges (which were also BS) that were over 8 years ago – Statute of Limitations for Misdemeanors is 1 yr , they invaded my privacy next to monuments proclaiming “Live Free or Die”

I’m asking for your support by spreading this story and commenting. I will respond. If you don’t – it could happen to you.

 

 

 


Why Facebook IPO Will Fail | Facebook IPO Scam

What’s hyped up, made of nothing and depreciates faster than a new car?Facebook IPO Scam

Shares of Facebook’s first public offering. Ha

With initial asking price of $38 on Friday the 18th of May , Facebook’s IPO share price has dropped almost 15% at the time of this writing (mid-day Tuesday May 22nd). Why?

I’ll try to keep it simple. Several factors come into play when dealing with any stock price, especially an IPO. One is the value of the company – and Facebook is huge , claiming over 1 Bil users worldwide. But that’s not important, what really matters is revenue and GROWTH.  Facebook gets most of it’s from ads, and about 15% from Zynga and other games – all on the decline. User interaction, acquisition and satisfaction are also flat or in decline. There is no growth to be had.

Facebook claims it will put more ads up,which I laugh at. My news feed is an ad, from “I’m successful”, “I need help” “I’m single”, “Read my Article” (me), “Click this Link” to “Buy me Birthday/Baby presents”. Facebook is no longer cool. How are you going to stack ads on top of ads?


So let’s get back to why Facebook’s IPO will fail, not for Facebook, but for all of you “learned” investors. See, nobody talks about the fact that Mark Zuckerburg, Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes, the mural guy, and countless others are sitting on over a billion shares of stock, for which they can’t sell because of a stock lock up that will last between 90-180 days. They will then take their debted paper shares (Yahoo lawsuits, overhead, employees) and unload them into the market. This will be known as the Facebook IPO Scam.

Too bad Myspace didn’t think of this.

 

Update – 12/20/2013

Mark Zuckerberg sells 41 million of his shares – source: Yahoo News