Category Archives: Internet Marketing

Another Story Of Broken Promises-Courtesy Of Joel Comm

Joel-commI’m sure that many of our readers will be familiar with the name of Joel Comm.  He is most famous for his books and courses on Google Adsense.  He has also made his fortune through the same medium.  It’s true to say that he is very well respected as an online Internet marketer.

Many months ago earlier this year, I bought the DVD course under the name of the next Internet Marketing Millionaire.  On the surface of it, it seemed to be an excellent purchase.  So I must admit that I was full of anticipation awaiting its arrival.  And on the day it arrived, I could not wait to put the first DVD into my DVD player.  Imagine my disappointment, when throughout the first DVD most of the sound was inaudible and indeed had to be backed up by sub titles. 

My immediate reaction was to think is this amateur hour?  In fact the sound was so bad, I could not really understand what was going on.  Anyway, undeterred I moved on to the next video or should I say DVD, to view the presentation by a famous Internet marketer called Armand Morin. 

Once again, I had to question whether this was amateur hour again?  Each time the presenter pointed towards his power points, the camera would veer away and focus on some bored attendee, or the logo on someone else’s Hacker Safe T Shirt.

By this time I had had enough.  When an attendee asked a question, it could not be heard.  So all in all, I learned nothing from the presentation.  At this point, I wrote to Joel Comm’s support department and they expressed horror and dismay about my complaints. 

Full marks to them, they offered an immediate full and unconditional refund of the product costs and the shipping.  Naturally, given the nature of my complaints, I took this to be shipping the product back as well, in particular as they had not stipulated outbound shipping only.

Anyway, I packed up the goods ready to ship back to them and suddenly out of the blue, they reneged on their commitment to refund shipping both ways.  By then, I had already shipped the goods back to them.  I wrote several e-mails to advise them of what they had committed to in their e-mails.  This was ignored.

Concerned that I would not get our money back, I complained to the Colorado Chamber Of Commerce who registered my complaint and more importantly the Better Business Bureau.  They took up my complaint immediately and after several weeks managed to persuade Joel Comm’s InfoMedia Inc to pay out what was due.  All in all, it took several months to get back our money. 

It was quite disgraceful really, considering the fact that on Joel Comm’s blog, he makes a point of criticising others’ poor service – usually airlines’ service!  We would suggest that he looks closer to home first, before he criticises the poor services of others. 

We were shocked and amazed that we had to involve the Better Business Bureau to get satisfaction from his company.  It says a lot really about the apparent lack of concerned management in this company.  It says even more, that the Better Business Bureau had to write to InfoMedia Inc several times before they got any kind of response.

Always stick to your guns when it comes to refunds! I have to say I was very impressed with the way that the Better Business Bureau got on to the case and got me what was due to me. Without them, I would have stood no chance, I am sure. Shame we don’t have the BBB system here in the UK!

When Does A Perceived Marketing Benefit, Become A Marketing Lie?

As we mentioned before, we are constantly on the lookout for new and exciting business opportunities.  And one that caught our eye recently was one that was offered by David Anderson.  UK Internet marketers may well be familiar with this name.  David Anderson has promoted a number of so-called business opportunities.

A few weeks ago we received this attention grabbing A4 sales letter with a screaming headline — At Last….  A Product With An Estimated 100,000,000 — (I had to make sure that I got the right number of noughts there) — Customers Desperate To Buy!

This sounds like something that you just have to get involved in.  Yes once again, he claimed that this is a brand-new product — never before released — that has a captive waiting customer base estimated at over 100 million people absolutely desperate to buy this product!  (By now I’m sure, your hearts must be thumping in anticipation).  Also to whet your appetite even further, how would you feel if every single sale you made was 100% total profit???

But wait there’s more!  What if only 97 licences were released worldwide and all this for just under £100

But wait!  There’s even more!  They claim that this is tipped to be the best-selling product this year! ( Compared against what exactly?)

I am sure that by now you must be in a state of frenzy, literally falling over yourself to get your computer to examine the web page which is recommended for you to read by David Anderson.

Well a few weeks ago, our curiosity got the better of us and we bought into this opportunity.  We were remarkably unimpressed.  Not only is the customer service very substandard, the actual e-book itself and the so-called sales letter — apparently valued at £2997 — had several typos in them!  Yes, I kid you not.  Both items actually have typos in them and I am not talking about one or two. 

When we tried to complain about this, our complaints were brushed off and dismissed.  In fact, one of the support staff even had the audacity to point out that I had made a typo in my e-mail, which I sent to complain to them about this.  Shocking!

But wait there’s more!  If you remember, we told you that we bought into this opportunity several weeks ago.  Now at the time, we were told that only 97 licences were available worldwide.  Now this particular sales letter (that we responded to) was sent out to several thousand people and it is probably safe to say that at least one other person apart from ourselves bought into this opportunity at the time.  So that would leave 95 licences left for sale worldwide.

Now imagine our surprise when four or five weeks later, we receive not one but two copies of David Anderson’s letter trying to sell us this allegedly amazing product, which over 100 million customers are desperate to buy – how they know this, who knows?

So correct me if I’m wrong, but 97 minus two equals 95.  So how come 97 licences are still available?  Now of course, we are not naive and we realise that far more than two licences were sold as a result of their last mailing. 

My serious question is, why is it that 97 licences are still available through this mailing?  This is just another alleged marketing lie.  The sales letter itself promises and commits that only 97 licences are to be released worldwide and all this for just under £100.  What a load of BS! 

It’s this type of thing that makes us mad.  We bought the opportunity, because we actually believed in the alleged integrity and honesty of David Anderson.  We actually believed that only 97 licences would be sold, which we felt would give us a good opportunity to make back our money and more. 

It now appears that this commitment is nothing more than marketing BS and an alleged marketing lie.  It’s clear that they have no intention to sell only 97 licences.  The fact that we have one of these ourselves, which we bought several weeks ago is proof of this.

So the message on all of this is do not believe a word that you read, when it comes to Internet marketing sales letters and hype, or limited quantities. 

Quite frankly, I am amazed that such promises are allowed to be written into sales letters, when clearly they are not going to be carried out.  Making these kind of commitments and failing to honour them is blatantly dishonest in our view.

Buyers beware!

WARNING: Hidden Catch In “Money Back Guarantee”

Those of our readers who live in the UK, will I’m sure be familiar with a company called Streetwise Publications.  And they are very well-known for selling various kinds of business opportunities and other business related publications. 

Like anyone else, we at are always on the lookout for new and exciting business opportunities and something caught our eye called ETrends.  The sales letter looked particularly attractive and appeared to be very well written.  The idea of being able to place a program on autopilot and let it point out to you various moneymaking situations, seemed very appealing.

So we thought we would give it a try and we set the system up in our computer and buried ourselves in the manual.  However, it all seemed rather overcomplicated, so we sought some support help from the program developers.  In case you don’t know, this system works inside Betfair and endeavours to point out to you when a particular win situation comes up. 

The only problem with this is that you have to run the software for the entire afternoon and sit in front of the computer to wait until it gives you the appropriate bets on which to place your money.  Not quite what we had expected!  Nevertheless, undeterred we tried to contact support and asked them to spend an hour or so with us taking us through a live situation on the computer.  Rather concerningly, after one hour, the program support had still not found a suitable race on which to place a bet.  So that was one hour wasted of our precious time.

Support promised to call us again but never did.  We thought that enough was enough and confident that we were still in the 30 day money back guarantee period, we phoned Streetwise Publications and cancelled the account.  We tried to contact the bank and to cancel the standing order, but unfortunately that had gone through for the next month.  We requested Streetwise Publications to issue a refund for the first month and a rebate for the second month, considering that they had received this money long after we had cancelled our account with them.

Incredibly, Streetwise Publications refused to honour any kind of refund and on top of this, it took them three or four weeks to actually rebate the overpayment that we had made.  Not only this, but we had to call the company several times to get them to send a cheque for this overpayment. 

To our amazement and shock, Streetwise Publications also announced that this product, eTrends, was not covered by any kind of guarantee!  Can you imagine this?  No company in the world that I am aware of, offers any kind of product without a guarantee or refund in the case of dissatisfaction.  Readers, I would ask you to make up your own mind what these commitments mean in their sales letter:

Now I realise your’re still probably sceptical… That’s why I’d like to give you the opportunity to “suck it and see” over the next 30 days. I hope that shows you how confident I am that ETrends works and can change your life.

by taking me up on my unique trial offer…. Test the bank-boosting power of eTrends YOURSELF over the next 30 days

So AFTER you’ve tried out the software and the system for a month – and you want to continue with it, then you simply pay the next months licence fee.

So with a full 30 day test run option, what are you waiting for?

To me all of this looks remarkably like a 30 day money back guarantee.  But I contacted Streetwise Publications, and they denied it entirely and claimed that you had 30 days to try out the program and then could renew if you wanted.  Now this sounds like gobbledygook to me. 

What’s the point in emphasising about 30 days?  What does “suck it and see” really mean?  After all, they also claim that having an opportunity to suck it and see will show us how confident they are that eTrends works and can change your life. 

And what exactly do they mean by a “full 30 day test run option?  This to me sounds like a 30 day money back guarantee, but this does not appear to be the case.

I received a response from Streetwise Publications, which claimed as follows:

Unfortunately it didn’t offer a 30 day free trial, it was just a 30 day trial period.”

How ludicrous is that?  When they first offered this opportunity, it went at the ridiculously high price of nearly 2000 pounds.  It is obvious that few people bought at that price, or indeed they encountered many refunds from people who could not see the alleged value of this program.  Since that time, they reduced the fee to £97 a month and this was quoted in the brochure. 

So what I don’t understand is if there is a monthly fee, which you can cancel any time, what is the point of offering a 30 day trial period?  Surely this is what you get any way, if you pay on a monthly basis? 

It’s no wonder I was very angry, because I had understood their wording to mean a 30 day trial with a money back guarantee, as opposed to a 30 day trial period, which means nothing at all if you are paying on a monthly basis and can cancel at any time. 

I found much of their brochure to be grossly misleading.  So in my view, buyers beware and in particular beware of hidden 30 day trial periods, which appear to be 30 day free trials, but are not.  It’s the fastest way to lose £97.

Why Is It So Hard To Find A Reliable Web Site Host?

Here at we have a number of hosting accounts at various hosting companies.  Believe you me, that over the years we have tried many.  But all too often we have fallen foul of unreliability, lack of planning and lack of information. 

I remember many years ago when we were first starting the business, we hosted our websites with a hosting company in New Jersey, USA, which has thankfully long shut down, or perhaps was taken over by a company who understood the full meaning of customer service and reliability. 

I can remember only too vividly nearly tearing my hair out — not that I have that much anyway — as I listened to the feeble excuses from the customer service department as to why our websites were down for the third day running!  Can you believe that?  And all we were trying to do was run a business!

Of course when we complained to management nothing much was done.  The usual feeble and pathetic excuses were put forward with the usual apologies.  Of course none of this could compensate for the loss of revenue and customer goodwill that we had endured during a three-day period of downtime.  It just didn’t seem to matter to them.  And it made me realise that these people did not understand that having a web site down was like having the shop door closed for 24 hours a day.

12 years on, it seems that nothing much has changed.  A couple of weeks ago we were victims of another situation from one of our hosting companies called Beachcomber Creations, when our websites went down for a complete day — yes that means 24 hours.  It’s difficult to compute how much revenue we actually lost. 

Of course you can only guess at how much loss such a long downtime will incur for busy web sites like ours.  Of course when we complained to the host, Beachcomber Creations, all you are given is excuses and apologies.  Nothing more.  Of course there is no way that they would ever compensate us for the loss of goodwill and the loss of revenue that we endured as a result of their alleged ineptitude. But as a result we moved one of our accounts to another host.

However, we all understand that in this complex network of computers and servers, which we call the Internet, there are bound to be times when problems occur.  I think we all understand this.  But what really makes me angry at what happened to us very recently, (since the last “event”) was that our illustrious hosting company, Beachcomber Creations, decided in their wisdom to move all of our websites to another server, giving us literally a few hours notice. 

Of course it did not occur to them, that we have client web sites on our account.  Not only this, but we have numerous of our own web sites as well.  They claimed that they had a foolproof, seamless integration in place.  This proved to be far from the truth.  After getting conflicting information from their sales department and their support department about the name server changes which should be made, we eventually changed all of the name server information for all of our websites. This apparently did not work, even though we were told it would!

Of course we had numerous complaints from our clients during the course of the day, asking why they could not see their web site and why their e-mail was not working.  In case you are unaware, whenever you move a web site from one server to another, you must also make sure that you keep on checking the e-mail at both IP addresses — in other words at the IP address of your former host and the IP address of your new host. 

If you do this, you will be reasonably sure of capturing all your e-mail as the move is made, or using the professional term — migration.  Beachcomber Creations only gave us a few hours notice, so we had no time to advise our own clients as to what they should do, or indeed to set up our own mirror e-mail accounts to capture e-mails from both IP addresses.

Needless to say, once again this problem has caused us a great deal of disruption, loss of revenue and loss of customer goodwill.  All this because Beachcomber Creations failed to give advance notice to customers of their intention to move their accounts from one server to another.

Of course we complained bitterly about the situation and as usual, all we were offered were the usual feeble excuses and apologies.  So the message in all of this, is that when you choose any host for your web site, choose wisely and carefully.  As far as we’re concerned, as a result of the first debacle, we moved our first set of accounts to another host.  As far as the ramifications for the other night’s debacle is concerned, we will be giving this due consideration.

Broadband Providers — Who Loves Them As Much As We Do?

Changing to a new ISP or broadband provider seems to be an incredible hassle in the UK. From our own personal experience, we can certainly attest to this problem.

Having a reliable and uninterrupted broadband connection is essential for anyone in the Internet marketing or affiliate marketing business. Therefore, before we decided to move from British Telecom, we did a great deal of research into the marketplace, and combed the forums to find out who had good reviews and of course who had bad reviews.

Armed with this information, we signed up lock stock and barrel to a company called Toucan or as we call them Toucannot. I think you know what’s coming! Not only were we persuaded into signing up for one year of broadband service, but were also persuaded into letting them handle our telephone calls and line rental as well. A bold move! One which we have lived to regret as time has gone on.

The telephone service in itself seems to be okay. You do get reasonable rates for national calls and international calls, but sometimes the the line quality to places such as Ukraine can be appalling. Not the first time have we found ourselves dialing an 0871 number to obtain a cheaper rate per minute and also a better line. One point in their favour though is that the line rental each month is substantially cheaper than British Telecom.

Now as far as the broadband is concerned, when we signed up, we had our own router, manufactured by a company called Zoom, which functioned perfectly for about three weeks and then suddenly gave up the ghost one day. This forced us into taking emergency measures by installing the modem provided by Toucan. And this is where the problems began. First of all, the modem had to be installed twice, which was strange by itself. Then the modem decided to switch itself off at any time of the day or night. This interrupted all programs that we had going on each occasion. Very frustrating indeed.

We know a bit about modems and routers, so of course we went through the usual remedial procedures of switching the modem off, disconnecting it, reconnecting it — you know the drill. Of course we were convinced that the modem itself was at fault and we were later proven to be correct. However, we were then forced to call the broadband technical support of Toucan.

Rather frustratingly, Toucan have outsourced their technical support to a third party company and they charge 30p a minute for any kind of technical support. Now this particular call centre is located in India. Frequently the lines can be bad and hearing each other can be difficult. So this adds to the delays and expense. To make matters worse, it seems as though these agents who answer the telephones are trained to prolong the conversation as long as possible. They seem to ask you a bunch of unnecessary questions and then eventually get down to business. They then go through the same old questions and answers that you have already addressed yourself and that is that.

One agent put down the phone on me because I had hinted that he was taking far too long to get to the root of the problem. When I called back, I was of course made to answer the usual questions and repeat myself once again. After waiting three minutes at 30p a minute, with the agent having left me on hold, I decided that enough was enough. I had already spent six pounds on the telephone without any kind of resolution. I have to say that I find it intensely irritating and extremely unfair that I should have to pay Toucan 30p per minute, so that they can establish that there is a fault in the modem that they have supplied to me as part of my contract. Suffice to say I was not going to let the matter rest and escalated the problem within the organisation.

After several phone calls and much protestation, I eventually received a call back from two managers within the organisation. One manager agreed to give me a refund of £10 against the charges I had incurred and in addition to this, another manager agreed to pay £40 towards the new router, which I had to buy because the modem did not work properly. I have to say that I was extremely pleasantly surprised by the latter gesture. After all, if I choose to buy an expensive £99 rooter and according to the contract, Toucan only have to provide me with a functional modem, this was indeed a decent gesture.

There is no question about it, you really need to choose your broadband provider very carefully and read all the small print that may go with your contract. I wonder who else has had similar experience to us? Please feel free to send us your comments on your favourite broadband provider!

Adsense – Another Subtle Change!

As a long-term Adsense publisher, we have of course witnessed many of the changes which have taken place in the Adsense program. As we all know, the heady days of making huge amounts of cash through the Adsense program have largely disappeared. Although of course, there are several ways still available, through which excellent returns can be made.

But it does seem over the years that things have been getting more difficult for publisher. Most long-term Adsense publishers will remember the days when there was no such thing as a separate content bid. There was once a time when we were allowed to use pictures next to our adverts to enhance click through rates and then this policy changed.

Suddenly out of the blue, something else has changed and I have to say that it is extremely subtle. If you take any normal Adsense block is an example, much of it used to be a hot area where if a surfer held his mouse pointer over much of the Adsense block, this area became clickable.

However, this has now changed! If you check your own Adsense blocks, you will find that the only two areas that are now clickable, are the link itself and the URL. What this means is that presumably most publishers click through rate will go down as of course will their revenue, because now the casual surfer has too be far more purposeful and accurate in his or her desire to click on a particular advert or link.

A subtle change I am sure we will agree, but nevertheless one which will adversely affect the revenues of most if not all Adsense publishers.

Having said/written that, the new system is probably fairer to the surfer and the buyer and that’s what counts.

Why is it so hard to find good freelancers?

If you are doing any form of affiliate or Internet marketing, you will at some stage need to outsource either frequently or on a regular basis.

With the rapid expansion of the Internet, there are now more and more opportunities for good freelancers in web design, copywriting, translation, programming and data entry — to name a few — to make a great deal of money from their skills.

However, in spite of this we have noticed an alarming downturn in the quality and reliability of some freelancers.  We are lucky enough to have a small group of freelancers with whom we have worked for years and they have proved to be incredibly reliable and indeed the rock of the business.  However frequently, because of the demands of the business, we have had to outsource to get articles written or programs done.

Without exception, we have always had problems, irrespective of whether the freelancer has good feedback or no feedback at all.  We have found an alarming tendency for many freelancers to go sick shortly after they have taken on a project.  This in itself can be enormously inconvenient if you are working on deadlines like we always are. 

It seems to me that many of them bid for work and then either take on too much, or only do the work which carries the highest bid.  I’m not quite sure what the reason really is.  All I do know is that it causes a great deal of inconvenience to the buyers.

It seems to me that there is a case for all these freelance sites to ask people to provide some form of credentials to prove that they can do what they claim to be able to do.  Of course in some cases, this is difficult to do, in particular with copywriting, where people learn this trade as they go along.  But surely in the case of web design, programming or indeed translation some form of credentials could be asked for.

Alternatively, perhaps the service providers can in some way be limited to the amount of projects that they can take on at one time.

To illustrate the point, recently I had five out of six freelancers go sick or develop some kind of a problem after taking on the work.  According to the rules on the freelancer site concerned, one has to wait three business days without hearing from the service provider, before you can start the project cancellation process.  Then of course the site owners have to cancel the project and they usually do this within two to three business days.  By then, 10 days have been wasted and you start all over again.

Another case in point was when a freelancer “translated” – I use that term loosely – a web site for us. The German was so bad, the job had to be done completely from scratch by another person.

So if you are doing freelance work, do it well and produce it on time and you can be sure that you will have more clients than you can handle!

Make $20,000 In 20 Days Guaranteed Or Your Money Back By Michael Green

You have to to hand it to Michael Green.  The concept is brilliant as is the title.  But does the concept really work?  I guess you’ll have to ask Michael Green whether it does or doesn’t.  I’m sure it works for Michael, because he is regarded as one of the Internet’s top marketing gurus. 

Anyway let’s get straight to the point of this article.  During the lead up to the launch of this particular product, I received a couple of sales emails from one or two other marketing gurus, using copy which I later found out was written by Michael Green himself, to extol the virtues of this new product.  On top of this, one of the gurus in particular, told us that we must buy now during the pre-launch period as the price would definitely go up — indeed it would double — after launch day.

I thought that this was just another ruse, so I wrote to the guru concerned to inquire whether this was just marketing hype or whether it was the truth, that the price would double after launch day.  He assured me that he knew Michael Green very well and that he was a man of his word and that the price would go up after launch. 

Well you know what’s coming don’t you? 

Of course the price never did go up after launch!  In fact weeks after the launch, the price still remains at $247.00.  Now I wouldn’t mind so much, if someone had told me the truth, but this is a blatant lie just to get my money three or four weeks before the product is actually launched.  Not only this, but the money was extracted from a lot of innocent people on the basis that the price definitely would go up — indeed it might actually double — on the launch day itself.

Now for many people, $247.00 is a lot of money in particular when our inboxes are stacked full of tempting offers for various software and e-books, which according to the vendors, we simply “must have” to be successful in Internet marketing. 

So the bottom line is that many people forked out $247.00 several weeks before they had to and what makes it worse is that they also did this under alleged false pretences.  Personally, I find this totally unacceptable.  It’s the worst side of Internet marketing.  After all, it’s not as if Michael Green needs the money!

I myself signed up for the course (after the launch date) and I have to say that the course is probably worth the money.  Not because you will make 20 grand in 20 days, but because the concept itself is sound.  You’ll probably make far less than 20 grand, but you will make money in the long run and you will certainly recover the cost of the course. 

Interestingly enough, and rather amusingly, Michael Green revealed in the course the super affiliate to whom we wrote and also revealed how many thousands of dollars this super affiliate had made as a result of endorsing the program in the first place.

I was further irritated by the fact that Michael Green had even written the copy for these super affiliates as well and not only this but those concerned had no idea what the content of the course actually was before they endorsed it! 

Now how can anyone endorse a course if they don’t know what’s in it?  In addition to this, instead of following the 2020 challenge along with the rest of the people to whom they had recommended it, one super affiliate spent the time out of the country, instead of in the trenches where everyone else was! 

If the 2020 challenge was so achievable, then surely all people who had recommended a course in the first place should be leading from the front, proving that can be done! After all, who else is going to turn their noses up at making 20 grand in 20 days, if it can so easily be done?

This is why whenever a super affiliate endorses ANY product or service, we say buyer beware.  In most cases it is highly unlikely that the person who is recommending it to you as either seen or tried the product which he or she is recommending and that surely is no basis for any kind of recommendation. Super affiliates know this, so they dress up their recommendations with (in some cases) ridiculous and (in some cases) useless uber bonuses.

Just to close on this matter, to rub salt into the wound, the same super affiliate who had blindly endorsed the 2020 challenge in the first place to his mailing list, using copy written by Michael Green, recently wrote another follow-up urging people who had not joined up, to do so now! 

Bear in mind this is weeks after the launch and one of his reasons was that the price had remained the same because the promotion had been incredibly successful!  Now correct me if I’m wrong, but usually when something is so successful, the price goes up and does not stay the same.

Quite frankly, if I’d been one of the people who had parted with my money three or four weeks before the launch of the product itself, I would be writing a very strong letter to the guru who recommended it in the first place and of course to Michael Green as well.

To be fair, not all super affiliates operate like this. Many, rarely if ever endorse anything and when they do, you can be sure it’s something good. However there are others – many others – who have an offer of some kind in every newletter.

Our advice is wherever possible, wait until the launch is over or hang around the internet marketing forums to get real opinions about products or services, before you part with your hard earned cash.