Recently, I received in the mail (snail mail) a magazine put out by Home Business Connections and I leafed through it. It didn't take me long to put it aside, because of the 50 pages it contained, only 16 of them were devoted to articles, and the majority of those articles were sales pitches for a business opportunity, or a testimonial of some sort for a business opportunity. The rest of the pages were devoted to advertising.
Ordinarily, that wouldn't surprise me, but what did knock me for a loop was the magazine's cover price. To buy a copy, the cover price listed was $5.95 U.S.. Why on earth would someone pay that kind of money to read advertisements? This publication must be making money hand over fist, if they are making money on 34 pages of advertising and selling those pages for six bucks a pop to the reader.
On top of that, most of the ads didn't have much, if anything to say about the business opportunities themselves except that you can make a lot of money if you sign up at this web site or that one, or call this phone number. I looked at some of these web sites, and they don't typically tell you anything either. You have to surrender your contact information to get any information about the opportunity. The icing on the cake is that none of these information request forms promise not to sell your information. BINGO! That is why your phone rings off the hook at dinner time.
If you enter your contact information, your entry is sold to the highest bidder and your phone begins to ring. That is how leads are generated. Are you one who buys leads from brokers to further your business opportunity? Well, this is one way those leads you buy are generated. Not very reliable, if you ask me. Look at the ads on television for business opportunities. You are directed to a web site that requires your contact information, not a web site that contains any information on a specific opportunity, and once you enter that information, it is sold to recruiters as a lead. This is done under the guise of matching you to the perfect home business. But what is really going on here is that you enter your information and it is sold to as many recruiters as possible (profitable) and after listening to endless sales pitches, you decide what, if anything, you are interested in.
Another way that these companies generate leads is to have you fill out online surveys. Once you participate in one of these surveys, you will get phone calls from retailers, colleges and all manner of businesses trying to sell you something. Why do they call? Because it is easier to sell you something if they can get you talking, or at the very least, listening. It is far easier on the conscience to delete and email than it is to hang up on someone. If they can get their pitch out to you in the shortest amount of time, they have a higher chance of getting you involved; getting your money. That is why these folks read from scripts and talk incredibly fast while they're doing it.
How does one avoid this hassle? Don't fill out these online forms. That is part of the answer at any rate. There is nothing you can do about people who would go online and fill out these forms in your name, but at least when that happens and you do get a call, you can say that you never requested this information good-bye. No guilt involved there.
I ran into a problem with someone signing me up for services through my phone bill, simply because they knew my phone number. I discovered this when I called the company that posted charges to my phone bill to discover that the person who signed me up for this $15.00/month voice mail service did so using my maiden name. That helped me figure out who it was that did this. There are only a handful of people with any motivation to do something like this, and even fewer who know my maiden name and phone number.
The company posting the charges was quick to reverse them when I told them that the phone number they charged was not even listed in my name and that my husband was the only person who could authorize such charges to the account. Can you say lawsuit? They could, and quickly refunded the charges, but it didn't stop them from adding charges to the account in the future. It has become a monthly ritual for me now, to call this company and complain.
Now tell me, why would I spend $15.00 a month on a voice mail service when I get voice mail as part of my regular phone service? You'd think that my telephone company would catch that, but they didn't and what's more, they didn't care, until I refused to pay those charges. When asked, they said they can't block the charges, so I simply told them that I couldn't pay them. That was the end of that. You see, the phone company pays the charges to the submitting company, and you have to pay the phone company back, but when I told them I wouldn't pay for those charges, that my husbnd didn't authorize them my, phone company was quite upset, but have still done nothing to block them.
Some people think it is a funny joke to do such things, but it isn't funny and it is no joke. Be careful about who you give your information to. There are a lot of programs out there that pay people to fill in these forms and they don't care what information is entered into them as long as it generates a lead; information that can be sold.
My son, at the age of 16, was getting phone calls daily from recruiters looking to sell him on a home business opportunity, because someone thought it would be funny to use his information in some of these forms. When I would tell the caller that he was a minor, they'd pitch me as his mother.
Guard your contact information. People worry about identity theft to the point of paying companies to protect it yet they don't think twice about filling out contact forms online. It's crazy. Just because you see something published in a magazine doesn't mean it is credible either. Like I said at the beginning, the magazine I received was 34 pages of ads telling me to visit web site X to collect my contact info. Don't buy into this. Your phone will never stop ringing and you'll never stop hitting the delete button inside your email box. Stop filling out online surveys too.
Here's my rule of thumb: If a site doesn't contain a privacy statement and full disclosure of the intended use of my information, I get out of there as fast as I got there. The fact that this disclosure is not on site makes it illegal in the first place, and do you really want to become involved with an illegally operating business? I don't think so, Dear.
Copyright © 2010
The Trii-Zine Ezine
About the Author:
Trina L.C. Sonnenberg
Publisher - The Trii-Zine Ezine - Your Trusted Source for Internet Business and Marketing Information. EST 2001. ISSN# 1555-2276
Author of: My Journey A Lifetime of Verse, ISBN: 978-0-61516405-2
Forever and Always... A True Love Story ISBN: 978-0-567-4311-3