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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Greed Creates Common Deceptive Practices

It continues to amaze me that companies build an entire business plan based on tricking consumers. Companies like the one listed below know they’re being deceptive yet have continued to run a company based on fooling consumers into thinking they’re already doing business with their company.

In this case, the company Domain Registry of America gets a list of domain names that that are due for renewal. They send a letter to the customer “implying” that they currently handle the domain name and include threats their domain name could be lost unless they send in a renewal fee. Instead unless you pay attention they’ll steal business away from your current domain holder. The threats in this letter work well and Domain Registry of America has made an entire business based solely on this deceptive practice. They do acknowledge renewing is a switch but they send their letter so far ahead of time they hope you’ll get theirs before a notice from the company who already serves you,

 domain

Obviously, from the prices below Domain Registry of America is not providing me with any special discount. Their rates are over triple what I would normally be charged by the company who handles my domains. They charge me $10.95 a year. This is blatant case of deception which has been going on for years. It’s not illegal, just an example of greed.

domain002

They’re not alone in their tricky malicious practice. Chance are great you’ll also find a letters in your mail warning you that your vehicle warranty has expired. While you may never have done business with their company they’ll still want you to renew a warranty with them.

Another examples of this kind of greed are companies who want to include you in a “Who’s Who’s” book of some kind. Naturally, along with including you in their Who’s Who book, they’ll want to sell you a copy.  Even if it’s not required most people will still buy the book. If you’re a small business you may also receive an official looking state document that claims you must post a copy of your employee rights. Their version will naturally comes on beautifully laminated paper which isn’t required in most states but not illegal to lie to you.

Another company trolls the patent office and when it sees you have a new patent they will send you a nice copy of your patent with an offer for some beautiful patent plagues. They’ll use an official sounding name to imply it’s a service of the patent office. Their version will set you back a little but look nice on your desk or wall. I was actually pleased when they tried to trick me because I had a few Gateway patents with my name on them. I had forgotten all about it.

bbb My all time favorite is the Better Business Bureau who will call encouraging you to be a member for over $300 depending on the size of your business. They call me at least once a year and tell me they had a report from one of my customers praising our work.  While I am confident our users love us I don’t believe for second that once a year a customer goes out of their way to report positive comments.
According to a number of state Attorney Generals office the grading system used by BBB favored members over non-members.

So, read your mail carefully and be sure what you’re signing up for is legitimate and come from the actual company and not someone using deceptive practices. Ultimately, this form of greed only helps one company and that’s the United States Post Office.

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