I reviewed a site today and discovered a new advertising technique – and if it’s on one site, it’ll be on plenty more.
I clicked on a menu option and instantly got a popup telling me I had the “blue screen of death” and giving me a number to call. It disabled my ability to close the window and I needed to use the task manager to close it down.
Out of curiosity I rang the number (09) 280 6231 which was answered with a bland “Computer Support” and when I tried to find out more about the company I was told it was a large international company and I’d come through to their main support desk – with an Auckland number, yeah, right!Continue reading
We have a new entrant in the dodgy directory stakes: NZ Business Guide. I was asked to authorise a new listing and our account had somehow been “backdated 2 years”. That’s curious – the domain was registered for the very first time in April 2012.
I asked the woman who phoned who the company was owned by and she didn’t know. I asked who had interviewed her and she only knew her as “Natasha”. I suggested that perhaps she should do some homework before she took a job – to ensure the company would be able to pay her, if nothing else.
So, here’s what I know about the NZ Business Guide
- The domain was registered in April 2012 for a single year, the owners possibly don’t intend to have the site up for the full 2 years that they are billing their customers for. Take a peek at the whois info for NZ Business Guide
- The “way back machine” which archives copies of websites hasn’t even found the site yet: http://wayback.archive.org/web/*/http://www.nzbusinessguide.co.nz
- Google knows next to nothing about the site and they have no inbound links: https://www.google.co.nz/webhp?q=info:www.nzbusinessguide.co.nz
- The site uses a stock wordpress template (probably free) which are readily available on the internet – they were too lazy to even edit the template.
- It looks like they’ve planning on adding a classifieds site in the near future. Towards the end of may they installed the ClassiPress plugin, added a logo and moved on: classifieds.nzbusinessguide.co.nz
What I don’t know is
- Who is Danny Kariam – I was left “on hold” while the operator asked around the office to try and find out who he is. As the website registrant I had expected him to be either the owner or the IT guy. Apparently not. Its not often Google comes up short on people’s names but apparently this guy is unique!
- Who is Kurt Weber? The address suggests a link with Kurt Weber Tiling but there are no exact matches.
I have no idea of this directory will “take off” and provide value to customers who sign up but on the basis of their current “SEO” or search engine optimisation efforts I’d suggest putting off a decision for a few months to see how they shape up.
I just had two calls from “Mary” saying she was doing a More FM survey on what kids do at school and we could win prizes for the best one. Didn’t sound right. Survey people don’t usually call from a cellphone to a cellphone. When queried about this she said it was the best she could do “when the phones are down”.
I asked if there was anything on the More FM website that talked about the survey. “Yeah”, when I said I was looking at the website and could she tell me where to find it she hung up.
Her number is 022 xxx 3435 (obscured because I don’t want to create more problems).
If it is legit I’ll remove this post but its after business hours so I wanted to put a warning out now because she is targeting children.
They contacted a client and tried to sign him up with a free extra year listing.
You’d think they could get the country’s name written right – New Zealand and not New zealand!
The site is registered to an Aryan Gill and the emails (firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com) don’t link to anything – which I always find curious. The phone number (given as 64 2 2102218059 and 64 21 02218059) links to a very busy account on Sella who is selling aviation equipment, property and employing a chef for Sangeet Indian Cuisine in Manukau.
What then catches my attention is what happens when you use Google to search for “NZKeyList” and you get 20 results where there should be 1 for every page in the site. 2 of the results link to this warning on Twitter:
Why also would the search button on the screen be called “NBOsearchbutton.gif”?
If you look at their Contact Us page there is a form to fill in but not postal address or phone number. Their About Us page is insultingly bare.
I’d be really interested if anyone knows who this Aryan Gill really is because until then this directory is tainted by its association with NBO.
I’ve just been alerted to another “brand new” directory with barely any content, hardly indexed by Google (check this out – not promising). Funny how it is brand new but they are selling “renewals”.
I took a look through the site and they give no hint of the people behind their directory. Their phone numbers don’t appear to be linked to any other business:
The domain registration information is hidden and I would be wary of any company that doesn’t want you to know where they are physically located. Their “information pack” and “listing form” both omit a physical or postal address.
I was curious about how they had managed to get advertising for such a new site and cheekily started this twitter conversation
Its not hard to get accepted for Adsense advertising, or Adbrite or any of the others. So why have they got “fake” advertising on the site?
Read Motella’s post: A New Dodgy Business Guide?
The NZ Herald’s Sideswipe column raises the alarm on a “Who’s Who New Zealand” which is using questionable techniques to lure advertisers.
Roger writes: “Someone called Jessica Smith has faxed us here in Ngaruawahia to tell us that our ‘business’ has been selected to be included in the 2010/2011 edition of ‘Who’s Who New Zealand’.
Our candidacy was approved on April 9 and Jessica tells us that this was done ‘by the Managing Director from information obtained from researched executive and professional listings’. This is very flattering but I am not sure how they arrived at this information.
Marist Brothers listed in the Waikato phone book is actually a two-man community of Catholic religious Brothers.”
Vanity must be the last reason for any company to advertise anywhere. Just because you’ve been “selected” doesn’t mean the publication is any good or that you will get value for money.
If you are contacted by this company please leave your feedback – are they legitimate but have lame marketers or is there a REAL problem?
BidNZ is an auction site that has recently been launched extremely quietly but boasts a good number of auctions. Of concern are forum posts claiming that their telemarketers have been trying hard to get people’s email addresses. I guess it can’t be spam if they plead that “on Feb xth you gave your email over the phone”.Continue reading