Sunday, July 8, 2007

Project Payday Scam? Or Tar Baby?

I just signed up for & what a mistake that was. It's supposed to be a way to make modest money online, but what a tangled web they weave. To find out about this opportunity, I clicked on a Google AdWords ad after a search & the ad said free free free:

Actual Google ad:

Make Money - Free
You won't get rich but you can make
a realistic $200 to $5,000 a month.

I was curious, because it sounded too good to be true, but the site had a good sales pitch & excellent graphics and video testimonial. All you have to do is give them your contact information & away you go! I did, but was frustrated when I saw the page it led to was another page with more Chinese finger cuffs.

The whole time you're on one of their pages, it says offer ends tonight at midnight, then they display today's date, but if you come back tomorrow, the date changes again to whatever date that day is. This is to create a false sense of urgency. It's even got a timer on the page, I got interrupted, so I wasn't able to finish in 30 minutes, so when I got back to page, all I had to do was refresh the page, and it started the clock over. That reminds me of the hard sell infomercials you see on late night TV, "Call in the next ten minutes, & you'll receive this extra bonus..." Please. Three years later, they're still running that same commercial. Their window of 10 minutes, just became 3 years. Nice.

Okay, what was supposed to be free is now $34.95 or you can sign up for one of the free offers below the page said. It just takes a minute, and you'll get instant access to Project Payday below, then you'll have all the goodies on the free offer, plus you'll get the stuff they were talking about to begin with (a complete online money making system). I chose to sign up for the free website. I was starting to get a little excited, though I had reservations because of the runaround I'd already gotten. My store was this one:

So, I signed up for my free dollar store website. Oh, now wait a minute, it's free except for $1.99 shipping. Hm, why can't an online store just give me everything I need to get started online? When I clicked on some of the links on that page to get a more complete understanding of what was going on, the web page thought I was leaving them without paying the $1.99 shipping, so out comes a pop up saying: Okay, for you, it's half price: .97 cents. I was frustrated but thought, "I'm almost done, just pay the measly .97 cents. Then, they charged my Visa card $1.04. Ow, another surprise, small, but the pattern is clear. I got my website: In order to activate it, I had to go to my email then, confirm that I accepted all the terms. What was advertised as a free website had become $1.04, now they are telling me it's not really free because you're actually signing up for a monthly charge, not a free website like they said. It's only a two week trial, then your credit card will be automatically hit for almost $39.95 a month. I went back to get my free business ebook that I had originally came to the site for and it wouldn't let me have the free book until I agreed to bend over every month for $39.95.

Here's their fine print:
"Also, by continuing you understand this offer includes a 14-Day Free Trial to the website, which can help you create an additional income using the tools and strategies inside. After the 14-Day Free Trial period, you will continue to enjoy full membership at an affordable $39.95 per month billed automatically to your credit card. "

I felt taken. I did everything I could to cancel everything, but I am still not sure if I did, so I still might be hit with that free business for $39.95 a month.

But Glen, can you make money? Yes, I suppose if you want to market this way, you could make some money. But how could you live with yourself. I am so over It's a tar baby, at best.

What companies were comfortable enough with the marketing tactics that they are in cahoots with them?

I can't believe companies like & are okay with this kind of smoke & mirrors marketing. It's bait and switch like a used car salesman in a plaid jacket complete with cigar. It's a shame, because the marketers & webmasters have great talent. Their site looks great, but in my opinion, they took the low road.

Everything is legal and disclosed in faded grey fine print on the site, however I believe they could have made better choices because it's clear that they are very talented. They are not a scam, but they are a tar baby from where I sit.