I feel a Reputation Company Tricked Me

Before I divulge my story & the name of this reputation company that I feel tricked me into trusting them & then they took my site from a pretty good rating (from regular people who came to my site) to a terrible rating, I have a couple of questions for all entrepreneurs who only have sites online. That means you don’t run an offline business.

  1. Somewhere on your site do you tell people that you place a cookie on their browser? If not, why don’t you & do you feel it should be a policy that all sites should divulge this? I vaguely remember hearing about this about 10 years ago, but I’ve NEVER heard this mentioned in the last 5-8 years & I’ve never seen a site tell me they put cookies on my browser.

  2. On your contact page do you divulge your home address if you work out of your home or do you feel it’s 100% necessary to give an address if you aren’t an offline company & it’s never needed unless a client asks?

  3. Do you feel you should put your last name on your site?

  4. Do you feel that it’s wrong to privatize your domain b/c this makes you seem untrustworthy?

  5. Do you “somehow” prove that the testimonials on your site are real? (Don’t ask, I feel it’s a stupid question too)

  6. If you are selling a product that could make others a lot of money, do you have a disclaimer saying “this is NOT a quick rich scheme” or “this is not a guarantee for everyone”?

Thanks

Michelle

That’s your opinion & thank GOD everyone has their own opinion. No one person is right or wrong because whatever works for you doesn’t mean it works for me.

[/quote]

You’re in Toronto, therefore you’re in Canada.

Canada has some of the strictest privacy laws in the world and has had those for years.

One could argue that your servers are in the USA, etc… but at the end of the day why bother when you can cover your ass with a simply privacy policy.

Google PIPEDA and do some reading (you’re 6 years behind the legal times as it is), it could save you a ton of time and money in the long run.

The simple act of placing a cookie on a user’s machine without telling them that you will do so in your privacy policy can put you in violation and get you dragged before a tribunal.

http://www.priv.gc.ca/cf-dc/2003/cf-dc_030416_7_e.cfm

Relevant details below

An individual made two allegations against an airline company:

and (2) that the company collects the personal information of its Web site visitors without their knowledge and consent by placing a cookie on their computers’ hard drives.

As for the second allegation, the company admitted that it did not include in its privacy policy nor on its Web site information about the cookies it uses.

On the second count, the Commissioner found that the company had failed to meet the requirement for knowledge and consent regarding its use of cookies on its Web site, and thus had contravened Principle 4.3.

Firstly, I didn’t say they were out of courtesy, I stated explicitly that they exist to inform the visitor of their rights. There is a difference between doing something on the basis of making the visitor feel at ease and doing something to inform the user of their rights to privacy on the basis that it’s a legal requirement. In regards to it not having come up with you before, I would highlight that it’s well versed around the web (especially on websites dealing with legal requirements relating to the web).

While you may have indeed missed the issue for whatever reason, the fact still remains that a privacy policy is under data protection laws a legal requirement. In respect to LLC’s themselves, as far as I am aware, all LLC’s (alike other formated businesses such as LTD and PLC’s) are required to declare their VAT or tax registration information, their business address and an accurate point of contact (which would be the name of the individual whom is responsible for any problems that may occur), though this is something you would have to verify (however if it’s the same in the USA as it is for the UK - declaration is mandatory, not voluntary).

PS: I’m not trying to be snarky, I’m just pointing out facts. You approached the WOT on the intention of getting verified and they denied you due to the way you portrayed yourself which under normal circumstances could / would be deemed suspicious. Making statements like “loads of people lie about their names” doesn’t really do you or your business any justice (or enhance your credibility), and perhaps I don’t understand the mechanics of YOUR business or your industry specifically, however I do entirely have sympathy for an organisation which is only trying to-do what is in the best interests of their visitors and thereby should not be willing to make exceptions for those who refuse to adhere to standards which they require in order to consider a business “safe” - and the things mentioned are credible questions.

The fact you are making straw-man arguments proclaiming that I was insinuating that a lack of address means an increased opportunity to be ripped off is proof enough that you are totally missing the point. The lack of disclosure and transparency does mean that as a side effect of being anonymous, there is an increased risk for customers that should an issue occur, the ability to track down and resolve such issues would be of an increased difficulty - which was my point. There is a benefit to being part of the web of trust and that person you spoke to was right, it shows that you have passed a minimum set of requirements that can help individuals differentiate between legitimate businesses and scam artists (and while you may have encountered little - there are thousands of them about, it’s not a matter of paranoia). You clearly have a different opinion as to what you should be able to disclose, and that’s fine… but what isn’t fine is that you are now proceeding to complain about the WOT as that they didn’t give you prior notice or special treatment (neither they were required too) - you are responsible for due diligence. :slight_smile:

In regards to it being a “friendly review” or your viewpoint of “looking at a person’s intent rather than cold hard checkpoints to determine a person or company’s worth or trustworthiness”, it’s worth pointing out that not only is the WOT a professional organisation (not some promotional review site), it’s rather hard to determine the intent of an individual when the individual themselves is veiled behind a wall of anonymity. Their job is to protect the public and as they don’t know your real name, they have no idea as to your background (you could have run multiple businesses into the wall for all they know!). See things from their angle, they don’t know you.

PS: Are you saying that they proceeded to review your site without permission? Because approaching them and proceeding to organize for your site to be reviewed does qualify as signing up, the exchange of information may have occurred without a form, but it’s still considered by definition the same - a verbal agreement.

No laws are globalized, they are always on a country by country basis (with exceptions for places like Europe who have laws applying to numerous nations). In regards to what country it applies too, it applies to ANY country whom you have financial or business dealings with… as in if you are in the USA and violate a UK privacy / data protection law (in respect to a client who lives and works in the UK), you can be pursued by an international lawsuit for violating that law.

True, but in the “real world” we agree to contracts and laws without thinking about them (as a consumer), whenever you go into a store and make a purchase, you make a legally binding spoken agreement, whenever you visit a website you agree immediately to their terms of usage agreement (by default) and any policies like in respect to privacy are there simply to inform you of your rights, not to ask your permission, if you didn’t know this, it’s time to pay attention! :slight_smile:

Many of them aren’t “rules” as much as their “laws”, rules are made to be broken where as laws being broken can land you in a jail cell (or out of pocket due to impending lawsuits). Perhaps you don’t agree with all of them or simply weren’t aware of them but I can say for sure that stuff like accessibility law, privacy / data protection laws, IP legislation and their kin are ALL actionable. And like with all laws, ignorance doesn’t qualify as an excuse, as a business owner you are responsible for ensuring that you are aware of any laws and requirements that go with owning a business, it’s pretty much that simple.

As for the Web of trust, sorry, you aren’t going to like me here but I have to agree with them entirely. The point of the WOT program is to authenticate the trustworthiness of a business (and by this they mean the likelihood someone could get scammed), the criteria they have posted I would agree with and it makes perfect sense that they would fail you on principle. We have already established that a privacy policy page in many countries is a LEGAL requirement, as for your domain and last name being hidden… it doesn’t exactly scream trustworthiness does it? While I understand the sensitivity of your job, you CANNOT expect anyone to proclaim that an individual who masks their identity (to a point that an issue over payment from either end could result in them bailing and not being able to be found in the real world) can be considered a “safe” standard to conduct business by (if you were a LLC, LTD or PLC you would actually be forced to declare such details).

While I can understand your being upset at the way they dealt with your case, they do not exist to please you or your business (or anyone else for that matter), they have specific checkpoints and core requirements in place to enhance the safety of people who purchase or deal with that business (to confirm that the visitors will be at the lowest risk possible). As for your two points about how you should have been told what you would be requiring before signing yourself up… you’re a business woman, surely you realise that as a customer it’s YOUR responsibility to investigate something before hitting the sign up button? It’s obvious from anyone who’s examined the scheme and done their research that their NOT a security issue scanner like McAfee (which does something entirely different), their role is simply to act as a consumer protection service doing human powered examinations towards how trustworthy a website is (hint: this is NOT security) based on certainly commonly accepted principles (such as transparent business practices). If I was reviewing your website I would fail it on the principle that you’re going to a large effort to cloak your business and thereby there’s no method to determine that the owner is actually worthy of trust. Sorry, but they’re right and you’re wrong in this case. :slight_smile:

Perhaps it’s naive to believe that websites about starting an escort business, or becoming an escort, will have anything other than a rough ride with an organisation like Web Of Trust, whose entire raison d’etre is nitpicking to the nth degree to ensure everything is squeaky clean (as defined by the ever-changing opinions of its contributors)?

They are never going to ‘get’ your business propositions in a thousand years! Praise is out of the question, realistically. It’s always going to be an unwinnable war.

I looked at your websites and read the thread on WOT. I felt the criticisms of your websites were, on the whole, reasonably open-minded, if somewhat ‘kneejerk’, but you did react quite aggressively to their comments. That effectively shut the door on the opportunity to explain your situation more diplomatically (ie more persuasively), attract more user ratings and perhaps increase your score in the manner that WOT suggested.

On the positive side (from your point of view), what proportion of people attach any importance to the plethora of ‘Trust’, ‘Approved’, ‘Award Winning’ or ‘Secure’ type ratings that organisations like Web of Trust sell? How many people download their Add On/Toolbar thing? Relatively few, I would think, in the great scheme of things? I had never heard of Web of Trust before I saw your post, and I won’t be downloading their rating Add On, or anybody elses.

I don’t think people looking for info about starting an escort business or becoming an escort will be surprised to see a poor rating from an organisation like WOT so, whilst the criticism might seem unfair to you, perhaps it won’t actually have a significant effect on your sales?

Paul

So here’s my story about WOT - web of trust…

Based on my own experience, this is NOT a reliable site or program at all! It is flawed.

I used to trust WOT & used to have it as an add-on to my Fx, until it started causing problems with Fx - then I disabled it.

Then one day a couple of weeks ago in an adult group, one of WOT’s staff (or owners), Deborah started trying to sell us on their seals & badges. She also started making bold statements about the adult industry, so she got people in the group upset.

After I stuck up for Deborah because the people in the group were insinuating WOT is a scam, I started speaking to her one-on-one. She explained the pricing of their badges/seals & then told me to post my site on their forum so it could be rated & that’s when my pretty good rating went downhill from there. She made it seem like it was going to be a very positive thing to get my site rated by her forum.

NOT!

I was attacked by the guys there who I feel do nothing but sit there all day & rate sites. Even the BBB treats you more fairly.

I feel that if they don’t like the content of your site, it doesn’t matter how many positive things are said about it, they will ignore the positive testimonials & pick the site to shreds. I tried to answer/address all of their questions & they still alluded to the fact that my site is a scam & untrustworthy, when NOTHING could be further from the truth.

Their complaints were about the lack of a privacy policy page, my last name not being present, my domain being privatized & the fact that my webcopy told people they could make a lot of money being an escort or running an escort agency.

The only thing I learned about which I will implement soon, is the privacy policy page.

Even after telling them why I have to privatize my domain they didn’t care.

Before privatization even existed, I once had someone take my phone number & place it all over the net. I had to replace the phone number & figure out where the calls were coming from, all which wasn’t easy.

Last name - I already addressed that above, & I see tons of sites where the person writing has no last name listed & they aren’t even in my industry.

They didn’t even use common sense as to why I didn’t have it & after I told them why - AGAIN, they didn’t care & wouldn’t listen.

They accused me of misleading people via my webcopy, so because people in the escort industry can make tons of money, that somehow means I’m lying!!!

This just goes to show you how these people have no right to judge a site if they aren’t even smart enough to look at the industry of the site & rate based on various different factors.

You CAN’T rate an adult site the same as a mainstream site. It’s ignorant to even think you can.

AND one guy on there said people should stay AWAY from our legal site that is meant to help people in the escort industry. Just because we aren’t licensed lawyers (we tell everyone that on the site too.)

They didn’t even make any suggestions, they just all gathered around like a pose & ripped all 3 sites to shreds & they did this without even reading the testimonials. The testimonials they accused of being fake. And they also didn’t listen to my audio on the site which speaks volumes for who I am as a person.

It became clear to me that they were a bunch of control freaks who have way too much power.

Why in the world would a scam fake site go onto a public forum & ask to be rated LOL, common sense says you’d stay far away from anyone rating you.

So, my pretty good rating at 75 (from REAL PEOPLE who I NEVER approached who must have rated me on their own) went down to 51 & 59.

One even wrote a comment on WOT to “stay away”. My god, they weren’t even competition, can you imagine what harm a business’ competitors could do to a small business If they got tons of people to rate you poorly on WOT?

I was stupid enough to believe this company’s seal/badge was a well run system & now people who come to my site & don’t understand the types of people who are behind their forum will believe whatever WOT tells them.

When I told Deborah I want my original rating back, her response to me was to keep trying to convince these people on the forum I’m professional. LOL, that’s what I did the first time around & did it work? NO. I even wasted time again & tried a 2nd time, but it was no use. They were clearly ignorant blanks. You can’t convince ignorant judgmental people of anything. I learned this years ago.

One even posted a story of how his buddy in the military hired a hooker & how terrible that experience was, so he’d NEVER rate me positively. What that has to do with ME & my company is beyond me AND what’s even more amazing is that I’m trying to help clean up the escort industry & put Codes of Conduct & Ethics in place & they don’t care, they just all judge with the same brush.

This just goes to show you how flawed web of trust’s ranking system is to let people like that have the power to be both judge & jury & bring down a site b/c of their personal biases. I thought I was being judged on how professional & ethical I was. How 98% of all my clients are happy & satisfied with what they purchase & my excellent customer service.

I am a busy person & I don’t have time for this nonsense. Had I known this was going to happen, I would NEVER have asked their forum to rank my site. I feel I was misled & I hold both WOT & Deborah responsible for what happened b/c the owner (Sami Tolvanen) knows full well what happened & they love to parrot the same similar thing…

"Please remember that our company only computes reputations for websites based on user ratings. The reputation tells you how much other people trust your website. Requesting reviews on the forum is a great way to get more people to share their opinion of the site, but there’s obviously no guarantee that they’ll find the site trustworthy.

Dealing with the responses on the forum can certainly be annoying, but since you already started the discussion, I believe the best way to improve the reputation of your sites is to continue addressing any concerns people may have about the sites."

Then you know what, if that’s the case, I SHOULDN’T have been told to go to the forum in the first place if they know these are the kinds of people who are there & would be discriminatory. I could have just left well enough alone & my score would have been fine. I feel like I was a lamb led to the slaughter & what’s worse is that I had trusted them & her.

Even afterward back in the group when I went to tell the guys they had been right about their suspicions, Deborah made it seem like I was just complaining because I didn’t get a 100 rating. She’s just ignoring what I’m saying & trying to put it back on me.

She couldn’t explain why my solid rating of 75 can suddenly go down to 51 & 59 in less than 2 days & how WOT (or she) doesn’t see anything wrong with this picture.

One of their forum members even put me down saying I shouldn’t even be running a business b/c I didn’t understand one of their acronyms which I found out afterward meant “Super Cookie”. YES, all entrepreneurs know what all the techi acronyms stand for.

And I happen to know a lot, but he’s right, I don’t know what a Super Cookie is, nor do I care. All I care about is that I’m not doing anything unethical with the cookie & I’m NOT. The only sites I know of that don’t place cookies on your browser, are personal sites, or business sites that are so small, they don’t know what they are doing or don’t have anything dynamic on it.

After all this went down, I remembered that in the past I’ve also seen WOT’s fraud, scam warnings on sites that I buy from & they are also NOT scammers. I had to tell them they were on there & somehow they got the warning removed which has me thinking maybe Deborah did this on purpose because they don’t like adult sites. Others online also mention that WOT will clear up a business’ rating if they approach WOT, but is she doing anything to reverse what she did to me? Nope!

So in the end, not only did WOT lose my business, they ruined it too & people need to be aware of what goes on.

The guys in the adult group think WOT is spying on people who have the add-on. I don’t have an opinion on that one way or another, but I sure have an opinion about how THEY run their business.

  1. I should have been told what they would be looking at or requiring BEFORE I was sent to their forum (the lion’s den).

  2. This isn’t a real solid program like McAfee’s that looks at real issues that indicate whether a site is a scam or fraudulent. I already have that program & pass because there is nothing wrong with my sites.

So there’s my story in a nutshell.

Thanks for listening.

Michelle

I’m not sure where I first picked it up or how accurate a statement it is, but:
“Ignorance of the Law is no excuse.” - i.e. - something done while you “just didn’t know” doesn’t give you a free pass. Fair? Not IMHO. But then again I have my own opinions about the judicial system.

As far as “making it known”, I don’t think it’s required to be out there in obvious plain sight, eg. If you look at the bottom of this page you’ll see a link Privacy that goes to SitePoint’s Privacy Policy page. The link isn’t exactly eye-catching and I imagine most visitors don’t even know of its existence let alone visit it. But it covers the disclosure requirement.

Hi Michelle

Regarding privatizing domains (intellectual property rights) and privacy polices, IT law can be pretty daunting.

I recommend a good introductory book for this called IT Law ISBN: 978-1-902505-80-0
http://www.amazon.com/Law-ISEB-Foundation-John-Antell/dp/1902505808/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1282126648&sr=8-1

Although published through the British Computer Society, the book covers international IT law and is a great eye-opener.

There is a large section on privacy.

Cheerz,
Wil.

So I find it interesting that hardly anyone responded to this post & I know there’s more than 4 netrepreneurs on this forum.

So this begs the question as to whether they are just like me & they either do what I do for their own reasons, or they are also oblivious (as I was I) as to some of the so called “rules” of maintaining a site.

I have VERY good reasons behind all of my decisions above EXCEPT for the policy page which I didn’t know I needed.

In my next post I will detail what happened so shadowbox & others will be aware of what happened to me & my company.

Thank you

Michelle

Thanks Alex. Anything I write below is directed not just at you, but at anyone reading.

Well I just have to trust my registrar (1and1 I don’t trust & got away from them) that they won’t ever steal my domains, b/c I’m not about to give out my home address & phone number to the entire world.

Same with my last name. I tell everyone in my industry to use a stag name & since I don’t run an agency anymore, I disclosed my first name (had to think about it at the time), but I DON’T give out my last name. This is common sense.

Not sure what privacy laws you are referring to as I thought it was a global law, not based on country. That begs the question of whether it’s the country where you reside, country where your sever is, etc. etc.

Privacy Policy - Interesting that you say “hidden” which is exactly why I’ve probably never seen it nor cared about it as a consumer.

Re: testimonials, my clients won’t do what you mentioned. It’s just not going to happen in the escort industry & people with any common sense would understand why.

I’ll post more in a minute.

Thank you

Michelle

I would agree mostly with Unit7285.

If your site is registered safe with McAfee and/or Norton (two of the biggest anti-virus/phishing companies), your site will generally be regarded as safe to access if visitors are generally concerned about that.

I find that it’s only when people get down to entering their personal details, address, c/card that trust and security start to kick in, but that’s not applicable to your sites.

I too read the WOT forum thread and thought that most of the initial comments were reasonable and the “Spam” comment was challenged as unjustified by a thread user.

Perhaps you would get more helpful reviews and ideas for your websites if you posted on popular forums within your niche.

As your sites are clearly adult-related, you do run the risk of getting a poor score from forums and rating sites that handle a broad spectrum of genres, including those for families and kids.

Regards.

I never insinuated or said anything about your character, so please don’t put words in my mouth.

I simply responded to your comment

Where you stated that he was simply stating an opinion. I pointed out that it wasn’t an opinion, it was a fact, and provided factual links to back that up.

If you think that is an attack on you or your character then you have bigger issues to deal with.

Thanks.

The only thing I don’t think you understood was this one…

Do you feel that it’s wrong to privatize your domain b/c this makes you seem untrustworthy?


I think there is a correct balance to be struck and this is depends on your customer audience and personal preferences.
Personally, I do get put off if I get the sense that there are more adverts than content or if the adverts get in the way of the content. I’m not against what I would consider appropriate product or advert placements however.

You just don’t seem to get it, I NEVER REFUSED TO DO ANYTHING.

I just didn’t KNOW!!! You can insinuate that I’m a suspicious person all you want (with you I see it doesn’t pay to be honest & open), thank god I know who I am & that’s all that matters, is whether I know I’m a good & honest person, NOT YOUR insinuations.

Now since I keep talking & I don’t feel you (Alex) or the last person is listening (you just hear what you want to hear, not what I’m trying to say), then I will end my discussion on this matter here & now.

I certainly didn’t come on here to be treated in the same manner that I was treated with WOT. The first 2 posters were way more understanding, gracious & didn’t insinuate a thing, so thank you for that you 2.

Thanks for any education you have provided to me.

Michelle

What you are saying makes no sense to me.

If a company doesn’t HAVE to have a priivacy policy page & they are just doing it out of courtesy, then sites shouldn’t be penalized if they don’t have them AND, I DO have a T&C page. I just didn’t have a privacy policy page re: cookies.

I’ll repeat again, that I’ve never heard of this in ALL my years online & I’ve hired TONS of people including website coders, I have my legal guy & I have been a frequent member of forums forever.

So it has nothing to do with me NOT paying attention, it has to do with the fact that it’s NEVER come up before.

So I hope this will be the end of “I’m RIGHT & you ARE WRONG” posts & we will just have to agree to disagree. I don’t wish to have an argument with you.

Thank you

Michelle

I respect your points of view, but a few things to consider:

  1. You already had the full story by the time both of you read the thread & they weren’t talking about your site/business. For me it was a huge shock & so I was totally taken by surprise. Also, I was totally unaware that people judge a site based on what they said, so for me it was all nit picking & utter nonsense. Had I known this train of thought, I would have been much more prepared.

I thought everyone uses privatization on their domain, doesn’t reveal their home address, etc.

I don’t really know in which order all the extreme comments came from (first, second or third posting), all I know is I was defending my company & good name & so no, I wasn’t in a relaxed state of mind when I read what was written.

I also didn’t know there were any posts there b/c their forum doesn’t notify you of any responses, so they were sitting there for a couple of days before I came across them & that surprised me too.

So I got 3 shockers all at the same time.

Yes I am a trusting person, not to mention I’m intelligent & have common sense, so I would look at the entire picture of the site. I didn’t assume I’d be treated that way. While I don’t believe all of mainstream society welcomes me with open arms, I’ve just never been treated that way by a whole bunch of people all at once & I’ve had people review my site before, not for trustworthiness, but for design/webcopy.

AND, if you believe they wouldn’t have accepted my site well than Deborah should have known that (I mean common on) & NEVER directed me there in the first place. I still wonder if she is out to tarnish adult sites of any sort. Why else would she have come onto an adult group & started peddling her products?

  1. I guess I felt safe & secure b/c I had spoken to Deborah & was this close to forking over money, so yes, it did hit me like a ton of bricks & I don’t care what anyone says, if you tell people to stay away from a site, you are eluding to the fact that it shouldn’t be trusted & there’s something wrong with it.

  2. The guys on the adult group also believe that it won’t affect me, but I disagree. My clients are usually for the most part mainstream people who are like me, just open minded entrepreneurs who want to start this type of business. People are unfortunately distrusting in nature, especially when it comes to my industry, so if someone points a figure (even if it’s a lie), many people will believe it.

I’ve had first hand experience even from people who aren’t potential clients.

You can’t expect people to know what’s true & not true online. One of my staffers thinks like you do, but I’ve given him countless examples of how people can believe anything written online.

  1. You are correct in that not a lot of people DL WOT’s add-on, but as it becomes more popular, people will come across it & DL it. I read the reviews to the add-on on Fx’s add-on page.

  2. My hope is that regular people will continue to rate my sites like they did before & the rating will go up again.

  3. I wasn’t looking for reviews & I’m still not. I just got the idea to put the badge/seal on my site & fell for the trap. We don’t really have review forums in our industry, it’s a very niche area, but thank you for the suggestion. :slight_smile:

My last point is that I want to warn others of what could happen to them even if they aren’t in the adult industry. When taking a further look at WOT, I already read someone else’s views about the forum that mimic what happened to me. It didn’t happen to him, but he feared it would & clearly it has.

Thanks

Michelle :slight_smile:

We have a pretty comprehensive privacy policy and belive this helps customers build our trust. http://www.gravitationalfx.com/legal-stuff/

Working from home, we don’t advertise the trading address on the contact page, purely because I don’t expect customers to turn up knocking at the door. We’re not a shop-front and this is not the way we operate. Saying that, the address is not hidden and can be found on most adverts and company documents.

No. The company trades and brands itself as an entity so it would not be appropriate. Once a personal relationship has been built up with a potential customer, then of course first and last names are used.

I think there is a correct balance to be struck and this is depends on your customer audience and personal preferences.
Personally, I do get put off if I get the sense that there are more adverts than content or if the adverts get in the way of the content. I’m not against what I would consider appropriate product or advert placements however.

We rely on good third-party review sites and encourage our customers to place a review with us upon job completion. Their profile will speak for themselves.

N/A to us.

Hope this helps.

I run an ecommerce site and a web dev business, and yes we do tell them, in our privacy policy - I believe most sites do these days. The site you are posting on does:

  1. On your contact page do you divulge your home address if you work out of your home or do you feel it’s 100% necessary to give an address if you aren’t an offline company & it’s never needed unless a client asks?
    I give our company correspondence address, or our registered office address. When I was self employed working from home, I gave my home address. IMO, no address = untrustworthy. A PO Box address isn’t much better.
  1. Do you feel you should put your last name on your site?
    Depends on the site I guess - I do when appropriate - if I am writing something as being a message specifically from the director of the company, then I’ll give my surname. If I were self employed I would definitely be using my full name everywhere.
  1. Do you feel that it’s wrong to privatize your domain b/c this makes you seem untrustworthy?
    Looks shady in most cases (IMO)
  1. Do you “somehow” prove that the testimonials on your site are real? (Don’t ask, I feel it’s a stupid question too)
    Not a stupid question; it’s not hard to prove quality testimonials - photos of the person giving the testimonial really help, contact details, URLs (not a problem with businesses), full name and general location (for consumer testimonials) etc etc.
  1. If you are selling a product that could make others a lot of money, do you have a disclaimer saying “this is NOT a quick rich scheme” or “this is not a guarantee for everyone”?

No, but it sounds like you are talking about a very different market to the ones I am involved in. I think you may get some better responses if you would elaborate on the situation in more detail.

Can anyone shoot me a generic privacy policy template I can use (tweak) for my site. Just never knew I needed this before. This is the first I’m hearing of this & I’ve been in business online since 2002. Amazing.

Thanks

Michelle

Some privacy laws require you to state whether you use cookies or not (and other relevant information). While you may have only heard about it recently, most websites do have a privacy policy hidden away somewhere on the website (or held within the terms of usage agreement when you sign up for something). :slight_smile:

Your address should be visible within the WHOIS records within your domain anyway (unless you want to run the risk of domain privacy), however you aren’t required to have your address on a business website unless you are a LTD or PLC (in which most countries require you as a business to give your address along with tax number, etc) or if you are doing business in Germany (where their laws dictate an Impressum must be provided). :slight_smile:

Is it for personal or business use? If it’s for business use, full disclosure is better.

I think it’s wrong to privatize your domain because the second you allow your registrar to use their details in the registrant WHOIS record in place of your own, you are legally and knowingly (according to ICANN’s rules and dispute policy) handing over FULL ownership of your domain to the people who’s details are in your place. If you don’t maintain accurate records that are publicly visible, you don’t have any rights if your registrar were to steal your domain from you.

Link to other websites with testimonials (or ask customers to mention you on their site and give you a “bump” if they enjoyed your work), it gives citable credibility rather than just being words that could come from anywhere. Words always sound better coming from the source!

No, the chances are if someone says it’s not a get rich quick scheme, it usually is.

You should be focusing on the product and it’s benefits, not associating yourself with lesser products. :slight_smile: