INTERNET CORPORATION LISTING SERVICE
This organization sells a service in which they sign your web site up to search engines. The service is minimal, probably run by software, and should be very little effort to the proprietor. We have no complaint with them making a living doing a service for people who are too dumb to do it for themselves.
The problem we have with ICLS is the way they send promotion. The mailing looks every bit like a bill for a service you already have subscribed to. Both sides of the billing form have the same information, but only ONE side has the line, "THIS IS NOT A BILL. THIS IS A SOLICITATION..." If you look at the other side, you might conclude that this is something you or someone in your company subscribed to, and you would pay it.
How much would you lose? Only $37.50. ICLS knows that the average person will just drop the issue if they catch on, considering how little was paid out. Also, many people will just pay it and never know the difference. Our experience with these kind of people is that they will refund your cash immediately rather than face the Feds on fraud charges.
When you receive a bill in the mail, ask your people if it is something you REALLY ordered. ICLS is at least putting the one line on one side of the form. Some of these tricky folks don't even do that. The service rendered by ICLS is enough to justify the cost in court, but other services do far more for the money, and there are software packages out there that do far more for the investment.
Frankly, I could do what ICLS is offering in under and hour on 14 search engines, AND with more targeting factors added in. I notice at their Web Site that ICLS does not sign you up to www.dmoz.com, which is the database used by many of the other search engines which they sign you up to. Interesting omission.
Furthermore; your META tags and content will do far more to get you high on the search engines. What ICLS offers in no way assures that you will place high on the search engines. You may hire an agent to get you into a photo shoot in Hollywood, but if you have warts, you will never hear from anyone wanting to hire you.
So, bear down on the HTML code and META tags, add a free search engine to your site, and tell your webmaster to do the "sign up" on the search engines for you. He is a lot more likely to do what is good for you because he knows you and your product or service far better.
DOMAIN REGISTRY OF AMERICA
Here is another clever group. They offer a very legitimate service registering domain names. They get your data in a perfectly legal way, and then they send you a letter telling you that if you do not update the registration of your domain name, you will lose it. That happens to be true. But, the letter is loaded to sound like you are their customer. Many people use register.com to register their domain name, and their URL sounds similar to Domain Registry of America and could be confused as the same by the novice on the Web.
I have received at least two direct mailings from them. Their letter is a "Notice" as the title of the letter states. Now, that could easily call for action, what with the dire consequences of losing one's domain name. There is, to their credit I suppose, one line saying the letter is not a bill. That meets legal requirements.
I also turned the letter over, and the fine print statement, which was VERY long, was extremely tiny print. I do not believe I have ever seen such fine print as a legal commitment, which they call, "Registration Agreement."
Now, I will grant you that everything they say and claim would pass in a court of law, but there must be thousands of people who receive the letter who pay up at once, thinking they are paying their previous domain host. Once they pay, they are moved from thier former domain registrar to Doman Registry of America.
This one is not as grievous as the item at the top of this page, but we learn something from their letter. At least you may be receiving something of value, until they file Chapter 11 anyway. Indeed, we have to wonder about the best of them these days when we hear of the technology companies that come in a flash, convince us to join the masses of happy groupies, and then go belly up with our cash in their hand. Life is not fair, and we just have to know that we will come up the victim once in a while.
But, let's all see if we can minimize our loses, OK? The domain registering prices at DROA are too good to be true, as far as I am concerned. Will they be able to keep this company alive and profitable at the prices they offer? I chose to stay with register.com because I believe you get what you pay for. Also, we all need to read letters all the way through before paying up. Call, and ask questions, like, "Are you in fact register.com?" Ask them for your customer or account number with them. Ask for the page online where you must enter your password to see your account. If they hum and haw at this and talk about an easy way to register, or the system has been revamped to make it easier to use, hang up and throw their letter in the round file at once.
Wait, do tell all your family about the letter in question, and tell them never to pay these people. If you have old folks on the Web, tell them to NEVER pay something that looks like a bill until they call you and read the letter to you. And, of course, your regular provider may send a letter also. You do not want to pitch that one.
A WORD ABOUT SPAMMERS:
By the way, there are getting to be a bunch or tricky Spam scum who are doing the above by e-mail. The difference is, they ARE pure fraud, while Domain Registry of America does offer a real service. The spammers may even use the letter head and logos, down to advertising graphics, of your regular domain registering host. If in ANY doubt, go online at your regular host, and send e-mail to their Contact people. Drop in the e-mail you received, and ask them if it was from them or not. If in doubt, do not even send mail to the spammer asking to be removed. Their spam system will NOT remove you. Instead, their system will use your response to confirm that you are a real web mail address, and your name will simply be sent on to millions of more spammers.
E-mail spammers are worthy of death in my book. They are filthy minded rubbish who should be under the watchful eye of some Robin Hood hacker who can take them AND their server OUT. I do believe the day has arrived when we can use the services of mercenary killers of servers and spammers' computers. They are the prime promoters of porn, and they no longer restrain themselves on the first page up. They send graphics with pure filth on them, and kids can be introduced to porn this way.
If you know a spammer, see if you can destroy his little world somehow. Don't tell anyone you did it. The Feds will protect him before they will protect you every time. There are some very warped views in this world and the USA about "rights." It is now my right to filthy anyone's home with spam. The US government is going to be one of the last in the world to control spam. Too dumb to figure.
Do a search on Google, find out who the biggest spam hosts are, and boycott them. Tell your friends. Kill them financially. If we all stopped buying from these spammers, once the diddle heads in Washington DC finally get spam under control, the spam hosts would die over night. That would be wonderful news. But, enough percentage of fools buy from spammers to make it profitable. As long as the world has a good supply of gullible fools, spam will be with us. And, that goes for phone and FAX spam as well.
BACK TO THE TITLE PAGE OF PIANO SITE