(Addressed to you as if you were a person making their living online)
Time to pay up!
Recently preparing incoming funds and statements for delivery to my bookkeeper, a significant American Express bill was discovered . Memory didn't offer a marker, so I looked further into that envelope for a clue as to what I had purchased that month for such an amount.
The charge was from an Online Marketers Tool-Set By Subscription, Trouble Geyser, (real name altered to obscure the guilty, but you know who). I thought it was an ongoing fee for the continued use of their software, available to members by fee for a fixed time, and that the time had run out. Ah! But, not the case, they said.
I was informed that my entry fee took me through the end of this year. Well then, if I'm good through December, why the charge? That entry fee was hefty.
A Tariff Guzzler finance person on the phone was asked about this mystery charge, and I received an immediate, though disappointing, response. It was a pre-fab answer, as you will read.
The very moment that question was answered with that formatted reply was the same time, to the micro-second, that the White Camel In The Room had it's back overburdened to collapse. It was the famous "Final Straw," and precisely when the Treasure Grabber firm's entire online marketing scheme broke through its flim-flam cover film and was seen suddenly as ludicrous. I mean embarrassingly farcical, in the way only an amateur on stage in front of thousands on opening night can turn absurd.
All at once the parasitic reality of the situation became clear, if surrealistically silly can pass for a description of "clear." Time seemed to stop as that ill-fitting, stock reply stood out as the loudest, most inane bleat in the room, pulled into use in only the manner of the scripted who cannot at all remember her script.
A "pat answer" was given, immediately attempting to blot out, rather than answer, my quite differently shaped question. Instantaneously, at the speed of light, i recognized that answer didn't fit and I was being mislead.
I think we all know how it feels to put our money down, walk away with our purchase, then find it was a hoax perpetrated only to take our money. The word oft used is "taken." (Old school: "taken down town," as if to the darker alley ways. and pilfered)
I was informed that the charge "probably" stemmed from "that aspect" of my other email account, established when I signed on with them, at their urging, with another of their tools (I refuse to mention but can be compared with Monster Foul Up). It couldn't; I didn't. That data is unchanged. Translation: "ya da, ya da, ya da...".
Huh? I'm sorry. What did you marketing geniuses just say to me? Did I hear right? This additional money being charged to my account "PROBABLY" ...started with ..."that ASPECT" of my other email...
What ASPECT? How precise is this "PROBABLY" that she casually threw out at me? Those WORDS offered by way of EXPLANATION in exchange for ACTUAL, not maybe, money? Sorry, nope.
And while the assumption to use those words may have been formed from seeing the collective data on my other business email (I have a few email accounts as do most, you too?), I need facts, not suppositions, when it comes to what I'm purchasing, not unlike the cashier who requires actual cash, not its possibility.
The baffling thing is why a company representative would settle for so much less than the reality of this situation. Obviously, this tactic has been working for years.
Whenever I do MY job, whether on public airwaves or for clients online, I find the best with whom to work, and do the best I can. That's the professional way. When I was on the radio as a music presenter, if I were to let even one detail slip, I'd get a call on the Hot Line and have to account for it. I understood that. It was a given, because we wouldn't think of anything less than owning up to our actions, our words, and giving our best honest effort. Holding one's self responsible requires one to adhere to higher standards.
There's too much missing data in words and phrases like "probably," "chances are," "in all likelihood," and other evasive responses. Whenever I get runaround words when dealing with significant monetary investment, alerts go off inside like a submarine in war maneuvers.
Right away I know I'm not dealing with a business I can count on nor have faith in.
At the same time, I may not want to admit it. Perhaps it was enough money that I don't want the further distress of feeling the fool. There's turmoil inside, until I stop resisting. Then, it's as plain as can be.
Finally, fool or student, fist unclenched, heart open, I have to admit to myself: I don't want to continue my association with anything that any heartless, moneygrubbing prefabricated newbie actors (bad liars), or the reps in dinosaur-suits that hired them, are pitching. Why did that take so long? (Answer: blinded by desire.)
I should have noticed that clue hidden there in the feeling of needing to take a shower I had after seeing each of their spokesperson's videos, after each of their too oft repeated Inner Circle tenets and catch phrases, the obvious retreat in company policy from black hats to white hats, the further Platinum, Gold and Elite money levels established well before the bugs are removed from each level of access to the software...
But now... Whoa! Once that box of wrong doing is opened up, the plaque that held it all in place loses its grip and lets the rest slide right out.
All over the place.
Here comes more. I never did like their shoddy manner of teaching. I would have preferred a more distinct, orderly outline for study. Essentially they throw you in the bug pool and leave it up to you to figure out how to make the software swim. Too often it sinks, did I mention that?
At Tariff Guise, they have a nice collection of knowledge. Unfortunately, there's no real Lesson Plan, no leadership, no direction. Other than that Sink or Swim policy, I mean.
And boy is it breezy in there! There are numerous holes in the information. And infuriatingly lagging updates. While I was offered help, techs are slow (sometimes days) to get back to you because they're software simply isn't finalized while the internet never sleeps, constantly grows, reformulates. Often the out-dated software just doesn't work, then they might mention it two or three days, weeks later.
This slow-as-molasses reaction time is absolutely maddening to show-MUST-go on types. But the only show they know is the one: standing in front of a green screen and pitching another app to make up for the inadequacey of their own programs.
At best the Tarnished Geezer company, software and schemes are not dependable. This pulls its integrity into an area of High Doubt, a zone in which there is no longer trust. Many say out loud that TG released their product before it was completely bug free. Others say the original software was intended to cheat the system, but had to be changed or its users could be banished from the net for six months. These are lingering queries that have never been honestly responded to.
In fact, where, among the earnest promises of easy profits, was the honesty? While they pitched, "It's Easy," it is not at all. Great effort is required. No one could EVER honestly describe Social Media Marketing, its Search Engine Focused Strategies, the learning of methods to make videos that will actually be watched, the hundreds of forms to master and the thousands of other components of doing business online as "easy." It ain't.
The very ones who did make that claim of effortless income, in actuality, later told us that we could make money because it is NOT easy. We were told that prospective clients' eyes would glaze over in fear, as they pondered how hard and time consuming it could be, establishing and maintaining an online social presence.
That part is true. When talking about the diversity of social sites and how to use them, clients often DO think, "it's too much! I don't have time!" Once they see online work as too hard, we were taught, "you've got them." This pitch completely contradicts their original assurances to us, given at the time WE were thinking, "this seems too hard."
How many other promises were manufactured to keep questions quiet while pushing their suite of not-ready-for-prime-time products, one wonders. They lost our trust; gone, evaporated.
Of course online marketing is not easy. Doing business on the internet is far too broad to be "easy." We know this only now, AFTER we bought in to the TG BS.
We sure didn't know it then. We handed over our money for this guaranteed new, easy way to make more money. Then, once inside the Tragic Gate, one learns the hard reality: You've been had.
Inside, one becomes all too aware that, among the fractured software and complicated, murky instructions, there are coaches available, by appointment, to assist with the software. Coaches? In place and standing by? Dang. This proves they were aware from the start that THIS IS NOT EASY, but said it to us straight-faced, anyway. Pre-meditated misinformation from the start. Again, dang.
Perhaps I shouldn't say this but I will anyway. Making appointments for help on software sold to you as easy-but-not, then waiting, with money-paying clients on hold, for a coach to tell you what buttons to push, is a large waste of time and money. For you and your clients.
The "easy" part of all this for me is my conclusion: These Guys're not worth ANY MORE time or money. Not a second, not a cent.
I have learned a small but expensive lesson here with this misrepresented suite of "easy" applications designed by Trust Grinder, but far more valuable morals and instructions from other online groups and forums dedicated to ethical social interaction and success. having developed my own circle of strength and honorable people in online marketing, with which to really make an impact in a business' prosperity, my company will continue to move from here, staying in touch with trustworthy acquaintances made along the way, making more, rolling forward.
-- Comments, from my experience, to The Grifters on Ways to improve, things that need attention:
(MY) COACH (another thing covered in membership fee) was unreliable at best, canceling our dates numerous times at the last minute and always making an excuse, never wrong. --NEEDS FIXING
TEACHING PLANS were non existent, knowledge unstructured, thus much learning was missed, even more time wasted searching. -- NEEDS SERIOUS STAFF ATTENTION
TRUST ISSUE: Too soon we learn that the head spokes-guy, always pitching non-stop - is a Selling Head ONLY. And ALWAYS. Thus, hardly worthy of genuine confidence. It was his game to lose. Somehow (by talking about how expensive his time now is, showing videos of himself in dinosaur suits, racing cars and focusing solely on the unsympathetic goal of becoming a billionaire?) he did it, managed to lose most of us. We're left with the feeling of being his "mark" rather than a part of what he calls his "family." -- TOO LATE, THE DINO OUTFIT IS PROBABLY ONLY THE FIRST OF MANY SUITS
What we were looking for was a leader, someone we could trust.
NOT READY: The suite of application products seem to have been released in a rush, well before the bugs were worked out, with members paying for research and development as they go. if one person complains about the stuff, it can be overlooked. If three or more say it's garbage, go into the land fill business or buy a trash can. --NEEDS UPDATING, ORGANIZING AND SHOULD WORK ON ALL OPERATING SYSTEMS. ALSO - GET A GOOD WEB BUILDER.
IN FAIRNESS, reparation to unsuspecting, gullible buyers should seriously be considered. Compensation, for money laid out under false pretenses, time wasted, buggy software and many down times should be mandatory. It's only a matter of time before the class lawsuits begin. --QUIT HIDING, START HELPING.
While in the first three months of membership, aside from trying to sell their new list of marks, um members, every marketing app and set of instructions they could write on the fly, Trafficking Gabble came up with numerous so-called, finicky "updates." Their coaches held webinars, for selected members only, correcting terribly flawed information and lesson plans. Newer amendments to their fractured instructions and dishonorable win-at-any-cost philosophy appeared randomly on the home web site. Applications and strategies, which are really work-arounds or corrections (repeat: R&D paid for by earlier fleeded sheep) also stacked up. The email avalanche is another story. It was abusively non-stop.
They haven't learned a thing about integrity, now preaching a new "Building business and community" sales sub philosophy while continuing to pitch these corrections and improvements as "newer, easier." And they are none of that. Just as before. Real philosophy: be a Bazillionaire, whatever the loss in morals and integrity.
New hordes of eager-faced Social Media Marketers, fresh from glitzy, baloon laden pep talk seminars, are arriving every day, focused on prosperity and experiencing disappointment. Didn't want 'em to think they're the only ones taken downtown, as the rest of us were.
Truth be told, Social Marketing is not easy but you CAN do it. And look for people to work with who reek of integrity.