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Alibi Ike

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Got this (somewhat amended) email today. How many times have they pulled this? 'We are generally flexible...' Implies they've been pulling this stunt for awhile.


Hello to everyone at ...,



My name is ... and I am the owner of .... Our site has a following of moms and dads (from New England and worldwide) who are constantly on the lookout for the best
products and services for their babies, themselves, and their home. This June we are compiling the Pregnancy Shopping Guide/Event and we have lined up exclusive sponsors who will have their products featured. We think that our guide would be incomplete without a perfect Babymoon Destination (a getaway without kids before the arrival of a new baby). We would like to know if you would be interested in being featured in our online event by providing a complimentary midweek Babymoon Getaway Package for expectant mom and her spouse (my husband and I). [/I]



We would feature a full review of ...[COLOR= rgb(102, 204, 204)]B&B[/COLOR] that would be published on our website and in the ... community as well. I know my readers from the Boston area and beyond would absolutely love the location you offer. All sponsors will be featured above the fold on ... for the duration of the event (with link to your site). We can also provide banner advertising on our website free of charge for the entire year ($320 value). You will reach thousand of affluent New England families.


We are generally flexible with the Babymoon Destination dates, we are open to two nights from Sunday to Tuesday. If you have June 5-7 open it would be convenient (for arranging a caregiver for our two year old). This is definitely a great use of a vacant room![/B]


Look at it from this perspective, even if my review would prompt only a few couples to book a vacation at [COLOR= rgb(102, 204, 204)]... Inn[/COLOR], you would already profit from this venture. With that in mind, I believe there is great potential for...and ... followers and passersby readers to become your customers after reading my review.


Please get back to me at your earliest convenience and don't hesitate to ask me any questions you may have.


Thank you!
 

IronGate

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Wow. I noticed a lack of guarantee that she would write a good review. I wonder what kind of hoops she'd be having you jump through for that.
 

Alibi Ike

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muirford

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That's a nervy email. I had one experience with a supposed industry expert who pulled a similar stunt. She was awful in person - needy, whiney, and her review was completely lifted from our website. This was in the early, early days. Later from this forum (!) I learned that she had stayed at a B&B and accused the housekeeper of theft, then found her jewelry and never apologized.
Sadly, the web just makes it easier for these parasites to multiply.
 

JBloggs

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I never get it.
I think to myself "Maybe they should give US FREEBIES to promote them!" How about that?
 

Generic

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I wonder if you should forward that email to the FTC, since the review would be in violation of the guidelines. That would constitute a paid review and they would have to disclose it.
http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/10/endortest.shtm
Complaints for violation of the FTC guidelines go https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/.
I could look and see if she mentions on her blog that all of the products she 'endorses' have paid her to do so.
.
It is required disclosure. She can't even have it as a general statement, she needs to specify in the review itself. It's in response to mommy bloggers who have been asking for things and to RCCL which gave special status and trips to people. It's basically required disclosure. And all reviewers on T/A have to agree to that as well.
 

Alibi Ike

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That's a nervy email. I had one experience with a supposed industry expert who pulled a similar stunt. She was awful in person - needy, whiney, and her review was completely lifted from our website. This was in the early, early days. Later from this forum (!) I learned that she had stayed at a B&B and accused the housekeeper of theft, then found her jewelry and never apologized.
Sadly, the web just makes it easier for these parasites to multiply..
muirford said:
Sadly, the web just makes it easier for these parasites to multiply.
Positive Spin Polly here...it also makes it easier for us to find out they're doing that.
 

Alibi Ike

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I wonder if you should forward that email to the FTC, since the review would be in violation of the guidelines. That would constitute a paid review and they would have to disclose it.
http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/10/endortest.shtm
Complaints for violation of the FTC guidelines go https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/.
I could look and see if she mentions on her blog that all of the products she 'endorses' have paid her to do so.
.
It is required disclosure. She can't even have it as a general statement, she needs to specify in the review itself. It's in response to mommy bloggers who have been asking for things and to RCCL which gave special status and trips to people. It's basically required disclosure. And all reviewers on T/A have to agree to that as well.
.
She says she was not paid but she did receive the products to review.
My experience is she asked for the products to review in exchange for a review, she wasn't chosen by the company.
 

Alibi Ike

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I never get it.
I think to myself "Maybe they should give US FREEBIES to promote them!" How about that?.
Joey Bloggs said:
I never get it.
I think to myself "Maybe they should give US FREEBIES to promote them!" How about that?
I did get this in response to the very same package this person wants me to give her for free. I was contacted by a company that sells a product and they offered to give me the product if I would give it to the guests. Until I ran out of the product, I had a link to their website on mine and they had one to me on theirs.
 

gillumhouse

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Please get back to me at your earliest convenience and don't hesitate to ask me any questions you may have
Lady, my only question is this - Did you think I just fell off the turnip truck?
What gall! And I bet she thinks she deserves to be given this getaway because she is HER!
 

Joey Camb

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Please get back to me at your earliest convenience and don't hesitate to ask me any questions you may have
Lady, my only question is this - Did you think I just fell off the turnip truck?
What gall! And I bet she thinks she deserves to be given this getaway because she is HER!.
I totally dare you to send that back as an email!
 

JBloggs

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Please get back to me at your earliest convenience and don't hesitate to ask me any questions you may have
Lady, my only question is this - Did you think I just fell off the turnip truck?
What gall! And I bet she thinks she deserves to be given this getaway because she is HER!.
I totally dare you to send that back as an email!
.
I totally dare you to send that back as an email!
Don't do it. Once in a while when I get these back to back, like donate a 2 night weekend stay for our OFFICE PARTY, and not even in our area, so ie not even local at that, I have replied and said "How about your donate $300 of your product to us?" It has not ended well. I have even replied back things along the lines of "Thank you for thinking about us..." and then gone on to share we are a family owned business with one spouse working outside the B&B to make ends meet and we would appreciate YOUR BUSINESS. They have emailed back "Gee didn't know times were so tough" and more rudeness.
SO IT DOESN'T WORK! Remember as well, people CAN REVIEW YOU who have never stayed at your inn!

 

Joey Camb

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Please get back to me at your earliest convenience and don't hesitate to ask me any questions you may have
Lady, my only question is this - Did you think I just fell off the turnip truck?
What gall! And I bet she thinks she deserves to be given this getaway because she is HER!.
I totally dare you to send that back as an email!
.
I totally dare you to send that back as an email!
Don't do it. Once in a while when I get these back to back, like donate a 2 night weekend stay for our OFFICE PARTY, and not even in our area, so ie not even local at that, I have replied and said "How about your donate $300 of your product to us?" It has not ended well. I have even replied back things along the lines of "Thank you for thinking about us..." and then gone on to share we are a family owned business with one spouse working outside the B&B to make ends meet and we would appreciate YOUR BUSINESS. They have emailed back "Gee didn't know times were so tough" and more rudeness.
SO IT DOESN'T WORK! Remember as well, people CAN REVIEW YOU who have never stayed at your inn!

.
Sorry I should have been more clear I meant that as a joke I would never reply to any of these
simply because A - you then receive a ton more junk mail and B - it starts a conversation with them which in some ways makes them believe they have a chance if they keep on plugging which with me they have none. We work with a local cancer charity that provides free care in a more home like envionment and provides home help, support for family members, grief counciling and more but in return for this support they organised networking events and other social occasions which I benefit from. That is as far as I will go with the charity stuff as you could bankrupt yourself in 24hours to even consider half these things. I can also report them to the spam police if I am feeling really grumpy.
 

gillumhouse

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Please get back to me at your earliest convenience and don't hesitate to ask me any questions you may have
Lady, my only question is this - Did you think I just fell off the turnip truck?
What gall! And I bet she thinks she deserves to be given this getaway because she is HER!.
I totally dare you to send that back as an email!
.
I totally dare you to send that back as an email!
Don't do it. Once in a while when I get these back to back, like donate a 2 night weekend stay for our OFFICE PARTY, and not even in our area, so ie not even local at that, I have replied and said "How about your donate $300 of your product to us?" It has not ended well. I have even replied back things along the lines of "Thank you for thinking about us..." and then gone on to share we are a family owned business with one spouse working outside the B&B to make ends meet and we would appreciate YOUR BUSINESS. They have emailed back "Gee didn't know times were so tough" and more rudeness.
SO IT DOESN'T WORK! Remember as well, people CAN REVIEW YOU who have never stayed at your inn!

.
I made the mistake once of responding. I happened to have a hair stuck cross-wise that day and write - if you patronized your local merchants more instead to driving by on your way to wally world, they would be more likely to donate. Wally w does not do anything compared to what you expect of your local merchant.
She came back with Wally gave their charity a check for $500 (my aside - it was probably good for merchandise at Wally) and I pointed out to her that $500 would not even hit the % scale of THAT STORE for one day of profit yet what she was asking of me would be 33% of my total revenue for a night. I finally realized she would never get it. Her final reply to me told it all. Now remember she wanted me to give at least a one night stay. she wrote back - my husband sees no reason to pay to stay at a B & B when we have a camp to stay at.
 

Generic

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Please get back to me at your earliest convenience and don't hesitate to ask me any questions you may have
Lady, my only question is this - Did you think I just fell off the turnip truck?
What gall! And I bet she thinks she deserves to be given this getaway because she is HER!.
I totally dare you to send that back as an email!
.
Better yet, tell her that you will be filing IRS form 8282/8283 with the IRS for the full maximum value of the stay and that she will be responsible for the taxes and ask if that is acceptable. (That will raise flags at the IRS that she is receiving items in lieu of cash and she will have to deal with them.)
 

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