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Saturday, May 27, 2006

Opt-in Spam - Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public 

Is it still cynicism if you're right?

I was working on the blog was actually reading the ads from Google's Adsense program because I had done some work with the template and was making sure everything was working as it should.

One of the ads offered $300 (presumably U.S.) for 15 minutes work.

Now in the agreement I have with the Adsense program I agreed not to click on my own ads. Clicks are what I get paid for. We're not even allowed to suggest to people that they support the site by clicking on the ads. However in the interests of journalism I had to just this once.

Clicking on the ad brought me to a clean, simple page for MAXIMUMPAYJOBS.COM that tells you on the front page:

"This survey should take approximately 15 minutes to complete. The compensation for this survey is $300."

Sounds simple eh? Easy money! Sign up, bang out the survey, money in the bank except for a possible hitch in the terms and conditions:

"If you who accept this offer and give us your email address you will receive emails featuring products and services which we believe will be of interest to you. You are never obligated to buy or use any product or service we offer you. By submitting your email address, you accept, without limitation or qualification, all of the terms and conditions in this user agreement. Compensation for surveys will be paid only to those consumers who are both selected for a survey by email invitation and who participate in the survey. We reserve the right to cancel any survey at any time for any reason or no reason."

In other words, not only are you not assured of being "selected" to be paid for the survey, you're giving them permission to mail bomb you.

It gets weirder from here.

There's a "Consumerline" logo at the top of the page






That is linked to: http://64.70.189.35/Consumerline.com but clicking on it doesn't get you far becuase it comes up with:

Not Found

The requested URL /Consumerline.com was not found on this server.

Now the URL at the top of the page is still http://maximumpayjobs.com/ implying Consumerline.com and maximumpayjobs.com are different parts of the same organisation.

This doesn't bother me too much but still I check out the other llinks and find something disturbing. The link to the terms and conditions page is:

http://www.ahwa.org/terms.html

and the privacy policy is at:

http://www.ahwa.org/privacypolicy.html

I'm not a lawyer but it seems to me that if I enter into a commercial agreement with someone the T&C's and privacypolicy should be from the same company.

Best to stay away methinks.




Title quote attributed to H. L. Mencken US editor (1880 - 1956)


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Friday, May 26, 2006

Why I don't spend money at Absolute Poker 

I click on e-mail support in the help menu thinking it would actually allow me to, well, e-mail support. I realize now the problem is my expectations and not the fact the e-mail support menu item does not actually allow you to e-mail support. It brings up a whole other window that has one lonely e-mail address that disappears (!!!) when I hover over it.

I won't even mention the fact the address is red. I just don't want to think about that. I can't right now. I'm trying to figure out the functional advantage of having the only piece of information on the window disappear when a mouse pointer touches it. It produces an odd mental state as i rollover the address and then off it again and again.

Have you ever really looked at people like the Hare Khrishna or Scientologists and thought hard about the set of circumstances led them up to the edge and then convinced them it was a good idea to keep going? The feeling produced by the absence of understanding of a specific thing? It's like that but substitute programmers for cult member.

As an experiment I click on the place where the address was and finally get a compose message window from Thunderbird with the address in it. I start writing this thinking I'm going to send it to their support people. The I think about the time I had problems at AP before. How I had to reread the messages I sent and wonder how they got from what I asked to what they answered. How I ahd to keep my cool and ask that they reread my message and answer the question I asked. Not provide a stock answer to a question I didn't ask. That's when I decided to turn it into a blog entry.

When I got on the site earlier I saw a freeroll tourney with an interesting prize pool taking registrations. It's dated a month from now but OK. I register for it. No problem. So I thought. I want to play right now so I find the freeroll I was initially looking for and go to register for it but NO!!!! Busted!!!

I get a message box sternly informing me that I cannot register for more than one freeroll at a time. In other words if I want to register early for one freeroll I can't play in any others. Even if it's a month away.

I don't even go into the play money games at AP anymore. I did for a while but when it came time to put in real money I went to another site.

Somehow AP doesn't get that a good freeroll and/or play money experience turns into to cash deposits and bad ones turn into blog entries.

--PB--


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2 Comments:

Jason from Absolute Poker here Patrick. I'm sorry you've had a bad experience but we are always hungry for feedback so that we can continue improving. I've forwarded comments on to our usablity and customer service teams so they can take a look.

By Blogger Bald Canadian, at 5/26/2006 8:25 PM  

Thanks Jason

By Blogger Patrick Boake, at 6/28/2006 1:10 PM  

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