Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Beware of

If there's one thing I learned from my (truth be told) quite boring Internet Research & Survey class from first year, is how to investigate if a Website is credible. This is a useful skill to have if you're Googling what to do about your stomach pains or if you're thinking of buying something online. You get my point.

I was really interested in taking a course at but thank God I took 5 minutes to see if I can find any contact information, office location, people to trace the website to. Nada. There are a lot of other technical things I can look for -- what I mentioned are very basic stuff that skilled scammers wouldn't overlook -- but there's really nothing on the website. The “reviews” on the website are one-liners anyone can whip up. I wouldn’t mind the lack of info on the site so much if there was anything I could find on the internet about actual people who’ve taken any of the courses and have shared their experiences, but I didn't find anything much. I did find a number of people asking on forums if others have tried the courses, but no replies.

I did find this though:
It's basically someone who mistakenly trusted the website. The person didn't elaborate, but basically said he/she has been fighting for a refund for over a month and received no responses at all.

If all this sounds like common sense to you, well it really is. However, the sophisticated layout and extensive classes on the site can fool anyone. I have yet to find out what exactly the site and its owners are doing, but for now the lack of information is enough for me to judge that the site is of doubtful credibility.

I think there should be a rule (or two) of thumb for online businesses: There SHOULD be a money-back guarantee, and people to trace the web site to, an office/physical location, and a phone number.

It was well worth taking those 5 minutes to investigate to save myself from the possibility of losing my money on a questionable Web site.

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