Warning: The Products You Promote May Impact Your Brand

Thumbs Down on Darren RowseRecently, Darren Rowse, a blogger I highly respect put up a post about AdSense Secrets 4.0, a product by Joel Comm. I won’t link to his product because of reasons I will outline below.

The post talked about how great the product is and how inexpensive it is at only ten dollars and like most other Make Money Online blogs, Darren was promoting Joel’s new product and didn’t mention the incredible catch.

In what seems to me like an evil scheme, buying the book also means you sign up for a thirty dollar per month membership which after purchasing the book, you must cancel if you don’t want any further charges. Joel did this knowing that a large percentage wouldn’t see that they were subscribing to a monthly program and a small percentage would forget to cancel, as such is the case with most membership programs. It is just a huge profit grab.

Of course, just like everyone else, Darren includes his affiliate link to the product, and I think that Darren, like others, despite updating the post, deserve a huge thumbs down today for promoting such an underhanded technique.

Here’s a piece of the updated text:

3. In signing up for this product there are a few ‘catches’ that I didn’t realize. As I mentioned in the post the long page is very salesy and as I encouraged you to skip through it – I skipped through it. This was a mistake on my part and I apologize for this. Please do read the sales copy and understand that there’s a membership program/monthly report with this that costs $29.95 a month which you are subscribed to when you sign up for this. You can unsubscribe at any time if you don’t want to be in it. I’m a little surprised and disappointed to see Joel doing this to be honest but it is mentioned in the sales page (see the ‘free’ bonuses).

Mark from 45n5.com deserves huge kudos for shedding light on this atrocity, so please check out his post revealing the shady marketing tactic.

Don’t Buy AdSense Secrets

Even if the product is the greatest in the world, you shouldn’t buy it as you will only be promoting the type of marketing that surrounds it. How would you feel if every product you bought, from WordPress theme to your computer operating system came with a membership that was three times the price per month of the original purchase?

14 thoughts on “Warning: The Products You Promote May Impact Your Brand

  1. Duncan

    I had a look at the buying form earlier, you’re not forced to join the membership program, although the check box for the free one month trial is set on as default…but it is made clear that it’s a subscription option that can be canceled and the item can be set back to 0 so your not stuck with signing up

  2. David

    Yeah, I have read that the order process has been changed slightly since the whole issue was originally brought up, but my issue right now is not the product (though I wanted to put in the whole story so people would understand what is going on), but what does bother me is that Darren Rowse, someone highly respected and trusted didn’t originally mention the subscription issue/”bonus” in his post promoting the product with his nice shiny affiliate url.

  3. WTL

    I hope the backlash for this is hard and fast. The Internet shouldn’t let people get away with this kind of manipulative behaviour.

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  5. Paul

    This ‘tactic’ is called “Forced Continuity” in direct marketing circles. The idea is that you buy something up front at a greatly reduced price, but the catch is you’re also signing yourself up to pay monthly fees on something else until you cancel.

    It’s been used in offline marketing since forever. Remembe the old Columbia House thing where you got 11 tapes or CDs for 1cent but had to buy a CD at full price every month? Same deal.

    Fortunately, it’s easier to cancel online payments than it was to dump Columbia House. But that doesn’t make it any less distasteful.

  6. Eric Johnson

    Hi, well money making is oline is one the hottest work here on the net specially in selling ebook of ADSENSE, but we must aware lots of scammers are in the street that we are walking through the success, because they also earn money from scamming, before we take action or decision we must also ask for an advice to veterance on how we can earn money in the net without hassle. your article was great and i really enjoy and i learn something new today. god bless

  7. 45n5

    Yeah the offer was changed to be less deceptive after my post. I agree these practices look bad not only on people who create this type of nonsense, but also the people that promote it.

    I also think people that promoted this product shouldn’t just update their posts, after the fact, but take a stand against this nonsense instead of playing the buddy system, with shiny affiliate links.

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  9. nemetral

    Should I have to give money to these crappy marketing websites, it would be to have their stats and see how many people are actually buying their ebook or miracle-makers techniques only partially unveiled after ten consecutive subscriptions. Time to grow up.

  10. Kevin

    I admit I don’t know much about Joel Comm but after reading this post and Marks at 45n5 I don’t know how anyone can ever trust him again.

    This kind of thing really boils my blood, I really dispise companies who do this. My friend Barry was telling me the other night about a site called http://www.posters.co.uk/, a UK site which sells posters. He bought a poster and 3 months later he noticed that a company was taking £8 from his account for vouchers. He called them to cancel and they asked why he wanted to cancel because he could get 10% off HMV and other stores if he spent over £50 a month. It’s a complete scam and the poster company must have passed his bank details on.

    No doubt there was a checkbox already clicked that he missed which opted him in but it still doesn’t make it right.

    I saw that Joel Comm issued an apology today but for me it doesn’t carry any weight as he knew fine well what he was doing when he decided to rip his customers off.

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