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I'm a liar and a fraud and what I do is illegal (apparently)

 
 
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paul
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 5:54 pm    Post subject: I'm a liar and a fraud and what I do is illegal (apparently) Reply with quote

I was talking to someone in the pub on Friday night. He looks after the marketing for a couple of hotels in the Lake District and we always have a good chinwag on things like Facebook, Twitter and... this time... Google+.

Anyway, I noticed that someone he was with who was a bit older was listening very intently on our conversation. We got on to the subject of affiliate marketing and how I have all these sites with information about hotels, and that we take bookings for the hotels, and how we blog a lot and so on and so forth.

And then this other guy chips in, slightly aggressively (he was a bit drunk)... "Why?" ..."Why would people go to your site?" etc. etc. so I explained.

Anyway, my explanations were clearly landing on deaf ears, and it emerged that he was a high street travel agent who, over the years, had seen a steady decline in business. I was definitely not going to be his 'cup of tea' as it's people like me who have probably contributed in part to the demise of that kind of business.

Was I sympathetic to him, though? No, not really... he could have embraced the internet with his business if he wanted to, but chose instead to ignore it. I know other travel agents who have kept abreast with changes and fared OK.

He went on to ask me if I'd ever stayed at the Hilton in Manchester. I said I hadn't (I've stayed at the Lowry on recent visits) and, when it emerged that I would have a page on that particular hotel but hadn't ever stayed there, he weighed in with "you're a liar and a cheat - that's illegal".

Shocked

What at ignorant man. I doubt he's stayed at every hotel/resort that he's ever sold a holiday to. No amount of me explaining that the content was legitimately fed to me by the likes of Superbreak, Booking.com and LateRooms (all names he was familiar with) was going to make any difference. I tried to say it was far from being illegal, but it was a widespread practice and he backtracked slightly and just said it was "morally illegal". Rolling Eyes

Anyway, I looked at the guy's website today. All he has there is a 3-page website - 2 of the pages just have the name of his travel agency along with contact details, and the other has a comment along the lines of 'should we add a contact form here?' on it. Nothing else. The guy's been in business for many years so had ample opportunity to do something that at least shows he is bothered. No wonder he doesn't get much business from the internet.
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Kay
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm, interesting. Some people just don't 'get' the internet. It seems amazing to me that some businesses, who could really benefit from it, don't even have a proper website.

Going off at a slight tangent, I saw a bog-standard phone spam yesterday on another forum. Of course, it's obviously a spam and needs to be dealt with as such. But what made me look at it twice was that the spammer had included a lot of company info.

This aroused my curiosity so I played Miss Marple for a while and did some research. I looked at the company, their accounts, and various other info about them. (It was an estate agent who've been a UK ltd company since 1993.) And you know what really shocked me? They seemed to have NO internet presence at all. Well, they did - mostly copies of the same phone spam around the internet and a few mentions in so-called business directories - you know, the type which scrapes info from somewhere and posts it as though it's real information.

I had thought of writing to these estate agents to tell them their name was being abused by spammers, but unless I snail mail them (and that's not going to happen), I've no way of contacting them. Why don't they have a website?

Going back to your guy, it's completely bizarre to run a travel agency and not use the internet to promote your offers. Even I am affiliated with Agoda, Booking.com, Expedia, etc, etc, for our sites.

The guy is almost right but completely misguided. It is illegal in some countries to "review" a product or service you haven't actually used yourself. But a review is a completely different matter from an advert or a promotion. I promote a LOT of things I've never tried - erm, is that not called advertising?

Be very glad you met him, Paul. He's the kind of guy who can make other people feel good about themselves. The less he 'gets' it is good news for us as we pick up the market share that the dinosaurs are missing out on.
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paul
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kay wrote:
Be very glad you met him, Paul. He's the kind of guy who can make other people feel good about themselves. The less he 'gets' it is good news for us as we pick up the market share that the dinosaurs are missing out on.


That's a good way of looking at it. I suppose the more travel agents did 'get' the internet, then the harder it would be for people like me. Smile

Really, they ought to have a competitive advantage... a long established business, existing customer base, long-standing knowledge of the industry, etc. but I guess they've just rested on their laurels far too much and, once they woke up to the decline in high street business, for many of them it was maybe already too late.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kay, what do you mean by phone spam please?
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Kay
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Kay, what do you mean by phone spam please?


People who spam forums and blogs with crap about buying Nokia phones, etc.

I didn't mean cold calling people by phone, although that's another horrible nuisance. There's phone spam (buy a Nokia phone from me), pharma spam (enlarge your penis or buy Viagra from me) or clothing spam (get your Ugg boots from me - I can sell them much cheaper). Need I go on?
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Kay. I get it now.
If I was younger I would say, my bad!
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Mark Johnson
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's just sad. No complains from me, though. Made it my business helping some of those blokes get their businesses established online and there are legions of them out there. Your high street travel agent was just having a bad Friday night and wanted to take it out on someone. How else could someone call a person he just met a "liar and a fraud."
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paul
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alcohol was probably a factor.
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