Translation business networking: a scam warning and a question
Thread poster: George Trail

George Trail  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:31
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
Jan 7, 2010

I wonder how many of you have already been urged to keep well clear of BT Customer Street (marketing endeavours). I was first informed about their scam via a phone call with someone working for Google. Indeed, they were like: "Just look up 'BT Customer Street complaints' on Google". They say that they are in a position to cancel my monthly payments with them (as part of a contract which runs until June) - I intend to remind them about this ASAP but at the end of the day I guess I'll just have to see what happens.

I suppose I should have known better than to eventually put out to paying so much (£264 installment fee plus £35 / month). They say that "if something seems too good to be true it probably is". Yet their claims that I would get on the first page of Google were justified; I even register right at the top when I search for "translation French to English" in "Berkshire" on the Ufindus and SmileLocal directories. I still don't properly understand what really generated this mass of complaints, but I believe it is something subtle technical thing. Maybe someone could explain it to me properly? I am also baffled as to why, when I search for "George Trail Translation Services" on Google, I don't get the domain name I purchased http://www.french-english-translation.com on the first page any more. So I may find that Google will evidence this "evidence" that they have "taken it down"; but if you can access the domain name indicated, am I still paying for it despite Google's claim that they could stop my payments?

In the meantime, even if they were scammers, I certainly have enjoyed much easier acccessibility on a certain level than I did before I made the purchase; so I ask you all: speaking from your own experience, exactly which blog sites and similar sites are most likely to have kept a record of me?


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British Diana
Germany
Local time: 21:31
German to English
+ ...
confused Jan 7, 2010

I'm afraid I don't understand what this is about.
Who says who is in a pisition to cancel your payments to whom ?
Who do all the "theys" in your text refer to - Google or BT Customer Street?
I'm a bit confused.


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George Trail  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:31
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Response to Diana Jan 7, 2010

It is not relevant to you, really, but Google claimed that they were somehow in a position to get cancelled my direct debit to BT Customer Street. For information, I haven't actually gotten in touch with them yet like I said I would; but I will post something new after this has happened.

It was BT Customer Street who claimed that I could get onto the first page of Google in the deal that I fell for. Google rang me up out of the blue to talk about my site and point out that BT Customer Street were ripping me off.

British Diana wrote:

I'm afraid I don't understand what this is about.
Who says who is in a pisition to cancel your payments to whom ?
Who do all the "theys" in your text refer to - Google or BT Customer Street?
I'm a bit confused.


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Mark Cole  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:31
Polish to English
+ ...
Have you tried the small claims court? Jan 7, 2010

Thank you for the warning, George. From the website, it seems to be a bona-fide BT operation.

I have had dealings with UFindus before, and basically they are very slick sales people who promise you the earth until they get your bank details. But BT sales people have been no different in the past when advertising yellow pages, yell.com, etc., etc., although they usually give up if you tell them your business is doing fine and you wouldn't be able to handle any extra work.

On the website http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/bt-customer-street-c194757.html, I found the following link to the "on-line claims court" (https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/csmco2/index.jsp), which the poster says he used to get his money back ... or maybe it's another scam?

Basically, BT seem to have bought up an unreputable company which operates on their behalf. I think it would be best if as many people as possible complain to BT, just to let them know, and threaten to cancel any services with them (if possible).

...by the way, how can everyone can get in the "top ten google listings" at £264 a shot? Isn't that statistically impossible?


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:31
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
The purpose of the posting? Jan 8, 2010

George Trail wrote:
I am also baffled as to why, when I search for "[specific search string removed]" on Google, I don't get the domain name I purchased [specific domain name removed] on the first page any more.


I also find the original post rather confusing.
However, if I want to play the Devil's Advocate, it could be viewed as advertising, as including the link and the search string in a post on a ProZ.com forum certainly helps overall Google rankings...

By the way, I am not sure what the point is to do Google searches with strings including your name, as people who know your name would probably know you are doing translations, and would not need to search Google. Having a profile on ProZ help your Google ranking anyway, and if you use your real name in your profile, then that's what will get pushed up in Google's list. However, finding your website by searching for your name is not really important, what you should be interested is how easy it is to find you when someone searches for translators in your language pairs (without knowing your name).

Just my two cents to the discussion

Katalin

[Edited at 2010-01-08 02:28 GMT]


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Translation business networking: a scam warning and a question

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