Building trust, breaking trust

A recent post on Seth Godin’s blog about trolling calls from the BBB reminded me of the calls I used to get from these losers who would surf the whois database looking for new domain registrations.

Losers: Hi Scott? This is Jason!

Me: Huh?

Losers: Jason! From aPlus dot net! We saw you just bought some domains – do you need any help developing them?

Me: You’re pitching web development to me? Did you not notice that my business was web development? Didn’t the name That Software Guy hit you with a clue-by-four?

Losers: Ummm…. no….

Me: So now you’re spamming me with solicitation calls?? Is this your business model – to violate the TOS of whois and phone spam people?

Losers: Umm…. no …. ummm… it’s not really a solicitation; it’s … ummm…

It went downhill from there, believe it or not.

I was so appalled that I did a Google search on them … apparently lots of other people feel the same way.

What’s the take-away? There are legitimate and not-so-legitimate ways of advertising. The old cloaked sales call (“call me back!” with no reason; “I’ve been trying to reach you” when they haven’t, etc.) falls into the latter category. BBB should be ashamed of itself. There’s some question as to whether their business model is sustainable in the first place; this kind of tactic will only accelerate their decline.

Co-branding – Walgreens and AARP

Internet Retailer discusses the new co-branded website launch. The name builds on the credibility of both brands – but I think I like better 🙂 They’re using a couple of interesting techniques:

  • Strong interaction with the local store (local is huge with the senior community)
  • Making the site a destination (not just a shop) by providing information from

None of us is getting any younger. See you at