Article by Charlie Wright
At the weekend I took the family to a 3-day music festival…
We wanted to see whether we could still enjoy ourselves with a 6-month old and a 20-month old in tow.
Saying that, it wasn’t like the old days.
This time we did it in lavish style…
We booked a huge tipi in the boutique camping area. (Oh, yes, you read that right… BOUTIQUE!) This included furniture (tables, lamps, sheepskins, mattresses, pillows and duvets)… a spot near a private car park… a cafe in the camping area… and mostly clean toilets.
We didn’t use a single square of our own toilet roll, which has to say something.
The organisers ruled that no glass was allowed in the camping area. So we decanted some alcohol into empty water bottles.
On the Friday afternoon my wife got out the camping stove and prepared the baby’s bottle in advance of the next morning.
As we boiled the water we wondered why flames were shooting out of the kettle.
The following day, we prepared the baby’s milk formula as usual. Luckily Emily sniffed the contents before our youngest drank it.
Unwittingly, we’d boiled up pure gin.
“You can’t give a baby booze!” – Vic Reeves.
Never mind. We’re all back in one piece, the kids are alive, and I’m re-energised. So much so that I’ve ploughed through my inbox and picked the most interesting recent enquiries and questions from readers.
First up, a Jungler has asked me about dropshippingwholesalers.com.
The hidden catch with this dropship opp
This is an opportunity for you to get a website selling products you don’t see, stock or deliver.
Dropshipping is a genuine business opportunity. Because of this, there are a lot of products claiming to have the ultimate, easiest, most profitable dropshipping system. So it’s really hard to pick out the good from the bad.
Something about this one makes me nervous. In short… there’s no refund guarantee.
Yes, they SAY there’s a “56 day refund period”… but next to this statement is a little asterisk. (QUICK TIP: whenever you see one of those, it ALWAYS means there’s a hidden clause or caveat!)
The notes tell you that the full details of this guarantee are in the FAQ. When you go to the relevant section in the FAQ you’ll find this:
“If you are not satisfied with our service and can find a better deal somewhere else, we’ll refund your money.”
They don’t say: “If you are not satisfied OR can find a better deal anywhere else.”
It means that you have to be dissatisfied AND can prove there’s a better alternative to their service. Otherwise, no banana.
They go on to clarify this:
“In order to receive a refund, the following must apply: there is a similar wholesale index below the cost of ours. ‘Similar’ is defined as any index with the same or more quality and content of sources listed. Because of the nature of this purchase and you will have full access for life to all our wholesale sources and other valuable resources, there are absolutely no other refunds”
This means you have to take a leap of faith here. The product had better be good, or you’re stuck with it regardless.
Even a good service might not suit everyone. This is why I believe people should have unconditional refunds – ALWAYS.
If you want something that’s been vetted by me, and includes quality drop-shipping advice from a UK expert, take a look at this review on the website.
The Select Racing controversy
Another reader has asked me to look into Select Racing, which is run by Mark Kerr.
I’ve actually heard of him before. Last year I earmarked a section of The Guardian website. It was an article by Tony Levene, their usual scambuster. Take a look at it here.
He reported that the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) had upheld two complaints about Select.
While this article might put you off, it’s worth noting that the ASA have purely cautioned them about substantiating all claims in their advertising through an independent third party.
It’s clear that their service DOES deliver real racing tips and isn’t a scam. Otherwise they’d have been slammed – even arrested – for that instead.
It’s easy to panic about a company when you see an ASA complaint. But believe me, they can be pernickety about almost EVERYTHING advertised.
To give you an insight, I had an advert for a health book pulled from the newspapers because I said “New health breakthroughs revealed”. They said a ‘breakthrough’ was too big a claim. So I changed it to “New Health Stories Revealed” and sent it to them for approval.
They said ‘stories’ was too strong a word. They said it implied the absolute truth. (What, like the stories by The Brothers Grimm are true?)
They said they would accept only the word ‘theories’.
I said “Forget it, then.”
The ASA are constantly meddling with independent entrepreneurs and small businessmen, while major frauds and scams go unnoticed and unpunished.
I went online to look at the original ASA ruling against Kerr. It shows that there were two other complaints about Select: that the testimonials weren’t genuine, and that they didn’t warn customers of potential risk.
These were NOT upheld. The complaints were shown to be unfounded.
As far as I can see, Select were 100% co-operative and did everything the ASA asked. They sent the original copies of their customer’s testimonials to the ASA. Those testimonials were proved to be absolutely genuine. So people were really making money.
Added to that, Select admit upfront in their promotion there’s an element of risk in betting. So they weren’t guaranteeing earnings.
In his Guardian article the Tony Levene decided not to point out those two serious complaints against Select weren’t upheld. Or that the complaint about the earning potential was only upheld because they hadn’t used the correct process of verification… not because the claims were outlandish or lies.
To me that’s highly unfair reporting.
Like I said earlier, there are criminals out there stealing money from people… bullying and manipulating victims over the phone to invest in non-existent opportunities… boiler room fraud operations… you name it…. never mind what the major banks and trusted politicians got up to in recent years!
Try to ask THEM for co-operation or proof of their dealings and they’ll chuck their vast stockpiles of wealth at the situation… or simply vanish in a puff of smoke.
Anyway, if you’ve got any experiences with Select, then leave a comment below.