The #Expensify people wrote to me!

You know how when, sometimes, you uninstall software of unsubscribe from an emailing list you get an automated response asking you why?

Well I had an email the other day from the Expensify team asking why I hadn’t used their application. (Bascially it’s the same as with a lot of apps – looks interesting then play once then forget).

Although, in this case I don’t actually have expenses to deal with so the app hasn’t been relevant for me.

So I repsonded to the link on the email checking one of the response options to give my reason but also adding (in the free-form text field)  that I don’t have an expenses situation to deal with at the moment.

Then they actually replied!

Hello,

Thanks for the feedback.  If you do find yourself working with expense reports in the future please keep us in mind.  We would love the chance to work with you again in the future.

Thanks,
Kirk Barrett

www.expensify.com

 

I now know what I’ll do when I do need something to manage my expenses.

Another one about our pals at Stockbridge Consultants

I received this via email as the guy said he couldn't add directly to this blog:

Nin hao Carl.

Im sending from Beijing. Thanks for some warnings reg. so called StockbridgeConsultants (short: SC).

First step:             Telefon. A lady (name unclear), and on a very, very bad voice-quality line, rang me up at the office. She asked if she could send me info materials from SC. She allready got our comp. address, and asked if the address would be right.

Second step:    A week later I got a 5pages carton-covered brochuere (in red&grey colors), via express-post, for joining these elite club, and an attached client account agreement. Inside a name card from a Ms. Ashley Tyler Director.

Even they have had the exact address of our company (from where??), and reconfirmed, the address on the RAF-waybill showed a name of a company from Macao in the company field. Instead of street/address in the bill, there was the name of our company. Quite serious for a elite club. As shipper stated SC from Korea/Seoul, ASEM Tower, 159-1.

Third step:             I got a phone call yesterday from a guy who said his name is Mark from SC in Korea, and he would like to introduce me to a super chance to boost my money. Well, even I told him Im not interested at all, this guy talked and talked so eloquently about the chance for a share in an tremendous, upcoming investment-chance in Sportchannel from KIF Cenetics, or as the case may be. The whole nine yards of cold calls.

I didnt really listened, but I told him again and again and that Im not interested in any investments, in SC, or in sport-buiss-whatever, or in telefon brokerage, or any investments with companies I dont know, with guys I dont know, a.s.o.. But the kept on talking and talking, and he really tried to give me bad feeling to hang up.

Next steps:             Other phone calls, from colleagues from SC. I call it phone terror now. If, and I say if SC would be a reputable, reliable company, I guess they would have stoped trying to breaking my nervous system. But they are really stiff-necked.

And after what Ive read in your blog (I couldnt reply directly, caused by errors on page), Im quite shure that SC (I guess former Cambridge whatever) is a nest of humbuggers. Former contacts, with absolutely congruent procedure, broke up, after I told the guy straightforward that I dont trust him at all. He found sincere thankful words for my behaviour, and stealing his time, a.s.o.. But, however, the phone terror stoped. And, Im positive about the fact, that I saved my good money. 

Stockbridge Consultants – Update

Thieves

Since I first wrote about Stockbridge Consultants there have been a few developments and a few comments on my blog.  Whereas some people have shared my concerns about Stockbridge Consultants, the last person to comment actually parted with his money and is now busy trying to get his funds back.  He didn't go onto any details though.

I found this article on the Motley Fool site and there's some stuff there written by someone who clearly knows a lot more about these jokers and their ilk than I do.  Apparently they are called 'boiler rooms'.

A colleague of work has been approached (phone call followed by brochure – a familiar MO) by a company called Cambridge Consulting / Consultants  also based in Korea.  We compared brochure styles and, let's say, we'd be amzaed if both Cambridge's and Stockbridge's respective collateral weren't from the same place!

Let the saga continue!

Money From Blogging

This article is a response to a piece on the Web In Travel website where Siew Hoon talks to a guy who wants to make money from his blog.

Blog_adsense_money

Wow! What a question – “how can I make money from my
blog?" 

I'm surprised at this question – I think people who ask this
question are asking the wrong question. 
But I suppose I should clarify exactly what I mean.

Bluntly put, I think people who write blogs to make money
are going against what, for me, is the underlying ‘giving’ notion of what
blogging is.  A quick look on
dictionary.com yields the definition: ‘an online diary; a personal
chronological log of thoughts published on a Web page;’

People who used to (and still do I suppose) write diaries
and log their thoughts on paper never, for one minute, expected to make any
money from it.  It was a very personal and
private endeavor in almost all cases. 
However,   the internet has, of course, provided those
people with the possibility to link with thousands of readers and, in turn,
encouraged those who may never have dreamed about keeping a diary or a log, to
begin to write driven by the idea that it might not simply be a solitary
activity given the possibility that thousands may end up reading their thoughts
and musings. (There are countless examples of fame and notoriety of course from
the most unlikely of sources through blogs and other forms of User Generated
Content
).

So, basically put, I don’t think people should make money
from blogging.  Blogging should be an altruistic
and non- commercial activity.  I’m
encouraged to see how many companies now are using their own blogs to keep
their customers abreast of product development, new releases and other company activities.  I like this idea of a blog – it’s a platform
for engaging with customers in a fairly personal and accessible way – kind of,
this is what we’re up to, thought you might like to know and, by the way, there’s
a place where you can let us know what you think.

But, let me be clear, I think attaching some advertising to
one’s blog is fine – a few banners here and there of course and some Google paid
stuff.  Covering one’s costs or even
making a small amount of revenue in a pretty stealth kind of way is fine.  This indeed may have been the approach of
Siew Hoon’s friend in the article – I do hope so. 

Anyone who blogs to make money doesn’t deserve to make
money.  If you want to make money, then
come up with a commercially viable on-line application or service and sell it
but don’t jump on the wholesome notion of blogging and look to make a quick
buck.

Stockbridge Consultants

Cold_calling
I was recently contacted by a company called Stockbridge Consultants based in Korea.  I have no idea where they managed to get my contact details from – they actually called me at work – but I suspect it might by means that are not entirely honorable in a marketing-kind of way.  Anyway, that’s not my reason for writing this.

My first contact with this company was with a woman who said she wanted to send me some information about the company and their services and that I should expect that in the next few days.

The information arrived and a couple of days later I was contacted by a guy called Stephen Cooper who represented Stockbridge Consultants and wanted me to invest 10K USD or so in the stock of a company listed on the NASDAQ.  He proposed a sell price and a time frame and all the rest – basically after a few months I make a tidy little sum and then I’m supposed to become a client of theres and they go on to make money out of further commission-based transactions with me.  Nothing wrong with that I suppose.

I was hesitant at first as I always am when dealing in money issues and especially when it comes to trading.  Mr Cooper said he would call back the following day after I told him I wanted to speak with my financial advisor.  I did and he the next day he called back. I told him that I was not so sure about the investment (my financial advisor had suggested I avoided them).  After a few minutes and a change in tone from Mr Cooper towards some quite hard-selling he asked me quite bluntly if I was going to take the deal to which I replied, ‘No’. He then said, ‘Thanks for wasting my time’ and immediately hung up.  This felt like an inappropriate way of behaving for a company potentially wanting to work with tens of thousands of dollars of my money and, of course, made me feel immediately like I had made the right decision. 

I have emailed them three times about this incident.  They have not replied.

So, I’m writing this here mainly out of curiosity to see how high it will appear in Google Search!  Then for anyone Googling ‘Stockbridge Consultants’  after hearing about them (like I did) they will get the opportunity to read about my experience which may influence them if they are unsure about engaging in a relationship with them.