Money Grubbing Gurus - This Takes The Cake

33 replies
Today I received an email from a very well known and successful marketer informing me that that one or more of the website scripts I had purchased had a severe vulnerability in it that would allow easy hacking into my website.

Ok, you've got my attention. How can I fix it before my site gets hacked?

Lo and behold the resolution was to contact yet another well known marketer and PAY him $147 to "fix" my website's script. He goes on to give his Skype contact details so I can arrange payment. Here is what I sent him:

Per your offer to "fix" script vulnerability: I find your tactics to offer to "fix" the script vulnerabilities for a fee liking to the old mafia protection strong arming. It's Internet Marketers like you that leave a bad taste in my mouth about the whole IM money grubbing gurus.
Now what bothers me about this is that first off I bought these scripts to perform specific functions on my website, which they do. If there is a script vulnerability in my mind it should be a given that one of two things should happen:
1) I'm offered an update that fixes the vulnerability or
2) I'm told how to fix the vulnerability and given the option of paying to get the "fix" applied.

In other words I shouldn't be forced to pay someone (a third party I might add) to fix the script if the original programmer knows there are serious security flaws in it. I should be at the very least be offered the solution to fix it on my own for free and if I so choose then pay someone to apply the fix if I feel I need to.

I don't know maybe I'm reading too much into this, but I swear this really steams me that gurus use these tactics to grub even more money from their customers.
#cake #grubbing #gurus #money #takes
  • Profile picture of the author steadypay
    I'm so used to these kind of scams I just junk mail them as soon as I sense the usual sales gimmick patter. Maybe famous last words
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    • Profile picture of the author quickregister
      They can burn you once but not twice. Do not do business with them again. It is a short sided policy. A customer is worth more than the sale. They should take care of you. You could purchase other products from them. Not a smart business move on their end. You were kind enough not to mention their names. Forward this post to them. Maybe they will fix it for free.
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  • Profile picture of the author theemperor
    If that is true it's a very poor show. If there is a security issue and the programmer won't fix it then I'd get the initial purchase money back - if you paid via paypal or clickbank in the last 60 days this is easy or you can try a chargeback on your card.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sea1c
    wow....just wow. I would be very interested to know who is doing this 'shake down'. That is absolutely disgusting, you are right if the developer knows about it he should fix it.
    I realize he did may not have 'developed' it and the person you are meant to contact actually created the script, and he is the one charging for it, but the guy you buy it from has a responsibility to you to help fix it or warn you about the scam that he got sucked into, and not just to say go here and spend more money.
    Crazy. I am sorry you had this happen to you.
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    • Profile picture of the author x3xsolxdierx3x
      Sad...real sad. I would be, as well.

      Originally Posted by Sea1c View Post

      wow....just wow. I would be very interested to know who is doing this 'shake down'. That is absolutely disgusting, you are right if the developer knows about it he should fix it.
      I realize he did may not have 'developed' it and the person you are meant to contact actually created the script, and he is the one charging for it, but the guy you buy it from has a responsibility to you to help fix it or warn you about the scam that he got sucked into, and not just to say go here and spend more money.
      Crazy. I am sorry you had this happen to you.
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      • Profile picture of the author Gail_Curran
        I don't know what the script is or who sold it to you, but if others have bought the same script then they will be just as mad as you are. Angry people talk. I suggest googling the name of the product for the next little while and see if someone explains the problem or posts a "fix" that you might be able to use.

        I certainly wouldn't pay that amount of money to fix a problem that shouldn't even have been there.
        .
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    • Profile picture of the author MsMikayla
      Originally Posted by Sea1c View Post

      wow....just wow. I would be very interested to know who is doing this 'shake down'. That is absolutely disgusting, you are right if the developer knows about it he should fix it...
      .
      A developer sells you something, knows it's faulty and offers someone else's service to fix it? Hah, he sounds like my uncle who bought me a car with my money and told me his mechanic friend needs to have a looksy because it's quite old. I feel for you.
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      • Profile picture of the author RedHat39
        Originally Posted by buxnut View Post

        Couldn't tell from your post if the email you received was from the person you actually bought the script from, or just some random d-bag claiming to know of a phantom security risk with your site.

        If the former, you haven't really provided enough detail for anyone here to make an intelligent assessment (could be a valid "unforseen technological obsolescence," or it could be BS).

        If the latter... well, that just totally sucks.
        Yes, the email came from the original programmer/seller of the scripts. So I believe there really could be a security flaw in the scripts. Notice I said scripts there are several scripts this programmer has done that have this security loophole in them.

        In fact the 3rd party even offered to demonstrate that the scripts were flawed to you if you asked him to, and provided the URL to your website, but still wants the $147 to fix the security breach.

        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        I understand your anger, and I find this vendor's behavior reprehensible.

        That said, I have a problem with your post, as well. Mostly with the use of the plural "gurus".

        So far, we have one vendor with questionable ethics apparently running a software 'protection racket', and possibly a cohort applying the fix.

        That is quite different from whitewashing an entire group of marketers with the mob brush, especially when the definition of 'guru' is so individual.

        You have a right to be angry, but please apply a little perspective before posting blanket accusations...
        I never said that all gurus are this way and use these tactics. And yes I did use plural because there are two involved here.

        Actually there are two points to this thread.
        1) Once some of these IM'ers get guru status and know that at their recommendation they can sell anything and everything just by sending an email. It becomes a non-stop mantra for them to continually nickle and dime whatever they can out of their past customers.

        This is an obvious JV attempt between two such gurus, and believe me if I did reveal their names most all of you know them.

        2) And number two, yes I'm mad, because I have a problem here that one marketer wants to extort money out of the first marketer's list of past customers, using the first marketer's recommendation to make the sale.

        Originally Posted by CyberSorcerer View Post

        I'll tell you what, sense I'm a security researcher myself, I can look over your script to see if there is a vulnerability and fix it for free. NO CHARGE. Because, if there is a security vulnerability in it I'll report it to the proper security reporting sites so others will know.

        If you don't thinks there's a vulnerability and this is just a scare tactic for the guru to get more money from you then no problem. This is only if you're interested.
        I appreciate the offer, and I may take you up on this.

        I've registered a complaint to the original vendor/programmer and awaiting to see his response first. I'm hoping he sees my point of how this is wrong and will step up to the plate and offer a fix himself and who knows it may be something too complicated for me to apply myself and I may want to pay someone to apply the fix. I would at least like to know that for sure instead of being told you have a flawed script running on your website, I'll prove it but you can only get it fixed if you pay my JV partner first.
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  • Profile picture of the author paulie888
    Very unethical behavior on this vendor's part. I can understand having to pay for an upgrade, but this is a security flaw that sounds pretty serious, and to want money to fix that is just unconscionable.

    This is different from just an "upgrade" with new and extended features, this is something that should have been resolved from day one when you bought the script (or you should have at least been offered a free fix).

    If he had just gone the proper route and offered a free patch/fix, I think he'd have gained you as a customer for life. Now it seems like he has lost one for good instead.

    Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author E. Brian Rose
    There are two ways to look at it.

    You could look at it like maintenance on a car. If I want to change or refill the transmission fluid on my FJ Cruiser, I have to bring it to the dealership and pay them to do it, because it has a special lock on it that only the dealers have the key to.

    Or you could look at it like a recall. Many Toyotas had a problem with a sticking gas pedal. They issued a recall and fixed them all for free.
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  • Profile picture of the author seobro
    Typical tactics, and what can we say. I do not like these guys. They make a used car dealer Frank Honest seem saintly in comparison.

    Always, with excuses. It burns me up.

    Here is one tactic that really riles me. Like you buy software and pay. There is a nagware that says it has expire. Then you pay more money and never get the unlock key ever.
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  • Profile picture of the author RedHat39
    I guess what really gets me about it is that the original programmer notified me of the vulnerability, but instead of offering to show his customers how to apply the security patch themselves he recommends a third party who wants even more than the script's original purchase price to apply it.

    This is NOT an upgrade but a security fix.

    While I won't mention the two IM'ers names per the WF rules, or name scripts themselves, I will tell you there are literally 1000's of websites out there that run on these scripts. This is a serious and wide spread security problem.
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  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    You might be able to share the name of the script and the stated security problem.

    And then an industrious warrior could make his own repair solution, and sell it to you for a reasonable price.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      I understand your anger, and I find this vendor's behavior reprehensible.

      That said, I have a problem with your post, as well. Mostly with the use of the plural "gurus".

      So far, we have one vendor with questionable ethics apparently running a software 'protection racket', and possibly a cohort applying the fix.

      That is quite different from whitewashing an entire group of marketers with the mob brush, especially when the definition of 'guru' is so individual.

      You have a right to be angry, but please apply a little perspective before posting blanket accusations...
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      • Profile picture of the author Lothar Evers
        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        I understand your anger, and I find this vendor's behavior reprehensible.

        That said, I have a problem with your post, as well. Mostly with the use of the plural "gurus".

        So far, we have one vendor with questionable ethics apparently running a software 'protection racket', and possibly a cohort applying the fix.

        That is quite different from whitewashing an entire group of marketers with the mob brush, especially when the definition of 'guru' is so individual.

        You have a right to be angry, but please apply a little perspective before posting blanket accusations...
        I agree, to really make a good comment you would have to reveal a bit more about the issues with the program or at least present an extensive quote of this Gurus letter...
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      • Profile picture of the author buxnut
        Couldn't tell from your post if the email you received was from the person you actually bought the script from, or just some random d-bag claiming to know of a phantom security risk with your site.

        If the former, you haven't really provided enough detail for anyone here to make an intelligent assessment (could be a valid "unforseen technological obsolescence," or it could be BS).

        If the latter... well, that just totally sucks.
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    • Profile picture of the author CyberSorcerer
      Originally Posted by tpw View Post

      You might be able to share the name of the script and the stated security problem.

      And then an industrious warrior could make his own repair solution, and sell it to you for a reasonable price.
      I'll tell you what, sense I'm a security researcher myself, I can look over your script to see if there is a vulnerability and fix it for free. NO CHARGE. Because, if there is a security vulnerability in it I'll report it to the proper security reporting sites so others will know.

      If you don't thinks there's a vulnerability and this is just a scare tactic for the guru to get more money from you then no problem. This is only if you're interested.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rod Cortez
    I've been around long enough to know that we're only getting one side of this story. While at the outset it would seem that the OP has a good point, but then again multi-billion dollar software companies have to create updates to plug security leaks and to fix /update their software. Some offer free updates, some don't. Others, it depends on how intricate the update will be or what's been set forth in the license or purchase contract.

    So it might very well be possible the marketer, his programmer, another programmer, a customer of his, etc. may have found the security leak and now he wants to make it right by letting his customers know.

    It's also possible that the support to fix such a thing might not have been included in the inital price or it might not be a simple fix. I have no idea. But I find it interesting that so many people are ready to jump on the "bash" or "hate-a-guru" band wagon without knowing all the facts or, at the very least, the other side. I can easily see both sides to this argument which is why I'm bringing this up and why I'm not picking a side.

    I think there are too many "ifs" and unknowns in the original post to really come to any reasonable conclusions. How many times have we seen in this very forum when someone makes a post similar to the one made and then the marketer comes and makes a post with facts that the original poster failed to share with the rest of us. I'm not saying RedHat39 is necessarily doing this, but it's clear to me we're not hearing the other side.

    By the way, happy Turkey Day.....

    RoD
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    • Profile picture of the author donhx
      Originally Posted by Rod Cortez View Post

      It's also possible that the support to fix such a thing might not have been included in the inital price or it might not be a simple fix. I

      RoD
      It appears that the script is defective by the admission of the person selling it. That is the whole point of the original post. There would be no issue if the person selling the script had not warned others of the matter. The issue was not presented as an optional upgrade.

      "Fixes" to defective scripts are always included in the price. It is the only way that script developers can protect themselves from lawsuits. Yes, they can be very costly to vendors, but that is the price they pay for selling defective products.

      If there really are thousands of people out there using this defective script, this could be a class action lawsuit. Lawyers usually accept them on a contingency basis--no fee until the matter is resolved. If the script cost more than a few hundred dollars, it's time to call a lawyer.

      If you're talking $50-$75 or something like that, you have to make a decision. Suck it up and pay, or refuse to do business with this alleged guru and/or alleged con-artist.

      Looks like a win-win no matter what you decide. Consider your own self-interest when you make your decision. If you're making money, do what you need to do and move on. What about the alleged guru/con-artist? Karma dictates that double evil will eventually come upon him if he has acted unjustly.
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  • Profile picture of the author Benguy
    Response: Hey that's funny cause I actually found a vulnerability in one of your scripts too. I'll "fix" it for $87345789203.
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    • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
      So what's the difference between the OP's situation and this?

      Windows 7: Consumer security software providers

      Martin
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    • Profile picture of the author Crew Chief
      Originally Posted by RedHat39 View Post

      I don't know maybe I'm reading too much into this, but I swear this really steams me that gurus use these tactics to grub even more money from their customers.
      OP, there is a difference between a genuine Guru and a genuine Gooroo.

      Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

      I understand your anger, and I find this vendor's behavior reprehensible.

      That said, I have a problem with your post, as well. Mostly with the use of the plural "gurus"... You have a right to be angry, but please apply a little perspective before posting blanket accusations...
      John, I concur with your assessment on so many levels. The first of which being, there are individuals who will take such blanket statements and proceed to stir up a Internet riot against well heeled IMers without having the facts just because said IMers are perceived to be Gurus.

      Gurus are never the issue by the mere definition of a true Guru, which is...

      gu·ru

       /ˈgʊəru, gʊˈru/ Show Spelled[goor-oo, goo-roo] Show IPA
      -noun 1. Hinduism . a preceptor giving personal religious instruction.

      2. an intellectual or spiritual guide or leader.

      3. any person who counsels or advises; mentor: The elder senator was her political guru.

      4. a leader in a particular field: the city's cultural gurus.

      Origin:
      1820-30; < Hindi gurū < Skt guru venerable, weighty
      The obvious implication is that the person providing the mentoring/advice is versed in the area they are providing the mentoring/advice in.

      And the thing about a true mentor/advisor/guru is that they provide sound advice, that if followed, will net great results.

      Originally Posted by Rod Cortez View Post

      I've been around long enough to know that we're only getting one side of this story.
      That's the way these issues usually go.

      OP, if I were you, I'd start another thread void of any type of bashing, hurling of insults and minus any personal outrage or attacks. The thread should be about who is having "THIS" problem with "THIS" application and how do we solve it.

      You're guaranteed to get the answers you seek with the WF Brain Trust!

      Giles, the Crew Chief
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      • Profile picture of the author tpw
        Originally Posted by Crew Chief View Post


        gu·ru

           /ˈgʊəru, gʊˈru/ Show Spelled[goor-oo, goo-roo] Show IPA
        -noun 1. Hinduism . a preceptor giving personal religious instruction.

        2. an intellectual or spiritual guide or leader.

        3. any person who counsels or advises; mentor: The elder senator was her political guru.

        4. a leader in a particular field: the city's cultural gurus.

        Origin:
        1820-30; < Hindi gurū < Skt guru venerable, weighty
        Giles: Thank you for reminding of the real definition of guru... Honestly...

        I have been thinking for a long time that the way some IM gurus are described is a little off from the actual definition of such.

        You have verified that as fact.
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  • Profile picture of the author JD Nunes
    Anyone who sells software should be willing to provide support for it...especially if their product sucks in the first place.
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  • Profile picture of the author richjo
    2 scenarios ran in my head when i read through this post. Surely there is more intellect in the world when future sales can be harvested.

    Scenario 1 - The OPs current scenario - I buy software, software is somewhat deficient, seller offers to fix said software for $147 thru some sort of botched and thoughtless JV, I decline, I never purchase anything from seller again

    Scenario 2 - I buy software, software is somewhat deficient, seller fixes software gratis, and sends regular updates, seller tries to sell me something for $147 3 months later, im interested.

    whats so difficult. scenario 1 is nigh on immoral, scenario 2 is just good business
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    • Profile picture of the author RobDB5950
      This happens too much in the IM business. There are too many scammers and 1 hitter quitters
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  • Profile picture of the author sarahberra
    Yikes! I'm so sorry. There are so many scams out there. I like to watch Tiffany Dow's reviews because she is really honest. If she doesn't like something, she will tell you right off the bat.
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    • Profile picture of the author RobDB5950
      Is that a mailing list or is it a blog? If it's a blog how often is it updated with IM tools reviews? Thanks!


      Originally Posted by sarahberra View Post

      Yikes! I'm so sorry. There are so many scams out there. I like to watch Tiffany Dow's reviews because she is really honest. If she doesn't like something, she will tell you right off the bat.
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      • Profile picture of the author Crew Chief
        Maybe everyone should take a deep breath and relax and then take note of the last statement made by the OP...

        Originally Posted by RedHat39 View Post

        I've registered a complaint to the original vendor/programmer and awaiting to see his response first.
        As Rod Cortez stated, we don't have all the facts. The OP has attempted to make contact with the vendor, lets see how his attempt and subsequent dealings pan out.

        In other words, let's not RUSH to judgment!

        Giles, the Crew Chief
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  • Profile picture of the author donkey097
    your definitely not reading too much into it, there are too many scammers out there, i would name and shame them as you dont know how many people they are doing this to.
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  • Profile picture of the author SteveGTaylor
    aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh why do we constantly have to call these people 'gurus'. Why don't we just call them gods. Jees. Anyone that worked offline in the 80's and 90's will know that the IT guy could always charge what he liked cos he used terms like hex dump, WTF sure I will pay you $1,000 dollars a day just fix it!
    Gurus god I hate that term.
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