So, have you received your award yet? I did:
From: “Board of Review” <email@example.com>
Date: 20 Aug 2009 07:03:21 -0700
Subject: Second Notice: SMC Net Receives 2009 Best of DePere Award
Earlier this year, I sent a notification email to you recognizing that SMC Net had been selected for the 2009 Best of DePere Award in the Web Site Design category.
In recognition of your achievement, a 2009 Best of DePere Award has been designed for display at your place of business. You may arrange to have your award sent directly to SMC Net by following the simple steps on the 2009 Best of DePere Award order form. Simply copy and paste this link into your browser to receive your award: https://www.us-ca.org/A3UYN-6LRK
Each year, the US Commerce Association (USCA) identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.
Also, a copy of the press release publicizing the selection of SMC Net has been posted on our website. The USCA hereby grants SMC Net a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to use, reproduce, distribute, and display this press release in any media formats and through any media channels.
An Award Code has been assigned to your company that can be used on our website for quick access to your award information and press release.
Your Award Code is: 3UYN-6LRK
Selection Committee Chair
US Commerce Association
The intended recipient of this notification is the Marketing Director for SMC Net. If you have received this email in error please forward it to the intended recipient. If you do not wish to receive further advertisements from Best of DePere Award Program, please mail a written request to: us-ca.org, 2020 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, DC 20006 or simply click to opt-out.
Pretty cool eh? Yeah, right. So what’s the problem? The problem is that it’s bogus. It’s a joke. It’s sent by a company who just wants to sell plaques. The first clue is that I develop web sites, I don’t design them (yeah I know, maybe you don’t know the difference, but a company giving awards for it should). And even so, if they’re giving me an award for “web site design”, you’d think they’d tell me which web site they’re talking about. Second, they’re honoring my company, smcNet, for “exceptional marketing success.” I don’t market. My marketing budget is $0. smcNet isn’t even my full time job, and I’m winning a marketing award?
So, thinking that they probably just want to sell me something, I visited their web site and filled out the form to see what would happen. I was so honored to be presented with the opportunity to purchase my plaque for $79.99. Or I could instead get the award in crystal for only $179.99. But that’s not all. I could purchase both for $199.99. What a deal!
Holy cow! This is just unbelievable. After all my hard work, sweating over my web sites for 14 years, all the late nights, I’m so honored. I’d like to thank so many people who have supported me in my career, but I won’t for fear that I’ll leave someone out.
Come on folks. What kind of company comes in out of no where, gives you an award, then honors you with the opportunity to buy your plaque? And they do it by e-mail, no less; they didn’t even spring for a 44Â¢ stamp and a letter. This reminds me of those web sites that send you an e-mail saying, “you won the Scott Crevier Web Site Of The Day Award…please display my logo on your web site and link back to my site…”
Here are a number of companies tweeting about their new award.
Here’s a newspaper article about the award: Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Here’s a press release about the award: PRWeb.
Here are letters and notices from various Better Business Bureau offices:
The US Commerce Association (aka US Local Business Association) has a rating of “F” from the Better Business Bureau, who opened a file for them on May 13, 2008. The company received this “F” rating based on the following factors:
- BBB does not have sufficient information to determine how long this business has been operating
- Number of complaints filed against business
- Failure to respond to complaints filed against business
- BBB does not have sufficient background information on this business
Here is the BBB’s Reliability Report (be sure to look at the alternate business names).
So, did you get your award? Congratulations!