Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Business Review: VoiceAmerica Online Radio
Well, that sounded interesting. I had never heard of VoiceAmerica, so my initial thought was that someone had read my blog or my Examiner.com articles, or my web page and was interested in a radio interview about some aspect of any of those topics. Rather than calling back right away, I began to look around online to see what I could learn. I'm suspicious that way.
I did find the website for VoiceAmerica and I did find a staff person named Scott Duffy. So far so good. So I emailed Scott Duffy directly to explain the phone message I had. I got back a cryptic response of "Oh, I was just about to call her, so, what do you want to do?". To which I responded something to the effect of "huh? You called me, what do YOU want to do?". It was sort of confusing.
I continued to look around the website and tried to find some reviews about the company, complaints about the company, any buzz about the company. And honestly, for the most part, the information about the company is coming from the company. They have a "Host Kit" you can download, and it is a bunch of advertising for them without any substance or detail.
The best I could piece together is that VoiceAmerica is an online, talk radio business that for a fee (how much, I have no idea), will allow you to pay them to have your own talk show. OK, that's sort of interesting. But I'm just a poor blogging housewife with no money. Where did they get my cell phone number? Why were they calling me? I have no money. I have never expressed a desire to host my own talk radio show. But here's "Mr. Duffy" acting as though I contacted THEM.
So, I did get another message from Scott Duffy apologizing for any confusion, and stating that I must be "a hot commodity to have made it to the desk of both of his assistants". OK, dude, that's a bunch of crap. He also said "they were looking for people to host shows etc and were interested in me". Never said why. They man had no idea who I was or why he might be interested in me. He made it sound as though they were looking to hire when in fact, their business is ALL about recruitment.
My conclusion? VoiceAmerica must do some random trolling for bloggers or people with an online presence who might be desperate enough to get more public exposure to pay someone to let them talk on a radio show once a week online. I don't doubt that this is the case for some people trying to build their businesses by using this medium for advertising themselves. I think VoiceAmerica must do some cold-call soliciting, pretending to be interested in the individual even though they have no knowledge of them.
There are not many complaints with the BBB online for this company. I saw only two that were old and had been closed so I was unable to view them. Therefore, the BBB gave them an A rating. I'm sure they are legit, but they raised all of my red flags about being pandered to. I believe my last email to Mr. Duffy, in the part of the email where he says I must be a "hot commodity", I responded "OK, now I KN OW you're blowing smoke, because I'm not on anyone's list of hot commodities". I thanked him for his "interest" but stated that I was not interested in paying him so I could host my own radio show. That's the last I heard from his office.
See, I'm thinking, eventually, somebody should be paying ME to be on the air, not the other way around.
I can't say that VoiceAmerica is not legit. They have some interesting looking broadcasts. If I liked talk radio, I might even listen to some of them. You can check it out on their site.
But first of all, I really hate it when so-called professionals use titles instead of their names. "Mr. Duffy"? I don't even call my doctor "Dr.". People say it's a matter of showing respect. I say it's a matter of trying to view oneself as more important than someone else. I mean, they used my first name in their correspondence with me, so why am I interested in "Mr. So and so"?
Secondly, don't pretend you know me, are interested specifically in what I can do for you, when you have no idea who I am and are really soliciting for me to pay YOU for a service. That chaps.
Lastly, be upfront with your business proposition. There is no place on the website, or in the kit that states that they want you to pay them for them to provide you with an "opportunity", much less the specific terms and amounts. I'm assuming they schmooze you with their wonderfulness and then send you a contract with that info spelled out later. Put your terms and fees on your website alongside the service you provide. Be honest and straightforward. Nothing makes me angrier than hidden agendas and misleading advertising. It sort of puts them on par with Multi-Level Network Marketers who want to "share an opportunity" and "it doesn't involve selling, it involves sharing the opportunity with others", but they often won't say up front what company they are with and what it is they "aren't" selling. Barf.
Rant over. I'm sure their programing is fine. But this experience with them made my ass ache.