MyPoints Uses Bogus Testimonials For Insiders Club

February 23, 2006 · 0 comments

I was intrigued to hear about a new MyPoints service called the Insider’s Club. Supposedly you pay some kind of membership fee ($1 for the first 30 days) and you’ll get rebated for all your shipping charges when you shop through the site. I thought that might be interesting (assuming, that is, that MyPoints is still around in 30 days). The MyPoints Insiders Club site said that this service was being offered in partnership with a site called CMG, which had been around for 5 years. So I did some digging.
CMG stands for Clarus Marketing Group, and they are the owners of, among other sites, FreeShipping.com. InternetInsidersClub is another of their sites, which they offer as a private label (personalized for your own website) to companies that need to build a tighter relationship with their customers. That’s MyPoints’ angle. (That, and it appears that MyPoints gets a $10 kickback from CMG for every new club member they bring in.)
Clarus does have a positive BBB report, and does appear to be a legitimate company.
Should MyPoints members join this program? The glowing testimonials are certainly convincing. There’s just one little problem: they’re bogus. They are NOT the opinions of real MyPoints members — in fact, they’re just carbon copies of “testimonials” on Clarus’s FreeShipping and (generic) InternetInsidersClub sites, TWO of which were EDITED to make them appear that they were written specifically about MyPoints’ Insider’s Club!
Check them out side by side and you’ll see. Here are the links to FreeShipping.com and InternetInsidersClub.com. I don’t have a direct link for the MyPoints’ Insider’s Club but if you click here and you’re logged into MyPoints, you should be able to click through. Notice that all three are the same… except that the last two on MyPoints’ Insider Club were modified to make it look like they’re talking SPECIFICALLY about the MyPoints Insider’s Club.
This is deceptive. They are fake quotes from people who are not even members of MyPoints. They may not even be real quotes at all, who knows. But the fact remains; this modifying of the last two testimonials was done purposefully and with the intention of misleading MyPoints’ members into believing that fellow members had positive experiences with this program.
I should add that the generic InternetInsidersClub.com site has a lovely animated banner on the top right that indicates that their 30 day trial membership is FREE…not the $1.00 that MyPoints charges.
For shame, MyPoints. This kind of lame marketing technique only goes to reinforce our dwindling opinion of the integrity of your program.

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