This is just scary, but is rampant in the stock trading services industry as well. These criminals give away a free book, DVD or both where they smash you over the head for shipping and handling (that winds up paying for the product and the shipping) then upsell you on the rush delivery (same processing and speed just a scam and free money for the criminals). From there, they offer you a deal on some recurring charge service that is next to impossible to cancel. then, they give your name and phone number out to a den of thieves out west that call and abuse you with guilt and shame in order to con you into buying overinflated coaching taught by 10/hour script readers. The person that gives your name out disavows any knowledge of doing so, although they are mentioned by the hard selling scumbags over and over again. They just sit there screeching WE HELP PEOPLE! When its there time to face the judge, I wonder if they will use that as their defense.
To be clear:
I understand that this is a business. I'm IN the business, and I know that a business's goal is to make more money then they spend. To me, it is NOT about trying to scam people by bragging only about winning trades, or periods where you do well, which is in the minority for these filthbags. Usually they are blowing up their accounts with countless margin calls, and using subscriber's money to refuel their habit. Here's an idea: be transparent. These scumbags can never be transparent because you will see how awful they are. they promise audited records, but you will NEVER EVER see them. They will just make excuse after excuse as to why YOU didn't make money, not why their calls sucked hard and drove you to take a second mortgage or max out your credit cards. But hey, don't get me started!
I think it's fine with a free report or product as a lead generation tool, its called an "ethical bribe". It should be a DIGITAL download and not require a credit card to get it, even if that credit card is just for shipping and handling.
I think it's fine to offer a purchase after a free download if the value is there. Something like a DVD or a set of reports, as long as it has real absolute VALUE. Not a second rate service because the main super guru is off spending their subscribers money finding themselves (again).
I'm also fine with a free trial that CLEARLY discloses that if you want to continue you will be billed a monthly fee, not hidden in the fine print. There should be a clear way to cancel, not phone numbers to nowhere, or limited office hours.
Anyway, your feedback is always welcome.