Despite seeing many examples of the worst of human nature in Africa and elsewhere, it still amazes me how low some people will stoop to take advantage of their own species.
In nature, the hyenas, jackals, coyotes, vultures and other carrion eaters do a dirty, messy job well. They perform an essential service in getting rid of dead animals, preventing disease and keeping the country side clean. They generally wait until their intended meal is dead or obviously dying. If they do kill healthy animals, it is usually because there are not enough dead or sick ones around. Then they only kill enough to satisfy their hunger not for fun or to accumulate more food than they can eat.
Even the lowly dung beetle waits until its benefactor has finished depositing its waste before it starts making its balls of dung and rolling them away. There is a code of decent, if savage, behaviour in nature, from the majestic lion to the lowly dung beetle. Unfortunately, many of the human species seems to have retained the savage and forgotten the decent.
What has really brought this home to me this week and reminded me how grasping and manipulative some people can be is the way in which some irresponsible marketers are rubbing salt in the wounds of Zeek affiliates who lost money in the Zeek closure.
Targeting ex-Zeek affiliates in ad copy headlines, email subject lines and advertising in general is not what I am referring to. Zeek victims are a sizeable group and a legitimate market segment. Offering to let former Zeek members join your opportunity at a reduced membership rate or for free is not a problem.
There are however a few people out there whose behaviour puts them lower down the scale of animal life than the dung beetle. I am referring in particular to the person who is inviting people to attend a webinar to hear the latest news on the Zeek situation, to be brought up to date on the procedure for getting a refund / payout.
Turns out that the webinar does not mention those two points, it’s just a ploy to get people to the webinar to listen to a sales pitch about something else entirely.
Then there is the legal firm that asks people to join a register to be kept up to date as the Zeek story unfolds. This appears a bit more altruistic, until the small print where it says that although a certain legal firm will not interpret the registration as a legal contract between client and attorney it will still respect the registrants’ privacy.
As I trust lawyers in general (there are a few exceptions) about as much as I trust big government, there is no way I would put my name or contact details on that. That’s asking for a flood of emails down the track and probably pressure to join a class action suit of some sort. Easy for me, the amount I had put into Zeek is not worth worrying about, I had never counted the reinvested profit share as an asset so it is only a paper “loss”. Those who had put more in might want to follow-up every possibility.
Another twist, a purported “confession” email from someone claiming to be a former high level Zeek affiliate doing the rounds. Not many people seem to know of this person so I am not sure what the motivation for the “confession” is.
The debate about Zeek will go on for years I expect, I am still not convinced that shutting it down was in the best interests of all concerned. As I wrote in my previous post, I suspect Zeek’s success and high-profile made it a convenient and publicity rich target.
Whether Zeek was guilty of wrongdoing or not is academic now. No good crying over spilt milk, but another good warning to look at opportunities critically before investing significant sums of money.
Will the Zeek experience put people off joining other Penny Auction based home-business opportunities or even Penny Auctions themselves? Unlikely, there is nothing like a well crafted get-rich-for-doing-very-little new business idea to shorten the memories of those who want to be persuaded. It does appear that some of the other Penny Auction type MLMs have moved to make their businesses bomb proof.
On a totally different topic.
A few bloggers have told me that finding and installing WordPress plug-ins can be difficult. I shot a short video showing how to do both and published it on my other blog, if you find plug-ins a problem, watch it here Focused Prosperity Plug-ins
Wishing you success.
Dung Beetle image Rafael Brix
Vulture Image Christopher Holden