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Watch out for hotComm / 1st Works!

Discussion in 'Scam Alerts' started by Black Knight, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. Black Knight

    Black Knight Private, 1st Class

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    I really dislike making posts such as this one, but I feel it is my duty to warn people of prowlers and abusers out there in the trading world. No doubt, if you've spent any time in trading rooms, you've run across hotComm. I first found this company a bit strange because they are the only ones out there charging you, the end-user for the client connect software (most just charge the presenter - but they greedily charge at both ends). Their website and product offerings are also quite confusing in my opinion.

    None the less, in my due diligence, I looked at their product and compared it against the (much more reasonably priced) competition. Now, I personally hate contacting companies with questions. Experience has shown that once they have your e-mail address, they just abuse it with endless spam (and some even sell it). And most are so eager to give you their sales script, they ignore your original question(s) anyway.

    Well, 1st Works (the makers of hotComm), surpassed even this. Believe it or not, their over-eager sales rep Kevin Driscoll actually researched & dug up my personal phone number (not listed in my info request, my website, or even in the local phone book) and actually had the gall to call me in the middle of the trading day to try and push his point (and this is after he already received an e-mail from me stating I wasn't interested - translation: "good bye").

    Perhaps I over-reacted, but I really felt downright stalked by this individual. I guess I needed to find out whether it was just him, or whether this sort of heavy-handed approach was "company policy". So I wrote to the president of the company, as well as the head of their marketing. Sorry to say, but they only confirmed my fears:

    Andrei,
    Thank you for your email.
    Forgive me if I fail to share your sense of grievance concerning Mr. Driscoll's legitimate and diligent attempts to present the advantages of hotComm.
    Please enjoy the less expensive service you have found.
    If, with experience, you decide to reconsider hotComm, we will be pleased to make our proposals again.
    But only by email.
    Regards,
    Nigel Spicer
    President
    1stWorks Corporation, creators of hotComm and Files2Phones


    Wow...

    -=Black Knight
     
  2. Pharaoh

    Pharaoh Colonel

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    Hmmmnnnn... finding and calling unlisted phone numbers is "legitimate and diligent attempts to present the advantages" of their product to sales leads. I wonder if they send commando sales teams to break into the houses of existing customers to legitimately and diligently present valuable upgrade offers.
    :D

    This is why I always provide a phone number that goes straight to voice mail. It lessens the desire of diligent salesweasels to look up my real number.
     
  3. Black Knight

    Black Knight Private, 1st Class

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    Breaking Down Doors

    Now THERE'S an idea, Pharaoh... perhaps we should suggest it to them.

    Seriously though, that was my point - I didn't give them any number (nor is my number listed) - they really had to look. That's what made the whole experience so creepy (that, and the fact they didn't see what I was upset about).

    -=Black Knight
     
  4. DaveO

    DaveO Private, 1st Class

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    I am surprised to hear your experience Black Knight.

    I was a subscriber with Hotcomm for about 3 years in their earlier days of development. Was also a room moderator so inevitably had quite a lot of contact with their support and I knew Kevin Driscoll who was always kept very busy. I can only think that Kevin had some reason to think you needed a one on one reply.

    This apart, I can vouch that Hotcomm was the best technology available for educational real time rooms. Two way audio and video worked well and with many platform functionality features for both moderators and users.

    I am out of touch with what is available through the last 2 or 3 years but I have not since visited any webinar or online event which is hosted on a platform that comes anywhere near the benefits of Hotcomm. For example we were using quad screens to display up to 8 or 10 RT charts.

    I hope this provides an alternative perspective. I am always the first to despise high pressure sales tactics but I never did experience anything like that with this company. As to their charges, the service is ideal for ongoing educational rooms where subscribers are likely longer term users. For promotional events Hotcomm had a system of a free trial period to facilitate any moderator wishing to run a promotional without any charge to the visitor.

    Unless something has radically changed in the last coupla years I can say that you need have no fear of this company and their support is instant.

    David.
     
  5. Black Knight

    Black Knight Private, 1st Class

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    Much Better Out There

    I've tried out about a dozen different conferencing software tools, and I have to disagree with you, David. hotComm is NOT the best out there, they only claim to be. How can you run a trading room when you cannot even bring a chart up on a whiteboard in order to draw on it? hot Comm stinks - and not just their staff or policies. There are tools with far better features, and far lower cost out there.
     
  6. DaveO

    DaveO Private, 1st Class

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    Thanks Black Knight,

    Well things move forward at an alarming rate online. I would be very grateful if you will email me or post here some of your findings re the best providers in the context of functional trading rooms with a high degree of reliability. I am presently involved using an omnovia room and it has many shortcomings.

    BTW, I thought I had enabled email alerts for posts made in this forum but no email was received re your reply. Any clues ?

    Thank you,
    David.
     
  7. Black Knight

    Black Knight Private, 1st Class

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    Conferencing Rooms

    Sorry, Dave - I'm not involved with the running or support of this site/forum in any way, so I cannot help you out in regards to not getting notifications.

    In regards to conference rooms, I don't even consider OmNovia in the same category - it's just a glorified (and over-priced) chat room. In regards to price vs. performance/features, my current favorite is iVocalize.net
     
  8. DaveO

    DaveO Private, 1st Class

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    Thanks Black Knight,

    I agree re omnovia. My issue is to pursuade my partners to go back to Hotcomm or something similar/better. I will take a look at iVocalize,net. Appreciate your response !

    David.
     
  9. Egros

    Egros Private

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