Personal Business Advisors ® (PBA) – Buyer Beware of Scams – Success Breeds Enemies

( November 30, 2010 —
During a recent peer group meeting in San Antonio, TX, Uwe Brettmann, CEO of Personal Business Advisors ® (PBA) made a hard case about the ineptness of the Internet as a research tool: “Ladies and Gentlemen, Success Breeds Enemies.” We just learned this valuable lesson ourselves, when we experienced our own first internet blogging attack after more than eight years of successfully running a business


After having completed extensive research on scam blogs, we feel there is a clear need to verify, identify and research companies accused of scams, as well as the bloggers themselves, by an independent authority. Current reality is that anybody can post an unlimited number of blogs about any company, valid or not, with little to no consequences to their personal reputation.

While we, Personal Business Advisors ®, are a member of the Better Business Bureau with the best possible (A+) rating, we have learned the hard way that this doesn’t protect one from unscrupulous slander on the Internet.


There are many Internet sites and forums for submitting complaints. Unfortunately, most individuals who submit complaints do so anonymously. Additionally, the fact is that many ‘scam’ sites are deliberately located in 3rd world countries in order to avoid legal ramifications, leaving little recourse for any company whose reputation has been tarnished – essentially defeating the credibility of the entire process.

Website content is protected under the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA), which gives the ability to anybody to post anything about a U.S. based business without providing any practical recourse for that business at all. This is analogous to our trade deficit with China, as we allow foreign countries to infiltrate our markets and then utilize our laws for THEIR protection and disguise – while leaving our own citizens and business owners holding the bag.


Most of these bloggers hide behind aliases and worse, unscrupulous companies will often write negative blogs in order to harm a more successful competitor. Companies that are attacked then typically deploy expensive counter measures like online reputation management, legal teams and aggressive search engine marketing tactics to suppress negative postings. The cycle continues and in the long-term does not help anybody to get accurate and reliable information about the company they want to do business with.

Offshore resources are commonly deployed to help generate massive content in the fight against negative campaigns, however, these providers typically publish unreliable information, with very little fact finding -while cashing in on our dollars, solely because they generate traffic on the internet and NOT because they are doing reputable reporting.


As long as we allow this to happen here in the U.S., we open our door widely to those who do harm to our businesses and, in many cases, get away with it unpunished. One you begin to analyze the situation, you’ll find that it stands in the same league as cyber terrorism. Unfortunately, very few understand the need for it to be dealt with swiftly and appropriately.

We find that quite often the real scammers are actually often NOT the accused businesses, which operate openly in the eye of the public, but the bloggers themselves, hiding behind their aliases which they modify on a daily basis, responding to their OWN blogs, giving the casual reader the impression that there are actually multiple authors. In most cases there are NOT.


Personal Business Advisors ® (PBA) is currently investing a great deal of time and resources into researching and analyzing thousands of businesses, which are offering opportunities and/or partnerships on behalf of our clients. Please read testimonials on our website as validation to the credibility of our industry, business opportunities and professional services offered.

The development of an independent authority to identifying true scams, validating online complaints and finding out the true story behind the anonymous complaints would be tremendously helpful for businesses and consumers alike. Honest businesses would be able to protect their hard earned reputation and consumers would find unbiased research behind the organizations they’d like to do business with.


Until that happens, and people are actually held accountable for their online statements, we’ll all be living in the Wild West, as far as non-regulation and accountability of blogging on the Internet is concerned. This is just another unnecessary burden business owners in this country have to factor into the cost of their products and services.

Ultimately, the consumers absorb this additional cost of doing business; similar to buying from a retail store that has already included the cost from physical theft into their advertised prices. I sometimes wonder if companies in China or India have to deal with these same issues – probably not – and is why we cannot compete with their cost structure.
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