RE: Anyone know anything about The Help Factory?

Subject: RE: Anyone know anything about The Help Factory?
From: "Grant, Christopher" <CGrant -at- glhec -dot- org>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 2002 09:23:36 -0600


> But, it doesn't matter how they got it [RoboHelp], I still
> think they're a scam outfit.
>
> Kelly

Sheesh! Even if they legitimately purchased it and are offering services,
they're just... still a scam outfit? As someone else asked, is there any
_real_ evidence to suggest this? Because there's a good chunk of evidence
to suggest they're legit:

1. For the quick Word-to-help deal, you must first send them your Word doc,
and have them confirm for you that the doc will work with their $30 deal.
It's not like you're paying $30 without knowing if they can do it or not.

2. They go out of their way to explain what they're doing (using
industry-standard help generation tools) and specify exactly what they
_won't_ do.

3. It seems fairly reasonable to think that using RoboHelp to convert a
well-structured doc to online help can be accomplished within an hour, which
according to their information is billed at $30/hr, providing legitimacy to
the $30 figure.

4. We've discovered who's registered the domain name via Whois, so there
_is_ contact information (of course the registrant might not be the folks
running the site.)

5. Though it's not as strong as a formal contract, an agreement is outlined
on the site and could be cited in, for example, small claims court if they
don't deliver.

6. They seem to have a grasp of the issues real technical writers agonize
over, such as how "technical" technical writers are - this leads me to
believe they're actually who they say they are.

7. We're talking about $30. You can't get rich quick by charging folks only
$30/pop for something only a small segment of the workforce even cares
about. This is not a "get rich quick" scheme.

8. This is, as someone else said, an example of loss-leader marketing. It's
clear that they _really_ want you to consult with them for larger products.
The $30 deal is a way to cheaply see how they work.

I just don't see a lot of evidence that this is a scam. Is it possible the
paranoia and suspicion has something to do with being frustrated that
someone else thought of this particular marketing scheme first?

Chris Grant



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