RE: Anyone know anything about The Help Factory?

Subject: RE: Anyone know anything about The Help Factory?
From: "Sharon Burton-Hardin" <sharon -at- anthrobytes -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 2002 07:56:27 -0800

Since I started this -

1. I don't think it is a scam, I actually wanted to know who it was to get a
better idea of the competition. So many tech writing outsourcing companies
have failed this year...

2. In this economy, if this fellow can make this work to get new business in
the door, I am envious I didn't think of it. I may come up with something
like it.

3. I found him on Overture, where I advertise, spending a lot of money on
certain keywords - way more than the others who are bidding on those key
words. That means he is willing to pay up to $2 a click for certain
keywords. That made me wonder, as that is possibly a lot of money. The next
closest bids are about $1 a click.

4. The lack of direct contact info always makes me wonder, but perhaps he is
a very small shop wanting to look like a larger shop. Nothing wrong with
that, but a general location in the US would be nice. Not needed, just nice
to see. Again, wondering who the competition is.

5. Considering I am sitting on large invoices that are 50 days old for a
client with a 30 payment cycle - they are just a little slow right now, they
tell me, but will cut the check on Monday - I don't think billing the way he
wants is a bad idea. I know my client will pay because they have in the past
and they are very large, but with the smaller amounts, it can be much harder
to get paid, believe it or not. So his billing method makes sense.


Sharon Burton-Hardin
CEO, Anthrobytes Consulting

-----Original Message-----
From: bounce-techwr-l-71429 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
[mailto:bounce-techwr-l-71429 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com]On Behalf Of Grant,
Sent: Thursday, December 12, 2002 7:24 AM
Subject: RE: Anyone know anything about The Help Factory?

> 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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RE: Anyone know anything about The Help Factory?: From: Grant, Christopher

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