Today’s asshats of the day are Adam Winter and Thomas A. DiCicco, Jr. of “Web Guardian” (I don’t know if it’s this WebGuardian, but it’s probably just a boiler room in Boca Raton).
The first time Adam called he gave his full name (“Adam Winter”, possibly a pseudonym; if I were working in a sleazy boiler room in Boca I sure as hell wouldn’t give my real name) and said that he was with “My Search Enterprise” and was calling regarding Google. He called from 561-237-3018 and left the number 561-305-2861.
The second time he called from 561-237-3019 and left the number 561-237-3018. This time he claimed to be “Adam w/ Google” and claimed to be calling regarding “fraud on the internet”, an interesting claim, considering that his claimed affiliation with Google was itself fraudulent. Like Kevin McHenry and Terry Fifer of R.W. Lynch, these people have no compunction against lying to try to get a call back.
Well, I called back to see how Adam Winter justified lying to my answering service. I reached Thomas DiCicco, who admitted that he was Adam’s boss at “Web Guardian” (boiler-room theory confirmed: different business names and phone numbers, but same guy) but unhesitatingly denied that Adam had claimed to be with Google. Like the folks at R.W. Lynch, they’ll deny to their last dying breath that they lie to get people to call them back. (Here’s a riddle, Tom: you didn’t know who I was; how could you have known that Adam hadn’t claimed to be with Google when he left a message for me?)
I’ve been getting this sort of call fairly regularly. When they reach me, the claim becomes “I’m so-and-so, and I work with Google and Yahoo.” Plausible deniability, right? “I never said I worked for Google and Yahoo!” Well, I work with Google and Yahoo too, so STFU and don’t call me any more. (Actually, no need: now that I have added Google Voice to my phone flow, I can blacklist your numbers myself.)
Here’s the real problem for lawyers: outsourcing marketing = outsourcing ethics, as New York personal injury lawyer Eric Turkewitz concisely puts it. I don’t know what sort of snake oil Adam Winter and Thomas A. DiCicco, Jr. are selling, but it doesn’t matter. Guys who think it’s okay to lie to the receptionist think it’s okay to lie you and your clients.
If, after they’ve lied to your staff, you call them and they lie to you, blame nobody but yourself.
And if you give them money and they lie to your clients? Well, that’s on you too. I guarantee that Adam and Thomas are not gonna come stand up for you in the grievance proceeding. Because that’s the way asshats roll.
[Update: This post was good in 2007, too, when Turkewitz wrote it.]