Stanford’s Who’s Who 2013 Canadian Edition: I’m in there… Or am I?


I received a call on my business line the other day from a young man with a fairly heavy New York accent who called to congratulate me for being recognized for my contributions and to welcome me to the 2013 Stanford’s Who’s Who – Canadian Edition.

For those of you unfamiliar with this organization, Stanford Who’s Who, is an “elite organization of selected executives, professionals and entrepreneurs from around the world who’s members are hand selected from across the globe and invitation is granted only to those individuals who have demonstrated leadership and achievement in their occupation, industry, or profession.”

I got that from their Linkedin page.

After explaining to me a little about the organization and boosting up my confidence, he then needed to cross-reference information from me, which to be honest seemed like he was gathering information he should have known if I was really “one of Canada’s most influential people”, as he claimed.

“You should have done your homework” I thought to myself.

“I just need to verify this information for your biography” he quickly said as if he were reading my mind.

Then the questions started, and as I was answering them, a whole bunch of things entered my mind;

1) Who are Stanford’s Who’s Who? Certainly not part of Stanford University otherwise they would have mentioned that right away one would think, and the phone number would have identified that.

2) What specifically are they calling in regards to? Am I being recognized for my Blogging? Tax expertise? 20+ year Ball hockey career? Coffee expertise? For having a MBA? Really I’ll take any of those but should he have identified this right away so I don’t have to ramble!

3) How much is this going to cost me, because if there is a huge fee, I’m out. I started my own business 2 weeks ago so I need to be even more fiscally responsible over the next couple of months as my practice grows.

and so he continued… Pumping up my ego and making it seem like they were waiting to make contact with me for the publication.

There are some 100,000 people world wide in this publication, so it’s not as prestigious as they led me to believe right away, but heck, I can share the spotlight with these folks, right?

Then he said the magical words to me; “Well, based on the information you have just confirmed with me I would say you are definitely someone that will continue to have a large impact in your field and we would like to welcome you to the 2013 Stanford Who’s Who Canadian Section”.

As well as networking opportunities with tens of thousands of “like-minded people”, I just need you to decide between the Platinum and Gold packages, the first being $899 for five years and the second being $699 for five years.”

“I see,” I said, pausing ever so slightly so he would not think that I just dropped the phone. “Canadian or US dollars” I asked.

He paused… much too long for my liking.

“US Dollas” he replied.

“Oh” I replied, now looking at my watch and realizing that I had 15 minutes to get to a client who was 15 minutes away.

“Is it the money?” he asked.

“No, it’s not that at all” I replied. “I’m an influencer… You said so yourself. Money is not the problem, but time is. I’m scheduled to meet a client in 15 minutes and I have to leave now. Can we talk later today?” I asked.

“Does it seem expensive?” he said. “We need your decision today so we can meet our print deadline.”

“Um …” I said. “If I’m holding up the print deadline then either you waited too long to contact me, or I’ll have to wait and be in next year’s edition. I mentioned that I just opened my own practice and I’m going to be late for a client meeting if we continue. Can we speak later on? Is there a number I can reach you at?”

“I’ll tell you what we’ll do. I’m going to take the price down to $599 for the Gold membership AND you can upgrade to a Premium for free after three years if you choose to. But you can’t tell ANYONE about this deal we’re making.”

“Sure,” I said. “And I have my credit card in my hand, but I am pressed for time and will not be making any decision which requires me to give a credit card over the phone in 15 minutes because you are pressed for time. I have a client meeting to attend to and either we are able to touch base later or I’ll have to opt of of this version. Which will it be?”

“I’ll need an address to send your paperwork to,” he said. “Can you give me that? There’s some stuff you need to sign.”

“I’m sorry, I just don’t have the time right now…”

Click.

And so the conversation ended. They hung up on me. Can you imagine? I’m an influencer. I’m a somebody. Or in reality, I’m just like everyone else looking for an edge over our competitors and peers and clicked through an ad on LinkedIn prompting the flattering phone sales pitch.

Would I ever give my credit card over the phone? No.

Would I sign up for something that seemed too good to be true without reading the fine print? No.

Would I want to be recognized for something special, sure, who wouldn’t but there is a price I would be wiling to pay and it would have to be something legitimate where they want me to read the fine print before taking my money. Once the hard sell starts, I walk away, and so should you.

Have you heard of Stanford’s who’s who? Have you bitten on their offer?

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6 thoughts on “Stanford’s Who’s Who 2013 Canadian Edition: I’m in there… Or am I?

  1. Evelyn So May 31, 2013 / 08:48

    I’ve received lots of “who’s who” invites via email. All go immediately to trash. I did pay attention the first time, at least gave them a small benefit of doubts, but it was so obviously a scam. Interesting to see that they would go as far as to call you to be “honoured” !

    Like

    • The Urban Daddy May 31, 2013 / 09:22

      Hi Evelyn,

      Thanks for your comment. Believe it or not, while I was researching this organization I came across 2 other blog posts with hundreds of comments from bloggers who actually gave them their credit card over the phone and were charged thousands of dollars.

      I was shocked.

      I’m glad to see there are other people like myself who question the absurd and immediately send to the junk folder.

      I’m special in my own way. lol.

      Like

  2. sistercrystalmary June 8, 2013 / 08:05

    Thank you for informing others on this. I found Stamford’s Who’s Who site through Linkedin and thought it sounded a good way to advertise my book. They said it was FREE… Liar number one.
    Then I was sent an email with their site address to click on, which I did. Was I in for a shock! A RED and BLACK alert was splashed all over the page telling me to get off quick smart.
    I have been ill, but tonight I decided to write about these people on my Blog, that’s how I found you..
    I decided to take a copy of the alert to paste with the story. And what did I find? they are closed down for a few days making repairs. That’s probably because I let them know that I knew they are scammer’s.

    Like

    • The Urban Daddy June 13, 2013 / 10:32

      Good for you to take the time to research them before sending money. A smart consumer is a a safe consumer!

      Thanks for dropping by and taking time to comment. I’ll be sure to come by your site as well.

      Cheers!

      Like

  3. Scientist June 19, 2013 / 23:15

    They are Scammers!! and cleaver company name! I am quite happy in my full time job but I decided to form a new internet-based business. It started with them calling me while I was in America and I told them I cannot do it then because it would cost me a fortune on my phone (just as well). Anyway I was not even know what this was all about because I did not apply for a job or anything like that. But been excited about my new website I must have signed up for all sort of stuff, mailing list etc. Anyway…

    Fast forward x10…..June 20, 2013, 10:29 am, temp 8oC, partly sunny: I got this telephone call from a friendly sounding woman and the interview began. First it started off very great asking me my credentials, publications, where I see my self in the next 5 years, what inspired me to start the new company, my experience in the field, what were my product and services, what inspired me to start the business, what do I attribute my success to (see my answer at the end), and my highest level of study (I paused a thought because I thought they should have know that already). All good questions and of course I wanted to impress so I admittedly was trying very hard to sugar coat the facts while still being unscripted and honest.

    Fast forward x1…..June 20, 2013, approx. 10:35 am, temp 8oC, partly cloudy: paraphrased “Well just by talking with you I can tell you are very passionate about your work and have the ability to make a big impact on society”, I would like to welcome you to the Stanford Who’s who exclusive Society and we would like to feature you in our publication” Up until then I did not even know who was interviewing me, what organization etc so at that split moment I thought that this organization was linked to Stanford University and that they found me on the internet. Admittedly my ego felt a bit boosted at that moment.

    Fast forward x3…June 20, 2013, approx. 10:40 am, temp 8oC, partly cloudy: The well scripted details about getting the most out of my business and getting as much interactions as possible. Then I started to think, ok how much will this cost me? and it finally came in a disguised manner. She said in order to profile me they need my home address (I told her), then she said something about transaction, and which card I use (I told her). She asked me for the expiration date (I told her). It was happening so quickly now and of course she was offering me a package for almost $900, by now I could not get a word in and then she asked me for the number on the card.

    She made me felt as if I was obligated to sign up because I was the one who made the application to them and as if they have gone through such a long process by attending to my application. I told her to please send me an email outlying what we had just discussed and the different pricing options so I can sit down and read the fine prints. She insisted this has to be done over the phone and she insinuated at this is how business is conducted nowadays and as if I was living behind times. She said she cannot send an email. I maintained that I need an email from her with the details and during that time the price went down to under $150. I told her I had to go to a meeting now and that I had to go and I could not get her off the phone.

    Fast forward x3…June 20, 2013, approx. 10:56 am, temp 8oC, Sunny: I hang up the phone!

    And the answer to her question:

    Her: “what do you attribute your success to?”

    Me: Just two words ” Hard work” (quite ironic)

    There was a little pause, (maybe she was expecting me to say more), I felt that I had to fill the Gap so I

    “….unless I had won the lottery” We both laughed. Fortunately I did not give her the last laugh.

    Like

  4. Arthur Hutley December 26, 2013 / 18:20

    I was “recommended” via Linkedin and went along with the flow for some time as it was “free’. Then there was a $480 us fee to be printed in the book as excutive of the year 2012. After communication back and forth { they did give me a number and a contact name] I finally pain the fee. Then a little later there was a request for the final payment which I declined..However they went ahead and took the payment anyway.After more communication where I suggested I would contact the fraud squad I told my bank of the situation the bank refunded my money. I did get a wooden scroll plaque with a gold print screed and a glass desk plaque . There was some extensive internet advert of my “achievement” .But when I refused to pay what I was told was an annual fee it was all taken down. I note now there is a push for up to $92 per month special services avaiable on Linkedin.

    Like

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