Category: marketing


Connie                                                                                                                                                                                                        Connie of Manila BBQ

Like the TV series, ‘Cheers’, for those of you who remember, ‘where everyone knows your name’, this constantly helpful, bubbly proprietor who readily welcomes you by name, once she knows it; as opposed to you being, just another customer intrigued me. I had to know more about this atypical businesswoman named Connie, so I decided to ask.

Born into a middle class family with three other siblings (two brothers and one sister for which Connie was the 3 in line of accession) in *Quezon City, a suburb of Manila in the Philippines she (Connie) counted herself as having been, ‘greatly blessed’ compared to most when growing up. “The class system in the Philippines, unlike Canada”, she commented, “is very distinct and life can be extremely hard, even for the middle class.”

With an almost musical laugh and a twinkle in her eye, she reminisced of growing up in a rice store, which also served as home and where her parents still reside and maintain the store to date. It was a two-story building she explained, with the store on the main floor and living accommodations on the second level.  However, she pointed out, unlike here (in Canada) there was no furniture due to affordability factors. She recalls how beds, the family couch and even the table and chairs were sacks of rice, which, as she pointed out, were very comfortable based on the fact you were able to shape them to fit your body contours.

Living in such a manner, she explained, taught her at an early age to appreciate having your own business as it enabled you to sustain a livelihood to care for you and your family. More so when compared to North American standards, for in the Philippines there is no welfare or unemployment insurance or even a retirement pension option, you survive solely on what you can generate for an income.

Because of this and the inability of many individuals to find work in their home country, many individuals (called OFW’s = Overseas Filipino Workers) have no other option but to leave spouses and children behind to seek a livelihood elsewhere in the world. In doing so, it enables them to provide their families the basics: food, shelter, and clothing and where possible an education and medical needs.  Most times they work in extremely abusive circumstances depending on the employer and the country, they work in for which they are under contract for up to two or three years at a time and often with long hours and no days off. It is that or imminent starvation for both them and their family.  Those fortunate enough to open their own business or able to obtain an education and skills for a specialized trade stay, if they can.

Education in the Philippines is not free, meaning unless you or your family can pay for an education you do not obtain one because the Government does not provide any form of assistance for the public schools. Cash is king and schools will not allow you to register or even proceed into each new semester once you have enrolled unless the required fess have been paid. The same rules apply when writing your exams, which are an additional fee per exam, is the norm.

Here again she, as well as her two brothers and her sister were blessed not only with the fact they were a middle class family but that their parents had a family run business that provided not only an income, but also an education, which was not only a priority for future survival, but also an attainable option. (In Connie’s case, she graduated from University of the Philippines Los Baños with a marketing degree…)

After graduation, she applied and worked on a cruise ship as an activity staff member, a position she held for three-(3) years after which time she tired of the constant travel and returned home to the Philippines.

After returning home, she became a sales representative for a cosmetics ingredients supplier for which her position entailed her to meet and sell chemicals/products to cosmetic manufacturing companies. It was during this period that she learned to drive out of necessity for her job, for which as she gleefully put it, “I learned to drive Filipino style”. She goes on to state, “I was a little rowdy driver…”

“I really enjoyed the job”, she informed me based on not only the flexible hours but also the fact she had to talk to people. “I am a people person”, she commented.

“That”, she continued, “is what I feel was my strong point when I eventually opened my own business in Canada, the love of talking to people”.

Now married with two children, a son and daughter, she explained she and her husband met, courted and married in the Philippines. Her eldest child, Chloe, was born a year after her arrival in Canada.

“Courting in the Philippines”, she commented, “unlike in Canada, is not that long.” Soon after they were married, her then husband made the decision to re-locate to Canada for which he would sponsor her once he was established.

“When we separated”, she reminisced with a sad tone in her voice, “We really did not know each other as we had not been married that long”. “Unlike in a normal relationship where you court, get married and live together”, she continued, “You are with each other each day after day and get to know each others  likes and dislikes and learn the truth about each other.” “Long distance does not allow for that,” she stated.

Not being, as she put it, the jealous type and having faith that they would one day be together again for good helped make the year bearable. That and the telephone and Skype communications to each other. “Trust was the number one factor”, she stated.

During the temporary separation, she stayed with her parents and helped with the store to help time pass more quickly.

When asked about her initial thoughts when she knew she would be leaving home and moving to a new country (Canada) her reply was, “Scared!”

“Life in the Philippines for me was very different, “she explained. She had her own job, her own income, which for a girl made life easy, as she put it.

“Coming to Canada was hard with no family not to mention it was more expensive,” she explained, “especially for girly things such as a manicure and pedicure”.   However, when asked what she missed most about home she very pointedly stated, “Family!”

When asked if she ever contemplated returning to the Philippines when she retired, as an example, her reply was a resounding, “NO! Absolutely NO!” “I would go back to visit only” she continues, “my children were born in Canada and would, I am sure, appreciate a vacation there, but not to live”.

She then laughs with a twinkle in her eye as she commented, “I was raised there (the Philippines) but I think of myself as a Canadian now”.

Asked why she chose Manila BBQ as her choice of employment she said, “While I had no knowledge of the remittance end of the business, I did have a retail background living and working in my parents’ small grocery store in the Philippines”.  “Remittance” she stated, “is not easy to deal with as you inform customers what they have to expect, good or bad”. “Remittance is about trust”, she continued, “Not an easy sell”.

“It is easy to have this kind of business in the Philippines”, she commented, “Just fulfill government requirements”. “It is much easier dealing with government requirements here in Canada”, she stated.

It has been four-(4) years since she took over proprietorship of Manila BBQ and as she informed me, “Every day I am still learning”. “Each day is different people and different problems, it is a lot of work running a money remittance and grocery store.” She continues, “But I never contemplate giving up”.

As she explained, “The disadvantages are not being able to shut the business out of your mind at the end of the day”. “However, the advantages are being you own boss”.

When asked if knowing what she does now would she still take over ownership of the Manila BBQ, she replied, “I worked at ICBC for three-(3) years then stayed at home for one-(1) year with only the walls and the kids to talk too. Manila BBQ gives me the opportunity to be there for my children while allowing me adult interaction so my answer is, YES!”  “Each day”, she continued, “is interesting, with new challenges and the daily interaction of my clients who keep coming back, something I missed from when I was in sales prior and always wanted”.

Because of her love of interacting with people, she noted that she would love to once again work on the cruise ships but as she is now married with children that is no longer an option. “If it was not for Manila BBQ”, she commented, “I would love to work at Canada Place to greet the visitors from the cruise ships or the Airport at one of the Airline check in/departure terminals”.  Asked why, “I love talking to people”, was her instantaneous reply.

When asked about how she marketed Manila BBQ, without hesitation she exclaimed, “Word of mouth!” “Ninety-(90) percent of my customer base is Filipino,” she continued, “with the remainder from other nationalities who come mainly for the food”. “I do have a web site but still, word of mouth serves me the best”, she stated.  “More so since New Westminster has a large Filipino working class community who desire not only affordable living space but the shopping convenience as well as the local transportation system that makes it easy to get around”, she advised me.  “But,” she stated, “my customer base is not just regulated to New Westminster, I also have customers from South Burnaby, Coquitlam and even a few from Vancouver which keeps me very busy”.

During the interview I observed, which I was informed, one of her customers assisting in managing the store for which Connie never hesitated to patiently guide her when she had questions.  She (Connie) informed me the assistant was a longtime customer who was temporarily laid off so she (Connie) hired her just to help her out until she was able to return to her regular job.  I also noted that whenever a customer came into the store with their children Connie again would give not only the customer, but the children as well her undivided attention as she communicated with each by name.

Having known Connie for about two years now as a customer via my wife who is also Filipino I now call her Kapatid (meaning sister in Tagalog) because she makes me feel like family when I am there. Despite the latter, I did not really know that much about her personal life, until now.

In conclusion, I came away with not only an even greater respect for not only Connie the businesswoman, but Connie the person   For truly she has created a business where your shopping experience and money remittance needs are taken to new heights. Connie, once she knows your name and, or your face and even if she does not yet know you and your name,  greets you with a cheery hello and a smile and I like to think inwardly that, she is welcoming you home.

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*Quezon City, Philippines is the sister city to New Westminster, BC Canada.

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My wife is looking for a simple laptop so she does not have to share my desktop with me anymore. As she puts it and I understand, she wants a computer she can call her own. Nothing fancy, just a simple, portable unit that will allow he to check her emails and listen to her music and watch the occasional movie from the comfort of her chase.

Today we received the newest, Visions Electronic flyer, in the mail, well that got her excited when she saw the sweet deals Visions was offering…. Netbooks starting at the sale price of $198.00 and 17.3” Acer laptops for only $498.00, plus tax… Sweet deals with the savings of $150.00 off the regular price. Sweet that is until we read the fine print. Not your high-end systems but they are just what she needs and in the price range, she desires to spend.

Yes, at those prices you knew there had to be a catch, right! There was, the deal is you get a Netbook or Laptop at the advertised price, IF you subscribe for a 2 to 3 year contract with a TELUS internet connection of only $40.00 or more per month.

If you do not have internet service already then perhaps it would be a great deal, but what are the chances of that.

As it stands the $150.00 savings on the advertised Netbooks and Laptops becomes a $960.00 (plus tax and installation fees) extra on the advertised price, which is not such a great savings after all.

The moral is, not everything you see in a Visions Flyer, or any flyer for that matter, is always what it seems. Read the fine print and do your homework before you buy. As the old saying goes, “If it seems too good to be true, it most likely is!” In this case it, as I see it is just a well-defined marketing ploy to sway the wary buyer into purchasing an item they are better off paying the full price for, or better still shop around at the other dealers, we are and there are and to date I am finding far better deals.

Visions states, “Visions, Your Best Price!” in this case, they are anything but, as I see it!

CancelAd's_LogoAre you willing to pay to Cancel Ad’s while surfing the internet? Profy.com thinks you may and have come up with that they perceive as the solution for both web users and marketers alike.

Presenting CancelAds, the brainchild of Svetlana Gladkova and developed by her business partner, Marcus Reimold, a German internet entrepreneur and owner of socialoyster.com and jigtweets.com.

CancelAd’s was designed to allow you, the end-user, to enjoy ad-free surfing on web sites and blogs that are part of the CancelAd’s program. For a small subscription fee per web site or blog, you can not only enjoy viewing the member site free of ads, but also have access to information non-members will not.
Personally, when Svetlana first informed me about the service I was standoffish. Being a member of the older generation I immediately perceived CancelAd’s as a frivolous attempt at generating revenue for a service that was, well, pointless. I mean, I use, Customize Google, Adblock Plus add-ons for Firefox, which serves my needs quite well along with my RSS feed reader and TinyRead.

However, as Svetlana pointed out during our correspondence in respect to CancelAd’s, “There is a difference between simple ad blocking by a plug-in for Firefox and CancelAds”, she notes, “We offer web surfers the option to avoid ads, where online publishers (bloggers like yourself or myself) still make money.” She continues by saying, “At the same time when a usual ad blocking tool is used, the publisher loses money on lost ad impressions – so it is an approach to fair ad blocking, not competition to the existing tools.”

After reading her correspondence and the complete article and doing some deep soul searching I realized I was not giving the program or the idea a fair evaluation and decided to do some personal research before making my final judgement. I wanted to ensure I was giving CancelAd’s an honest chance. With details in hand I decided to ask some members of the younger generation from age 15 to 36 of varied levels of internet usage and I admit I was surprised in the unanimous vote of both interest and appeal such a service actually has. It seems, after discussing the program with others of my age group that the older generation has a developed a higher level of patience when dealing with online spam/advertising.

Advertising is a way of life, like it or not. As a business, it is a necessity in an attempt to generate potential clients and keeping exiting ones thereby ensuring the survival of one’s company. As an individual, advertisements can be either a doorway to enlightenment or hell depending on the message and the frequency they are presented. In some cases, it is seen as a visual assault on ones senses, which can then lead to potential loss of new and or existing clientele. It then raises the question can CancelAds bring peace and harmony to both publishers/advertisers and viewers alike which comes down to wait and see and on the other hand, if Profy.com and their CancelAd program do not at least try they will never know.

As Svetlana has pointed out CancelAd’s already has a number of users signed up in an attempt to monetize their sites, many of which she notes are bloggers as well as a web service called Mloovi Twitter Translator. Svetlana goes on to point out that, the sites are not restricted to just English origin as many are also in Chinese, Spanish and even Arabic.

It should be noted that web publishers DO NOT pay any fees for being part of the CancelAd program. However, a portion of the end-user subscription fees are deducted to cover CancelAds service fees and expenses, which as Svetlana points out, is similar to what any paid service does.

As she further notes, “…I don’t think the service will help publishers attract new customers, instead it is able to help them convert their exiting readers into paying customers…”

It seems CancelAd’s, while still in its infancy is generating some buzz on the internet from the likes of, Allen Stern of CenterNetworks, Jolie O’Dell of ReadWriteWeb and Steven Finch of Crenk each well worth checking out to better allow you to define your own feelings about CancelAd’s.

For myself, while I can see both the pros and cons of CancelAd’s, even after researching it further and actually signing up to better understand it I personally do not see myself paying for the service. It is not based on the fact I would have to pay a micro amount of dollars for the service, in fact, my decision is not based on money, but rather on the fact, I am personally content with the options I have and still use for the past few years that just work for me. (Plus I am somewhat set in my ways and change takes time) That is not to say I will cancel my membership with CancelAd’s, which is free to join ( it is the end-user subscriptions that you pay for) as I may in the future find a need for its services so I am keeping the door open especially after reading one point on particular that Svetlana made to me.

“Allan, I’m afraid I can hardly agree it is fair to use any ad blocking tool because web publishers expect to make money off advertising…”

A valid point, which as a business owner myself I have to agree, it then comes down to what you the end user feel is fair for you. We all know that some, not all, advertisers go overboard in an attempt to get their message across. Some are just downright unethical such as the porn pop-ups for example. Not all advertisers are unethical and do provide a good service but sadly, the bad ones ruin it for everyone.

Remember the world needs open-minded visionaries who are willing to take chances despite all odds. In conclusion, while it is not a service I have a present need for I wish Svetlana and her business partner Marcus much success.

I had intended to post this article in January of this year and for personal reasons held off. I have since made a pact with myself to finish any project I start regardless of how I feel about it. It is with that in mind I present the following!

leapfish_logo1I had the opportunity to watch the movie, Slum Dog Millionaire and for some strange reason I reflected about the controversial topic of LeapFish. Like the main character and the overall plot, in the movie, LeapFish has numerous twists and turns, but we know the truth is out there, somewhere!

LeapFish first came to my attention on November 27, 2008 when I received and email from sspr.com, a marketing firm in Princeton, New Jersey. Normally I would send unsolicited email directly to the trash without any thought of opening it prior, but for some unexplainable reason I opened it:

Hi Allan,
Ben Behrouzi is a 27-year old serial entrepreneur who has already been a part of 20 multi-million dollar startups including Reply.com, iMotors.com, RealtyNow.com and more. He has just launched LeapFish.com, a new search engine that conveniently surprises users with new found search information as it combines the best of the web in a single search. Type in a search term and LeapFish instantly delivers a plethora of relevant results from Google, Yahoo, and MSN, along with blogs, news, Q&A, videos, images and shopping results from major online destinations including Ebay and YouTube. More than just a useful aggregator, LeapFish features a refreshingly clean interface with search widgets that display up-to-the-minute news, images, videos and more, on every search term.

Can I send you the press release on www.leapfish.com to consider for a possible story?

I then proceeded to do what I always do when opening a link from my emails I copied and pasted the link in my browser. The latter is a standard practice I follow regardless of the sender. What I discovered was a very intriguing search engine aggregator that was simple in design and pleasing to the eye, which prompted me to request the proffered press release as follows:

LeapFish.com Unveils Most Convenient Search Engine on the Web
Newly Released Beta of Multi-Dimensional Search Portal Offers the Best of the Web in a Single Search
PLEASANTON, CA LeapFish, a multi-dimensional search aggregator, announced today the launch of its beta search engine, LeapFish.com, that promises to conveniently surprise users with new- found search information as it combines the best of the web in a single search.

Type in a search term and LeapFish instantly delivers a plethora of relevant results from Google, Yahoo, and MSN, along with blogs, news, Q&A, videos, images and shopping results from major online destinations including Ebay and YouTube, all conveniently organized in a single, easy to use interface.

“The growing complexity and variety of the Internet has naturally fragmented data accessibility online. Today’s users are driven to utilize more than one online destination to find the data they seek,” said Behnam Behrouzi, President and CEO. “LeapFish offers a one-stop convenient solution for more complex searches by querying the web’s most sought-after destinations and rendering the results to users in a surprisingly easy-to-use format.”

More than just a useful aggregator, LeapFish features a refreshingly clean interface with search widgets that display up-to-the-minute news, images, videos and more, on every search term. Click “see more” under a search widget and get a complete list of relevant results. Hover over a video and view it right on LeapFish. Hover over an image thumbnail and see the actual image on demand.

“Future releases will allow LeapFish to intelligently decipher the search term entered and deliver the most relevant search widgets from a growing list of over 200 currently being developed,” Behrouzi said. “Users will receive instant results from relevant online authorities in maps, music, real estate, social sites and more, based on the search term they enter.”

Behrouzi points out that LeapFish does not intend to race alongside Google or Yahoo, but instead seeks to leverage what is already working and wanted online. “LeapFish utilizes what already works to capture the breadth and variety of the web and lends more accessibility to what is already valuable to us in the vastness of the Internet,” he says.

LeapFish utilizes proprietary hyper-threading technology to communicate with all major online portals simultaneously to deliver the various search results from across the web to users in a single search query. The beta search platform has been under development since early 2008 and is geared for considerable advancements over the coming months.

LeapFish Features Summary:

• New-Found Knowledge: By developing relationships with more than 200 leading online destinations in search, news, imagery, videos, real estate and more, LeapFish is defragmenting the accessibility of valuable information online.

• Convenience and Variety: LeapFish conveniently surprises users with new-found search information by bringing the variety of the web right to their finger tips.

• Simplicity: LeapFish’s comfortable and familiar interface allows for the organization and display of various types of search information in a single easy-to-view format.

So will you make the leap to LeapFish? To try LeapFish for yourself, visit www.leapfish.com.

About LeapFish

LeapFish empowers Internet users with a radically simple way of searching the breadth and variety of the growing web. The first multi-dimensional search aggregator in the world, LeapFish gathers, organizes and renders the most relevant information from the depths of the internet’s most valuable destinations in one simple search. LeapFish Inc. is a privately held corporation headquartered out of CARR America Corporate Center in Pleasanton California. For more information, visit http://www.leapfish.com

I am willing to admit that after reading the above release and scoping put LeapFish for myself I became slightly enamored with the simplistic design layout of LeapFish. However, I did and still do have some reservations in respect to the limited time zone and weather widgets due to the fact there were no options for Canadian time zones and the weather was strictly American. Ben has reassured me that changes are in the offing in respect to the latter for an International audience but as of to-date is not available. Call it Canadian pride it you like but to me it is important as a potential user, more so since the service is being offered.

I had queried LeapFish via email after initially viewing the web site and discovering the aforementioned pet peeves. I was doubtful I would receive a reply based on the following, which I had sent on a Saturday night:

I am presently checking out your web browser Leapfish to define if it has the value I seek to switch too from Google. My questions to date are as follows:

1. In the bottom right hand corner of the home page you have a request box for weather in ones area. However, it only accepts US Zip codes which as a Canadian makes it useless to me. While I note you are still in beta format, will there be options for users of other countries to be able to submit and receive weather information for their area or will it remain US based only?

2. In the upper right hand corner of the home page is assign in option. If I were to have sign in access would that allow me to alter the home page to my specifications based on set options such as is presently available in Yahoo.

3. What are the benefits of having a Leapfish account and how do I sign up if I decide to do so?

You can well imagine my surprise when two days later I received a telephone call (Monday morning) from an individual whom I was to learn was Ben Behrouzi, the founder of LeapFish. He was calling to follow up on my questions. Okay he was using my questions to lead into presenting the opportunity to sell me on his Keyword Marketing program on LeapFish. Hey! I would have done the same thing if I were in his shoes.

He was very tactful and actually reminded me of myself with his tactful lead in to his sales pitch for which I take my hat off and bow with the deepest respect, but the comparison stops there.

I would like to note that Ben was at no time aggressive during the conversation and actually listened to my reasons as to why I was declining his offer without any interruptions. Something most marketers I have had the bad luck of running into should learn to do as opposed to forcing you to hang up or walk away in frustration giving the company they represent a bad name.

As Ben explained, LeapFish has/had three-(3) levels for the keyword program. For the use of the word, “Photography” Level one-(1) came in at $5,400.00 per year that broke down to $450.00 per month or $14.42 per day based on a 31-day month. Level two-(2) was a reduced rate because of it being a lower tier for $4,300.00 per year or $358.33 per month and just $11.56 per day, again based on a 31-day month.

I declined the offer because given the then and present state of the world economy, many businesses if not most, would see such a program a losing proposition. As I saw and still see, such monies, while a pittance for some, can be better utilized elsewhere.

Other reasons that I did not bring into play at that time where the fact that as any good marketer can see is that there are many good on-line marketing options at present, which if correctly researched and incorporated can be had for a fraction of the cost quoted with just as good if not better results.

I follow a steadfast rule given me by my business advisor, Robert Sanzalone, who I first met when he was a Program Facilitator for the Vancouver based Successful Contracting and Contracting program; SCC for short. What it all comes down to is a good marketing strategy that is readily available to anyone for whom the greatest cost is just some good old-fashioned time and effort.

A third reason, which I also did not state during my conversation with Ben that was in the back of my mind, is that LeapFish while still in its infancy is also ripe with controversy.

Based on those facts, from personal research, I envision a very small audience with the chances of LeapFish ever making it big enough to warrant such an investment into their Keyword program being viable as zero. While 99% of the individuals I have talked to in respect to web browsers that would/could be potential buyers use Google and the remaining percentage use Yahoo and MSN. While LeapFish integrates with each of the latter, potential buyers would also need to be using LeapFish itself for the Keyword program to work. Then there is all the online controversy!

When I say controversy I mean ‘CONTROVERSY’, which I asked Ben about in an email for clarification as follows to ensure my article was as unbiased as possible.

Ben and Belinda,

Well here, we are in 2009, which is already seemingly slipping by fast. I trust that Christmas was good to the two of you and that the New Year is brining you all the expectations you hoped it would for a fruitful new beginning in a new year.

As you recall I emailed you both the following questions at which time Belinda emailed me that Ben was travelling over the holidays and could we re-visit said questions after the holiday season. Hence my follow-up with my questions to date.

I tried to read each and every article to date on Ben, LeapFish and his other ventures and conflicts. An impossible task especially when ensuring I also have time for my personal and business life as well. That being said I have just a few limited questions at this time.

As stated in the LeapFish blog, “The first multi-dimensional search aggregator in the world”. After doing extensive research, I discovered that that particular line is incorrect as other search engines that can be/are classified under that particular category, provide the same, and in some cases, more search results. My question is does LeapFish still stand by that statement or was it in fact an error on the part of the staff editor or whomever prepared the blog that has yet to be corrected?

In the following, it is impossible to read all of the articles surrounding Ben and his ventures so I have just provided what I feel are a few key questions at this time. If you could just provide a brief, comment on each that would be appreciated. Be advised I will use your quotes/comments purely for the purpose of ensuring that like anyone I quote in my article it will be his/her facts as provided.

1) Brabus Ventures (BrabusVentures.com), owned by embattled CEO Ben Behrouzi and parent company of ePerks.com, LeapFish and DotNextInc has updated it’s website and added new “Values” and “Culture” pages to combat the barrage of negative publicity their business practices have earned them. There is only one problem: the pages are STOLEN Story Link

I note that the wording in examples given in the above story are indeed per verbatim. What were LeapFishes thoughts or reasoning behind this?

2) I am not even going to attempt to provide any details in respect to Tech Crunch and just ask Ben’s input in respect to the accusations put forth by Tech Crunch to which I noted I am assuming portions of his response posted on Tech Crunch.

3) I recall Ben stating that LeapFish was relatively new. Can you provide the start date LeapFish came into being either in Alpha or Beta or both.

4) Is LeapFish the name that Ben designed or is it a name that was purchased and revamped to its existing format and if so may I ask when?

While as previously noted, there is a lot of material to cover but any answers to the latter will greatly help me define what questions I may/may not have for you soon.

To date although he has read my emails he has never responded.

As I noted in my message to Brad it is and still is impossible to read all the articles surrounding both himself and his varied venture capitals. One of the main characters in the Behrouzi online battle and ePERKS, another of Behrouzi holdings, is by Lord Matt who goes into detail about the dark side of Behrouzi as he sees it. Other insightful links are Sage Blogger, Go Beyond MLS, blogcatalog, BloodhoundBlog, BrokerScience and the list goes on. ( I stopped at 50 sites in my research) I decided to go one better and did a search on the US, BBB, site and discovered the following:

Based on BBB files, this business (ePerks) has a BBB Rating of F.” it goes on to read,

We have identified a pattern
BBB Definition:
pattern – More than 2 complaints involving the same allegations usually within 12 months that are significant in relation to the company’s size and volume of business.
of complaints concerning sales practices, cancellations, refunds and customer service issues
BBB Definition:
service issues – Claims of alleged delay in completing service, failure to provide promised service, inferior quality of provided service, or damaged merchandise as a result of delivery service.
BBB Definition:
customer service issues – Claims alleging unsatisfactory customer service, including personnel’s failure to provide assistance in a timely manner, failure to address or respond to customer dissatisfaction, unavailability for customer support, and/or inappropriate behavior or attitude exhibited by company staff.
. Complaints processed by the BBB claim 1) Company does not follow through with the number of real estates leads they claim customers will receive using their services. 2) Despite what the company tells their customers at the time of signing up for services, they later find they are unable to cancel the service and receive a refund. 3) Phone calls and emails to the company go unanswered.

The company has responded to all complaints processed by the BBB.

I proceeded to do a BBB search of all business related to Ben Behrouzi including LeapFish and all businesses come up under the same address, with different business names at 4420 Rosewood Drive, Suite #2550
Pleasanton, CA 94588

Unlike Yarri.com with its, spam fraud, Leapfish is comparable to a three-(3) ring circus, LeapFish was nice to use but not worth investing in. I say was, because while as noted previously, I personally love the layout and ease of use based on the fact it uses Google, Yahoo and MSN as its search engine options, but when it comes to Behrouzi’s business ethics, the thought of using LeapFish leaves a bad taste in my mouth, figuratively speaking. I am once again using Google.

In closing, it seems that in the case of LeapFish or more to the point Ben Behrouzi vs. the movie Slum Dog Millionaire, Behrouzi is rated as just a Slum Dog, full of talent but with the ethics of the devil himself, as I see it!

Note: According to Web 2.0 Journal, Ben Behrouzi is now with Ulitzer as Startup Journal Founder.