Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bah! Experts Exchange = Scam Artists

Last week when I read Ed Bott's Dear Google: Please take pay sites out of search results, I was pleased to see that I am not the only person who has been frustrated with finding that the search results link led to the Experts Exchange. I have always thought that the site is a sad joke. Why? Because they tickle the search engines with the right information to show up fairly high in the search results. The problem is what the person faces when landing on the site. I agreed with what Ed wrote:
"And it’s apparent from the structure of the replies that there’s no “expert” involved, just a bunch of other (paid) user/members."
That was why I was rather surprised when viewing recent analytics for Security Garden to see a link from ExpertsExchange.

Referring URL
http://www.experts-e...eous/Q_23102170.html
Visit Entry Page
http://securitygarde...rk-with-windows.html

Why, I wondered, would there be a referral link to one of my blog posts from a subscription site? Then I remembered the comments posted by one of Ed's readers indicating that by scrolling to the bottom of the page, the answers are displayed. So I decided to give it a try.

Sure enough, after going past a link to "Start your free trial to view this solution", followed by a block of information relating to the "Question Stats" and then another solicitation to enroll,


a bunch of this nonsense

followed by a long, drawn out category listing what did I discover? Why the answer of course. What really irks me though is that the "Accepted Solution" was none other than a link to a Microsoft Help document, one of my articles and that of another website.
An article from MS on setting up a home network in Vista (and you have to set up a home network, you can't just share a folder, then access it from another Vista pc):
http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/Help/76174f4a-7522-425a-9424-324dd299265e1033.mspx

And just in case you need more information, or need to have it explained differently, here are two other articles on the same subject:
http://securitygarden.blogspot.com/2007/10/setting-up-home-network-with-windows.html
http://www.windvis.com/how-to-create-a-network-in-windows-vista"

It is bad enough that the ExpertsExchange is playing games with people, their time and their intelligence. However, it is worse that all of that enticement to obtain a subscription leads to FREE information, publicly available.

Try searching the site or clicking on the Trial Membership link and learn that these scam artists are charging an outrageous fee for information provided/collected by other people.
The self-description at Alexa is that of a
"Premium content subscription site where users collaborate with each other to solve their technology problems."
I disagree. Experts Exchange are scam artists.

Edit Note (Mar2010): It has been almost two years since this topic was posted. The content of the comments continues to repeat between those who support EE and those people who feel they were scammed. It is up to each person to make their own decision. Comments closed.




Remember - "A day without laughter is a day wasted."
May the wind sing to you and the sun rise in your heart...

35 comments:

SKSM said...

Just to let you know, you can see the experts exchange answers for free by pressing the google cache button.

B in Ottawa said...

I couldn't agree more!

There was a time when Expert's Exchange was non-subscription and you could occasionally find the answer to a problem.

No more!

Now whenever I search for answers to technical problems I run across, I skip any results that originate from this site.

Gary Berg said...

Better than using Google cache, if you set Firefox to refuse cookies from their site the information will appear way down at the bottom of the screen. You'll still get all of the "blocked" entries, and some ads, and then finally the actual messages down below.

AndyAtHull said...

Hear hear to this blog article.

See you over at SC Corrine!

Andy

Rakel said...

Have you ever heard of a thing called shortcuts? There's one I call ctrl+end

Corrine said...

Yes, rakel, I know. The issue is not that the answers are there -- hidden in plain sight, so to speak -- but rather that people are taken in by what they see presented and do not know they can get the answers without a subscription.

People are gullible, as evidenced by the number who fall for the phishes.

Corrine said...

@sky:

Sorry, but I have not approved your comment. The URL directs to a web page with no indication of what the content will be. I don't know if the site will provide valid information, or be a scam or rogue site.

Further, you said, "yes, there is new free site coming called _____". No one has said that Experts Exchange isn't free. Rather what I am saying is that the manner in which the information is presented implies to the uninformed user that they need to have a paid subscription in order to view the content. That is false and preys on the gullibility of the uneducated, inexperienced thousands upon thousands of users who fall for phishes and other scams daily.

Christopher said...

I'm not sure that the scrolling downt to the end still works? They might not be idiots as such... That might be a temporary issue which they've now resolved.
I like experts exchange. Atleast the information in it is in an organized manner. Paid has to be better otherwise no one would pay for site.
What about the thousands of users who have paid for the site and say it's worth the money. They say microsoft has their corporate subscription? Microsoft guys are idiots then?

Corrine said...

I don't know about you, Christopher, but I am not about to pay money to an organization that charges to access the work that other people provide for free, including providing links to material I have published.

Personally, I don't believe all the hype, whether it be an online organization such as Experts Exchange, a paid advertisement on television or in the newspaper. Your choice what you believe.

Microsoft has their own forums and does not charge for answers. In fact, the newest endeavor is
Microsoft Answers Forums, with answers provided by both Microsoft personnel and Microsoft MVPs.

Anonymous said...

I'm fighting with Experts Exchange now trying to get a refund. I cancelled the service on 2/23/09 and they told me since billing cycles run from the 20th to the 20th of each month, I have to keep the service for the rest of this month!

Even the CABLE COMPANY can't get away with that garbage. The "service" is obviously a joke and a fraud. I've filed complaints with the CA Atty Gen & my state's Atty Gen. Lotta good it'll do, I'm sure.

I'm also reading-up on how to sue them myself. They really are a bunch of crooks and scam artists.

Anonymous said...

You can register for a free account:
experts - exchange dot com/registerFree2.jsp
Found this on wikipedia - external links.

Anonymous said...

One way to tell about the validity of these sites, is try to sign up as a person who will ANSWER questions. Experts-Exchange, no option. So you could be albert einstein, and couldn't signup to answer physics questions, unless you pay them.

That's a red flag :p

Dave said...

Experts Exchange has some 82 MVPs currently active. Hardly an indicator of a "scam" or poor quality

I'm disappointed that you have made such a quick, ill informed judgement.

While at times the basic questions could have been found easily with a quick google, the question complexity at EE often goes well beyond what is considered "reasonable" at the newsgroups.

Corrine said...

Hi Dave,

Thank you for your comment. Unfortunately, I disagree with you. I am aware that EE has made an offer of free premium membership to Microsoft MVPs as an enticement to join EE. Interestingly, that offer includes a significantly inflated number of MVPs who are EE members.

A legitimate site would NOT charge people $12.95/month in order to refer them to published articles, as cited in the instant blog post, which included a referral to Microsoft, this blog and another public site.

That was not my only visit to EE. Although I now make sure not to follow any search result links to EE, I have seen the type of unqualified malware removal assistance was being provided at EE.

Based on the WOT rating of "orange" for EE, I am not the only person who questions the validity of EE:
http://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/www.experts-exchange.com

Members of the security communities where I participate provide FREE assistance. Some are MVPs and others are not, but ALL are trained in log analysis and malware removal.

In addition to FREE assistance by qualified volunteers, expert help is also available FREE at Microsoft Answers!. The expert help is provided by Microsoft staff and Microsoft MVPs.

With further reference to EE's solicitation of MVPs, I refer you to the Letter from MVP Program, a portion of which is quoted below. Note, in particular, "free and objective exchange":

"The Microsoft MVP Award Program recognizes and thanks outstanding members of technical communities for their community participation and willingness to help others. The MVP Award is given to exceptional technical community leaders who foster the free and objective exchange of knowledge by actively sharing their real-world expertise with technology users." {Bold Added}

patrickab said...

Let's start at the beginning. To condemn Experts Exchange on the basis of the comments of a few ill-informed disgruntled people is not reasonable and is lacking in intelligence.

Experts Exchange is a large site with many different zones covering almost every aspect of computer technology. Just because someone is not satisfied with an answer provided by one of the contributors is no reason to dismiss Experts Exchange.

It is irrelevant as to whether EE attracts MVPs or indeed has quite a few members who have been awarded MVP status because of their work within EE. What matters is whether questioners are more often than not helped. And I can assure you that on an annual basis thousands of questions are answered to the total satisfaction of the questioners.

Some IT professionals use EE to leverage their jobs such that they can achieve far more with help from EE members than if they attempted it alone. And let me assure you they are very grateful for the help they receive. Further, they are more than happy to pay their annual EE fee without question.

Comments such as "A legitimate site would NOT charge people $12.95/month in order to refer them to published articles" really are ill-informed. EE has all sorts of members and as here they can post whatever comment they believe might be helpful. If that happens to be an ill-considered link to a published article that’s no reason to condemn Experts Exchange. By all mean criticise that contributor.

Why condemn a site because they charge for membership. That is simple naiivity. How do the commentators think that Microsoft achieve it. They are a business that profits enormously from the software it sells. So they can afford to provide a help line/service without extra charges - and so they should. Experts Exchange does not sell software so how do the critics imagine such an organisation should finance itself? Love and fresh air? Come on get real.

I have been a member of EE since 2002. I have never paid a penny for my membership. I have asked over 300 hundred questions and helped answer nearly 4000 questions. Perhaps you should ask all those that I and my fellow EE contributors have helped before attempting to condemn Experts Exchange.

I find it utterly pathetic that the major complainant has elected to remain anonymous. Is he or she afraid that we can track down the question and do our level best to provide an answer that is truly helpful? Or would they prefer just to complain?

Experts Exchange is a business with thousands of questioners and helpers. A large proportion of those helpers are IT professionals who provide an excellent service to a vast number of questioners. So please make your comments based on facts not on the comments from a disgruntled person or two. Would you condemn a company because a disgruntled ex-employee slags them off? No, so nor should you do the same with Experts Exchange.

Just to prevent silly comments - I have absolutely no ties with Experts Exchange, I am not an MVP and I do not pay for my Experts Exchange membership. Instead I earn my free membership by helping answer questions.

Rory said...

At the end of the day, you seem to be implying that EE is a scam because all the answers are just links to stuff that is freely available elsewhere. That is simply not true, and is as unreasonable as my dismissing your entire site on the basis of this one blog post. If it were true, no-one would sign up to EE and stay there.
You can also get free membership there contrary to what one of your anonymous posters suggested - I've never paid anything to post there.
Whilst you may not agree with the business model (many don't), that does not make the site a scam - there is a lot of useful information there and a lot of talented people post there. (As with any site, there are also some muppets posting absolute rubbish, of course).
A bit more balance might be in order...

Ardhendu - pari123@EE. said...

Hi Corrine,
After reading your article, it seems to me that you are judging the whole experts-exchange site based on 2-3 bad answer. There are real gems of answers also found in Experts-exchange.

If this was high-school, I would have graded your article as "D". This is really sloppy and not expected from a MVP. I hope to expect better articles from you on future.

Corrine said...

Gentlemen:

Quite interesting that you all arrived within 45 minutes of one another. Nicely scripted.

What I do not understand is all this concern over a post that is over a year old. You certainly are defensive.

That said, I am very happy for you that you have never had to pay a penny to ask questions at EE.

Following comments at a private site regarding bad advice being provided in malware removal, I signed up for an EE membership earlier this year to judge for myself. The comments made were correct. The majority of the advice I saw was poor.

After reading your comments today, I attempted to once again give EE another chance. This is what I was presented with when I logged on:

"Site access is now limited to Premium Service Members. Convert your account in just minutes and stay connected to the #1 resource for solving technology problems on the web."

Thanks, but no thanks. I don't provide credit card information to check the quality of help provided anywhere.

My opinion remains unchanged and I respect the recommendation of WOT Web of Trust: experts-exchange.com.

Kyle (EE: kgerb) said...

Corrine,
I debated whether posting here would be worth my time but in the end, even though it will not change your view point, I think it’s worth voicing my opinion.

First, let me say I am not an MVP. I’m not even one of the heavy hitters on EE. I answer a few questions when I can but that’s about it. My experience with EE has been extremely positive. I joined in 2003 b/c I my boss was asking me to do stuff in Excel I had no idea how to accomplish. My first question was answered by a current MVP (though he wasn’t at that time). He was so courteous and helpful it inspired me to ask more questions. Since that time I have asked over 200 questions and have developed what I would consider to a fairly strong understanding of VBA. I paid the yearly subscription out of my own pocket the entire time less the last few months when I earned enough points to get premium services for free. I literally cannot think anything on which I could have better spent my money.

If you don’t like this website that’s fine. You’re entitled to your opinion. However, to call it a scam and publicly deface it is out of line. Every person that signs up for EE takes a calculated risk. If they pay the money there is a chance they will get help with their IT questions. There is also a chance (albeit a very small one) they will not get help. Nobody is forcing them or tricking them or coercing them to do anything. If they decide to pay the money they are exposed to literally thousands of highly skilled professionals. How is that a scam? They pay the money, EE offers a service. A scam would be paying the money only to find out no service is really offered.

As for the response from michko, which you thoroughly critiqued, I don’t find anything wrong with it. So he posted links, so what? Do you know how many industries are based on organizing publicly available information. How about travel agents and stock brokers to name a few? All they do is take information that is available to the public, organize it, and sell it. I suppose you think they’re all a bunch of scam artists?

Frankly, I am appalled that you, being an MVP, would publicly throw such a low blow at a valid website that is furthering the education and advancement of all Microsoft products. I know a few of the MVP’s at EE and I have the utmost respect for them. Their conduct is nothing like yours. They are all consummate professionals. If I knew who to contact I would write a letter recommending that your MVPship be revoked.

Regards,
Kyle

Corrine said...

Hi, Kyle (EE: kgerb).

Thank you for your comments.

As I have already stated, I am not willing to provide credit card information to determine whether I have reason to update my opinion regarding the malware removal advice provided at EE. I will continue to recommend ASAP Member Sites and others such as BleepingComputer.com - Computer Help Forums, Geeks to Go! Tech experts answer your questions, SpywareHammer.com - Index, all of which provide help free by trained analysts.

For free assistance with Microsoft products, it is provided by Microsoft personnel and MVPs at Microsoft Answers Forums and Microsoft TechNet Forums.

Microsoft reviews all MVPs annually based on their contributions from the previous year. The review includes blog posts. Since this post was written April 24, 2008, rest assured that someone from Microsoft very likely read about my experience when conducting the review.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

To anyone happening upon this thread and the comments here via search results, there is more recent information about Experts-Exchange.com at the Norton SafeWeb, Amazon Review and xomreviews links below than this old blog post from 2008. You may also wish to consider the rating at Web of Trust at http://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/www.experts-exchange.com.

Norton Safe Web, from Symantec - experts-exchange.com reviews

Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Experts Exchange

Experts Exchange (www experts-exchange com) Reviews

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now, if the folks from EE are finished refreshing the cache for the search engines on this OLD topic, let's all go back to providing help.

Anonymous said...

Hello Corrine

I am remaining anonymous not because I am scared to provide my name, but because I am not normally in the habit of subscribing to or posting comments in peoples' blogs. I am an Experts-Exchange premium member, and as my email address is listed there in my profile, I will not provide that either.

I am fully aware your main gripe is that your article(s) was/were linked to without due credit, that the website in which the link was posted charges for membership, and that the offending site is taking advantage of a technology that is there to use to its own advantage.

My purpose in commenting here is really about how highly you regard the results of the "Web of Trust" score card.

I just read some of the comments. The results of the score card appears to be derived to a significant extent on comments made by people looking for a free quick fix who have either signed up and not received a working solution, or who expected free information right in their face and couldn't see it.

Experience of life tells me that aggrieved people are far more likely to comment negatively than those who are generally satisfied or neutral in their opinions. Why do you think I'm posting this comment? Because I strongly disagree with yours, is the simple answer. If I agreed with you or with the statements of the other posters, or if I couldn't care less what you or they had to say, then I would never have used up my valuable time to type this out. It's the same with any form of ratings, elections, polls, etc.

"8 out of 10 cat owners say that their pets prefer KittyKat Fishstix".

Is that right? The advert never tells you what the alternative offering was, do they.

OK, so I'm biassed because I have (almost) consistently received highly qualified and accurate answers from E-E experts. Of those that were not quite so accurate or satisfactory, part of the blame was attributable to me not being specific enough in the way I structured my question.

That brings me to my point. If you ask a question poorly, then expect a poor answer.

Ask a question about horticulture in the equine care forum, and you will get pretty poor answers. Supply insufficient information about your car when asking how to replace the clutch and you will get nothing but questions to establish more details before proper advice can be rendered. Provide the wrong model number of your sewing machine and expect to get information that is not relevant. When asked to provide further information, try your best to supply it, or else people likely to be in the position to answer it will simply ignore the question.

In general I believe that if someone takes the time to think about what information an expert may need before asking a question, then the question will contain enough information to receive qualified and relevant information from the outset.

That is a major problem at Experts-Exchange from what I have seen. If some of the members asking their vague questions there were to start off in the same vein on a telephone support call, then not only would the operative become extremely frustrated, but the asker would be faced with a one-off phone bill far in excess of the modest amount asked for by Experts-Exchange for many questions.

There are a huge number of questions asked in Experts-Exchange about issues which are questionable with regard to copyright, licence infringement, etc, and which simply will not be answered by experts. Equally, there are a great many questions asked where the answer is a simple "No, I'm afraid what you want is not possible". New members equate "No" with "I don't know", or just expect the site to be like many others where advice isn't provided quite so carefully.

Perhaps the thing that many members find frustrating enough to voice their discontent is when they discover that they are paying Experts-Exchange, but that the experts provide their time for free. As we all know, or should stop and think about for a moment, Free advice does not necessarily equal Poor advice.

Regards
Bill

Anonymous said...

I have gotten in the habit of including "-experts-exchange" (without the quotes) in my Google search string. The "-" tells Google to exclude (in this instance) experts-exchange from your search results. You can specify MULTIPLE exclusions - just separate each additional exclusion with a space.

martye8 said...

Experts Exchange fraudulently implies that they DO have answers to your questions if you pay the subscription fee. I paid the fee and there was NO answer. I asked that my subscription be cancelled and they sent me an email promising not to charge further and THEN THEY charged me $15 twice, which was completely unauthorized. Whatever it once was, NOW this site has become a scam.

Corrine said...

Hi, martye8.

I'm sorry you were burned by Experts Exchange.

FREE help with malware problems is available from trained experts at ASAP Member Sites.

FREE help with Microsoft operating systems, Windows Live programs and MSE is available from Microsoft Answers.

FREE help with Microsoft Office issues is available from the sites listed at Microsoft Office related issues: Office Discussion Groups.

In addition to the above, there are many, many excellent forums dedicated to helping computer users -- not only with Microsoft OS, but also Linux and Mac. If you are looking for a particular technology area and cannot find it, post a comment and I will do my best to find someone to assist -- for FREE.

Anonymous said...

Ive been a member of EE for about 3 years now. I really like it.

At first it was a good tool to help me learn php. There is so much info on the net that is "_almost_ what im looking for" that having a place like EE is a relief because i can ask exactly what i want.

I also prefer to pay. If im asking in the free forums or IRC i feel guilty about always asking for help without having the time to help others.

thanks EE.

But on the other hand, I totally hate content in my search results that i cant access.

Hate google displaying videos that when you hit PLAY you get the message "not available in your area."

so yeah can understand the annoyment.

Emanuele Ciriachi said...

I am also an Experts Exchange customer from 4 years. And a satisfied one.

Especially when learning a new technology, you often need those "gotcha" that aren't readily available in tutorials, or you have to dig quite a lot to find an answer.

Here, you ask a question and get your answers in minute, by professionals compelled to increase their answering score (as the top experts get actually hired by companies, in case you didn't knew).

Objectively you cannot talk of scam. It's a service, that may or may not be useful to you. Just because you didn't get what you want, does not entitle you to attribute it connotations of fraud.

alice said...

word to the wise:

Don't get sucked into Expert's Exchange Free Trial unless you plan on actively using the site! I have no comments on the actual usefulness of the site b/c i never got to actively use it!

You'll get a welcome email reminding you to cancel in a month, then it auto-renews each month. I signed up for the trial, went out of the country, quit my job and completely forgot about it. Spoke to customer service about the situation and offered to pay for the one month where i actually used it. The customer service people were on the surface very polite, but unwilling to budge from their script, citing technical issues, inability to execute a refund, etc... They pride themselves on their "consistency" – read: inflexibility and on preying on the forgetfulness of their potential customers.

Admittedly, I made the mistake up signing up and forgetting. But the customer service representative herself noted that i never posted a single question to the site. I thought that perhaps this was a company that cared more their relationship with their customer than making an easy dime off someone's error. Experts Exchange's customer service is deeply unimpressive. But their online marketing plan worked like a charm!

Take care friends & don't be dumb like me!

Anonymous said...

I am a long time paying EE member and I find these comments very interesting. Two reasons:

1) 12.95 a month. For crying out loud, does everything have to be completely free? Someone mentioned Microsoft's "free" forums. Do any of you realize that the only reason Microsoft supports these free forums and the MVP program is to promote their products? Do any of you realize how much cash they invest in these ventures? Stackoverflow is making headway - it's a free site too - any of you know that the owners are using the site to attract customers to the profit side of their business? Any of you ever try to actually build, run, and maintain a real web site? I have tried. It costs money! I pay 12.95 to hide the ads and get the ability to ask an unlimited number of questions. Wow! What a deal! I also pay money to shareware authors and open source efforts. We all have to eat for God's sake!

2) The experts are not paid a dime. They volunteer on EE just as they and others do on every other paid/free website out there. The magic at EE is the points the experts earn when they answer my questions in a very timely manner. I can't tell you how much money I have saved getting quick and useful answers from the experts competing for points in EE. Sounds like a game? So what. I don't care. I want answers and I want them quickly and I have found that EE satisfies me more than any other site. 12.95 is nothing. Nothing at all. I am paying for the electricity and maintenance and that's it. The experts are volunteers, they are capable, and they all want to be there knowing they will not receive a dime. Sounds like any free site, eh?

Dick

Anonymous said...

Alice must be some piece of work. Signs up for an auto-renewal plan and then posts her poisonous comments when ... it auto-renews.

Of course, that makes about as much sense as the vitriol that Corrine is spewing forth.

Here's a clue for you Corrine - all those Google hits? ... it is because Experts-Exchange works ... get it?

First of all, access to Experts-Exchange is totally free - try working some due diligence before displaying your ignorance.

The vast majority of members (Paid or Experts) are extremely satisified with the results. That is why so many paid members renew and why so many experts continue contributing year after year.

A small minority of paid members don't have a clue about how to ask a question and leave dissatisfied and a small minority of experts obviously have no idea what they are talking about - and they tend to leave soon also.

I've checked out some of the sites that (apparently) meet your standard ... the phrase conflict of interest comes to mind ... and your Free Forums are worth exactly what you pay for them.

Microsfoft Forums? If they were worth wading through, would any of these other sites you're complaining about even exist?

BTW - nothing nicely scripted about people correcting your gross errors. Someone mentioned this trash you were throwing around and I see a couple of other members responded. If you can't take the criticism, don't offer it.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Connie. I used to cringe every time I carelessly clicked a Google result that took me to EE. I think the poor WOT rating helped me pass them by and it's been awhile since I've had the displeasure of visiting EE.

Everyone is entitled to an opinion but the EE Moonies get pretty snarky when they're exposed don't they!

Anonymous said...

...At the end of the day, you could spend that $12.29 on something better. It doesn't hurt to scuffle through a few forums or newsgroups for the issue you're facing, and you might even learn about the source of your problem and how to prevent it, rather than just getting a quick fix. If you also feel uneasy for posting on such forums, as someone stated a few comments earlier, then that's your problem, because the reason that they are there, is to help you and other people - for free. In my opinion, Experts-Exchange is just as low as the overpriced service provided by Geek Squad. If all else fails, RTFM.

Money isn't always the answer, folks.

Anonymous said...

What a load of hog wash, EE is a great site. If I need an answer it's my first port of call.

Sounds like someone got burned.

Anonymous said...

I like EE, and have sent them my (company's) money for years. The reason? It's FAST. I've submitted many urgent questions/problems to the EE community, and gotten my answers within MINUTES for 100% of them. I could have spent hours scouring free forums and such, but I gladly pay for the *convenience* of EE. Yes, I agree their fee is too high. But I see no problem with the fee itself. -J

Jim Dettman said...

I've been on EE now for over 10 years and have never paid a dime. How? The answer is simple and so is the concept of EE; "Anyone can be an Expert". All of us have some experience or skill to share and if you do that on EE you are rewarded for that with a free premium membership. What does it take to earn that? Answering about 3 - 5 questions per *month*. Not all that hard or difficult.

So the point is, if you contribute to the community, it's free. If you don't, then it costs you.

This seems to be the biggest gripe with EE and it's easily avoided with a little work on your part. And that's the point; a lot of people now a days don't like to work (even a little).

I see nothing wrong with EE charging. They don't sell your e-mail like a lot of other sites, they don't throw a ton of advertising in your face, and they have a site that is always up and has been for the past 14 years. How many other "free" sites have a 14 year track record? And the site is always adding new features and ways to help people all the time.

I don't know why but people seem to think that if it's on the Internet then it should be free. But there is TANSTAAFL; "There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch". Someone, somewhere pays the bills; servers, bandwidth, maintaining the site, adding new features, etc. all cost money. Nothing in this world is free.

As has been pointed out, Microsoft runs "free" newsgroups, but that's also why a copy of Windows costs two hundred dollars plus, or why support is $120/hr.

Outside of the pay issues, I'd be the first to admit that that quality of the answers has gone down in recent years, but overall I still find the level of "noise" on the EE site is much less then what I find else where.

I’ve now been on-line helping people by answering questions for a little over 18 years. And so far, EE is the best place I’ve found to do that.

Anonymous said...

..Strange how every negative comment gets followed by a posittive. Looks like EE is doing some marketing. EE is scamware. period.