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Pampered Chef: More Reaction to New Web Policies

  1. WoodenSpoon

    WoodenSpoon Novice Member

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    New Web Policies

    I was encouraged to stumble across this discussion thread about responses to the Pampered Chef's new web policies. I was beginning to think I was the only one who had concerns.

    Here's my two cents:

    :) The new policies attempt to level the playing field. No longer will executive directors and above be given exclusive access to online customers. That's good.

    :) Consultants with personal web sites will have to stay active by meeting the normal monthly minimumwith kitchen shows. That too is good. We don't want this to turn into an all-online business.

    :mad: Consultants will be held responsible for the actions of persons and web sites beyond their control. The email from HO stated that if anyone posted a link "to your Personal Web Site, you would be in violation of this policy." Well-meaning consultants could be penalized for the actions of others. That's not good.

    :confused: The Home Office will now have to employ additional people to enforce the new policy. As a result, Home Office staff people will have the job of hindering the success and slowing the sales of consultants with web sites. This does not seem like a good use of company resources. Moreover, it violates the spirit of the Recipe for Success, which is supposed to be about helping us build our businesses.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2005
    Dec 23, 2005
    #1
  2. WoodenSpoon

    WoodenSpoon Novice Member

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    ... continued:

    :( The recent Home Office email encouraged consultants to tattle on one another -- to turn in violators for punishment. This breaks down the sense of comaraderie that has always existed among PC consultants.

    :D The Home Office believes it can keep references to personal web sites out of search engines like MSN, Google, and Yahoo just by telling consultants they cannot list themselves there. As has been pointed out by many consultants in this forum, search engines have a mind of their own.

    :( Even if the Home Office was successful at removing all references to consultants' web sites from search engines, what would take their place? The Home Office would be surrounded by critics and competitors. Which is better? To have the corporate home page surrounded by links to consultants' official PC web sites? Or with sites like Ebay, Overstock, Wal-Mart, and blogs about Warren Buffett's pro-abortion contributions?

    :mad: Some consultants will be forced to change the address of their personal home page. For example, executive director Beth Jacobs has cleverly set up her site as www.pamperedchef.biz/theonlinecatalog. It's an easy-to-remember, easy-to-spell, generic name. But according to the new policies, she'll have to change it because it may confuse customers into thinking she's the Home Office. Forcing her to change her address is a bad idea because (1) it will make Beth have to buy all new business cards, stamps, etc, and, more importantly, (2) all the hundreds of people who have ordered from Beth's web site will be lost. They'll try to go back to that site, and it won't be found. Those customers will have lost their connection to Beth. How can frustrating loyal customers be in the best interest of either Beth Jacobs or the Home Office?
     
    Dec 23, 2005
    #2
  3. WoodenSpoon

    WoodenSpoon Novice Member

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    ...continued:

    :confused: The new policies seem to be designed to protect the kitchen show (an important part of our company's culture). But the policies do this by trying to push online customers into becoming kitchen show customers. (For example, by taking away the online guest special.) Doesn't anyone at the Home Office understand that these are new customers we are trying to reach? A whole new market of online shoppers? Folks who may not attend a kitchen show in the first place?

    :p Apparently, some executive directors are none too happy about the new policies. The HO email was very clear that the new rules are "effective immediately" but quite a number of executive directors are still advertising on search engines today. (From unrelated business experience, I know that these campaigns can be turned off in less than 1 minute without penalty or financial loss.) Apparently, these executive directors know the policies won't be enforced until February, so they're going to squeeze every online sale possible out of their small window of opportunity. But what sort of message does this noncompliance send to the rest of us? Once again, the gap is widening between what execs can get away with, and what the rest of us are permitted to do. That's a shame.

    :confused: The email asks us to police ourselves -- that is, to periodically check for illegal links to our sites. A number of consultants have complained about that requirement, saying they just don't know how to do that. So what will happen? Links will pop up without a consultant's knowlege or consent, and they'll be penalized for it -- not because of willful violation of the policy, but just of a lack of internet savvy.

    :mad: Bottom line -- the new policies do more to HIDE the Pampered Chef brand than to PROMOTE it. This is a giant step backwards for our company. I feel as though we are relenquishing the field to Emeril-ware, Wolfgang Puck, and Ebay. And in the process, the Home Office has created some major morale issues for its sales staff.
     
    Dec 23, 2005
    #3
  4. friday

    friday Guest

    Regarding names on sites, according to the material I read here, current sites will not be asked to change names unless they contain company name or other copyright terms. New sites will have to have at least first or last of their personal name as part of their site name. So this rule shouldnt force people who already have site names to change generally speaking.
    I know that some people will voluntarily change their site names to comply with this. Some directors will change in order to set a good example. I think that changing a site name could be used as a good opportunity to touch base with contacts and fire up for the New Year.
    That is just how I read it. Did anyone else read it this way also?

    I am not too concerned with all of this. I have been following the rules- even the new ones that weren't in place previously, and I have paid for my site fees times over with activity on it. I have asked a few friends with other companies and they already have very similar rules, guidelines and restrictions on the use of their company sponsored sites. I know that this amounts to growing pains as we develop in this area and I am willing to ride it out knowing that the end result will be satisfactory.

    Alison
     
    Dec 23, 2005
    #4
  5. WoodenSpoon

    WoodenSpoon Novice Member

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    Whose violation?

    Hey, I just discovered that The Pampered Chef is the biggest violator of their own policy!

    The HO email said the prohibitions include "linking to the Pampered Chef Corporate Web site from any Web site."

    I've discovered that there are 9,814 links to www.pamperedchef.com. This includes

    307 backlinks listed by Google
    364 backlinks listed by HotBot
    6,083 backlinks listed by MSN
    3,060 backlinks listed by Yahoo!

    Oops, wait. Now there's one more.

    I think this is hilarious! After all, as the email this week stated, "as The Pampered Chef corporate office, we have the right to monitor any Web site."
     
    Dec 23, 2005
    #4
  6. WoodenSpoon

    WoodenSpoon Novice Member

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    Whose violation?

    The HO email said the prohibitions include "linking to the Pampered Chef Corporate Web site from any Web site."

    I've discovered that there are 9,814 links to www.pamperedchef.com. This includes

    307 backlinks listed by Google
    364 backlinks listed by HotBot
    6,083 backlinks listed by MSN
    3,060 backlinks listed by Yahoo!

    Oops, wait. Now there's one more.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2006
    Dec 23, 2005
    #5
  7. WoodenSpoon

    WoodenSpoon Novice Member

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    Alison, what about sites like www.pamperedchef.biz/shop or www.pamperedchef.biz/shops or www.pamperedchef.biz/shopping or www.pamperedchef.biz/buy or www.pamperedchef.biz/store or http://www.pamperedchef.biz/catalog or http://www.pamperedchef.biz/theonlinecatalog or http://www.pamperedchef.biz/cooking? There are probably dozens more I could list if I was creative enough.

    Will they be forced to change, do you think, because of potential confusion? Will the Home Office think these consultants are misleading customers into thinking they are ordering direct from the company?

    And if they are forced to change, what happens to the investment these consultants have made in business cards, stamps, catalogs, and postage to promote their original (and at the time, legal) web addresses to all their contacts? And what happens to the customers that have bookmarked these sites for future purchases? Will they just be lost? They'll probably just go to Yahoo or MSN and find another consultant. What a tragedy.

    In my view, it's just not right to ask a consultant to change the name of her web site after she has spent months (or years) promoting it. It's robbing her of the hard work she's already invested.
     
    Dec 30, 2005
    #6
  8. WoodenSpoon

    WoodenSpoon Novice Member

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    Time will tell

    Today on Google, Beth Jacobs' and Stacy Pressman's web sites show up on the first page of search results. Shan Eisler shows up on the first page of Yahoo. Shan also shows up on MSN, along with some other consultants. (These are not paid ads, just search engine results.) Will the Home Office really enforce its new rules against these Executive Directors, and disable their online shopping? I guess we'll find out next week. Penalties are supposed to be implemented on February 1.
     
    Jan 25, 2006
    #7
  9. bbauman07

    bbauman07 Veteran Member Gold Member

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    I have to agree, I'm contacting everyone I can right now anyways to try to kick up the New Year. I can't wait to get my taxes back so I can start sharing my info.Though I wouldn't be happy about having to change my business cards, etc.


    I'm sure the HO will take care of the links. It's not like they don't know how to contact us.
     
    Jan 26, 2006
    #8
  10. I just wanted to share that when the new policies came into play I panicked! I sent HO an email telling them how my name comes up when I type certain phrases and that I DID NOT pay for them to list me. In response HO told me I need not worry because I DID NOT PAY TO BE LISTED! When I am approached to be linked to other websites (very rare but it has happened) I tell them "No thank you, it is against policy."

    So don't worry if you are going according to the policy. You are doing nothing wrong.

    HO is definitly looking at this site and others like it. If you ask me they are listening to our complaints and helpful ideas to improve things.

    Keep venting. Keep the ideas coming. Keep sharing. Keep up the momemtum of having a successfull buisness by doing what you are supposed to be doing; cooking, meeting new people, being rewarded for all your hard work with income, free products and free trips!
     
    Jan 30, 2006
    #9
  11. PCs Quest Against their Reps

    I'm just curious to see if anyone has had their site canceled now since the new policy took effect (Feb 1?). I still have all of my links listed and havn't noticed any of the sites they are pointing not being in operation. Just wondering if Richard Laiche is full of hot air with all of his threats or if he's actually followed through with any of his threats?
    Just Curious,
    Seth
     
    Feb 3, 2006
    #10
  12. jenniferlynne

    jenniferlynne Senior Member

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    Can we have our website listed in the signature line of our email?
     
  13. WendyAebi

    WendyAebi Member

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    Yes, you can.
     
    Feb 5, 2006
    #12
  14. Advertising policies

    Funny you mention that. My online ordering feature was temporarily disabled due to an idiotic decision to delay the removal of some of my links. Based on what I have experienced, they are taking it VERY seriously.

    Also, from what I have read, Seth is taking it seriously as well for no apparent reason. I have seen your site, and I must admit that what you are doing is quite childish. You clearly do not understand the reasons as to why the Home Office is so adamant about keeping links and advertisements off the Internet.

    Sara
    sarapchef4@yahoo.com
     
  15. WendyAebi

    WendyAebi Member

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    Why is Beth Jacob's (a National Executive Director) site still up? www.pamperedchef.biz/theonlinecatalog The new policy said that personal websites could not appear to be the corporate site. My understanding was that all the sites with names like that (there are others, but I'm drawing a blank) had to be changed by 1 February. Did I misunderstand that?
     
    Feb 7, 2006
    #14
  16. WoodenSpoon

    WoodenSpoon Novice Member

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    Web Disabled


    Sara,

    What exactly happened with your site? (And is it ...biz/sara?) What error message did people see when they tried to order from you? How long was ordering disabled, and is it back up now? If so, what did you have to do to pursuade the Home Office to turn it back on?

    I think your experience could help others. Somebody's web site is always going to appear at the top of the search engine results (links or no links), and there's going to be a steady stream of consultants whose sites are disabled.
     
    Feb 8, 2006
    #15
  17. WoodenSpoon

    WoodenSpoon Novice Member

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    Feb 8, 2006
    #16
  18. cla519

    cla519 Member

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    I am bumping this up as there are some new people on here that does not know about this policy.
     
    Jun 5, 2006
    #17
  19. agw

    agw Member Gold Member

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    What about our forum signatures? I'm guessing placing a link to our websites in our forum signatures is a NO-NO. Yes? No?
     
    Jun 5, 2006
    #18
  20. bbauman07

    bbauman07 Veteran Member Gold Member

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    Thats correct, no website links on forum signature even here
     
    Jun 5, 2006
    #19
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