DesktopStaff.com — Misledaing the public
We are writing you to make you and your readers aware of the fraudulent use of our company information as well as the information for several other companies - for the benefit of one misleading "firm" in an apparent attempt to earn website traffic on the backs of our hard work.
The company I am referring to uses the website www.desktopstaff.com. The actual company name is unclear. According to the site, they are simply desktopstaff.com, and they are based in Makati in the Philippines. According to the whois database, however, the site is owned by DS, Ltd. UK, which apparently is owned by someone named Carl Santiago at 25018 Eshelman Ave, Suite 18, Lomita, CA 90717. (see http://whois.net/whois_new.cgi?d=des...ff.com&tld=com for details.) Further research on this address says that there is a "John De Santos" at this same address ("DS, Ltd."?) of something called "Sumo Ltd." at the same address, which apparently has something to do with the porn business, as you will see below.
A search of the address in Google reveals the following top results:
#1 http://www.asianprego.com/notice.htm - Refers to some kind of legal notice regarding what is apparently a porn site.
#2 http://www.asiamoviepass.com/otheroptions.htm - A website for Japanese Bukkake
#3 http://www.aboutus.org/Newbukkake.com - This page lists about 20 or more other websites - all apparently porn related. It lists the same physical address, and has this additional contact information: [protected]@filipinadreamgirls.com, and lists this phone number (which I know for a fact is a cell phone number on the Globe network, a local cell phone provider): +[protected] This means that if the business is, in fact, in the Philippines, it is being run entirely from a cell phone. How professional is that?
#4 http://www.myasians.net/notice.htm - Another compliance notice listing John De Santos and Sumo Ltd. again regarding yet another porn site.
Need I go on?
Anyway, this company, apparently out of a desperate and feeble attempt to acquire search engine traffic, is getting itself into the top 10 listings under searches that have nothing to do with them by claiming that they are the ones who designed websites for these companies! For example, for our company (www.myonlinestaff.com), doing a search for "MyOnlineStaff" sees our company in the first two positions, but it also sees THEIR company in the third position. The problem with this is that they are there because they claim to have deigned our site, when in fact WE did the site ourselves (since we are in the business of doing this, among other services which we provide!) So, even though we have never heard of them, they are earning traffic from our efforts simply by lying to the public, claiming that they are the ones who designed our site.
The page that is reached as a result of searching for "MyOnlineStaff" and clicking on their link is http://www.desktopstaff.com/links.htm. Another page which makes the same claim is http://www.desktopstaff.com/portfoli...#myonlinestaff. As you look at either one of these pages, you will see that they are taking credit for the design of many sites, and even show little thumbnail pictures of the sites, which any reasonable person would assume is what the site will look like when actually clicking on the link. However, if the internet surfer looking at these pages actually clicks on any of these links (most do not), NONE of them actually show any designed page! Furthermore, none of the links are even true links to the other sites! Every link goes back to the main page of www.desktopstaff.com. If you actually manually type in the URL's for the sites they claimed to have designed, the user will find that the vast majority of the sites don't even exist! Our site happens to be one of the few that actually does exist. However, as I said above, we have never heard of these people!
Unlike the other sites they are taking credit for building, our company actually provides similar services to theirs, which means that of all the companies whose websites they are taking credit for that actually exist, our company is the only one directly in competition with theirs, making the fact that their site is getting benefits from our traffic more critical to us than to the rest of the companies for which they are fraudulently taking credit for building sites. In some cases with some of the other companies to which they are doing this, the company's website doesn't even come up as a result of the search, but desktopstaff.com's page DOES come up! As you might imagine, if, in fact, we were a client of these people, we would be OUTRAGED to find that the company responsible for our site was in the top 10 for anyone searching for US while OUR site was nowhere to be found!
Now, in truth, in the world of Search Engine Optimization, even though the information on their site is false (at least in our case, as well as others on their site), if they were providing a true link to our respective sites on theirs, it might almost be worth it to allow them to keep lying to the public; because in most cases, a one-way link from almost any site to ours can only serve to help our own page rank, as well as our positioning on Google as well as other search engines. However, since their own site has NO page rank in the search engines (not to be confused with their search engine placement), the only good traffic they can get from the search engines is the traffic that they get at the expense or companies like ours, so they are not doing us any good. Furthermore, they are NOT even providing a true link to us! Even though it looks like a true link, clicking on the link just takes people to THEIR home page and NOT OURS, leading the people who click on that link to believe that THEY are actually US!
For the benefit of other people who might be reading this and considering doing business with them, as well as other companies to which they might also be doing this, here are the actions we have already taken on behalf of our own company. Hopefully, any other company or individual having a similar experience will consider taking similar action:
1. We tried to contact these people last month (early July, 2008) to simply ask them to remove any reference to our company from their website, since the information was simply not accurate. As of August 7th, 2008, they have not responded.
2. On July 30th, I called the phone number that was listed in the whois database at the time. The gentleman I spoke to seemed very articulate, and appeared to be very understanding of our situation. He acknowledged that they do, in fact, own www.desktopstaff.com, and that even though he, personally, is in California, that their operations were, in fact, in the Philippines. He further stated they had no intention of providing inaccurate information on their site, and that he would look into it, and that if he found that such a link did exist (I gave him the exact page on which it exists) he would ensure that it was taken off their site. He also promised me a return phone call after he had "gotten to the bottom of this". Well, as it turns out, I never received a return phone call, and no one ever responded to the original email I sent to the contact info provided on the website. In fact, the only thing that was removed was not the reference to my site, but their phone number from the whois database! (However, I looked back into my own records, and found the number. For your convenience, and for the convenience of your readers, here it is: [protected]).
3. One week after that phone conversation (today), I checked again and found the reference to our site (as well as these other companies) still there. I then checked the whois database again, and I found that the phone number had been removed, apparently in an effort to make it more difficult for companies like ours for whose website they are taking credit to contact them directly. As I said above, I looked back into my own records and found their phone number. When I called, a lady answered, who claimed that she had never heard of me or my company, and that she didn't own any website, and was not associated in any way with a company in the Philippines. This statement was, of course, in direct contradiction to what the man I spoke to at the same number only a week before claimed. Furthermore, she acknowledged that she knew of the conversation I had with the man I assume to be her husband a week ago, so I am certain that this is not a case of the phone number being reassigned to someone else during the week that passed between phone conversations, as they might later try to claim. It is looking more and more like they are, in fact, intentionally deceiving the public in a feeble attempt to glean traffic by claiming the work on our sites to be their own.
4. Our own further investigation into this matter confirms that the phone number we got from the whois database (provided for you above) does, in fact, go to the address listed in the whois database (info listed at the bottom of this email). After looking at a picture of the address in the Google Maps database, the location appears to be a small residence, possibly a duplex or quadraplex. This, of course, leads me to believe even more that the people I spoke with are fully aware of what is happening, and simply have no desire to change it, because they fully intend to deceive the public, and to take credit for our work.
5. We contacted www.enom.com, where the whois information is coming from, and advised them of the situation, including the fact that they are apparently unwittingly helping these people deceive the public by allowing their listing in the first place. Hopefully, they will respond by forcing them to take down the reference to our site and company, as well as the links to other sites for which they are taking credit (most of which don't even exist), or will remove the sites DNS information from the system. We suggest that any other companies or individuals experiencing the same issues with them take similar action.
6. We contacted Google at https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/spamreport and advised them that this company is manipulating their database by using deceptive information in this way. It is our hope that Google will remove them from the database for our search term, if they don't ban them from Google altogether for such inappropriate behavior. Again, We suggest that any other companies or individuals experiencing the same issues with them take similar action.
7. We will be contacting the hosting company for these people (http://www.national-net.com/contact_us.html) and advising them of this company's fraudulent behavior, including the dishonest manipulation of the Google search engine, in hopes that they will either force the company to remove the reference to our company, or if they refuse, will take down this company's website altogether. Again, We suggest that any other companies or individuals experiencing the same issues with them take similar action.
The two pages displaying the fraudulent information are:
One point we'd like to make here: If the people we called about this problem are not associated with the site in question, then how is it that the phone number we called just happened to removed from the whois database immediately after our original phone call to them? Clearly, this can not be mere coincidence. It is just more proof that these people are simply trying to avoid being contacted again about their unscrupulous business practices.
As stated above, the reference to our site (www.myonlinestaff.com) is actually one of the few sites actually working. Most of them are bogus altogether. Our guess is that, since most of the URL's currently not working are sites that reference their industry (and our company's), these other URL's probably represent other sites they did to promote their own company, and not anyone else's, and that they simply could not afford the hosting for the other sites, which eventually expired. We admit that is mere speculation on our part However, any reasonable person would have to admit that the facts certainly support such a conclusion.
The bottom line seems to be as follows: Someone in California who apparently has ties in the Philippines is trying to deceive people into believing that they are a big reputable company which has done a lot of websites for a lot of companies, when, in truth, they are a tiny little company in the Philippines with a handful of clients - all of which are apparently also in the Philippines - and they are trying to make themselves look more credible by using an American address, which admittedly belongs to someone tied to them, but also someone tied more to the porn industry rather than to the call center industry. Frustrated with this situation, they are apparently trying to get more exposure on the backs of companies like ours, claiming our work as their own, hoping that, as an American company, we can't get to them in the Philippines. (They are about to find this to be untrue, but that is another matter.)
I hope this information helps other people or companies that may be considering doing business with this company, or that may already be doing business with this company. Hopefully, if enough of us complain about this, these people will be forced to stop deceiving the public and taking credit for our hard work.
If there is anything else we can do to assist anyone out there on this matter, please feel free to contact is, and we will do what I can to work in concert for a quick resolution to this matter, to our mutual benefit.