GWD Drops Enom and TRUSTe
As most of our customers know, we will go out of our way to get our customers the best possible deals for helping them establish a new brand and internet presence, so that means we do shop around a bit and being we specialize in web development, we’re not after any profit from offering these value-add services; we just hope by offering them, the service is valuable in two ways: 1) It is convenient and 2) it is at cost.
Until recently we were offering TRUSTe through Enom, Inc. TRUSTe touts a 80% marketing rate of trust through the general internet population (which we found to be false) and they claim that having their seal at the bottom of your site will increase sales by increasing trust with your users. We found this again to be false broadly over our own clients.
We had already stopped pushing TRUSTe on our customers, as in we were not telling them that this is a must-have service, though we were offering it. It wasn’t until today that we had an experience of our own that caused us to loose so much trust in both TRUSTe and Enom, INC, that we will no longer be offering services from either company. Here is what happened, and we have recorded correspondence for any whom is interested:
On August 26, 2013, we noticed that the TRUSTe Certification Seal had stopped working for all of our customers and our own website. We promptly contacted Enom, Inc about this issue on August 28, 2013.
On August 29, 2013, Enom, Inc responded that they were not aware of any issues and that they would look into it.
On September 3, 2013, Enom, Inc explained that the reason our certification was not working was because we offered cloud hosting services (though we have never offered it, we would simply send customers to cloud-flare as a once official partner). We stopped offering cloud services back in 2012 and made this clear on our cloud hosting page.
On September 4, 2013, Enom, Inc said they would contact TRUSTe to find out why they had disabled our site and get back with us on it.
On September 4, 2013, we contacted TRUSTe directly, we got a response on September 5, 2013, the representative we spoke with explained the following, “We do not directly turn services off once they are approved unless the site changes, your site has not changed as evidence through the Google Caches. I can see in the logs that we did not turn your site off, instead Enom, Inc requested that the service be disabled and locked for reasons I cannot relay at this time. Please note that you can contact [sales email removed] directly and order a new…”
On September 10, 2013, Enom, Inc finally restored the TRUSTe services to all customers but our own site, and stated that TRUSTe stated that the services cannot be restored so long as our site makes so much as a mention of cloud services (so any descriptive texts stating that CDN services are cloud-like prevent service reactivation).
On September 11, 2013, we have formally requested that Enom, Inc refund the service being it was renewed and billed on August 4, 2013 for an entire year.
We cannot in good faith sell a service we know has this sort of reputation first-hand. We have also advised all customers currently using TRUSTe to discontinue use at the end of the yearly cycle and use WOT (Web of Trust) instead. We have also switched registrars, and will not longer be registering SSL or domain names through Enom, Inc. Instead we are already set with another company to start registering domains on September 22, 2013. All renewals will currently take place through this new company by transferring the domain, automatically from Enom to this new registrar.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us, likewise if you are a customer and would like to see any of this correspondence for yourself, please do not hesitate to contact our support staff for a copy and transcript. We already have one client who’s seeking legal action against Enom, Inc for this unwarranted disabling (almost an entire month) of their services. While we will remain neutral in any arbitrary litigation, we would recommend that clients seek out the legal contacts for both Enom, Inc and TRUSTe before filing any actions.
I’ve never had this problem with TRUSTe but I also deal with them directly. I would advise you do this. Also, I can verify that TRUSTe has no such policy that restricts a participant from sending clients to cloud hosting providers as I understand you did with CloudFlare. I would recommend contacting TRUSTe directly again and explain what has happened, I’m sure they will not appreciate that TRUSTe has been represented in such a way through ENOM INC.
Do you have a link to this TRUSTe policy? I could not find it myself.
Also, we did contact TRUSTe directly, they responded and just said they couldn’t disclose any additional information and suggested we contact their sales department to purchase a new service all-together. This is very unprofessional, and is completely opposite from what you would expect from a company that promises to promote trust on your website.
It can be found on their Site Certification Program. Please investigate. Also, I find myself a little disappointed if TRUSTe did not offer to make that right.
I’ll look again, but 3 other employees cannot find any articles on what services are acceptable and what are not except those that are just not trustworthy. Cloud hosting is very trustworthy and very secure, I can’t imagine why they would do that to being with, but then for someone to say because we used to offer cloud services therefor we don’t qualify, this makes no sense.
No, TRUSTe is not offering anything.
I’m sure they don’t like the cloud hosting because you send client’s content to other networks and servers.
That’s not true, because the content that is sent is only content they have posted in public to begin with. It is not like we’re sending back-end data to the cloud, only publicly cached snap-shots of the site, much as Google does with caching a page for their search engines. Likewise, no PII was sent, EVER, the cloud hosting account was handled solely by us and we determined what public data was sent by only allowing the cloud crawlers access to public pages (it could not cache SSL or pages which were password protected). They have no excuse for this.
I’ve canceled. What was the excuse they gave for cutting everyone off? Because you guys offered hosting services? This is moronic.
Mike, I’ve sent in a support ticket requesting all correspondence. My lawyer will have a field day with this.
Do you have any idea why they would have done this? Did they give any reasons or do you suspect any reasons for disabling our site? We are also considering contacting a lawyer about this.
No official word, but I do have a hunch. About a month ago, we had a customer whom canceled a TRUSTe seal, and we requested a refund through Enom because they did a stealth reactivation. Well the customer didn’t pay for it so we were stuck with the bill. After presenting our case to them, they finally refunded the transaction, and 30 days later….
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