Have you started getting messages on Linkedin saying, ‘John Smith [or whoever] has requested your Opinion’?
The text of the message is something like this:
I’d like to request 10 seconds of your time to leave me a quick rating here:
Thank you in advance!
If you have, then one of your connections has been taken in by MyBizCard. Don’t blame them though; they were just being helpful to someone else.
One of these people was Gloucestershire Copywriter Al Hidden, who wrote on his blog last month about the problems he had as a result. After Al agreed to write a review for a friend,
- MyBizCard asked him for access to his Linkedin profile;
- It then approached ALL his contacts for a review, even though he had picked only a selection;
- The request messages were sent in bulk without personalisation – like the one above which was sent to nearly a dozen people all visible to each other;
- The site then only makes three reviews visible, unless you buy a paid upgrade!
Al was rightly concerned, and so am I.
I was immediately suspicious of MyBizCard when the message was not personalised, and sent to several people including me. I then looked at the ‘Unsubscribe’ link and found I could only ‘unsubscribe’ by connecting MyBizCard to Linkedin, thereby giving them access to my email address. I don’t think so!
MyBizCard is Spam
I don’t know whether the other recipients of these messages agree, but I think MyBizCard is not a site I want to join, and I can’t unsubscribe from receiving messages from my Linkedin connections about it, without giving MyBizCard my email address.
I’m not alone either, I know many people who mark such requests as spam.
MyBizCard reminds me very much of phishing messages on Twitter. You get a Direct Message that says ‘hey, someone’s saying really bad things about you on Facebook’, you click the link thinking your friend is helping you, only to have your password harvested, then it passes on like a disease. People only realise when its too late, by which time they’ve infected several of their followers. Some of them may even report the user for spam when their hacked account starts sending out inappropriate messages. Its a very damaging use of the internet, and people can be very hurt when it happens to them, but they shouldn’t be, because these scams take advantage of your good nature.
So don’t get into MyBizCard – If people know you well, why not ask them for a recommendation via Linkedin itself?
What to Do about MyBizCard Spam
If you’ve already given MyBizCard your information, you can remove access to your information following these instructions:
- Go to your ‘privacy and settings’ page (drop down menu by your photo in the top right hand corner – in earlier versions of Linkedin the menu was by your name)
- Choose the ‘Groups, Companies and Applications’ tab;
- Click on ‘View your Applications’;
- Find ‘MyBizCard’ from the list, tick the checkbox and click the ‘Remove’ button.
If you can’t find MyBizCard in the list, you haven’t given them access to your Linkedin information. Think yourself lucky!
As far as I can tell, you can’t opt out of receiving these emails, but I suggest you don’t mark the messages as spam, as the person is probably unaware that this is happening. Instead, why not reply to them explaining. You’re welcome to share a link to this post to let them see why and what to do.
Anastasia Schuster says
Hey Su, thanks for sharing even more about the unscrupulous tactics of MyBizCard.com.
I am blown away by the audacity of this company. What they did was bad enough. The fact that they never replied to my complaint that I submitted on their website shows even further lack of integrity, but it just gets better…
John Denver, Support Manager for MyBizCard has sent me multiple auto emails sharing three of the reviews that people gave me AND that I received two bad reviews. They show the names of the two reviewers along with their 3-star ratings, but no comments. I found it odd because I couldn’t imagine either one of those people giving me a bad review. I reached out to them, get this, they never reviewed me!!!!! On top of everything else, MyBizCard is lying!!!
And what I love most is this comment from them: “Uh oh, looks like you received some bad ratings that are 3 stars or less. These are publicly visible to other people on your business card. If you’d like to delete them, click “Remove”.” So on top of everything else, if you got any bad reviews, you can remove them! Hah!! Really?????? What’s the point of having reviews if you can remove the ones you don’t like?
Oh my gosh, I simply can’t get over how bad they are…
Thanks to you and Al for helping to spread the word. One good thing came from all of this though. I took the time to message everyone of my LI contacts my explanation, apology, a link to this blog, and a link on how to delete the connection if they did it. It was painful as I could only do 50 at a time and I have nearly 1,000 contacts. While I braced myself for a backlash I received only support and appreciation for taking the time to let them know what happened and alert them to the issue. Some were so impressed with how I handled the problem that it built up their opinion of me and showed integrity. As a result of that I’ve had multiple contacts and have even received business. What is that saying? Something along the lines of “There is no such thing as bad publicity.”? Well I guess in this case it’s true.
None the less, if given the choice I would’ve avoided this painful experience. As my dad always said…”First the test and THEN the lesson.”…how true…
Some really interesting insights here Anastasia, thanks for coming over and commenting here too.
Seems to me that MyBizCard haven’t really thought out their approach to professional people. Using Linkedin means that this is their main constituency. I wonder if they are listening.
Tim Fitch says
May be I am a mug but I paid for the upgrade as an experiment. I did personalise the message to reflect the ‘experimental’ nature of the post. So far 61 ratings with about 50% adding a comment. 61 represents a small response rate as I have over 1200 connections. I only had one missive from my connections which was slightly negative about LinkedIn in general. I had a few comments from people saying they tried but failed to work out what to do. Hope this helps.
PS I did get a fast response to a query I raised, but of course I was a paying customer.
Hi Tim, thanks for posting your experience.
Interesting that you were able to personalise the message. I wonder whether this is as visible an option as it seems, or if its only available to paying members?
Here’s your card on the site – I see that people can see all your ratings – at least I can see them. This must be an effect of paying the ‘lifetime fee’ as well:
I’d like to get a wide range of thoughts here.
What is the benefit of having your business card on this site?
What is the value of these ratings – some of them are five star but they are just commenting generically rather than reviewing you – like this example:
In the end, does promoting your presence on this new service give you anything that you’re not getting out of Linkedin? I know you’re a proactive, successful user of Linkedin – why not just use its existing recommendations system, or even the ‘endorsements’ feature?
I’d be interested to hear other thoughts too.
Anastasia Schuster says
I doubt they’re listening, but if more people spread the word like you, they’ll have to. 🙂
Without paying, I too was able to personalize my message. I shared this:
“Would you be so kind as to leave me a quick rating here:
https://mybizcard.co/user/rate/190317/7eb88b54ab1b7e45e715988faa23d928/. I’m fully committed to my speakers’ business now (no longer running it on the side) and could use all the help I can get for exposure to potential venues who need great speakers. If you know me through my previous work I’d still love the rating as it’s my general work ethic and integrity I want to show. If we’ve never done business together please just disregard. Thank you,
The vast majority of my LI connections are people I truly know and many, though not all, have worked with me in one capacity or another. None the less, I didn’t want ratings from people who hadn’t actually worked with me, but to cull them from the list would’ve been painful. Though in hindsight not as painful as having to message everyone back 50 at a time! 🙂
I think recommendations on LI are FAR more effective. I went for the MyBizCard because I actually thought it was a new feature on LI as they’ve been rolling out so many great improvements. I figured it was just a way for people at a quick glance to see what others have thought of you vs. scrolling through recommendations on your profile. Boy was I wrong…
I love LI and am growing my business as a direct result of the great connections I’ve made here. I just wish they would do something about a company that is working through their system to mislead people…
Jane Leonard says
I found your blog through Al Hidden’s post on MyBizCard. I received the invitation this morning and was a bit suspicious.
Thanks for writing this post. Some of the comments here are also very helpful.
I have followed your example and created a post for my contacts.
Thanks for spreading the word Jane!
I am getting bombarded by there requests and it is really quite irritating. The reality is that sites like that don’t offer much value. My recommendation would be to get listed with sites and directories that are relevant to your industry as they are able to bring web traffic specific to your area. For example, if you are a dentist, you’d use a site like Findmydentist.com to get listed and get more visibility online.
Gordon Williams says
Thanks for saving me a headache, Su. I got the email and followed the link but I thought it was odd being asked to sign in with my LI id.
A quick search turned up your article. I also passed your instructions to my contact, who was tearing his hair out trying to get shut of this one.
Great news Gordon, thanks
Thanks for sharing this information Su, much appreciated.
As per above thought it was part of LinkedIn and I was helping a trusted contact who I rate but did not allow for the follow up emails although the rating response was very good. Amended my profile to remove application as stated above because my gut feel was not right about this facility
Thanks for taking the time to comment, and glad this post and the discussions helped you make a decision how to proceed.
Cheryl Malandrinos says
I just wanted to let you know I was taken in by this just this week. I thought I was getting a lifetime membership to LinkedIn for $99, but what I ended up getting is a membership to MyBizCard. It popped up while I was on LinkedIn, offering this great promotion to get more ratings, because it said only 3 ratings would be posted otherwise. It wasn’t very clear that I was signing up for a different service (meaning MyBizCard as opposed to LinkedIn). In addition, when I used PayPal to process my payment, the vendor was listed as General Workings, not LinkedIn. That’s how I knew something was up. When I click on the details of the transaction on PayPal, nothing actually refers to MyBizCard. The email address is listed as [email protected] with the customer service URL being http://www.surveyreport.com . The phone number that is listed is 855-344-4327, which when searched on Goggle comes up as belonging to two different companies, HiGear and Sales Spider, both out of San Francisco, CA.
MyBizCard has a no refund policy, but I tried to email them anyway. When I submitted my email, it doesn’t confirm that they received it, so I tried submitting again. I plan to dispute this charge with my credit card company, and or, PayPal.
Thanks for taking the time to tell us your story.
Its a same you mistakenly thought the membership you were buying was Linkedin – always a good idea to check the URL of the site you’re on when you’re asked to pay for something. Perhaps MyBizCard needs to clarify its sales pages to avoid this happening to other people.
Also interesting to hear there is a link between MyBizCard and SurveyReport. I remember getting SurveyReport requests last year, it appears to work on the same basis using Linkedin’s signin and sending your connections survey requests.
As with MyBizCard, SurveyReport is pretty much providing something that Linkedin already does (this time with its recommendation system). I encourage people generally to use the tools on the site wherever possible, as they will be plugged into the ‘ecosystem’ of Linkedin better, and of course are likely to have credibility rather than borrowing LinkedIn’s reputation.
I hope you get your money back! Perhaps the SurveyReport people will see sense…
Anastasia Schuster says
I absolutely feel your pain in particular as you went so far as to paying money. I’m so grateful that didn’t happen to me.
I agree, there’s something about their tactics that makes one feel it’s somehow part of and almost endorsed by LinkedIn. Very deceitful.
I do indeed hope you are successful in getting your money back.
Dan Marchiando says
I’ve now received at least two of these requests, and initially I thought they were through Linkedin, which I’m willing to work with. But then once I wrote the review and hit submit it asked me to LINK to my data on Linkedin, and at that point I realized this wasn’t through Linkedin. I was really turned off by the deceptive nature of this site. And I really don’t see the point in having my information and reviews on one more site. I think a better strategy would be to try to concentrate all my hard earned reviews on just a handful of sites, say Linkedin, Yelp, and G+ or maybe an industry specific site.
Thanks for your comment Dan.
There are times when other sites/ventures add value to the big conversation platforms like Linkedin, but its important that they do add value and not just take for their own benefit, and that what they do is in the spirit of the original site.
Cardmunch is a good example, a startup designed to help you add your business cards to your iPhone addressbook (added value 1) and check if your contacts are on Linkedin and connect with them (added value 2). Cardmunch was so popular and did the ‘In the Spirit of Linkedin’ so well that they were bought by Linkedin last year and now the service is free – see http://www.cardmunch.com
I feel that Linkedin is trusted by many professional people who don’t use other social media sites and are wary of the internet in general. Taking advantage of this is bad form in my book!
Card Truth says
Wow! Thank you so much for the information. I would 100% avoid MyBizCard. This is one thing that is not worth even a second of my time.
Thank you so much for that. I didn’t think I had ever accepted a mybizcard request but when I went to check in linkedin it was one of my applications. So I am very grateful for the instructions on how to remove it.
I paid for the upgrade on mybizcard, and so far, have not had any negative experience with it’s use. Certainly it seems no worse than LinkedIn’s constant “Hey, so-and-so recommended you” which you click on, and end up with endless “Rate these people” screens. I like the idea of having a signature on my emails that allows people to see the reviews I’m getting, and also offers them the opportunity to review my services. I also like being notified when someone I sent an email to has opened it. Aside from being annoyed with mybizcard for sending invitations to all my LinkedIn connections (which I believe it asked permission to do, beforehand), what is it that everyone here is objecting to? Thanks in advance!