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Dan



True is having a lot of problems currently. Dr. Jim Houran was fired over two months ago. The security expert William Rathburn was also fired some time ago. There is no team of experts.

An online dating site called True.com which tauts it's self as the safer dating service and the owner Herb Vest is behind litigation to require all dating services to disclose if they conduct background checks should be investigated for date bait along with several other questionable business practices.

Vest is being sued in Dallas, Texas by his former fiancee. The details of the woman's case is very disturbing. Vest who is fighting to require background checks is now fighting to keep the detail affidavit by this woman sealed. Vest sited it would damage his business and personal life.
Some of the details includes Vest with prostitutes, Threesomes with lesbians. Several sexual harassment claims against Vest while at HD Vest, Inc. And, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

In addition you may want to ask Vest about the following business practices.

blogs has posters that claim they have seen documentation of fraud on the part of True. That is, ex-employees who claim that part of their job description was to pose as real people and keep people as members to motivate them to become paid subscribers.

I think that this issue becomes even more pertinent in light of similar allegations currently against Match.com and Yahoo Personals. It is no secret that some "customer service" people that used to work at True are no longer there -- and having left under curious circumstances. Vest should be questioned about these allegations of fraud. Vest should also be questioned as to whether they have any knowledge of fake/bait profiles being used by True employees at the direction of Vest and/or any of the executive management to essentially deceive or defraud customers or potential customers.


1. "Is the endorsement from Psychology Today an academic endorsement or a paid endorsement?"

2. "You state on your site that you have a team of experts behind your testing/psychology services... who are they exactly and how do I get in touch with them in order to ask them what they specifically do for True and examples of recent work." "Or, perhaps you (True.com) is overstating their roles as a marketing gimmick."

3. "It seems True has been busy altering the authorship of certain online articles in its online magazine from Dr. James Houran to "Psychology Department" -- implying Houran is still a part of the psychology dept. and that True has an active psychology dept." Why is it making these changes in authorship? Does the online magazine editor (Leah Gentry, formerly a journalist with the LA Times) endorse this practice?"

4. Why has True.com not revealed to its customers that they no longer have the benefit of Dr. James Houran? He was arguably a huge value ad to the business and the welfare of the customers, yet customers are not told he is no longer with the company. True pushes for legislation requiring disclosure and yet they curiously are not disclosing that certain features/ benefits of the site are no longer part of the price of membership."

FYI: Dr. Jim Houran was fired in October and True is sueing him. True is bullying him so he and another man will agree to sign over any rights to tests they created. Vest wants to patient those tests.

Also, Vest and his wife have broken their own rule : NO MARRIED PEOPLE ALLOWED.

VEST OFTEN GOES TO THE CHAT ROOM TO FIND OUT WHAT IS GOING ON. MARK BROOKS IS ON THE PAYROLL FOR TRUE.COM. VEST USES MARKS BLOG TO PROMOTE HIS COMPANY AND USES A DIFFERENCT NAME.

Markus

Vest having a fake account, say it aint so...

Herb Vest = Fernando Ardenghi

Fernando Ardenghi

Markus, you are wrong!!!

I am an Argentinean electronic engineer with several post graduated courses. I am mostly an entrepreneur (a combination of a business man and inventor) trying to launch a quality online dating site using the matching algorithm I had invented.

More info could be seen at:
http://www.whynot.net/view_idea?id=1870
http://mb.internetdatingconference.com/viewtopic.php?t=30
http://mb.internetdatingconference.com/viewtopic.php?t=134

Fernando Ardenghi.
Buenos Aires.
Argentina.
[email protected]

James Houran

I think Markus was joking! In any event, Fernando really is a good guy and is not an alto ego for Herb Vest :)

Jim Houran, PhD
Research Psychologist

Lee Phillips

Interesting stuff Dan. Some of it is even news to me. I know that True employees posed as customers in order to encourage sign ups. True even sent out a mass email to a number of non-paid members that was from an employee posing as a member. Interestingly enough, that employee was the mistress of the company president. Imagine my surprise when I got that email!

Lee Phillips
Application Developer/Consultant

James Houran

Lee:

I would greatly appreciate receiving any documentation you may have saved (emails, etc.) that speaks to your experience. As you know, I am collecting documentation that suggests fraudulent business practices.

Thx,

James Houran, PhD
Research Psychologist

Kurt Manning

I have read with interest the negative postings above and across the Internet about True.com.

I understand their drive for market share and publicity, but I also understand the industry's disdain for their methods. I am also extremely concerned about all the complaints and allegations I hear about them across the Internet. I also know several people currently employed at True, as well as several ex-employees.

One of their ex-employees and former Chief Psychologist, Dr. James Houran, is in litigation with them over what he might term unethical business practices. Besides his own experiences and knowledge, I know for a fact that he is collecting other examples and documentation of potentially unethical and fraudulent behavior on the part of Herb Vest/ HDVE/ True.com. I can also tell you that he and others are now aware of the issues I am raising here.

I know the topical legal suits involve Yahoo Personals and Match.com, but based on knowledge and belief, I feel that True.com is the company with actual unethical and possibly illegal business practices. Aside from what Dr. Houran is doing, I have been looking into their legislation and noticed they are attempting to distance themselves from it by allowing the so-called Safer Online Dating Alliance (SODA) to be the voice behind the proposed bills. I finally found their website (http://defendhopeclinic.com/) and have been eager to learn more about them. Browse their site and you may become extremely suspicious like me.

In particular, no officers, directors, or other adminstration are named; their address is a P.O. Box in Austin (where many lobbying firms are based, and possible one of the ones employed by True.com), and you must submit messages via a one-way form. Furthermore, a detailed listing of current members of this apparent coalition is not given on the site, and they require a postal address and telephone number to submit queries to them. Does this sound legitimate to you? Or, does this format sound more like a thinly veiled front for some other agenda?

These huge red flags say to me that this is an unethical front for Herb Vest/ HDVE/ True.com. However, I am more than willing to hear evidence in support of this being a legitimate organization.

If SODA is a legitimate grass roots organization, then this should easily be confirmed. However, if this "grass roots organization" is really a manipulative front for True.com, then this needs to be exposed to its "coalition members" who may be being used for financial gain by Herb Vest, as well as exposed to the legislators who may vote in favor of legislation because they feel a legitimate, grass-roots effort composed of unmanipulated organizations and individuals sides with it.

I recently submitted a list of questions to "SODA." The message I sent is pasted below, but THEY HAVE NEVER RESPONDED. I urge insiders in the industry and reporters to conduct their inquiries into SODA -- and subsequently publicize and distribute the outcomes on websites, to lobbyists fighting against this special interest legislation, and to inform the very legislators that vote on the proposed legislation.

"Interested consumer looking for details on SODA--

Please answer the following questions with as much detail as possible:

1. What are the full mames and contact information of the officers/ adminstrators/ board of directors of SODA?

2. What individuals, organizations, or businesses are funding the operating costs of SODA?

3. What are the criteria, if any, for an individual, group, or business to join SODA?
4. Who are the current members of SODA?

5. How can one individual assist SODA, if he/she can't volunteer in person?

UPDATE: It has come to my attention that "http://defendhopeclinic.com/" is run by Ryan Gravatt of http://www.quicksilveris.com/about.htm

Domain registration details may be seen here: http://www.whois.sc/defendhopeclinic.com

Basically these are paid lobbyists...and I think we all strongly suspect who is paying them.

Since True.com has publicly stated they are for full disclosure, then let's make them finally disclose and be accountable for their lobbying antics. The consumers of online dating, the legislators and the media havea right to know what manipulations are being used in the name of "social policy and the public good."

Kurt Manning


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