Scam Artists & the art of avoidance

I thought it would be a bad idea to write about a quirky method one of us used, to evaluate service providers. It is typing “the name of the provider + scam” in Google search and read what the employees & customers rant about.

Turns out a popular VC that I have met, does that too. This is a nice & free method of due-diligence, so that you avoid the obvious.

Internet however, lowers the barrier for someone who wants to rant and when someone anonymous rants, its far more difficult to give it the legitimacy it might deserve.

Should you search with “xxxx+scam” string?


Should you decide for/against a vendor based on what you read?

No. Read. Assimilate. Verify with the person who published the rant (if possible) or verify with the provider. And this has to be the only step to go over, before signing the dotted line. This is so that you have more first person data points with the vendor during the pre-sales cycle to corroborate with the rants.

Should I work with the vendor, if the rants turn out to be right?

As we said earlier, the barrier to rent is low and its easy for a dis-satisfied customer to rant his/her way to peace. In the SME context, as technology management & technology itself is not the decision maker’s core area (except for startups that outsource), its easy to have wrong expectations and hence face buyer’s remorse. It’s also possible that outsourcing vendors don’t do a good job of setting the expectations, for the fear of losing a deal or sounding rigid. This happens always in the asian culture, as confrontation is a bad thing to do.

It’s also true that mechanisms to actively engage happy customers online, have not yet gained scale and those signals are lost. So perhaps your prospective vendor about whom there are a bunch of negative online reviews could well be the one that’s most suitable to you and the customers may vouch for them.

So, expand your reference due diligence to bring some statistical order to your evaluation. We know its not always easy.

How can ContractIQ help?

Evaluating vendors and vouching for the right ones is our business. We can help you to dig deeper on a vendor. Even better, we can point you to a curated set of vendors who have all been verified!

How can you make the system better?

Every time you engage with a vendor for IT Outsourcing, tip us about it, so that we can cover them in our curation process and take your feedback. It’s a nice way of helping the peers in your industry!


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