Not with those poncy accents and Saville Row threads and quaint addresses, like, maybe…
That is a file-backup service, (if consumer complaints and the company’s own FAQ are any measure, a rather sketchy one) that markets mainly through native advertising and the associated intricate machinery of fake content, bait-and-switch offers and counterfeit “third-party” recommendations. I have no idea about the other Justdevelop.it companies -- Mutiny, Jessie & James, The Astoria, Gradlancer, Fortifi, Pushy, Red Lounge, Cloud Living -- but this file-protection one is built on naked bollocks. It’s actually almost entertaining how many odious tricks they pull to deceive users -- and their own affiliate distributors -- about their quality, cost and reputation.
Sifting through their various promotional gimmicks is like watching the Republican debates, the difference being that every now and then the Republicans don’t lie.
If you can even begin in this tangled Web to find the beginning, it would probably be the recommendation widgets on the Web sites of legitimate publishers, all so desperate for revenue they routinely close their eyes to the scammy, scummy and scurrilous scoundrels they often host. For instance, have a look at these exciting headlines:
The site, needless to add, is also a Potemkin Village. It does aggregate some items from the real tech press, but only to lend legitimacy to “articles” linking back to YesBackup.com. (Or at least, they did until I started phoning them in a futile attempt to get questions answered by CEO Chris Phillips, COO Dan Short or CMO Nick Baker, and haunted their pages in a manner certain to be recorded by their servers. Suddenly those links went dead. Hmm.) Once getting users redirected to Yesbackup.com, they somehow manage to subscribe people to definitely NOT $1 cloud services.
But wait! There’s more! Other dubious sites also drive traffic back to YesBackup.com. One is a supposed review site called GoodCloudStorage.net, which nominally recommends other well-known file-backup vendors, but highly recommends YesBackup.com, and feeds dynamic message reminders to that effect to anyone browsing the competition. If these jokers ever return my calls, I might even tip my cap. Of course, I’d much rather that they have to return the calls of the Federal Trade Commission. With a server in Chicago to serve the North American market of credulous file-backer-uppers, YesBackup is eligible for FTC scrutiny, and as its business practices check virtually every box in the FTC’s recently promulgated guidelines on native-ad deception, it would be a wonderful candidate for the first enforcement action.
But there is one interesting twist. These people do have solicitors. If one were to scroll to the very bottom of its Tech Advice feeder site, you’d find, in gray -- but quite large -- type, the following disclaimer: