July 7, 2010
While on Youtube recently viewing a video a Cruise Bruise visitor gave me a link to, I stumbled upon a video by someone who calls himself "Mark" promoting a website that appears to be owned by David Kirkland. As soon as I loaded up the page and video red flags were going off.
David Kirkland's (Mark's) Youtube channel claims to give viewers five little known tricks to save money on your next cruise vacation. Tip number one tells how to cruise for free. There is nothing new in this tip. A promotion for one of the Kirkland websites comes between tip number one and tip number two. Tip number two outlines the best time to book a cruise. Another tip is to bring air freshner, because cruise ships stink.
I'm wondering about "Mark" and Kirkland, so I head on over to the website, cruisesecretsexposed.com and the clone sites IntelligentCruiser.com , david-kirkland.info and a site that is suppose to be a "review" of Intelligent Cruiser, intelligentcruiserreview.com . These are websites that were launched less than a year ago for the stated purpose of selling a list of cruise tips for the price of $37.00.
Right away, at the bottom of the page, I see a statement that really leaps out at me:
"P.S. Remember, I have honestly quit my job in order to make sure that cruise ship passengers are armed with the information necessary to avoid being taken advantage of."
This seems much too hard to believe. He quit a job as an officer to sell tips online for $37.00 a pop? The word "intelligent" is not coming to mind.
None of the sites have any owner information on them nor in their site registration information, other than saying the tips are being provided by David Kirkland. More disturbing is the 'Contact' page link on the site goes to another site that is a sales pitch to website owners to use their email program as a form of contact on websites. It in no ways helps the visitor contact the website owner. There is no phone number, no email address and no street address for Kirkland or his company.
This is the red flag that should tell visitors DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT. Whenever a visitor comes to a website to buy a product, it is mandatory that the buyer be able to find a phone number, street address and email address to contact the seller about the product. In fact, most credit card merchant accounts REQUIRE that a customer service phone number be given to the buyer.
Kirkland's promotion says in one paragraph, "I was a hard-working 3-Stripe Officer for 10 years at a major cruise line ... Until I was forced to quit because I no longer wanted to trick passengers into spend obscene amounts of money! I took a stand and my job was threatened. This guide is my response to that threat. With my extensive industry knowledge, I'm introducing this astonishing, one-of-a-kind guide on how you can save a boatload of money on every cruise you ever take again -- the secrets that could only come from someone within the industry. "
Further, Kirkland claims, "during our bi-weekly management meetings, we spent half the time talking about how easy it was to take passengers' money and the other half trying to devise clever ways to take more of it."
It would seem Kirkland learned a few things about how easy it was to take passengers money and clever ways to take more of it.
Curious, I click the button on the site to buy it. I am forwarded to Click Bank credit card processing site and am given the option of using Paypal. I choose Paypal because normally I can see who I am paying before using any credit card information.
All it tells me before paying is that I am buying the "Complete Intelligent Cruise Package". I exit without paying the $37.00. Instead, I do what any truly "intelligent cruiser" would do and look for any tidbit of information that tells me anything at all about David Kirkland, the partners he alludes to having but never specifies, or to his websites' physical location.
First search result out takes to me to a forum where the package is being discussed. One poster, CJ_one2000 from Anchorage, Alaska posts in the thread saying:
Don't buy it - not worth it!
"I was a dummy and purchased his online "book" and found that 90% of what he had for tips and advice was already what you can find for FREE on CC and elsewhere on the internet and other review sites/advice columns. The only interesting thing he had available was purchasing casino chips and then cashing them in -- an alternative to using the expensive ATM machine on board. Clever trick, didn't think of it. But everything else he said was pretty much common sense..."
There you have it. The reported single most valuable tip in this 90+ page ebook is how to cheat the system aboard a cruise ship, get a cash advance without ATM fees and you got it here, for FREE.
The site Intelligentcruiserreview.com is nothing more than an affiliate site put up by David Erskine, who at least is honest enough to say that if you click his link to the product he will get "some beer money", a commission he gets for you buying the tips through his link.
However, his link text "Click Here To Save 75% On Your Cruise And Receive A Royal Treatment Even If You’re New" looks like more hype than reality. I see he also has a link for information on "how to sneak alcohol on a cruise", giving us more than a little hint about the man who is "reviewing" Intelligent Cruiser.
I move onto another site promoting the tips, cheap-cruise.ws. This site was last updated July 10, 2009 and has only one agenda, to sell Intelligent Cruiser. The site was "disabled" by the hosting company when I visited on July 7, 2010, but the Google cache of the site shows a disclaimer giving us perhaps the most amount of truth about this ebook:
"Every effort has been made to accurately represent this product and it's potential. Any claims made of actual earnings or examples of actual results can be verified upon request. The testimonials and examples used are exceptional results, don’t apply to the average purchaser and are not intended to represent or guarantee that anyone will achieve the same or similar results. Each individual’s success depends on his or her background, dedication, desire and motivation. As with any business endeavor, there is an inherent risk of loss of capital and there is no guarantee that you will earn any money.
All products listed are independently reviewed and are not influenced by their respective vendors. The information on this site is provided as a resource of opinion. We cannot be held liable for any damages or losses caused by the products or services listed above.
Neither Google, Clickbank nor Intelligent Cruiser are directly associated with this site in any way. The information contained on this site is solely the opinion of the site owner, and does not represent the opinions or otherwise of the parties mentioned above."
On July 8, 2010 when I visited cheap-cruise.ws the site being used to promote a non-cruise related product, Multi-Tier Affiliate Marketing, a technique used by hosting companies and domain registrars when hosting fees or domain name fees are not paid. In this case the new promotion is by Global Domains International.
The website ebookexplorer.com has a listing for the Kirkland ebook, but no information on the man himself, nor his business.