Thursday, January 22, 2009

Swap a Debt user reviews - false?

Swap a Debt's site has been live only a few hours and is not yet fully functional, but it is filled with testimonials. Unfortunately the endorsements read like ad copy and it is very unlikely these are real users. If not real users, these endorsements have the potential to damage the credibility of the site - the last thing a financial site wants to lose. Here are some of the user comments:

"We got married, bought a house, and had two kids in just a couple of years. It seemed as though we were spiraling downward as our bills increased and our credit scores decreased. Thanks to Swap a Debt, we were able to fix our credit and restructure our debt. We finally see some light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you Swap a Debt!"

I am the owner of a small successful restaurant. I thought that since my business was going well, the bank would give me a loan to expand without a problem. Boy, was I wrong! Thanks to Swap a Debt, I got the money I needed and feel good about my success."

"After the baby came, I made a decision - I needed to start my own landscaping company to live up to my expectations as a father. I was tired of working for someone else. Going to the bank was a nightmare, and it seemed as if I would never get the start-up money I needed to secure my family's future. A friend told me about Swap a Debt, and it was so easy and fast. Thank you Swap a Debt."

"When I discovered that my insurance company was not going to cover my delivery expenses, I panicked. I didn't know which way to turn, and then a friend suggested going to Swapadebt.com. Thanks to your company I got the money I needed to pay the hospital bills and had enough left over to finish the baby room. Thank you Swap a Debt!"

"I was tired of paying high interest rates on my credit cards. I have excellent credit and knew there had to be a way to lower my payments. I tried several times to have my credit cards lower their interest rates, but that was impossible. They would only end up trying to sell me something instead! When I found Swap a Debt, I was thrilled. I got a loan quickly and paid off my credit cards and closed the accounts. If more people did this, maybe it would change the way they do business. Thank you Swap a Debt!'

"We racked up some big credit card debt traveling to Asia to finalize our adoptions. While we consider ourselves blessed everyday for our kids, that debt was hanging over us like a dark cloud. We stumbled across Swap a Debt on Google, and shortly after received a loan at half of the credit card interest rate! We paid off the credit card and turned that dark cloud into a rainbow. Thanks Swap a Debt!"

"When we got engaged, we started to plan for our wedding and our future. We looked at our finances as our first "team" project. We quickly realized that paying such high interest rates on our credit cards was eating away at our savings. We were determined to save for a home, and thanks to Swap a Debt we are well on our way. Thanks Swap a Debt!"

"As a small business owner, I would sometimes find myself short on cash while waiting for my accounts to pay. I was yearning for a quick, simple economic answer to my short-term financing needs. I dreaded going into the bank and jumping through hoops to try to get a loan. Then I found Swap a Debt. I jumped on the computer when I wasn't busy, filled out the easy online forms, and I was done. Thanks Swap a Debt for making something simple; simple again!"

6 comments:

小橋川 純苔 said...

It looks like Swap-A-Debt has had operations before (revenue in the hundred thousands in 2000). Perhaps it is a reincarnation of an earlier company (possibly not web-based)? If that is the case, the testimonials could in fact be real even if they are for a significantly different manifestation of the company.

http://google.brand.edgar-online.com/default.aspx?companyid=5167
http://www.alacrastore.com/company-snapshot/Swap_A_Debt_Inc-4066247
http://finance.yahoo.com/q/is?s=swpd.pk

Yet the press releases state that the company was founded in 2008. I'm having some trouble reconciling that with the above information.

https://www.entrepreneur.com/PRNewswire/release/61169.html

Tom said...

You're right. Swap-A-Debt's history is confusing. Here it is from the SEC filing:

"We were incorporated in Delaware under the name Windsor Capital Corp. on June 24, 1988 by International Asset Management Group, Inc. (“IAMG”), the promoter and parent of our company. Our initial business plan was to provide a vehicle to raise capital and seek business opportunities....On May 9, 1995, we changed our name to Innovative Health Systems, Inc. On July 13, 1995, we changed our name to Windsor Capital Corp.

We entered into an Agreement and Plan of Merger dated December 18, 1997 with IAMG, and Woodfield Enterprises, Inc., a Florida corporation (“Woodfield”)...

On January 30, 1998, pursuant to an Agreement and Plan of Merger dated January 29, 1998, we acquired all of the business and assets of Boynton Tobacconists, Inc., a privately-held Florida corporation ("Boynton"), and assumed all of Boynton's liabilities....

On March 7, 2001, WCC Acquisition Corp. (“WCC”), our wholly-owned subsidiary, acquired Energy Control Technology, Inc., a privately-held Delaware corporation (“ECT”) pursuant to an Agreement and Plan of merger dated as of December 15, 2000.... Upon the merger of ECT into WCC, WCC changed its name to Energy Control Systems, Inc. ("ECS"), and we changed our name to Energy Control Technology, Inc. Our business was changed to development and marketing of proprietary motor control software focused initially on the agricultural irrigation market.

On September 26, 2005, we changed our name to 5fifty5.com, Inc.

...On January 31, 2008, we changed our name to Swap-A-Debt, Inc. On February 26, 2008, we completed our 1-for-20 reverse stock split.

On February 26, 2008, we acquired all the right, title and interest in and to www.swapadebt.com, a person-to-person lending website from Spider Investments, LLC, a Florida limited liability company, pursuant to a purchase agreement (the “Purchase Agreement”)."


So, I guess it is possible that the above reviews came from a previous incarnation of the company. If you read the reviews, however, it seems highly unlikely. The photos also seem to perfect and almost certainly are from a stock photo library.

Anonymous said...

If it sticks...usually there's crap. Any company moving through this many transitions and posting phoney or maybe unrealistic endorsements should be avoided...at least until the smoke clears. An approved SEC filing does not garuntee that the company is 100% what it appears. It simply means that the paper work was filed correctly without any items that would raise a flag. Again beware of this one. Watch it over the next few months and see what happens prior to diving in.

Burton said...

Time for Tom to do some research for the P2P lending followers. don't you think?

This sounds very strange. Like an old company found a way to make themselves look forward thinking and web 2.0ish, but it seems just a "costume".

You should try to interview these guys.

Tom said...

Burton, we are working on it. Had to find contact info through the SEC paperwork since there is nothing on the website.

Tom said...

Burton,

Jessica was finally able to contact the company. Read her Swapadebt review here.