Do Baby’s Days pay people to “like” them?

So as you can imagine this weekend has been so busy! We moved house, had a dinner party for 10 people and then the usual Christmas bits like visiting Santa and shopping and wrapping etc and it’s my birthday tomorrow too!  Hectic, to say the least!
The data centre post will be quite time consuming so I have decided to blog about a different (quicker to type) issue this evening.
When I was looking into the posts made by MAKUK on the freelancer website I came across some that seemed to suggest that you can contract people to get you a certain amount of facebook “likes”.  I even saw from other posts that you can contract people to ask questions about your product in certain groups as a  form of advertising!
If this doesn’t make much sense to you have a look at this:

So it looks like user MAKUK which I have speculated could be an acronym for the initials of the director at Baby’s Days/Sys Iq Ltd, is contracting people to gernerate facebook “likes”. 

The post was from the end of December 2011, and given that Baby’s Days claim to be the most popular provider out there, it makes me wonder why they may potentially be paying contractors to provide them with facebook “likes”?  Surely they have enough legitimate fans and do not need to create a smokescreen by over inflating their number of likes?

When companies do things like this like this you also have to question whether members of their Official Support Groups are also real and if all the posts about them are made by actual customers rather than contractors posing as delighted customers.

Nothing is ever as it seems unfortunately.

Pop back tomorrow for a short blog post about my ongoing complaint that I have raised through the Information Commissioner’s Office regarding Baby’s Days and then on the 24th I will blog about the data centre.  Blog posts will be sporadic over Christmas so make sure you subscribe to be kept up to date.

Have a fab Christmas everyone!

Baby’s Days and Contractors.

So last night, I blogged about a possible contractor used by Baby’s Days who lives in the Ukraine.

Kel Thomas has posted over in the Official Babys Days support group that it’s none of my business, “who they employ and it’s [also] none of our [meaning customers] business”.  A few other users go on to say that banks and electricity companies employ people all over the world.

 I thought I’d use this blog post to perhaps clarify some points.

  1. I don’t care if a contractor lives in a yacht off the coast of St Trpoez or in a mud hut in Yemen.  I do care that a company claims to only use in house developers when potentially they are not in house at all and are actually contracted.  This would be dishonest.
  2. Secondly and more importantly, I don’t care if Baby’s Days use contractors, as I said, it’s pretty standard.  But I do care if they put competitors down for using contractors when they are actually potentially doing the very same thing!  Is it a bad thing to use a contractor?  Not necessarily.  Is it bad to lie about your use of a contractor?  Of course it is!  This would be dishonest.

Do Baby’s Days Use Contractors?
Baby’s Days claim that they don’t “subcontract the development of their system to unknown individuals”. I have asked Baby’s Days how they explain the gentleman based in the Ukraine and also the countless other adverts placed on Freelance websites over the last 3 years including one for a logo redesign and another as recent as December 2014 for an IOS developer to develop an app.  They have declined to comment.

Is it any of your business who works for Baby’s Days?
Anyone who actually thinks it’s none of their business who a company potentially uses as a contractor obviously needs to think long and hard about making such claims.  As a childminder, I can’t let one person over my threshold without signing a visitors book (ok, it’s not a legal requirement, but you know what I mean), so why would it be ok to potentially share a load of information with a stranger a company may or may not have vetted?

As Baby’s Days deny their use of contractors they haven’t published parameters for how contractors will operate or what they can and can’t see/do, which is what most companies tend to do.  Their Terms and Conditions say, “Each party will ensure that any agents or subcontractors that are permitted to access any of the other’s Confidential Information are legally bound to comply with the obligations set forth herein.”

But what does that actually mean?  Can contractors access Confidential Information?  Would Photos fall under this?  Can contractors download photos?  Importantly what happens when the T&Cs change again, without customers knowing as happened in November?  What additional rights could possible contractors potentially be given?

These are the questions that pop into my head as an ex user and really they should be popping into everyone’s head that has used this service since it began.  Until Baby’s Days clarify this matter we really wont know all of the facts unfortunately and it’s quite frankly extremely arrogant to suggest customers have no right to know who may potentially have access to their data.

DISCLAIMER: Since Jan 1st 2015 the previously mentioned, “Official” support group endorsed by Baby’s Day was re-branded and no longer contains the word “official” and seemingly is no longer endorsed by Baby’s Days.  At the time of writing this blog post the details within were 100% accurate.

Baby’s Days and The Ukraine!?

So you might be wondering what Baby’s Days has got to do with the Ukraine?  Given that their team is “in house” and that they have a UK data centre you’ve probably assumed that everything is based here in the UK.

I was a user of Baby’s Days for 3.5 years and assumed that it was Mark that did all the coding (as he set it up initially for his wife) and then more recently Jeff joined the team part time as a kind of database administrator.  To my recollection I’ve never actually been told this, it’s more implied from the website wording and facebook posts etc.  Others might have interpreted things differently too, let me know in the comments section.  So to my mind, “in house” always meant either Mark or Jeff.
But recently I have realised that Baby’s Days has at least one employee based in The Ukraine. I did wonder if maybe the Gentleman was just from the Ukraine, but his Facebook accounts says he lives in the Ukraine.  Most companies use contractors so I don’t find this odd but the fact that Baby’s Days have failed to mention this employee does seem very misleading to me.

As I’ve said elsewhere on the blog, I’m not very technically minded so I am unsure how much, if any, of your data this gentleman has access to, if he can view or download photos etc.  When you login to your system you give permission  to be, “monitored and recorded by on-site system personnel.”  I am also unsure if this gentleman would have the ability to monitor and record you system use or if he is classed as “on site system personnel”.  These are questions I had hoped to ask Baby’s Days but they did not get back to me with a comment sadly.

I have asked Baby’s Days to comment on this information and they declined to do so.  As such this post is based on all information available at the time.  If new information comes to light, I will obviously update this post so that it remains as factual as the others on this blog.  There is of course the very small chance this man has a made up Linkedin and Facebook account and he doesn’t work for Baby’s Days at all.

Baby’s Days Free alternatives

Hey blog readers! I just wanted to give you all a quick update RE the blog.  

I still have loads of material to post up but my son isn’t very well again :( so I’m just going to be posting really quick blog posts until he is better.  
The aim of these short blog posts is to demonstrate that Baby’s Days are not always 100% accurate in their claims of what their system can do and neither are they accurate about their competitors.  Users of this system and potentiomsm customers really need to be made aware of the tactics employed by this company and should not believe everything they print or claim!
So first up, Baby’s Days claim that systems that are free show over 18 adverts; Baby’s Days ask, “is this the sort of thing you want your parents to see?”.

Anyone considering joining a free EYFS software provider should absolutely ignore the claim by Babys Days as I have found ZERO evidence that there is even a grain of truth to it.  All software providers have full control over the adverts they display.

I had a quick look on some Facebook groups to demonstrate this.  Here is a post by the director of Mega Minder.

As baby’s Days is such a good product I am bewildered as to why the director there would chose to market his product in this manner?  Why make false accusations about other products when you could just as easily spread a more positive message about your own product!?

It says a lot about the way Baby’s Days operate to me.  

Pop back tomorrow when I will be revealing more false claims made against free EYFS software providers by Baby’s Days.