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.

Is Kel Thomas an employee of Baby’s Days?

This question has been sent to me a lot via personal messages on Facebook so I thought I would do a blog post to clear it up.

BabysDays have an “Official Support Group” on Facebook that is, “Run by Customers for Customers.”  Kel Thomas, is a childminder and user of Baby’s Days and she is also the admin of the support group. 

I used to be a member of the support group, and in all honesty I had no problem with how Kel managed things, she knew her stuff and she was very quick to help people out, I really appreciated being a member of the group and the support available there.  Sometimes there were people that didn’t like the way they were being spoken to, but I always appreciated (and commented) that as far as I was aware, Kel was doing this role voluntarily alongside her minding duties and that sometimes she would be asked the same question 30 times in a day.  I think if I were her, I would be a little abrupt sometimes too!

Anyway, I was a member of the group but I was removed, I am not sure who by and I am not sure why as I was not told; but as far as I know Kel is the only admin in the group.  I was removed from the support group around the time that I found a possible small bug connected to next steps on the system which is documented here.  I had been told by support that there was no problem with the area I had issues with, it was only my system affected, therefore it must be my error.

As so many people on the support group use the system, I posted and asked them to do what I was doing and see if they had the same issues.  My posts were removed from the support group, I do not know why and I do not know who by as I was not told, but a few people had the same problem as me when they did exactly the same thing I was doing.  Shortly after this, I was removed from the group.

Strangely, my co-minder was also removed from the support group – I say strangely because as far as we are aware Kel did not know we were co-minders and also my co-minder made only 2 comments during her use of the group.  I hadn’t broken any “rules” in the group, so wondered if I was removed because I was having an issue with support.  I wondered how Kel Thomas knew about these issues and also about my co-minder, so I naturally asked myself, like many others have, “does Kel Thomas work for Baby’s Days?”

We contacted support for clarification and here is what happened:

Obviously, I found this response very confusing and not very transparent so I posted on a Facebook group and asked the same question:

 About an hour after posting on Facebook we received the following email from support:

It’s a shame Baby’s Days didn’y say that right from the start to avoid confusion.  Maybe this is why so many people are confused about the role Kel has with the company?  But as they clarify here, she does not work for them.