For a period of 18 months –from June 1, 2014, to September 30, 2015–I had the opportunity to serve as the Senior Editor of Bankruptcy Canada Inc. The firm’s website has been described as one of the two most popular bankruptcy-related websites in Canada. During this 18-month period I contributed 60,000 words worth of articles on a variety of issues related to consumer debt.
On September 30, 2015, I tendered my resignation as Senior Editor of Bankruptcy Canada Inc. in order to devote more time to a number of exciting new initiatives. I want to thank the ownership group at Bankruptcy Canada Inc. for giving me the opportunity to serve as Senior Editor of the firm’s website and I want to wish them success in the future.
Now I would like to share with you some of my new initiatves in the coming months.
Consumer Experience Audit work
There are a host of firms that offer professional services or offer services to consumers struggling with debt making a significant financial investment in not only the firm’s website but also on advertising. Many of these firms end up wasting this money because the resulting consumer experience is lacking.
An example will help illustrate this. Earlier this year my firm, Comprehensive Debt Solutions Inc., conducted a Consumer Experience Audit in a community on behalf of a bankruptcy trustee. We arranged to have a mystery shopper request an interview with several bankruptcy trustees by completing an online request form found on the trustees’ websites. The results were a real eye-opener. One national firm of bankruptcy trustees failed to book an appointment with our mystery shopper despite three online requests and one telephone call to the trustee’s office initiated by our mystery shopper.
Our mystery shopper then scheduled an appointment with any firm that was capable of scheduling an appointment. We then looked at the consumer experience from the initial phone call with the trustee’s office to book the appointment to the actual appointment. Some firms scheduled an appointment within two business days–others took more than ten days. In one case our mystery shopper was 20 minutes late to an appointment because the trustee’s name could not be found on the digital directory in the lobby. One trustee kept our mystery shopper waiting so long after the scheduled time for his appointment that he wanted to leave prior to the meeting–but remained solely because he was being paid to speak with the trustee.
Our mystery shopper surreptitiously made an audio recording of the meeting with each trustee. Not surprisingly, despite the fact that our mystery shopper provided each trustee with identical facts regarding their debt situation, our mystery shopper received different advice.
Based upon our experience, prospective clients should be aware of red flags of a less than optimal service provider. If a prospective client does not receive a rapid response to an inquiry then that service provider might not give priority to client satisfaction, and the prospective client might be better served looking elsewhere.
New Blogging and ghostwriting opportunities
Over the past few weeks our firm has had a number of discussions with entities providing information or services to consumers experiencing debt problems. The purpose of these discussions was to determine whether or not it was a good fit for me to provide content for their website or their social media campaigns. In some instances, Danielle Lorimer, Comprehensive Debt Solutions Inc.’s Business Manager has arranged for me to contribute a regular guest blog post for an organization. In some other cases, she has arranged for me to ghostwrite content for an organization.
Comprehensive Debt Solutions Inc.’s Business Manager, Danielle Lorimer, has informed me that there is a good chance that Comprehensive Debt Solutions Inc. will be entering into an agreement for either contributing blog posts or ghostwriting content for several organizations over the next few weeks and months.
Mark Silverthorn Blog and my LinkedIn posts
In February of this year I began publishing posts on both the Mark Silverthorn Blog and on Linkedin. During the first few months these posts were on relatively mundane topics. It was not very long, however, before some of these posts raised questions about the conduct of specific organizations. Some of posts this summer involved significant inquiries–researching government records, taking photographs and screenshots from websites, the use of mystery shoppers, and obtaining copies of debt settlement agreements.
These posts which were investigative in nature began to generate some interest not only in the financial services industry but also in the media. Over the past eight months the number of my LinkedIn Connections grew eightfold–from 330 to over 2,750. The Mark Silverthorn Blog was referred to in an article dated August 1, 2015, written by journalist Sunny Freeman in Huffington Post Canada. More recently, I wrote an article dated September 21, 2015, for the paper edition of the Law Times titled “Questions raside by deputy judge’s debt settlement activities”.
Comprehensvedebtsolutions.ca to carry advertising
Our firm’s website, comprehensivedebtsolutions.ca, was launched in mid-February of this year. Our marketing budget since February of this year has been zero. If anyone would have asked me then if we would be carrying paid advertising for a national firm in October of this year I would have simply laughed. The fact remains, however, that I anticipate that sometime this month advertising will appear on comprehensivedebtsolutions.ca.
This past week Danielle Lorimer, Business Manager, for Comprehensive Debt Solutions, informed me that our firm has entered into an agreement to carry advertising for Consumer Debtor Protection of Canada Ltd. on our firm’s website. Yesterday, Danielle Lorimer, released the following statement on behalf of Comprehensive Debt Solutions.
For immediate release:
October 2, 2015
Kitchener, Ontario: “Comprehensive Debt Solutions, a firm focusing on assisting consumers struggling with consumer debt, will now offer advertising opportunities on our firm’s website. We are pleased to announce that our first paid advertising client is Consumer Debtor Protection of Canada Ltd. (CDPCL),–cdpcl.com.” says Danielle Lorimer, Business Manager, Comprehensive Debt Solutions. CDPCL is a firm that represents consumers across Canada seeking representation when they resolve their debt situation by way of a consumer proposal. CDPCL’s goal is to assist their clients obtain the best possible terms when meeting with a bankruptcy trustee to make a consumer proposal.
Any inquiries regarding advertising opportunities on comprehensivedebtsolutions.ca should be directed to Danielle Lorimer, Business Manager, Comprehensive Debt Solutions Inc.
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For further information contact:
Tel. : (866) 996-9941 e-mail: email@example.com
Mark Silverthorn serves the public
While I might write content for a number of websites, offer advice to other organizations, and our firm’s website will accept paid advertising–our integrity is paramount. Our goal is never to let any issue distract us from serving the public. The fact that I contribute content to an organization’s website or that comprehensivedebtsolutions.ca accepts paid advertising from a particular firm should not be construed as an endorsement of that organization.
I make a commitment to those who read the Mark Silverthorn Blog or those reading content on comprehensivedebtsolutions.ca that our goal is to serve our readers, to provide accurate information, and to educate and inform you–our loyal readers.