Persistent Telemarketer, and Now a Spammer

If I may, let me propose three rules for avoiding unnecessary trouble:

1) Never tick off a lawyer. They tend to be, you know, litigious by nature.

2) Never tick off a blogger. They tend to be very noisy about their gripes.

3) Never, ever tick off lawyers who also blog. A toxic combination. has pulled off an impressive hat trick of rule violations. I’m not exactly sure I fully understand’s business, but my superficial review of the site suggests it is some sort of lead generation engine for lawyers.

For some reason, has been one of the most aggressive and persistent solicitors of a link exchange I’ve encountered. Despite the relatively small footprint of my blogs, I get plenty of requests from folks for link exchanges, all of which I categorically turn down. Usually I hit the “report spam” button on Gmail and occasionally I’ll write a “no thanks” reply, and either way that ends that. In contrast, I’ve had more difficulty evading because they have telemarketed me at least 6 times, including three phone calls in a 36 hour span earlier this week. I don’t understand what kind of boiler room operation they are running, but I can’t imagine how calling me 6 times can be cost-justified even if I did agree to the link exchange (which I won’t, and you’ll notice they aren’t getting any link love in this post either). Just how much is a link from my blog worth to them???

I’ve tried to politely but firmly tell them to buzz off each of the six times they have called me, and each time I get a mea culpa and a broken promise not to keep calling. But I guess in a technical way they have finally honored their promises because today I got a spam from them (see, no phone call!) once again soliciting a link exchange. The email text:


from dominic sebahia


date Fri, Oct 2, 2009 at 7:46 AM

subject i like your blog


My name is Dominic and I am the Director of Marketing for found your blog/website interesting. Our blogs are posted in most of the websites. I want to feature you onto our website and that for absolutely free. Our website is the first telelegal portal that connects attorneys to those in need of legal advice through phone to phone consultations via the technology on our website. I would love to feature your blog on NewLawyer as I believe that many of our Lawyers would enjoy your blog. I was hoping to have NewLawyer added to your blog roll if that would be at all possible. I’ve included some additional information below and if you have any questions feel free to find my contact info below and call me. I look forward to hearing from you.

We would like to list your blog on our site as an additional resource to our users. We believe that your blog would be a great addition. The blog’s website would be linked to our page so that our users would be able to click the link and utilize your website and find more information. We believe in the free flow of information and want to provide the best resources for our users. The following information is to reciprocate the link on your own website:

Title: Lawyer, Attorney , Legal Advice , New Lawyer (

Description: Personal Injury Lawyer, Accident Lawyer, Divorce Lawyer, Attorneys, Legal Information

The following are points of information listed on our website:

* Listings of licensed legal professionals

* Blogging information

* Legal news around the country

* Additional resources for the users to take advantage of.


Director of Marketing, PhoneToPhone Inc.

1 International Blvd. Suite 211 Mahwah, NJ 07495

Office: 201-252-8255



The silly thing is that if they really believe that linking to my blogs is valuable to their audience, they don’t need my permission, and they know it (if for no other reason than I’ve told them so in a couple of our phone chats). But clearly the flattery and the request to link to me is just a ruse to get me to consider the reciprocal link exchange. Also telling is the reference to my non-existent blogroll (something I’ve also mentioned to them on the phone).

Now, I’m not a litigious person, so I’m not personally interested in investigating my legal rights against for their repeated disregard of my requests. However, in response to my Twitter posts, I saw that several other lawyers have been getting bombarded by solicitations. It’s possible they are not as reticent as I am.

Irrespective of their ultimate legal disposition, it seems like is doing a fantastic job of alienating one of its core audiences (lawyers) and building a reputation (but not a good one). Further, should Google get wise to’s aggressive efforts to generate link exchanges,’s strategy could very well backfire in a big way.