Earth4Energy.com Falls Short of WebWatch Guidelines
A reader recently e-mailed us with the following request:
I was reading online about making your own solar panels for your home and I came across www.earth4energy.com. I've been searching online for over an hour trying to find out if this is legit or a scam and I can't seem to find anything bad written about it. Too good to be true? It'd be great if it's not a scam, but no major companies back it yet (fairly new product), so CNN, MSNBC, CBS, etc., any big name companies/news agencies have no information about it on their sites. Even went to epinons.com and other sites like it that would have real reviews from consumers, not just the ones on the Earth4Energy website, but came up with nothing. I did a consumer watch search on google and found you guys so I'm hoping maybe you call can find out if this is the real deal. It seems to be quite popular, many matches come up in a google search but many links did lead right back to the main website which is why I'm somewhat skeptical. Just trying to make sure people aren't losing money over something that could be fake... or if it's legit, I'm down to buy it!
Thanks for your time,
Well, we paid a visit to www.Earth4Energy.com, and were underwhelmed by what we saw, and concerned by what we didn’t.
First, the site doesn’t meet WebWatch’s guidelines for Web credibility by failing to disclose any “identity" information beyond an e-mail address. There’s no physical address, no phone number, and no statement of mission, purpose or ownership. There is a picture of some guy on the homepage named Michael Harvey who promises to reduce your power bill by 80%, but the site leaves his credentials and qualifications something of a mystery.
There’s also a video pop-up of someone named “Susie,” who welcomes you to the “official” Earth4Energy site before making Michael’s sales pitch. It's this: $49.97 for access to his Earth4Energy manual (you have to print it out yourself), which purportedly shows you how to build your own windmill and solar panels. Mercifully, Susie comes with a mute button.
Beyond that, Earth4Energy.com has that classic “site in a box” look. And as we’ve warned in the past, sites that look amateurish are usually best avoided.
We also loved all the foreign flags at the bottom of the site, undoubtedly pasted there to give the site a veneer of international respectability by hinting information is available in many languages. Problem is, the flags are window dressing that take you nowhere. Even the “+ more” next to the German flag doesn’t take you anywhere because it's not linked to anything.
Finally, we checked out the “affiliates” link at the bottom of the page, and have a feeling this is what this site is all about: getting cash-hungry consumers to create their own sites promoting Earth4Energy for a promise of 75% of each manual sold. The page also features a dozen variations on the Earth4Energy site ready for downloading.
And the url www.ezcbcash.com/products/earth4, didn’t exactly inspire confidence either.