Yesterday a debt relief industry friend pointed out to me an attack post Paul Paquin, president of Golden Financial Services posted about me on Linkedin. – Source
The post then linked to another much longer attack post he published on November 1, 2015 on the nomorecreditcards.com website.
I’m at a loss what motivates these folks to embark with the refreshed rounds of the same attacks which I’ve already answered and disproven. The attacks make no logical sense and just seem sad.
The only real response I can make is to recap this crazy story to help you understand how perplexed I am with his strategy and make an attempt to give my side of the story, since Paul won’t or doesn’t.
In the past I have written about Golden Financial Services. You can click here to read those stories.
And while Paul might have objected to any or all stories, and commented on some, he also has never supplied me with information about any fact in any of those stories that is incorrect or not factual. I’ve asked him repeatedly to correct anything I’ve published that might be in error.
In 2010 I posted a general inquiry about Golden Financial Services titled “Golden Financial Services – Scam, Complaint, Review, or Praise?”, as I did for a large number of other debt relief companies, asking for consumer feedback. I asked people to comment about their experience, bad or good. The page asked people to share how they felt they were treated and to even offer up “a really good experience you want to share.”
In 2011 I wrote my first story that involved Golden Financial Services and their search for sales reps for their “luxury debt settlement program.” The program was called the GFS World Law Program. I don’t know what the relationship was with World Law, who has since been raided and shutdown by the court.
In 2011 to 2013 when I was writing a lot about activities in the debt relief space that were creating issues which the government cracked down on, one or more people launched untrue personal attacks against me on some complaint sites. Paul mentions those in his posts but he fails to post, mention or include my rebuttals on those sites to those untrue accusations.
In 2013 Paul published a big post on his nomorecreditcards.com site titled “Steve Rhode – Scam, Complaint, Illegal, Fraud or Applause” (source) and rather than solicit real consumer feedback he instead hurled a bunch of personal attacks at me. Since I was unable to respond on his article I responded to his claims in Golden Financial Services and Paul Paquin Attack Get Out of Debt Guy Steve Rhode. He even commented on my article, so I know he saw it.
Paul and Golden Financial Services continue to say “Does Steve Rhodes the Get Out of Debt Guy really help people for free, or is he making millions of dollars off maliciously capturing consumer information and selling leads? You may want to first review recent complaints found across the internet, pertaining to Steve Rhodes the Get Out of Debt Guy. Take a look.”
The GetOutOfDebt.org website does not collect consumer information to “sell leads.” The site does not make millions. And the “recent complaints” Paul talks about were in 2011 and 2013 which I’ve already responded to years ago and shown why they are untrue. I’m also very open about how advertising on the site works and my relationships, which you can read all about here.
Paul asks if I really help people for free and the answer is an unequivocal, yes. I charge no fee and sell no service to answer reader questions and provide advice. I even give away the books I’ve written for free.
I was more than willing to just let Paul’s old attacks lie. In fact I don’t think I’ve even previously mentioned the complaint listings Golden Financial Services has on RipoffReport.com and ComplaintsBoard.com. Ironically those are the same sites he uses against me in his posts. So should we then assume that the complaints listed on those sites are accurate? They say some pretty incredible things.
But his November 1 and November 12, 2015 new posts with the same old information from 2013 just have me shrugging my shoulders. I’m not beside myself, just perplexed. How does doubling down on his untruthful attacks assist or benefit Paul or Golden Financial Services? How is that a smart business move, how is it logical, or how does it benefit his clients and customers?
Essentially, blaming me for whatever issues they might have over at Golden Financial Services is like blaming Ronald McDonald for a bad happy meal. It’s misplaced anger and unproductive energy.
What I Have Not Shared Before and Was Not Going to Publish Till This Happened
Shortly before the new round of old attacks was launched I was contacted by Golden Financial Services and they made an offer to take down their attacks against me if I would take down past stories about them. That was a non-starter for me as I’ve always extended the opportunity to allow them to respond and post any correction to any story.
I was going to keep those communications silent and not write about them. That is until it now appears the response to me not accepting their offer is for them to relaunch the same unfounded attacks against me.
So I’ll publish the emails below so readers can put this all in context and come to their own conclusion about what this recent wave of negative attacks is all about.
October 24, 2015
Company or Individual This Tip is About * regarding friendship Steve
Information You Want to Share * Hello Steve, rather than putting each other’s company down, why don’t we work together to help get people out of debt, isn’t that what its about? In our board meeting the other day at GFS we talked about you, and discussed making amends with you, why do we put each other down, when its about helping people. Both of our companies obviously put in 100% to assist folks with their debt issues. Wouldn’t it do more good to combine our efforts, and help each other to get ahead, rather than bash each other’s reputation, and replace all the negative with positive?
If I see something you are doing wrong, I can talk to you face to face, not write a horrible post online, trying to ruin your reputation, but rather talk to you in privacy and help you, and I would expect you to do the same. I can help you tremendously Steve.
I mean, sure I understand its a good way for marketing, and that is why you put negative stuff about Golden Financial, but I would agree to take down any negative posts about you, and we can replace it with positive stuff online about each other’s company, I can even let you replace the negative posts and provide editorial content educating folks on Bankruptcy or something positive that you have expertise about. If you agree to take down the negative posts, I will do the same. Please send me an email at [email protected] We have no issues with you, its about helping people, and I would rather make amends. Or contact Paul at [email protected] because we are on the same page.
October 24, 2015
Sent to Ruth and Paul
I’ve never had an agenda. In fact I’ve always welcome feedback on any story that contains any factual errors that need to be corrected. See https://getoutofdebt.org/report-an-error/ Was anything in any story in error?
I’ve always allowed companies to contribute articles and good news stories. https://getoutofdebt.org/33248/looking-for-good-news-debt-relief-industry-stories
How about submitting press releases for publication. https://getoutofdebt.org/submit-a-debt-relief-press-release-for-free
It’s all been right there in the site menu but GFS has never utilized any of those resources.
On top of all that, you can also contribute any story you want for syndication through http://pfsyn.com
If I think back, GFS did post some page about me. Let me go look…here it is http://nomorecreditcards.com/steve-rhode-scam-illegal-fraud-or-applause/ to which I wrote https://getoutofdebt.org/62011/golden-financial-services-paul-paquin-attack-get-debt-guy-steve-rhode I never saw an update to the nomorecreditcards post with my responses.
Are their more negative stories GFS has been behind? If so, please let me know.
Please show me any Golden Financial Services story https://getoutofdebt.org/tag/golden-financial-services that personally attacks anyone there like http://nomorecreditcards.com/steve-rhode-scam-illegal-fraud-or-applause/ attacks me personally. Just askin’.
The best course of action is for GFS to report any factual errors in any story using the error form so I can update the story, and more importantly, when something comes up, please, please, please give me the email address of someone who will respond on the record to an email asking for a quote so I can make sure your side of an issue is heard.
I also welcome the updating of the attack page against me with the responses I published and the identification of any other negative post about me or getoutofdebt.org so I can provide you with a response to update them.
October 24, 2015
Response from Ruth. Paul copied on it by Ruth.
“Oh wow, your email went to my spam, such a superb spot for your emails. lol. I will relay the message to Paul and to our editorial team, and I am sure you will hear from us shortly with some new articles from our press and media outlets. I just thought with so many bad reviews you have all over the internet that you could use the help. And we always return emails, even when they go to spam, unless its complete garbage. I wish you a blessed future. Hey, don’t forget to share my latest video:(please share on social media) http://nomorecreditcards.com/learn-the-fdcpa-before-you-settle-debt-on-your-own/
All the best.
Thank you for getting back so fast, talk soon!”
October 24, 2015
Sent to Ruth and Paul
“But you didn’t answer my question? What other negative pages did you post?
And the help I need is for GFS to identify anything in error at the time the article was written and provide a response to the article, (https://getoutofdebt.org/report-an-error/) which I will gladly include. I have no problem offering up your voice but you seem resistant in updating your post(s) about me with my response. Why?
I’m curious, I just noticed that someone using your name posted a comment two years ago on the article https://getoutofdebt.org/62011/golden-financial-services-paul-paquin-attack-get-debt-guy-steve-rhode to which I responded to the allegations you made in the post Paul made about me, but your post has gone without with my responses added, why? Surely you read the article before commenting. And back then I even asked for a GFS response, “I’m glad you’ve commented, will you also be addressing the points in the Golden Financial stories here?” Silence.
Someone using Paul’s name posted a comment seven months ago to the same article but yet did not include my responses in that post on your site which contains inaccuracies. And the post is not comment enabled so I can’t respond on the page. Apparently you were both aware of my responses to your allegations but chose to ignore them and leave the inaccuracies up.
So let’s talk about being fair. Why is it I give you all these avenues to respond to any article on my site and you won’t extend the same offer to me to respond to any post you made about me? That’s a hurdle we will have to cross first.
Not quite sure how you meant it but “Oh wow, your email went to my spam, such a superb spot for your emails. lol.” sure does not come off well.”
October 27, 2015
Sent to Ruth and Paul
“Did you send a response to my email below? I didn’t get it. So please resend.”
There were no further emails received from Golden Financial Services.
So This is What Happens in Return
Paul never responded to any of the emails I included him on. Instead, five days later Paul Paquin posts “Complaints & Reviews on Steve Rhodes The Get Out of Debt Guy” where he launches into the same unfounded personal attacks. – Source
And not to be too perplexed by the strategy but doesn’t that fly in the very face of Ruth and Paul’s statement, “We have no issues with you”?
And for the record, my offer always stands for anyone or any company I’ve written about to please let me know what information I might have published that is incorrect and I’ll gladly include their statement in the post and correct the incorrect information.