Polybore is furious. After reading Kevin Nuttall’s blog http://www.actionforblindpeople.org.uk/news/blog/dont-get-fleeced,56,BA.html where he mentions to avoid Benefits Helpline polybore went and had a look at the site. It is not difficult to find the site in question because they have clearly paid Google a lot of money to be listed prominently.
This sites provides so called benefits advice via a premium rate hotline at £1.50 per minute. For a start that is disgraceful because this advice is available for free from charities, local authorities etc. http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/
If you fill in the site’s contact form they will text you at a cost of £1.50 without warning http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?t=1176623
The site’s disclaimer informing of the premium rate phone charges and advice to go to official government sites to get real advice has been added to the site as an image, this effectively conceals this vital information from screen readers used by the blind and those with visual impairments. Utterly disgraceful.
Polybore will repeat the Benefits Helpline disclaimer here in plain text.
“Benefits Helpline is in no way affiliated with any Government Department/ services. This service will require you to call a premium rate number at a cost of £1.50 per minute. You must have permission from the bill payer. All callers must be 18 year old or over. The information and advice provided in this service is to the best of our knowledge. We advise you contact the benefits office for concise information relating to benefits. Service Provider: StealthNET Ltd, PO box 202, Gt Yarmouth, NR31 7ZS.”
Google does itself no favours by accepting money from sketchy outfits like Benefits Helpline because the moral of this story is if a site ranks first in a Google search then you should distrust the site immediately.
Except polybore’s blog of course, polybore has not paid Google a dime.