Happy holidays from the WOT Team
On Wednesday, the investigative journalism show "45 minutes", the Finland's equivalent of "60 minutes" (yes, we're pretty efficient here up north), had a segment on autonarvio.com, a used car value assessment service. Now, the idea of the online service is pretty useful. Instead of going through data in countless classified ad sites or trying to gain access to proprietary databases that car dealers use, you enter the license plate number and the car specifications, and you get an estimate what your banged-up old car would be worth in the second-hand market.
It's just the small print that has got the car owners infuriated. The fact that the assessment costs 69 euros is written in single-digit font size next to the Terms & Conditions tickbox, in which you confirm that you are at least of 18 years old. And wait.....there is more! Once you click, the valuation process is non-cancellable and you'll get an official invoice via the snail mail.
Since July, the consumer protection agencies have received over 1,000 complaints. That's a large number in a small country, in which even a herd of thousand reindeer would be considered sizable.
In the 45 minutes interview, the lawyer of the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Kuluttajavirasto), Henri Telkki, is of the opinion that having no cancelling rights should be considered 'material information', meaning the marketing law requires it to be presented upfront. Further, officer Timo Piiroinen of the Finnish Police explains how they have received 150 filings of autonarvio.com and similar sites, and how they are also investigating whether to press charges.
So, some judiciary process is possibly awaiting these guys. But, as dictated by the fairness defined in the law, first the governmental agencies need to get in touch with autonarvio.com and give them a chance to tell their side of the story.
However, that seems to be not so straightforward. In the clip, consumer protection official in Finland, Päivi Hentunen, explained how none of their correspondence have been answered. The 45 minutes show tried to help. They actually sent a reporter to the office address in Delaware, United States, but only found a registration agency.
Maybe the autonarvio.com guys are busy travellling in Denmark or Italy in which they have similar sites? Or travelling in Estonia from where the invoices are sent and from where the invoice collection services are bought. There are many used cars in the world, after all, so the guys can be really busy.
Quite a mess.
Meanwhile, the WOT community users are slightly more straightforward. Read their verdict here.
Thank you all for your comments and wishes.
The winners of the WOT limited edition mousepads were chosen randomly this morning (Finnish time).
Here is the list of the winners:
The winners will be also informed by private message, so check your inbox.
Congratulations to the winners, and thank you all again for participating!
WOT wants to ensure the safety of our users and we are now making HTTPS mandatory when accessing the website. Using HTTPS was previously an option for logged in users, but now all attempts to load pages over HTTP will lead to a redirect to a secure site instead.
- we have enabled TLS 1.2 on our servers,
- our preferred cipher suites support forward secrecy on most browsers,
- and use AES-GCM encryption and ECDHE-RSA key exchange algorithms by default on new browsers.
We are gladly announcing that WOT reached the milestone of 100 million downloads. Last fall we were reaching 50 million downloads, so we managed to double them within a year. The credit for this achievement goes to all of you who support and trust us. Without you all we wouldn’t be getting such a great number as 1.6M ratings per month or over million new sites rated to our database .
Last year was also full of new adventures for WOT - we introduced our new version of our service and at the same time we came closer to your mobile devices by cooperating with Opera for the Coast by Opera browser for the iPad. Of course, our hard work doesn’t stop here. We are aiming at the top: to become the highest quality website review and reputation service and for this, we are asking your help.
At a time when website security is questionable and new malicious websites pop out every day, WOT with its crowd-sourced approach tries to fight this by working with its strong community. WOT differs on the fact that it can detect threats which only humans can find (such as scam or fraudulent webstores). WOT community is about people who share the same vision with us, they all want to make internet a better place. Such a round number of downloads is also a great opportunity to get to know our community members closer and get to know their motivations for using WOT.
“What I like most in WOT is that it is crowd-sourced. It allows end-users to protect themselves by reporting activity, both good and bad, that they encounter on their daily journey on the Internet.” - GURBL
“I was pleased that it draws from several databases which it considers "trusted sources" to weight the scores. I was surprised that it had solved crowd-sourcing fakery by determining members' own reliability. And it didn't bog down my browsers. OK, that's cool. Volunteers? No money under the table? A global forum with rules of mutual respect? I'm in”. - Greg Lauver
To celebrate this great achievement, we are going to give away 10 unique WOT mousepads to 10 lucky users. In order to participate in the draw, you only have to leave a comment under this post until the end of the month (30/11/2013). The winners will be announced on our blog on December 3rd.
Thank you for helping us in our fight to make the internet a better place and thanks for your trust to us.