Sad end to the ‘realness’

OnlineAdviser and OnlineNavigator services end public access for incoming call telephone support. Unscheduled telephone calls will no longer be accepted due to a share rise in scam attempts.

Perhaps the most significant career contribution I’ve made to the business world is the establishment of OnlineAdviser and OnlineNavigator nonprofit services that have addressed tens of thousands of consumer finance questions without charge over several decades. I compiled and counted the activity in various platforms until I hit 50,000 users nationwide in the middle 2000s and then stopped counting. Today I just happened to notice this user comment on Facebook that made me feel good: “Okay! Thanks! I appreciate your realness!”.  I am pleased to address questions daily that come in via telephone, email and social media platforms. I’ve maintained an (800) telephone line since the middle 1990s specifically for this purpose (remember back when it cost money to call long distance?). I’ve always known that the ability of a user with a real, live, credible. independent and accountable human is the backbone of what makes OnlineAdviser service work.

Associated with this practice, I have adopted what I call a “wide open” personal policy about public access. My home, business and cell phone number are published online along with all my other contact information. If I can accept a telephone call when I am not otherwise engaged in an activity then I do, without much regard to privacy or schedule issues.

However, over the past week I’ve encountered a significant increase in the incident of attempted scams that appear to target CPAs. As a result, I regret that I will no longer accept unscheduled telephone calls. I’ll miss the impromptu interactions that have been part of my life for about three decades. But the world is changing (for the worse, I fear) and I  must change with it.

I will still be available online through a number of channels and a telephone call can be requested using the online form on my web site.


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