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It sure would be nice if we could assume that people doing business on the internet are trustworthy. Some are, to be sure, but the problem is this: it's hard enough to trust businesses when you can see them face to face and watch their facial expressions when you speak to them. It's hard enough to trust them when you know their physical location on planet earth. It's much harder when they can hide behind a veil of anonymity.

So don't let them hide. One of the very first things I look for on a company's website is a page with complete and detailed contact information.

It's surprising how many corporate websites out there have no contact information whatsoever. And I'm not talking about those little "Contact Us" forms which sends your message to an unknown email address. I'm talking about a listed email address, a listed telephone number, and a physical mailing address.

If that information is not on their site...


Period. No ifs ands or buts.

And even if they do have contact information on their site, there's no guarantee that it's accurate. So take the time to call their number. Write them a letter and mail it to their physical address, and see what kind of response you get.

Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Well, sure, Doug, but you don't have contact information on this site."

That's true. I don't. I'm also not trying to sell you anything. But go to the main website, and you will easily find all the contact information you could ever want.

And by the way, I'm not saying that if a company lists contact information, you should trust them. All I'm saying is, if they don't list contact information, you shouldn't trust them.