A company with a track record of misleading conference attendees into booking hotels with higher fees appears to be targeting NamesCon.
This morning I received a phone call from somebody claiming to be from NamesCon, but he pronounced it “Name Escon”.
I asked him what company he worked for, and he continued to insist he worked for “Name Escon”.
So I indulged him for a while, and it turned out he was trying to book me into a Las Vegas hotel for the duration of the January 10-13 trade show.
He offered me a rate at the Tropicana of $99 per night, including breakfast. That’s actually not a bad rate — about $20 less than what Expedia is currently asking.
I kept him on the phone until he sent an email to an address he had on file for me (the one from DI’s About page, which I don’t use to sign up for anything).
It arrived immediately, from Exhibitors Housing Services (ehshousing.com), which appears to be a Los Angeles company, with a link to housing-portal.com.
The link led to a credit card authorization form, pre-tailored to my details and the rate offered, which included some terms and conditions I didn’t like the look of.
A simple web search revealed that the company is widely believed to be Bad News.
The same outfit appears to regularly target annual conferences using the exhibitor lists published on earlier conference web sites. Contact information appears to be taken from the exhibitor’s own site.
According to the likes of Affiliate Summit and The Physiological Society, and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners and the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association these guys may charge up-front processing fees and/or have a very unfavorable cancellation policy.
In fact, just Googling for “Exhibitors Housing Services” will return pretty much nothing but scam warnings from various conference organizers.
One chap even posted a YouTube video explaining what he thinks the scam is.
I’m pretty certain the company has nothing to do with NamesCon.