Is ForexPeaceArmy a blessing or a scourge? A very blunt and direct analysis – Op Ed
A quick search online with your brokerage name and review next to it and unless you have the right customer base, or are friendly with the likes of Bill, you’ll possibly wish you hadn’t. We had a look, and think something is amiss. FPA (ForexPeaceArmy) leads the pack by a long shot. If you […]
A quick search online with your brokerage name and review next to it and unless you have the right customer base, or are friendly with the likes of Bill, you’ll possibly wish you hadn’t. We had a look, and think something is amiss. FPA (ForexPeaceArmy) leads the pack by a long shot.
If you are on the brokerage floor, you have very likely encountered the dreaded FPA review question that so many potential clients raise so close to closing a deal. You know you half of this is either hyperbole or a total exaggeration, blown out of all proportion. How is it possible that this one little issue often can be the maker or breaker of so many deals?
Often rude and brash, the ‘no mercy’ approach has earned the FPA quite a reputation, and in turn a substantial following. However, is this a service to the trader’s community or a kangaroo court where you are allowed to vent without consequence?
Kangaroo Court or service to traders?
We all like to dine out every so often. Most of the time we enjoy ourselves with good food and service. If you are like the rest of us, it is likely that the actual service and experience is soon forgotten after an enjoyable evening, then remembered in order to return in the near future for another round.
Then there’s the night from hell. You got a deal on an internet site such as Groupon or GrabOne for a new joint near you. You buy two for one and out you go. The food is cold, the service is poor and there is no recourse.
Disgruntled, you decide to go out of your way by finding the right site to vent your frustration. I mean how dare they!! Negative reviews pile up and the business goes belly up.
Who’s posting reviews?
Apart from the mostly fake positive reviews online you’ll find the odd person that will go out of their way to write a positive review. This applies to all websites that are aimed at small-value consumer products, whether package holidays, restaurants, used cars or….. small retail FX firms.
Now unless the service or product was mind blowing (hard to find something that entirely wows any customer in a saturated market), a conclusion can be drawn that a large portion of positive reviews have an ulterior motive behind them. Maybe an IB, a fake review the slips past the radar or a calculated strategy by the broker to get balance out the scales.
Unfortunately most of the genuinely posted reviews are negative. Disgruntled customers which have lost $500 rather than $500,000 are not going to take their belly-ache to a court, however perhaps, they believe that they have been done an injustice by a particular company and have gone out of their way to vent. Right or wrong, this is the base of what drives FPA.
Up until this point, the process is natural. A disgruntled customer has been done an injustice of sorts and thus finds an outlet within the pages of the internet, hoping to either damage the business of the perceived perpetrator, or to seek a free method of shaming a company into submission.
We support a place to vent and have heard of stories where a little intervention from FPA have helped others get funds withdrawn or problems solved. We similarly have heard stories of blackmail, threats and pure libel that has and still is going on, accounts of which are posted on the internet in the public domain on broker websites, which is unsavory to say the least.
Crossing the line
Where does FPA cross the line? Their number one value proposition is the communication and community that facilitates a furthered discussion. A new forum string per issue, a trader’s court vote and other such services make it stand out from the rest of the pack.
This is where things turn distasteful. You have a group of viewers now actively engaged, adding their 2 cents (all experts by the way) and egging on the poor user whom is already disgruntled.
This leads to a combined attempt to crucify the broker by putting them through a court-like process which renders them guilty before being innocent. A process that involes one vs. the masses (broker vs. all the experts) that are ready for a good lynching.
Don’t comment or participate in turn not giving FPA any legitimacy and you know the end outcome. Participate, in turn giving legitimacy and you’ll be defending yourself in a trial by fire with little or no evidence to claims. Problematic dilemma? Most certainly.
Who are they?
There are many reports online of whom the original founder are/ were but still no concrete facts.
From what we gather they use sophisticated methods to make sure they cannot be found and the whole process remains anonymous.
Why? Simple. Half of the information on the site could be considered nonsense. People will get sued, and FPA would have no platform anymore. Stealth has served them well as most likely they would not be where they are today if it had not been for taking these steps initially.
Any press is good press, right?
There are some very good examples of brokers out there whom have managed to combat the negative reviews with a solid strategy of playing ball with FPA and getting customers / partners whom are unaware to be a part of the positive review system (we’ve seen evidence- we won’t name names).
Then there are brokers whom started this process, gave up and just let it be. No one is right or wrong. We are certain that some of the brokers with 100s of reviews which maintain a high star rating are most definitely gaining from it long term.
The reality is that customers often look closely. In a market where the majority of small shops are wolves in disguise, who wouldn’t check?
Effectiveness is a matter of where you are standing. Ask FPA and they will give you an endless list of how they’ve helped over the years. Ask brokers and some will support the fact that negative reviews are affecting business. Then there’s those shops with the large bold red writing “CONFIRMED SCAM BEWARE” plastered on their page. Does FPA help here? How effective is this after the fact? Minimal.
How can we all play nicely?
There is most certainly a place for the likes of FPA. Taking the role of running FPA is as much of a responsibility as operating as a broker. You effectively control opinion in the market.
Take this responsibility with care, and you can quickly get creative to not only clean up but also grow the business into a sort of external dispute resolution to great effect!
For someone to write SCAM in a review on a legitimate business (you may be in the wrong) is a large claim. Reviews get a read over and are posted by admins to the broker page and no one thinks anything of it.
What if client is wrong? How about a professional communication line with brokers where if a wild claim is made (wrong or right) the incident is investigated? Done openly, transparently and we all benefit.
Brokers that make errors are given the opportunity to fix or if they end up with a negative rating, one could say they deserved it based on the process of getting to this point.
Heck, if there is a market for some private regulatory body from Russia that will issue you an unregulated “license” by simply proving your BVI company exists and paying a large sum of money, then the above does not seem far off.
Have you had any bad experiences you wish to share? Please give us all the juicy details below!