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Never heard of that before

by Vicki Simons

Have you ever seen something and thought, "I've never heard of that before"?

That's the way it was when -- after a series of emails back and forth -- a lady who wanted to write a guest post on our site submitted one on an approved topic, but in her article made a claim about a product (actually a line of products) that I'd never heard before. I wrote back that I'd like to have substantiation of her claim regarding one technical aspect of her article.

Time went on and I never heard back. I wondered if the holiday season had prevented her from responding promptly. But that wasn't it. She eventually wrote back.

Instead of providing the documentation to undergird her assertion -- that a particular product had a specific capability, a capability that was the crux of the main argument in her article -- she stated that I was "very difficult to please."

My response included this:
If we had not already specified on our Guest Post page that each article (among other things) must "be hype-free such that it contains or links to substantiation of any claims made", then I would agree with you that I am difficult to please. But our requirements are clearly stated for all to see.

In reading through your article, I did not see substantiation of your claims regarding {the product she was writing about}. So, of course, I had to ask for it. If you can't supply it, we can't publish it on our site. Naturally, you are free to take your article elsewhere.

One friendly word of caution: There is too much information online supposedly helping truckers that lacks substantiation, such that many don't know what to believe. We started our website because we got "burned" as truckers and didn't want others to be.

Readers, as truckers, you have a right to be skeptical about product and service claims. You have a right to ask for substantiation whenever you have one of those "never heard of that before" moments. If something just doesn't sound right, don't proceed. Save yourself money, grief, anxiety and other negative emotions.

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