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Local Entrepreneur Aims to Protect Internet Consumers

WATERLOO, Ontario (June 4, 1997) - Everybody has read stories about unsuspecting Internet shoppers having their credit card numbers pilfered, or even being subjected to an online, organized scam. Although rare, some unscrupulous businesses and individuals take advantage of the Internet's lack of face-to-face contact and undefined boundaries to make a quick buck, which results in just these sorts of occurrences. Rick Relf of "Spy der" intends to change this.

With his new Internet service Spidereyes (, Relf intends to provide retailers with the credibility necessary for online shoppers to feel comfortable when making purchases over the Internet. "With online shopping continuing to increase dramatically each year," says Relf, "a resource is required to inform consumers about who to deal with, as well as who not to deal with."

To accomplish this feat, Spidereyes houses a registry of testimonials and complaints from Internet users with online shopping experience. Users then have the ability to search through the registry and determine who they should, or should not, do business with. Importantly, companies who have a complaint levied against them have the opportunity to respond online, and resolve the issue. "By allowing companies to resolve conflicts with consumers on Spidereyes," explains Relf, "they receive the ability to publicly demonstrate that they are a responsible and ethical business." In order to resolve conflicts, as well as use third party mediators supplied by Spidereyes, businesses pay a nominal annual membership fee.

Before published publicly, all complaints and testimonials are reviewed by Spidereyes staff, and the organizations in question are contacted. "Basically," explains Relf, "we don't want people to have the ability to lie about a company which they simply don't like, or about their competition. The verification process reliably eliminates any sort of false accusation, which makes Spidereyes that much more valuable."

The system, developed by The Galileo Group Inc., a Kitchener-based Internet and Intranet firm, was launched in the last week of May, 1997. "As the Internet continues its incredible growth," says Bryon Thur, Galileo's VP of Marketing, "we are beginning to see more and more unique organizations appear online. Spidereyes is the latest to emerge, and holds great potential." Indeed, Relf expects to have over 100,000 visitors drop by Spidereyes by the end of the summer.

For more information call: Bryon Thur, VP Marketing, Galileo Group, (519) 576-8317; Rick Relf, President, Spy der, (519) 746-7232.

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