Let me tell you about the worst smell that I ever had the misfortune to waft up my nostrils. I grew up in the countryside (don’t jump to conclusions – one becomes accustomed to the scent of manure and this smell was infinitely worse than that). My dad is a keen horticulturalist and botanist so was always in the big garden that our house was built in. Sometimes, when I was sick of playing on my Megadrive or Amiga, I’d join him.

Oftentimes, we would dig up old bits of pottery and glass bottles that were discarded by hands long-since dead. Once I dug up a small glass bottle that still had its lid on and some sort of contents inside. Being an inquisitive fellow, I undid the lid and took a deep lung-full of the ancient matter. To this day, I have no idea what that substance once was, but just the memory of the odour it gave off makes me want to wretch. I kid you not when I say it actually floored me. My dad thought I was severely ill. It stank to high heaven.

I’ve never had the misfortune to smell anything that bad since that incident in the early 90s. Until the day I clicked on the squeeze page for Online Income Solution, which professes to be a five-part training course and monthly subscription service that will show you how to make hundreds of dollars a week.

Their squeeze page itself was a bit wiffy – listing many well-known brands and then having the disclaimer at the bottom stating that none of those world-famous brands have any endorsement of the product. So I put in my false email address and mobile number (07777777777 if you’re wondering) and was hit with the foul stench of the sales page. ‘Congratulations! You qualify! Start today!’ I’m told. Lucky me! I actually qualify!

I wonder what the stringent selection process was. Oh, and there, again, are all those famous brand logos that in no way endorse or affiliate the product. There’s some pictures and testimonials (very world-encompassing too with people from different races and creeds), shots of ‘proof’ of earnings, a little rosette that says ‘Voted Number 1 by many top publications’ and absolutely no real indication of what they’re charging you $19.97 for (other than something to do with training and tutorials).

My nose is like that of a bloodhound for seeking out dodgy-looking sales pages for internet marketing products. With this one, I recoiled violently. ‘Something stinks!’ I shouted. My cat looked up before she nonchalantly carried on washing herself, not bothered in the least and assuming I’d finally found the fur-ball behind the television (I only found it later).

I did a quick Google and found twelve pages of forum comments resoundingly stating that this product is a scam. Many people are displeased with the product and are having / have had trouble getting their refunds. The 60-day money back guarantee has the following conditions: You must have given the Online Income Solution an honest try a minimum of 2 weeks (This will give you enough time to put our systems into place and to start to see results); You must have contacted our customer support team for assistance if you do not feel the program is working for you. I hate conditions on a money-back guarantee and indeed, the product is NOT sold via Clickbank, so immediately I would exercise caution.

In amongst the vitriol for the product, a man named Paul Wilson from the company behind Online Income Solution replies to the negative comments with as much patience and calm as Ghandi. It’s almost impressive and makes me wonder if he has achieved a state of enlightenment. But then I remember that he just can’t be some yogi master – all these people are accusing him of anything from peddling lame products to committing out-and-out fraud.

Like a martyr (but less holy) I still have to buy the product so I can write a review for all you lovely people. So in the belief that I am probably kissing this money goodbye, I sign up for the service.

Immediately I am hit with the up-sell to the Elite Team Group VIP offer. This is a monthly subscription so I hold fire for a bit to see what exactly the ‘solution’ of Online Income Solution is. It appears it’s making money from advertising products that are in high demand. It’s hardly a novel idea, but ok. Let’s see what they’re going to train me in: website creation; how to get free advertising on certain sites for a certain amount of time; how to attract traffic to your site; about search-engine optimisation; how to set up a Google Adwords account (clutching at straws here); and how to use Google Adwords. All of this information you can find out for free elsewhere on the Internet.

Where this company really get you is by sucking you in to subscribing to their monthly VIP group for ongoing training.

The content just is not worth the initial money, let alone the monthly payments.

I tried to get a refund and one email address I used was defunct (I got a failure message). There are some people who have stated they have eventually received their refund, but the company delay and delay and delay in giving it. I’ll be sure to hassle them and would encourage you to do the same.

Like passing wind in an elevator, this is one definitely to avoid: I better open the window to give the room a good airing.