The other day, I received an email from the administrator of another website asking if I would be willing to do a link exchange with them, as our sights are of “common relevance.” The site in question (which I will not link to, even in this post) is a site dedicated entirely to offering online psychic readings.
Now, bear in mind that I do not generally link to or promote businesses. And to be honest, if I was going to promote a psychic, I would either promote myself or one of the other psychics with which I am friends and for whom I can personally vouch in terms of reputation.
In terms of reputation, the site that asked for the link exchange raised concerns for me instantly. When I received the request, the included description of the site read as follows:
Enjoy a complete site encompassing Online Live Free Psychic.
Ignoring the horrendous grammar, the promise of a site offering “free psychic readings” seemed to good to be true. And sure enough, a glance at their “how it works” page upon visiting the site proves it:
3. First step towards getting services is to fill up registration form correctly. Sign in to website; add fund in advance and click chat now button with your preferred experts.
Now, tell me, why would one need to “add funds” for a free psychic reading? Could it be that “free” isn’t so free. I’m smelling a bait and switch here.
Now, the page does eventually explain the “free” part:
8. You’ll have a few minutes, at no cost, all sessions start ‘free’, to get a sense of the person you’ve chosen and to recognize whether they’re right for the job. Whenever you feel confidence that they’ll be able to provide you with the quality service that you need, you can click the ‘Hire now’ button to begin your paid session. None of session will go into paid session automatically like other websites. Submit your psychic experience!
So you see, you don’t get a full psychic reading for free. It starts out free so you can feel comfortable that the psychic really can help you they can get you hooked and real you in. Unfortunately, this is a common practice among unethical psychics. The fact that the site can bury this explanation of how the “free” part works so deeply on their site is simply troubling.
As I mentioned above, I am a psychic and I do occasionally give paid readings. As a professional, I find the above practices highly objectionable. The idea of offering a “free reading” when what you really mean is “a quick taste for free followed by a paid reading” is simply dishonest and it leads me to wonder what else those people associated with the site are willing to lie about to attract and keep customers.
Even if they were honest about what they’re really offering, I’m also extremely uncomfortable with the “free till we get you hooked” approach. I’ve known too many unethical psychics who are willing to string clients along by giving them information and then hinting that there’s more that can be told, if they’re willing to pay for a longer session. This “starts free, then turns to a paid reading” approach gives me the impression that this is likely a common tactic on that site.
What bothers me is that there appear to be large numbers of people who go to this site. I find that unfortunate, as I suspect there are better and more ethical avenues for finding psychic advice close to their own homes.
 The only two exceptions I have made so far are (a) to sell my own stuff through Zazzle.com and (b) to promote the local New Age shop with which I am associated. I promote the former because it’ s my business and “it’s good to be the king.” I do the latter because in addition to being a fantastic business, Psychic’s Thyme is a valuable resource for learning and networking here in the Rochester area.
 This is actually one of a couple complaints I have about the severe unprofessional presentation of the site. But I’m trying to stick to my ethical objections.
 Thankfully, it’s not my sole or even primary source of income, and I only do it when Psychic’s Thyme needs a spare reader.
 In fairness, something similar happens during ethical readings. Sometimes, a client wants more information than is initially given or has follow-up questions, and that takes time (and money). However, ethical readers try to make the reading as complete and comprehensive in as short a period of time as possible. Personally, I rarely have a reading that lasts beyond the minimum length set where I work.
 If you’re not willing to pull the kinds of stunts this site is pulling, being a psychic doesn’t pay that great. Sure, you might have that rare day when you get tons of readings. Most days, though, you’d be better off working eight hours at minimum wage.