Jordan Kavoosi's business declared unethical by Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau has finally caught up with plagiarism king Jordan Kavoosi.
Photo by Hannah Delon. Kavoosi and friends advertising Essay Writing Company with body paint.
Dan Hendrickson of the BBB released a statement today officially declaring "ethical and practical concerns" with Kavoosi's business, the aptly-titled "Essay Writing Company."
Some readers might remember Kavoosi from our June 2010 cover story, "Plagiarism Inc.," which detailed the young entrepreneur's questionable tactics in the business of academic fraud. His company is pretty straightforward: You have an essay due. You don't want to write it. You pay Kavoosi and one of his writers does your homework. But according to many of his former employees, Kavoosi often fails to pay them on time. Or ever.
The BBB came at it from the consumer side of things and went to some spectacular extremes to bust Kavoosi. They first had an employee go undercover and commission an essay from the company.
Unethical? This guy?
Apparently, the service didn't exactly meet the standard advertised on Essay Writing Company's website. Hendrickson says the secret shopper had a difficult time even getting someone on the phone to order the paper.
When the BBB's spy did get the paper back, he brought it to Dan Wackman, advertising professor at the University of Minnesota. After reviewing the essay, Wackman gave it a "C" grade -- a far cry from the "A" guaranteed on the company's website.
Upon request, the BBB provided us with the essay. Here's the riveting introduction:
Excerpt from a guaranteed "A" paper purchased by BBB from Essay Writing Company.
Wackman explains that the paper had a few major flaws. The author left out some important information and got lazy on properly attributing sources. Speaking broadly, he says it was just too superficial to earn anything higher than a "C" in his class.
"It's just this general crap that I would not accept as being good enough to warrant an 'A' treatment," he says.
Hendrickson says the BBB has received four complaints about the business already.
"In addition to the many ethical considerations, students who hire third parties to do their work for them run the very real risk of getting expelled for submitting work that's not their own," says Dana Badgerow, president and CEO of the BBB, in a statement. "The old adage still holds: students who cheat are not just cheating the system, they're cheating themselves."
To be fair, Kavoosi has never claimed to be a beacon of business ethics. In an interview last summer, he made it clear that he has no delusions of this.
"Sure it's unethical, but it's just a business," Kavoosi told us. "I mean, what about strip clubs or porn shops? Those are unethical, and city-approved."
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