Letters From the Issue of Thursday, June 14, 2007

WRAP IT UP

Following the dodo: I just finished reading the cover story about the shrinking size of our state's largest daily newspaper ("It's a Wrap," Sarah Fenske, June 7). Compared with daily newspapers in other metro areas of comparable size — San Diego, Denver — the Arizona Republic pales in comparison.

In fact, I've seen much smaller cities with a more substantial daily newspaper. The new, Monday "Lite" edition is a joke. I've also noticed that the same stories are often published multiple times, in multiple sections of the paper, sometimes over two or three days.

I don't like the new format, and they need to do something about their counterintuitive online edition, where articles disappear at odd times. If this is the direction daily newspapers are headed, they are truly going to become extinct sooner than later.
Scott Hanks, ChandlerFEELING INSECURE

Problems with "veracity": Ray Stern's story on LifeLock scared me to death. It shows you how easy it is to convince the public into believing that you're offering a service ("What Happened in Vegas . . ." May 31; also see "Fred Flintstone," The Bird, June 7). It's true that you can do for yourself everything that LifeLock does for you.

But the worst thing is that Robert Maynard Jr. is such a liar. Imagine claiming you started a company to keep people from going through an identity theft — like you went through — when you didn't go through any such identity theft! In fact, you were jailed properly for failing to pay a bad gambling debt.

And the part about Maynard Jr. stealing Maynard Sr.'s identity to get a credit card, and then getting his own father in trouble with the credit card company, is almost unbelievable. Except for the fact that Maynard Sr. verifies everything that Stern wrote! He even as much as calls his son a liar by saying Maynard Jr. has a problem with "veracity."

Point being: This is not the kind of man you want to entrust your life's vital statistics to. When the foundation story of a company is a lie, then aren't the people running the company liars? If ever there was a fox guarding the henhouse, it's this!

Bravo to New Times for pulling the rug out from under this useless company. You'd have to be crazy or stupid to do business with it after reading the information this article provides.
Marybeth Thompson, PhoenixCashing in on fear: There really is an idiot born every minute. If he hasn't accomplished anything else in his life, Robert Maynard Jr. has proved that.

He has gone through life getting people to give him money for nothing. And his latest company is no different. He is using the identity theft plague in America to prey on frightened consumers.

It wasn't only interesting that Ray Stern's story pointed out that you can easily do everything that Maynard's company does yourself, but that even if you are the victim of identity fraud, you are barely liable. That credit cards often waive the small fee when their customers are defrauded is telling.

LifeLock proves that all you need is a slick pitchman and a cool-looking logo to start a company. The company offers no real service. And, in its world, the truth be damned!
Meg Townsend, PhoenixYou’re welcome: Thank you for writing this piece on LifeLock. It is very informative and intriguing. What a great example of true investigative journalism.
Jonathan Sutter, LaveenEducation with prosecution: My wife, JoAnn, and I would like to thank you for the story on LifeLock. We give free seminars on identity theft and help victims for free, and have since 1996.

We get asked at every seminar about these companies. We tell people that the Federal Trade Commission says to read the fine print and that Consumer Reports did a story saying that these programs are not worth the money.

Unfortunately, we have a state attorney general who has stated publicly that enforcing ID theft is too hard and that he feels education is the key. We feel that education with prosecution is the key. So we work with the Maricopa County Attorney's office on updating our ID theft laws and on aggressive enforcement.
Bob Hartle, PhoenixLook past the rep: A story like this underscores why reputation is so important today, when a couple of Web developers can make a company look like a Fortune 100 mainstay.
Pat Mitchell, via the InternetWonder which "jet" wrote this? I read your article on LifeLock, and all I can say is this guy's a winner and New Times is jealous of [Robert Maynard Jr.]. Who cares about his past? Jets don't have rear-view mirrors. So never look back.

The guy's made some mistakes. We call them risk, and anyone who has been there knows what risk means. You need to fail to succeed, and he has.

What's funny is when a corporation files bankruptcy [and] screws stockholders out of millions of dollars, then reorganizes and comes out smelling like a rose, you don't report that. This guy has a great product; he is a winner, and in my book, winners never lose.
Name withheld by requestAnother terrified customer: As a LifeLock customer, I had to give them my name, address, Social Security number, and power of attorney. Holy crap, now I am scared. These guys are liars, criminals and con artists.

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