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Re: Workers' Compensation & Subcontracting

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  • dts683
    ... Exactly. Unfortunately, the scenario I believe will cause the biggest shockwave in the PI subcontracting world requires that a subcontracted PI get killed
    Message 1 of 24 , Dec 2, 2007
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      Bob Hrodey wrote:

      > Your argument is also valid in some cases and with regard to those
      > contractors who don't have WC themselves, well, they better hope that
      > the guy they hire at $30 an hour is playing heads up ball since
      > insurance or no, they will likely find that they are still on the
      > hook for injuries incurred by their uninsured sub contractor.

      Exactly. Unfortunately, the scenario I believe will cause the biggest
      shockwave in the PI subcontracting world requires that a subcontracted
      PI get killed or sustain great bodily harm when the contractor is on
      the hook for the uninsured subcontractor's workers' compensation
      claim. If I as a contractor am on the hook for paying the premium on
      an uninsured subcontractor, it would follow that I would be on the hook
      for any claims too.

      > IIRC, my firm was one of the ones that did, no?

      Yes, you were one of the two; and you probably know who the other is
      too. During my audit I found at least three Illinois PI agencies with
      actual employees who have no workers' compensation coverage. I can
      understand a sole practitioner not having workers' compensation
      coverage, but not an agency with actual employees. If you have an
      agency with actual employees and you don't have workers' compensation
      coverage, you are gambling with not only your business, but your
      personal financial well-being. A seriously injured or dead employee
      could easily bankrupt not only your business, but you personally.


      Daniel Schroeder, Licensed Private Detective
      Metro Detective Agency, LLC
      P.O. Box 1050, DeKalb, IL 60115
      Office: (815) 787-1111
      Cellular: (815) 757-8940
      Fax: (866) 727-2051
      info@...
      http://www.metrodetectiveagency.com
    • Vicki Siedow
      I agree with Sue and Rick, although I m not quite as pricey as Rick. Still, I pay my subs well. I have raised my prices a couple of times in the last couple
      Message 2 of 24 , Dec 2, 2007
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        I agree with Sue and Rick, although I'm not quite as pricey as Rick. Still,
        I pay my subs well. I have raised my prices a couple of times in the last
        couple of years, and each time business has increased. I can now live more
        comfortably, and with a lot less stress, in part because I can now afford a
        better quality of subs. My clients are happier with the work, and in many
        cases their overall cost is the same or less, because I now have the
        resources to complete assignments more quickly and with greater accuracy. I
        have more successful outcomes, as well.



        I just wanted to add to Rick's comment about charitable institutions that
        many who run those institutions make very substantial salaries. Even
        charities can be profitable.



        I see in a later post that Mike says this is insurance work. He is correct
        in that insurance work generally pays less. They are always price shopping.



        Vicki Siedow
        Siedow & Associates Investigations
        & Legal Support Services
        2629 Foothill Blvd. #262
        La Crescenta, CA 91214
        Los Angeles County
        CA PI License # 22852
        800.448.6431 toll free
        818.242.0130 local
        818.688.3295 fax
        <http://siedow.lawandorder.com/> http://Siedow.LawAndOrder.com
        <mailto:Siedow@...> Siedow@...
        Member NCISS, IWWA

        Need economical legal help?
        Concerned about Identity Theft?
        Check the links on my site, or contact me directly.



        From: infoguys-list@yahoogroups.com [mailto:infoguys-list@yahoogroups.com]
        On Behalf Of Ricky Gurley
        Sent: Saturday, December 01, 2007 12:22 PM
        To: infoguys-list@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [infoguys-list] Re: Los Angeles, CA



        --- In infoguys-list@yahoogroups.com
        <mailto:infoguys-list%40yahoogroups.com> , suesarkis@... wrote:
        >
        >
        > Louis -
        >
        > You cannot have it both ways. You cannot want to locate GOOD
        QUALITY
        > investigators when you are only offering $30/hour. I laugh when I
        see such
        > nonsense. When I first opened my doors in 1976 as a sole
        practitioner having taken
        > many years to accumulate my required hours, I charged $35 per hour
        back then.
        > That was more than 30 years ago.
        >
        > You get what you pay for !!!
        >
        >
        > Sincerely yours,
        > Sue
        > ________________________
        > Sue Sarkis
        > Sarkis Detective Agency

        Sue is RIGHT ON THE MONEY! I pay every investigator that I have
        subcontracting work from me at least $100.00/HR.; when I am able to
        assign work to them. In my honest opinion, the hourly fee for a P.I.
        subcontracting work should not be below $100.00/HR., and as long as
        they don't try to "take advantage", they also have all reasonable
        expenses paid. I also give them a retainer to start the work with.
        And I still make money off of their work.

        I am not trying to be offensive here, but when I see other P.I.s
        offering $30.00/HR., and $50.00/HR., I wonder just how business savvy
        they are? It does sound "business savvy" to reduce the subcontractor
        rates and increase your profit margin on the surface; but if your
        reduced rates are going to net you results that are poor in quality,
        you are doing more damage to your company in the long run, and you
        are setting yourself up to immediately lose a client. When you reduce
        the rates that you are willing to pay subcontractors down to where
        only desperate people will accept your offer, you are more than
        likely not getting a subcontractor that will do quality work for you.
        At the point that you have actually subcontracted a job to someone
        that is willing to work for $30.00/HR., you have opened yourself up
        to the possibility of having to have the work done over again,
        perhaps having the case damaged beyond repair, client loss, a
        potential law suit, and the possibility of damaging your company's
        reputation. A profit of 85% is not such a good thing when you get
        sued for three times the amount of money you made on the entire case,
        or more. Nor are high profits a good thing if they affect your
        overall industry reputation and cause you to lose work due to this
        effect on your reputation.

        I am not saying that you can't get a "dud" for $100.00/HR., what I AM
        saying is when you pay a reasonable fee, you broaden your applicant
        pool, thereby giving you more subcontractors to choose from, and you
        give yourself a wider selection of quality investigators by doing so.
        You will probably have to deal with the occasional P.I. that may try
        to take advantage of your "generous nature", but you will probably
        have LESS problems with this than you would if you continue to hire
        at $30.00/HR.; because a quality, professional P.I. is going to make
        sure that you fully understand the cost when you subcontract work to
        him or her, and they won't deviate from the original agreement.

        I guess one of the things you may want to consider in doing this is
        upping your fee? I suppose it is possible that you might not be able
        to afford much more than $30.00/HR. to a subcontractor? If that is
        the case, your position is understandable, however you are doing
        yourself a disservice if this IS the case. You should be charging at
        least (the very minimum) $125.00/HR when you take a case.

        You do get what you pay for. If you expect to get quality results,
        then you have to pay for quality people. Let's not deceive ourselves
        here; we are ALL in business to make money. There is no shame in
        making money in business. If we wanted to be a charity, we would have
        structured our companies to be charitable organizations. You have to
        acknowledge this principle for your subcontractors, as well as for
        yourself.

        Rick.

        Risk Management Research & Investments, Inc.
        "He Who Forgets, Will Be Destined To Remember"
        "You'll Find No White Flags Here"

        MAIL BOX: 2101 W. Broadway PMB 326, Columbia, MO. 65203
        OFFICE ADDRESS: 607 N. Providence, Columbia, MO. 65203

        Phone: (888) 571-0958
        Fax: (877) 795-9800
        Cell: (573) 529-0808

        Email
        RMRI-Inc@... <mailto:RMRI-Inc%40mchsi.com>

        Webpage
        http://www.rmriinc.com





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Bob Hrodey
        ... That is one of the true mysteries of this business that I learned quite early on. Like anyone else I was hesitant to bump my prices up when I was first
        Message 3 of 24 , Dec 2, 2007
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          Vicki Siedow wrote:
          > I have raised my prices a couple of times in the last
          > couple of years, and each time business has increased.

          That is one of the true mysteries of this business that I learned quite
          early on. Like anyone else I was hesitant to bump my prices up when I
          was first getting started. I did so reluctantly, fully expecting an
          exodus - mass or otherwise - to occur. Business actually increased.
          Figured it was a fluke and bumped the rate by 20% the next time
          literally hoping to drive away some of the marginal clients who were
          penny pinchers and always seemed to expect 8 hours of work for 5 hours
          of pay. Didn't happen then either and so far as I can tell has never
          happened in my experience. Higher hourly rate (within reason, of
          course) brings in more business.

          Truly strange.

          Another brief story in re: low pay to subs that might strike a nerve
          with some others here but, nonetheless, it's something to think about.

          A long while back and for quite some time there were two investigative
          firms in my area. Me and the other guy. The other guy had been doing
          it for about 5-7 years before I started out. Like me, he also worked
          for the sheriff's police and was doing it (back then) part-time. He had
          a good load of clients as did I. He was getting time starved (I'm sure
          many of you have that problem from time to time, if not more
          frequently. It's where you have enough work to keep you busy 20 hours a
          day but you don't want to work that much... or have to.)

          At this point he asked me if I could give him a hand with some cases as
          he was severely overloaded. I didn't have a lot of time but he was a
          friend and I said I'd help him out if I could. He asked me how much I
          was charging. At that time, about 22 years ago, I think I was getting
          about $35-$40 hour. He said that he couldn't possibly pay that much as
          he was only billing $22/hr. I told him that there was no way that I'd
          sub for him for anything less than $32. He bitched and moaned and then
          said he'd pay me $30 and no more. I told him that I wouldn't do it even
          if he paid me $40/hr. He asked why not. My response was that if he's
          billing $22 and paying me $30, $32 or, even $40 an hour, he'd have to
          pad the bill to make any money since he refused to raise his rates for
          fear of losing clients. That meant that no matter how great my work
          product was, HIS clients would be looking at the reports and thinking
          "Nice work but why the hell did it take Hrodey 4 hours to do a 1½hr job.

          He simply could not believe (perhaps, RECOGNIZE is the better word) that
          if he doubled his price from $22. to, say, $40 or $45 an hour, that even
          if he lost 50% of his clients, he'd still make the same money in half
          the time. Knowing what I was charging should have also told him that
          his erstwhile clients (if any) weren't going to rush to my door in an
          effort to get a better rate.

          Realize your worth and work to live - don't live to work!


          --

          Enjoy,

          Bob
          ________________________________________________________________
          Hrodey & Associates Established 1977
          Post Office Box 366 Member of NALI, ASIS, FBINAA, NAPPS
          Woodstock, IL 60098-0366 NCISS, Assoc Det of IL & P.A.W.L.I.
          Licensed in IL & WI (815) 337-4636 Voice 337-4638 Fax
          email: inquiry@... or rth@...
          Illinois License 115-000783 Wisconsin 8045-063
        • suesarkis@aol.com
          Folks - Let me give you my understanding of insurance the way I believe it to be. Having just gotten off the telephone with an attorney to make certain I
          Message 4 of 24 , Dec 2, 2007
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            Folks -

            Let me give you my understanding of insurance the way I believe it to be.
            Having just gotten off the telephone with an attorney to make certain I wasn't
            losing my mind, I feel confident.

            The majority of subbed cases go to sole-proprietors. Sole proprietors
            cannot get W/C insurance. Even if they have E&O as well as liability coverage,
            none of those policies will cover him/her if injured on the job. Now, whether
            or not you the CONTRACTOR will be responsible versus the CONTRACTEE has many
            issues to consider including direct/indirect control, who demands what hours
            are worked, who supplies the equipment, etc., etc., etc. Bottom line, if I
            am a contractee working for you the contractor and I get injured in a
            vehicular accident while conducting a surveillance, I better just keep my mouth shut
            and contact my motor vehicle ins. carrier just as I would in any other
            accident. Same holds true for all other issues.

            If, on the other hand, you subcontract to a company whereby the contractee
            has employees, just by the definition of the beast, he/she has W/C coverage for
            the employees. If not, they are not employees and they are all violating
            the law in any of the states that require licensure.

            Upon the advice of numerous counsel, I have been bare since the mid to late
            '80's. Long story about a 10 mil lawsuit but when all was said and done and
            the jury awarded me a "special verdict" my attorney advised I drop all
            insurance. If you don't want to use my services because of same, be my guest.
            That leaves that much more of me for my other clients. However, don't think
            for one second that you cannot get insurance work without coverage as I am
            handling 2 different insurance cases right now and both carriers know full well I
            am not covered.

            Unless one of the insurance agents come and push me in front of a moving
            vehicle, anything that happens to me is brought about by my own actions and why
            would I sue anyone?

            One other issue to cover is the fact that NO insurance policy will cover
            intentional illegal acts. So, if you think that just because I, the CONTRACTEE,
            have E&O or Liability coverage that you, the CONTRACTOR, are protected
            should I unlawfully obtain bank account information or commit some other invasion
            violation or any other unscrupulous act, I still have that bridge for sale.
            Sorry, it will fall right back in your lap since you hired me.

            Insurance coverage is NOT what it is cracked up to be. Keep your nose clean
            and perform your assignment to the very best of your ability and you will
            walk away a winner. Trust me, when that frivolous lawsuit is filed and your
            insurance company wants to make a "nuisance settlement offer" if you have any
            pride whatsoever as well as concern for your license, you will "hold them
            harmless" and tell them to take a hike. You will wind up handling the case
            yourself anyway.


            Sincerely yours,
            Sue
            ________________________
            Sue Sarkis
            Sarkis Detective Agency

            (est. 1976)
            PI 6564
            _www.sarkispi.com_ (http://www.sarkispi.com/)

            1346 Ethel Street
            Glendale, CA 91207-1826
            818-242-2505
            818-242-9824 FAX

            "one Nation under God"

            If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read it in English, thank
            a military veteran !



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          • Glad4JC@aol.com
            Sue, I am reading backwards so I am playing catch up. But that sounds right to me, so if you can tip me off who will hire an uninsured person. I am
            Message 5 of 24 , Dec 2, 2007
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              Sue,

              I am reading backwards so I am playing catch up. But that sounds right to
              me, so if you can tip me off who will hire an uninsured person. I am probably
              going to get E & O with liability by year end, but in the mean time, I would
              gladly take work from insurance cos who would hire me, I didn't think any
              would so I never inquired. Obviously I would rather have it, and I agree, if I
              am in my car and some accident occurs it is business as usual, I pay for car
              insurance for that.

              I will read back and see what is going on in the conversation.


              Gladys Brierley
              Accurate Investigations
              PO BOX 872
              Newton County, Mississippi
              601-480-3181 bus
              601-683-2094 fax
              Bus License # 1499
              Glad4JC@...
              Member NAIS, ACI, IA
              _www.freewebs.com/glad4jc_ (http://www.freewebs.com/glad4jc)
              _www.myspace.com/mississippiinvestigator_
              (http://www.myspace.com/mississippiinvestigator)


              Services include but not limited to, online record searches, courier
              services, domestic-fidelity checks, employee theft, process service, witness
              interview, surveillance, specialized referrals for computer forensics, recovery &
              extractions, missing children cases. Also willing to work with teams on cold
              cases. Professional courtesy to other PI's & Attorneys . I promise to give you
              my very best efforts and safeguard client confidentiality.

              _PARENTS-AGAINST-PREDATORS : PARENTS AGAINST PREDATORS_
              (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PARENTS-AGAINST-PREDATORS/?yguid=206815254)
              _MississippiPrivateInvestigators : MISSISSIPPI PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS_
              (http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/MississippiPrivateInvestigators/?yguid=8099974
              )

              _Find me on MySpace and be my friend!_
              (http://www.myspace.com/mississippiinvestigator)


              This e-mail message is protected by the Electronic Communications Privacy
              Act, 18 U.S.C. §2510-2521 and is legally privileged. Unauthorized review, use
              or distribution is strictly prohibited. If you have received this in error,
              please reply and notify the sender (only) and delete the message. Unauthorized
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              In a message dated 12/2/2007 5:39:32 P.M. Pacific Standard Time,
              suesarkis@... writes:




              Folks -

              Let me give you my understanding of insurance the way I believe it to be.
              Having just gotten off the telephone with an attorney to make certain I
              wasn't
              losing my mind, I feel confident.

              The majority of subbed cases go to sole-proprietors. Sole proprietors
              cannot get W/C insurance. Even if they have E&O as well as liability
              coverage,
              none of those policies will cover him/her if injured on the job. Now,
              whether
              or not you the CONTRACTOR will be responsible versus the CONTRACTEE has many
              issues to consider including direct/indirect control, who demands what hours
              are worked, who supplies the equipment, etc., etc., etc. Bottom line, if I
              am a contractee working for you the contractor and I get injured in a
              vehicular accident while conducting a surveillance, I better just keep my
              mouth shut
              and contact my motor vehicle ins. carrier just as I would in any other
              accident. Same holds true for all other issues.

              If, on the other hand, you subcontract to a company whereby the contractee
              has employees, just by the definition of the beast, he/she has W/C coverage
              for
              the employees. If not, they are not employees and they are all violating
              the law in any of the states that require licensure.

              Upon the advice of numerous counsel, I have been bare since the mid to late
              '80's. Long story about a 10 mil lawsuit but when all was said and done and
              the jury awarded me a "special verdict" my attorney advised I drop all
              insurance. If you don't want to use my services because of same, be my
              guest.
              That leaves that much more of me for my other clients. However, don't think
              for one second that you cannot get insurance work without coverage as I am
              handling 2 different insurance cases right now and both carriers know full
              well I
              am not covered.

              Unless one of the insurance agents come and push me in front of a moving
              vehicle, anything that happens to me is brought about by my own actions and
              why
              would I sue anyone?

              One other issue to cover is the fact that NO insurance policy will cover
              intentional illegal acts. So, if you think that just because I, the
              CONTRACTEE,
              have E&O or Liability coverage that you, the CONTRACTOR, are protected
              should I unlawfully obtain bank account information or commit some other
              invasion
              violation or any other unscrupulous act, I still have that bridge for sale.
              Sorry, it will fall right back in your lap since you hired me.

              Insurance coverage is NOT what it is cracked up to be. Keep your nose clean
              and perform your assignment to the very best of your ability and you will
              walk away a winner. Trust me, when that frivolous lawsuit is filed and your
              insurance company wants to make a "nuisance settlement offer" if you have
              any
              pride whatsoever as well as concern for your license, you will "hold them
              harmless" and tell them to take a hike. You will wind up handling the case
              yourself anyway.


              Sincerely yours,
              Sue
              ________________________
              Sue Sarkis
              Sarkis Detective Agency

              (est. 1976)
              PI 6564
              _www.sarkispi._www.s_http://www.sarkispihttp:_ (http://www.sarkispi.com/) )

              1346 Ethel Street
              Glendale, CA 91207-1826
              818-242-2505
              818-242-9824 FAX

              "one Nation under God"

              If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read it in English, thank
              a military veteran !

              ******************************************<WBR>*********<WBR>*********<WBR>***
              ***
              products.
              (_http://money.http://money.<WBhttp://money.http://monhttp://money.<WBhttp_
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            • Glad4JC@aol.com
              I don t see many of those being offered in Mississippi, but when I do I often wonder how they think anyone can afford to work so cheap and wait so long to
              Message 6 of 24 , Dec 2, 2007
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                I don't see many of those being offered in Mississippi, but when I do I
                often wonder how they think anyone can afford to work so cheap and wait so long
                to get paid and still have a long resume and insurance, lol.

                I am not sure I like the idea of people from all over the country
                advertising here in my state and then trying to get me to do the work cheaply. I don't
                mind if its a good working relationship with a person who is trying to build
                a legitimate nation wide or several states business, I have someone I work
                with like that and it is ok. But it does seem to be a little misleading to
                overreach into states with big $ advertising and then offer the situation at
                rock bottom prices to eager newbies, like me. I guess I am doing the right
                thing by saying NO to any company that wants me to do work for so little and
                have all their requirements and get paid in 30 days. I feel better already, lol.

                Gladys Brierley
                Accurate Investigations
                PO BOX 872
                Newton County, Mississippi
                601-480-3181 bus
                601-683-2094 fax
                Bus License # 1499
                Glad4JC@...
                Member NAIS, ACI, IA
                _www.freewebs.com/glad4jc_ (http://www.freewebs.com/glad4jc)
                _www.myspace.com/mississippiinvestigator_
                (http://www.myspace.com/mississippiinvestigator)


                Services include but not limited to, online record searches, courier
                services, domestic-fidelity checks, employee theft, process service, witness
                interview, surveillance, specialized referrals for computer forensics, recovery &
                extractions, missing children cases. Also willing to work with teams on cold
                cases. Professional courtesy to other PI's & Attorneys . I promise to give you
                my very best efforts and safeguard client confidentiality.

                _PARENTS-AGAINST-PREDATORS : PARENTS AGAINST PREDATORS_
                (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PARENTS-AGAINST-PREDATORS/?yguid=206815254)
                _MississippiPrivateInvestigators : MISSISSIPPI PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS_ (http:
                //finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/MississippiPrivateInvestigators/?yguid=8099974
                )

                _Find me on MySpace and be my friend!_
                (http://www.myspace.com/mississippiinvestigator)


                This e-mail message is protected by the Electronic Communications Privacy
                Act, 18 U.S.C. §2510-2521 and is legally privileged. Unauthorized review, use
                or distribution is strictly prohibited. If you have received this in error,
                please reply and notify the sender (only) and delete the message. Unauthorized
                interception of this e-mail is a violation of federal criminal law.


                In a message dated 12/2/2007 11:33:07 A.M. Pacific Standard Time,
                administrator@... writes:




                Bob Hrodey wrote:

                > Then you're doing it wrong. Like Sue and Rick, when I see requests
                > for "sub-contractors" at $25-$50/hour who are required to be
                > licensed,insured, etc. I laugh. I also believe that in such a case,
                > your argument about WC expense, employees, etc. have no place in the
                > equation. If I conform to your needs with regard to licensing, etc.
                > I am the one incurring the expense of WC, insurance, admin,
                > mileage, etc. NOT you.

                Bob,

                I agree with everything you said, with the exception of one minor
                point. Having just gone through an insurance audit, I can tell you
                that most PIs do not have workers' compensation insurance. If I
                engage the services of either an individual PI or a PI agency and
                they do not have workers' compensation coverage, I am on the hook for
                paying that premium. Not one of the individual PIs that I engaged to
                do work for me on a subcontract basis had workers' compensation
                coverage; and only two of the PI agencies did. All of them had
                general liability coverage, but that is probably only because the
                state requires it. It doesn't shock me that the individual PIs
                lacked workers' compensation coverage, but you would be surprised how
                many PI agencies, even PI agencies with actual employees, lack that
                coverage.

                The bottom line is that the contractor is more than likely
                left "holding the bag" to pay workers' compensation coverage on the
                subcontractor. On the other hand, it is likely that the contractor
                doesn't have workers' compensation coverage anyway. If the
                contractor does happen to have workers' compensation coverage, the
                rate is probably around 4% at the most. The contractor is still
                going to get away without having to pay matching social security and
                medicare (6.2% and 1.45% respectively) along with federal and state
                unemployment taxes (varies) and general liability insurance (around
                4%).

                I don't necessarily take issue with people offering assignments at
                ridiculously low rates to other PIs. We all have the capacity to
                say "NO" and some of us should exercise it more. It feels good to
                say "NO" to a case or client; and all of us should "just say no" to
                these companies wanting to pay ridiculously low rates. If we all
                just say no, these companies will be forced to change their practices.

                I do take issue with companies that advertise and accept cases in
                states in which they are not licensed. These are the companies we
                all see everyday posting that they "need assistance" with a case in
                ABC City. They should say the following if they want to be close to
                accurate: "We advertise our company on the internet as being a large
                national expert PI agency, so now we have a client in some far away
                state who was dumb enough to believe our bullshit facade. We need a
                local PI willing to do the actual field work for less than half their
                normal rate. By the way, you will have to wait 30 days or more to
                get paid."








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