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Who is 9001council.org? Good question…

We have questions about 9001council.org, and have asked them for proof that they are an independent site – NOT a self promoting one created to mislead you.
  • Do they give any names or credentials of the “council”? NO!
  • Do they offer any objective evidence or real value? NO!
  • 9001council.org seems to be a fraud – to send you to certain commercial sites!

(Screen Shot of 9001Council.org About page as of 10 Oct 2018)

9001council.org used to be iso9000council.org.  We posted an article about our interactions with them back in 2009 because we felt uneasy about their organization.  The previous article from 2009 can be found in the box below.

 

The9000store.com was contacted by 9001council.org on September 24, 2018 by Mr. Manfred Hofer, requesting that we remove our article describing our interactions with them in 2009.  We were hopeful that the organization had become transparent in their activities, so we did a little research on their updated site, and asked them to provide names and credentials for their experts, as well as disclosure of their relationship to various other sites.  Transparency and honesty are essential for online business, especially e-commerce.  An organization claiming to have a “council” of experts to independently evaluate products and services should eagerly provide names and credentials of those experts in order to validate the integrity of their council. 

Unfortunately, as you can see from the recent email chain below, we still have not received any concrete information to prove that our suspicions are unfounded.  If/when we receive this information, we will update this article.

 

_______________

On Sep 24, 2018, at 5:12 AM, Standards Stores Support wrote:

Customer Name: Manfred Hofer
Customer Email: hofer@9001council.org
Standards: ISO 9000
Support Topic: Partner with Standards Stores
Support Topic Areas:

Description:

Dear management/owner of the9000store.com:

Recently I have been made aware of an old blog post on your website that negatively reflects on our website (9001council.org). The blog post includes our domain name in the URL and refers to a previous incarnation of our website (iso9000council.org).

It is my opinion that much unnecessary negative energy has been created and that a more amicable relationship would contribute positively to our lives. My suggestion is that neither side write negatively about the other. With this suggestion in mind, I would like to ask you to remove the above mentioned blog post.

Sincerely,
Manfred Hofer

_______________

On Sep 24, 2018, at 20:24, Joe Pfankuch wrote:

Hello Manfred-

Thank you for reaching out. We stake our living on honesty and trust, and the situation represented on our web page just reduces the public’s trust in online businesses.  We only try to present observations without opinion, so if we need to correct something I’m happy to have this discussion. I haven’t considered this situation in a long time, as you can see by the outdated information on our webpage: https://the9000store.com/articles/who-is-9001council.  We’re always interested in reducing negative energy in this world.

I have a few observations after revisiting this issue…

I noticed many of the previously disconnected sites forward to https://www.9001simplified.com, implying that they are all related:

  • http://www.iso9001superstore
  • https://www.formsnmore.com
  • http://www.9001courses.com/

While others have been abandoned:

  • http://iso9001help.org/
  • https://www.amazon.com/sp?_encoding=UTF8&asin=&isAmazonFulfilled=&isCBA=&marketplaceID=ATVPDKIKX0DER&orderID=&seller=A3CSUXL5V5AYW4&tab=&vasStoreID=
  • etc

And yet others are still seemingly independent organizations:

    • https://www.qualitymanualtemplates.com
      PO Box 4668 #70535
      New York City, NY 10163-4668
    • https://www.easy9001.com/
      Post Office Box 7775 #70535
      San Francisco, CA 94120-7775
    • https://www.9001simplified.com/
      113 Cherry Street Suite 70535
      Seattle, WA 98104
    • https://www.standardscourses.com/
      PO Box 55071 #70535
      Boston, MA 02205-5071
    • 9001 Council (this address changed from Geneva)
      9001Council
      Zuercherstrasse 161
      8010 Zuerich, Switzerland

We are happy to have open discussions about this topic. However, I think it is important to demonstrate complete transparency to ensure the validity of the discussion. All of our information can be found here: https://standards-stores.com, including:

  • List of websites
  • Names and descriptions of all the involved parties
  • You can call, and one of our team members will answer.

Could you please provide the following?

  • Your name, CV, and contact information
  • Your relationship to these sites:
    • https://www.9001council.org
    • https://www.9001simplified.com
    • https://www.easy9001.com/
    • https://www.qualitymanualtemplates.com/
    • https://www.standardscourses.com/
  • Your relationship to:
    • Ulrich Schacher
    • Tobias Hanzl

This shouldn’t be difficult information to provide, and I will immediately update our website with the latest information learned from our discussion.

Kindest regards,
Joe Pfankuch – President
877/942-6572
Standards-Stores.com

_______________

On Sep 26, 2018, at 9:27 AM, M. Hofer – 9001Council.org <hofer@9001council.org> wrote:

Hello Joe,

Thank you for your response which for the most part seems to address the issues presented in subject article.

Let me first clarify that neither I nor the 9001Council are affiliated with the various websites you have listed in your email so I cannot comment on them.  At 9001Council I am in charge of membership services and communications. You already have my contact information but please note my current work hours are Monday and Wednesday from 13:00 till 17:00.  This may change later as we are extending our membership service and developing our systems.  Ulrich Sacher used to work for the 9001Council under the previous management.  Tobias Hanzel is not known to me. Your request for my CV is curious. A CV is considered a private document here; we use it during job applications but we don’t publicize it.

Your email states that you would update your website “with the latest information learned from our discussion”.  However, I ask that you not use your website as forum to discuss ours but rather remove subject article. We shall be obliged to practice the same high standard.

Best regards,

Manfred Hofer
Director of Member Services
9001Council
https://www.9001council.org
hofer@9001council.org

_______________

On Sep 27, 2018, at 01:24, Joe Pfankuch wrote:

Dear Mr. Hofer-

Unfortunately your reply doesn’t provide any information to validate that 9001council.org is an independent and authentic organization with the credentials as stated. Surely anyone with claims like yours [“Our Executive Committee is comprised of veteran experts…”] would be recognized experts, not afraid to promote their involvement in such an esteemed organization or possibly even TAG committees.  Do you see how abnormal it is NOT to provide such information? I cannot think of another Process Improvement/Quality website that does not openly state who they are, their credentials, or their relationship to other parties – Quality Management is not the Dark Web.  Even Oxebridge (who tends to get sideways with some organizations) displays who he is.

There is nothing opaque about our organization, websites, partners, relationships, or products. We would ask anyone else in this industry (or others) to provide the same level of transparency. Misleading information just confuses our audience and erodes trust. We have no interest in (or time for) criticizing you or any other parties.  However, as an online merchant we want to ensure that potential clients can trust this medium for commerce – especially in our niche market of quality management.  We will not disparage you, but we will post the results of this conversation as it is only information – neither good nor bad.  So you see, it is completely in your power to determine what information is displayed on our website in reference to your organization(s).

Some basic questions that would encourage me to continue this dialogue:

  • Who is behind org?
  • What are the experts’ credentials?
  • Where can you be reached?
    • Phone
    • Location
    • Credentials
  • Why you focus on templates?
  • We both know there is a lot more to ISO 9001, so it doesn’t make sense to me who would gain from a site about templates?
  • Why a truly independent organization would post/then remove reviews?
  • Why, after pressure from Oxebridge, you would remove reviews at the same time as the credentials of West, Cianfrani and Robitaille?

Again, it seems suspicious that only these (allegedly) unrelated websites would have synchronous actions.

There is no reason to post defamatory information about us, as we only provide information. However, we have a very good attorney who has successfully defended us over the years and will fiercely defend our reputation again if necessary.

Your communication can either provide information to validate (and promote) 9001Council, or further obscure it in ambiguity.  The choice is 100% yours.

Joe Pfankuch
877/942-6572
Standards-Stores.com

_______________

On Oct 1, 2018, at 6:48 AM, M. Hofer – 9001Council.org <hofer@9001council.org> wrote:

Dear Mr. Pfankuch,

I very much appreciate your interest in the 9001Council, your concern that our website not adequately reflects our expertise and your keen observation that our website is undergoing changes. As a quality management expert of your caliber must be well aware, web pages (like any document) are revised in order to remain current. You must be aware of the concept of continual improvement (an important aspect of ISO 9001) which applies to the various aspects of the organization including its web presence.  It is for these reasons that our website has undergone changes and will be subject to further, ongoing improvements.  I encourage you to visit our website often not only to witness first-hand the concept of continual improvement but also because you undoubtedly deserve the privilege to be one of the first to learn more about the 9001Council and ISO 9001.

Of course, the speed of our improvement could never match that of your esteemed organization, which certainly wouldn’t allow an old, bad article see its tenth year of online presence.

In conclusion I must admit that my inability to articulate my opinion more clearly can only be explained through an obvious and complete disrespect for transparency and honesty.

Kindest regards,

Manfred Hofer

_______________

We kept the content of the 2009 article on this page so that the public can educate themselves and decide if they want to trust this organization.

See archived portion of the article below:

iso9000council.org was created by Tobias Hanzl, the owner of the following sites, to “self promote” his sites:

  • QualityManualTemplates.com
  • ISO9000simplified.com
  • FormsNmore.com
  • easy9001.com
  • iso9000council.org
  • iso9001help.org

We have tried to prove otherwise, but the evidence keeps pointing to the misrepresentation of the “Council”:

  1. ISO has policies about using their name in website names: iso.org They are in clear violation of this. I would think that any reputable firm would correct this. (Especially one who claims to promote ISO and alleges to be in Switzerland)
  2. iso9000council.org contacted us (see email exchange below) to evaluate our products, which we welcomed. We only asked for the experience and contact info of people on the “council”. You would think this information would not only be on their site, but also very easy to present. We never heard from them again. I would think this is easy – we offer our info as do most reputable companies. Why not the council?
  3. Quality Manual Templates used to have a BBB rating (see below) The BBB asked Mr. Hanzl to state that his sites were not related to the council. He refused. The BBB revoked his membership. Seems strange…

Think about it…

  • If they were legitimate, wouldn’t they follow ISO’s policy?
  • Would you trust someone who dodges simple questions like this?
  • Would you trust someone that loses BBB approval so he can mislead clients?

—–Original Message—–
From: ISO9000Council.org [mailto:info@iso9000council.org]
Sent: Saturday, April 25, 2009 4:42 AM
To: Joe
Subject: product review

Hello “The 9000 Store”!

I am writing to you today from the ISO 9000 Council; we are an international network of quality professionals, and we operate a website called www.iso9000council.org (we are not related or affiliated with ISO). On our website, we provide information and advice regarding ISO 9000 implementation; we also publish our own reviews of templates for ISO 9000 documentation and more.

I am writing to you because we have received several requests to provide reviews of your ISO 9000 documentation templates, particularly your “ISO 9001 Manual & Procedures”. If you are interested in us reviewing your product and publishing our review on our website, please respond to this email. Please note that our website is non-commercial, that we do not accept any payments or favors, and that you won’t be able to influence the content of our review. I am looking forward to your response.

Regards,
Ulrich Schacher
ISO9000Council.org
Switzerland

From: 9000-Webmaster [mailto:webmasteratthe9000store.com] On Behalf Of Joe Pfankuch
Sent: Tuesday, April 28, 2009 9:57 AM
To: info@iso9000council.org
Subject: product review

Hello Mr. Schacher-

We would love the opportunity to be reviewed by your reputable service, especially since we are the company who pioneered the sales of online QMS systems and training. We look forward to getting feedback from your international network of quality professionals.

However, I don’t know much about your council and would like to learn more about the members and their experience. Therefore, could you please provide me the names, contact info, and credibility (CV/Resume, website, references) of the members of this council? (I’m sure you understand and agree that a rating service has more credibility if the opinion is from an experienced and trusted source.) Since a professional organization must be reputable in order to council people on their project and author reviews of products, you probably have this information at your fingertips and can send it quickly.

Secondly, to ensure that you are truly independent, can you please guarantee that you have no affiliation (personal, business or otherwise) to any of the products you review? Again, this type of trust ensures the transparency and integrity of your organization, thus furthering the credibility.

Lastly, I have reviewed your site, and saw:

“Our goal is to promote the global acceptance and utilization of ISO 9000 as a tool for increased quality, customer satisfaction and business/process efficiency ”

Yet you seem to spend an inordinate amount of time discussing templates. Even popular forums do not promote a specific product, especially because documentation is only part of ISO 9001. CA/PA, for example, is a much more important topic than the creation of documentation – especially as more people turn to software to handle their documentation needs. Can you please explain why your focus is on templates?

I’m sure that an organization of your caliber should have no problem with these minor requests and will reply quickly. Once convinced of these basic necessities we will gladly provide you copies of our materials.

Thank you, we look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

Regards,
The 9000 Store

From: ISO9000Council.org [mailto:info@iso9000council.org]
Sent: Friday, May 01, 2009 2:33 AM
To: webmasteratthe9000store.com
Subject: RE: product review

Good morning, “The 9000 Store”

Thank you for your timely response and your interest in our review. I agree with you that documentation is only part of ISO 9001 yet most companies appear to see documentation as the big hurdle to take when starting their ISO 9001 process; because we get so many questions about documentation, we responded by creating this website where we published our humble opinion. You ask for many informations that appear to be important to you, and I will start gathering them for you (sorry, I don’t have them at my fingertips). Also, please don’t send copies of your materials; we prefer to review materials from people who already bought and used them.

Best regards,
Ulrich Schacher

Also, Mr. Hanzl’s sites were previously members of the BBB, but when they found out he was “approving” his own sites they directly asked him to state his relationship with the “council” which he refused to do.

01/31/2008

COMPLAINT ACTIVITY REPORT Case # 46014192

Better Business Bureau Serving northern Colorado and Wyoming

Consumer Info: The 9000 Store

Business Info: QualityManualTemplates.com

I’m concerned with the integrity of businesses who display the BBB logo. This unethical behavior destroys the trust of consumers – the very thing the BBB tries to protect.
The fact remains that Quality Manual Templates refuses to answer a simple question: Are they related to isocouncil.org or not? Their continued sidestepping only supports their guilt. The BBB has now asked this question 4 times without response. Any upstanding business would be able to solve this quickly. I move to terminate.

02/20/2008 Final Notice to Quality Manual Templates- Certified Mail – Membership revoked

Trust and Integrity

BBB

Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a private, nonprofit organization that tracks consumer satisfaction with merchants. Read the BBB Code of Business Practices and find our A+ rating.

Some Quality websites were disqualified from the BBB – would you do business with them?

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