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Design Quote / Fraud and cheating

1 CO, United States Review updated:
Contact information:

DesignQuote.net, requires that the designers who are looking for work PAY for each lead they use. The leads are supposed to be created by actual companies looking for graphics designers, web designers, and programmers.

However I have noticed very, unusual activity since joining this service.

#1. New leads often get posted in groups of 5 or 10 and are all posted within one hour of each other. This is extremely suspicious seeing as all the companies signing up to find designers, should signup at completely different times randomly throughout the day, week, month. If they were real that is.

#2. They say that you should expect 1 out of 10 leads to work out in your favor. The case is more like 1 in 40 leads work in your favor. you actually spend about $1000.00 US to obtain a $2500 job.

#3. approximately 3/4's of the leads posted are suspicious, the lead when contacted never returns phone calls, never returns emails, and never purchases a service. However designquote keeps your money, saying that it was a good prospect and that it is the designers fault for not being able to close the deal.

I believe DesignQuote to be a bogus service, offering bogus leads to clients who pay for good quality design job leads.

Be
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Comments

  • Jo
      16th of Feb, 2009
    +1 Votes

    So I wasn't the only one. I was with DQ when then first started over a year ago and actually made some money(around 800-1300) but after a few months it was 'dead contact' after 'dead contact' and Design Quote stopped replying and just kept asking for my money. If they were ever legit, they certainly aren't anymore.

  • Bu
      8th of Jul, 2009
    +1 Votes

    I had the same experiences with you guys. I spent money for nothing, no response, I tracked the phone number location and the address was suspicious.

  • De
      8th of Aug, 2009
    -1 Votes

    This is not even a report of an issue, its just a suspicion? And yes we require designers to pay for each lead they use, we are a lead service, not a bidding site like elance and we dont take commissions - designers keep the clients for life. We have awarded several millions of dollars worth of jobs, and we have NEVER posted a fake lead, if we were posting fake leads we would have gone out of business a long time ago.

    We get 30-40 projects submitted a day, only about 15-20 of those pass our quality guidelines and get posted on the site.

    This is not even an inncident, its just someone who doesnt think the service works well. In any cased I will respond to the 3 points listed.

    1) New leads get posted in groups of 5 or more. - When our customer service reps come in every morning the first thing they do is get to work approving projects. Many projects have been verified by clients leaving messages on our voicemail and/or emailing us. So when our reps start up in the morning and check messages, there are usually several projects that can be approved right away. The rest trickle in through out the day as we contact clients, you can look at our twitter feed to see the times at http://twitter.com/designquote

    2) Many designers have a much better response than you do, it is probably due to the quality of your references and portfolio. You can see that we have hundreds of succesful designers closing a lot of projects, just look at our constantly updated winners board: http://www.designquote.net/html/recent_awarded_projects.cfm and top designers http://www.designquote.net/html/top_20_designers.cfm
    - also you first say that the leads are bogus, then you say you spent $1000 and earned $2500 - so you made money and your still claiming you got ripped off?

    3) You say 3/4s of the leads are sucpicious - however you also say you spent $1000 which would get you about 50 leads in the $1000 range. We post about 600 leads a month - your saying that you tried less than 10% of our monthly leads and you think you can make a claim about 75% of our inventory based on a 8% sample. This is just a silly claim, you can't say that 3/4 of our leads are sucpicious when by your own admission you have only 'supposedly' purchased $1000 of leads. - our average vendor earns $8 for every dollar spent.

    We have 2 full time customer service reps and all they do is call and email clients to verify projects. We do not post any project until we have received verification from the client that they have the funding and are ready to hire a designer. These are leads and not guarenteed jobs, its up to the designer to close sales, and many, many designers do very well with designquote.

    I am sorry that you did not do that well, you only earned $2500 after spending $1000 - but I do not think that just because you only earned $1500 that you should be saying we are a rip off and accusing us of posting fake leads.

    DesignQuote was started by my company and we have been doing web design since 1995 - we would never post fake leads and rip off our fellow designers. We do our very best to qualify our leads and we only approve about 50% of the projects that get submitted to us, many are rejected if the person does not respond or want to much work for too small a budget. We also refund credits if designers report a lead as bogus and we investigate and it is found to be bogus. All of our terms and conditions are clearly defined on the site. We would not have such a successful service that has been running since 2006 if we were ripping people off.

    As I stated above, our designers have contracted millions of dollars in projects over the past two years. We are a lead service, not a bidding site - not all leads end up making a sale, maybe after you spend a little more time doing business you will understand this, sales is a numbers game - ask any successful sales person. If you want to compete against 50 other designers and try to underbid them all then go use GAF or elance - but don't accuse me of ripping people off on some vague notion you have.

  • De
      28th of Aug, 2009
    +1 Votes

    Designquote is a complete joke. They say they are there for both the designer and client but that bogus. I actually once posted a job needing a programmer for a job. It was 1 week later and I hadnt yet picked a programmer and I didnt want to accept the programmers that offered me bids as I know they would get charged and it was a big job. I get a call from designquote from a girl asking me if I wanted her to click all the programmers who bid on my job. I was like no! basically, she would click them for me, they get paid, I dont use the ervice. NUFF SAID! I ended up going with someone local anyways.

    On the Design side. I got the $300 dollar package plan I think. The leads are bogue leads. 90% of the leads never respond. Phone calls, emails, nothing. The ones that do respond expect you to do their job for nothing and say they have other bidders who will do it for pennies to the dollar.

    The two worst complaints I have are 75% of the closing jobs post back "went with a designer outside of designquote" That basically means all 1000's of designwers werent good enough, a lot of these people just post to get ideas of what things will cost, Waste of time.

    Lastly, if you notice. I have my email setup to email me right away any new job that comes in. Within a second somtimes a 10k job pops up in my email. I click it right away and there are already 5 bids on it. How can that be, do these people not read before they bid?? am I missing something, it feels completelly faulty to me. I feel and the designquote guy can call it suspicion, that they are getting kickbacks from the winners board designers to get these leads before they are posted, or better yet. One of the designers on the winners board actually is running designquote. That would be something.

    I give 2 thumbs down, save your cash!

  • Be
      14th of Sep, 2009
    0 Votes

    I have just been scammed by this company as well - I lost a few hundred dollars and hours and hours of proposal time for NOTHING! they should be closed down! So glad I did a scam search when things began to look suss...###s!

  • De
      9th of Nov, 2009
    0 Votes

    Designers are notified in the order of the amount of credits they have in their account. And yes there are many designers who refresh the site continously and bid every single 10k plus job - its competative. There is no scam going on. We verify every single lead and if a lead gets bought and the phone or email is bad we refund it. We have tons of very successful designers using the site see http://www.designquote.net/html/recent_awarded_projects.cfm
    and http://www.designquote.net/html/top_20_designers.cfm - why dont you contact those designers and see what they think. Some designers do not have good luck with leads and closing sales, some do - there is no scam going on here - we receive our leads from popular web sites like http://www.webdesigners-directory.com/ http://www.freelancedesigners.com/ and many other partners. We go through every lead before its posted - we reject over 30% of all submitted leads before a designer even sees them - we have a full time staff that just verifies projects.

    And as far as Designer_Medias comment
    "It was 1 week later and I hadnt yet picked a programmer and I didnt want to accept the programmers that offered me bids as I know they would get charged and it was a big job. I get a call from designquote from a girl asking me if I wanted her to click all the programmers who bid on my job. I was like no! basically, she would click them for me, they get paid, I dont use the ervice. NUFF SAID! I ended up going with someone local anyways."

    - you say that you didnt want to accept the programmers that offered me bids - if you dont accept them they cant send you a bid! they never got your email address - so you decided you did'nt want to accept bids from them based on where they live which is all you can see before you accept them - you could have rejected them and got new bidders if you didn't want bids from those people - people ask for bids then they get 8 people wanting to bid but do not acknowledge them so they never get bids - whats the point of you positng a project if you don't want bids??? Perhaps you don't understand the process.

    We have not ever and do not ever scam anyone. We have several policies and practices in place to ensure that the leads we get are authentic and legit.

  • Al
      11th of Mar, 2010
    0 Votes

    I am in total agreement with these complaints. I feel its been a complete waste of my time going through the motion of bidding on jobs, blowing my credits and never getting any responses to my emails/bids. I asked DQ for a refund of my balance but they refused. On a Bernie Madoff scale, I suppose this is minor league ROB, and DQ will probably get away with this for years before the FBI/Secret Service shut 'em down, but in the meantime they're just merrily going along their way, SCAMMING us poor, starving artists!

  • De
      9th of Apr, 2010
    0 Votes

    Al and Designer_Media,

    we aren't scamming anyone and we do not get kickbacks from anyone either, nor do we bid on jobs or even offer design services. We are a marketing company and thats it - we generate sales leads for designers. We have full time in-house customer service people who review every job and get confirmation from the client before we post any leads - NO other lead service does that! And we follow up and close projects and refund people that are not acknowledged or if we find a project to be bogus - no other lead service does that either!

    Everything we do is totally transparent - it should be pretty obvious where our leads come from you can see our ads all over our partner sites like freelancedesigners.com and webdesigners-directory.com (if your not familiar with these sites just google "web design" they are both on the first page) - there are plenty of sites that show the amount of traffic these sites and DQ are getting - our ads have an average of something like 1 million impressions per month - this is easy to verify.

    So you really think with all this advertising and traffic that we are still somehow posting fake leads? The site is over 3 years old - you think we would still be in business if we were just scamming people?

    Look, I am very sorry that you had a bad experience, lead services do not work for everyone - different marketing works for different people. Do you think if you bought a banner on a website for $1000 and didn't get any sales from it that it was also a scam? Or if you ran a TV commercial and didn't get a good response that must be a scam too?

    I was in web design for over 10 years and I was a freelance graphic designer before that, there is no way in hell I would create a company that was fraudulent and I would certainly never try and scam anyone - especially not designers. Designers have it hard enough with the amount of problem clients that all designers get stuck with - I am certainly not going to add to their problems.

    Design Quote was built to help small designers compete, instead of trying to develop expensive marketing plans with banner ads and PPC, etc. etc. - we do all that work and spread the cost out over the leads - we let designers concentrate on designing and we do the marketing. And our customer service people go out of their way to assist any of our providers - our live chat and phone number is at the top of every page.

    PS - And Designer_Media - when there are 4 or 5 people that have purcahsed the lead and days go by and the client (you in this case) has not acknowledged or Rejected any of the designers we call and try to figure out why you have not acknowledged them - many times people just haven't gone back to the site or missed the emails - we offer to acknowledge the designers for them so they can start getting bids - I am not sure why you would tell her to accept them if you didn't want to use the service. If you didn't want to use the service then why did you post the project? If you didn't want to use any of the designers listed (based on their location which is all you know about them) then why didn't you reject them? You are either going to accept bids or you aren't - accept or reject - I am not sure how you can interpret this as some kind of rip-off. Perhaps we do not explain the process clearly enough on the website.

  • Fl
      17th of May, 2010
    -1 Votes

    CAN ANYONE MAKE SENSE OF THE LEGALISTIC NONSENSE ON THIS STUPID SITE???????

  • Xx
      25th of May, 2010
    -1 Votes

    I paid to bid, but the client went elsewhere - did not use any Design Quote folks.
    DQ did not refund my money. How are we protected from this?

  • Ar
      3rd of Aug, 2010
    -1 Votes

    I TOTALLY agree. I wish I would not have wasted my money. I actually called them because I had paid for several leads and never got the chance to bid on the projects but they were most happy to keep my money. The person who talked to me couldn't care less and pretty much brushed me aside and just kept repeating that they do not do refunds even if the client never responds and you never get the opportunity to bid on the project. It really seems like a scam to me. I strongly urge to designers to steer clear of this company.

  • To
      31st of Aug, 2010
    +1 Votes

    I completely disagree with the complaints.. They just give you the leads info and its upto you how you use them..Till now we have taken leads of value 3000usd and needless to say it gave us better returns in multiple folds.. If you make good communicaion with clients and give them a compatible quote they may definitely come to you..And once they are with you, they can give you projects whole life if you work properly...

  • Da
      14th of Sep, 2010
    -1 Votes

    I have also wasted money on credits in an effort to get jobs. How is it fair if the customer goes with someone outside of DQ and you don't get credits refunded? I have never one a single job from DQ, a total waste of time and a very good way of getting money out of hard up designers!

  • Aj
      30th of Nov, 2010
    -1 Votes

    i find all these posts interesting and not surprising-specifically the claim that design quote is bogus and keeps the clients who fall for th scam for them selves, even though they are inept and inexperienced.
    We live in a world of media driven & celebrity branded hysteria that has created a generation who thinks they are designers
    If you used a recruiter or an agency they would not be paid by the client until job was complete so most strive to make a good match, even if you are marked up. I am sure you would all rather actually be working than doing bids, presentations and waiting for answers never quite knowing if your work has been stolen. Not that I have not had problems with agencies but you really should never have to pay to get work. The internet has made it two easy to scam. I must have been asked 4 times last year to send t-shirt designs (in AI) for review by twits who think they will be the next ed hardy, my point is even beware of the clients. I have come across many phonies on other sites too like twitter, linkedin not to mention the craigs list poison, times are tough i know but you need to say no and step away sometimes, build your own network

  • Pl
      20th of May, 2011
    +1 Votes

    We have had pretty good success with DesignQuote. We've done about $15-20k in work from DesignQuote, I think. We get about 1 in 8 leads.
    It's all a matter of being quick to send a proposal, being professional, and thorough. Customers want to be sure you have their interests at heart. Nothing fishy going on there. Good old customer service, pre- and post-sale.

  • Pl
      20th of May, 2011
    0 Votes

    I *will* say that it is frustrating when other designers/developers just sit around and bid on every large job. It seems they have nothing better to do than bid on projects ... so the people who aren't working get rewarded ... the systems seems to reward the less talented in this way. Just today I got a lead at 2:26 pm, clicked the link, and at 2:29 it was already all sold out. That's kind of ridiculous. There should be some sort of time limit implemented to make it more equitable.

  • De
      7th of Sep, 2011
    +1 Votes

    DesignQuote seems fine to me. I think a lot of freelance designers underestimate the role they play in their own success and/or failure, and instead chalk up their results to some sort of "scam" outside of their control.

    The last 5 emails I got from DesignQuote listed several leads, and none of them were filled up when I went to check on them. They said they needed 8 bids and only had 2 or 3 so far. And this was like 25 minutes after receiving the emails.

    I did have a website job that I gave a quote of $3500 on, and the client ended up claiming that they only had a budget of $2500--AFTER I had completed the job. I don't blame DQ for that, however. I've learned to be smarter in my dealings with clients as a result.

  • De
      29th of Aug, 2014
    0 Votes

    This isn't even a specific complaint - it is just some vague theory with nothing to back it up.

  • Je
      16th of Jun, 2016
    0 Votes

    I have been the customer service rep for Designquote for the last 3 years. I am also co-owner.

    I would like to address a few comments here one by one.

    1. So I wasn't the only one. I was with DQ when then first started over a year ago and actually made some money(around 800-1300) but after a few months it was 'dead contact' after 'dead contact' and Design Quote stopped replying and just kept asking for my money. If they were ever legit, they certainly aren't anymore.

    A. A dead contact to one designer, probably means a different designer won that bid. It is very competitive. However, we limit the number of bids based on the client's ballpark budget. A $500 dollar project allows for approx 5 developers to bid, while a 10, 000 project allows for 8. Unless the client specifically asks for more or less.


    2. New leads often get posted in groups of 5 or 10 and are all posted within one hour of each other.

    A. We proof every lead that comes in before we post them. They do not just auto post to the board. We call and/or email each client to review their project with them. Once that is completed, we post all the jobs that are there at once.

    3. They say that you should expect 1 out of 10 leads to work out in your favor. The case is more like 1 in 40 leads work in your favor. you actually spend about $1000.00 US to obtain a $2500 job.

    A. It is important to note that once you attain a client through bidding, depending on how your work is, that is your client for life and will hopefully lead to years of work. My background is in graphic design and website development. I personally work with each client to ensure I am only posting the best projects and at a fair price.

    4. I believe DesignQuote to be a bogus service, offering bogus leads to clients who pay for good quality design job leads.

    A. I personally review and post each project. We are quality over quantity. If one slips by that is bogus, I personally investigate. If it is found to be bogus refund designers credits 100%. This is a mom and pop place, we come from backgrounds in design and programming and have a lot of respect for others in this industry.


    5. I had the same experiences with you guys. I spent money for nothing, no response.

    Landing the project is competitive. There are a lot of great designers out there. We try to help with offering suggestions on how to land the project. But when it comes down to it, the client is going to pick the designer that is right for them. It is truly a numbers game. The more you bid, the more chances you have to land the project.


    6. I tracked the phone number location and the address was suspicious.

    We did recently relocate to the San Francisco Bay Area . Our new number is 415.779.4931, however the best way to reach us is via email at gethelp@designquote.net We are also on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/DesignQuote.net/?fref=ts

    7. Actually once posted a job needing a programmer for a job. It was 1 week later and I hadn't yet picked a programmer and I didn't want to accept the programmers that offered me bids as I know they would get charged and it was a big job. I get a call from designquote from a girl asking me if I wanted her to click all the programmers who bid on my job.

    Heather was asking you if you would like her to accept your bids because some clients have trouble understanding that. And yes, Designers do pay for credits, as that is our service. Her accepting them simply would have emailed you their contact information, eliminating an extra step for you. She was just trying to make your life easier.

    8. The leads are bogus leads. 90% of the leads never respond.

    We personally review and respond to each client. If you did not get a response it is because the chose a different designer.

    9. 75% of the closing jobs post back "went with a designer outside of designquote" .

    This does happen occasionally, not $75% of the time. We can not stop clients from looking at designers outside of Designquote. It is a free world. Once the designer purchases the lead, it is the Designer’s job to sell them. All we are promising is that, the client is real and needs design services.

    10. Within a second sometimes a 10k job pops up in my email. I click it right away and there are already 5 bids on it. How can that be?

    Good jobs sell out quickly. I imagine some designers have methods that they have perfected over the years. We have been around for over 10 years. Being a designer myself, I know this is just how lead sites are, you have to act quickly and it is very competitive. However, you do not lose credits on jobs you can't bid on.

    11. I have just been scammed by this company as well - I lost a few hundred dollars and hours and hours of proposal time for NOTHING! they should be closed down! So glad I did a scam search when things began to look suss...###s!

    We can not force a client to pick one designer over another. Being a designer, I myself have spent hours writing proposals for projects I have never landed. That is the name of the game. However, the more you bid on projects the more chances you have to attain the leads. If that was not happening for you, there are several steps you can take to increase your chances of being picked. It is very competitive. However, once you land your first client, they are yours for life.

    12. I asked DQ for a refund of my balance but they refused. On a Bernie Madoff scale, I suppose this is minor league ROB, and DQ will probably get away with this for years before the FBI/Secret Service shut 'em down, but in the meantime they're just merrily going along their way, SCAMMING us poor, starving artists!

    We can not give refunds because you did not land the project. The credits are to put your design services in front of a client that needs help. I assure you, being artists ourselves, smamming poor, starving ones is low on our priority list.

    13. CAN ANYONE MAKE SENSE OF THE LEGALISTIC NONSENSE ON THIS STUPID SITE???????

    Can you be more specific and I will try to clarify.

    14. I paid to bid, but the client went elsewhere - did not use any Design Quote folks.
    DQ did not refund my money. How are we protected from this?

    Just like in real life, we can not force a client to choose you as their designer. We can confirm the client is in need of design services and that they are a real person. That is our service period. We are not forcing anyone to use it. And many that do use it, love it.

    15. The person who talked to me couldn't care less and pretty much brushed me aside and just kept repeating that they do not do refunds even if the client never responds and you never get the opportunity to bid on the project.

    Just like in real life, we can not force a client to choose you as their designer. We can confirm the client is in need of design services and that they are a real person. That is our service period. We are not forcing anyone to use it. And many that do use it, love it.

    16. How is it fair if the customer goes with someone outside of DQ and you don't get credits refunded?

    Just like in real life, we can not force a client to a Designquote designer. Even ty found you on google, that does not mean that they are indebted to google. They can go search on Yahoo too. The service we offer is that it is a legitimate client that needs design services.

    We are a mom and pop shop. We don’t have Twitter's investors or Facebook's staff. However, our background is in design and programming and was our bread and butter for a long time. Now we do our best to match up designers and clients. When a project gets reported as bogus we investigate it and refund credits when they are due.

    We’ve been around now for over 10 years. We want Designquote to be successful, not just in revenue, but in providing a good service to both the client and designer.

    Co-Owner
    Artist
    Designer
    Customer Service

  • St
      17th of Jun, 2016
    0 Votes

    I have recently stumbled on Design Quote and on a personal level I have found this site and its staff to provide an exceptional level of customer support. This site and its staff have provided me with a doorway to archive a personal project I have wanted to try to a good few months. The staff have been helpful and responded to emails swiftly with a standard way above and beyond what you would normally find on any other Web site. I would fully recommended Design Quote to anyone who was looking for the service they offer.

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