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EMSI / Scam

1 United States Review updated:

These guys are scam artists and LIARS!!

On or about July 5th, 2010 I received an advertisement in the mail from EMSI that says; "Is the media talking about your company and products?", so I sent them an e-mail asking for more info. About 2 days later I get a call from Steve Friedman, the president of the company. He told me all about the company, what they do, how they do it, etc. and then we talked about the products and business I wanted to do the PR campaign for. He said what I had (my products and business) is perfect for this campaign, so he sent me a questionnaire to fill out. I did, and I listed EVERYTHING about my products and business that I wanted to do the PR on, and I made it VERY clear that this PR campaign was about (and ONLY about) my products and business. Well... after he schmoozed me and lied to me and got me to sign the agreement and send him the $7, 445.00, he arranged a conference call about a week later with the EMSI staff. We did the conference call and during that call I was told that the campaign will NOT be about my products or business, but rather about "me" and my expertise in my field and that MAYBE I could get my products and busines "mentioned" during the interviews and ad campaigns, but there would be no guarantees. This is NOT what their ad says, it is NOT what I was EVER told before signing the agreement, it says NOWHERE in the agreement nor ANYWHERE that directions can (and will) change, and now they say since I signed the contract (that says "no refunds"), I am stuck having to pay the $7, 445.00 for something I do NOT want!! Had I have been told BEFORE being lied to and coaxed into signing and paying, I would have NEVER signed up for such a rediculous campaign. "I" don't need, nor want, any PR... my products and business need the PR!! They say they promote your PRODUCTS abd BUSINESS in their ads, in conversations on the phone, in e-mails, and so on, and then they change directions once they get your $ and have your signature on the agreement, and they won't refund a dime of it. This is fraud, false advertising, misleading customers and is an absolute scam and a crime!! I have ALL of the e-mail correspondances as well as the original questionnaire they had me fill out and fax to them that CLEARLY says this campaign is about my PRODUCTS and my BUSINESS, not about "me", nor that I "may" get them mentioned in the campaign. Who in their right mind would pay for something they MAY get? I mean, COME_ON!! These guys are RIP-OFFS and CROOKS!

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  • Ma
      2nd of Aug, 2011
    0 Votes

    Following are:

    1. An email in which Mr. Johnson says he is sorry and would take down any complaint filed online,

    2. Facts related to this complaint not included by Mr. Johnson.

    From: "Arron Johnson"
    Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2010 15:59:44
    To: 'Steve Friedman'
    Subject: RE: Your Refund

    I was advised by my lawyer to not communicate with anyone for any reason. Maybe not the best advice I've ever gotten. I am sorry things didn't work out well. I WILL remove the complaints on-line. The one's I am not able to remove, I will post a comment that the problem was resolved and a full refund was issued. Please know that I DO thank you for the refund.


    From: Steve Friedman
    Sent: Friday, September 10, 2010 3:42 PM
    Subject: Your Refund

    Aaron: First let me tell you that your credit card charge has been reversed and below you will find the receipt as documentation for your records. But, I have to tell you how surprised I was to learn of your online complaints about our company. After receiving your email about a refund I sent you 2 emails and left 3 phone messages trying to reach you about your request. I made it very clear in my phone message that a refund was not a problem and I just wanted the chance to talk to you to clear up any misunderstanding. On my third voice mail message I even expressed concern that I hoped you were okay as I hadn't heard back from you despite my emails and voice mails. It's unfortunate we didn't have a chance to talk.


    This complaint from Mr. Johnson came as a complete surprise, especially since EMSI partner Steve Friedman, immediately upon learning of Mr. Johnson’s concern about the contracted publicity campaign, attempted to reach Mr. Johnson.

    The following information should fill in important data that Mr. Johnson did not supply in his complaint.

    Steve Friedman sent 2 emails and left 3 phone messages trying to reach Mr. Johnson. In the phone messages he assured Mr. Johnson that there was no question that we were prepared to give a refund. However, Steve received no response from Mr. Johnson to either the emails or phone messages.

    EMSI offered to give Mr. Johnson a refund even though there was no contractual obligation to do so per this excerpt from the agreement that Mr. Johnson signed: “If Client cancels campaign, EMSI will book media equal to the amount of money remaining on account. If client prefers to not do any further media upon canceling the campaign, any funds on account will be deemed non-refundable.”

    The service Mr. Johnson contracted EMSI to deliver was to arrange interviews on talk radio and online and offline print coverage through which he, as spokesperson and an expert, would be able to give his message that would tie into his products and how they would be of benefit to listeners/readers. The number of radio interviews and print impressions/viewers per month is guaranteed and EMSI has been doing so with clients for more than 20 years.

    It is false for Mr. Johnson to say he filled out a questionnaire in advance of signing his contract stating he wanted to only promote his products. No such questionnaire is ever used as part of the sales process. It is only given to someone when they sign a contract, pay for our service, and officially become a client. Mr. Johnson’s agreement was signed July 15th and his questionnaire was received in our office on July 23rd.

    As publicity experts for over 2 decades, EMSI includes as part of our standard marketing and sales the education of prospects that publicity is not the same as a paid infomercial or advertising and there is no guarantee of what the media will air or publish and no guarantee of resultant sales from publicity.

    Steve provided Mr. Johnson with this information prior to signing the contract, both in phone conversations and also in a document describing our company and services, emailed to Mr. Johnson in May. In addition, Mr. Johnson has been getting our email advices on publicity for years, about what publicity is and how it differs from advertising.

    So it is disingenuous for Mr. Johnson to say he wasn’t provided with information about what his publicity campaign would entail.

    It’s unfortunate that Mr. Johnson didn’t respond to our attempts to reach him, so this matter could have been amicably resolved and clarification could occur. We value our clients and our mantra is to service them and foster great relationships with both current and former clients, as evidenced by our longevity in the business and testimonials we have garnered. When our clients win, we win.

    As Mr. Friedman stated in his voicemails to Mr. Johnson, we intended to give him a refund and have done so.

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