eSparrow Solutions Email Contact Lists / Bad customer review of email contact list
Do Not Buy Email Contact Lists from eSparrow Solutions and Rotation Network Inc
It was November, 2014. We were a startup with two new unique products ready to take the world by storm.
We wanted to create awareness in the market for new products. We knew what we wanted to say. We knew who we wanted to say it to. We wanted to directly contact owners and decision-makers in target customer businesses.
We decided to start our new product launch with by purchasing an email contact list. We hadn’t purchased an email contact list before, but Andy Morgan (firstname.lastname@example.org) at eSparrow Solutions answered our inquiries with the promise of tens of thousands of personal email contacts in our target market.
We were excited! We would be delivering a relevant message directly to the inboxes of prospective clients at a fraction of the cost that print or search engine advertising would have cost.
Andy from eSparrow Solutions described their data guarantee:
“95-98% on all information about contact name, job title, company/business name, complete mailing address, telephone number, fax number and web URL.
80-85% on business emails (above industry standards).
Our lists have 95% inbox hit rates.
We have 1 to 1 replacement policy for bad contacts within the guaranteed numbers.
Replacements if any will be done within 3-4 business days.
We purely provide business emails and NO generic IDs like info@ OR sales@ etc.
If any additional information is found incorrect, we would replace the lead with new one.
We don't accept credit cards. We accept only Check/Wire/ACH transfers.”
The wording of this guarantee should have been our first clue that purchasing an email contact list from eSparrow Solutions might not be the best experience for us. What is a “bad contact”? Why would it need to be replaced? Why don’t they accept credit cards?
Still blinded by optimism, we proceeded to purchase contact lists for several NAICS category codes. Payment was issued with a wire transfer to eSparrow Solutions’ parent company “Rotation Network Inc” in Frisco, Texas.
At this point, our optimism begins to turn sour. We approved and sent our wire transfer payment on January 16. The following Monday, Andy sends me the first data files and I import them into our email campaign software. The campaign software reports 6, 104 duplicate contacts!
I complain about the duplicate contacts and Andy responds with 6, 000 new contacts for me. But… if these new contacts are inside the contact categories we ordered, why weren’t they included in the original data files? I am beginning to see that the world of “purchased email lists” is not the haven of efficient sales leads I believed it would be.
We send our first campaign – with a 45% bounce rate (7, 478 emails bounce as undeliverable). My email campaign service puts freezes our account until we can verify that our contact/subscribers are verified.
With no response from Andy or anyone at eSparrow Solutions or Rotation Network Inc., we decide to pay for a third-party email verification service so we can try and salvage some benefit from our maligned contact list. I also I found several categories of contacts inside the list that don't actually belong in this category. I made a list of 75 words and used it to search and remove these contacts.
The results were alarming.
Total Email in List: 77743
Verified or Sent Valid: 26883
Manually Eliminated: 1405
Invalid or Undeliverable: 52265
A full 67% of the contacts eSparrow Solutions and Rotation Network Inc. sold to us were invalid!
We decided to ask eSparrow Solutions for a refund. We calculated the cost of the 3rd-party verification service plus the cost of the invalid contact records and sent an email to Andy on Feb 6.
Refund for Contacts: $2613.25 USD
Refund for 3rd Party Verification: $525.88 USD
Total Refund Amount: $3139.13 USD
The following Monday, Andy replies to our email to thank us for the details and to tell us “I will ask my account department to cut the check.”
Four months later in June: no refund check from eSparrow Solutions and Rotation Network Inc. We decide to follow up with Andy and pursue our refund.
Hi Andy, This is the “promise” from your company’s web site! “Professional Works, Excellent Result, Competitive Price, Accurate Database.”
If potential customers were to see the email string below, how would it align with the eSparrow promise? What impact would it have on their decision to purchase from eSparrow?
I trust this is a massive oversight by your firm and we will receive a wire transfer for the money owed to us on Monday.
Sorry. As per our accounting team we can send only the check. Please let me know to where and whom should I send the check? Regards, Andy
Hello Andy, Thank you for your message today. Please make the $3139.13 USD refund check payable to [Our Company Name and Mailing Address]. Many thanks.
June 26: (first request to eSparrow Solutions for the details about our refund check)
Hello again Andy, please provide payment details and when the check was mailed out.
July 7: (subsequent inquiry to Andy at eSparrow Solutions)
Hi Andy, I am still waiting for your response on this check that should have been mailed out 5 months ago. Please provide a response ASAP with check detail and when it will be sent out.
July 7: (internal email with CC to Andy)
Please prepare to share our story and this email string on all available blog and customer review sites at the end of this week in the event Stephanie does not receive the funds owed to us. Thanks.
July 8: (reply from Andy at eSparrow Solutions)
Hi all, the funds have already sent you. Could you please check and let us know the status. Regards, Andy
July 8: (our account receivables person sends a third request for details)
Andy: when was it sent out? Please provide check number.
July 8: (Andy replies with a check number and date)
The check number is 1001 and was sent on 6/28/15.
July 8: (our director of sales is suspicious)
Andy, is it normal for checks to be sent on Sunday? June 28 is a Sunday! Please send a certified check or bank draft via overnight courier.
After another 7 days with no check and no further communication from Andy, we decide to publish this story as a cautionary tale for marketing and sales companies looking for email contact lists from eSparrow Solutions and Rotation Network Inc.
If you’re reading this, you were probably searching for a customer review of eSparrow Solutions or information about buying email contact lists. For your next reading, I suggest this highly relevant blog from Hubspot entitled “Why Buying Email Lists Is Always a Bad Idea (And How to Build Yours for Free)".