Seoagency.com / Bait and switch
A few weeks ago I called submitasite.com for search engine placement services after getting a recommendation. The receptionist forwarded me to a "specialist" at an answering machine and I left a message with someone named Jeff. The next day, I got a call from seoagency.com who said that they work with submitasite and my contact information was forwarded to them because they submitasite is owned by web.com and can only work with small websites. This is not what I understood originally. Apparently, my line of business, which prints business cards and makes basic customer websites, would not qualify for some sort of bulk price for several hundred individual local submission services, on top of the money I would pay for the search submit work on my own franchise site. (Hint: If you live in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, or Wisconsin, you've probably rented a mailbox from me or had me print your business cards. I also sell more ink cartridges than a major chain, if my HP rep is to be believed, and I've got a website for that too! Tim, the rep from seoagency then sent me a sales proposal which looked very reasonable until I got to the fine print. Despite my willingess to spend $75, 000 on search optimation services, there was a clause where I had to pay half up front with a cashier's check or wire transfer. Tim told me that part of it was to pay for the "work to be done" as well as the comission to Jeff, who apparently is some kind of bird dog. I don't know how much he gets, but all he did was write down a name and give it to someone else.
Part of the contract says I can't even do a dispute if something goes wrong, and the "services" to be rendered look pretty outdated, and for the price I could get most of the work done myself. Luckily, I decided to ask for references, which the seo agency said were"confidential" because "if everybody's competitors knew how they got great SOE, they would all copy it!" but when I dug deeper I found the [redacted]s and complaints. The way the contract is written, it turns out that I would really be getting an automated package that only costs $69 to implement, and some sort of auto-generated report once a month, and a link in Yahoo. For my 35K up front I would be getting less than $500 worth of work, with no way to complain about it. What a rip!