• Report: #843704

Complaint Review: 411 Locals

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  • Submitted: Thu, February 23, 2012
  • Updated: Fri, February 24, 2012

  • Reported By: Another Dissatisfied Former Victim — Olympia Washington United States of America
411 Locals
411Locals.com Las Vegas, Nevada United States of America

411 Locals call themselves Google Frontpage This Company Uses Foul Blackmail Tactics To Try And Stop You From Canceling Las Vegas, Nevada

*UPDATE Employee ..inside information: Dear “Another Dissatisfied Former Victim”

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We signed up with this company, who represent themselves as if they were a part of Google. They were fine as long as they were able to charge monthly service fees to our company credit card. When I realized we were getting absolutely no return for our money and called to cancel, this is when the problem started. The staff there basically blackmail you and lead you to believe that they will completely wipe your company off the internet and Google if you do not continue their services. I even got two recent voice mails from someone there calling herself Jenny, who made the same threats that were made when I spoke to the first employee there weeks ago and told them we wanted to discontinue service. Jenny is at (866)391-0622 ext 3002, by the way. In her messages she too tried to lead me to believe that 411 Locals was prepared to completely delete our company from Google and the internet. I called their bluff. As of today, we still come up number one when I type our name into a Google search. However, even if what they said was true, I will not pay once cent to, or do any business whatsoever with, a company that is so unethical and unprofessional that it resorts to these kinds of slimy tactics to try and keep customers. Do not use this company! It will be a waste of your money and time.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/23/2012 05:46 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/411-Locals/Las-Vegas-Nevada-89119-0803/411-Locals-call-themselves-Google-Frontpage-This-Company-Uses-Foul-Blackmail-Tactics-To-T-843704. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee ..inside information

Dear “Another Dissatisfied Former Victim”

AUTHOR: David H - ()

I’m sorry you feel you had a bad experience. The individual you are speaking of is no longer employed here but to make it clear let me show you an example of what we call a “Win Back” script, there are a couple but they are pretty much the same thing:

Hello, may I speak with __________

We are 411 Locals, your optimization partner for your local area. Do you have a moment?

Thank you,

We see that you have canceled our service, is that correct?

I understand.

Do you mind if we quickly show you some of what we’ve been able to do for you? We think you might see a drop in customers if you stop optimization at this point….

(Now at this point they have a screen up which shows that customer’s analytics before and after based on keywords and key phrases)

So when you started with us for the key phrases ____ your company was located ____ (or not listed).

Since we’ve created a new optimized website for your business your company has been on_____ (view site placement in area).

From there they go into the value of that and whether it makes sense, whether you’ve seen an increase in customers and they now also describe how placement online is only part of it, businesses are still responsible for getting those new customers to buy, though our marketing team does create a persuasive site, video and other marketing material.

- - - We do give our sales people freedom as long as they stick to the basic idea. We assume professional sales people are better at selling, and 9/10 that assumption is correct.

Anyway, not to go too far off on a tangent, your complaint has a couple of glaring misconceptions about SEO which our sales person should have explained to you instead of making you feel threatened.

It’s really one of the biggest obstacles in SEO so let me show you what we’re talking about and maybe it will make a bit more sense:

The staff there basically blackmail you and lead you to believe that they will completely wipe your company off the internet and Google if you do not continue their services.

This of course is impossible and we would never even think to suggest it, I personally and we as a company apologize if you were lead to believe this. Any site you own we do not and in fact cannot touch at all. There is nothing we can do to a site you own. What they may have referred to is the site we created for you, which of course would make sense. The website we create (websites actually) are the main sort of “engine” driving your optimization. We create a website for all customers from the ground up so we can optimize it for your exact keywords from the start. While a designer will charge sometimes thousands for a website, we give it to you for the price of optimization. But if we no longer are optimizing that site, we may hide it so that you are not receiving the continued benefit of our efforts for free.

Optimization is an ongoing process. Allowing you to keep the site would be akin to you buying steak at a restaurant once and expecting them to give you another steak for free every time you walk in the door because, “hey, I paid for steak!” The chef still needs to cook the steak, a farmer is still providing the cow. We are the chefs and the farmers in this case.

Now I and anyone would understand your desire to continue to receive that benefit for free, unfortunately as much as we are willing to give our customers, we simply would not be able to run our business if we did this for you.

Still, that does not justify a sales person giving you the impression they were threatening you, but it does need to be cleared up.

Here is another misconception:

As of today, we still come up number one when I type our name into a Google search.

Of course your business comes back number one when you type in the name of your business. And if I type my personal name I would come up number 1. When I type in the name of a pet at the very least that name would come back number 1 even if it is not talking about that pet specifically.

We do not optimize the name of your business though.

That would be completely worthless.

When a customer is looking for a plumber for example, they do not type in:

“AAA Plumbing Services Las Vegas”

They type in:

“Plumber” Or “My drain is clogged” Or “Pipes are leaking, what do I do?”

We figure out which keywords or phrases lead to sales for a business (because that is often a different list of words and phrases than what would lead to more visits). Then we optimize for those keywords and phrases.

I hope that makes a bit more sense.

There is another misconception in that short sentence.

“As of now…” if it was within about three months this makes sense. Optimization is a slow process in general. It takes time for sites to drop or rise in ranking and this has to do with something called “crawlers” which are basically extremely advanced algorithms which “crawl” from link to link all across the internet, sort of observing a slew of factors (60 factors or more) of each page and arranging each page’s ranking according to a combination of all of these factors.

There are about 644 million websites, and so even as advanced as these crawlers are, rearranging when there are changes takes time.

In fact you might find you can literally delete all content on a website, all links, everything, and for a time that site will stay in position. But eventually once those crawlers get there it will be placed hundreds of pages back in a search or it will not show up at all.

I hope that explanation makes a little more sense.

Again, I apologize if you had a negative experience with that sales associate, I can assure you that nothing in our scripts or training asks or encourages this sort of behavior. And while it is certainly not beyond the realm of possibility that a sales person became overly enthusiastic about keeping a customer, I think that perhaps much of your view of the exchange had more to do with your misunderstanding (as highlighted above) of the most basic and general concepts of optimization.

Even that would have been our fault however. We really should have explained it better, so we apologize.

Real quick I want to mention because you signed off as “Another Dissatisfied Customer” and I do not want anyone thinking that dissatisfied customers are the norm here.

We have served over 23,000 small to medium-sized businesses now.

SEO is one of the most mistrusted and misunderstood business in the world.

Yet of all of these customers over 7 years we’ve managed:

Around 90% retention, which is unheard of in this industry

A-Rating from the BBB, the highest of any online Ad firm

And we’ve done it while qualifying as a Certified Google Partner, which basically just means we use Best Practices in optimization.

We really are one of the good guys when it comes to optimization, and we apologize if we did not come off that way to you.

Thank you for your comment and I understand perfectly that you feel you had a bad experience, I just hope we were able to clear some things up with this post.

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