This company had initially claimed to be in the lead business for 9 years. I recently asked other long time vendors if they heard of Abacus Affiliates and they had no idea who that was.
Laura Belzer was the person of first contact. She claimed to be just starting up generating leads again, which she had done in the past. It was obvious that my company was the first to start ordering from Abacus Affiliates and Laura Belzer. They use a make shift system called CAKE managing their leads. I have used this system before with an older provider and it is miserable to work with.
So in order to start accepting leads, Laura Belzer requested payment upfront. So I agreed to a test of 100 leads that cost me $3,500. After the 100 leads had been completed Abacus Affiliates continued send leads to our system. I questioned why an additional 30 or so leads had been sent to our system when our order was only for an initial test of 100 leads. Laura Belzer claimed that we where the only buyer at the time and Abacus Affiliates had no where else to put the leads because all there leads came from Email Campaigns to consumers email addresses. I could have easily walked away at that time but being a nice guy I continued another order so that they where not stuck with the leads.
Our next order seemed better than the first as we closed an average number of deals compared to our other lead vendors. Just past mid way through the order I was informed they had another buyer of their leads and that I needed to place to them another wire of funds if I wanted to keep receiving leads form Abacus Affiliates. At that time I still had a balance of around 1,000 and at that point they had shut my campaign off. In my opinion it was to make sure their new buyer got enough leads.
After much debate back and fourth I then decided to send another wire of 3,000 in addition to the balance I still had from the last order before they turned my campaign off. After money was wired to the Abacus Enterprise a Coremirth, Inc. I was sent a test lead to our CRM. I questioned this test lead and if we would be receiving a new source. My main concern is that we would be getting the same source of leads that was originally sold to us. I was then sent an email by Laura Belzer not to worry that this company had been doing this for 9 years.
A few days later we started receiving a large quantity of leads and noticed that a very large portion of the leads were of very bad quality. (Bad Phone Numbers, Unqualified Consumers, Angry Consumer Hang Ups, Wrong Numbers, Consumers Claiming Not to have Filled Out Form). The leads were different from the leads of our pervious orders.
I then started to question Melanie Belzer about what was going on with our campaign. Later to finally find out from Melanie Belzer that one of the source of leads had been removed from our campaign that was on previous orders. I found that odd and after much questioning along with emails back and forth I was finally given a list with the source of all the leads we received. Strangely enough 70% of the deals we closed came from the source that was removed from this order of leads. In my opinion the source was given to the new company buying leads from Abacus Affiliates.
After going through about $2,800 without 1 single closed deal I questioned again. When a reasonable answer could not be given my assumptions started to seem more like reality. This is a prime example of a bait and switch from a lead generation company. They real you in with good leads and then when you think all is good they send you a bad batch that they paid very little themselves for. This is how to make a big profit on you.
This company requests all their fees upfront. After asking for my money back I was referred to their termination policy of the contract which basically gives them 72 hours to complete any outstanding order. To top it off, once they found out I was unhappy and requesting a refund they now are sending junk leads on top of junk leads just to fill out the order. Very Professional!!
In all reality this company should refund the complete amount after the switch of sources within the campaign. The amount that should be refunded would be around $3800.00. I was given notice that that wont be paid so here I am posting on this site to report what happened.
I have been buying leads since 2003 and gone through a number of scrupulous individuals. Yet again I have to mark this off as a lesson learned and move on. Be ware of this company if you decide to purchase from them because this COULD happen to you.
11365 San Pablo Avenue # 1873
El Cerrito, CA 94530-2134
1787 Tulare Avenue
Richmond, CA 94805