After getting spammed dozens of times from my Craigslist ad, I finally clicked onto TheBartertown.net site which promised FREE placement of my ad into the major search engines.
Naturally after writing the ad, I had to by-pass the section-after-section of paid services promising quicker insertion into the search engines. Naturally, there were warnings and large banners reminding me of what I would not be getting if I didn't sign up with a paid service. After scrolling all the way down, I finally found the "Free" button and submitted my ad.
Within minutes, I recieved a call from a pleasant sounding representative (from the mid-east, of course) who verified my info. Naturally she started on the spiel of the services I could receive for $5 per month. This included a quicker insertion into the search engines and pay-per-click ad. [continued below]....
..... I patiently listened to the whole thing before I explained I wanted to see how their site operated with just the free ad, and would consider a program with them later.
As the conversation progressed, she turned from being pleasant to hostile. I never lost my temper with her, nor did I get defensive. At one point I said "I appreciate you calling and providing the information but....". She stopped me here and actually said. "No, I don't think you appreciate it! Why don't you just give me a credit card number so I can get this ad inserted." I replied to her that at this point "I just don't feel comfortable providing credit card information with a company I'm not totally familiar with."
Now she was really steamed! She told me that without paying, she wouldn't place my ad (which of course was supposed to be free). So I just told her "Fine, don't run it then." But again, she continued with her close, trying to continually get a credit card number, and again I refused.
Finally, in a hostile tone, she just told me that I couldn't run the ad without paying, and she was going to delete it. Not really caring at this point, I told her to go ahead. She slapped the phone down, and that ended the conversation.
Okay, I never provided any financial or personal information with this company, so I can't claim I got ripped off. What I didn't like was the strong-arm sales pitch and telling me I had to pay for something was supposed to be free.
What's ironic here is that despite the fact my ad will never make it into the search engines, this post eventually will. Maybe not today or not tomorrow. But in a few months anybody who Googles The Barter Town will see this in the rankings. A little poetic justice!