Complaint Review: Hibu - Cedar Rapids, IA IA
Hibu, Inc. Internet Social Media Company Made False Claims of Expertise, Delivered Dismal Results, Threatened Retaliation & Invented a Contract that Did Not Exist Cedar Rapids, IA IA
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I made a terrible mistake in hiring a company called Hibu to create a social media campaign for my company. They misrepresented their expertise and expected results in order to induce me to sign on for a six-month contract costing thousands of dollars, which I did. Contrary to their representations, however, they apparently did not have the expertise they claimed and produced negligible results compared to what they had promised.
I have a small company in the franchising industry that depends on obtaining leads of individuals who may be interested in purchasing franchises. I contacted HIBU because it claimed to have extensive expertise in creating effective social media campaigns (i.e., Facebook, Google, etc.), including for my type of company. During the sales process, I provided extensive information about my industry, procedures and objectives, as well as specific information about the types of companies from which I purchase leads, how much those leads cost, and the quality of those leads. The Hibu representative assured me that if I retained their company, I would receive a larger number of higher quality leads than I was currently receiving, and at a cost of less than I was paying, which was approximately $25/lead.
After I retained the company, I received a curious request from a Hibu representative. He asked me to provide Google “keywords” so that they could design an effective social media campaign. I found this request to be concerning because I have no social media experience, including how keywords are used and created. Instead, I had retained Hibu precisely due to its claimed expertise in this area. Now they were asking for me to come up with what appeared to be one of most fundamental elements of such a campaign.
Nonetheless, and without experience or knowledge in this area, I did my best to provide keywords to Hibu. In retrospect, I am now aware that a complete understanding of the best keywords to use is one of the minimal requirements of a competent social media company. At the time, however, I was hoping for the best. I was in for a bitter disappointment. Over a 6-month period, Hibu’s efforts generated a multitude of hang-ups, robocalls and marketing calls, each of which they would claim to be a “lead.” Only three arguably legitimate leads came through during that period – at a cost between $3000 and $4000 per lead. That’s a huge difference from the $25 (or less) per quality lead that Hibu promised.
Needless to say, as Hibu’s lack of expertise and results became more apparent, and then alarming, I demanded that they stop all “work” on my company’s behalf and provide a refund for all sums paid. Hibu did not cease its activities as requested or provide the requested refund. To the contrary, they apparently continued whatever media “campaign” they had put into effect, and insisted that my company would be on the hook for the entire 6 months of the contract.
One would think the above circumstances – false claims of expertise followed by dismal results – would be bad enough. Not only did Hibu not respond reasonably or responsibly to legitimate concerns expressed by a customer, however, it now embarked upon a course of retaliatory conduct. An additional but comparatively tiny portion of the services purchased from Hibu was the design and hosting of a website for my company. These services, in contract to Hibu’s other obligations, were at least competent, resulting in my continuing to pay separately for the website even after the dispute over their social media work had arisen.
As the dispute over Hibu’s poor social media performance and refusal to provide a refund continued, however, Hibu seized on the website’s existence to extract an unfair advantage. They threatened to take my company’s website, for which they were now being paid separately on a monthly basis, off-line. Hibu clearly knew such an act would cripple, and likely decimate, my business. They had no hesitation in making this threat, however, to obtain undeserved leverage.
Hibu’s threat to take my website off-line, not surprisingly, forced me to expend precious company marketing dollars to retain a new, independent web developer and hosting company so that I would no longer be at Hibu’s mercy. When, after the new website went online and I informed Hibu that its services would no longer be needed in that regard, they raised the stakes further. They now claimed to have bound me to a completely separate, wholly invented 12-month paid contract to maintain the now defunct Hibu-designed website – a contract which they had not previously bothered to disclose, share or negotiate.
Taking the time to relate the above events has been neither a pleasant nor profitable use of my time. As a longstanding and responsible member of the business marketplace, however, I believe strongly in creating a fair and level playing field. Such a responsibility requires shining a light on unscrupulous players. I’m accordingly hoping that this review will help other, similarly-situated consumers from making the mistake of working with this incompetent and unethical company.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/18/2021 03:25 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/report/hibu/cedar-rapids-ia-internet-made-1512919. 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content
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