Well, I have to admit, sometimes I make mistakes. While I don’t believe in “silver bullets”, I am always willing to listen to a plan that will expand my internet presence. Note to telemarketers, don’t call me. I am not seeking a torrent of SEO improvement offers nor do I wish to pay to “guarantee” I will be on page one of Google. I expressed all this when I spoke with Paul Rogers about realestateagent.com . He was calling to offer me a deal. I could have my name on their site for 90 days for both buyers and sellers for the one time only low price of $70. I listened. Paul broke it down, five cities for 90 days.
I asked the trick question used by agents in this market, “Is Washington, DC considered just one area by your company?” Paul responded absolutely! He instructed me to sign into the site and take a look. While he was on the phone, I did just that. Now, $70 seemed like a small amount to pay to see if the company had any traction. I gave him the go ahead. At the time, I only had a debit card handy that is funded by SSI. I told him that and he said “No problem, if you wish to continue after 90 days, just let me know and I will get the other credit card information.
RESULTS !!!! Well, nothing happened. Month one went by and month two went by and the experiment became a distant memory. Minimal ventured and the only thing gained was the affirmation that if something sounds to good to be true, it is just that….too good to be true.
You can not imagine my surprise when I discovered that they firm via the shell corporation of Business Locate Inc dba realestateagent.com billed my debit card $175.oo at the end of November. I went through the emails that had been shared and there was nothing in them about an automatic re-billing. I checked my notes and it seemed pretty clear to me that when I first struck the deal, it was for 90 days.
I dug deeper and the true picture of this firm began to come to light. Lest any of you have an aha moment right now, you are correct….I should have checked them out more thoroughly in the beginning. My bad. My first stop was to google the address. Not a good sign, their business address, 2700 North State Road 7, Hollywood, fl 33021, is listed as Hollywood Self Storage. I figured I would google their phone number (800) 274-1299, and that search provided this information :
- There have been at least 3 complaints to the FTC. Seems that the folks running the company have no regard for the “Do Not Call registry”
- The next site listed complaints from real estate agents about mis-leading messages (i.e. “are you accepting new clients?”)
- Next was the rip-off report, which shared that the company just keeps on extracting money after the initial payment has run it’s course.
- Oh goodness, the BBB has them listed as well
Better Business Bureau Rating F (not sure, but maybe the F stands for “Fool if you do business with them”) and then there is the pop-up window which includes the following admonition.
Our files contain a pattern of complaints from consumers who allege unauthorized payments are automatically debited after consumers sign up for a 90 day trial offer. Other consumers state that Business Locate, Inc. continues to debit their accounts months after cancellation is requested. These debits range from $150 – $175.
Business Locate, Inc. responds with their terms and conditions and stating that written notice of cancellation must be delivered via mail, fax, or courier service.
On October 31, 2012 BBB sent certified correspondence to Business Locate, Inc. requesting their voluntary cooperation in resolving complaints on file with BBB and providing steps it will implement to eliminate the pattern of customer complaints; however, as of today BBB has not received a response from the company.
At this point, I am wondering what the hell have I done? I dug through the internet and pulled up the site and checked Washington, DC. Some of the neighborhoods listed are :
Please select a District Of Columbia County city below to find your District Of Columbia real estate agents.
- Adm Office Us Court
- Adv Comm Inter Govt Relation
- Amer Assc Retired Persons
- ANACOSTIA ANX
- Armed Forces Inaugural Com
- Armed Forces Inst Pathology
- Arms Control And Disarm Agy
- Army Criminal Invest
- Bank Of America
- Blue Cross Group Hosp
These are neighborhoods? This is the cracker jack search engine? This is not worth $70. It is a public embarrassment to share that I paid them for 90 days of crap. Yep, I wasted $70 in a voluntary fashion. They took $175.00 from my account because they could.
Warning, this is a sort of slick looking scam. I have bought the worst and bought the best. This is Madoff Like. It is nothing more than a scam to bilk agents. I would guess they figure who is going to really go after them for such a small amount.
Realestateagent.com/business locate inc… meet JMac………….I am coming for you. To your door if necessary. For now, this post is just a shot across your bow. It may behoove your ownership to crawl out from under the rock and wash off and become fitting members of society. Do what you wish, I am coming.