Couple of months ago I was trying to find a way to get help with SEo for my site. Having been let down quite a few times already and having wasted a lot of money I decided that I would go with a company with what I thought good reputation, i.e. BT. I thought I would be safe. I was sold a package which involved a 6 months contract at £108 a month for an hours consultation with " seo expert". I was very reticent at first and asked the sales person if it was definite that my rankings would improve after spending this amount of time and money. He assured me, verbally, that embarking on this Seo package could do nothing but improve my rankings. I note that on the contract that it says that there is no guarantee. But why would anybody go for this scenario knowing that it was not going to improve their site, what would be the point?
After my first hour of SEO consultation, I was not happy and contacted the person who sold me this package at BT. I informed him that their so-called "expert "knew even less than I did about SEO. He did not even know how to answer some of my questions i.e. what is the Permalink? and showed me for an hour how to look for keywords which we did together and which I knew how to do months ago.
I did not receive a reply from the sales person but got quite a long email from the consultant who had done the first lesson with me. He persuaded me to carry on and assured me that we were on the right track.
I stuck with it for two more lessons that now after being exasperated and having learned nothing and seeing that my rankings were falling, I decided to write to them and say I wanted to cancel the contract.
Of course they are saying that they cannot cancel the contract, just because my site is not ranking well. As far as I'm concerned ,if I had thought for one minute that embarking on something, which is costing me over £700 would lead to my rankings remaining the same or dropping ,I obviously would not have gone for this.
Why would anybody embark on this sort of project knowing that it is only a gamble that it may work. I certainly am not in a position to pay out that kind of money and not get anything positive back.
I would like to know if anybody has been in a similar position and what they have been able to do about it. I know I am up against a big company such as BT but I am adamant that they are not getting another penny out of me.
I would also like to know if they will be able to damage my website in any way as they have my passwords. Any advice will be much appreciated
I understand your pain and I think that you have the right to ask what's your money is worth.
The first problem is that there's lots of crap info about SEO and, although SEO does help with your rankings, nowadays there are even more variables into the mix that do not involve SEO (such as social media and the creation of good content which is SEO related but not necessarily and of course, pay-per-clic and banners, which is online marketing but not really SEO)
The second problems is you. The thing is that you don't trust this company. And without trust, there's no way that this relationship is going to work. Not even if he's a true expert.
It is also true that you have had bad experiences in the past and that you are a bit (maybe not a bit) suspicious about the whole thing. And this guy is not going fast enough for you, showing you what you already know.
So there's a possible third problem: that this company is not as good as they should.
In my opinion, no matter if they're truly professionals or not, you should step back and get your money back simply because you don't feel like you can trust them.
I understand that this company will want you to stay. After all they're a business and a business is about getting cash from the customers. But if they're a bit smart, they will let you "go". With this, I mean that they will ask you to stay, you will say no, and then they will refund the rest of the money.
After that, they should send you informative e-mails with some tips that may help your site or with their stories of successes so you can be sure that they know what they're doing and that they do not fool around.
That's, at least, what I would do.
I can understand why you feel frustrated, but I'm not sure you have much of a case against BT. There are no guarantees in SEO, and they have stated that in their contract. On the other hand, I've looked at their site and they do state:
Fully bespoke service
Website Manager isn't like other training and support packages because we cover topics YOU want to learn. We don't decide what to teach you. You do. We'll work with you and develop an effective SEO strategy covering the areas where you need the most help each month. You simply choose from a list of topics and we'll do the rest. If social media isn't your thing and you want to concentrate more on media marketing, no problem. With BT Website Manager, it's your choice..
From your post, I have the impression that you didn't feel this to be the case. Perhaps there has simply been a failure in communication somewhere along the line, but if you are clear that they have not fulfilled the agreement, you may have some recourse for breach of contract - if you are able to prove it. Your local CAB should be able to advise you on this.
To answer your question about them damaging your site. I'm quite sure a reputable company like BT would not do such a thing, but the easiest way to protect yourself would simply be to change your passwords if, as seems to be the case, you no longer want them to have access.
Can we clarify one point. You referred to the company as BT. Is this British Telecom (the UK-based telecoms giant), or is it some other company with those initials? Judging by the link that TechnoBear posted, it certainly looks like British Telecom, but I thought it would be worth clarifying.
The reason I ask this question is that British Telecom is a respected company: one that would not want to risk alienating a customer. For that reason, I think you should persist in your complaint. Be clear that you are not complaining about the fact that your site did improve its rankings (they could argue that there hasn't yet been an opportunity for it to do that). But, rather, that you have no confidence in the consultant's technical knowledge: that you are being charged for something that you do not feel is of any value to you. Be polite in your complaints, but be persistent. Take it up to a higher level if necessary.
One thing that makes me a little suspicious is the fact that they have your passwords. There is no reason for any reputable SEO consultant to need the password to your site. Their job is to give you advice, which is then up to you to implement. They don't need to get inside your site to do that. For that reason, you should definitely change the password if you haven't already done so.
Finally, I would say that, based on the information you have given so far, the deal they are offering looks very dubious. If you had asked us before you went ahead with it, I believe we would have advised against it. I know that doesn't help you now, but I wanted to make that point for the benefit of anyone else who reads this who might be tempted by a similar offer.
First off all how could you choose for a SEO company with just a phone call.... isn't the normal procedure to ask for a offer and the things they do, and after that you get a visit from the company where they explain what they are going to do etc... and "after" that you would put your signature on the contract??
I agree that you should never give a password to anyone. The only explanation i could think of is that the consultant is also the guy who is going to spread your links....and he needs your website info to make a better inner-linkinstructure, meta's, keyword density content etc.... but the normal procedure would be an instruction form where you should change all the things he recommends.... if you really thrust him you should make an extra account and let him do it with that account and remove it afterwards.
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