Web.comConsumerAffairs Unaccredited Brand
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Web.com holding domain name hostage. They won't release my domain name so I can get my website up and running with one of their competitors. They say that they released it but competitor showed me a screenshot showing name not released.
In a weak moment, I responded to a cold call from a Web.com marketer, and decided to give this service a try. I had built my own web presence for years and actually have been quite successful organically. My market is extremely competitive, however, and it was becoming increasingly difficult for me to compete against large SEO companies managing my competition. Along the way, however, I have picked up a fair amount of understanding about SEO. I decided I wanted to have professionals run an Adwords campaign for me to shore up my own organic results. I dabbled a bit in Adwords here and there, but saw how easy it was to pay the Adwords idiot tax, so was always very conservative about it. I made more than I spent, but always assumed that places like Web.com would be real pros about it and do it right. So I decided to go along with a three month trial period and see how the pros do it.
I quickly began to discover, however, that this organization is designed to prey upon people who don't know very much about SEO. Here is a tip. Whenever some salesperson tells you that he or she can "get you on the first page of Google" you need to run the other direction. That statement is so horribly wrong and incomplete and unfair and such general gibberish that it should be illegal.
You need to understand that there is a "first page of Google" for every possible search you can imagine. That means there is an infinity of "first pages of Google". The first question to this nonsense claim should be, "which of the infinity of possible first pages of Google" are you promising me? Is this a promise to appear on the first page of Google when someone searches for "wine that tastes like cat urine"? Is it promising to appear on the first page of Google on that phrase wherever someone happens to be while searching Google, or only in Cincinnati, or only in New York City? These are all different things.
And let's pretend that you have some particularly favorable phrase someone actually promises to get you on the "first page of Google". There are two basic ways to get you there. The first is naturally, or organically, and the second is by simply buying their way in through the Adwords system. Organic results are free but require (for competitive phrases and markets) long term planning and development of content for websites and the building of good links to the content that take time. This is impossible to do overnight.
Adwords is fast...but expensive. Places like Web.com can get you an Adwords ad that is placing you on the "first page of Google" within hours of paying them. But...and here is what they don't really tell you...you will pay through the roof for the privilege. And they will not advise you up front about the enormous pay per click costs if you are in a highly competitive market. In my market, $75 per CLICK was the going rate for many of the key phrases that the person who set up our account made part of our campaign. When I discovered this (only because I had the familiarity with this world enough to know how to poke through the data) I at first decided to let it ride assuming again that they were the pros and knew how to generate clients for me. I don't care how much the clicks cost if ultimately I make the money back and then some in business.
But then I noticed in reviewing the stats that probably 0.1% of their clients even know exist, let alone know how to interpret, that many of the clicks on the super expensive phrases were coming from New Jersey. Now for most businesses this wouldn't be a problem. In my case, I am a lawyer, and my law firm is not licensed to practice in New Jersey. We specifically advised our account set up person that we wanted to exclude New Jersey from our campaign. Not done. And as far as I could tell we never were credited for the expensive clicks from geographic areas we specifically excluded upfront.
And had I not had the understanding to check on it, I never would have known what was happening. The account set up person also set up our "custom site" (which would serve as the landing pages for our Adwords ads) with a domain name that did not spell the word "defense" (we are a criminal defense firm) correctly. That was embarrassing.
Run carefully, an Adwords campaign doesn't have to be insanely expensive. But it requires careful planning and discussion and thinking about exactly the key phrases to target and it requires careful planning about the landing page where the ad sends people. I just kept telling myself that these people must be pros and that they must know something that I don't know because their seemingly cookie cutter template driven crap landing pages looked like garbage to me. I didn't want to believe that it was exactly what it seemed - a bunch of crap. I kept wanting to believe there was some method to the madness and I was just not sophisticated enough to see the genius of it.
In discussions with the account managers who had varying levels of understanding of SEO and Adwords, it blew me away that I never was put in touch with a real honest to goodness SEO engineer or Adwords engineer to actually plan out the campaign or to address my concerns as it became more and more obvious what a preposterous disaster Web.com is.
So we got some calls from people who were not even potential clients with other types of problems than what we could help them with and we ended up with one actual new client. That one case recouped about 1/3 of our cost for the three month program cost. So it was a waste. They will say no doubt that it was our fault because we didn't stick it out in their ridiculous incompetent absence of a planned campaign.
Oh, and another trick of theirs was to try to take control of the Google My Business page. They do this because if they take control of it, they then claim responsibility for leads that it generates, even though they have nothing to do with the Google My Business page. I spent months adding content to my Google My Business page and doing what was necessary to optimize it for appearance in the search results on several phrases of relevance to me, and then suddenly I noticed that in the reports they provided, they were acting as if leads generated by Google My Business were somehow "their" work. I think not. As soon as I noticed that, I went into my account and regained control of the Google My Business site.
Here is my assessment of what Web.com is all about: Their business model is that they don't care how much money of yours they will spend in Adwords campaigns. They will dump you into a massively overspent campaign figuring that you may some new business or just enough new business to keep you in the game. What you need to know is that if you are making money through Web.com Adwords campaign, you could probably be making quite a bit more by having someone manage your Adwords budget who gave a damn how much you spent.
Imagine going into a gambling casino and just putting bets down on everything everywhere. You might end up making money sometimes. But it is insane and unlikely to work in the long run. But in a big world, Web.com has lots of other people to milk. They probably see new clients as cows to milk for a while until the luck runs out. That's what the Web.com approach to Adwords seems like to me. They are a well oiled marketing machine but they are short on an actual product. I would be willing to wager that this business is filled with marketing people but that the people who run the show on the technical side are few and far between.
That would explain why I spoke with so many different people in different marketing roles (the cold caller, the pitch person, the setup person, and the account manager). None of the marketing people really know much about SEO or Adwords. They were nearly universally stumped when I used any technical terms associated with SEO or Adwords. You would think that this would have resulted in putting me in touch with a more technically savvy person. But no. Probably because there are only five of them for the whole company or something. This company is all about marketing, and not so much about the tech.
This was an eye opening experience for me. I always assumed that these big Adwords companies knew what they were doing and did it so much better. They don't. At least Web.com doesn't. I didn't make huge ROI on my own, but I made more than I spent every month by a long shot. These people are a disaster. Don't listen to their nonsense about the first page of Google. Maybe there are Adwords businesses out there that do a good job and aren't designed simply to take the most money from you in the shortest amount of time. Web.com is not one of them.
I was hesitant to sign up for web.com based on the example websites they were showing me. The salesperson gave me repeated assurances that they'd "go above and beyond" to make sure I was happy with the website representing my new business. They said, that they would work with me to make sure I was happy with the website. I believed them and paid for website and SEO for three months.
A few days later, I get a preview website. I was incredibly dismayed at the quality of the website. It looked like it took 10 minutes to put together. The copy was just generic stuff, seemingly copy and pasted from whatever copy template they had lying around. They included the old "Experience you can trust!" headline at top. The pictures on the service pages had nothing to do with the services offered. The location of my business was wrong.
Ok, fast forward to them "working with me". I had sent a lengthy email stating the changes I'd like for the site. Basically, no changes were made except swapping their pictures for the pictures I included in the email. But, even that was bad, because on the landing page photo, they cropped out the piece of equipment that represents what my business offers.
I get them on the phone, and they basically tell me that I'll never get the changes I requested. They also let me know that it's not really a website, it's a lead generation site. And that some people use it as their secondary site. I didn't believe I was signing up for that. I don't want my primary site to be someone else's secondary site.
So, less than a week in, I ask to cancel. Sure, I could cancel, but they'd still get to keep all the money I gave them. I asked if they can just keep the money for the website, return me money for the SEO. No, they say. Can I speak to someone in a higher authority to explain the situation? No, they say. So, I have no recourse. I feel scammed.
When solicited by web.com for their leadstream service they showed potential lead numbers to justify their ad spend. I was very clear that I didn't want individuals, only businesses. After two weeks I called them to tell them that all of the calls were for individuals. They assured me that they would tweak the adwords to target businesses. After another two weeks, I called again, and again they assured me that they would change the search terms. After a third attempt, they did change my campaign to business at which point the phone quit ringing. I was told it would take some time for the new search terms to gain traction. After 3 months, I told them that I wanted a refund of my unspent adwords funds. They refused. This is NOT money for services they provided, but is money held in escrow to spend on MY behalf with Google.
Web.com and Leadstream is horrible service. If you're a small to medium business, STAY AWAY. All of the negative reviews that you find online are TRUE. They prey on small business and offer ridiculous "promotional" packages and "AD CREDITS" which essentially means nothing. As you go through their trial period, they manage your account with some detail. It almost seems like they actually care. Don't be fooled, this immediately stops after the trial period is over. There are many additional charges, they charged our credit card without proper authorization, they refuse any refunds as all "SERVICES ARE RENDERED". It's a sham and really unfortunate that a company like this is still in operations.
I had a SEO service work on our site and we received 125+ clicks and website visits in 1 day. MailChimp will do what Web.com/Leadstream did in 1/10 of the time and at 100% of the cost! MAILCHIMP IS FREE! They prey on hard working small business. THERE IS NO RETURN ON YOUR INVESTMENT. Save your hard earned money and work with MailChimp or a reputable SEO service.
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Worst company ever... reel you in with promises and expectations... charged 2 separate amts every month... NEVER RECEIVED ANY ORDERS. All to get me to spend MORE monthly on SEO fees to promote. After 15 months I had enough. After trying to understand why the hype to sign up but not to help after the fact except to sign up for more money monthly. Canceled Dec 2016. NOW MARCH 2018 Can't access my website from my other provider because Web.com would not transfer my domain name. Had to pay MORE MONEY to renew with Web.com!! Am now trying to transfer domain name to my new provider but they are holding it hostage saying they need more money to transfer. BEWARE OF WEB.COM. AND if you are not tech savvy they talk to you like you are ignorant just because you don't understand their lingo.
Hiring Web.com was the worst business decision I've ever made. I had an old website that I did myself before this. It was OK, but it clearly looked like I did it myself. I was ready to IMPROVE my online image so I wanted to hire someone else to handle building it/hosting it for me. After seeing the ads, I figured Web.com would be an ideal fit. But after they got a hold of my credit card everything changed.
Customer Service: HORRIBLE - It would take DAYS AND DAYS to get in touch with someone anytime I had a quick question. You call, and you get passed around from agent to agent and no one actually knows what they're talking about. I wish I could just speak to a person with some competence! They cannot be contacted and won't respond to my emails. Very unprofessional. Design: NOT GOOD AT ALL - Some of the templates are OK, but as soon as you want to do some very basic and minor customization to them, they essentially fall apart and look like they were made by a 8 year old. Billing: UNSCRUPULOUS AND IMMORAL - It's nearly impossible to cancel your account. On top of that they say you'll be charged one rate, but when you check your bill, you've been duped! You're paying more than you thought with no explanation as to why your costs went up.
Recommendation: DO NOT USE! They are one of the worst possible companies you can work with and they are only in it to swindle as much money from you as they can. They have no interest in helping your company. We now use SetMySite for our website and they are incredible. If you're like me and you want someone else to handle the website design and hosting and maintenance, SetMySite is the answer. If you're more interested in saving a little money and just using a template and using a do-it-yourself service that doesn't treat their clients like garbage, my friend uses Squarespace and she loves the templates and support. All in all, don't be like me. Read the reviews first and inform yourself! Choose a service that treats their customers well and cares about the product they're selling.
This company literally gets you hyped up and once you make a payment they don't care! Spoke to Emma ** today about renewing my contract. She was so rude and disrespectful when I tried to explain why I didn't want to renew my contract, she told me that I'd never understand how SEO works and if I tried to learn I will still never understand. I was then told from an ex employee of this company that all they really do is add your company to different directories, which you can do buy yourself for free. Be smart people! They charged me £300 for the whole year. Callum and Emma claimed this would get me more customers through SEO but when you think smart and break it down, the £300 I paid for the year was not going towards the 'SEO specialists' because that would only work out for them getting: Annual £300.00, Monthly £25.00, Weekly £5.77, Daily £1.15, Hourly £0.14 which is clearly lies as SEO specialists get paid a lot more.
The truth is that they have no SEO specialists etc, all lies. All you are essentially paying for is to be on their database. The ex employee then told me they don't even do SEO...they also use 'scare tactics' to pressure customers into paying i.e 'your website will be taken down from google if you don't renew your contract'. Emma was clearly attempting to 'scare' me but obviously failed hence why she hung up on me. It all seems like a big scam to be honest...so done with this company. Seriously consider sending your staff on a customer service training course.
Received a phone a phone call from Web.com and was very excited and I started to listening to the presentation. At first I was very interested, then I started hearing "backouts" in the presentation like there are no guarantees. And towards the end they ask me for $3,000 plus but as a trial. First all they cannot deliver what they claim and have a lot of bad reviews and now trying makeup all the potential money that have not gotten. Stay Clear.
I had a bad experience with the sales people at Web.com. They are very high pressure, rude, and unprofessional. First the person who I was scheduled to talk to did not make the call and it was another representative which to me was a red flag. Then she went through her sales pitch and was asking questions and wanted me to share margins and I told her I am not going to give her that information. I asked her to give me her presentation and I would evaluate it. And she refused to go farther till I give her my margins and got rude and belligerent on the phone. I finally had to hang up on her. They basically do Google adwords and other seo type work and charge a premium for it. I would be very careful on doing business with this company if you do business with them at all. Feel free to email me directly if you would like more details.
I was talked into a lead generation service with a $3,000+ contract. I was promised 7-9 leads a month. I was told they would develop a mini site for one of the areas of my business to be used only for their lead generating ads. Instead, they hijacked my Google Listing to make it point only to their mini-site, bypassing my main site. I also received exactly zero leads. They refunded $2,000, but kept my $1,000 for which I received nothing, and may have even lost business as they put a "tracking number" which used a cell phone exchange on my Google, making my 60 year business appear "fly by night" and potential clients going to my google listing would see only the site they created, not the site with the many other things we do. The salespeople wear you out with their long sales pitches which are misleading.
Will not cancel account over email, tells you that you must call, sit on hold for a hour, never get to anyone, cannot cancel website that is month to month. Stop payment on card, continues to leave website up in a attempt to force you to pay even more when you have not paid. Going to seek attorney advice.
Web.com is the biggest RIP OFF PASS THE BUCK host we have ever dealt with. First they bill us 135.00 per month for hosting package with help any time which includes SEO services. We never received one lead in 12 months!!! Then we switch to do it yourself and they inform us the website has to be taken down, copied to cd then reloaded. We get the cd, we call and they say, "Oh no. We have a copy of your website!" We PAY to have the site RESUBMITTED then go thru the request quote for only to find out the form is: 1) Incorrect when it comes thru. 2) The required fields do not work. The website has old color charts. Now on the phone for 50 minutes. Passing the buck to the 7th person. DO NOT GET A WEBSITE OR HOSTING WITH WEB.COM. THEY ARE TRULY INCOMPETENT.
Horrible quality and service. Our experience with Web.com was such a letdown. Our 3 account managers, Christine **, Reylyn ** and Nathaniel ** treated us so unprofessionally and we were astonished by how they ignored our requests and failed to help us even after countless promises. Look elsewhere for web design and marketing! Make sure the people managing your account are dedicated to giving you the best service, especially if you are paying for it!
Total fraud! I was promised a new website developed, more internet traffic and 4 years of domain name if I paid $99.95 for 3 months. When I now look at my website (6 months later) some plumber website comes up and I can't find my old website or domain name anywhere. I've got a billboard sign up with that website and passed out business cards all over town. Those plumbers should be getting some calls. I tried contacting web.com for 2 weeks and finally someone reimbursed 1 month charge but I have 6 month charges of $99.95 cause I gave them my card. I don't know what to do but try that AMEX FRAUD I guess. This has been such a waste of time and a lot of money.
I feel they're like all I've tried, average, no outstanding quality. None of them have established better than fair capabilities with any of us consumer needs from privacy, protection, storage, search engines etc.
This company offers "Free Website development", which should have been a warning because NOTHING with this company is free or even correct. We told them up-front that we were not open for business and waiting for our building to be built and all of the business licenses and permits required. They said "No Problem, we will design the website to meet your approval and will not publish or charge you anything until you open for business."
WHAT THEY DID: Web.com created a totally "FAKE WEBSITE" using our name, and "stock pictures" of products that we do not even sell! We are an antique and art company and they started posting all sorts of bogus pictures of products that we don't even sell such as automobiles, paintings that we don't own, antique furniture that is not ours. As a result, we have had numerous bad reviews from would-be customers and we aren't even open yet!
FRAUD: I made the mistake of giving Web.com my American Express card number and they charged $3100.00 in fictitious charges NONE OF WHICH I SIGNED FOR OR AGREED TO. This matter has been turned over to AMEX FRAUD and their account has been suspended with me. My next step will to file an inquiry the Attorney General's Office on a State and Federal Level. Beware and be careful.
Had a website built and hosted there for years... lots of history. These people have no problem in wiping out years of work in an instant by just simply deleting your web pages without notice or warning. Much of it was unrecoverable simply because we trusted them... NEVER AGAIN! Just closed up our website and gave up...
I wanted to start my own website. I am a writer. Web.com advertises that you can get one for $10 a month. So, I signed up for it. This was about five months ago. If I thought there were going to be other charges, I wouldn't have signed up for it. If I thought it was going to be hidden fees, I wouldn't have signed up. It was only supposed to be $10 a month. But recently, while checking my online banking I came across more than one charge in the same month. So, I went all the way back to August and checked if the same thing had happened in other months. I found out that there have been repeated multiple withdrawals from my bank account since at least August. And the sum total for all of the months' withdrawals added together is a grand total of $322.65. It should have cost me $10 a month. Instead, I was charged over $60 a month.
Someone at Web.com needs to be held accountable for what they have put me and their other clients through these last 2 1/2 weeks. I have lost thousands of dollars in business in what is my busiest month of the year. I'm not sure why you did not plan the move in January or February when nothing is going on on the Internet. This was poor planning and the way that the plan was executed was one of the biggest debacles I have ever been involved with. You are losing a 10 year customer. I can no longer trust you. Know what you are doing Mr. or Mrs. CEO. I see your commercial on TV (Web.com) and want to warn everybody. Don't do it.
July 5, 2001 - I submitted an order with Interland to register the domain pizzapit.com. This order was placed after I had verified through networksolutions.com that the domain was available for registration. Interland charged me for services and assured me that the domain would be registered.
July 6, 2001 - From the networksolutions.com site, I verified that pizzapit.com was open for registration. I called Interland to reverify that the domain had been registered by Interland and was assured to that effect.
July 7, 2001 - From the networksolutions.com site, I verified that pizzapit.com was open for registration. July 8, 2001 - From the networksolutions.com site, I verified that pizzapit.com was open for registration, I initiated a trouble ticket with Interland, Inc.
July 8, 2001 6:40AM - another individual registered the domain name. Verified with that individual.
July 10, 2001 - Attempted to determine the status of the issue via e-mail to Larry Lee who stated that Interland's Domain Administration was looking into the issue. I reiterated the request for information about what specifically was being done to rectify the issue.
July 11, 2001 - Larry Lee stated that I would be contacted once he was contacted by Domain Administration. July 12, 2001 - Inquiry about the status of the problem, no reply.
July 13, 2001 - Inquiry about the status of the problem, no reply.
July 16, 2001 - Discovered through Interland's website all trouble tickets had been closed. No direct replies from Interland. Interlands resolution from the website was to the effect that the domain was not available, the order had not been processed and suggested other domain names.
July 17, 2001 - Received a forwarded e-mail from Larry Lee, (no comments from Larry). E-mail author suggested that I purchase the domain directly from the third party.
July 18, 2001 - Spoke to an agent at Network Solutions (InterNic), who stated that the domain name in question was open for registration from June 25, 2001 until July 8, 2001
July 18-23, 2001 - Attempted multiple times via e-mail to work towards resolution of this issue. I proposed desired solutions. No replies to my proposals.
July 23, 2001 - Purchased the domain name in question from the 3rd party for $500.
July 24, 2001 - Received an e-mail from Ken Gavranovic which stated that Interland cannot be held responsible for registration timing issues. Following e-mail correspondance with Ken Gavranovic led to a refusal to my requests (except refund of registration fee, $78) and statement to the effect of good luck finding another company that will tolerate you. My desired settlement with Interland called for refund of the charges billed to me for services not rendered, $500 to cover the actual costs of purchasing the domain name from the 3rd party, and refund of any outstanding service or credits following the transfer of services to another provider.
I hold Interland completely responsible for this issue and find them unwilling to work with me towards a solution. They are unwilling to accept any fault in this issue, despite being presented evidence supportive and demonstrative of fault. They have failed to register another domain name for me in the past and have overbilled me for services. I have full documentation, e-mail and written phone logs, of all events in the case(s) described above.
My company has been hosted by Interland for about a year now, with 2 sites up for the moment. It has been, to say the least, a struggle. In the last 6 months, we've had 6 representatives, each one worse than the one before. We've have 7 days of total or partial down time in the last two weeks - with virtually no explanation.
Our mail servers are out of contact at least 3 hours a day, intermittently. Their technical support personnel are pleasant enough, with a few notable exceptions, but they know about enough to send a caller to the next level of support ... who then knows enough to send callers to the next level of support ... get the picture?
My (latest) representative, Jason, will not return phone calls or e-mails. Lately, my messages have become increasingly hostile, so I guess he'll hand me off to the next unqualified rep to jerk us around.
Subscribers to our site have been treated to 504 NOT FOUND errors for long enough. I have enough to do for a living - now I get to transfer our web sites to a new location, wasting more of our time and money. We recently began setting up a subscription service to our on-line magazine, and we cannot charge for it yet, because we must first find a new hosting service.
An update to my earlier post: Hoorah! I finally recieved a response from Interland! It is so typical, I just had to share it.
This is from my rep, Jason:
"If you would like to cancel this account you would just need to let the billing department know the exact date you want the account terminated. The account will continue to run until they are notified by you regarding the cancellation. I am not sure what problems you are having but I would recommend directing all tech related issues to the tech support department. We can handle some issues on the sales floor but do not have the means to fix most technical issues."
Pardon me: when I ask for help, I get no answer, no comment, no phone call, no e-mail, not a peep. I mention I am disgusted and considering leaving? BOOM! In fifteen minutes I get detailed, explicit instructions on how to LEAVE THE SERVICE.
Now THAT's what I call a speedy response and great customer service. At least it simplifies my escape...
Still, I guess I'm glad we got to this point now, before we entered into more business with these people.
I signed up as a reseller and gave them about 15 sites to start, and added more shortly thereafter. The service and reliability is AWFUL. Sites are frequently down, my email goes down, and their tech support is incompetent.
I have to spend extensive time calling tech support, which is a big waste of time and money. Email outages cause severe embarrassment for an Internet marketing company, in addition to loss of credibility. They refuse to give me a refund, and I have signed up many of the sites for two-year periods.
I signed up for two years of Web hosting service with Interland.com. The service was horrible, with the Web site being out for over a week at a time. After six months, I cancelled the account and asked for a credit for the remaining year and a half I paid (almost $600). Interland refused, and refunded only $115 -- cheating me out of almost $500.
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