Thursday, August 27, 2009

My Experience with

August 29 Note: Any information is regarding people is bogus (what they entered on the site to protect their privacy)

So yesterday I signed up for some real estate lead generation and has a provision to send back (not be charged) for leads that are supposedly 'prescreened' for people looking for a house in my area. I got 3 'leads' withing the first 16 hours. 3 leads is the amount they can start to bill you for ($54.95/each) and all of them had problems. I had to go through the motions of trying to contact telephone and email to verify, then send them to the customer service department of
I also sent them a cancellation email and called to my representative. She did not call me back. Instead some high pressure salesman called back telling me it was all a numbers game and as long as I kept sending back the 'bad' leads (100% so far) I wouldn't get billed for them. He offered all sorts of incentives, but was unwilling to let me out of something I'd begun a mere 24 hours earlier. I got all the usual jargon about how valuable their leads would be, and that on average, agents 'only' paid for 10 leads ($549.50) per closed transaction, which in this area can be more than 1/2 my commission (generally you pay 25-33% for a successful lead).

In today's REO and short sale market, you're not even likely to see a commission for 3-4 months, but these guys will already have your money.

Here's a copy of the letter I wrote:
Yesterday when I spoke with your salesman on the phone he misrepresented your company and said that you prescreened your leads and had qualified buyers. It is obvious from looking at some of the first 2 emails that I received, that you don't screen your 'referrals' and that you don't qualify them before you forward them on to me. I have contacted my credit card company's fraud department.

The first emailed lead was from someone with 'poor' credit looking for a home from $1,000,000 to $1,250,000 in an area that has mostly $100,000 homes. He also gave me his wife's phone number. I spoke with her and emailed him, but she seemed surprised by my call, and implied that her husband was at home 'messing' around with the computer.
Prospect No: 311597
Please contact this potential client as soon as possible.
Prospect Contact Information:
Prospect Type: Buyer
E. Aguila
 Best time to Contact:Evening
PH#DELETED 8/26/2009 6:15:41 PM
The second lead was the most obvious example that your company does nothing resembling 'screening' of applicants who fill out the forms on your site. Like the others, I'll post it here for you to read. You'll notice his email address is probably not even available, as it probably would have been used in-house by the ISP before opening. His name is suspect. He's claiming to be a 'seller' but does not even seem to know the square footage of his house. I did email him, but got an error from the email server. His phone number is a Michigan area code and it's a non-working number at a medical center.

Prospect No: 311664
Please contact this potential client as soon as possible.
Prospect Contact Information:
Prospect Type: Seller
J. Smith

Best time to Contact:
(989) 321-4563 8/26/2009 10:05:02 PM
Prospect Details:
Property Type:

Single Family Home
Location: Hesperia, CA 92345
Price Range:

$100,000.00 - $124,999.00
Square Footage: Any
Bedrooms/Bathrooms: 3 bd / 2 bath
Sell Timeframe: 3 - 6 Months

Error message from email to 2nd 'lead':

Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:

Technical details of permanent failure:
Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the recipient domain. We recommend contacting the other email provider for further information about the cause of this error. The error that the other server returned was: 550 550 Requested action not taken: mailbox unavailable (state 14).

From the 3rd Lead:
Notice his online identity does not match his name, and I've included his email (which I'm keeping for future reference)
Prospect No: 311695
Please contact this potential client as soon as possible.
Prospect Contact Information:
Prospect Type: Buyer
Best time to Contact:
PH# DELETED FOR CONTACT 8/27/2009 7:08:17 AM

From the 'lead':
Reply is bogus web site. I HAD to register to view bank forclosures only to be offered a real estate loan without any links to forclosures. This is just another gimmick to sell loans. Quit wasting my time, why would I want a loan without a potential to FIND a home. I think that’s called Bait and Switch. Thanks for nothing. Don't bother to contact me again.

Your company might provide something of value, but that seems to be more a matter of happenstance, then by any service you actually provide. I want you to immediately cancel my contract and immediately reverse any charges you have made to my credit card. Failure to do so will result in legal action, and I reserve the right to publish my experiences with your company.

Thank you for your cooperation. If you have any questions you may email me, or call me at 760 887 2284.
James C. Foy
All Cities Realty, Inc.

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