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SEO Firm Told to Refund Clients


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#1 sanity

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Posted 12 August 2004 - 06:29 PM

Source: The Seattle Times - The state attorney general said yesterday Redmond-based Internet Advancement must pay penalties for failing to get its customers top placement on major search engines.


http://seattletimes....izbriefs12.html

#2 bragadocchio

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Posted 12 August 2004 - 07:04 PM

Excellent issue to bring up, Sophie.

I liked this quote:

"Internet Advancement misrepresented its success rate, promised more than it could deliver, then refused to provide refunds to customers who didn't get what they paid for," said Attorney General Christine Gregoire.


They were prosecuted under a state law, but there's a similar federal law that says that if you are going to make a promise like that, you need to give a full refund if you can't deliver.

The Federal Trade Commission's Guides for the Advertising of Warranties and Guarantees explains all of that pretty clearly.

I saw this discussed on another forum, and the focus of the discussion seemed to be about the methods that the company was trying to use to get rankings. They involved what some might call black hat SEO.

In all honesty, the color of the hat doesn't make a difference. This issue is pretty colorblind. If you make a guarantee to a customer, and you don't fulfill it, you're supposed to give them the promised refund. That's true regardless of whether you even have a hat at all.

#3 polarmate

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Posted 12 August 2004 - 07:49 PM

This issue is pretty colorblind.

Now that's a quote I really liked!!

#4 sanity

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Posted 12 August 2004 - 08:54 PM

In all honesty, the color of the hat doesn't make a difference. This issue is pretty colorblind. If you make a guarantee to a customer, and you don't fulfill it, you're supposed to give them the promised refund. That's true regardless of whether you even have a hat at all.

Spot on Bill. And unless you're doing some form of PPC there's no way you can guarantee any rankings. Period.

Nice to see that people can be held accountable for false promises.

#5 Allergic

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Posted 12 August 2004 - 09:06 PM

That news make my day!
Here my little analysis I make this afternoon about their site offer.

#6 mugshot

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Posted 25 August 2004 - 02:34 PM

Whoa! That is definitely interesting read!

We know many firms like this exist, but it's good to see one actually busted and kudos to the state for taking action against the rotten apple.

This reminds me of the good ole days of napster.

#7 MrCrip

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Posted 25 August 2004 - 03:20 PM

I guarantee, I'll be sending a lot of people a link to this story.



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