Citysearch.com - Citysearch is a scam and employees very unprofessional

Posted on Wednesday, August 27th, 2008 at 12:33pm CDT by a2e0326a

Product: Advertise with CitySearch

Company: Citysearch.com

Location: West Hollywood, CA, US

URL: http://philadelphia.citysearch.com/

Category: Other

Below you will find a copy of two emails that I sent to CitySearch. The first on July 21, 2008 and the second August 27, 2008. The two together explain just how horrific their services are and what an incredible scam their advertising is. [some names and phone numbers were withheld in this complaint copy]

Email sent July 21, 2008

Hi Michael,

I currently have google analytics attached to my website. I have been paying attention over the past few months, since becoming a City Search customer, that I am not getting any "bang for my buck" so to speak. I have been paying over $350 each month and have yet to see any significant clicking to my website. Even the google cpc, which I understand comes from my City Search account, from June 20 through July 20 is only up to 15 clicks. I can easily get that through google paying for the advertising myself and it wouldn't cost me anywhere near what I'm paying City Search.

Clicks from City Search since May 1, 2009... Zero. I find it difficult to believe that 900 people are looking at my City Search account every month and not 1 clicked through to find out more information from my website. The simple law of averages state's that's just not possible. If any one of these people were actual customers looking for a Hypnotherapist in their area, I'm sure at least 1 would want more information.

While I understand that I signed up for 6 months of service, I don't feel that I am getting what I have been paying for. I would like to find out if there is any way that I can cancel my account without the cancellation fee's as I feel that your company has not lived up to their end of the contract and I've already payed more than enough money for a service that has no real value to me or my company. I'm beginning to think that the only people clicking on the City Search page you set up for me are the one's who your company calls trying to scam into the same deal that I feel I was scammed into.

Please understand, that I am not saying any of this with anger, as I know that it's hard to put a "tone" to words typed on the computer. I would simply like to go our separate ways.

Please call me at [number here] at your earliest convenience to resolve this matter without involving my lawyer and having a big investigation into the practices of your company. Thank you for your time.

C.J. Cantrell

Copy of email sent to the President of the company on August 27, 2008

Dear Mr. Herrati,

My name is Candy Cantrell and I was a customer of CitySearch for a few months. I found the service to be poor and not at all useful for my business. I tried on numerous occasions to reach Michael Goggins, the rep in charge of my account by phone in early July with no response to cancel my account. On July 21, 2008 I sent him an email, with still no response. On the 24th of July I finally called the other number for CitySearch customer service and spoke with someone (you have record of the phone conversation) who's name I cannot find. At that time he offered me 2 free months of service but I opted to simply cancel the account instead. At that time he told me that the account was canceled and that I would no longer be charged. I logged on to my account a couple of days later to make sure that my account was, in fact, canceled and found that it had been. At some point, someone in your company illegally opened again without my permission or even informing me of this activity.

On August 15, 2008 at 9:15am, which I still have saved in my voicemail, Michael Goggins called me. I tried calling him back 2 or 3 times with no return call back. I assumed the matter was resolved, until August 25, 2008 when I went to get new tires on my car. At that time I was told that my card was declined. I called my roommate, [name here], and asked him to look at my account and tell me what had happened because as far as I knew, there was plenty of money in my account to cover that $185 purchase. He said that there was a hold placed on my account from your company in the amount of $264.65.

At this time it was about 6pm EST and I tried to call CitySearch to resolve this matter. I was transferred over and over, placed on hold, hung up on while on hold, sent to the wrong departments and so on. I called on both my personal and business cell phone for an hour and was given the run-around by everyone that I spoke with until, conveniently, you were closed at 7pm EST. I just cannot even begin to tell you how disappointed, but not at all surprised after the poor service I had received in the past, at the complete lack of professionalism and customer service from your employees.

I called the bank to dispute the charges and there was nothing they could do until the transaction had gone through because at that time it was just a hold placed on the account. I was stuck at the tire place, embarrassed, with no way to pay for my new tires even though I had, until your company illegally withdrew the money from my account, the funds to cover that important purchase.

The next day, August 26, 2008, I called again and spoke with a man named Ray. As you can imagine, I was understandably not the most pleasant person and will freely admit that. I wanted to have my money back. He asked me to forward the email that I had sent to Michael Goggins on July 21st to him, which I did. At that time he offered as a "courtesy" to refund me only $200 of the $264.65 that was withdrawn stating that I would only be refunded the amount from July 21 (the date of the email). This was unacceptable after everything that I had already gone through, and the fact that I was told by a representative of your company that I would no longer be charged, so I asked to speak with a supervisor.

I spoke with Joyce Marshal and she stated that she would listen to the phone conversation from July 24, 2008 and get back to me between 3:00pm and 4:30pm on August 26. I informed her that after 4:30pm I would be in session with clients and would not be available. She did not call me back until 6:05pm at which time, as I had previously stated, I would not be available. I did not get out of sessions with my clients until 8pm at which time your company was closed.

This morning, after my first client, I again called Joyce Marshal and was again only offered a refund for the amount after July 21, 2008. She stated that she listened to the phone conversation and that the man I spoke with on the 24th did not say that I would not be charged. This is wrong. I know what I heard, and I specifically asked him if I was to expect any more charges because I need to be able to keep up on the money coming in and out of my business. I am not a stupid person, and I make my living as a hypnotherapist listening to people and taking down every detail. I know what I heard.

This is my last resort before contacting my attorney and the BBB and any other association that I can find. I am not, at this time, asking for compensation for the fact that my account was illegally opened again after I had canceled it, I am not asking for compensation for the fact that I was completely humiliated when I went to make a purchase with my hard-earned money, I am not asking for compensation for the run-around and frustration that I have endured since this illegal transaction took place, or the hours upon hours I have spent trying to resolve this matter. I am also not, as of yet, asking for compensation for the physical and emotional toll that this stress has taken on me. All I am asking for is my $264.65 to be deposited back into my account by end of business day today. If this matter is not resolved today, you will leave me no other choice but to seek legal assistance which will end up costing your company a lot more that the additional $64.65 that I am asking to be returned to me.

I can be reached until 4:30pm EST at [number here] at which time I will, again, be in session with clients as they, and my business, are first priority. After all of the unprofessional, poor service I have already received, I certainly hope that as president of the company you can show your employees what good customer service really is.

C.J. Cantrell


8 Comments

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d169d2dc, 2009-02-03, 03:22PM CST

Citysearch offered us #1 placement for our business but failed to change our listing at all. $200 a month for zero clicks, and both their sales rep and customer service refuse to return my emails or calls. I've changed my credit card number so I can no longer be charged by these scam artists. I also had our case featured on the Bad Company blog - http://badcompany.wordpress.com. It's really frustrating dealing with these guys so I suspect I'll never get my money back.

b8a332dc, 2009-12-08, 04:10PM CST

They have also charged me for clicks that were not valid.

When I approached them about these charges CitySearch REFUSED to show me proof of clicks.

I was SOLD click-throughs to my website, but they CHARGED ME for clicks to their CitySearch website.

They are extremely uncooperative and I regard this as fraudulent.

Unfortunately, their "CONTRACT" is not a contract, but a one-page statement of work. Without additional information I'm screwed.

It's about time that these folks are put out of business.

7b75d639, 2010-06-15, 09:30AM CDT

I recently had same experience with Citysearch. Billed me for $1500 and now adding interest because I cancelled the credit card that I gave them before they could charge me. I have called better business bureau, and 7 on you side (ABC) in New York. Waiting for response.

I had a $1500 limit, never received one call. $2.15 per click. Cannot prove how many clicks I got. What prevents them from having someone sit and click all day.

in addition they wrote 3 bogus reviews from invented clients.

Major rip off. Should be shut down.

Can anyone tell me the results of your issues with them.

be003c85, 2010-10-22, 04:41AM CDT

I AGREE! City Search is a scam; I tried for 2 years to get someone to change my account budget and they always gave me the run around. Somehow magically my $200 budget was always used in one or two of the months. For example, I would get 67 clicks on the 4th, and then no clicks again until the 18th which would exhaust what little remaining budget I had. It seems they have systematic click fraud. Their computer or clickers (do you know there are actually companies that pay people to click on websites?) seemed to have my business scheduled for almost the same two days every month.

Small business owner beware -- you can get a lot more (and better) conversion on other advertising sites for $200 or $350 (Citysearch's new lowest rate) than you can with this scam of a company.

Kudos to Citysearch's founder for ripping off small businesses all over America and making yourself rich.

7b75d639, 2010-11-06, 06:23PM CDT

i would definitely speak with the LA times.

this was my worst nightmere for 6 months.

i finally settled with them for $750 instead of the $1500 they were looking to get. i could not deal with the harrassing emails and phone calls. i had called 7 on your side, and better business bureau, neither were of any help.

5598aad1, 2012-02-16, 01:03PM CST

They are a real problem. You can contact them at: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected];

5598aad1, 2012-02-16, 01:04PM CST

They are a real problem. You can contact them at: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected];

27a9ed01, 2012-06-20, 05:31PM CDT

My webmaster was truly the first to discover what citysearch was linking my business IP address to other businesses across the country and charge me for it. She screen shot it and has the proof of it.

I spoke to even the management of citysearch and they were all together in the room I could hear the whispers of one to the other with their staff telling me no one was in. My webmaster and I couldn't believe how unprofessional a business could lower themselves to and then just lately they wiped all my 48 5 star reviews gone last week just a example how they do business. Plus unless you are paying them there is nothing you can do about anything. If that is a example of uncontrolled power of business on the internet Buyer Beware. These types of companies need to be sued into the ground is my opinion and the government needs to get involved monitoring all of them like AT&T tries to tell me I have 300 clicks (the phone didn't ring worth anything)... Sold me on being under 5 headings and told me on my information page my keywords would come up. Not true buyer beware they are all hustling money together and tell you anything to get you to sign.. Merchant Circle is part of them...MY advise is don't use them...

Karen

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