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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Default Getting a Refund from a SEO Company

    My question involves business law in the state of: (Ontario, Canada)

    Back in June, I hired a search engine optimization company (SEO) to do some work on my website. I signed a contract stating that I would pay $2650 (inc taxes), which I did, and in return, they would provide for me the following...

    1.) Landing page
    2.) Basic linking package (he later wrote in an e-mail that it is 500 links to my webpage)

    I visited them at their office and 1 fellow told me that it would take 30-45 days to complete the project, while the person in charge told me that he could have my website on page 1 of google within 18 hours (all oral).

    It's now been 53 days, and they have created the landing page (which is essentially a replica of my original home page -- copy and paste source code, fix a few things here and there, add some text) and currently there are 0 links to my website.

    I asked for a refund several times even before anything was uploaded to my site and they refused. Finally they e-mail me back saying that they finished the work and it's in progress (about 2 weeks after) and say that a refund is impossible.

    Anyway, I gave them a little more time, and realized that this service was not what they had promised. He says that the links are coming, but I just have to continue to wait, but frankly, I'm sick and tired of waiting.

    I asked for a refund one last time and if they chose to refuse, I would file a charge back. He responded and insulted me in a very condescending way (forgot to mention -- another one of their employees and started yelling at me on the phone for 30 minutes, then hung up on me too) and at the end, he threatened to sue.

    Are there any grounds that they can sue me on and win? Obviously this would go to small claims, but I would rather have my money back.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated since I am planning on filing the charge back.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Getting a Refund from a SEO Company

    This is a U.S. Forum. To get versed on Canadian law, try a Canadian forum or consult a Canadian lawyer.

    From what you say, you've paid them in full. So I'm not sure why you think they can sue you. If you successfully complete a chargeback, perhaps, but that hasn't happened yet. Frankly, I would rather have the cash in hand and have them sue me than have it be the other way around, with me trying to get cash back from a dubious SEO firm.
    Quote Quoting smoh
    View Post
    2.) Basic linking package (he later wrote in an e-mail that it is 500 links to my webpage)
    Natural links? From relevant, quality sites, or from garbage heap link farms? Links they develop naturally or links they buy? Links from their own sites, that they can pull down the minute you stop paying them?
    Quote Quoting smoh
    ...while the person in charge told me that he could have my website on page 1 of google within 18 hours (all oral).
    Getting you to page one of Google within 18 hours? That's called buying AdWords ads.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Default Re: Getting a Refund from a SEO Company

    Thanks for your reply. I'm pretty sure that they're buying the links from some other sites. The payment was made to them in 2 installments (both paypal)

    1.) 1500 via creditcard
    2.) 1150 through paypal balance

    You think I should do the chargeback anyway? It's tough to prove these things with e-services. Any tips on the pieces of evidence I can bring to the table? I'm sure that the Canadian laws regarding this are probably very similar to the US.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Key West, FL

    Default Re: Getting a Refund from a SEO Company

    We are not talking any country specific law in this case, the principles are the same.

    Paying that kind of money to an SEO is madness. They are for the most part total scams. The incoming links are probably from link farms and not many sites relevant to your site or business. Google and other search engines have algorythms smart enough to discount or ignore those sorts of links. It is not going to help your search engine ranking.

    What will help your ranking is well written editorial content and links from relevant sites, proper metatags, etc. The rest is just a scam that only has temporary benefits if any benefit at all.

    PayPal's policy covers merchandise purchases, it does not cover services, but give a PayPal chargeback a try for the PayPal money.

    However, the part you paid on your credit card... contact your credit card company and do a chargeback. Hopefully it was a credit card and not a debit card which is much more difficult. The credit card company will do the chargeback against PayPal. PayPal will ask the parties for their input, but PayPal has nothing to say about it, the decision is entirely up to your credit card company... and they certainly are more willing to look out for their own customer than some scam artist.

    If it goes to court, sue them for breach of contract and fraud.

    You could have done much better simply spending that money on ads on Google.

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