Stuck in a contract with Dex, Hibu, or Reach Local?

The first thing I would recommend is that if you are in a contract, you call in and ask to be let out of it.  They will most likely say no, at which point you can either ask to escalate the call to a higher person in the company, or you can start threatening to sue them for breach of contract.  It is my opinion that these companies do not deliver what they tell you they will – and my guess would be that the sale rep promised you even more things than are in writing.  If you are going to go this route, actually read your contract and find something that they have failed to do so you can use that.

You can also point out the fact that Google Requires it’s resellers to divulge the ACTUAL ADWORDS COST – and that since they are not following the rules – you feel you were misled.  Be warned that I have heard that Reach Local does make this information accessible – it’s just buried deep within your login portal on their website.  FYI though – Google also requires that the information be easily accessible.  If you need ammo for this conversation – You can check out the Google’s Advertiser Guide, the Google AdWords third-party policy, or the Google AdWords Third Party Policy FAQ.

If threats, escalations, or being nice do not get them to let you out of your contract – then I would ask them to at least lower the monthly amount to the minimum that you can lower it to – or ask them to PAUSE YOUR CAMPAIGN.  They can do so, and they may have a monthly fee, even on paused campaigns, but lowering your monthly bill will minimize the amount of money you flush down the toilet.

Another tactic I’ve seen work is to plead like hell to get them to remove your “top performing” keywords.  If you remove your top 10 keywords (which are almost always broad matched so they trigger the most clicks) – your spend will drop immediately.  This may not 100% work with Hibu though because I  know they have in their contract that any unspent budget will be carried over.  I am not sure if Dex or Reach Local have similar terminology in their contracts.

Finally – (remember I’m not a lawyer here, so if you follow this advice, you do so at your own risk)… I’ve seen people just remove the authorization on the payment method they are using to pay for their pay per click services.  Just stop payment with the bank, or call the credit card company and remove the authorization for Dex, Hibu, or Reach Local to charge your card.  Keep in mind that you risk having debts sent to collection agencies, negative reports on your business credit and other possible consequences.  I have been told that these companies are not chasing the value of the contracts, just the already acrcued click cost.  I must remind you though – I am not responsible for anything if you choose this method.

You might not be in a contract!

Most of these companies did away with the 12 month miminum commitment Pay Per Click contracts a long time ago, but they still sign you to 3 or 6 month deals.  If you don’t know – check your paperwork and find out.  Almost all PPC companies will put you on a month to month contact after the initial term.  If you are done with your initial term – CALL AND CANCEL YOUR CONTRACT RIGHT AWAY!

Good to know when trying to get out of your PPC contract.

Besides the issue of the markups that all three of these Pay Per Click re-sellers charge, each of them also:

  • Clones Websites (Dex using profile pages, not cloned websites)
    • they do this to insert your Adwords Call Tracking number.
  • Place call tracking number in more places than just your cloned website
    • this is done to pad the “calls” section on your monthly Pay Per Click Reports
  • Creates separate Adwords accounts
    • this means that you don’t get credit for the history of the account, because if you leave them, they don’t “give” you your account info.
  • Hides valuable data from customers
    • They hide things like Bounce Rate, Average Time on Site, Number of Pages visited and a ton of other incredibly valuable information that, if you could see it, would most likely convince you that you are wasting your money with their programs
  • Broad matches Keywords
    • Not always bad – but I believe this is done in an effort to ensure that you spend your budget every month.
  • Don’t use Negative Keywords
    • this means your ad’s show for irrelevant searches, which lowers your click through rate and which in turn lowers your quality score, which means you PAY MORE FOR EVERY CLICK, than you have to.

There are other things that Dex, Hibu, and Reach Local do wrong, but these are the biggest problems with campaigns run by these large corporations.  Not only do they charge crazy markups, but then they run bad campaigns also.  This costs you a lot of your money every month.

Dex Round Logo

With a rumored 50% Markup, Dex Media’s Pay Per Click program earns my “worst of the worst” award.  Not just because of the markup, they get the worst of the worst award because Dex does NOT SEND CLICKS TO YOUR WEBSITE!  They send them to a garbage “Dex profile page”.  They also appear to clone pay per click campaigns, using the same keywords with dynamic text inserting for EVERY customer in an industry.  What does that mean in lay terms?  Your ad will show up right along side your competitors, with almost identical text, and then the click will go to a garbage landing page.

Hibu Round Logo

Hibu’s markups are rumored to be in the 40% range.  They could be higher but I don’t know because, like other big companies, hibu does NOT DIVULGE THEIR MAKRUP.  This is despite being required to divulge actual AdWords cost by Google.  If you have been paying hibu, don’t worry – there is hope.  Most of their programs had commitments of 3-6 months, after which point they go to month to month.  This means we can get your program stopped and get you started on something that works.

Reach Local Round Logo

I have heard through the grapevine that Reach Local does not charge 60% markup directly on the clicks.  What they do is they charge a management fee, AND A MARKUP on the clicks.  When you add both of these charges together, you have the biggest markups in the industry (that I know of).  There is no way that a small business, with a modest budget, can possibly get a positive return on their investment.  Hopefully, you are not in the middle of a contact, but if you are, there may still be hope.  Give me a call right away to learn what we can do to stop wasting money, and start making you money.

Guaranteed savings and increased results over Dex, Hibu, or Reach Local.  Flat 20% rate charged on separate invoice.  You get charged by Google – THEN I CHARGE YOU.