Local Lighthouse - No traffic to my main website and canceling contract was a nightmare.
I did my due diligence before signing a 6 month contact for $99 a month and a $99 setup fee. I have a health product I sell from my own website and wanted to get more traffic to it to make more sales. I am also a web designer and wanted control over the look of the website they would create for me and during the sales calls they said I would. I told them that if this test with them went well I would be sending them my own clients. (Hint: I'm never going to send ANYBODY to them, EVER!)
After they built a website on a domain that they own, I wanted to make a variety of changes. I even sent them CSS code already written and images and a long list of instructions. At this point they said they couldn't make these changes because they have "Google approved" templates that can not be changed! I fought with them and fought with them, and kept sending them code and instructions. Eventually they caved on several but the majority of the changes were never implemented.
After a couple of months, I kept checking my stats and the website they built was getting and was very disappointed in the traffic to it. When I could show them the poor traffic, they would then make a tweak to the site, change words to a button, etc. After 6 months the site they build received a total of 89 visits and 283 page views! That's it! That is what I received for $700.
So about 6 weeks ago, I called to find out when my contact would be ending so i could cancel when the term of the contract was over. Well, I should have read their terms online instead of trusting the person on the phone because it clearly says that:
"When cancelling service with Local Lighthouse, USER must call in and receive a cancellation confirmation/confirmation number 15 days prior to USER’s anniversary billing date before service can be terminated. USER agrees that any charges incurred prior to cancellation are valid. "
So, they got me for another $99 because I didn't call BEFORE the contract was up.
The person I got on the phone said I had to wait until after the contract was over (July 5th) to cancel. Today is July 6th so I called to cancel. Well, canceling was an absolute nightmare!!!
I WARN YOU... They have layers of people you have to go through to cancel. Each time they put you on hold to "review your account" then each one gives you a pitch about their SEO audit that can help determine what is wrong "so you don't lose your investment". I was nice to the original woman but starting getting a bit annoyed when she said that I should have had my customers put reviews on my Google+ account. I said that it would have been nice if they had told me that 6 months ago. She gave me another sales pitch and I said "I appreciate you trying to keep my business but you should have been trying to keep my business for the last 6 months. Please just cancel my account." After a little more back and forth she finally put me on hold and transferred me to a gentleman who I thought was going to cancel the account... but NO! This was another sales pitch to keep keep me from "losing my investment". I kept saying I just wanted to cancel my account, he kept saying one more reason I should stay with them, I said cancel, he said something else, I started getting annoyed and raising my voice, he kept talking... I must tell you, that I can not remember EVER screaming at anyone, not in my personal life and never on the phone... I ended up screaming into the phone, "Just cancel my account. NOW. Not another word! Just say yes you will cancel my account. No, not another word!" Over and over... Then he laughed at me!!! HE LAUGHED! And he said he'd give me a discount on their SEO audit services. ARRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!! Finally, FINALLY, he said that he would have to transfer me to the department who could process my cancellation! He didn't even have authority to cancel it!!!
So, I was on hold for another maybe 10 minutes when he said that department was busy and I could sit on hold or they could call me back in 10 minutes. I asked to be called back... No surprise, they didn't. So then I called them back in about a 1/2 hour.
I told the first person that I already went through all their sales pitches and I just need to talk to the cancellation department. He transferred me, I am put on hold so she can review my account, she comes back to say I'm in the wrong department and she'll transfer me! I get to the next woman, and guess what... more sales pitches. And she keeps reducing the price until she is down to $19 a month! From $99 a month they are now down to $19 a month plus a free SEO audit. She says she has "more authority" to do this then the other people I talked to. I finally just get her to cancel my order, and per the terms and conditions page, ask her for my cancellation number and she says it's just my account number! She says I'll receive an email confirmation soon... which I have now received.
All-in-all I was on the phone almost an hour and spoke with 6 different people.
Bottom line: They did what they said they would do as far as getting my search terms #1 to #3 in the major search engines. The problem is the traffic this generates goes to the website they own and the click through rate to my website was 1. That's right. Of the 89 visits to their website, only 1 clicked through to mine. And that's what I got for my $792.00 ($99 a month for 6 months, plus $99 for setup, plus and extra $99 because I did what I was told on the phone and didn't cancel in time to stop it.
I'm sure this service can work for some businesses. They are smart about the way they word their contracts so they can't get sued. I'll never deal with them again.
Reason of review: No traffic to my website and canceling was a nightmare.
Monetary Loss: $792.
I didn't like: Lied to me, Not traffic to my main site, Cancelling contract was a nightmare.