Insurance Agency sues Hometownquotes.com

Jul 4, 2008

  1. InsuranceBenefitsGroup
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    InsuranceBenefitsGroup Guru

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    Zander's federal lawsuit accuses Brentwood firm | The Law | NashvillePost.com: Nashville Business News + Nashville Political News

    Back in May I Googled my name and the name of my company. I found that hometownquotes and/or one of their affiliates were using my name, business name,and phone number and linking it to a lead generation form. This one is currently tied to my name:

    Free Health Insurance Quotes

    Basically, if someone is researching you on the net, checking you out -if you will, they could potentially click a link with your name on it. Instead of the link bringing them to you or your website, the link would bring them to a lead form (owned by hometownquotes.com) They could be filling out that form with the intentions of reaching you. Well, guess what happens when they fill that form out? Yep, their phone lights up like a Christmas tree and their email box is blasted. These calls and emails are not from you, unless you are buying leads from them. Wouldn't that be interesting?

    Last summer, Hometownquotes.com was being accused of misleading folks that listen to Dave Ramsey. Dave endorses Zander Insurance, a large Nashville based agency. Hometownquotes and/or affiliates had allegedly tied Zander's name to their lead form thru SPECIFIC keywords and/or misspellings -allegedly to guide folks away from Zander and to hometownquotes.com's lead forms.

    I found a link just today, from yet another lead company, tied to my name, business, and phone number. When you click this link it takes you to a lead form. We'll zap these guys after the holiday.

    Fast Quote Finder -=

    What's the point of all of this? Check yourself out online. Make sure no one is misleading your potential clients by linking them to lead forms. These guys can theoretically direct your potential client away from you, and profit while doing it!
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2008
  2. Invain15
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    Invain15 Super Genius

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    They are retarded for doing that. But in the law of sowing and reaping. You get what you sow.
     
  3. somarco
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    somarco GA Medicare Expert

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    HTQ did not place the site. It was one of their (now former) affiliates.
     
    somarco, Jul 5, 2008
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  4. dmiller90
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    dmiller90 Guru

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    Doesnt matter, Obviously HTQ is fully aware of this and I am probably guessing many more out there using the same type of tactics, I have read much about this company, and Nothing I hear is good, and I know for a fact thier Leads, convert way lower than other vendors,
     
  5. Crabcake Johnny
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    Crabcake Johnny Guru

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    Agree - doesn't matter. Maybe if they get smacked with a few lawsuits they'll be more aggressive with policing their affiliates.

    Right now I think some of these lead companies see their affiliate relationships as a "get out of jail free" card. Just bring us leads, we "won't ask won't tell" but when it goes south then we have someone to blame while erasing all liability for ourselves.
     
  6. InsuranceBenefitsGroup
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    InsuranceBenefitsGroup Guru

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    Bob,

    Do you have more info? I assumed it was an affiliate, #4723 to be exact, in all of links they used with my info.

    I am coming to understand that if the name/info is not copyrighted, they can bascially do what they wish with it as it's public.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2008
  7. MattMcWilliams
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    I would suggest researching the results of said suit.

    It was indeed an affiliate and the end result was no action, the affiliate was terminated and not paid. That is all that can be done by any company.

    Now, Zander understands that legal action is not the way to go about it. Jeff personally contacts me and we have the links down within 48 hours.

    Affiliates are reprimanded or terminated, depending on the severity of the offense. Often it is as simle as bidding on the keyword "insurance" and a search for "xyz insurance" shows the ad. Thus, the affiliate must add "xyz" or "Zander" or whatever else to his/her negative keyword list.

    In the case of the recent example with Zander it was no fault of the affiliate, but the result of a change in Yahoo's Pay Per Click rules with campaigns and negative keywords.

    I suggest you see the post here - Midyear-2008 Lead Company Update

    I have provided my contact information and a means to solve any problems that you may have with this.
     
  8. somarco
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    somarco GA Medicare Expert

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    Well . . .

    I was out of town and just got back. Was going to suggest contacting Matt but I see he has beat me to the punch.

    Say what you will about HTQ, but I have found them to be honest and fair in the 2+ yrs I have used them. Having met Hunter, Matt and all of the officers and managers of the company, I can say they work hard to deliver a quality product.
     
    somarco, Jul 6, 2008
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  9. Crabcake Johnny
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    Crabcake Johnny Guru

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    Again...why the affiliates. I don't get it - they're paying per lead which in some cases adds up to countless thousands per month.

    You can't tell me that for less money they can't put skilled people on payroll and control it.
     
  10. MattMcWilliams
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    Just answered this in detail under the mid-year review post.

    I hope that it does not sound like I am calling you ignorant...that is not the intent. Just as I have no idea how to write a policy for health insurance, the intricacies of marketing online (particularly the rules of Google and Yahoo) only come with years of experience and a lot of good mentors.
     
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