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Hi there. This is a situation between someone I work for and an advertising company and I don't know what to suggest to help. I wonder if anyone can clarify?

This advertising company was found online (I believe we were sent to him by an equipment supplier) and after some email exchanges suggested a medium of advertising, a local newspaper and assured us that similar companies advertised there already and it worked.

They insisted we had to agree to 12 weeks advertising, paid monthly. This was agreed to, no official contract, just informal emails.

Since the very start they've been nothing but a pain, completely unprofessional, claiming that our adverts weren't good enough or didn't fit the guidelines and that we had to use ones they had designed for us. At our expense of course!

My boss ended up accepting the extra charges as it was a relatively small amount, but after several proofings of their (bloody awful) designs and having to send it back to be redone several times we put a foot down and said we were using our adverts - although they refused to tell us the guidelines we needed to fit.

This went on for weeks and subsequently resulted in the ad going out much later than it was meant to.

If all the hassle wasn't bad enough, the adverts have had no effect on the business whatsoever. To be honest I can't even guarantee the adverts are going out since this paper isn't available in our particular area. Now my boss doesn't want to continue and has said she wants to cancel (they have to resubmit the ad to the paper weekly so they aren't losing out) - where do we stand with this? all they do is say they don't know why it isn't working and we should continue.

They havn't been rude as far as I know but they're very hard to communicate clearly with and are always on the upsell. This is losing us a lot of money. Do they have grounds to chase the extra payments for services we don't want?

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Hi Doompixie,

 

I'm bombarded with calls all the time from co's wanting me to use their advertising which they suggest cannot fail to win me extra work.

 

They vary from wall planners, to police diaries to internet exposure which will rank me No1 on Google, GUARANTEED !! I turn them all down.

 

If you've agreed to 12 weeks (the emails will probably be adequate to constitute a contract), you may be tied in for this period.

 

However, if the advertising is not what you agreed to or wanted, you can tell them they've failed to provide the service you agreed to, or that their service falls short of what you consider reasonable. You therefore wish to terminate your agreement and will pay no more for their services.

 

They may come back saying you are tied in for the 12 weeks and they'll sue if you don't pay.

 

You can counter saying their service was so shoddy that you'll sue for a refund of monies paid so far.

 

:)

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You appear to think that once the advertising is paid for, there should be no other fees? This would be true if you provided material 'camera-ready copy' in traditional parlance, but if you had nothing prepared on suitable, then the preparation and creation of the advert IS chargeable.

 

Depending on the medium used, technical consideration apply, with minimum specifications for quality - a bit like minimum file sizes for pictures and logos. If the quality threshold isn't met, then the advert does not appear. Imagine how unhappy you would be if adverts adjacent to yours were of a scrappy and unprofessional appearance - bringing down your professional campaign.

 

All advertising is subjective. Only a fool would believe as fact that every reader would be moved to purchase. Sure, if the right person at the right time looking for the service you provide see the advert you'll be better off than if you had not advertised, but this has been the case since the 1900's - there's nothing new here.

 

Yes, they will always attempt to sell you more and bigger adverts - thats what space sellers do. If you agree, you pay, if you do not you don't. You'll be committed to pay for what you've agreed to under their terms and conditions.

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Thanks for the replies.

I just don't know what to do as they have really been awful to work with and honestly don't seem to know what they're doing, yet we're in an awkward position with little room to actually do anything other than let them rip us off.

As far as the ad costs go - fine if they had ASKED us at all but they threw one together then added on the charges. out of the blue.

Their ad copies were just plain terrible - it honestly looked worse than a school kid could do, and like it had been thrown together in 2 minutes flat. While we were agreeing to their advert it got rejected by the paper 8 times (6 more times than ours had to be changed) :rolleyes: which is when we decided we would just do it ourself. and yes, they're still charging for this 'service' even though we had to reject their ad completely.

We understand that ad campaigns can be unsuccessful, we are still striving for something that works. However we have not had a single customer from this particular service and it is obviously not right for us. How can we even be sure our advert is being shown if we don't even have one enquiry to back it up?

This was recomended by them as something that should work (as they claim to have done this kind of advertising for these services before), and they do not seem open to switching us over to something else that might actually benefit us instead of losing money. They really just do not care about making anything work for us. Sorry, but I thought it was reasonable to expect some customer service (since we've been paying for it on top of 'ad space' costs), even suggesting changes we could make instead of saying its obviously all our fault none of the customers are getting through. They are actually currently blaming a technical problem with our service, despite the fact that everything is working just fine.

Its not as if we're after any money back for services already purchased, its just horrible working with these people. It seems that they are only interested in bleeding us dry rather than actually providing any kind of service.

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HI DP,

 

It is irrelevant whether they said the advert "should" work, or whether it has brought in one or more customers. Unless, of course, this was guaranteed in the contract (which it won't be).

 

If you feel that the service provided is below a standard that you might reasonably expect, don't pay them any more. They may threaten to sue but, if they are as bad as you say and produce sub-standard work, I doubt they'll want to go to court.

 

Keep copies of letters or emails back and forth, and copies of their shoddy work.

 

If you're unhappy working with these people, stop doing so.

 

Check with their local Trading Standards to see if they have a reputation for shoddy work. Also, check on the internet to see if others have had similar problems.

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Yes, thats true. It just concerns me the way they handle the fact that we have had no customers as a result of this advert when they themselves believe we should.

I have been uncomfortable with this company since the beginning but my boss decided to give them a shot. Thanks for all the advice, I know where we stand now :)

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have you google'ed the company name, as you have not named them etc here

 

I bet google will bring back horror stories about them :D

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