BBB Accredited Business since

Prospect Genius

Phone: (800) 689-1273 Fax: (888) 488-9011 250 Jordan Rd, Troy, NY 12180 View Additional Email Addresses http://www.prospectgenius.com View Additional Web Addresses


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Description

This business offers online marketing solutions for social media, local search, and paid search.


BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that Prospect Genius meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.


Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that raised the rating for Prospect Genius include:

  • Length of time business has been operating
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size
  • Response to 2 complaint(s) filed against business
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business


Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

2 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 0 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 1
Billing/Collection Issues 0
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 0
Problems with Product/Service 1
Total Closed Complaints 2

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

0 Customer Reviews on Prospect Genius
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 0
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 0
Total Customer Reviews 0

Additional Information

BBB file opened: July 30, 2008 Business started: 07/01/2005 in NY Business started locally: 07/01/2005 Business incorporated 08/29/2005 in NY
Type of Entity

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Business Management
Mr. Alex Pelli, Owner
Contact Information
Principal: Mr. Alex Pelli, Owner
Business Category

INTERNET MARKETING SERVICES

Products & Services

Prospect Genius offers the following product(s): Local Search Marketing, Paid Search Marketing, Social Media Marketing


Additional Locations

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BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview


BBB Customer Reviews Rating represents the customers opinions of the business. The Customer Review Rating is based on the number of positive, neutral and negative customer reviews posted that are calculated to produce a score.

Customer Review Experience Value
Positive Review 5 points per review
Neutral Review 3 points per review
Negative Review 1 point per review

BBB letter grades represent the BBB's opinion of the business. The BBB grade is based on BBB file information about the business. In some cases, a business' grade may be lowered if the BBB does not have sufficient information about the business despite BBB requests for that information from the business.
Details

BBB Letter Grade Scale

BBB Rating Value
A+ 5
A 4.66
A- 4.33
B+ 4
B 3.66
B- 3.33
C+ 3
C 2.66
C- 2.33
D+ 2
D 1.66
D- 1.33
F 1
NR -----
Star Rating scale

  Average Score
5 stars 5.00
4.5 stars 4.50-4.99
4 stars 4.00-4.49
3.5 stars 3.50-3.99
3 stars 3.00-3.49
2.5 stars 2.50-2.99
2 stars 2.00-2.49
1.5 stars 1.50-1.99
1 star 0-1.49

BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating is not a guarantee of a business' reliability or performance, and BBB recommends that consumers consider a business' BBB Rating and Customer Review Rating in addition to all other available information about the business. If the BBB Rating is NR then only Customer Reviews are used for the Star Rating.

Complaint Detail(s)

4/15/2015 Problems with Product/Service
2/14/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: Prospect genius is worthless, The only thing they are able to do is get people searching for the exact key phrase to your cite. They make claims of google results but you will only see exact matches to your company name. the same if you had a 50 web site. Never invest in these scam artists. I put almost 2 years into it and at the end when I cancelled they did their best to hide the phone number we used and turned just nasty to deal with. They are just real scum when it comes right down to it.

Desired Settlement: Prospect genius goes out of business.

Business Response:

To Whom It May Concern:

Since the desired settlement is for "Prospect Genius to go out of business," there is not much for us to work with on this. The best I can do is to set forth the facts of what happened and correct the erroneous claims made by *** *******. I have attached three e-mail threads that show the interactions between *** ******* and Prospect Genius. Upon reading through these e-mails, you will clearly see that we did all that we could to assist *** *******.

The attachments I have included are three e-mail threads:

  • 1.pdf is the exchange between *** ******* and me and covers the majority of the issue.
  • 2.pdf was created because *** ******* replied to an old e-mail, and it includes discussion with his sales rep ******.
  • 3.pdf shows our attempt to collect payment for services rendered, and *** *******'s reply stating that he successfully ported the number.
In the complaint, *** ******* cites 11/25/2012 as the date he commenced his campaign with us, and 5/21/2013 as the date of the problem. The accurate date of his order was 3/20/2012, and his campaign was terminated due to a past-due balance on 11/18/2013. As far as I can tell, the 5/21 date has no relevance whatsoever to our relationship with *** *******.

There were also repeated assertions that our service is a scam, and that it was worthless. *** ******* paid for our month-to-month service for 18 months. If, at any point, he felt that the program was not worthwhile, he could have canceled it with nothing more than an e-mail stating his desire to do so. Clearly, *** ******* knows that the value he obtained from our services exceeded the money he spent, or else he would not have made 18 consecutive decisions to continue the service. Furthermore, when *** ******* signed up, we honored our 10% military discount despite the fact that his service was not for the United States, but rather for Finland. We had no obligation to do so, and if we were attempting to scam or defraud, what possible explanation could there be for honoring this discount? Along the same lines, if we were attempting to scam or defraud, why would we provide service free of charge for 29 days as we attempted to rectify his failed billing?

*** *******'s campaign was ultimately terminated on 11/18/2013 because his account was 29 days past-due. As you can see in *** *******'s own e-mail from 11/21/2013 (Attachment "1.pdf"), he acknowledges his last payment was made on 9/20/2013. Upon his receipt of the notice of termination, *** ******* began asserting that we "hastily" canceled his account. I then replied with a fully documented timeline illustrating, that in fact, our action was in no way hasty, as it came about a full 29 days after his account went into past-due status. We made several unsuccessful attempts to contact *** ******* to correct his payment issue during the final 29 days of his time with us.

*** ******* was quite concerned about his ability to port the phone number we used for him, an issue he raised in his response to the e-mail that notified him of the termination of his account (Attachment "1.pdf"). In all the subsequent e-mails, I explained to *** ******* that we have no part in that process, other than refraining from reusing the number. So long as no new client is assigned the number, he is free to port it at any time. Despite his failure to properly notify us of the desire to port the number, we still honored his request and refrained from reusing the number. No matter how many times this was explained to *** *******, he continued to assert that we were acting in such a way as to thwart his attempts to port the number. In fact, no such actions were taken, and even if we had wanted to, we would have been legally prevented from doing so, making his repeated claims all the more absurd. We have had dozens of former clients port numbers without issue. The fact that *** ******* struggled with this is regrettable, but it had nothing to do with Prospect Genius, as we do not control any part of that process.

Further backing our assertion that we have no role in the number porting process, *** ******* states in an e-mail dated 12/16/2013 (Attachment "3.pdf") that "the phone number is transferred," which I can only conclude means he was ultimately successful in porting the number.

*** ******* has, for some reason, convinced himself that Prospect Genius has actively tried to harm him in some way, and no matter how many times we attempted to clarify his misconceptions, he refused to listen. *** ******* still owes Prospect Genius approximately $250 for services rendered between 10/20 and 11/20 in 2013.

Sincerely,

**** *****
President
Prospect Genius

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and have determined that this does not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

[To assist us in bringing this matter to a close, we would like to know your view on the matter.]

Regards,

*** *******

**** has prior to this used his name under the customer service rep and now he claims to be the president. that's fine. i will shed light to the claims as they come about in the response. the third .pdf attachment is missing, mainly because prospect genius finally provided the name of the company who they leased the phone number from, allowing me to port the number. this means most of ****es rant on the email is a filler and not based on facts.

About the 18 months, i was going to quit the service quite a few times. prospect genius then sold the monthly service for 50 dollars to keep me from cancelling. interestingly that's about all i think their service is worth. about the military discount, for them to sell me the deal initially i wanted a discount. their idea was to dress it up as a military discount. i provided the paperwork and it was done. if it had been "free" they would have not required me to provide the information in the first place. ****** with prospect genius is great and that's the reason why i signed up and stayed, but the service is not worth more than 50 dollars per month.

then about the past due account, prospect genius was asked to provide details about porting the number after cancellation. when they sat on this information and then turned nasty after cancelling speaks for itself.

the bottom line is this. had they immediately provided the information required by *******, who is the carrier i ported to, i would have not looked back. it would have been a bad decision made while trying to grow the company. then after the headache trying to get the information it turned to be a nightmare that is not warranted in the business world.



Business Response: In *** ********'s initial complaint, he stated that his desired resolution to this issue was that "Prospect Genius goes out of business." From this we know, quite clearly, that there is nothing Prospect Genius will be able to do to satisfy him.

The main points he asserts are:

1. That Prospect Genius is worthless
2. That we are scam artists
3. That upon his cancellation, we attempted to "hide the phone number" used in his campaign
4. That upon his cancellation, we "turned nasty."

In my original response, I fully refuted these points and I'll summarize again here:
1. If we are worthless, why did *** ******** decide to stay with the program 18 consecutive times? No one pays for something that has no value so clearly, at the time, *** ******** saw value in continuing the program each month.
2. If we are scam artists, we are clearly the worst scammers in history. We honored a military discount for his service in the FINNISH army. If we were trying to scam him, why would we give up 10% of the revenue on our scam? Further, if we were scamming him, why did we continue to provide service for a 29 days after his payment ran out?
3. *** ******** has provided no factual evidence to back up his claim that we tried to hide the phone number in some way. Simply, this is because none exists. We state in our Terms of Service that if the client wishes to retain the phone number that s/he submit that request within 10 days of cancelling. If that is done, we will refrain from assigning that number to another client, thus leaving it available to be ported at the client's leisure. This is exactly what we did. The incompetence of the carrier *** ******** decided to go with to do the porting of the number has nothing to do with Prospect Genius.
4. I submitted all the email correspondence between *** ******** and Prospect Genius during this time when we purportedly "turned nasty." As you can plainly see, at no point did I or anyone else break from professionalism. Beyond supplying all the correspondence for your review, there is literally nothing more I can do to prove the inaccuracy of *** ********'s assertions.

The majority of *** ********'s dissatisfaction stems from his difficulty in porting the number to his new carrier. He is convinced that Prospect Genius has a role to play in this process, despite our repeated assertions that we do not have any control over that process whatsoever. In fact, the FCC prevents us from doing what he describes so he's actually accusing us of breaking the law, which I can assure you we are not.

I understand that this number porting business is foreign to many so I'll illustrate it with an analogy. This situation is akin to filing a complaint against your internet service provider because they refused to come to your house to fix the electrical outlet in your wall. Sure, your cable modem uses the electricity from the wall to function, but it has nothing to do with the service itself and no matter how much you complain, there is nothing the internet service provider can do to solve your problem.

To further illuminate the situation, the following is an excerpt from one of *** ********'s emails:

****, i dont know what your problem is but to port that number to the new carrier i need the:
Account Name
Account Number
Account Pin
Account Password

None of that information is actually required. We have had dozens of past clients port their phone number without a single piece of this information. Think of it this way, if you were to walk into a Verizon Wireless store with an AT&T phone, you would not have to provide any of that information to Verizon in order for them to port your AT&T number to your new ******* phone. In fact, even if I had an overwhelming desire to provide this information, it would have been impossible because I posses exactly none of it. There is no account name, number, pin or password to provide, making it physically impossible for me to comply with *** ********'s demands.

I'll make one final attempt to illustrate the futility of this situation. The following is the very first communication received from *** ******** after we notified him that we terminated his account due to a past-due balance:

Dear ****,
i received a past due bill from your billing today, now you have sent me an email the same day that it has been terminated. i have made it clear that when i cancel this service i want to port the telephone number that is associated with my account. i hope you are not taking extra steps to hold on to my phone number. please advice what is needed at this point to port the number since you have hastily initiated this termination.
Art Seppala

As you can see, *** ********'s paranoia over the phone number is quite obvious despite the complete lack of evidence. The following is the response that was sent back to *** ********. As you can see, there is nothing "nasty" about it.

*** *******,

The termination of your account for Cool Air Express, Inc. can in no reasonable way be described as "hasty." We acted in accordance with section 7F of our Terms of Service which allows us to terminate your account 30 days after your last payment is received. On 10/20/2013 your card declined. Three days later on 10/23/2013 you spoke with Kelly about the failed payment and indicated that you would resolve the issue. Three weeks later, on 11/12/2013 you spoke with ****** on the phone. The next day, on 11/13/2013, you received a follow-up email from ****** explaining how to cancel as well as how the number porting process works. It was not until 11/18/2013 that your account was terminated due to your failure to remit payment for the previous 29 days. This timeline puts us approximately 60 days from your last payment, exceeding our 30 day standard by 100%, and as such cannot be described as "hasty."

Despite your failure to submit your cancellation request in writing as the Terms require, and despite your failure to request the number porting in writing, we refrained from reusing the number that was associated with your account. We have no further involvement with the number porting process.

--****

No matter how angry *** ******** gets, and no matter how many complaints he files, it will never change the fact that we have no control over his phone provider's ability to execute a number port. It is quite unfortunate that *** ******** is unhappy but just as I cannot stop the sun from being hot, I have no ability to do anything to address *** ********'s frustrations.



Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ******** and have determined that this does not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

[To assist us in bringing this matter to a close, we would like to know your view on the matter.]

Regards,
*** *******

The response is just a play on words on prospect geniuses part.

1. i requested the billing history from prospect genius in email a few weeks ago which they have not provided. it clearly shows the times they dropped the service to 50 dollars when i attempted to terminate the service, as i stated before. it also shows their unwillingness to work with clients that quit their service.

2. for a free discount they required the documents for a military service, which makes it not free. furthermore i will not assume responsibility for their decisions. also, there is a bill for the 29 days they provided the service after the balance ran out making this claim even more ridiculous

3. in my last attachemt it is clearly read that only after taking this matter to a legal professional they provided me with the slightest bit of information stating that the carrier is marchex which allowed me to port to t-mobile.

4. yes, as i stated above only after turning to a help of a legal professional they provided the information of the carrier that had the number. the bulk of the email is mainly alex writing for his own enjoyment.

with all the analogies it does seem like someones writing a book.  some highlights are worth mentioning, like the dozens of past clients porting their numbers. this would make me assume that propect genius is not that great. also mr seppalas paranoia, which is just uncalled for.

on one thing i do agree with alex is that what is done is done and there's no setting it right afterwards no matter how much he writes about the sun and the stars.



Business Response: I stand behind my previous statements.


Customer Review(s)

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