Contractors unwillingly BUT LEGALLY give away their identity to lead gen companies
This post has been enhanced since its original post to reflect a more current situation. It was originally posted in early 2013 and here we are, many years later reminding contractors of the same issue.
Unfortunately, after all these years this topic lives within our industry. We wish the topic did not exist, but the reality is so many contractors still do not embrace marketing for their own websites, so they inadvertently are taken advantage of when they quickly join certain lead generation site.
The first time we posted this was after we read another woman’s forum post about her being shocked to learn that she was being re-directed away from her own company when she googled her company name, and then was directed to a lead generation service. We will not mention the specific company name since they get way too much publicity which still generates traffic to their site.This post was also promoted on our YouTube channel too, so listen here for how contractors unwilling but legally give away their identity to lead gen company. Note: we no longer promote the software mentioned in the video.
Bold, Capitalized and underlined is to get your attention. Here is the research we did.
We read the Terms & Conditions of this particular company frequently mentioned when referencing contractor lead generation. It is important to note that the lead generation company views anything you submit to their site as Content to their site that they own, or that you give unlimited use of, and that includes your business biography and services. The terms also state “the contractor agrees that a consumer may not be directed back to the contractor if the contractor does not have the appropriate spending limit and other limitations”.
We think it is fair to replace may not with will not when money is not to be made. And we also wish someone could explain what “other limitations” mean since we feel it is definitely against the individual contractor when the whole issue is already ambiguous.
And to make matters worse, the Terms also state the Contractor agrees the lead generation company can take the Content (reminder, your Business Bio Information that you submit) AND use, copy, reproduce, and sublicense any content on the profile page to drive traffic. BUT THEY DO NOT HAVE TO PASS THE CONSUMER TO THE CONTRACTOR. Let’s guess what the lead generation company will do next. You wonder?
In summary, we interpret this that the contractor is asked to sign up, pass along your identity to the lead generation company, and the lead generation company can use the information anyway it wants if you do not pay them forever.
Just imagine if every contractor knew up front, in big bold explanation what he is giving up when he agrees to join a lead generation service (for Free or Paid, doesn’t matter). But many time we feel the contractor is being misled into what he is getting, what he is not getting, and how is company information may no longer be used to his own benefit. It begs to wonder why anyone would agree to one way terms with their business identity.
Maybe we are wrong, and we would like to hear from a lead generation company who feels we are wrong with a specific explanation to their terms and conditions. We will be pleased to place the explanation here in order to ensure readers know the difference between your services and those we are referring to. But we want to hear that unconditionally your company would never use a contractor’s business data to drive traffic to your site in order to then connect a potential consumer with another contractor. We think it is fair to assume the average contractor is so new to technology and website marketing and may not fully understand all the ways you can make money, so explain it. And also explain if there is “any method” where the contractor’s business data could be used to make you money even if the contractor does not pay for your services.
And for full disclosure, MyOnlineToolbox is willing to admit that we too make money from contractors by one of two ways. The first way is we have Contractor Website Marketing Education, both Basic Website & SEO Education and Advanced Website & SEO Education. And we also have Contractor Marketing Strategy Planning. We care about contractors getting as many quality leads as they can on a continuous basis.
As a result of working with so many contractors, we have heard our customer’s frustration with many lead generation services as mentioned above so we decided to start teaching our clients how to get leads on their own with no potential downside using their business data generating leads and money to other entities.
But the big difference is MyOnlineToolbox does not use the contractor’s business identity in any misleading way and lead traffic goes directly to the contractor’s website, whether they are still paying us for our services or not.
Business should always be a win-win for everyone with no ambiguity when money is still not exchanging hands going forward. And we feel it is even another win when nothing can happen negatively to the contractor simply because they no longer use our services, for whatever the reason. We wish the Lead Generation companies did the same but unfortunately, this is not always the case.
READ THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS BEFORE SIGNING UP TO ANY SERVICE THAT SELLS LEADS. They thrive on content, and that content comes from you!