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Porch.com,,,,,,,,,They Use Your Business Name And Redirect Your Calls

 
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Old 02-25-2015, 09:43 PM   #161
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Re: Porch.com,,,,,,,,,They Use Your Business Name And Redirect Your Calls


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Originally Posted by PorchDotCom View Post
Hey folks – Craig again.

Happy to try and address questions and clear things up; keep the questions coming.

As stated in an earlier post our goal is to make it as easy as possible for homeowners to find the right professional and to help professionals gain from this exposure.

We all know that homeowners have many different ways to search for and find a professional.

Google and dozens of other directory sites have worked to pull together all of the information that exists on the Internet to create varying versions of a “one stop shop” for home services.

We take a similar approach, but layer in a lot more information for homeowners so they can make the decision that is right for them.

For example:

1. Is this professional 3rd party accredited? – We have an exclusive partnership with the BBB that allows us to apply BBB ratings to every profile on our site.

2. What do customers think of this professional? – We make available the option for homeowners to write reviews. Reviews are verified and attached to the homeowner so they cannot be faked. You have to prove that you own the home being worked on before you can write a review.

3. Are they licensed? – We work with federal, state, and local agencies to reflect if a professional has an up to date license. We have verified licenses for over 400,000 professionals (and growing). We also showcase if pros are bonded and insured.

4. Are they relevant to me? – Through the data in our network we help homeowners find pros that have worked on homes similar to theirs. How is this determined? We use the information we have on over 3.2 million professionals and over 130 million projects to help them become more informed. That allows us to help homeowners narrow in on the pro who is best for their job by taking into account project history and location, if a neighbor used them, overall service area, average project cost, and other potential areas of specialization.

Yes – like many of the directory sites that exist we do use public information to build parts of the network (for example, your business name and contact information). If you do a search for your company on Google you will likely find some of your information on other directory sites as well.

Professionals can claim their profile to verify the contact information we have is right.

There is no cost to do this and yes, pros that claim their profile and add information on previous projects do get better traction from their profile. It is the nature of what people are looking for. Many homeowners view a more robust profile as being a better place to start. We have found that professionals with a complete profile (Basic pros – meaning free) receive 4x as many leads as those who have a blank profile.

For any professional that reaches out to us that does not want the exposure, we take down their profile.

Yes - there are some professionals who choose to pay for additional services. You can find out more about those services here – http://pro.porch.com

In reference to how the Concierge service works.

For any homeowner who uses our site, we will always take steps to help them get their job done and get it done quickly. In this case, if a homeowner is contacting a professional where we don’t have a verified email address (because the profile has not been claimed), we take an extra step to make sure they find a pro. Our commitment to the customer is to get them connected with a quality pro ASAP.

It can be a Basic (free) or Premium (paid) pro. It depends on what they are looking for and the data we have based on their search criteria.

Hope this helps clear up a bit how we approach pulling together the broad set of information available on the Internet and how we focus on creating a place where homeowners can get the most complete set of data and information.

And again, if you don’t want to be in the directory, just let us know and we will remove your information.

If you want the exposure, you don't have to pay for it. There are plenty of benefits to having a Basic (free) profile.
In the above highlighted, how "exactly" are you initially obtaining said contractor information of which you may not have a verified email address? And lastly do you think such is ethical?

Last edited by Jeff G; 02-25-2015 at 09:53 PM. Reason: sorry, left out a key word
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Old 02-25-2015, 10:23 PM   #162
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Re: Porch.com,,,,,,,,,They Use Your Business Name And Redirect Your Calls


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In the above highlighted, how "exactly" are you initially obtaining said contractor information of which you may not have a verified email address? And lastly do you think such is ethical?
He already justified it by saying many listing sites already correct and publish public data. Problem is they don't use my information to sell my leads to my competition.
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Old 02-25-2015, 10:26 PM   #163
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Re: Porch.com,,,,,,,,,They Use Your Business Name And Redirect Your Calls


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He already justified it by saying many listing sites already correct and publish public data. Problem is they don't use my information to sell my leads to my competition.
Which pertains to ethics!

I hope to hear Craig specifically answer my inquiry about that.
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Old 02-25-2015, 11:08 PM   #164
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Re: Porch.com,,,,,,,,,They Use Your Business Name And Redirect Your Calls


Dear Porch, (In response to post 141) about the "All Potential Professionals: We are trying to create a transparent network and a huge part of that is giving homeowners access to every professional. This is pulled from publicly available information. Again - if a professional reaches out to us we are happy to take down their profile.”


You say you are trying to create a transparent network but that seems far from the truth since you guys are very smart at your web based marketing, and you use my name WITHOUT my permission to get traffic to your site. Why do I have to contact you to stop you from doing something that I never gave permission for in the first place? For example, I just did a search on my company and found two SEO optimized results that lead someone to your site first, and then there are barriers in place before the consumer would find me.

Most contractors may not understand, and neither did I, until I took the contractor website marketing class from the toolbox folk to learn. I’ll be specific since it has taken me so long to do well, and it seems while you are being your “transparent network”, you are willing to do anything legally possibly (but probably not so ethical in my opinion) to drive traffic away from my site.

#1) My company name is used in your landing pages in both the Title Tags and Meta Descriptions. The first has my name and service in the Title Tag so you optimize for Search, then the description says “See past Project Info for KP Carpentry including photos, cost and more”. I have never submitted anything to your company but yet you are promoting that you are transparent. Come on, give me a break. Is that transparent or just smart marketing to mislead someone to your site.

We all know you know that contractors are not that educated in this marketing stuff, but that is blatantly not fair. You seem to have a fleet of marketing guys who automate any possible way to use my information.

#2) And then to make matters worse, when you click on the page that you have optimized, it brings up an email icon to communicate with me. And of course it isn’t a direct link to my site. It brings up a sign in page for the consumer and I’ll bet you will force me to sign up to get the email if it is sent to me. And to get that email, I will have to agree to Terms & Conditions to the use of my content that I will not agree to (or most will not understand).

#3) Oh, and I also notice that my website was smartly pushed into the Read More portion of my hijacked listing so someone may jump to the Email link not knowing how to reach me directly once they landed on that page.

Between Porch, Angie, Houzz, Service Magic – Home Advisor and everyone else who seems to prey off this industry, it is rather sad that you can professionally come up with a spin on putting a transparent network together. Your job is to sit behind a desk and make everything look pretty when it comes to this, but I’m in the field working so hard and it stinks when all you folk look to take advantage.

Say what you will, but I see my name being used and I never gave permission. And if I didn’t say anything, would you really care? This is a numbers game and so many of my fellow tradesmen are really being taken advantage of.

Ken
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Old 02-25-2015, 11:31 PM   #165
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Re: Porch.com,,,,,,,,,They Use Your Business Name And Redirect Your Calls


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The scheme is for contractors to pay to advertise on porch. Or pay for leads.

They will implement a call tracking mechanism charging per call.

I get that part but why would they put joe sponsored porch contractor against their hoodlum sub installers.
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Old 02-26-2015, 07:14 AM   #166
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Re: Porch.com,,,,,,,,,They Use Your Business Name And Redirect Your Calls


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Originally Posted by KP Carpentry View Post
Dear Porch, (In response to post 141) about the "All Potential Professionals: We are trying to create a transparent network and a huge part of that is giving homeowners access to every professional. This is pulled from publicly available information. Again - if a professional reaches out to us we are happy to take down their profile.”


You say you are trying to create a transparent network but that seems far from the truth since you guys are very smart at your web based marketing, and you use my name WITHOUT my permission to get traffic to your site. Why do I have to contact you to stop you from doing something that I never gave permission for in the first place?

For example, I just did a search on my company and found two SEO optimized results that lead someone to your site first, and then there are barriers in place before the consumer would find me.

Most contractors may not understand, and neither did I, until I took the contractor website marketing class from the toolbox folk to learn. I’ll be specific since it has taken me so long to do well, and it seems while you are being your “transparent network”, you are willing to do anything legally possibly (but probably not so ethical in my opinion) to drive traffic away from my site.

#1) My company name is used in your landing pages in both the Title Tags and Meta Descriptions. The first has my name and service in the Title Tag so you optimize for Search, then the description says “See past Project Info for KP Carpentry including photos, cost and more”. I have never submitted anything to your company but yet you are promoting that you are transparent. Come on, give me a break. Is that transparent or just smart marketing to mislead someone to your site.

Ken

Craig (or anyone else at Porch who is working with Craig on providing well worded replies, ),

Forgive my humor in the comment "or anyone else at Porch who is working with you", but again, every major lead generation company has done the same thing before you, so it is very hard to know whenever a lead generation marketing firm is being genuine versus saying whatever they have to in order to make things look good.

So let me ensure you see the pattern you are following beginning with going back just a little (less than two years) and showing you the visual results of one of your well known competitors.

In the middle of 2013 I was getting concerned about some contractors having a harder time than others getting website traffic. I even titled a Contractor Talk forum thread How Lead Gen Companies Use Your Name Against You.

The focus is how it is just not fair how certain Lead Gen and Ratings Review companies use your name against you.

Many of the Search results would say The Contractor Name, The Location and The Lead Generation company's name. Then the meta description (designed to have a user click on the search result) of the Title Tag would say "Read Rating Reviews on The Contractor Name" and many other permutations of these search results. The problem is No reviews exist, so the landing page then introduces another company. And the landing page would say "There are no Reviews for this contractor" implying something negative even when the contractor has an upstanding reputation and their own testimonials on their own website.

So now, what KP Carpentry is saying is, instead of doing the same with Reviews you can trust, Porch is doing the same thing by saying
“See past Project Info for KP Carpentry including photos, cost and more”.

There is no way of denying that it is a Porch marketing method to guide someone to your site when no information about this contractor exists, especially on the two leading topics of photos and cost. It is in search results so what can be said to Ken that will make him feel good knowing a well funded marketing firm is using his name without his knowledge and is making statements that are not true (about the existence of information that does not exist).

Is it legal? I am sure somehow someone will come up with a 1st Amendment type of explanation

Is it ethical for the contractor? I'm sure the vast amount of contractors who just say No.

So how will Ken, a small working contractor know when one or two people each day or week go looking for him and are visually deceived in search results to go somewhere else?

Another physical analogy would be to have a truck in town riding around with a sign saying "Need a carpenter? Get pictures, testimonials and cost from KP Carpentry, call today" and then when you call the number on the truck sign, the person answers the phone saying We Are Sorry, we don't have any information on KP Carpentry but here is the name of another Carpenter.

Remember, the thread I started was in 2013 when you probably where not part of the group you represent today, but Ken did take my website education classes back then so he is able to at least see what you are doing.

I tend to be diplomatic in how I express myself, but some of the voice messages and calls I get are rather challenging to defend the above. But I can feel the pain of the average guy just trying to do what is right, build his online reputation, and then have to deal with tactics like this to ensure he gets communicated with.

So Yes, you are sending leads to others today, but how can one say not at the expense of others who are less informed.

So Yes, you do say you want a contractor to have their own website, but how can one say that it will not be harder for them to get leads when another firm is using their information in a manner that can be questioned, probably not legally questioned but definitely from a ethical perspective.

So I guess I can feel good knowing all I do is help contractors learn how to drive traffic to their own website with no ambiguity of what is displayed to lure a customer. My vote is for 101% integrity and eventually a contractor will have complete control of their reputation. All the lead generation companies should hope Google doesn't come up with a new Algorithm update that detects when information really doesn't exist since then I would need to come up with even another marketing class ...
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Old 02-26-2015, 08:34 AM   #167
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Re: Porch.com,,,,,,,,,They Use Your Business Name And Redirect Your Calls


It is absurd Google allows sites to generate landing pages like HA, AL and the lot do.
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Old 02-26-2015, 05:20 PM   #168
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Re: Porch.com,,,,,,,,,They Use Your Business Name And Redirect Your Calls


Hi Craig or whoever you are.

You guys have ripped off our name, address, city, phone, and occupation. I demand you cease and desist!!!

I worked hard with myonlinetoolbox to get my SEO up and running. Things were clicking along pretty darn well. Then a little while ago we noticed a slow down. I couldn't figure out why until I started doing some research and poking around. Lo and behold! What do we have here?

A website with a Title Tag with our company name -- Full Service Property Management -- in it. The meta says "See past project info for Full Service Property Management incl. photos, cost and more." Since I have never done any work with you, how the hell did you get photos, cost and more?

Unless, of course, you are lying?
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Old 02-26-2015, 05:22 PM   #169
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Re: Porch.com,,,,,,,,,They Use Your Business Name And Redirect Your Calls


Anyone interested in a class action lawsuit against these jokers??

The internet may be free, and I am all for freedom of speech. But these guys have crossed the line.
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Old 02-26-2015, 05:27 PM   #170
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Re: Porch.com,,,,,,,,,They Use Your Business Name And Redirect Your Calls


The web guy I use must be pretty good because you can't find porch at all when typing in my company name or when typing in keywords and areas we target.

In fact, when you type Porch followed by my company name, nothing Porch related shows up. Just my main Google listing with my regular website link. There is some guy in Colorado with the same name that shows up.
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Old 02-26-2015, 05:33 PM   #171
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The web guy I use must be pretty good because you can't find porch at all when typing in my company name or when typing in keywords and areas we target.

In fact, when you type Porch followed by my company name, nothing Porch related shows up. Just my main Google listing with my regular website link. There is some guy in Colorado with the same name that shows up.
That just means you've been flying under their radar.
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Old 02-26-2015, 05:45 PM   #172
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That just means you've been flying under their radar.
Nope, I definitely get calls from Porch guys a few times a week. I just ignore it.
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Old 02-26-2015, 06:49 PM   #173
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Nope, I definitely get calls from Porch guys a few times a week. I just ignore it.
I'm sure Porch has more than just 2 or 3 people. Those that are calling you probably aren't put to work after lunch scrouring the web for content to steal.
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Old 02-26-2015, 08:43 PM   #174
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Re: Porch.com,,,,,,,,,They Use Your Business Name And Redirect Your Calls


Sorry guys, but Craig won't be back. This site's TOS explicitly forbid Service Provider self-promotion such as links to the service, screen name same as business name and so forth.

I let it ride for a bit, but rules is rules.
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Old 02-26-2015, 08:50 PM   #175
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Sorry guys, but Craig won't be back. This site's TOS explicitly forbid Service Provider self-promotion such as links to the service, screen name same as business name and so forth.

I let it ride for a bit, but rules is rules.
Then perhaps it's time to turn off the lights and lock the door on this one.
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Old 02-26-2015, 08:53 PM   #176
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Re: Porch.com,,,,,,,,,They Use Your Business Name And Redirect Your Calls


No Ken, I won't do that--because discussion of SP's is most certainly allowed.
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Old 02-26-2015, 10:09 PM   #177
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Re: Porch.com,,,,,,,,,They Use Your Business Name And Redirect Your Calls


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Sorry guys, but Craig won't be back. This site's TOS explicitly forbid Service Provider self-promotion such as links to the service, screen name same as business name and so forth.

I let it ride for a bit, but rules is rules.
Too bad, I sure was hopeful of learning his view regarding his company's business ethic. Would be quite telling.

As it stands right now, it sure seems what they are doing is highly unethical and something needs to be done to make things right, whether it be legal action, or having enough folks band together where as to impact a "free market" solution strong enough to negate such a dishonest operation.
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Old 02-26-2015, 10:55 PM   #178
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Re: Porch.com,,,,,,,,,They Use Your Business Name And Redirect Your Calls


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Too bad, I sure was hopeful of learning his view regarding his company's business ethic. Would be quite telling.

As it stands right now, it sure seems what they are doing is highly unethical and something needs to be done to make things right, whether it be legal action, or having enough folks band together where as to impact a "free market" solution strong enough to negate such a dishonest operation.
We would just get more of his canned crap.
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Old 02-26-2015, 11:11 PM   #179
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Sorry guys, but Craig won't be back. This site's TOS explicitly forbid Service Provider self-promotion such as links to the service, screen name same as business name and so forth.

I let it ride for a bit, but rules is rules.
Explicity? Even when there are vendor sections? Seems things are about to change, might have run off a paying custormer.
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Old 02-26-2015, 11:15 PM   #180
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We would just get more of his canned crap.
Maybe so, but even that is quite revealing, isn't it? Particularly when asked such a pointed question.

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