Yes, we have all had those telephone calls that promise us the moon, stars and everything in between. We want so badly to believe them and in a weak moment most of us give in. These are pros that promise us and tell us everything we want to hear.
We are told we are “special” and they do not understand why our books are not on the best sellers list and they want to do everything possible to get your book on the best sellers list and to brand your name. You think, “Finally someone has noticed me or finally it is my turn”. Wrong – usually. Now that doesn’t mean that the slim chance doesn’t fall at your door step. There are always those few.
For a “small” fee they will agree to conduct interviews. Now, I have to tell you that when Close-Up TV News contacted me I had the impression it was “Close-Up TV News” contacting me and wanting to interview me. Not even close! Actually they use that name but the interviews were conducted over “blog talk radio”, not even real radio. So, it started out misleading.
I was promised celebrity host and endorsements for the four interviews. That would be where Doug Llewelyn and Jim Masters come in and yes, they did four interviews, two each and each did their 30 second pre-interview promo and 30 minute interviews.
There was to be a press release with photo or video distribution to major news outlets. Yes, a press release was prepared and it went out through a clipping service to random newspapers.
A press release with photo or video was to be distributed to media publications. That never happened.
A press release with photo or video was to be distributed to the networks. That never happened.
There was to be a promotion of books, along with show dates and times. Other than the initial press release there was no promotion.
I was to be provided with visibility on the major search engines. There was nothing done.
There was to be live streaming from my website with access 24 hours a day. That never happened.
The interviews were to be professionally scripted and I would have complete control of the 30 minute radio interviews. There was never a script. It was always spontaneous.
The interview setup was to accommodate up to 250 live callers into each interview show. I was never given any statistics indicating there were any callers.
I was told an estimated 52M Americans listened to internet radio “last month” but I was never given any statistics as to how that affected my interviews.
I was told internet radio audiences had increased 50% over the past year but I was given no statistics as to how “my audience” increased or decreased.
I was told that more than eight in ten Americans are online from any location at anytime but I was never told how this affects or influences radio interviews or my interviews.
I was told that 41% of online radio listeners have visited a website due to an advertisement but, I found no additional traffic to mine.
I was told that my website was terrible and that “they” required it to be redesigned, at a fee, prior to their performing any media or publicity on my behalf. They “suggested” the relocation of a picture and answered one question for me. The contract was to include six months of technical support; they answered no questions or provided any tech support. They did make one unauthorized change to the website that locked-in the design and never undid the change.
I was to receive copies of the interviews on DVD. That I did get.
I was to receive an email list of who they were promoting or marketing me to. I never got that.
I was to receive a year-long media campaign. I never got that.
Here is another thing, another sales person from Close-Up TV News, contacted me and tried to pull me away from the original sales person, Anthony Holmes.
Close-Up TV News demanded that I give them my approval on the spot without even five minutes to think about what they were offering or the consequences. Close-Up TV News demanded full payment on the spot. It is a serious hustle. Overwhelming!
In the end, I filed a dispute with my credit card company to get my money back. The response from Close-Up TV News concentrated on the fact they completed the interviews, sent out a press release, provided the DVDs and “redesigned the website”. They have yet to address all the other things they were supposed to do and did not.
I also filed complaints with the Florida, New York and California Office of Attorney Generals and the Better Business Bureau.
It is NOT the American way to accept less that we are promised and be willing to pay for more than we are promised or are entitled to.
We should not be lazy about tolerating or accepting shoddy treatment, poor service or no service.
Know what you are supposed to receive, what you are paying for, and expect it. Accept nothing less!