Local Lighthouse
Complaint 73618 Details

  • Date Occurred: 10/21/2013
  • Reported Damages: $1,096.00

The complaint is against an online dating profile

The complaint is a listing fraud posted on public forums or sites against an anonymous entity

The complaint is mobile text spam or smishing related against an anonymous entity

The company or person contact no longer exists

International boundaries

We first notified Local Lighthouse on 11/30/2011 via email that because of the ongoing delays and non-responsiveness to concerns, they were not authorized to continue charging my credit card. At that point, I got a phone call from Nic Hondel and he promised to address all of our concerns. The Local Lighthouse 11/30 call log indicates “client is happy”, but this is far from accurate at that point in our relationship with Local Lighthouse.

We already had a robust web site when we hired Local Lighthouse. Local Lighthouse explained that they would be building a “microsite” to help us achieve higher organic rankings. The microsite they built was a very basic front-end web site – the Local Lighthouse website was very far from “an amazing website”.
Below are 4 of the most important quality of service issues we experienced while working with Local Lighthouse:

1. Target Market (bait and switch)
During our initial sales call, we agreed to target the state of Pennsylvania (including major markets of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia). We did not find out until MONTH 3 that Local Lighthouse’s website was targeting only Pittsburgh. I asked (via email) several times about this and at no time was my question ever answered. We were also promised a monthly report showing rankings and other information, and at no time did I ever receive a report. I asked repeatedly about the monthly report and did not receive any information about that until mid-December (end of Month 3).

2. Keywords (bait and switch)
During our initial call with Customer Service, we were told they would use the keywords /phrases we provided. We didn’t find out until the middle of MONTH 3 that Local Lighthouse had included the name of (one of) our targeted cities in ALL of the search keyword / phrases. As an example, the average person looking for our services does not search for “Pittsburgh how to franchise,” rather they search for “how to franchise.” Anyone with minimal search engine optimization knowledge could easily have achieved a ranking on the first page of any search engine by adding a city name to a search phrase.

3. Service Delays / Poor Customer Service
During our initial call with Customer Service, we were told it was our choice whether we communicated with Local Lighthouse by email or by phone. We choose to use email; however, each time we emailed Local Lighthouse, several days would pass with no response. At first we thought they must be working on the corrections or getting answers to our questions. After waiting several days, we would resend the email, asking for an update, cc’ing the Sales Manager, and HE would escalate our email to get someone to respond. This happened virtually every time we contacted Local Lighthouse. These delays led to weeks of time passing, resulting in additional $299 charges each month.

4. Initial Build of the Microsite
The initial “microsite” had numerous typos, incorrect information, and other issues. It looked as if they threw the site together in 10 minutes. It took 3-4 iterations over a period of almost one full month before the site was acceptable. Looking back, this should have been our first indication that something wasn’t right about Local Lighthouse, but we overlooked it.

Local Lighthouse may have gotten us ranked on the first page of 3 major search engines, but the method of doing so (“Pittsburgh” in front of every keyword/phrase) was deceptive. We did not terminate service with Local Lighthouse before 90 days because they told us it would take 90 days to see results and we didn’t realize until Month 3 that Local Lighthouse had changed the keywords/phrases we originally provided. We did not get ONE single sales lead from Local Lighthouse’s site.

For a price of $1096, Local Lighthouse built a very basic (4 page) web site that no one is visiting, primarily due to the keywords / phrases they used to get the web site indexed.

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Business Profile Summary

  • Local Lighthouse logo

Company Statistics

  • Complaint Against Local Lighthouse
  • Complaints Filed: 15
  • Reported Damages: $45,927.00
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