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Monday, March 16th, 2009

RedZee Complaints Pile Up – Read This Before Using RedZee!

 

From what I can gather RedZee should change their mascot to an animal more identified with shiftiness than a cute Zebra. Ever since I wrote “Seeing Red – Search Engine RedZee Reviewed” I have lost count how many people have either thanked me for saving them from spending money fruitlessly at RedZee or have told me they wished they saw my article before they paid for advertising there. But what brings me to mention RedZee today is an email I received from “Abe” (his name has been changed to protect his identity), a RedZee victim who is asking me to help him recoup nearly $1500 USD he spent on the search engine. Interesting, well let’s dig deeper here:

Abe, why are you trying to recoup your spend?

“After a week and several hundred “hits” I realized the service was a scam because I had no conversions and my tracking software showed that all my the “visitors” from RedZee landed on the same page and stayed less than 1 second.”

And what can I do to help?

“I was wondering if you can help me by providing your expert opinion to my credit card company regarding RedZee’s Referral Spam practices that have resulted in my receiving thousands of ‘hits’ but no conversions over the past 6 weeks.”

My heart goes out to Abe because I believe he is likely correct in his concerns judging from the bad reputation RedZee seems to have; see “RedZee Scam“. Unfortunately, in order to help him with this I would have to:

  • Have Abe sign a contract protecting me should this issue escalate and RedZee take this to court.
  • Thoroughly examine his web site analytics data to ensure his findings were properly referenced.
  • Review his web site to make sure nothing could have gone wrong to impede the data.
  • Examine the data that RedZee provided and compare it with his analytics data.
  • Prepare my findings for his credit card company along with fulfilling the other requirements of my expert testimony. This includes explaining that RedZee has misrepresented itself.

What does Abe’s credit card company need to follow through in a chargeback to RedZee at this point?

“A second opinion from a qualified expert. This should be on the expert’s letterhead, it should be dated, it should state the expert’s years of experience in their field, and it should bear their signature and explain the manner in which the service is deficient or not-as-described. Also, please have the expert provide copies of their credentials (For example, a copy of the expert’s license in the field). The second opinion must support your dispute about the level of quality or misrepresentation of the service that was received.”

I hate to say this but I honestly do not think this process would be financially worthwhile for Abe considering he is only out of pocket $1500. That said, I do believe we need more awareness in the form of blog postings from other people who have been wronged by RedZee… in the long run that will have a far greater effect. The more people that get insight into RedZee’s questionable business practices the less business they will receive.

To end this posting I have two questions for our readers:

  1. If you could pick an appropriate mascot for RedZee what would it be?
  2. How do you feel about RedZee? Share your story in our comments section!

Please post your answers in our comments and we will post them ASAP!

Lastly, help us get the word out and save other people a lot of headaches by linking to this article “RedZee Complaints Pile Up – Read this Before Using RedZee!” or republishing it elsewhere (with link credit back to this original posting please).

Oh and of course once again I welcome any official reply from RedZee on their complaints. I know from past experience they never reply but the door is always open.

Ross Dunn, CEO, StepForth Web Marketing Inc.

Here are some other great resources on RedZee:

  • Quote from RedZee Search Engine: The Top 3 Scam: “A quick search for RedZee, even from the RedZee site itself, returned plenty of results with people complaining of low or non-existent conversion rates and traffic that behaved more like a bot than a human visitor. It would appear that people who have used the RedZee Top3 Search Results service in hopes of paying next to nothing for visitors have gotten exactly nothing in return.”

  • Quote from RedZee Scam and Unprofessionalism:
    I was ripped off by RedZee also. I spent $900 for targeted traffic from RedZee. I got some traffic but it all appeared to be from BOTS since I got no subscribers for my FREE newsletter that normally converts at 29%. When I asked for a refund, John Kelly asked for my traffic stats, which I sent. They offered to give me more traffic which they did, but I still got no conversions for a FREE offer despite their “sending over 7000 click visitors.”

    I again asked for a refund and said I would file a claim with the credit card company. He then said, “we have never lost a charge back claim.”


10 Responses to “RedZee Complaints Pile Up – Read This Before Using RedZee!”

  1. Evil Greg

    Sounds like an enterprising attorney needs to get in touch with Abe and some of the other scam victims and file a class action suit. With the larger class of victims and the larger potential damages, it justifies the expense to go up RedZee’s ass with a court-ordered microscope.

    Just sayin’.

    If you’re going to go with a sneaky, deceptive animal for their new mascot, a weasel comes to mind… or a human.

  2. marty mathis

    We were a victim too! I had total trust with them, after constant calls, (4 in two hours) however red flagged me! Research them, after thousands of dollars, I saw the light. You find yourself embarrassed because of your trust in advertisers. WE GOT RIPPED OFF!

  3. Database Tom

    We signed up for REDZ and found that the traffic at first was all a single view of the default page – we called and then that changed and now the avg was about 6 page views and 4 min of the site.
    But the traffic did not match human traffic at all and seemed to hit the same pages over and over….
    So we put at the first page a LIVE PERSON CHECK. What is 2+3 – yea its 5 – but guess what all of the REDZ traffic out of 1000 sessions only 2 actually got it right and used the site…

    The only positive thing was the bounce rate on the site is very low and the avg time on site is high as a result of using REDZ. So that may help in organic SERP.

    BUT DONT EXPECT TO GET ANY CLOSED BUSINESS FROM REDZ TRAFFIC.
    I have Db tracking records to prove all of this….WOW – just another way to SCAM…

  4. Feeling Stupid

    They got me, and I was too dumb too understand that the hits weren’t converting. I need to find others like me who were suckered and want to do something about it.

  5. tom

    Ok – Here is the real Scoop on RED Z…. First let me tell you that I am a programmer – not just a web developer – I know how to make stuff that most really dont. In any case REDZEBRA – RED ZEE – what ever.. They utilize a programmable tool bar to launch background activity to “generate” traffic to the sites they select.
    I Downloaded their toolbar and IP Traffic Analizer that watchs traffic began to show some werid stuff occuring/ even when I was doing nothing. The Tool would go to many various sites. On one of the sites I was able to figure out the keywords they wanted and found them on REDZ. The other thing that REDZ does is to inject it’s search results on to other search engine results pages – GOOGLE – YAHOO – BING – and Always at the top. But for that to occur you have to have their TOOL BAR INSTALLED.

    What REDZ….DID TO US….
    1 – We received a lot of traffic – to random pages. But I did not know the Client Paid REDZ to generate traffic – the Client wanted to let it go – which it did for over 4 weeks. We then called REDZ and complained and within 1 hour the traffic pattern changed…But the DAMAGE WAS ALREADY DONE – WE JUST DID NOT KNOW IT YET… See Below…
    2 – We then started to get traffic to various pages on the site with direct links to them. And the pattern on traffic was about a “click” once every 5 – 20 seconds with 5 to 20 page views per session. When I compared the traffic to LIVE HUMAN the times on various pages did not match LIVE TRAFFIC. The think time was wrong and matched what a random robot may actually do. Also – this was a real estate site – no very few views were of properties less than 5% and they were all on the featured properties. Most Live people 95% of the people would look a pictures and descriptions of homes. But Redz looked at how to move – about us – and other static content.
    3 – We increased the PLEASE REGISTER rate – which with live traffic would convert about 1/20 – not great – but after 1000 visitor no one registered. We waited and then after 10,000 still no one registered.
    4 – HERE IS THE BIGGEST ISSUE. We had paid an SEO Company good money to get the site ranked, but the client wanted it faster so he paid for REDZ (followed the marketing hype). Once REDZ started to hit the site, the GOOGLE Bounce Rate went from 30% to 99+% and our ranking went from spot 20~~ to de-listed. The Ranking failed because of two things – GOOGLE Spotted UnNatural Traffic – GOOGLE Saw an increase to 99% bounce rate – GOOGLE determined that the site was a bate and switch site and de-listed the site. All of the work but the SEO Company – flushed. We had Google Analytic & Web Master Tools installed.
    5 – The site is just now starting to recover 6 months later we are back to just page 4 or 5. The Client is out 1000′s of dollars.

    BOTTOM LINE – DONT USE REDZ

    The only use that I could see to use REDZ – would be to pay redz to generate traffic to your rivals. It may kick the SEO Rankings for that site(s) a little or a lot.

    We now FLAG and REJECT all REDZ Traffic to an information page.

    Can you say OUCH ?

  6. Feeling Stupid

    Hi Tom,
    Thanks for the detail. Will try to call your office tomorrow–need to discuss.

  7. Feeling Stupid

    Hi Tom,
    Seriously could use your help here. I thought you were with a certain RE company but they weren’t familiar with this. warriorjenn87@hotmail.com—please contact me asap!

  8. Linda

    I too got stung by RedZ (it was changed from RedZee to removing the extra 2 e’s because of the bad reviews and they didn’t follow with the change).

    They took me for lots of money & when I was at the point they still had $1100.00 of my money in the balance for particular words and I told them to pause most of my keywords, they decided to use it for the ones that I still had and use it all. I only had about $100.00 left on 4 keywords before, so figured that was it.

    When we mentioned we were going to do a chargeback, they basically laughed and said “we don’t give refunds and we do not lose the fight in chargebacks”

  9. Ross Dunn

    Oh I am so sorry to hear that Linda. I hear more and more about RedZee’s extremely poor service and what appears to be incredibly deceptive sales techniques. I hope your comment and the added discussion about this gives this article a bit more weight so others find it before being drawn into another such incident. All the best. Ross

  10. Donald

    I had been scammed by them 3 years ago, and wrote it off. I would be more than happy to join in a class action lawsuit to recoup my money as well. Still have the receipt on hand. And can’t believe I fell for their scam. They were very nice on the phone, and persistent. Someone needs to stop them.

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