it's been awhile so before i forget, pleeeeeeeeeeease click the link to the right that says "rate us" and vote for us in the posh little boutique. it helps drive my hand stamped jewelry store up in their rankings. thank you ahead of time!!!
ok. now for a quick rundown on a recently learned lesson that was irritating and hard. i'm not gonna go into too many details because i don't wanna bore you too much but here goes.
i hired an seo (search engine optimization) company called site solutions last october. (i won't paste the link to their site because, ironically, it only helps raise their search engine rankings if i do but you're free to look them up on your own if you'd like.) their job was to provide backlinks for my personalized jewelry store website every month and to submit my site to google every month in order to help raise my rankings in search engine inquiries for my keywords (hand stamped jewelry, custom jewelry, mommy jewelry, etc). i should've been immediately suspicious of the low price as i only paid in the hundreds of dollars and the typical cost is in the thousands of dollars. but i called their references and the three people that i spoke to said good things about them AND i knew that they are located in the same county as i am so i figured what could go wrong?
well, evidently a lot.
the owner's son-in-law, michael, told me numersous times that they submit my site "to more than 8,000 sites every month" but in reality they never provided even one link for my site. not one in six months. every single link that i have today is because of me. and because i have been the only one providing links, there are very few, less than thirty.
when i called this company every month to ask questions about issues that made me a little uncomfortable and suspicious (always listen to that inner voice!), the owner's son-in-law would always give me the same line and story.....and stupidly, i bought it. i guess because seo is such a complicated subject and i had no idea where to find the truth about what they were telling me.
i did notice a couple of months ago that the more questions i asked the less credible they sounded. you can only give someone the same answer to ten different questions so many times before they realize there's something really wrong here. so after my search engine inquiries results just happened to fall drastically two months ago, coincidentally due to google's recent algorhythm change, i called them because i assumed they were the cause and doing something wrong. well, this time after not getting ANY answer from site solutions as to why, i contacted two other seo companies who ARE credible and actually showed up in the first three spots on the first page of google during a search for "seo companies". what both of these companies told me after looking at my site, prompted me to a bit of research. they told me that i didn't have any links, that my site is put together incorrectly and that the links i have been trying to creat in my blog are done incorrectly, among other things. many of the things i've done on my site and on my blog are because of the direction from this seo company.
so during this research i learned that these people--this family--are, in fact, scam artists and liars and i think i might have been lucky in the fact that they sent me my money back after some harrassing on my part. (i just deposited it today so we'll see if it actually clears.)
like i said earlier, i don't wanna bore you with all of the details so i'll just share a few more interesting ones.
this is not the first lochmiller family scam. the owner of this company along with his mother and his brother have all done prison time for securities fraud and a ponzi scheme, where they ripped off seniors in '80's of their life savings with their family run mortgage company, lochmiller mortgage. nor was it the last scam.
his brother phillip's trial for his latest criminal activity in colorado will be starting july 1st. he was arrested by the feds for securities fraud again for allegedly bilking senior citizens out of $30 million in retirement savings. phillip's step-son along with another woman who worked with them are already serving their prison terms. (on a side note, what kind of parent teaches their children to rip people off of their life savings??? the sociopath disorder must be genetic.)
one other interesting tidbit i did find in my research is that the owner is supposedly a christian. in fact, he runs a blog with daily faith inspiring quotes. wow.
so needless to say i'm pretty disgusted and irritated that seven months of my time have been wasted where i could've been raising more money for our adoption. and, although i'm thankful that i didn't lose thousands of dollars, it still is a violation and an injustice to every single person this family continues to rip off.
so the lesson to be learned here is pretty simple. if it seems too good to be true then it probably is. always check with the better business bureau (this company had an "F" when i checked a couple of weeks ago) even if it's an internet business and know that just because their website looks good with lots logos from large, well-known corporations they have supposedly done business with, it doesn't make it so. and lastly, if you ever come across a lochmiller, online fulfillment, site solutions or any other organization that raises that hair of suspicion in the back of your mind, do more research. don't just let that little voice go unanswered. figure out what's making you apprehensive.