It is our assumption here at All The Geek that if you are reading this blog, you are going to be an above board, decent, ethical digital marketer. Unfortunately, not everyone is that way inclined and there are some scrupulous businesses out there that do not mind screwing over a small business for their own gain.
Thankfully, we have regulators to deal with such a thing.
UK regulators have done just that by shutting down UK SEO firm Movette for “deceptive sales practices”.
What Movette were doing, is to falsely represent themselves by implying they were either Google or a Google affiliate, then charging small businesses £199 to £249 to look after their GMB or Google My Business Page.
The deception did not stop there though, according to the UK regulator:
- misled customers by stating or implying that it represented or was affiliated to Google when in reality there was no such relationship
- misled customers by stating or implying that they had an existing contractual relationship with the company when there was no such relationship
- falsely stated or implied that customers would lose their existing services from Google if payment was not made to the company
- failed to make clear to customers that their contracts would automatically renew after 12 months and ignored or rejected requests made by customers to cancel
- used debt collection methods which were offensive and threatening
This is a good wake up call for businesses to make sure they do due diligence on digital marketing firms, but also a wake-up call to digital marketers to check they are not misleading or implying anything they shouldn’t.