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Management And Training

Referral service posted Craigslist ads without businesses' consent

February 09, 2010
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SEATTLE — The owner of a carpet cleaning business is upset after HelpHive, a Seattle-based online directory and referral service, posted Craigslist ads for his business without consent, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal.
According to the story, John Surdi, the owner of Crystal Carpet Cleaning, was notified that a misspelled, unauthorized ad was posted on Craigslist linking back — not to his own business website — but to his listing on the HelpHive directory.
Surdi said: "I am concerned. I really don''t want people writing my ad copy."
Howard Hale, online marketing strategist for a plumbing business that also had ads posted without consent, said: "I was kind of amazed that they would dig that low to try to garner some business."
HelpHive co-founder Karim Meghji said that the company was "experimenting" with the ad-placement service to drive visitors to the directory — and eventually the businesses themselves — and had notified businesses of the ads, the story stated.
Meghji said that if businesses were not aware of the ads it was an oversight on the part of HelpHive, and that no ill will was intended, the story noted.
HelpHive previously sparked controversy among businesses after setting up new, unique phone numbers for small business owners, a policy that was later altered, the story added.
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