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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    6

    Angry BEWARE of "Crowd PR guru" SCAM SCAM SCAM!

    I attempted to use crowd PR guru two weeks into my campaign, they said that it was ok to pay half upfront and the rest at the end of the Indiegogo campaign. So we did so, they said that they were the best in the business and that they didn't just send out press releases but they pitch the story to their contacts. Two weeks passed and no updates and no movement on our side. They claim that they are results driven, when the sites they put you on are fake dormant sites that they've either created or one of their associates have. They send out templates, and are very nonchalant (I know this because one of their colleagues mistakenly sent me an email about another client, and the "pitch" was exactly like ours) This company is a complete utter scam! Like the rest of the crowdfunding PR companies. I'll strongly advise ANYONE that's been approached via their Kickstarter or Indiegogo not to go with them or use them at all! I know that you don't have the money to lose, especially when you are raising funds for your project.


    I'd love to hear everyone else's experience.

  2. #2
    bensalusart
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Homewood IL
    Posts
    3
    Those guys only talk to you if you're already doing well. Greed is a weakness and when you hit goals you don't want to get too greedy
    ben salus art

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    1
    Hello, this is the PR Guru Team! We wanted to add some value to this conversation based on our crowdfunding & PR experiences. We also wanted to take this opportunity to respond to the claims made above by user "blessings".

    Blessings, we're sorry to hear about your dissatisfaction with the results of our PR efforts as well as your crowdfunding campaign. Although we've had a lot of success on Kickstarter & Indiegogo, this was the first time we worked on a campaign like yours (an iPad based digital fashion and lifestyle magazine). Although we think its a great idea (heck our media assistant Jessica was even going to order herself a copy!), it obviously did not have the marketing strategy in place to go from 100 to the 70,000.00 goal you were looking to hit, especially during the holidays. Regardless, you have a great magazine and we wish you the best of luck with it!

    NOTE: Obviously not every campaign launched on Kickstarter or Indiegogo is successful, but we promise that every campaign we take on gets the same proven methods that our biggest successes have enjoyed. With our service you're getting the same experienced team, methods, and efforts put into your project that have landed other projects on the front pages of the top newspapers, blogs, and media outlets in the USA. We stand by our service and the industry approved techniques we use to help crowdfunders access the most cost effective PR and exposure out there.

    How to avoid scams: Yes, unfortunately there are many companies in India promoting 'press release' services nowadays. But these scams are pretty easy to spot. Always check the following: Are they a registered company? Does the address look legitimate? Do they have a registered 1-800 number to call? Does their website have an "https://" secure lock symbol next to the website address? These are just some basics pointers when shopping around for the best services.

    Happy holidays everyone, and best of luck with your projects!

    -PR Guru Team

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    13
    Why do they scam, dont they offer refund? what kind of company they are

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    1
    I agree. They are a scam. I signed up for this forum just to warn others about using Crowd PR Guru. They charge FAR more than most other crowdfunding PR firms and justify this by claiming they do much more for the campaign than other companies. They also claim that other companies only issue press releases, and they are different because they generate 'story ideas'. They suck you in by telling you that their 'unique' methods are proven, and one staff member actually had the gall to claim that ALMOST ALL their campaigns have been overfunded. After my experience with them and seeing other reviews on the Internet, I find that very hard to believe. On their website, they only have Waybu eyewear as their one success story and have not given evidence of any other vastly overfunded campaigns.

    The 'story ideas' they generate for clients are basically just press releases that use the same angle you are already using on your Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign page. 80 to 90 percent of the text in the 3 press releases they write for you is lifted wholesale from the text on your campaign page that you already wrote yourself. On top of that, the 3 press releases they sent me were so riddled with spelling and grammatical errors, as well as odd phrasing, and I had to spend two hours editing and rewriting them myself before I sent them back to Crowd PR Guru to distribute to their media contacts.

    After all that hassle and paying them $495 - which is an exorbitant sum for the complete lack of work they do, we only received one actual news article about our campaign in return, and it was on a website that publishes user-written articles. The 'writer' of our article was obviously just a fake profile or someone on the Crowd PR Guru team because they just copied and pasted the press release and called it an 'article'. And when I clicked on the writer's profile, she only had ONE other article on the website to her name. Guess what? It was about another crowdfunding campaign. Obviously, she was not a real reporter or media contact of Crowd PR Guru's. Just a fake account to make it look like Crowd PR Guru actually produced results (correction - actually produced a result). If this wasn't bad enough, the fake article by the fake reporter was also full of errors. The worst was the ending, which basically said, "check out their campaign at this link!" Only... believe it or not, they actually forgot to include any links to our crowdfunding campaign whatsoever. So not only was the article fake and poorly written - it was totally useless since no one could get to our campaign even if they read it. When we emailed Crowd PR Guru to point this out, one of the staff members actually emailed back and asked if we "wanted the article to be corrected". The whole thing began to seem like a joke. No, Crowd PR Guru. We do not want the article corrected. We want it to be full of mistakes and contain no link to our campaign because we paid you $495 to ensure no one on the Internet would ever find us. </sarcasm>

    They emailed back three days later to say that the article had been corrected. But when we checked it out, one of the other major mistakes we had pointed out to them had still not been fixed. So we had to email them again and it took another two days to fix this. By the time all the errors were corrected, the article was old news and no one going to the website would have seen it.

    Aside from the fake article, we received no further results from the money we paid them, and all other media publicity for our campaign was achieved through our own efforts and contacts. After Crowd PR Guru claimed they sent out our press releases to their media contacts, they never followed up with us except to tell us about the fake article. We saw no evidence that they were working hard in any way to achieve the results they claimed they could deliver. When we emailed them expressing our concern and disappointment over this, we were told simply that they 'could not force people to write about us'. No, of course their media contacts cannot be forced to write about anything but it definitely says a lot that we received more media coverage from reaching out to only 10 of our own contacts and by generating interest on our Facebook page than Crowd PR Guru was able to get us via their 'hundreds of media contacts'.

    Words cannot express how horrible their service was and how disappointed I am that they are allowed to get away with conducting business in such a fashion. The level of incompetence at every step of the process was astounding. What kind of PR firm can't even write a well-worded and grammatically correct press release (and use spellcheck), and has to resort to fake articles to look like they did a modicum of work? On top of that, they do not even give refunds despite the fact that their clients have given them $495 for absolutely nothing. No results. Zilch. For such shoddy service, they should, at the VERY LEAST, give us an 80% refund. Right now, the whole thing just reeks of a scam.

    Beware of these crowdfunding PR services that only serve to rip off/take money from those who are actually in NEED of it (or they wouldn't be crowdfunding, obviously). Not only will your campaign wind up underfunded and unreported in the media - you will realize that a substantial chunk of the contributions you received on Kickstarter/Indiegogo will have gone to the PR service, leaving you with even less.
    Last edited by Renee13; 01-06-2015 at 05:21 PM.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    6
    They are terribly rude. Renee13 please tell me you used PayPal to pay them?! I'm trying to claim a refund through them at the moment, tell PayPal about your experience and try to get a refund. I've told PayPal that they are scam artist and if you tell them as well, you'll get your money back!

    Everyone only please use PayPal if you aren't sure about a company, you are protected from scammers. They'll get your money back!

    Hopefully because of this forum they'll never get customers aka victims and be forced to give up on their dodgy business. They'll probably change the name of their business. Beware guys.
    Last edited by blessing; 01-07-2015 at 07:39 AM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by PRteam View Post
    Hello, this is the PR Guru Team! We wanted to add some value to this conversation based on our crowdfunding & PR experiences. We also wanted to take this opportunity to respond to the claims made above by user "blessings".

    Blessings, we're sorry to hear about your dissatisfaction with the results of our PR efforts as well as your crowdfunding campaign. Although we've had a lot of success on Kickstarter & Indiegogo, this was the first time we worked on a campaign like yours (an iPad based digital fashion and lifestyle magazine). Although we think its a great idea (heck our media assistant Jessica was even going to order herself a copy!), it obviously did not have the marketing strategy in place to go from 100 to the 70,000.00 goal you were looking to hit, especially during the holidays. Regardless, you have a great magazine and we wish you the best of luck with it!

    NOTE: Obviously not every campaign launched on Kickstarter or Indiegogo is successful, but we promise that every campaign we take on gets the same proven methods that our biggest successes have enjoyed. With our service you're getting the same experienced team, methods, and efforts put into your project that have landed other projects on the front pages of the top newspapers, blogs, and media outlets in the USA. We stand by our service and the industry approved techniques we use to help crowdfunders access the most cost effective PR and exposure out there.

    How to avoid scams: Yes, unfortunately there are many companies in India promoting 'press release' services nowadays. But these scams are pretty easy to spot. Always check the following: Are they a registered company? Does the address look legitimate? Do they have a registered 1-800 number to call? Does their website have an "https://" secure lock symbol next to the website address? These are just some basics pointers when shopping around for the best services.

    Happy holidays everyone, and best of luck with your projects!

    -PR Guru Team


    dude, clearly you have a dissatisfied customer who is growing disgruntle. Your quick response should have nipped this matter in the bud by offering a 100% refund, thereby catching everyone including the OP off guard by doing the unexpected, but right thing to do. Instead you did the 'shake-some-keys look-over-there' trick, exactly the sort of thing someone described by the OP would be expected to say.









    Quote Originally Posted by blessing View Post
    They are terribly rude. Renee13 please tell me you used PayPal to pay them?! I'm trying to claim a refund through them at the moment, tell PayPal about your experience and try to get a refund. I've told PayPal that they are scam artist and if you tell them as well, you'll get your money back!

    Everyone only please use PayPal if you aren't sure about a company, you are protected from scammers. They'll get your money back!

    Hopefully because of this forum they'll never get customers aka victims and be forced to give up on their dodgy business. They'll probably change the name of their business. Beware guys.



    As sad as it may be, given all that was said above, there is no "scam" here. What you two are classifying as 'scam' is actually puffing, exaggeration, unprofessionalism, and incompetence. The sort of things you should fire people because of, but not good grounds for receiving a favorable result on a paypal dispute.

    If their policy was 'satisfaction guaranteed' or anything that based their end results on payment then you would have a legitimate claim.

    When you hire a bad worker you fire him, you certainly don't expect to receive a refund for what was already paid.

    At some point PR Guru will wise up and understand that this thread will do far more damage than a quick refund will do and take the quick refund option.


    Work it out people.
    Last edited by einsteinium foundation; 01-07-2015 at 03:14 PM.

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    6
    einsteinium foundation is right, Paypal are useless. The best way to avoid having issues is to NEVER use these guys. They'll eventually be forced to close their fraudulent 'business' eventually and anybody associated with the company is going to be seen as scum. So I've lost a bit of money, but I'm still running a business with integrity, where trust and quality means everything to me. Crowd PR Guru on the other hand will eventually lose business (and rightly so, because they're scum) and be forced to stop stealing other people's hard earned money.

    They apparently "guarantee Media coverage" LIES!

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    1
    Just to keep this one up to date, I also have been scammed by Sean Abel and Tim Gorman from Crowd PR Guru

    They have taken $495 of my money for a crappy looking press release which that linked to me on a no name website.


    Scam Scam Scam keep away from these.

  10. #10
    My project has received at least 20 maybe 30 different random emails from people claiming to be experts in funding projects. Usually I send a return comment to all emails but these I just ignore.

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