As the owner of a successful local service business, I have come to recognize the importance of having my business website ranked on the first page of the search engine's local results, with the yellow pages being fazed out in short time it is more important than ever for every business to be seen in the search engine results if they intend on continuing to thrive.
Fortunately for me I have also been an affiliate marketer for the past 10 years and in that time
I have gained the knowledge and skills necessary to be able to get my websites ranked on the first page of the search results for just about any search term I choose, the fact that you have landed on this page is a testament to that.
Anyway, one day while I was cleaning out my in-box, I came across an email with a subject line that really caught my eye, it said: "Make a fortune in the untapped local business market"... the email went on say that a new program by the name of Acme Phone leads was taking the Internet by storm and members were making a killing in the local business market using a brand new proprietary "pay-per-lead" platform that was unmatched in the industry.
The premise was that if I joined the program for a MINIMUM of $50.00 per month, I would be assigned ONE toll free tracking phone number that would be forwarded to a specific local business which I choose from among 230 local businesses that are included in the APL (Acme Phone Leads) network.
I was also told that as part of my $50.00 membership I would be able to "CLONE" the local Business' website using a proprietary software that was built into the APL (acme phone Leads) system, and the software would pre-populate the "CLONED" website with MY tracking phone number, and as a result, I would get Paid a commission every time a customer placed a call using that number.
So, all I would have to do is send traffic to the "cloned website" and then sit back and let the Pay-Per-Lead commissions come rolling in... Wow, I was intrigued, this sounded so simple,
it was almost too good to be true...
You know what they say... "if something sounds too good to be true, It probably is" and Acme Phone Leads is no exception to that rule!
Curiosity got the best of me so I decided to invest the $50.00 for a membership into the program and I went about choosing a local business that I researched and was confident that
I could build a landing page around it and get it ranked well in the local search results.
I spent an entire weekend working my Butt off creating a beautiful "mini site" that was designed to funnel customers straight to the merchants "Cloned Website", ( which would have my tracking phone number pre-populated into it), I also outsourced a major link building campaign at a considerable expense to me.
Now that I had completed those steps, the next step for me was to login to my APL account and head on over to the "Proxy Rewrite Software" (this is the software that is used to Clone the business' website) I could press a few buttons and BINGO, I would have a cloned website with my tracking Phone number imbedded into it... I was so excited!
Well guess what?... I couldn't find the software anywhere in my APL account so I contacted their support desk and I was told that the software was no longer available to regular members, but it could be obtained if I upgraded my account to a "Certified-Partnership" level for an additional annual fee of $600.00..... WHAT?... SIX HUNDRED BUCKS!... I told them they were NUTS!!
I immediately got onto their forum where I proceeded to voice my concerns about how they were forcing people to pay $600 for a service that we were first told was included in the basic $50 membership fee, and I got a reply from one of the moderators that said that they had to remove the service from the system because some members were (somehow) abusing it.
I replied by asking "why they were able to include the service if we paid an extra $600 dollars, and how would that stop anybody from further abusing it", I also asked if "they could explain how the system was being abused in the first place"...
Moments later I received a Private Message from the owner of APL (Tissa Godavitarne) stating that if I continued to pursue the issue on their forum, they would Ban my account!
Normally I won't stand for those kinds of threats, however, I had spent a great deal of time, effort and money into launching my first APL campaign, so I figured I would wait and see if I could make any money from it, or at least recoup my initial investment.
Anyway, two more weeks went by and my "mini site" hit the #1 spot on Google for my targeted keywords, it began generating an average of 25-30 unique visitors daily and I was actually getting a few phone calls each day from my tracking Phone #, the only problem is, I was not seeing any pay-per-lead commissions in my APL back office stats... So once again I contacted the support and I received a reply stating that the duration of each phone call would have to exceed 5 minutes before it would qualify as a lead.... apparently I missed that in the fine print!
Anyhow, I checked my affiliate stats and found that the phone calls that came through on my tracking line were only a minute or two in length, then I began to wonder how long the average call was for other members, so I logged into the forum and submitted a post asking other members how long their average calls were... within about 30 seconds of hitting the submit button a forum moderator locked the thread and sent me another Private Message that said "I was at serious risk of having my account banned", when I asked him what I had done wrong he replied saying: that "I was bringing a negative vibe to the forum"...... OHHHH PLEASE!
After a few more days of NOT earning a Dime, I got back on the forum and I started a new thread that asked if any members were actually making any money with the system... 7 or 8 members replied, all complaining that they had NOT made a Cent with the system, largely because the duration of their phone calls all fell under the 5 minute mark.
After reading those replies, I submitted another post that asked if Tissa Godavitarne (the owner) would consider decreasing the call duration limit from 5 minutes to something more reasonable, (remember, as a business owner myself I entertain many phone calls throughout the day and I can say with all certainty that 5 minutes is actually quite a long conversation and most calls fall far short of that)
Anyway, the next day I went to log into my account and I got an error message saying that I was banned, so I contacted the owner via his personal contact information that I found on the APL homepage , Guess What? I have never heard back from him, until now... that's right...
I received an email the other day threatening me with legal action if I don't get rid of this Acme Phone Leads Review.
Well, guess What... "Freedom of Speech" will always Prevail, and this "Acme Phone Leads Review" will remain here for everyone to see!
In my opinion, Acme Phone Leads is nothing more than an elaborate MLM scheme who's primary objective is to get people to join in their downline, and then to get those people to recruit more people into their downlines, etc, etc, etc... there is very little focus (if Any) on actually promoting the local business service... It's all about recruiting! recruiting! recruiting!
If you DID choose to use their system, It would cost you $50 per month for EACH and EVERY Phone number that you promote, plus the additional expense involved with driving traffic to each of those phone numbers... my test results indicated that the likelihood of Me ever returning a profit on My investment was SLIM to NONE!
I Rate: "Acme Phone Leads" 0 out of 10 ... it's terrible!