By Daisy Mae - 12/01/18
The Trouble with ‘First Found’ - My Disastrous Dealings with this SEO Company. A Personal Review.
What happened to me?
Like many people starting a business – mine is a recently published book – I knew I needed help with my website. I had heard of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) but really did not know what this was.
Last September (2017), I decided to engage an SEO company to do this for me. The company I chose was called First Found.
Initially they phoned me frequently and offered me a special deal to sign up for 6 months. In return for my money they said they would “optimise by website.” - My mistake was not clarifying exactly what they meant by this.
What was the cost?
I paid £118 up front, and then agreed to pay £158 per month for the next 3 months, followed by £70.80 for a further 3 months, after which I could cancel. This is a lot of money for me.
The contract was signed on 9th September. Over the next few days the person assigned to help me, did change some keywords on my home page, added an Amazon link button there, reorganised some photos (which he said was not their job to do) and did one or two small tidying up jobs.
In October we had a couple of emails where he suggested I review humorous books and this might increase traffic to my website. ( I have reviewed 2 humorous books since.) That’s it! Nothing else.
In the mean time I read a lot on the internet about SEO. I also realised I needed help loading my blog posts onto my website, and I enlisted the help of a local computer helper to do this for me. I have written furiously and added a lot of blog posts to my site. This person also helped me for example, to create a video trailer about my book and a soundclip from Soundcloud and uploaded this for me.
On 26th November, 2 and ½ months after signing up with First Found, I had a one day training session with an independent personal SEO trainer (nothing to do with First Found). It was brilliant and I learnt so much. In addition, and quite voluntarily, he had looked at my website before we met, and he told me that there was 6 months work to be done on it. The main issue was that it was not mobile phone compatible.
The colours were wrong, the font colour and size was not readable, the screen was crowded etc ...all the Title tags, and URLs needed changing etc ... I was horrified! What had First Found been doing to help me over this time ...?
The essence of my complaint – First Found have not provided the service they agreed to provide
I then asked First Found what they had been doing for me in the past 2 months. They were unable to tell me anything, apart from what I have already written. If they were working to optimise my site, they should have been looking at the site, giving me this information and helping correct it. They did not. By this stage I had paid about £450 – for virtually nothing.
They have sent me 2 reports, which show I moved from position 18 on Google in October to position 17 in November. This small upward trend is only because of my own efforts and my local helper. First Found have done nothing. I was upset to realise I had been taken in by this, and that it is just a scam.
By not defining what they are doing in the contract, they get away with doing nothing. If you don’t move on the Google rankings they just say SEO is unpredictable, not their fault. In fact, they were unable to show me any evidence of what they had been doing for me for the past 2 months.
I cancelled my standing order. I told them that as they had not provided the service I signed up for, the contract was cancelled , and I would not be paying any more money. I should have asked for a refund!
What happened next?
I was then bombarded with phone calls, sometimes 2 a day, which I did not answer. I have told them I would like to communicate by email. They have now blocked my emails.
They tried to imply it is my fault for adding blog posts to my site? Who would not be doing that, if they are trying to grow a business? It was their job to watch my website and give me hints and tips to make it better. They did nothing.
There is so much more to SEO than just changing a few keywords! Take a look at my blog ‘ Essential Tips for Writing Your First Blog Post’ - https://www.datingdaisy.net/single-post/2017/12/08/Essential-Tips-for-Writing-Your-First-Blog-Post
Other negative reviews about First Found
I have now read a lot of negative reviews about First Found. One of them stands out and is particularly terrible, by Chris Smith Wedding Photographer - They did a similar thing to him, and when he cancelled, they then sent him letters saying they were taking him to court and that he owed soliticitors fees etc ... When he phoned the court - they had no knowledge of the case and it was all false. It was all just designed to scare him into paying loads of money!!
During this time, unbelievably, First Found disabled his website! I have changed the password on mine. Trading Standards are watching this company as they have not broken the law – yet – but have come very close.
Chris got a full refund plus 20% for his inconvience! Since this happened he has contact from other people similarly upset with First Found.
You can read other reviews of this company at -
How do I feel after all this has happened?
I am so angry that this company can be taking money and not providing the service they say they will provide. A lot of their customers I suspect, like Chris and myself are small organisations that cannot afford to lose this money. Our businesses are hugely important to us. We have trusted them to be on our side, and help us, and they have completely abused that trust, taken the money and hidden behind the fact “SEO in unpredictable”. Their slogan on their website is “dedicated to growing your business” – this flies in the face of what has happened to me, Chris and others.
Do not have anything to do with this company. Their sales pitch is incessant, their manner is aggressive and their attitudes are reprehensible.
I am still in dispute with them and will be taking this to social media and the National Press.
Daisy Mae x