Describe the impact this engagement has had on your business.
We tried working everything out with them. We renewed and enhanced the contract in November 2018, bringing in a second and third website. From November onward, we were paying them $2,800–$2,900 a month. The contract was $3,600 a month, but all the locations were not up and running, so they were supposed to charge us $2,100 a month. They ended up charging us $2,849 every month.
The relationship started crumbling when I found out that the logo of our second website was actually a template on sale for $31. I took a screenshot, sent it to them, and asked about it. I reminded them that the contract said the website was going to be a template until the SEO was completed, and then they were to rebrand it, but they could’ve used the same work for the logo. There was nothing wrong with it, but I would’ve preferred not to throw the logo all over the listings. It would be more cleaning work for me later on when we were rebranding it.
We were debating that when we found out that our first website’s logo was also a template. They claim that it’s not, and we haven’t found any evidence that it’s out there for sale as a template, but we did find out that there were 30–40 companies using the same logo with a small color change. Five or six companies are using the same exact logo, with the same dimensions and color scheme.
As per the current contract, they were supposed to upload 1–2 articles per month at least, but none of that content writing was done. They were also charging us too much, but they claimed they did some postings on our Google Maps business page. Between 2017 and 2018, there were 3–4 posts done on our first website’s Google Maps business page, and 2–3 were recycled on our second website’s Google Maps page. I told them they hadn’t been making consistent postings, and that nobody had discussed adding this to the contract, but I got no response.
We had a long relationship with them and said we’d part on good terms. It wasn’t worth it to go to court just based on them overcharging us $600 for 10 months. We ended what we were doing and asked them to nicely switch to another agency. The transition started smooth, and we started working with another agency. Odd Dog Media provided us with off-boarding documents that had some of the stuff we’d worked on, but a lot of it was missing. We had to call them every day, and they would take 48 hours to get back to us.
Finally, we’ve been asking them for the web hosting passwords, and we were told it’s not possible because of security reasons. They proposed uploading everything, all the designs, and handing them over to us. That would stop all our websites, though, so we’ve been frustrated for the last few days.
How was project management handled?
We normally had one 30-minute phone call every month. Apart from that, we’d talk on certain occasions, like when signing a contract or when we had to discuss something. We did meet with David 6–7 times. Meeting wasn’t always an option, though.
Since switching agencies, it’s been impossible to get a hold of them. The response always takes over 24 hours or more. There was a one-month lapse before the contract would’ve been over.
Is there anything that the vendor did well or that you would consider a strength?
They did work beyond their means. Whenever we needed some advice, whether it was within the contract or not, they were always there. They always supported us around marketing and PR, especially David. We also had a couple of experiences with Kymberly, who had a nice and professional approach. I don’t remember the name of the new designer they hired, but we had an amazing experience with her. We probably spoke to her once or twice. She was very intuitive, thorough, and detail-oriented. There were a lot of positive things about Odd Dog Media.
What advice do you have for clients with similar needs to yours?
The most important thing is that their contract is very tricky. They state that, if they don’t deliver anything for any reason, and we take them to court, they’re not going to reimburse our attorneys’ fees, and if we don’t pay them on time and they take us to court, we’re responsible for their attorneys’ fees. That is not a very balanced and honest approach, and they’ve restricted us in that the only route we could take them to court would be arbitration, which is extremely expensive. The contract needs to be closely reviewed.
Secondly, any design and content that comes from them, I’d recommend double-checking on the web. We cross-checked the content from them, and it was always copy-pasted from third-party sources.
There are many hardworking, intelligent, and competent people out there, so anyone looking to hire Odd Dog Media should do thorough research before signing. If they do sign, they should make sure to sign a balanced contract where there’s nothing withheld, and to keep an eye on the designs.