Mar 15

TurnkeyPR scam artists

I discovered something recently, when I kicked off a crowdfunding effort to boost pre-order sales of my upcoming www.AncientNuclearWar.com book. The instant you launch a crowd funding campaign, you will get flooded by offers from everyone and their puppy dog offering to help your campaign be successful, for a price of course. Below is my eye opening experience with one such company that repeatedly promised help make my kickstarter campaign a success, who then took my money and ran (away).

The low down? I responded to Turnkey PR’s offer to help boost my kickstarter campaign. Can we say, “FAIL?” They turned out to be first rate con artists. Long story short, they promised to send out hundreds or thousands of targeted press releases in order to generate enough interest in my campaign to insure its success. It was an “entirely realistic” project and goal, to quote Ian at TurnkeyPR verbatim. And since I was working in Alaska on business at the time and couldn’t publicize the project myself, I fell for it. I figured you get what you pay for, right? These guys weren’t cheap, especially compared to some of the other offers I received.

My first red flag flew up when my caller ID came up blank each time they called. When I asked them why, they said that they were using skype on their computer to call me, since their land line phone company was trying to charging them for an international call in order to reach my alaskan cell phone. Say what? But I really needed the help, so I went forward with them, hoping for the best. Not. Well, $500 later, their entire “targeted” press release campaign resulted in a whole big whopping ONE DOLLAR ($1) in extra funding on project. That torqued me off. So the instant I got back from Alaska and had a spare moment, I did some digging to find out why my kickstarter campaign had failed so spectacularly.

Then TurnkeyPR (Tom, Jessica, Ian, and ???) had to nerve to send me a “final report” claiming to show that their efforts had generated 2,000+ views of my book’s kickstarter page. Trouble is, I already know what kind of response to expect, based on my own previous research. And their report wasn’t anywhere in line with what I already knew to expect. Too add insult to injury, their obviously pre-fabricated report claimed to show click and viewer detail that they could have only captured IF I had given them server, java, or html access to the site; I never did.

Then as my hope despaired, I googled the net for some forlorn indication that PRTurnkey had actually done what they had told me that they would do (send out hundreds or thousands of TARGETD press releases across the net). And wouldn’t you know it, but I couldn’t find a dang thing from them, as in zippo, nothing, not a trace. Even after I had warned them previously (when my first red flag went up) that I’m a webmaster with lots of domains, and have my own press release accounts and everything, they didn’t follow through. Talk about nervy!

The ultimate last straw for me came when I pointed out some of these problems and inconsistencies to them and asked for at least a partial refund, and they have since completely ignored me.

So… My final verdict is this. TurnkeyPR is a total scam. Avoid them at any and all costs. Lesson learned. And the next time I run a campaign, believe you me, I’ll be doing a little more background research before I give away my hard won money again. And I’ll be avoiding Turnkey PR like the plague they are. -T. Russell Benedict (a burned but wiser author)