Full-Service Online Brand Management

SinglePlatform: High Pressure Sales?

Update: May 24, 2012 I can happily report that SinglePlatform took this post very seriously. Kenny Herman, the Executive Vice President of Single Platform, personally reached out to me. This company’s business model is based on selling a new and innovative product to companies of all sizes. Through our conversations, Kenny made it clearly obvious to me that he personally cares about each and every client/potential client as they continue to grow. He had 3 goals when he called me: 1. To find out all the details of where they went wrong with me (and my client). He wanted these details so he could correct any problems internally. 2. To explain to me some of the basic philosophies of the company and educate me on some points where he could identify things may have gone wrong. 3. To educate me on their product, so I would in turn understand it and feel comfortable recommending it to my clients. And yes, I have spoken to the client I discussed in the post below, and he will be on SinglePlatform very shortly! Win win for everyone….:)

I admit it  – I am a huge Foursquare addict! Ya -I’m a level 2 user – so that makes me “extra dorky Mom” as my kids would say! Heck, I even have my  own and very awesome Foursquare point of contact (POC).  So back over Mardi Gras break, yours truly was purchasing a cocktail at Margaritaville,  in order to help me survive relax during  family vacation. And that was when the “wow” light went on. I actually could see their whole menu on Foursquare. Pure awesomeness!!!

As soon as I got home, I contacted my Foursquare POC and asked him how my clients can sign up. He told me that they were working with SinglePlatform and I would have to get in touch with them. I left them an email and a week went by and I had not heard from them. That is never a good sign! So I decided to give them a call and got a salesperson who was lucky I could not reach through the phone and choke him a bit. He basically told me they don’t deal with consultants but that if I could give him the name of my clients, he would contact them. NOPE…not  going to happen. Then he said for me to  hold on so he could talk to his boss (I felt like I was car shopping now).  He came back on the phone and said he had already checked my website and info out to see I am a legitimate company.  He asked if he could talk to his boss to see if he could deal with me and call me tomorrow. I told him he really insulted me and that at this point, I was not interested, but he could call. I never picked up the phone when he did.

Now to be fair to one of my clients, who I thought may benefit from this service, I told him about the experience and gave him the contact information. Even though I do not normally work this way and would lose any potential revenue, I felt it only fair to offer him this idea. After a couple of weeks of back and forth phone calls with them, he called me absolutely disgusted. They were high pressure, had obvious sales training with scripts and did not leave him alone. His hunch is that any business that works under the old, high pressure model, can’t be doing that well. My hunch was that they gave away their service to some big brands and now have some bragging rights and newbie salespeople to grow.

A lot about them still remains a mystery to me, but it seems it costs under $500 a year for one location, paid up front. Mutli-location discounts need to be negotiated with the “pit boss.” They will create an on-line/mobile menu and submit it to various platforms such as YP.com, Yelp, Foursquare (and others – not sure of details) as well as Foursquare (which I think should be free).

Just writing what I know here. Anyone else have an experience – good or bad – they would like to share about this topic? Would it just be better to make menus mobile ready and call it a day?

Here is the link to the Mashable article, claiming SinglePlatform will bring 250,000 on-line menus to Foursquare.   Crunchbase highlights this 2011 startup company here.

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26 Responses to SinglePlatform: High Pressure Sales?

  1. Jessica Rohloff May 21, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

    Interesting post. Thanks for sharing your experience! I agree, it’s super awesome when you can see a restaurant’s entire menu on Foursquare. I had no idea that was only possible via Single Platform. It’s unfortunate that this is the case. You’d think there would be some way for a business to add this information themselves. Maybe an option to pay Foursquare directly for an enhanced listing?

    Somewhat related: have you seen GrubHub yet? It’s my new favorite thing ever, and I’m hoping it’ll have substantially more penetration in the New Orleans market very soon. It’s a website and mobile app that tells you which restaurants near you offer delivery and/or pickup. Not only can you see the menu, but you can also ORDER ONLINE. Or from your phone. It’s like TaxiMagic for food, and it is truly amazing. So far, I’ve gotten one client signed up, and have made it my personal mission to get more restaurants on board (for the purely selfish reason that I want to be able to order, say, Verti Marte delivery via my phone). I definitely recommend you check out GrubHub; it might be relevant to some of your clients.

    Also, my experience with GrubHub employees has been precisely the opposite of what you described in dealing with Single Platform. Out of curiosity, I filled out the contact form on their website, and was contacted by a very personable and helpful salesperson within minutes. It was almost creepy, in fact. But it was very clear that they’re paying attention, they’re responsive, and a great company. The service they offer is pretty incredible, and it’s directly related to increasing orders (and therefore revenue) for restaurants. Not to mention making the world a much more convenient place! Absolutely love it.

    Would be curious to see what you think.

    Thanks again for the informative post! (By the way, I totally have that Foursquare shirt. 🙂

    • Greta May 21, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

      Glad to hear you had such a great experience with another platform. I’m hoping this post gets a little mileage as I would like to see lots more opportunities for restaurants to better market themselves on-line.

  2. Vince Tornambe June 20, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

    So far I have had a bad experience with these guys. I called out a couple days ago to learn about what they could do for my Uncle’s deli in San Diego. The rep told me that she would have to verify I in fact worked for my Uncle. 2 days passed and my Uncle has never received a call for them to even verify this information. I also submitted a form on their site – and did not receive a call. I called in and left a voicemail. What is interesting is that if you want to learn more, you arent sent to a person, rather just a voicemail line…I’m am trying to figure out what is most cost effective for my Uncle – between Yext and SinglePlatform. If this is how I’m treated though when wanting to spend money, I’m not sure how good their customer service would be. Please share you’re experiences, I am already leaning towards Yext but really want to know about the Foursquare menu tool.

    • Greta June 20, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

      They have treated me very kindly since alerted to this post. I alerted them to look at your concerns. Customer service should be the backbone of any business!

  3. Kenny Herman June 21, 2012 at 11:17 am #

    Vince,

    I am very sorry to hear of this experience – not acceptable at all. Please email me and I will personally call you, sort this out, and get you up and running!

    Kenny, EVP of Business Development
    kherman @singleplatform.com (please remove the space)

  4. Lea March 8, 2014 at 3:17 am #

    I was cold called yesterday and was not familiar with their services, but it sounded interesting and I told the guy that I would consider giving it a try. Within seconds he was trying to get a credit card. When I explained to him that I had a client waiting and would have to check them out and call him back to finalize, he was rude, frustrated and offensive. He called several times today and I did not answer. He completely turned me off to the company. Not to mention, he originally called and said that they wanted to feature my business in an interview for Yahoo and asked what I would be asked to buy and I was told nothing. Then it turned into this sales pitch during which, the guy actually said to me, “oh, wait a minute, my manager just got out of a meeting, let me see what i can do”. I should have hung up with that but my business has been off a little so I was looking for an avenue to try. Not going this one now.

    • Rebecca July 8, 2015 at 10:50 am #

      Funny, I just had something nearly identical happen to me. I got a call yesterday from someone saying he wanted to interview me and my massage business, and I told him to call me today. I just spent 30 minutes on the phone with him and he talked so fast and went over everything, I have to admit, it did look nice and easy, and then transitioned so quickly into “okay, let me just get your billing information and we can get you set up”. Sorry, for $99/month I want to do a little more research, and instantly his tone kind of changed and then he showed me his LinkedIn page to show me that he’s a real person (thanks but didn’t need to know that).

  5. Chrystal March 21, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

    My local news station ran a story about this company being seedy: Single Platform advertised a business with incorrect prices (much higher than the actual price) and when the company contacted Single Platform, they wouldn’t change the prices without the company’s business. Coersion, anyone?

    http://www.wnem.com/video?clipId=9963894&autostart=true

  6. Charles Nwokolo April 10, 2014 at 1:56 pm #

    I just had the most incredible unpleasant conversation with a man called Mathew from Single Platform As above, he called yesterday and told me our gym would be featured in a Yahoo interview. I asked 2 times if any $ was involved, any contract etc and he replied NO. He made a time for an “interview” for this morning which my wife handled. Here was her email response to Mathew after she got off the phone:
    Mathew,
    For the time being we are not interested. For this size gym, his website is functioning just fine. I have to say that I was VERY turned off by the fact that you essentially lied to me. I asked you during the first phone call and also today if this “service” was free or was it some kind of subscription or contract. I asked you about TEN times and you continued to tell me NO. It was ONLY when I said that I needed to go that ALL OF THE SUDDEN you mentioned the $79/month fee. I do NOT appreciate this way of doing business and it reflects badly on the company that you are selling. Simply based on your lack of transparency, to put it nicely, I would not use your services.
    In addition, your phone skills are lacking. Since you do all of your business ON THE PHONE, you must speak in a way that is easy to understand and pleasant to listen to. You did neither. I had to ask you atleast THREE times to slow down and it simply never happened. After 30 minutes of attempting to listen to you and understand I had an incredible headache and had to end our conversation. Only then did I realize that I had been lied to regarding the nature of your business and that not only had I wasted 30 minutes of my morning, but that our encounter resulted in a headache which is only abating 2 hours after the call.

    Please do not call back or “keep in touch”. If , in the future we find ourselves growing and needing such a service, I will call myself and speak to a representative who will not give me a headache.

  7. Cheryl May 19, 2014 at 3:47 pm #

    Very disappointed with this company. After the fancy foot work of the sales pitch it is ALL DOWN HILL! They listed my business name wrong, had the wrong Fitness classes listed every week! Only when I told them to cancel my membership did they start to correct only one error of many. The damage was already done.
    The owners are not around to talk to. This business will not survive with such horrible business practice.

  8. Richard June 9, 2014 at 9:33 am #

    I am a long time subscriber to constant contact. Their customer service has always been exemplary. When they called to offer me a discounted trial subscription to single platform I was very interested and accepted the offer. The on-boarding process was OK – the rep wasn’t particularly patient, but no big deal. When the trial expired I hadn’t had time to fully explore the service so I was hesitant to extend. This is when it turned ugly. The rep I was working with got very nasty and started pressuring me to sign up. After making not so thinly veiled threats to “de-list” my company so that “nobody will ever find you online after this” I hung up. I then called constant contact and read them the riot act for giving my information to Single Platform. True to form the CC rep was very empathetic and responded quickly to cancel my SP subscription and refund everything I had paid to that point. It is now 1 year later and I am being offered the “opportunity” to rejoin SinglePlatform for 39/a month for life. I still haven’t decided if I want to subject myself to their high-pressure scare tactics again or if they have learned their lessons and changed their ways.

  9. Clark June 19, 2014 at 11:53 am #

    Single Platform has been calling me non stop for days and will not take no for an answer. Pit Boss in the back routine and insults ect.
    Alex Seigel is the person calling and he is relentless. Can’t get any work done now with him calling all the time. Hang up on him and he just calls back.

  10. Shelly June 24, 2014 at 11:56 am #

    I just got my “Yahoo Interview” from single platform. I asked before they called for my “interview” if it was going to be a sales pitch. She said No. LOVE their script!! Same as above. This is not a sales pitch, but i need your credit card to process $79/month. Oh, and when i asked for 30 min to read and make a decision, by gal that called turned into a justification person. Don’t take all the reviews at their word, we are different, they are just mad, etc. OK – RED FLAG! – if you can’t give me 30 minutes to read about your company then waste another 15 min of my time trying to no get me to hang up on you for justifications of your business. It tells me there is some real problems. I stumbled on this site hoping to get some positive feedback for single platform, its not happening! The more the sales person talked the more negative feeling on the company i received. I would have loved to say yes sign me up. but, i won’t be. Oh, and the other thing, “my manager just finished up a meeting, i was able to grab her to get you approved today”. Really? It is not where i will be putting any of my advertizing/marketing dollars. 🙁

    • Greta Perry June 26, 2014 at 6:29 pm #

      This is the never-ending post – so they may want to really take a look at their company!

  11. sam June 27, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

    same thing happened with us they called our company setup a time for some yahoo thing,then after talking with the sales reb corey for 30m they asked for the credit card number for the $79.00 so i asked how come a company like you ask for payment over the phone.
    i will never give anyone just called me our company credit card like that.
    if you are doing all this web work and you are a part of this big company as you say how you do not even a secure web page for the payments.
    come on at least axecpt paypall.
    some kind of secure site to pay you the $79.00 not over the phone. then he freak out on me and since 2 days they calling us non stop. never will deal with them again

  12. Joan July 30, 2014 at 2:40 pm #

    Just had the same experience with a sales rep from Single Platform. Interview, lots of hype, they claim to qualify you, then call back saying the boss says your business sounds great, then the price tag of $79/month. I had read reviews online and also have a very small business and limited funds, so had decided not to get their service. They guy wouldn’t stop pressuring me, demanded reasons why I said no to tell his boss, I had to shout to give them to him (money, my outdated website, their reputation) and he wouldn’t let go. I warned him that I would do it, then hung up. BAD. Very unfortunate business model and probably giving Constant Contact a bad name or at least sewing seeds of doubt in people like me, who consider using CC.

  13. Katherine August 12, 2014 at 12:51 pm #

    Our experience with SinglePlatform was also horrible. Not only do they not do the service that they claim too, their prices are outrageous, they’ll say anything to get you to sign up and when you try to cancel the service a million different ways they are conveniently unavailable. They refused to refund charges despite us contacting them numerous times to cancel after our “free” trial. The menus they publish are all incorrect an some don’t exist where they said they were published. For our business, SinglePlatform was a total scam and waste of time.

  14. Sherry August 14, 2014 at 7:24 am #

    I was called by a single platform sales person and told my company had been reviewed by single platform and might be featured on Yahoo if they could interview me first. During the interview comments like “my boss will decide whether your company will be accepted” or “if we decide to accept you” seemed designed to place me in a subordinate position to the interviewer. I asked right away what it would cost for them to feature my company and was told “nothing”. Toward the end of the interview I asked again about cost and was told 79.00, but only if the boss “approved” my business. I was called again the following day and told I had been approved. When I explained that 79.00 was not in my budget, the price was lowered twice, to 69.00, then 49.00. Based upon reviews I found of singleplatform, I decided not to take the risk. I’m expecting more calls.

  15. Sherry August 14, 2014 at 7:34 am #

    I wish to add that credit card payments are the only kind that are accepted by singleplatform. When I inquired as to whether I could make my monthly payment by check as I do other payments, i was told “no, your bank routing number would leave you wide open”. I then asked if I could pay by certified check and was emphatically told no. I once payed for postage on a “free” sample of skin product, for which the company later deducted two payments of 80.00 from my card, so I’m careful about promises of free product or ability to cancel at any time.

    • Myron November 6, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

      I was also just called by singleplatform.com . And was told I was being considerd to be listed on Yahoo, Bing, Google, and soooooo many others and they needed to interview me like you all have said. So I did the interview, then they called me back and I said no thank you very nicely. The guy started to insult my business knowledge and so many other things I wanted to hang up hard ! But I’m not like them, I was nice, polite and wanted to just tell him NO THANK YOU ! So 10 minutes later I finally got it through to him that I meant NO ! He then told me I was making a very bad business decision, I right away said no thank you, but he kept going so I again, nicely said no thank you and hug up….. Maybe I should have been like him and insult him as he did me…… Anyway, not a pleasant experience and I’m glad I did not spend any money with them !
      THANK YOU to all of you and others whom I gleaned information from to help me with my decision.

  16. erica January 6, 2015 at 6:03 am #

    I have to chime in here because I also experienced a sales call about being prominently listed on a search engine site. When I asked if I had to pay I was told no. So I signed up for a meeting over the phone for the next week, during which I was told the interviewer’s boss just got out of a meeting and could approve me right now so that I could sign up today for $79/mo. I honestly didn’t have my wallet at home with me, I had left it in my husband’s car and when I told that to the interviewer, her name is Victoria, she acted very defensive abut the company being a legitimate business and owned by constant contact etc. and I should feel completely comfortable about giving them my cc number. Luckily I didn’t have my cc on me or I may have signed up, but I researched the company in the interim and they have horrible reviews all over, including on the better business bureau website. Victoria called me back the next week and I told her I wasn’t interested and that the company had horrible reviews which again she became defensive about. She harangued me about why I should give it a try, how I could cancel anytime, but honestly who wants to do business with a company like this? I could not imagine how rough it would be if I wanted to cancel their service. It has been another week and they are calling me again asking why I don’t want to join. I don’t think that any benefit they could potentially give would be worth the hassle.

  17. nate January 15, 2015 at 3:03 pm #

    I too was just ‘interviewed’ by Singleplatform to see if our restaurant is qualified. They called us disguised as Trip Advisor wanting to interview us. Just wasted 20 minutes listening to their sales pitch.
    I kept asking why I can’t just sign up if I wanted to on my own. And they kept saying that Google and Yelp will only want to list restaurants that have potential to gain lots of traffic…. BS. Most likely they’ll call back tomorrow and say we qualify and try to sell $79/mo service…
    Wish I can get that 20 min back…

    • Rebecca July 8, 2015 at 10:55 am #

      Soooo glad I didn’t sign up! Just spent 30 minutes on the phone with someone from Single Platform, but he was offering me the “low rate of $99/month” and kept saying “people keep asking how we can offer all of these services for such a low rate”. Then he was a little put off that I told him I needed some time to look over things. Glad I stumbled across this site!

  18. Mark March 10, 2015 at 4:57 pm #

    They are seedy, they promise there’s no sale involved that it’s just an “interview” to see if they would feature you without a cost. I have gotten this call few months ago and this time I asked 100% clearly if there was a “sale” involved because I don’t mind considering new products. They said absolutely not — and sure enough after wasting 20 minutes of my time, there is a cost. No wonder they don’t tell you it’s “single platform” when they first call — it’s easy to see that this is a disgusting business practice with a google search. I’m finishing this and going to cancel my constant contact account — shame on them.

  19. Christopher April 22, 2015 at 9:57 am #

    My secretary (who does not get messages wrong) handed me a phone message that Trip Advisor wanted to interview the Owner and GM of one of our restaurants for a “featured position” on their platform. After two missed phone appointments, we finally connected. Within the first 20-seconds of the conference call, I leaned over to my GM and mouthed the words, “We’re being pitched.” Regardless of what they think an “interview” is or isn’t, it wasn’t an interview, it was a sales pitch. I’m in sales. We can smell a pitch. I’m only sad I didn’t catch it in 19-seconds.

    I tried three times to stop our “interviewer,” Dylan in his diatribe. When he finally stopped talking, he skirted my accusation that this call was made under false pretenses (throwing his colleague, Tiesha, under the bus, offering, “Well, I’m not sure what my assistant told you, but…”), and tried to get credit card info from my GM after I had to step out for another meeting.

    We will not be purchasing any “menus” from SinglePlatform. Our own reputation, product quality and exceptional customer service speak for themselves on all the apps they broker for—something SinglePlatform could stand to learn.

  20. Jesse June 3, 2015 at 5:25 pm #

    I too just received a call from a single platform employee stating that my small fitness business was asked to be featured online. I was interested so I agreed to an “interview”. Right away I asked if this was a service that cost money or a true feature. The guy told me it is free and we are asked to do this FOR google! I sat through the 30 minute phone call just to have him tell me I could have all these features for only $79/month– Even offered to give me a discount because he claimed to be from the state I live in. I told him I needed a day to think about it and he said he would call me the next day. After doing some research on the company I found a lot of unpleasant reviews and decided that my small business couldn’t afford the risk. When the guy called the next day I politely told him I was not interested because our business did not have the money and we just weren’t ready. The called immediately became rude telling me that I’m making a poor business decision and going to loose my business. I politely told him as owner, it is my decision what we do and we are choosing not to do this right now. He demanded I give him an answer as to why and began into another sales pitch. I politely told him, “I am not going to argue the details, we are currently not offered in the service”. He became more upset and rude, demanding answers as to why I would want to fail my business like this. I again polite told him I did not want to argue and that we were not interested and ended up having to hang up.. AWFUL experience! Would never do business with a sales pitch/service like that!

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