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I had my website ranking 1,2,3,5,& 8 with my major search terms and then I signed up with Overture PPC.
Two days later (2/27/2004) all my free listings with Overtures partners (Yahoo, MSN, etc.) disappeared. I couldn't even find my web site typing in my URL, much less my search terms.
I sent an email to the sales rep (Friday 2/27/2004 late night)at Overture and told him I knew what they had done, and they I wanted my well earned "status" back or I would contact the FCC, FTC, or whoever it took to get results.
The sales rep had told me he came on duty at 1:30 pm Mon-Fri.
All my "free site listings" showed back up the following Monday afternoon (3/1/04) at every one of Overture's partner search engines.
I received emails trying to sooth me (sucking up)and was given credit for the $149 sign up fee I paid. (He gave me a $50 discount in the beginning.)
I cannot be the only small business they have done this to. Start testing them.
I signed up with Google Ad Words and now am not listed with them except for the sponsored ads. They are more stubborn than Overture was. They take my threat of reporting them too lightly.
RegisterEverywhere told me of this forum. I am starting here to expose my experience and see if others are experiencing the same exclusion.