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How the dubious German job exchange „Jobleads“ lures and rips off customers into useless subscriptions

Job leads and his dubious marketing statements.

Comment – the disputed German job portal „Jobleads“ of the Hamburg JobLeads GmbH in the Brandstwiete 4 stands for years substantial in the criticism. If the reproach was in former times „mean Abofalle“ (subscription rip off), the portal readjusted here and writes now more clearly, which costs which. But the portal is not serious therefore still for a long time. Many people feel they have been tempted into expensive alleged „premium“ accounts.

By aggressive new type character marketing in Business-Portals like XING, LINKEDIN & CO., in addition, integrations on other portals as well as by GOOGLE announcements land according to our estimations daily thousands, if not ten thousands involuntarily on the portal and into their marketing catches, which turns over so millions.

Many of the consumers lured to the portal are managers and academics – because they are the people that Jobleads address most. The trick: Dubious alleged Top salary data, which one puts to the announcements as well as the prospect allegedly over Jobleads special entrance to Headhuntern to get.

Complains about Jobleads

High time therefore the driving of Jobleads somewhat more near to light up. For example, a „client“ from March 23, 2020 on Trustpilot, one of the world’s largest online evaluation portals (thanks to Google) complains about Jobleads with the following words

„Bad: Don’t spend your money on it, it’s not worth the money, it’s just a filter of the main offers you can find yourself… The salary filter is not reliable, it’s rather invented“, is the impression of the user.

Another one, a Peter Z. (name partly changed), writes with date „Updated Feb 27, 2020“:

„In my personal opinion, they are to the c… After some correspondence JobLeads agreed to refund half of the fees charged in year 2 (which were DOUBLE in year 1). I think this compromise is better than nothing, but in my opinion it still does not make their service worth the money. Original mail: In my personal opinion this service is not worth the money, there is almost no customer service and they act unethically“.

The disgruntled Jobleads user continues: „I have tried to understand the support of Jobleads, but so far without success. In short, I was surprised and horrified to discover that my credit card was charged AU$346.80 for a service I hadn’t used for almost a year because it was useless“.

He stated that „because I had not cancelled this service, an automatic renewal was charged at twice the amount originally paid“. For him, it was „unacceptable to charge someone’s credit card with a not insignificant amount without prior notice or warning. He had then tried to „obtain a refund“. So far in vain.

Even with ads in Google, Jobleads is catching customers. Here is a Google Adwords ad that stylishly calls itself „Premium“. Others call the portal something else: rip-off trap.

These are only two opinions of numerous other less refreshing ones. Because in the Internet cavort on various portals customer experiences with the evaluations „unsatisfactory“ to „insufficient“ to Jobleads. And many a lawyer has also been on the trail in recent years. One of many reasons:

The 3rd payment reminder from jobleads to a consumer and the threat of a debt collection procedure. Perfidiously and brazenly this is also signed with „best regards your JobLeads accounting“. This is what a „Dr. A. W.“ complains to a lawyer, for example on yourexpert,de.

Dubious alleged „headhunter matching“. Users do not consider this serious in reviews.

Observers have been wondering for some time now why more and more negative entries for Jobleads are suddenly disappearing again on the Danish rating portal „Trustpilot“, which is strongly promoted by Google. Now the solution seems to be there:

Jobleads tries to put the commentators of negative ratings massively under pressure via Trustpilot and obviously assumes negative commentators that their experiences with jobleads are not correct.

Applies gladly as alleged job portal for alleged „Premium“ jobs, which one copied however to a large extent simply from other free job portals. Also Google fades in the controversial portal largely.

So we now have a case in which a Swiss manager on Trustpilot had written the following evaluation on Jobleads (shown below by us). The text was then online for about a week in March 2020, but was then taken offline again by Trustpilot – at the request of Jobleads.

No wonder: After all, Trustpilot earns its money by companies with negative ratings opening a company account and paying money to Trustpilot. In his statement to us he said:

Companies often pay money to Trustpilot to improve their presence there. Negative ratings are particularly popular in Google, where they are displayed far ahead. Trustpilot is therefore massively beneficial or detrimental to companies‘ business. One speaks of a high SEO relevance, i.e. a high relevance in Search Engine Optimization.

„I have rarely been so annoyed about a job portal as I am about the Hamburg-based Jobleads portal, which is busy sending out job newsletters from third-party portals such as Xing, LinkedIn, Indeed or Glassdoor.

On Trustpilot the Hamburg job portal Jobleads is teeming with negative comments. Observers, including us, have not been able to see how jobleads have received significantly more positive feedback in recent months.

However, when he clicked on a button that was displayed in a job advertisement advertised by jobleads via a LinkedIn newsletter, he was forwarded directly to jobleads:

Expensive useless premium account

To a paid job offer from Jobleads, for which he could only apply after signing up for an expensive premium account.

However, the ad had created the impression that he could apply „directly“ to the company that had the job to fill.

Also, the company had not even been shown on Jobleads until the expensive premium account was closed. So the manager continues to write in the commentary currently taken offline by Trustpilot at the request of Jobleads: He had to „register with Jobleads first“ (and sign up for a premium account, as he tells us) before he was „shown the employer’s company name“:

„In good faith, I then uploaded my resume, believing the promise of a decent match with headhunters – but all that came out was garbage. Absolute waste of money.“

Great headhunter matching? Customers see it differently. Much more than an arbitrary listing of some headhunters, there is no such thing as signing up for a paid account on Jobleads to enjoy this alleged advantage. Often the hits did not even begin to match the resume, which is criticized.

In addition, the manager is annoyed by the fact that „in job newsletters such as those from Xing, LinkedIn, Glassdoor or Neuvoo, jobs advertised by Jobleads can almost always only be applied for after signing up for an expensive rip-off account“.

This is „pure cheek and rip-off“, if one considers that „the job advertisements“ are, in his opinion, „to over 99 percent also free of charge on other job portals“. Thus on portals like stepstone.de, monster.de, jobs.ch etc.

Find many users misleading: Jobleads does in this job advertisement switched on LinkedIn in such a way, as if one could apply directly with the enterprise, which has to occupy the job advertisement. This is at least what the LinkedIn button „Apply on company website“ is supposed to suggest. One user told us: He came out directly at Jobleads and the job ad was only activated if he was willing to sign up for an expensive premium package at Jobleads.

Disgusting Newsletter marketing with unemployed people

In addition, one User of Jobleads wonder how Jobleads suddenly would come „on Trustpilot to so many positive evaluations“. He asks: „Are they paying for it? Do they leave a discount on subscriptions, which people have been lured into with false promises? We asked Jobleads for an answer but did not get one.

Editorial note: The massive requests for deletion of Jobleads to Trustpilot regarding negative comments, which were also accepted by the rating portal, can be viewed under the following link: https://www.trustpilot.com/review/jobleads.de/activity.

Since Trustpilot has deleted masses of negative comments on Jobleads, Jobleads have climbed from under two stars to almost 5, a distortion without end, but which is considered normal by Trustpilot, according to the responsible Danish press office. Critics criticize massive falsifications of the true image of the company, which is stated on Trustpilot.

I wonder if the paid Trustpilot Business Package subscription, which was used to buy Jobleads from Trustpilot, has helped? A rogue, who thinks something like that…

Many users find it also misleading: In an job ad placed on LinkedIn, Jobleads pretends that it is possible to apply directly to the company that has to fill the job ad. But one user told us: He came out directly at Jobleads. They wanted to activate the job ad only if he was willing to sign up for an expensive premium package with Jobleads. Behind the portal Jobleads are the Germans Christian von Ahlen, Jan Hendrik von Ahlen and Martin Schmidt.

How Trustpilot put preasure on negative reviews

Publicly on Trustpilot, Jobleads has so far not made a statement on the negative comment of so many users. One Swiss Manager did get the following e-mail sent by Trustpilot to him:

„Dear Mr. xy,

thank you very much for your evaluation of jobleads.de. „jobleads.de has reported your review because the company believes that the review is not based on a real purchase or service experience. The content of your review is therefore temporarily invisible to other users. In order to be able to reactivate your review as soon as possible, we will need proof from you to verify your purchase or service experience with jobleads.de“. Trustpilot recommends that you please take „the following steps“:

„Send an order confirmation, invoice, shipping confirmation or – if you are using or have used a service – a screenshot of your user registration/user profile or similar to Trustpilot to jobleads.“ The proof should include the following information: „The name of the company, the name of the buyer of the goods or the user of the service, the date of purchase or provision/use and a reference or order number. They also wrote: You could send the evidence to Trustpilot „as a forwarded e-mail, PDF file or screenshot in the reply to this e-mail“. Once Trustpilot has received „the proof“ of Jobleads usage, they will „check it“ and then „get back to you“. They will „not share your proof with third parties“, did they write.

And the rating portal does not forget to inform you of this either: However, they would provide „the evaluated company“ with „your reference number“, unless the user explicitly „objected“ to this.

Trustpilot uses this signature to write to thousands of users, asking them to indicate their clear name if companies have been rated negatively. Trustpilot lives from the fact that companies ultimately pay money to Trustpilot and work with the rating portal.

But whether this is in line with European data protection will certainly have to be clarified again in court at some point. After all, this is the legal situation: Data may never be passed on to third parties without the express permission of the consumer.

On top of that, Trustpilot is putting time pressure on the commentator: the evidence of Jobleads should be sent within an extremely short period of time – in just 7 days. The mail is signed by the „Content Integrity Team“.

The in such a way written up answered regarding Jobleads, according to which it did not want to take back under any circumstances its negative evaluation. He also prohibited Trustpilot from passing on his reference number or other data to Jobleads.

Jobleads lives on the fact that the portal attracts unemployed or other urgently job-seekers via newsletter marketing, played out for example via business portals like XING, LinkedIn or Neuvoo.

The ads often advertise alleged top jobs and high salaries. In Switzerland, for example, Jobleads go on the lookout for customers by claiming in newsletters via Xing, LinkedIn or Neuvoo that the job in question is estimated to be worth around 100,000 to 200,000 Swiss francs.

The portal’s approach is similarly dubious in the following countries, according to the numerous complaints on Trustpilot from these countries:

  •     Germany
  •     Great Britain
  •     Italy
  •     Spain
  •     France

Since the portal in Great Britain is in English, customers from Australia also land on Jobleads who are looking for a job in Europe. Our consumer complaint about Jobleads at the beginning of the text seems to come from Australia. Similarly, in the Netherlands, where many speak French and then also land on Jobleads (keyword: Jobleads Netherlands). Especially from the UK, there are masses of negative evaluations of Jobleads with the statement of many: Hands off!

How Jobleads use the XING brand to drive people into useless subscriptions

However, in our example, in the job advertisements that Jobleads apply for via the XING newsletter, information that these are only estimated salary values is not included here. Jobleads in the XING job applications shown here also pretend to hire Jobleads themselves in Ulm (Head of Communications) or Basel (Head of Communications).

But this is wrong: These job advertisements were published free of charge on other job portals by the companies that really have these positions to fill. Jobleads just took them over and wants to drive people into expensive subscriptions – by booking XING newsletters that are sent to unemployed people or other job seekers by XING.

The founders of Jobleads understand how to send unemployed people or other job seekers to the portal with dubious salary promises, and this is best done via newsletter marketing of reputable portals such as XING from Burda Media.

The cheeky scam with the alleged top salaries, which one simply likes to send advertisements

It is unclear how Jobleads get the alleged salaries, which are advertised in bold as in the XING newsletter LinkedIn-Newsletter. This is because companies in Switzerland or Germany do not usually publish how much they want to pay (in contrast to Austria). Some see such applications from job advertisements as misleading or „fraud“, says one person affected.

Also in Great Britain and some other countries, the rip-off portal Jobleads uses similar methods to catch customers. Particularly impudent: According to estimations of market connoisseurs „probably well 98 per cent of the job advertisements sold by jobleads and on Xing, LinkedIn & CO largely applied job advertisements are actually free of charge copied from other job portals“, estimate two concerning. Jobleads has itself to the question, in which extent one copies and resells from other job portals job advertisements, so far publicly not yet expressed, concedes however that one avails oneself diligently of other sources.

Do you also have negative experiences with the Hamburg job portal Jobleads, which is active in Germany, Switzerland, Great Britain, Spain or Italy? Share your experiences with other users here in a comment.

Also a classic: The own alleged headhunter-matching, which is often advertised by jobleads, is nonsense. „Nothing has happened except expenses,“ are the numerous verdicts of angry Jobleads users who had to pay dearly for it.

Last but not least

Also the following negative Trustpilot comment of a manager was obviously tried to be deleted by Jobleads. Otherwise the comment would not be marked as „verified“ now.

That means: Here the comment writer had sent his documents to Trustpilot, possibly about it then also voluntarily or involuntarily to Jobleads, but he showed backbone and stuck to his public judgement. It summarizes the rip-off model in an exemplary manner, which is why we are publishing it here: Comment on Trustpilot from Feb. 20, 2019 by Stephan M.:

„Others can do it better and for free: Jobleads was recommended to me by friends. I made a first registration and filled out the profile maybe 10%. Immediately I was bombarded with mails that a recruiter had looked at my profile and there was 99% agreement. How this can happen with an empty profile is beyond me. Further information only if you have a Premium Membership. That sounded very funny. I also got many hits on job offers, of course the advertisements were veiled. Further only after completion of a Premium Membership. Dubios in the fact that many offers lay far outside of the radius of my search. The salary level was also quite beside it. Since the side was recommended to me, I finally decided for a membership and then it came as feared to disillusionment. With most job offers, jobleads simply link to other job platforms. These are even free of charge. So Jobleads is just a search robot that collects job offers from free sites and merges and sells them.”

One other customer wrote: “From where Jobleads the salary data has from is also not comprehensible. On the linked job advertisements there is nothing at all about the salary conditions. As if by a miracle, the job offers per mail have practically gone down to zero after the membership has ended. Before I received several mails a day. In the three weeks of membership I got maybe 2 or 3. Also, not a single recruiter has looked at my profile, let alone there is any match. All very dubious…  My conclusion is that Jobleads are not necessarily needed. Other free platforms make it much better. I see the costs for 6 months membership as a lesson and as a price for the ‘free’ resume review. This review is done. But the level is very low. It can only help someone who has no idea at all about resume – writing… Probably it is done by the same robot that scratches the jobs together on the net.”

He also wrote: “But it was completely new to me that CVs should be signed with date. This is a practice I have never experienced in my career, neither as a job seeker nor as an employer. The money is better invested elsewhere. I cancelled my membership immediately, observing all deadlines, before the subscription trap was closed and the membership was automatically renewed. I received the cancellation confirmation within a few hours. Jobleads has been exemplary here. I keep the confirmation carefully now. You never know what’s coming.“

Update #1

In the meantime, on March 26, 2020, we received an e-mail in English from Alexander Tolstrup, „Director of Communications – Europe“ at Trustpilot. How credible the message is or not, is something that each person has to decide for themselves: In any case, we are giving you the mail as Trustpilot’s response to the article here: „Whether or not a company is a paying customer of Trustpilot has no influence on how its ratings are treated. And all companies – paying or non-paying – have access to exactly the same reporting tools – and our compliance team works independently of the rest of the organization. We’ve also introduced an industry-first initiative called the Transparent Labeling feature, which allows anyone to see how often companies label reviews and what happens to them once they’ve been reviewed. If you look at the article, it seems to claim that companies can pay for negative reviews to be removed. This is categorically incorrect. If you have evidence to support this claim, please let us know, as it would be against what we stand for and we would investigate thoroughly. Otherwise, I hope that you will look at the article again through the lens of the information you have just received.“



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