WhiteFence.com’s Tainted Ties

A few weeks ago, we posted about WhiteFence.com, a site that lets you compare and contrast service providers, which could be especially good for when you’re moving.

Several commenters, here and on other blogs, voiced uncertainty about WhiteFence’s independence, authority and scope.

WhiteFence read these complaints and addressed them in a post here.

Thanks to Stephanie from WhiteFence for listening and reaching out.

However, answers like these fail to impress.

Why can I only see certain providers for my area?
We are committed to creating new business and technology partnerships with the best home service providers to make sure you have the most choices available in your area. When you enter your address, our proprietary transaction engine shows you all of the providers and pricing plans available to you through WhiteFence. However, there are areas where we do not have partnerships with certain providers. In those cases, we are not able to connect you to their services. [emphasis added]

Excuse us, partnerships? You don’t have partnerships with all the providers, so you’re not going to list them? F that. Consumers are better served by doing the research legwork on their own.

Consider yourself removed from the Consumerist Kit.

Comments

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  1. RobinHood says:

    Now now guys, a consumer is always best served by doing their own legwork. This is just one tool to help do some of the legwork. It’s really pretty reasonable for them to need a relationship with a provider, otherwise it’s hard to get the data out of that provider. Every provider has a different format for their database, their website, and their user interface. Maybe it’s not kit material, but it’s not worthless.

  2. RumorsDaily says:

    Is it possible that they mean they don’t have access to pricing information in specific areas if the firms in question don’t agree to give out that information to automated services?

    If it’s just that they haven’t been able to negotiate profit sharing with the firms, then, yeah, they’re jerks.

  3. amazon says:

    It’s nice that they are addressing concerns and all, but the lack of transparency is kind of… questionable.
    ConEds, you rock for taking this out of the kit. ;)

  4. LTS! says:

    Ever try to get pricing information from Time Warner? Besides the fact that each person who calls will get a different price based on their ability to negotiate you can’t even begin to compare prices.

    I’d use whitefence as a place to start but even the prices they post are nothing compared to what a smart consumer can get by calling the company and talking to them.

    I’d ask them to clarify partnerships before throwing them under the bus.

  5. adamondi says:

    As soon as I first heard about WhiteFence, I put in my address to see if there were better deals than what I am currently getting. Not only were there not any better deals, they did not list my current cable TV and internet provider at all. The other available services all had only one option. It was at that point that I disgustedly clicked away from their site forever. And that was before I knew that they don’t list options if they don’t currently have a “relationship” with the provider. Perhaps they should change their slogan on their site from “Connect ALL your home services in MINUTES” to “Connect services that we have arrangements to offer.”

    At any rate, they need to make their deficiency clearer rather than making a potential customer go to their FAQ to find out why their offerings are crippled.

  6. wfanon says:

    I used to work at WhiteFence. The companies they show are companies they have an agreement with. For instance, every time someone purchases Comcast cable in a certain city through WhiteFence, WhiteFence gets $20 or some amount of money. The providers who give the most money to WhiteFence for each transaction get listed higher when the system displays your search results.

    The best deals aren’t always available on WhiteFence.

  7. sandyinca says:

    This sight is a ripoff, period. They make you think you are dealing directly with the provider; it’s very misleading. I’m an experienced Internet user and was still duped. I called and thought I was speaking to A&TT. I needed to switch two lines over to AT&T. They took my SS# (yikes) and charged me $40 per line. AFTER they take all of your information they tell you they are NOT AT&T and hang up. I called AT&T directly afterwards and switched my phones for FREE. I don’t know whitefence.com is and I’m not happy they have my personal info. Thankfully, they did not take credit card info. Needless to say, I will not be paying them $80. This website is despicable.

  8. PrudenceRutilus says:

    Same deal here. ComEd led me to the site like it was there’s. After
    signing up for new service I started receiving offers for other items
    and was signed up for a warranty program!

    What a scam. I called their headquarters to get everything cleared up.

  9. duped says:

    If you want to be DUPED, USE WHITEFENCE. I was misled with a web site on the internet and called Whitefence thinking that it was At&t. When the call was answered the rep. made me believe I was talking to AT&T. She took my order (and SS#). She NEVER told me that I was NOT talking with AT&T. When they sent me an email I found out that I had called Whitefence. I should have asked if I were talking with AT&T. I called them to cancel, Jennie told that I could not. I highly recommend you not use Whitefence. It is a lot easier dealing directly with AT&T.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I was looking for Georgia Natural Gas online and clicked on the first link Google brought up. I ended up on a Whitefence shell site called http://www.georgiagas.com. I signed up to transfer my service from MX Energy because of an advertised lower rate. When I found out the lower rate was only for 2 months and then I would be switched to a variable rate and an unknown customer service fee, I tried to cancel the order. Good Luck!! I sent an email to their customer service email they put on their auto email sent after signing up (with your SS number by the way- oh sheeit), and guess what, the email came back with “CustomerCare@WhiteFence.com>: Recipient address rejected: No such user” OMG!! Tried to call them on each of their posted “customer care” telephone numbers on the website, and guess what… after 30 minutes on hold, it dropped the call. same thing happened on the 2nd attempt. Do these guys even exist, or is it a professional phishing scam. Time to call the FBI??

  11. Anonymous says:

    Through White Fence, I signed-up for electricity services with SCE & phone service with Verizon in October. For doing this, White Fence has taken it upon themselves to debit $19.90/month from my bank account without giving any prior notice. Anyone else here experience a recurring charge from these people? I live in California, and, the Houston-area phone number associated with the charges doesn’t appear to be connected to White Fence at all. I’ve called it twice, neither time did the person on the other end even know what White Fence is! And, don’t bother e-mailing or phoning their “customer service” lines with your billing issues, either. All that will get you is an automated response telling you to contact your provider directly. And, when you do, they, of course, aren’t at all familiar with White Fence billing practices, and are just as perplexed as you are about the recurring charges! Even my bank’s fraud detection department can’t seem to get anywhere, either!

  12. Anonymous says:

    I signed up for cable internet and phone with white fence with brighthouse networks, white fence advertised a deal and 6 10 dollar coupons for signing up with them. Well I have been on everlasting hold, there seems to be no one answering the phones, their ceo is eric danziger and some marketing guy chip smith, well if these people are real, your company is a fraud, they are not delivering on the services advertising. this is false advertising and the government should be notified

  13. Harry_Potthead says:

    I was comparing services and prices prior to an upcoming move and unitentionally ended up on whitefence.com. At the time it seemed quite useful because I was able to see a quick comparison of several service providers. Seeing what I thought was a good deal with Verizon I selected it believing I was on their website. I entered some basic information, name address, and began selecting services but logged off of the site because the actual price wasn’t close to the whitefence price. That evening I received an email from them “confirming my order from Verizon”. It had a date for installation, a username and log on and everything but I never submitted an oder. I called whitefence and as stated in other comments the response was “we aren’t Verizon and we can neither confirm nor cancel your order. Have a nice day.” click! I spent a half hour on the phone with Verizon who couldn’t find the order request in their system. The operator at Verzon said she had another customer who had tried to place an order through whitefence, provided credit card info and all but there was no order in Verizons system. Verizon told me there was no way that Whitefence could place an order in their system without your SS# and other personal information. Bottom line STAY AWAY from this website! Deal Directly with the providers.