• Scam Watch: Exclusive Listings

    ExclusiveDoulaListingScamI’ve already highlighted two other scams doulas might face: The I’m in Labor! scam and the I’m Moving There! scam

    Today I’ll address another common scam, this one is the “exclusive listings” scam.

    It might come as a phone call, it might come as an email. Either way it goes like this:

    We’d like to offer you the exclusive opportunity to partner with us to reach parents in your area. Our resources can reach (insanely large number of parents) and you would be our only doula listing in your area. We guarantee 4-6 full price clients per month. Our last partner was (names a local doula or two) but she’s declined to renew as she has become far too busy to keep up. Will you be interested in this opportunity? I can sign you up right now, or I can keep calling other doulas on my list.

    Sounds awesome, right? And you probably will actually get the listing you pay for. Only it costs in the neighborhood of a few hundred dollars a month and the pressure is on to sign up RIGHT THEN. And here’s the thing: When they name other local doulas, they are lying! Those doulas have generally never done business with them. I’ve texted a fellow doula during a phone call to confirm, and she said she’d gotten the same call a few minutes before and they had named ME! One time, the salesperson actually named ME as the last person to buy into the partnership! I laughed and hung up. In my experience, this scam most commonly comes from people claiming to be Parents Magazine or Perks Connect. Each time someone “from Parents Magazine” has called me, I’ve tried – unsuccessfully – to find any doula listings on their site. “Perks Connect” often claims to be affiliated with a local hospital system and that they will market you to all of the hospital’s clients and employees. Again, I’ve tried to confirm this affiliation with the two hospitals that have been mentioned to me (University of Utah and IHC) and in both cases I was quickly able to confirm with them that they had no affiliation with the company.

    Remember, no listing places can guarantee that people will see your listing and hire you. At best, they might be able to get you that many *leads* or *clicks to your site* but they cannot guarantee business. It’s simply impossible for them to make that guarantee. Don’t fall for the name dropping of other local doulas. Stick with listing yourself on doula specific places like the Utah Doula Association and Doula Match – where the listings are free or reasonable priced! (And if you are a doula in training who lives in Utah, join us and get a listing on this site!

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