Business

Edwardsville firm says problems fixed after being cited by BBB

An Edwardsville firm that contracts to provide sales leads has been cited by the Better Business Bureau for not following through with its services.

The Better Business Bureau in St. Louis has reported Interactive Strategies Group in Edwardsville has not delivered sales leads for its clients, which are primarily insurance companies, mortgage brokers and financial planners.

The business is operated by Rhonda Aylward and her son Matthew Aylward, who also run Prestige Management Services in Edwardsville. Prestige Management Services sells sales lead lists to businesses and was the focus of the bureau's news warning in June 2007. Complaints from that time indicated that leads were not of the quality that was advertised.

Bureau spokesman Bill Smith said recent complaints over Interactive Strategies Group were that clients claimed the company was not delivering results.

"Several people complained around the country and said, 'We contracted with these guys and paid them $750 and for whatever reason, they weren't doing it,'" Smith said. "They were saying that they weren't responding to e-mails or phone calls."

But Rhonda Aylward said the problem has been rectified.

"I think we've handled the problem," she said. "I'm not sure why (the Better Business Bureau) put it out."

Rhonda Aylward said Interactive Strategies Group is a separate company from Prestige Management Services. She said Interactive Strategies Group was created out of demand from clients of Prestige Management Services. She said the role of the new business is for callers to take those lead lists and use them to arrange specific appointment times when the businesses can call potential customers.

Rhonda Aylward said the initial response was so overwhelming that her business did not have the capacity to handle the demand. She also said some employees who were not performing were released, and more employees have been hired.

"I'm not really sure why the BBB did this, to be honest," she said. "We did grow very rapidly. Interactive is something our clients have been asking us to do for many years. It grew too fast for us to handle. That's why we got those complaints. But we took care of that."

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