Complaining about prices
123notary has a reputation of being an expensive directory to advertise on. Some feel it is worth it, while others don’t. It really depends on what you get out of it. I generally discourage purchasing an expensive listing unless you have what it takes to benefit from it. Having a thorough notes section, a few reviews from happy clients, certification and good working skills are what it takes to do well with a high place listing.
But, as time goes on, we analyze statistics here, and I have found that the top spots typically get a monopoly on the jobs here. We raised our prices for top spots, and are getting a lot of complaints. My feeling is that if you get a certain amount of jobs and regular clients from your listing, you should be willing to pay a percentage of that income to your advertising sources… Perhaps anywhere from 1% to 5% sounds very reasonable to me. 123notary pays 25% of its income for advertising and promotion to keep us popular on the various search engines so that you will get business, and that revenue has to come from somewhere, right?
But, the humor in the situation is that people not only complain when we raise our prices, but also when we lower prices. Sometimes an area becomes less populated with high ranking notaries. Perhaps we used to have five notaries with high positions in a particular area, and then three drop out all at once leaving us with two. We will typically lower the prices for that area until it repopulates with high ranking notaries — our computer generated formula does the pricing for us in this case.
When we lower prices, sometimes a notary will get upset and ask why we lowered their price? Last year it was $150 and now it is only $90? That doesn’t make sense! Another notary complained that since we lowered their price, that we had charged them too much the year before. No matter what we charge, people complain. With computer generated formulas, the prices will NEVER keep steady.
It is like hotel pricing in Vegas. If it is a popular time to go, the prices can go to $400+, and if you go when it is dead, then you can get a nice room for about $120.
The question I always ask these notaries is, “If you go to the gas station and the price of gas went up or down, do you sit and argue with the clerk for twenty minutes about how it is not fair that it went up 30 cents this week?”. It is the same with us. The market based formula computes the price, and that is all there is to it!
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Pricing formulas & time spent
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Notary Public California – complaints against local notaries
It is easy to hire a notary public in California that you found online. But, how do you know they are reputable, or any good? You don’t. You take your chances. However, some notaries on 123notary.com have reviews about them. You can read who has good reviews or bad reviews. It is not always safe picking a random notary. As far as horror cases go, we have only had a handful of serious nightmarish notaries over the last decade, and we remove them once we have determined that they are a source of endless trouble!
The Kinko’s story
We had a California notary public fail to print out documents and have the borrower’s pick her up, drive her to Kinko’s where she could print the documents and then driver her to their home. Borrowers are not chauffers, and this notary got dropped off once the borrowers got a hold of the lender. A year later — the drama continues. The California notary public in question is operating under a business name, and hiring other notaries to do tasks for her such as obtaining apostilles in Sacramento. The problem is, that when checks come, they all have an elastic characteristic. Notaries have complained on the forum about this company several times, and this particular California notary is one of the worst notary nightmares we have ever experienced and goes down in history as a legend.
Stories of notaries that fail and what they did wrong – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=143
Affordable Notary Service – http://www.123notary.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4880
24 hour service?
Another California notary public advertised 24 hour service. An individual calls them at 6am with an emergency. The notary hangs up on the individual claiming that it is “too early”. If you are not offering 24 hour service, don’t CLAIM that you do. It is a requirement that if you want the 24 hour icon, you have to be willing to answer the phone after midnight whether you feel like it or not.
The white out story
A notary in California goes to a signing. She forgets to have the wife sign the Mortgage (oops), and then uses white out to change some information in the loan documents. The worst possible thing you can do during a loan signing is to use white out which voids the usability of the document. It gets better — then, the notary blames the Title company for not hilighting the signature areas in the documents where the wife was supposed to sign. When she was requested to return to the borrower’s house to finish the incomplete signing, the notary recommended that they find someone else. The notary replied to this complaint against her by stating that she used the mother-in-law as a required witness to the signing. Then, the Title company asked her to use someone else at which point she used white out to remove the mother-in-law’s signature and go and get a neighbor.
123notary’s opinion: There is no crime in having an additional witness. The problem is using white out, and cross outs also look unprofessional in a loan signing and can cause a loan not to fund. Additionally, a witness should be a party who doesn’t have a beneficial interest in the transaction — they should be uninvolved like a neighbor or stranger.
The four hour rule
Another California notary accepts a job for a signing. Then she cancels at the last minute because she learns that the company who hired her doesn’t pay their bills. There were a few forum posts about the company stating that the company didn’t pay their notaries. In any case, the notary could have researched the company simultaneously while talking to them by using www.123notary.com/s and would have learned that they didn’t pay BEFORE accepting a job from them. Or, the notary could have researched them soon after the phone call and then cancelled. The last minute cancellations cause a lot of grief to many parties and are not acceptable. The Lender emails me stating that the notary cancelled 2 hours after the signing and said that she was, “not able to help”. Then, the notary replies to me stating that she EMAILED the borrower 45 minutes before the signing (that is considerably sooner than 2 hours after like the lender stated). The notary claimed they called the borrowers but couldn’t get an answer or a voice mail. I’m not sure I believe all of this story, do you? How many people do you know who don’t have an answering machine or a disfunctional one? I think that the notary should have given four hours notice in a case like this and should have kept trying the borrowers every 30 minutes until she got them. You can’t just leave people high and dry!
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20 stories about animals and insects at signings – http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2485
The misuse of our 24 hour logo leads to complaints
Who are these rude notaries?
Florida notaries with complaints
Notary Public Florida: a complaint story
Here is a complaint from soneone who used a particular Florida notary:
This is the first time we have used this Florida notary public for a closing. The Notary made a mistake on the documents where she had the borrower date everything 5/7/2011 instead of 7/5/2011 which was a notary mistake that ended up costing the broker $1000.00. Two weeks after the closing the notary called the title company directly demanding her payment of the full signing fee because she had bills to pay. She threatened to sue everyone involved with the transaction even though we were the company that hired her. This Notary was very unprofessional. The Notary was paid at 30 days by our company.
The notary claims that the borrower signed the dates incorrectly and that she asked the borrowers to put the correct date, but they refused. Then, the Florida notary claimed that the borrower wouldn’t sign where it said borrower, because she considered herself to be the co-borrower. Additionally, the notary claims that the borrower was very rude and condescending to her. The notary claims that she spent two hours at the signing and that the borrower couldn’t read the small print and wouldn’t cooperate. It is hard to know who is right or wrong here. Was this a notary mistake or just the borrower acting crazy — or both?
The bigger issue is that the notary threatened to sue everyone before her payment was even late. It is professional to allow people 45 days to make payment before you start making legal threats. Also, suing someone for $60 doesn’t really make sense in the real world.
Another Florida notary public wrote a complaint about 123notary.
The notary was late confirming her listing, and I called the notary to see if she was still alive and in business. We have notaries move, quit, and end up in the hospital, and die all the time without even informing us. If I ever die, I will have the consideration to inform everyone within (5) business days. In any case, I called this Florida notary’s phone, and her message stated that she was no longer doing loan signings. I assumed from this message that she was out of business as a mobile notary — boy was I wrong. Rather than contacting me and politely informing me that she was still in business, she started slandering us on forums telling the world about the horrible crime that we had commited by temporarily removing her listing. She created all types of drama over nothing. I think that her MISLEADING phone message should have stated that she is still doing mobile notary work, but not doing loan signings. That way, anyone calling her about work would have a clear impression that she was still in business. I hate being blamed for other people’s bad communication skills. People need to take responsibility for their own incompetent actions. In any case, her listing went right back on the minute she asked me to reinstate her. Unfortunately for her, I documented her zany behavior in the review section. I stated that she committed no acts of misconduct, but created an unnecessary drama over nothing! This case was a business mistake on her part, not a notary mistake, but it is still ridiculous!
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California notaries with complaints
Stamped episode 1: a reality show about notaries
I make mistakes too
Notaries should band together