Concerns about questionable SEO practices and documentation

I hired a third party company to provide SEO for some local clients. My company is an agency. I have been using this SEO service since September 2014. I have recently  discovered what I consider questionable practices, and I am checking here to see if an SEO expert can tell me if I have legitimate concerns. Here is a brief description of my situation, beginning in August of 2014:

Month 1: Paid first invoice in advance
Month 2: Received second invoice. No list of tasks performed as requested for the first month
Later Month: Received list of tasks for part of Month 1 and Month 2. Paid invoice #2

I went back to the August and Sept 2014 list of tasks and randomly checked about 10 or so of the many links provided by the SEO company, and without exception,  all I tried produced "Server not found". The list appears to have been generated by another website called "WIKKA". Above the list is a heading such as the following example. This is only a partial list of many links provided to me.

(MY CLIENT'S COMPANY NAME)
WIKKA WIKI PLATFORM
27/08/2014      05:12      WIKKA      http://womenandmenwatches.com/PickingEffectiveProductsOfPlumbingService
27/08/2014      21:12      WIKKA      http://laughingd.com/StepByStepTroubleFreeAdviceOfPlumbingService
28/08/2014      13:12      WIKKA      http://mywatchiscool.com/SimplifyingPainlessProgramsForPlumbingService

ARTICLE DIRECTORY
26/08/2014      13:13      ADIC      http://ikalendar.info/selecting-effective-systems-for-plumber/
27/08/2014      05:14      ADIC      http://shmayibc.info/standards-for-necessary-aspects-of-plumbing-service/
28/08/2014      13:17      ADIC      http://lalvchinese.com/programs-for-plumber-the-inside-track/

Some of the above are described as blog posts. The SEO contact stated this in the email containing all the links:

"These are all PR2 plus blogs with great age, authority and proper inbound and outbound link structure. only 2-3 links are being build per day to keep it natural. These links will be quality and do a good job of varying anchor text."

Shouldn't these links be intact today? Should I be concerned that I am getting what I'm paying for?
weknowjackAsked:
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DrDamnitCommented:
I'd be concerned. Firstly, the links don't work. Secondly, they appear to have zero relevance to the topic. I'd stop paying they invoices.
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DrDamnitCommented:
... And the grammar is wrong, which blows the Flesch–Kincaid reading test, which Google (and others) care about. It's clearly keyword stuffing .. Out of context. You'll get penalized for it.
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Rainer JeschorCommented:
+1 for being really concerned.
That does never ever look professional nor will this have any positive effect - in contrary, this will more likely result in being banned from Google index.
HTH
Rainer
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weknowjackAuthor Commented:
Ok, Just two more things to be sure:

I have spot checked blog posts and there is inaccurate or bad information in some posts. Bad grammer etc.

Also, they went to answers.yahoo.com and answered what they said were the most searched for answers and sent me links.
The links from the url under the answers they posted show a url such as https://tr.im/iBTJB 
which links to my clients website. Wouldn't it have been better to just put the direct url in there?
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DrDamnitCommented:
Using a URL shortener as long add it is sending legitimate permanent redirects is valid.
But this seo gotten sold you snake oil. Kick them to the curb.
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DrDamnitCommented:
Dang this phone and it's constant typos
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Lucas BishopClick TrackerCommented:
First the good news, many of the links were posted to sites that have since been shuttered. This means that these poor quality links are not accumulating in a massive quantity. The more of these sites that fall off the map, the better for you.

Of course, poor quality inbound links aren't a guaranteed way of getting banned. Otherwise you could go get all of your competitors banned with a few fiverr jobs. However, if it appears that the poor quality inbound links are a recurring trend, then things start to look bad. Since this has only been occurring since August, there is still hope. Shut this activity down NOW! It won't end well otherwise.

Wikka is a wiki system that any site owner can install. If left unmoderated, it can be exploited as you see here, where pages about plumbing were created on completely unrelated domains:
27/08/2014      05:12      WIKKA      http://womenandmenwatches.com/PickingEffectiveProductsOfPlumbingService
27/08/2014      21:12      WIKKA      http://laughingd.com/StepByStepTroubleFreeAdviceOfPlumbingService
28/08/2014      13:12      WIKKA      http://mywatchiscool.com/SimplifyingPainlessProgramsForPlumbingService

Open in new window


All of the article directory sites are shut down as well:
26/08/2014      13:13      ADIC      http://ikalendar.info/selecting-effective-systems-for-plumber/
27/08/2014      05:14      ADIC      http://shmayibc.info/standards-for-necessary-aspects-of-plumbing-service/
28/08/2014      13:17      ADIC      http://lalvchinese.com/programs-for-plumber-the-inside-track/

Open in new window


These are all examples of sites that were abandoned and left to pasture until the domains expire. The wiki function was left wide open so anybody could create spam pages. There is no benefit in having a link here. You're better off without them.

It appears your client is a plumbing business. Getting links from domains that are associated with plumbing, DIY, home improvement, etc. would be ideal. You don't need hundreds of links, you just need quality links. Interview your client on some plumbing tips and post the video to youtube (with a link back to his site). Interview him on how to snake a drain and write an article to post on a DIY site (with a link back to his site). These are ways to generate positive links.
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