- Report: #662423
Report - Rebuttal - Arbitrate
Complaint Review: GROU.PS
GROU.PSInternet United States of America
GROU.PS Unethical & Immoral Business Practices Istanbul, Internet
*Author of original report: PUBLIC RECORD INFO
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A Little History: GROU.PS Social Network allows users to set up their own groups and invite members to their groups. Up until November the 1st, 2010, GROU.PS promised group "founders" 10GB of free disc space. When the Social Networking Service NING started charging it's members to run a group on NING, GROU.PS stepped in and lured countless Ning customers over to the GROU.PS platform, promising them "Free Groups" with 3GB and then up to 10GB of free disc storage space. Within a matter of just a few months, after all the Ning customers had imported their Ning sites to GROU.PS . . GROU.PS suddenly announced a new Pay Structure. There would no longer be 10GB of free storage space as promised . . . now "free" groups would only be allowed 100MB of free disc storage space. Also "free" groups would no longer be able to have custom templates, or be able to "moderate" their groups.
Now GROU.PS first posted this new Pay Structure in their Support Group on Oct 21, but as the email system on the GROU.PS platform has not worked for nearly a year, most group owners were not aware of this change as many group owners do not make it a habit to check the Support Group unless they have a specific problem. So the new price change took effect on November the 1st, but most site owners were not aware of this until 3 days before the change took effect. Grou.ps said that those site owners that did not subscribe to a paid plan would still be able to have a free site, and that if their site was over the new quota of 100MB storage space, then group members simply would not be able to upload any further videos/photos etc. to the group. GROU.PS NEVER SAID ANYTHING ABOUT LOCKING UP THE GROU.PS.
But that is precisely what happened. Come November the 1st, any group owners who were over the new 100MB storage quota found themselves locked out of their groups (members were also denied access to the groups). Now this is sad because GROU.PS did not tell folks that they were going to do this. It should also be noted that many group owners, prior to November the 1st, tried to delete content in their groups in order to lower the disc storage space in their group. However, during the week before November the 1st, photos in the groups suddenly became unavailable. The photos were not showing up (GROU.PS claimed they were transferring data to another server). Well group owners were not able to delete photos prior to November the 1st, because if the photos don't show up, you can't delete them. Many site owners complained to GROU.PS about this, but GROU.PS just turned a deaf ear.
Regarding complaining: One by one, as folks complained to GROU.PS about being ignored, or for not having their questions answered in the Support Forum, GROU.PS threatened to "ban" group "founders/owners" from the Support Forum. And that is exactly what happened. No democracy here. Any user who expressed disagreement with GROU.PS was banned from the Support Forum.
Many group owners were very upset at being locked out of their sites. Supposedly GROU.PS had said that they would still be able to have "free" groups . . . but yet the only way to get back into your "locked" group was to subscribe to a PAID PLAN. So group owners lost all the work they put into their groups including the custom templates, any personal content such as artwork, student/teacher material etc. etc.
Group Owners felt like they were being "forced" to subscribe to a paid plan just to get back what was rightfully theirs to begin with.
Now some group owners finally gave in and paid groups at least a one month fee just to get back into their groups. But then they found out that even though they, the group owner, was allowed back into the site . . . group members were not allowed back into the sites unless they "subscribed" to the group (paid for "credits"). This is not right at all. If the group manager paid the fee to open the group back up, why should the members be charged to access the group? This was never mentioned in any of the PAID PLANS.
The fact is, GROU.PS is a very poor service to begin with. If you post a problem question in the Support Forum, your question is hardly ever answered. Communication is very poor in GROU.PS. The Email System has not worked correctly for nearly a year.
Therefore group owners have not been able to send out group messages to their members; group members have not been notified of group postings, or group events etc.
The platform is excruciating slow. For instance, it takes forever just to get through one photo album . . . from one photo to the next. Videos have been extremely hard to upload without getting error messages; and then if you are lucky enough to get one to upload . . . the video never finishes encoding. This has been going on for a long time . . . so you can imagine the user frustration level. It is always one problem after another . . one week all the photos and videos were unavailable, and GROU.PS blamed this on the Amazon Server. Oftentimes pages "crash". With this kind of "service" it is hard to believe that GROU.PS even had the gall to ask customers to pay for the service at all.
The attitude of GROU.PS management towards its customers has sunk to a new low.
Many customers who paid feel "cheated". Most all the folks who imported their groups from NING to GROU.PS feel "cheated" as they were promised "free" groups. All site owners who have been locked out of their own sites feel like their groups are being held "hostage" by GROU.PS management until they fork over money for a paid plan (yet GROU.PS never said they would "lock" the groups . . . they said everyone would still be able to have a "free" group).
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/16/2010 01:38 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/GROUPS/internet/GROUPS-Unethical-Immoral-Business-Practices-Istanbul-Internet-662423. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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