I wished I looked here before hiring Heritage Web to create my website. HWS has done nothing but delay, lie, deceive, fail to communicate, and steal my money since I signed for service. I wish I could get all my money spent with this company and take it elsewhere. I have spent nearly $4000.
Is there a class action law suit against this company? If not, there needs to be. This company based on my dealing appear as fraudulent. I cant believe this company is still in business operating this way!!
Almost 3 months have gone by and still nowhere near completion. (Was quoted 6-8 weeks) My account managers have tried to blame me for the delays and communication issues. They continually give excuses and no real progress. They continually try to sell me more products or "upgraded" products. They used product purchases as an excuse for delay. The original quote was supposed to have included everything I needed. Every new person involved with the website told me they don't show a product I purchased and tried to sell it to me again!
I have kept a time line of each step and when it was started and completed. As for the actual work only 3 weeks included actual progress!!! The remaining 8 weeks were dealing with waiting for graphic artist, database programmers, designers, account managers, sales people to call, sell, or give excuses as to why there was no progress.
I've been told I had to "upgrade" products after they claim what was originally quoted and purchased could not handle my needs.
My last account manager (Kristi) failed to communicate what each aspect of designing is and gave alot of terminology such as SSL Certificate, SSL Form, Advanced Payment without any real explanation other than it is required to take payment over your website. They were unable to explain differences/similarities, etc. only causing confusion.
As for account managers, I am on the third account manager!!! HWS switched account managers to cause even more delay and communication issues. Each new account manager knows nothing of the previous dealings and issues then only create even more.
The moment they got full payment from me, a new account manager was assigned and stated the first one (Steve) was promoted and is no longer an account manager and was moved to another department. This was a lie as a few weeks later I called the general account manager line; my first account manager (Steve) answered!! When I congratulated him for a promotion, he had no idea what I was talking about and said he was never promoted!!!
The second account manager (Kristi) would NEVER respond to emails and would only make a phone call to me the next day, usually AFTER normal business hours when I was not in the office. For uncertain reasons, she also refused to speak with my business partner. When the account was first setup the first account manager (Steve) asked for all names of people that they may speak with in regards to my account! She also denied saying certain statements from previous phone conversations. She also never knew what was going on with my account.
Last week I was told my account has been reassigned to yet another account manager! However, I yet to hear whom this person is. No phone call, no email, nothing from this new account manager. I either got a new account manager only for complaining and confronting (Kristi) of the many lies and delays. Or to cause yet more delays and communications issues.
They have charged me $50 for a domain name and URL when the domain name and URL was registered through GoDaddy.com in my name and owned years BEFORE hiring Heritage Web!!
I cannot send email using their outgoing mail server, unless all my clients "whitelist" me in their routers. (as Heritage tech support explained to me). Many of my clients could not receive email from me?!?! I never had this issue until changing to their outgoing mail server. I was with Google Apps; I switched back to Google Apps after learning of this. Google Apps also has free spam filtering, whereas Heritage wants an additional $20/month!!!! Makes me wonder if there was email that I didn't get from their incoming mail servers. This may be a minor issue, however, the monthly price I'm paying is including use of their mail servers.
I am finally at the design stage, I have been shown a few samples and requested the first revisions. Before signing for service, I expressed I need a "custom" website and did not want a "template" design as they are not recommended for Search Engine Optimization. The sales person (Tom) stated to me they don't do anything with templates and is all built from "scratch" and not templates. Well, after seeing the samples it was apparent this was another lie. The samples look like template design. I suppose what Heritage is trying to sell me is a "Custom Template". I have asked the designer if the samples are template and how this affects SEO. I wait to hear an answer.
BTW, I was also told all their programmers and designers are "in-house", when I was finally contacted by a designer, I noticed the signature on the email under the designers name "Heritage Web Solutions Outsource Team". Another lie to add to the list of lies. I do understand it may be profitable to outsource, I just don't appreciate being lied to.
I also had them create a new logo for my company, I'm very dissatisfied, as it looks like generic clip art was copied and pasted and appeared no real talent or creativity was used. They pushed and pushed for me to "approve" the design with very minimal revisions.
Brad Stone claims that they have 15,000 clients and in the companies history, only 1 percent complain to the BBB. There are 398 complaints (in the last 3 years, this was 394 a few days ago when I looked at process to file a complaint) with the BBB against this company. The BBB only keeps the last 3 years of records. All are resolved (172 this last year alone, thats 43% of its total complaints in this year alone!!).
This company also has a BBB rating of "NR" Meaning:
A business may receive an NR (No Rating) instead of a rating under the following circumstances:
* BBB has determined business is no longer operating
* Business has filed to dissolve business in bankruptcy
* BBB has recently received numerous or serious complaints about business but BBB has not had sufficient time to receive and assess business' response to those complaints
* Type of business is not appropriate for BBB rating
* BBB thresholds for report development have not been met
Are all the complaints resolved to the customers 100% satisfaction?? How many unsatisfied customers don't complain to the BBB? How many customers had to threaten to go to the BBB only to get HWS to fulfill what was promised and agreed upon in the first place? How many complaints prior to 3 years ago?
Only on sites such as this, forums, blogs and word of mouth, we can find this companies deceit. Yes, every company may get complaints whether they are fair to the company or not. I even have complaints against many large companies, but never been to the extent of HWS's issues and never posted my complaints on the internet. The consistency of the similar complaints towards HWS shows this company is plagued with issues and in my opinion need to re focus on customer satisfaction and ethics.
I also find it interesting this company has recently changed its name to HIT Web Design, perhaps to re-image itself?? (Call their phone number to verify)
I have threatened to go to the Better Business Burea and I've emailed Brad Stone, the CEO (firstname.lastname@example.org) as other Rip Off Reports suggest. This did seem to get a "fire under their a*s" on progress so far. We'll see if it does any good overall. I should file a complaint to the BBB anyways. I've also have got in contact with my credit card company and explained in detail every thing this company has done, so I may dispute any charges and possibly get money back. (I hope at least some)
I'm not certain if it was worth emailing Brad Stone, the CEO, as he has never responded (yet). It's interesting he has responded to some Rip Off Reports appearing to show concern, but nearly all are the same response from him and with no real understanding of that clients issue. If he had any concern about my issue I would have expected him to respond by my email or a phone call.
These statements are only a few complaints of what this company has done. I have not listed everything.
I don't feel these statements are against their Terms of Service (Section 43) as "Negative statements". Heritage Web has provided poor customer service and making it a negative experience. And as they say "The best form of advertising is word of Mouth" As I see it, this company and the service it's provided has advertised themselves with negativity and negative statements.
These statements are also not slander, as it is true. Emails sent by me and the few sent from HWS employees can prove this.
Their Terms of Service is not setup for 100% Satisfaction or Money back Guarantee. It is designed for the HWS's benefit leaving the customer with no way to get money back. I also believe HWS have caused so many delays intentionally to go beyond 90 days as their ToS states they may charge for any work done after 90 days whether your site is finished or not.
I hope helps whoever considers hiring this company for services to read these posts and use their own educated judgment.