I have been having difficulties in setting up and launching my online business for the past year and a half, so I didn't hesitate to sign up to be one of the lucky recipients of the "economic stimulus package" that Infusionsoft was offering in October 2008 i.e. they were offering their marketing automation software at a reduced price, from $5,000 US to $3,497.90 US (plus the $299 US per month support fee that is charged as long as one remains with Infusionsoft), to help small business owners kick start their business in the current economic downturn. Since Infusionsoft listed some testimonials from leading marketing gurus like Dan Kennedy and I couldn't find any red flags about Infusionsoft when Googling them, I decided to take the plunge and invest in this software (which was very risky since I wasn't making money on my website and I didn't have a budget for such extra expenses).
The sales rep I dealt with, Beau (also a fellow Canadian like myself), reassured me that Infusionsoft was a worthwhile investment and he has seen positive results with every single small business that has invested in it; in other words, he was confident that my online sales would double soon. He also told me that my online business was a "good match" for Infusionsoft since Infusionsoft is tailored for such a business like mine. In fact, Beau even told me that he has turned down people who were willing to pay the full retail price of $5,000 US because he didn't feel that they were a "good fit" with Infusionsoft. Since I was already using Aweber (a popular e-mail marketing and autoresponder software), I asked Beau if Infusionsoft was any different from Aweber and he said that Infusionsoft is like an "Aweber on steroids" and that Infusionsoft also has additional features like a shopping cart, people to help set me up with the software, etc. Since I was looking for a new shopping cart, I was sold and went ahead with this major investment on November 4, 2008.
After my purchase, I got an orientation with my set-up consultant, Fred, who was quite understanding and helpful at the beginning-but problems started to occur and things went downhill soon after some of the set-up consultations in early November 2008. After telling Fred what sort of business I was in, what products I was selling, what categories/sub-categories to use and sending him an Excel file of my inventory, Fred told me that he would get to work on my shopping cart. I told him that I wanted to get my website ready in time for the Xmas shopping season and he said it was doable. So for two weeks or so afterwards, I didn't hear from Fred again except for one or two e-mails where we confirmed certain aspects about the shopping cart with each other. I didn't worry too much at this point since I assumed that Fred knew what he was doing; I had faith that he was a professional in his chosen field of work.
But in early December 2008, I called Fred to touch base with him and that's when all my hopes and illusions about Infusionsoft were immediately shattered. Fred told me that the set-up of the cart was still not completed because with my amount of constantly expanding inventory, it's difficult to get a code writer to configure my site to automatically send orders directly from my site to my drop shipper. I almost went ballistic as I calmly told Fred that I NEVER wanted or asked for such order automation to be done on my site, as I always manually review my orders first (for security reasons) and I then manually input the orders on my drop shipper's site for their fulfillment. Fred replied that he didn't know that was how I fulfill my orders, he just assumed that I get them automatically forwarded to my drop shipper as soon as the customer checks out of my site. To be honest, I was quite furious that Fred just assumed things without consulting with me first (isn't that what a set-up consultant does anyway?!) but instead of giving him a piece of my mind, I told him that perhaps it was my fault for not better communicating to him what I wanted. Fred then told me that it was now pointless to point fingers at that point in time and now that order automation wasn't needed, he could finish the set-up of the cart pretty soon. I told Fred that would be great since I was losing money during this holiday season, but he told me that he was losing money as well (which I don't get, since I am the customer here and he was PAID to help set-up my system)!
Well, in mid-December 2008, Fred told me that the shopping cart was still not done due to the complicated manner in which I wanted my products to be categorized/sub-categorized, but namely because "Infusionsoft cannot handle the amount of products that I have (I have at least 5,000 active products, but 10,000 altogether)". I asked Fred if other Infusionsoft users all have less products than me, and he told me that "nobody else has as much products (like I do)". He then told me that he thinks that he and I have "problems communicating" and that I could instead use a different shopping cart to use with Infusionsoft, but to hire a code writer to do such a configuration between the two systems could cost from $5,000-$10,000 US! I told Fred that I just don't have that much extra money when I am losing money right now (since I am not making sales on the site and more importantly, I put this Infusionsoft purchase on my credit card which I am still paying off!), and that's when he told me that I shouldn't have signed up with Infusionsoft in the first place since I'm obviously "not a good fit with the software!".
I couldn't believe how rude and insensitive it was of Fred to bluntly tell me that we couldn't communicate, and then to tell me that I shouldn't have purchased the Infusionsoft software. Well, I wouldn't have done so if that's what Beau told me at the beginning i.e. perhaps by having a deeper knowledge of the amount of inventory my business has, he would have told me the same thing as Fred did, instead of his brimming with confidence that I was a "good fit" and telling me that setting up the shopping cart would be like "a walk in the park" for the set-up team.
On New Year's Eve 2008, I tried to contact Beau at his office but instead, another gentleman called Lou answered the phone. I told Lou about my dilemma, and he was gracious to lend a sypathetic ear and he proposed that I get in contact with the upper management of Infusionsoft to get this situation resolved i.e. obtain a refund. Lou promised to pass on my contact details to upper management who would touch base with me soon after the new year (since they wouldn't be in the office until the week of January 5, 2009 at the soonest). So I am now waiting to get in contact with such upper management at Infusionsoft, I will post any updates to my situation here.
In conclusion, I'm very disappointed and regretful that I invested in such a pricey software like Infusionsoft, where the set-up doesn't go as planned and then have one of their set-up consultants tell me that I shouldn't have purchased their software, it feels like a big slap on the face because isn't the customer always right? Fred didn't even offer further assistance beyond that recommendation of getting a code writer. Not only do Infusionsoft charge that enrollment and activation fee of $3,497.90 US, but one is also charged $299 US per month for support fees as long as they remain with Infusionsoft. If this support fee covers the kind of "support" I would get from personnel like Fred, then I strongly believe that Infusionsoft is NOT worth the investment nor this monthly support fee they charge its customers.
At this point, I would just like to cancel my Infusionsoft membership as well as get a full refund of the payments I have been billed so far on my credit card (since that enrollment fee was spread out over the course of 5 payments and I have been charged 3 times so far i.e. $699.58+$299=$998.58 x 3=$2,995.74 US), as I truly feel that I was mislead into purchasing Infusionsoft where I was told that I would be a "good fit" but unfortunately, the reality is anything but.
For all you small business owners like myself, please make sure you know what you're getting into before investing into Infusionsoft and make sure for yourself that you're indeed a "good fit" with Infusionsoft. Spare yourself the grief that I have been through!