I am very disappointed with the service provided by this company. I'm so surprised because I read a blog where every respondant just raved about Legalzoom... I'm starting to wonder whether they were all employees or something.
I paid almost $1,000 to incorporate my newly founded nonprofit back in February (2013). Legalzoom provided me a questionnaire to fill out to start the all important 501(c)3 application process. I filled out the questionnaire and submitted it late in February.
On March 5th I received their "first round" of questions about my application. I responded with answers by March 6th. I spoke with a customer service representative who told me that once I submitted my responses, their special nonprofit application division would review my answers and respond with another round of questions within 5 business days. She told me - in all - they may send up to 4 rounds of questions, but that was very rare. She left me with the impression that so long as I responded in a timely manner, and if for some reason they had to send all 4 rounds of questions, the entire process would take a month.
On or about March 18th, I called to find out why I haven't received any update about my questions. I learned from the customer service rep that no one ever placed my responses in the cue. He apologized and said he'd send a message over to the department asking them to get back to me ASAP.
On March 21st, I received the 2nd round of questions. I promptly responded with my answers that same day. I cc'd the original representative who signed me up for this service and asked him to keep an eye on this email for me because I didn't want someone to forget to put my answers in the cue again. He never responded.
Last week I called for an update. It had been 5 business days with no response again. I wanted to make sure no one misplaced my email. The rep I spoke with told me they received my answers on the 25th and she enlightened me to the fact that in reality they will actually respond within 7-10 business days. I explained to her that I found it pretty annoying that I was told one thing when I signed up and shelled out money for this service back in February, only to find out a month later what the real process is. She assured me I would either get a 3rd round of questions or a notification that my application was sent to me by the following Wednesday (which would be 4/3).
It is now Thursday 4/4 - still no response from them so I called for an update. The rep I spoke with this time was far less empathetic. She played with the math and stretched their response date out as far as she could and acted like I was just bothering her. I told her I was highly annoyed at this point. It has now been more than a month since I submitted my original questionnaire and I've only received the 2nd set of questions at this point. I also told her that the representatives there should be honest and up front about the turn around time BEFORE people shell out their hard-earned money. Her response - in a very monotone voice - "I understand." Not even an attempt at an empathetic "I'm sorry." So I told her I was going to post a review online about my experience and she said "OK - do you have any other questions?" and that was the end of our phone call. I take it Legalzoom makes plenty of money so they apparently tell their staff they could care less about whether customers post negative reviews cause she didn't even try to dissuade me or assure me that they were going to make things right.
At the rate they are going, by my estimations, they may not complete this application until sometime in early May. I'm utterly disgusted. I paid Legalzoom 100% UP FRONT and I feel like they just cashed the payment and then tossed my paperwork on the back burner. Why should I have to constantly call and nag people to make sure someone is actually working on the application I've already paid for in full? On top of that, to then be treated like I'm an obnoxious bother makes me feel even worse. I was given a certain timeline by your representatives when I signed up for this service but now customer service acts like I need to just get over it. This is just so unprofessional.
It takes the IRS a minimum of 3-6 months to approve a nonprofit 501(c)3 application - it's bad enough we have to sit on our hands waiting on that before we can get out there and try to fundraise and get our organization moving... now to have to sit around waiting endlessly for Legalzoom to complete paperwork that I already paid for back in February is just frustrating. I will NEVER recommend this service to anyone. In fact, I will dissuade as many people as I possibly can from using this service. (1) They are not local so it's not like you can hold anyone accountable by showing up at their office in person to get an update on your paperwork - they know you're just a faceless phone call that will eventually hang up. What do they care? (2) Pay a little extra and use a local lawyer. The so-called savings are not worth the time you waste chasing these people around for results. All in all - just such a disappointing experience.