I signed up along with several partners with StoresOnline just recently. I have a lot of background technically speaking, but no effective Internet marketing aresenal, so the presenation was impressive to me.
The examples were plausible, but impressive, and the presentation was positive and informative. The people were very kind, and put on a beautiful front for the company. They all came across as happy company people, even speaking of their own personal successes using the company's products.
They spoke of Overture's keyword suggestion tool and other tools for internet marketing that are very useful and impressive.
I noticed shortly after going online, I couldn't repeat their examples from overture, and had no success with their www site examples, besides one that was mentioned about ink jet cartridges, but that site was barely even functional from a user standpoint.
This still didn't phase me, I sluffed it off as a time issue, what with the speed of the ether and all.
I browsed through their "exclusive marketing resources" which were helpful, and informative. I tried using their interface, which was a bit "clunky", read the manuals, etc.
They boasted an additional training session with signup, but when I called to sign up they said I "just missed the one in my area" I asked for a schedule of them in other areas, as I do travel consistently, and they could not provide one.
The support representative kept insisting I tell them where I am going and they will tell me if and when one is occuring there. They then said there would be a DVD and promised to ship me one.
The release date was said to be "Mid April". Still no sign of it. Calls to their support number land me either a dropped call, or a recording. The online support is useless.
But despite all of this, having invested upwards of $5000 for 6 storefronts, I bit the bullet and worked through it, managed to get a storefront up and online, advertised, and actually making money! Already visions of being a success story for this operation. Been up 2 weeks, with substantial growth and growing sales.
Then this. Wednesday I see from my statistics screen in their interface (which does not give page counts or even tell you which pages were visited, according to support) that I have 0 visitors. I check my marketing and know this to be untrue.
I chat support, they claim server problems and insist its
"being worked on and should be fixed by the end of the day". I let this go, and then Thursday receive an email from a customer stating they could not process their credit card transaction.
I contact ECI, who apparently are a joint venture partner. (Storesonline claims to have special discount processing rates via a deal with ECI) After testing, they insist it's Storesonline, and even go so far as to say that it happens often.
I believe the above gives sufficient background to the following chat transcript from a few minutes ago.
Started: Sat 19/Jun/2004 10:40 A.M.
Ended: Sat 19/Jun/2004 11:24 A.M.
Hello and Welcome to Customer Support. For Privacy and Security of your account, may I please have your Customer #, or VIP #?
851416 , *address*, *phone*
Kindly hold on as I check on your account.
Thank you for the information, please address your concern.
My storefront has not been able to process sales now for 3 days. Probably more. I am told by support each consecutive day that it is being worked on and should be fixed by the end of the day We are dead in the water. We can not process credit card transactions. Heck, I can't even see my statistics. This is completely unacceptable.
We greatly apologize for this, Joseph. We had a server error these past few days and the storefronts are affected. Please provide me the license# of the site concerned and I will have this noted for review.
I just told you the license number, AND I entered it into the form before I clicked chat. It's still 851416
I appreciate your position, Jean, and I do not fault you or support, obviously it isn't directly your fault. If it takes 3+ days to fix an error then I have further questions about your technicians. Yes, the error lasted for three days in a row and we apologize for this, if you want some details about this, you may call (801)227-004.
The point remains, I still can't process transactions. Will that phone call tell me when it will be fixed?
Storesonline is a public company is it not? What is the ticker symbol? "I may call (801)227-004"?? Do I have to guess the last digit? Sorry for that, the number is (801)227-0004.
All I get at that phone number is a recording.
A recording telling me that support is closed and that I can leave a message for the next business day. Does this mean that my storefront will be down at least until monday? We are a brand new store, just live 2 weeks ago. We have seen increasing traffic, and have had growing sales. This downtime is doing irreparable damage.
Have you checked this issue with ECI?
Yes, twice. They insist it's not them. And I believe them. The issue seems to be that my storefront is not allowing a connection out to ECI.
I get an "authorization failed" page almost immediately.
It's as if the connection from the storefront out to ECI is dead. Whatever that might involve, connection strings, hardware, etc... I thought it might be our setup, except that we have run tests in the pass successfully, and have successfully processed transactions and sold goods. We have not touched that part of the storefront At least not since we set it up and tested initially. I believe that this is because of the server error, I will have this noted immediately for review.
You speak as though this error is fixed, but as of 15 minutes ago I still could not process credit card payments on my site. I need more than review notes, Jean. Is there someone else I need to speak with about this that can help me? I am sorry for this but the Changes and Department is off on weekends.
Above all, it angers me further that I had to be informed of the problem by a "potential customer" and surely a "lost customer" who sent an e-mail berating the fact that our site credit card processing does not work.
Changes and Department is off? Does that mean that my storefront has absolutely no chance of being fixed for another 2 days? You may want to have a manual process of the orders as of now. so noone is even working on this problem?
My storefront has been down now 3 days+, I have numerous support chats on record for EVERY day I was aware of it, I was told it was being fixed EVERY day by support, and now I am told it will NOT be fixed because people are
So, you just leave servers broken on your days off?
Is this the kind of business I invested a lot of money into? What is the name of StoresOnline's parent company?
I am now trying to order form your site, please hold.
I suggest that you make a manual transaction with your customers as of now as I have no way of fixing this for you. I will try my best to have this checked later by one of our programmer.
I will try my best to have this checked today.
I thank you, Jean. Though you should let your superiors know that I am one very unhappy customer, and that I will let others know about this.
I apologize for the inconvenience, Joseph. I will have your request noted.
Please email me as soon as you have any information for me. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
-**ME** has left the chat.
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