• Report: #968202

Complaint Review: iThemes Media LLC

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  • Submitted: Mon, November 12, 2012
  • Updated: Mon, November 12, 2012

  • Reported By: Jane Q. Public — United States of America
iThemes Media LLC
1720 S. Kelly Ave, Edmond, OK Edmond, Stillwater, Oklahoma United States of America

iThemes Media LLC iThemes.com, BackupBuddy, Backup Buddy, Builder, WebDesign.com, WordPress Plugins, Scott Day Misleading and/or Fraudulent Advertising - Expiring Plugin Licenses Edmond, Stillwater, Oklahoma

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I think iThemes Media LLC is what you can safely call a *Bad Company* running a scam on consumers.

I purchased a license from iThemes to use their BackupBuddy plugin on 10 sites.

I've been told that the actual plugin licenses expired after 1 year, which is *not* what's stated on their own site.

When I wrote to them requesting help in accessing the plugin I paid to use, they wrote:

"All our products are for one year of access to your member account, support, updates and new versions.  PlugIn licenses expire after the one year because the licenses give you access to support, updates and new versions."

Their offer page and ordering page both indicated that their 1 year "membership" would only have their *extended* "support and updates" expiring (I didn't need either). [continued below]....
.....

They did not indicate in any way that the plugin *licenses* themselves would expire after 1 year... and yet I just discovered this and was told by their representative via email that I'd have to pay for the licenses again:

"PBPAL25 is 25% off coupon code. Thanks and have a nice day."

Yes, they actually had the greedy gall to send me a 25% off coupon, like they're doing me a favor or something by paying for my non-expiring plug license *again*! (besides, that coupon is posted on their site anyway: http://ithemes.com/backupbuddycouponcode/).

We had about 3 emails back and forth where their "sales" dept. sent me three links to various *other* pages on their site (that I never had need to look at) where supposedly I was informed that my plugin itself would expire. Here are the three links they sent me to show I was "informed" as to their plugin expiration policy:

http://ithemes.com/codex/page/PluginBuddy#PluginBuddy_Licenses
http://ithemes.com/support
http://ithemes.com/frequently-asked-questions/

The first two don't seem to indicate any such terms of service, however, ironically, the third link proves my case for me that the licenses themselves do not expire (as the rep has tried telling me in order to get me to order again!).

They are apparently *greedy* and just try to sell you new licenses instead of letting you use your current one(s) and refuse to provide a download link and activation info for that previous plugin version.

Their own FAQ says:

"After the one-year mark, your theme or plugin is still yours to use and keep, but you will no longer have access to updates or the support forum. You would need to renew your membership license to maintain your subscription to get access to updates and support (much like a magazine subscription)."

At first, I thought this was a case of deceptive advertising. But, upon reading their FAQ it appears worse than that. It appears to be only a case of pure greed that when I ask to access the plugin license I purchased, they instead go against their own terms and try to get me to buy new licenses.

On the sales and ordering pages, they go out of their way to make it appear that only support and updates will expire after one year. I believe they do this only to get more people to purchase from them because people know that if they are only able to use the license for one year prior to having to pay again, that they likely would never purchase.

But, it appears now that they actually *do* expire the license itself and refuse to give you the download link or activation info for what you already paid for.

Buyer, beware that if your 1 year expires, even if you do not require updates, you apparently will *not* be able to access a download link or be able to activate licenses you've already purchased. To me, this is outright *fraud* that should be pursued as such in court.

If anyone is interested in pursuing a class action suit with me, please let me know by posting here. I'm now seeking an attorney to represent a class that's been harmed by iThemes Media LLC due to violations of various consumer protection laws. When I find that attorney, I'll put up a Web page where you can sign up to participate as a member of that class.

Here's what their ordering page says that *they* directed me to as "proof" that I *knew* my plugin license would expire after 12 months. You'll see that their own words prove that they are apparently deliberately misleading people into believing it's only the support and updates that expire, but that one will continue to be able to use the original plugin:

BackupBuddy (2 sites) ($75.00)

- Membership length for Support and Updates: 1 year from time of purchase
- Automatic Updates: Unlimited
- Support (provided through our online forum): Unlimited

BackupBuddy (10 sites) ($100.00)

- Membership length for Support and Updates: 1 year from time of purchase
- Automatic Updates: Unlimited
- Support (provided through our online forum): Unlimited

BackupBuddy (Unlimited sites) ($150.00)

- Membership length for Support and Updates: 1 year from time of purchase
- Automatic Updates: Unlimited
- Support (provided through our online forum): Unlimited

PluginBuddy Developer Suite (Unlimited sites) ($197.00)

- Access to ALL of our Premium Plugins
- 1 Year of Access to Support & Updates

I never asked for updates or support, which I knew would expire after a year. I was very clear in my original email to them that I just wanted access to the original version of the plugin that I paid for. They *refused* outright to provide me with that, claiming as I've pasted above that "PlugIn licenses expire after the one year."

Finally, it appears the CEO, Cory Miller, used fake internic info as shown in the WHOIS for ithemes.com:

Registrant:
iThemes Media, LLC
4921 Briarcreek
stillwater, OK 74074
US

Domain name: ITHEMES.COM

Administrative Contact:
Day, Scott admin@happydays.com
4921 Briarcreek
stillwater, OK 74074 US
405-533-3113

Technical Contact:
Day, Scott admin@happydays.com
4921 Briarcreek
stillwater, OK 74074 US
405-533-3113

Domain servers in listed order:
NS2.WDSERVERS.NET
NS1.WDSERVERS.NET

Why would a company do this unless they were trying to hide from someone????

The real info was found for the domain listed as the nameserver (WDSERVERS.NET):

Miller, Cory cory@ithemes.com
iThemes Media LLC
1720 S. Kelly Ave.
Edmond, Oklahoma 73012
United States
+1.4053970209

A complaint was filed with InterNIC that bad (fake) information was filed for ithemes.com, with a recommendation for them to cancel their domain name due to a violation of their terms of service.

And to think, all they had to do was do the right thing and honor what I paid for and this complaint wouldn't exist! I gave them multiple chances to resolve it and they refused.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/12/2012 03:18 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/iThemes-Media-LLC/Edmond-Stillwater-Oklahoma-73012/iThemes-Media-LLC-iThemescom-BackupBuddy-Backup-Buddy-Builder-WebDesigncom-WordPres-968202. 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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