When I lost my job in August 2009 I decided to give SMC a try with a retail business website. The 'pitch' they give is for an easy setup of your site with full support to get you going. I had prior experience with a retail internet business with a partner that still goes strong but I wanted something of my own. I contacted them and was surprised to get quotes all over the place on the types of website offered. The one they quoted me on would have cost me over $5200 initially. Whew! I declined but was put with another sales person that in no time had the price down to $4000. I still said that was way too much and he then said if I decided that day, he could do it for $2300. I was planning to invest $1500-$2000 so that seemed reasonable and I did it. Well, that was just the beginning of 'their cash cow'. Had I been near Disney I would have thought I was at some timeshare presentation.
I was contacted a few days later by a person that was my 'coach'. But, before I could go any further he seemed shocked I didn't have gift cards. Again, starting at a price of $2000 for these I balked. He then whittled it down to $850 and quite frankly, I felt I had to do it as he was making me feel terrible that I would not get their full website support unless I was in their gift card program. I agreed but there was no coaching, just the sale! A day later I was to schedule an appointment with my marketing person; I did and once again, ended up buying more gift cards because my first batch was only for $25 increments and he said I really needed $10 cards to send for marketing purposes. Again, stupid me, I negotiated the price down and bought them to add to my site, costing me another $500. But, once again, I was given no direction on the navigation of my site, optimization or anything else.
Two days later, after confirmation my site was built, I called and talked to a lady about website optimization. Running a site prior I understood the importance of this and agreed, for $200 more. Well, they sent me a packet in the mail that was very, very complicated and I was suppose to complete it and return to them so they could optimize it. I had several conversations with them, sent the forms back in and then nothing happened. I called a week or two later and found they did not show record of it and I had to do it over again. At this point I was over a month and a half talking to them and the site was up but no sales, no marketing support and no optimization. And, I was out of $3850 and had a website that was not working, was not selling and really didn't look very professional at all.
At this point I started making calls to see what could be done to get the site 'moving' from a sales standpoint. I was then abrubtly told I would have to pay for more training time because I was past my initial 30 days of free support. What support? All they did was try to sell me more for the first month and never got down to helping me get the site functioning properly.
I refused to pay anymore until I could see some type of result that at least the site was viewable in search engines and marketing searches. I then could get no help or direction at all as all they wanted was more money. When I then inquired as to any portion of refund I was told I was past the trial period and nothing could be refunded.
Needless to say this was an expensive lesson at a time I really didn't have the extra cash. I think this company is nothing more than a bait-n-switch as all they cared about was getting their money up front and then lead you down a path of marketing schemes that only delays your site development and by the time you realize it, you are too late to qualify for any type of refund or real help.
I am shocked there are not any pending class action suits against this company as I would surely join in.