DO NOT USE HWD. Review after review will complain how the company will rip you off, take your money, refuse to give a refund or finish your website as originally agreed.
My process with them began mid April of 09. It started off a little rocky, but nothing alarming. I initially paid for a 4 page web design with flash intro after speaking with Matthew Kenison. You have to know this company wants to be important so they have all these different people handling different pieces of ur web design which will create a headache like none other. Each person this part then passes you on to the next. God knows I wish I would have researched them further before trying to do business with them.
Matt Kenison accepted my payment and got me started. I initially thought I had flash intro, but after looking at my paperwork, and speaking with my horrible acct manager Sara Nilson, I realized It was only a flash banner. As expressed to Sara, what company places a flash banner of its own company on ITS OWN WEBSITE? If I were upselling another product or service yes. You wouldn't go to holiday inn.com and see a banner for holiday inn.com. They'd have a banner for something like travel offers or their more upscale hotels, etc. Anyways, we got through that. After seeing it was only a banner and not flash intro, my cost went up to an addtional $250 from $750. Because my red flag is partially up, I chose to pay in installments rather than all at once. Thank God I did because of the nightmare this ended up being, I got none of my money back, which means I would have been out of $250 too. When I cancelled the flash banner, I rcvd a refund for that portion of the service. Rightfully so, so no one at HWD can say they gave me a refund for services rendered. They're lying. Trust me, I'm just waiting to receive my class action lawsuit papers in the mail. This company has ripped off so many people. Check the worthless BBB in UT and you'll find they have over 450 complaints filed. Yes, 450. There's no way in the world all 450 claimants are making these stories up.
So the process begins with my "custom web design." Let me tell you; after my designer Nate completed my custom design after 3 grueling days, I wasn't impressed, but I wasn't disappointed either. I couldn't quite remember where I had seen this "custom" template before. I 'll be damned. After all the drama with HWD started, I'm serfing the net on my down time and guess where I see the same custom design... on TMZ.COM. On any given day, go to TMZ. When they're posting streaming video, they have a certain screen up that says 'one moment please.' Yes, that was my custom design. They lied about that and used a template. There was nothing custom about the design.
Ok, the issue I really have. Yes, after what I've told you, that wasn't the issue. Matt Kenison and I agreed that I would receive a 4 page site which allows me to add mp3's and film footage. As an indie filmmaker, I need my product on my page. We went back and forth because the further along we got, the more Sara Nilson, Matt Kenison and everyone else at HWD tap danced around this. I finally got AARON in customer service on the phone who told me in order for my site to have this feature, it would cost me an additional $1200 for a music juke box and some other contraption to play my movie clips. I was livid. At this point I could never get Sara or Matt on the phone, but when I call customer service, they seemed to always be able to get right to either of them, but of course never passing me through to speak with them.
I had become so frustrated that I asked for a refund with another one of their characters JOSH. Josh will attempt to sound sympathetic and 'i can't believe this is happening.' BS. He knows. After digging and digging on this company, you will find his name in several complaints as well. Be warned; YOU WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO SPEAK WITH A SUPERVISOR. Josh took my complaint and information, my cancellation request. He didn't follow up with me. That's ok; he was being consistent with the service the company offers. No one there will follow up. It took my complaint to the BBB to start getting responses. That was a joke because the BBB told me I provided nothing to meet "middle ground." There was no middle ground. I want a refund. They told me I had until 6-28 to respond. The Utah BBB closed my case 6-26. So anyone out there thinking the BBB is going to help out, they don't. They too try to get you by offering a mediator at $75. The company supposedly has to pay this fee, as well as the complainant. I'm convinced you would pay it and that's it. I was out of enough money. I wanted a refund. I didn't want HWD hosting my site or doing anything else for me. Because I would not move from this position, BBB Utah closed my case.
I guess HWD will now show another complaint, but case resolved in their favor when in all actuality, it wasn't resolved. Any opportunity I get to complain and let others know the truth about this rip off company, I'm doing it. I communicated with them via email after service went from sugar to s**t in less than a week. Trust me, they keep a log of every call they make to you, every email they send, so you better do the same. I did. And for that reason alone, they entertained me (for what good it did) when I complained through the BBB. You may think they're being nice and friendly, but when they responded to my complaint, they had guns blazing listing our first communication down to the last and the days they couldn'[t reach me but tried. I blew all that out the water by responding "the acct manager and anyone who I've spoken to at HWD was advised verbally that if they can not reach me by phone to always follow up with an email as my service is connected to my Blackberry. Please go back and pull every conversation I've had if their calls are recorded." They knew they didn't always do this because of course, I had every email still in my log, and on my harddrive. They were then ready to half way act like a company with decency.
Once you pay your money, you will not get it back. That really is the bottom line here. The web design is not custom, it is a template. Once you start complaining, you will never get them on the phone again.
Oh before I forget, about the video and mp3. Tech support told me I could get these added to my site. As links. Yes, as links. I could add links to my site which of course will take you away from my site and elsewhere. The alternative would be embedding video from youtube and putting it on my site. What? I told him "I can use myspace or facebook as my website if I wanted to embed videos...and it's FREE." I ddn't pay hundreds of dollars for a website to load embedded video. NIGHTMARE NIGHTMARE. From the reviews I saw after the fact, I got the impression everyone got burned AFTER discovering the reviews.
They will tell you whatever it takes to get the sale. Dont have 2grand, but you have 1500; "let me talk to my supervisor." Call the first time cuz ur not happy? "let me talk to my supervisor; here's what we can do." They then give you free double opt-in email. YOU WILL NEVER SPEAK WITH THAT SUPERVISOR THEY'RE TALKING TO. And yes ladies and gentlemen, they're in business, doing business every day. Again, I'm just waiting for the class action law suit papers.