On 2-16-2013 I went on LegalZoom.com to form an LLC in California. During this process I chose the Express Gold expedited package which was to make the turnaround time something like a couple of weeks, total. The cost of that was $359. I chose a few other packages and the total came to nearly $600, but I was ok with that because I would have my business up and running within a couple of weeks and would have that money back.
2 days pass and I receive a phone call from LegalZoom informing me that California was experiencing delays and that it would be AT LEAST 30 days before my documents were even looked at by the state of California, unless of course I paid California's expedited service of $400, which I declined to do, but also let the guy I was speaking to know that I was no longer interested in the more expensive package because it was too long. He assured me that it would be filed within the 10 days and that his call was basically just a courtesy call. I told him that I was not interested in the Express package any longer if there was any chance it would take longer than a couple of weeks to even be filed by the state, and he said that legalzoom had already done their part and began the filing and I could not get a refund back for it, so I just let it go at that.
Here it is, March 20th, 2013, a full month later and their site still shows that my docs have not been filed. So I gave them a call to just cancel out everything because now I'm feeling like I have just flat out scammed. The lady I spoke to said that they cannot cancel because get this, she called the secretary of state "just now" ( I was speaking with some guy at first, she says she called while I was talking to the other gentlemen before he transferred me to her), and they said my docs have been filed. So she could not cancel my order. I asked her why it did not show on the site in my account, and she said it takes a couple of days to refresh. That may be the case, so I let that part go to ask an even more important question: 1) How long has California been backlogged? Her answer was "over 2 years". Which brought me to another immediate question; Why are they charging for expedited service if they cannot deliver on that? Her answer was "legalzoom expedites our filing service when you select the Express Gold package, we have no control over the state of California."
So....... They are fully aware that making the promise of a 2 week turnaround is unrealistic. They are fully aware that CA has a backlog, and has been delayed for over 2 years, yet they still deceptively charge hundreds more for a service that they cannot deliver. As you go through the sign up process their are no clear indicators that CA is delayed, not even when you select what state you are starting the business in, which I think would be the perfect place to stick this bit of information. I feel that legalzoom used a deceptive practice in not disclosing in plain view that paying hundreds more for an un deliverable service is unnecessary. I chose to make my payments in 3 installments, I paid $196 already, and they are telling me that I still owe nearly $300 for the "Expedited" services.
Legalzoom, may in fact expedite their filing, but to claim such a fast turnaround when they know it is impossible to deliver is just plain deceptive, and fraudulent.