Report: #1508805

Complaint Review: OptinMonster - West Palm Beach, Gainsesville, FL

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  • Reported By: Julieanna — San Antonio Texas United States
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  • OptinMonster 2701 Okeechobee Blvd West Palm Beach, Gainsesville, , FL United States

OptinMonster Awesome Motive Syed M. Balkhi Johnathan Thomas Griffin Retyp LLC Sold me a lifetime subscription in 2014, but 7 years later contacted me to tell me I would have to buy another subscription or pay $1,430/year to keep my service. West Palm Beach, Gainsesville, FL

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On June 8th, 2014, I purchased a lifetime subscription to "OptinMonster," a lead generating software from Syed Balkhi.  At the time, you could utilize this on your website via a WordPress plugin or SaaS, (software as a service).

On May 14th, 2015, I received an email from Syed announcing the "Biggest Update to OptinMonster..Since the Launch of OptinMonster Itself" stating that it would be possible to use the software on any website platform, not just WordPress via SaaS.  Specifically, this email stated this:

"How this new release impacts existing customers (YOU): This is a major release, so we've address[ed] how this will impact existing customers and our old WordPress plugin -- no worries, it's all GOOD NEWS!"

It included ALL users, old and new.  Of course, I was glad to see this as I had purchased a lifetime subscription. 

All went along well until I was contacted on April 13, 2021 letting me know that:

"I’m reaching out because I wanted to let you know that the Legacy plan to which you’re currently subscribed is being discontinued at this time.

Additionally, we realize that you signed up for a Lifetime Plan with us several years ago, so that you may be a bit confused. To explain a bit more, that lifetime license was for our standalone WordPress plugin (back before we were even a SaaS product.) Customers who purchased the lifetime subscription did indeed receive support and updates throughout the lifecycle of that plugin. Still, the plugin itself was actually retired back in 2015 when we switched to a SaaS model and moved to support more platforms than just WordPress."

I was not confused, I had purchased lifetime access to OptinMonster's platform and had not used the "plugin" for years.  Indeed, as previously mentioned, my lifetime subscription was not, (nor should have it been), null and void in 2015.

OptinMonster offered me a subscription, (to the same thing I had already paid for a lifetime subscription to), for a mere $1,430.00 per year.  Additionally, they informed me that:

Currently, your account is set to automatically upgrade to the monthly option above on June 8, 2021, so that you can continue to get more leads and optimize visitor sessions without any service interruptions.

After finding my receipt for a lifetime subscription, I contacted OptinMonster.  They refused to honor my subscription or the terms under which I purchased my lifetime subscription.  Instead, I was told that anytime I used their software, it meant that I was agreeing to their CURRENT terms of service.  Let the buyer beware, as this is what I was told:

Additionally, as you've continued to use OptinMonster on your sites over the years, you've also subsequently agreed to our Terms of Service, which have always been publicly available on our website. As I've mentioned, those Terms do give us the ability to modify or change plans/pricing at any time.

In other words, it does not matter what sort of terms are offered when you make a purchase at any of Syed Balkhi's companies or affiliates, they can and will change the terms when, where and how they please.  If you actually "use" the software you purchase, then they interpret this as implicit agreement to their terms, whatever they may be.  I'm not sure this is legal.  In my case, they offered a "lifetime subscription" that obviously was NOT a lifetime. 

At the very least, this must be considered bad and unethical business practice, and I have filed a report with the FTC as well. (Bait and switch?)  I contacted the BBB in an effort to help bring resolution to this matter.  I did NOT want my money back, I wanted them to honor the lifetime subscription.

However, they refused to respond to the BBB.  https://www.bbb.org/us/fl/west-palm-beach/profile/sales-lead-generation/optin-monster-0633-90366224

Today, I was told I would lose access to my account unless I paid the annual fee of $1,430.00 or $149.00/month, which adds up to $1,788.00/year.  Of course, this was NOT an option as I had already purchased lifetime access.

I was basically forced to accept my money back, and suffer the loss of access to my OptinMonster account.  I suppose I could have refused my money back, (that I paid for lifetime access back in 2014), however, they made it clear, I would still lose access to my account unless I subscribed again. 

As this company is affiliated with so many other online companies, I hope this report will help all potential buyers beware of the unethical, bad business practices this group of companies engage in.  I've noticed they continue to offer many "lifetime" deals just as they did 7 years ago.  I'm sure I'm not the only person affected by this and hope that at some point in time a class-action lawsuit might be initiated against Syed Balkhi and his partner J. Thomas Griffin and their companies, Retyp LLC and Awesome Motive.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/08/2021 02:07 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/report/optinmonster/west-palm-beach-gainsesville-1508805. 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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