I attended a storesonline seminar on Tuesday, 8/12/2002. The presentation is professional and very misleading, but you do not realize this until you've made your purchase and attempt to put to use what you've purchased. I purchased 3 stores for approximately $3500.
In the seminar, they make it all seem so simple. They flabbergast you with these numbers, great success stories and even tell you that you don't even need a computer - just access to one. You don't even have to be computer savvy/literate to operate an online store - you hear them tell it. They assure you that they will help you find a product, walk you through the setup and support is readily available. They pretty much force you to make a decision that day.
My experience has been the following:
-No one ever helped me find a product. The help I got was getting referred to Thomas Registry.
-While trying to build the website, I learned that you do need to be computer literate, because the process is not that simple, nor was there ever anyone holding my hand to answer the questions I had while trying to build it. As a matter of fact, right after I made my purchase, a rep, Scott, called me. I thought he was calling to start the "support" or "help" I was expecting after spending $3500.
Scott just wanted to learn if I had the financial ability to spend more money, asking if I had a credit card and other information as if he was helping me. He forwarded my information to another rep who called me not even 2 minutes later to convince me to maximize my stores' success by purchasing what he had to offer. It was a package of guaranteed visitors, banners and coaching sessions for 10 weeks - costing me another $2200. After spending $3500, who wouldn't want their "investment" to be successful?
Nevertheless, back to trying to build my site, I asked my $600 coach about building the site and she explained to me that storesonline will build it for me if I mailed the stuff in. So, I took that option. Of course there are hidden fees. Anything that has to be modified there's an additional fee and they restrict you with how much can be entered onto a site by the programmer - anything over, there are additional charges or you can add it yourself.
Now, if someone is not computer savvy, how is anyone supposed to be able to do that himself? I'm computer savvy and I still had questions when I was adding the rest of my products myself. You're not told about the fees before you mail your stuff in either.
-The readily available support is non-existent and when someone finally answers a question, he/she doesn't seem all that knowledgable about it. They have very poor customer service and they're rude.
-the printable tutorials lock up my computer
-software you think you're purchasing really is NOT - upon viewing the cd you get after paying thousands of dollars, there's a brief overview, but when you click on "Other Resources", there's no response - nothing happens - there is absolutely nothing on that cd that will help you build a website.
-they don't mention in the seminar that if you want your own domain name, that's an additional cost - you would think you could at least get that with your $3500 purchase.
-the banners that PMI (Professional Marketing Inc.) sells you, no one tells you what you should do with them to maximize your success. As a matter of fact, I had to contact them in order to get my banner - they never sent it to me when it they were done creating it. Actually it was StoresOnline I contacted because they all work together - who knows. I guess it was PMI who sold it to me.
-the merchant account they sell you is too expensive. Merchant accounts can be purchased for way less.
-they give you 1 YEAR to set up your stores. When someone makes a purchase from you, how are you going to put an expiration date on it? Especially when they're not even offering a refund.
This company is a fraud and they're out to get whatever they can from innocent consumers. They're taking advantage of our free enterprise system. They should be made to refund everyone they took advantage of, with additional monies for the time wasted dealing with these sites and put out of business.
Raleigh, North Carolina
U.S.A.Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Storesonline