Burts AIS, osCommerce & More Blog
New URL: www.osworld.biz

Monday, April 24, 2006

Viral Instigator - avoid this one!

Viral Instigator is a new service set up by an australian based entrepreneur named Peter Drew. It basically allows you to set up hundreds or thousands of Blogger Blogs (and lately it's own blog system) easily and quickly. You can then use these blogs with the likes of RSS2Blog to post to in order to build up a Blog Farm quickly and easily. They also offer an upgrade service so that anyone who does not own a Blog posting tool such as RS2b can pay extra to have their blogs populated by Viral Instigators "Internal Posting Service". Anyway, I was intrigued to find out more so decided to sign up. Not really for the purpose of using the service, but more to provide ancilliary services such as templates - and to find out more about the type of people who use these services. Anyway, I signed up using Paypal on 28th March. The terms of service: $50 non-refundable set-up fee and $59 each month. OK, so far. Paid up via the site and then... nothing. No thank you email, no email with log-in details. Absolutely nothing except for the Paypal receipt. I waited a few days then sent email to the Paypal address that I signed up to. No reply. As Peter Drew is a member on Keyword Avalanche, I then contacted him through the Private Message system to let him know that I had signed up but had not received any emails from him. He obviously looked into it, as I shortly began receiving mail from him, but not the important details about my account! I then took it upon myself to cancel the paypal payment myself. To cut a long story short, he refunded the monthly payment, but will not refund the $50 set up fee. This even though my account was never set up. Problems: 1. There is no forum for the product. 2. There are no published email addresses to get in contact. 3. The "helpdesk" will only help people who have been sent log in details. 4. The owner seems to talk the talk when it comes to sales, but not walk the walk when it comes to customer service. My view: avoid this one - however, there are many people within the Keyword Avalanche Forum who use and like the program. Link: Viral Instigator

Thankfully not all Australians are as poor at customer service as this bunch => my Kath & Kim DVD's turned up in less than 72 hours. Look at moiye, look at moiye.
Having said all this, this type of tool does look to be quite useful if you are into creating many hundreds of sites with least amount of effort. I am considering going straight to Paypal to dispute the service offered. However, they did say the $50 was non-refundable, and even though I consider them to be 100% at fault (ie, take a set-up fee, then set up nothing) there's really no way I am entitled to that $50 back.

New URL: www.osworld.biz - thanks!


At 4/24/2006 11:37:00 PM, Blogger Oli said...

I'd have no problem asking Paypal for a refund in that situation, and from experience, they'd have no problem giving it.

You paid a set up fee. Nothing was set up.

At 4/25/2006 09:45:00 AM, Anonymous One Dollar A Day said...

From memory, you just use the login info you signed up for the free trial with but when you get into the members area, it's slightly different to take into account you have paid.

I cancelled my membership too!

At 4/25/2006 10:59:00 AM, Blogger Gary B. said...

From memory, you just use the login info you signed up for the free trial with but when you get into the members area, it's slightly different to take into account you have paid.

Forgot about that - tried it, and logged in no problem to find it was still a "trial account"...

Obviously the error is somewhere between Paypal and Viral Instigator. Maybe Paypal did not send an IPN? Who knows.


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