Concerns about Digital Access Pass member software

by 38 comments
Hi, I joined this site to comment on this thread. I'm not a techie, although I have learned a lot about websites by necessity as I developed my internet-based coaching practice. Like many holistic practitioners, I prefer to spend my time helping my clients and customers. Which is part of the reason I'm so annoyed by how much time I have wasted dealing with Digital Access Pass software malfunctioning and am posting the review here that I just put on my Spiritual Seduction website.

Potential DAP customers deserve to know what they are getting into before they get into it, because it is very expensive in time and money to switch later.

Hey Everyone,


Today I am beginning a thorough review of the Digital Access Pass software that I opted to use on my TAPsmarter website.


Should you purchase this software for your site? Well, itís alluring, isnít it? Promises of tremendous functionality and cost savings on other services, such as an email marketing service like Aweber and a payment processing service.


And Iíll be honest with you. Given that some of the functionality really is wonderful, I wanted to be able to recommend this product to you. In fact, I thought maybe I would sell it as an affiliate.


But you see, I am quite committed to only recommending products and services that I can stand behind fully, and this one, unfortunately, does not make that list.


Having now gone through a months-long saga of endless problems with the DAP software, and having lost countless thousands of dollars whether through added tech support costs or wasted time, I think you the customer should know about just a few of the problems we encountered with this software.

1. Payment buttons would not work properly. I had hired a top tech team to help me create the original TAPsmarter website. Despite several paid support calls (meaning, costs for me above and beyond the purchase price of the product), DAP was unable to help us get the new version of DAP integrated with the website. Thus, we originally had to go with the prior version of DAP, it still required endless troubleshooting to get basic payment functionality working, and then I ended up paying another tech support person later to do the upgrade.

2. Affiliate software does not work properly. Affiliate leads that I brought in got mis-assigned after the fact to other customers, causing me to have to explain to my precious customers why they would not get paid commissions that they thought they had earned.

3. Recurring payments in PayPal did not work properly. Veena from DAP sent me on a wild goose chase, telling me it was a plug-in incompatibility, which it was not. I ended up paying a tech guy to sort this out and we had to persistently contact DAP for weeks or even months to get them to cooperate in fixing it. It did finally get fixed, though we probably lost sales from customers who did not get billed on the recurring schedule, and we absolutely lost a lot of time.

4. DAP refusal to take responsibility for errors in software. Instead of being helpful with all of this, DAP would point fingers at other people. Yet when a problem was ultimately isolated, it was a DAP problem.

5. Most recently, DAP malfunction with bulk upload of users to products. Again, wasting countless time that could have been used to help customers and clients. I followed the instructions to the tee, yet some users were uploaded and others were not. When I asked Ravi to help with some mis-assigned affiliates (DAP problem which they currently offer no solution for users to fix), he offered that if I pay for a half-hour support slot, he would fix this for me. Yet, when I asked him to fix that and fix the bulk-add of users and OFFERED TO PAY FOR A FULL SUPPORT SLOT despite the fact that these problems were caused by DAP, he refused, telling me that I am on my own fixing the problems.


This is just a partial list of the endless stream of problems we have had with DAP. Once you build your website around it, it will be very costly to transfer to another system, so I highly advise you to think twice and investigate much more deeply before you commit to this product. Customer service is provided, as far as I know, exclusively by Ravi and Veena. This means if they refuse to help you, or send you on wild goose chases, you are unfortunately in a bit of a bind.



This product has tremendous potential, and if Ravi and Veena commit to providing what they promise and taking responsibility for fixing things when their software malfunctions, you can bet I will be amending my review. For now, though, I absolutely cannot in good faith recommend this product.

Thanks for listening, I'm pretty peeved right now. Another day spent on DAP that could have been invested in building my business, and there have already been so many of these. Sigh.

- Erika

p.s. I am open to suggestions about how to deal with these issues now that my entire website is built around DAP. I really would like to go back to devoting my time to my clients and customers.
#product reviews #access #concerns #digital #member #pass #software
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Meaney
    I was planning to get DAP next month, so I'll be keeping an eye on this thread - everything I've heard about it until now has been very positive.
  • Profile picture of the author Will Roarke
    I'll provide some of my experience with DAP.
    (This isn't to go against the original post, because she makes some good points too. Just providing another point of view)

    Overall, my experience has been good.
    With email marketing, I would definitely recommend using a 3rd party email marketing service rather than using DAP's email system. Simply in terms of tracking and testing, 3rd party services offer more. Plus, they integrate easily with DAP. However, if you are looking for a replacement email marketing tool, DAP offers less functionality than other services.

    For us, the payment buttons and affiliate software has all worked as it should. However, we have people on our team with limited tech knowledge so any issues that might have come up were solved before they were ever a problem.

    Erika's points are very valid so they should be considered. But keep in mind that there are also DAP users who have not had those issues. What works for some might not work for others.
    • Profile picture of the author darksky
      Will,

      What 3rd party email marketing service(s) have you found that work good with DAP? And... what are you using?

      Thanks!
  • Profile picture of the author tamalanwar
    I have did an extensive research before getting a membership software. I thought wishlist was the only way to go and one of my client hired me to build a site with wishlist.

    There I saw how complicated it is to run a site with wishlist.

    Then I searched for a better alternative, none of the popular ones offer the things that I want. Almost none of them have the front end login and user panel. A user has to go through with the wordpress login area.

    DAP on the other hand does this very professionally.

    It has the drip option that runs fantastically. On other programs you have to buy a $47 worth plugin to have the drip.

    About the errors, yes every software that is going to do lot of complicated stuff, especially making you money, it will have bugs.

    But with DAP culture I saw that they are always improving the software to fix bugs and adding new features.

    My partner was burning out with paying $49 every month for aweber. But with DAP and amazon I can now send emails to my list for pennies.

    So in short DAP is just wonderful, it should be priced at $499 or even higher but thanks to the team they set a low price that an average internet marketer can purchase it.
  • Profile picture of the author blackli0n
    Erika,

    I appreciate you going out of your way to save other customers by sharing your bad experiences. But your review is far from complete. What exactly is not working? And what software and plugins are you trying to use? What exactly were you trying to do? It sounds like you're trying to incorporate DAP with an already existing database/software? This isn't a simple job at all.

    1. Payments buttons would not work properly
    - What was the ultimate issue? The buttons wouldn't show? The payment wouldn't process?

    2. Affiliate software does not work properly
    - Affiliate leads got mis-assigned to other customers? How did you notice this problem? Affiliates are assigned by whichever cookie they have on their browser when they came through your site.

    3. Recurring payments in Paypal did not work properly
    - What happened with the payments? They didn't go through? Or they went through in the wrong amounts? Or in the wrong intervals?

    4. DAP refusal to take responsibility for errors in software
    What errors are you accusing of? And what plugins are you using that is incompatible with DAP?

    5. Most recently, DAP malfunction with bulk upload of users to products
    Why were some uploaded and why weren't the others? Have you tried breaking your list down into pieces and uploading in smaller segments to find the problem?



    I've used DAP successfully for 2 years now and totally love it. It does everything it claims to be and I was helped immediately any time I had any issues. I'm not the only one to have such a great experience so it shocks me to see something like this.

    It looks like you came on here to write a public post in an attempt to embarrass/bully them into providing you free service to do something you don't understand. You've already confessed not being a tech person and it seems like the "top tech team" you hired isn't very competent.

    I'm a single developer and never had any issues. All the functions you had problems with have worked perfectly for me as well as many other customers. Either you're trying to do something ridiculously complicated, or out-of-scope with DAP. Or you're trying to get them to give you service beyond DAP's functionality.

    I'm located in San Francisco as well. If you want me to take a look, send me a PM and I'll do what I can to help you out. I would suggest for you to list your software version and plugins and your technical situation so everyone can understand it better.

    One thing is for certain, your setup is definitely not the simple CLICK-N-PLAY. Sounds like you've got many different things going on and huge amounts of information to process. Experience dictates it would be foolish to think so many different parts would come together without much work.
  • Profile picture of the author roblawrence
    The biggest feature DAP is missing and most other membership site plugins are missing is the Google First Click Free feature. All that juicy content you're hiding behind the paywall is SEO rich and could bring in tons of fresh traffic. If no one can see the good stuff, no one's going to join.

    Yeah, you'll get some freeloaders who will keep going back to Google typing in your article headline to access the article for free, but most people won't even realize how to access the other content unless they pay.

    SEO is your best marketing tool out there. And so far nearly all of the membership plugins are IGNORING this. Wishlist and DAP don't even want to go there! The only two plugins I've found that have this feature are Memberwing and Tips & Trick HQ Emember. Both are wordpress plugins.
    • Profile picture of the author blackli0n
      Originally Posted by roblawrence View Post

      The biggest feature DAP is missing and most other membership site plugins are missing is the Google First Click Free feature. All that juicy content you're hiding behind the paywall is SEO rich and could bring in tons of fresh traffic. If no one can see the good stuff, no one's going to join.

      Yeah, you'll get some freeloaders who will keep going back to Google typing in your article headline to access the article for free, but most people won't even realize how to access the other content unless they pay.

      SEO is your best marketing tool out there. And so far nearly all of the membership plugins are IGNORING this. Wishlist and DAP don't even want to go there! The only two plugins I've found that have this feature are Memberwing and Tips & Trick HQ Emember. Both are wordpress plugins.

      Hmmm....couldn't a landing page do the same thing?
  • Profile picture of the author ravijayagopal
    Rob,

    While it's true that DAP does not have this feature (we can count maybe a a handful of users who have even heard of it, let alone want us to implement it), we have two other alternatives...

    1) Sneak-Peek (protection after the "more" tag)
    2) DAP Shortcodes and the ability to selectively protect partial content within a page, and leave the rest open to Google and the public.

    Both of those DAP features give most people all the SEO juice that they need for their membership content.

    In fact you're probably the third person EVER in the last 5 years of DAP being online to have asked for this feature. I'm not discounting the fact that it's important to you. Just saying that it hasn't been important to our tens of thousands of other DAP users. So that's why we haven't looked into this more.

    I'm sure we will do so sooner than later.

    But on a side note, it's funny that even when you include like 10,000 features (exaggerating to make a point), there is always going to be that 10,001th feature that is missing :-)

    - Ravi Jayagopal
    • Profile picture of the author roblawrence
      Originally Posted by ravijayagopal View Post

      Rob,

      While it's true that DAP does not have this feature (we can count maybe a a handful of users who have even heard of it, let alone want us to implement it), we have two other alternatives...

      1) Sneak-Peek (protection after the "more" tag)
      2) DAP Shortcodes and the ability to selectively protect partial content within a page, and leave the rest open to Google and the public.

      Both of those DAP features give most people all the SEO juice that they need for their membership content.

      In fact you're probably the third person EVER in the last 5 years of DAP being online to have asked for this feature. I'm not discounting the fact that it's important to you. Just saying that it hasn't been important to our tens of thousands of other DAP users. So that's why we haven't looked into this more.

      I'm sure we will do so sooner than later.

      But on a side note, it's funny that even when you include like 10,000 features (exaggerating to make a point), there is always going to be that 10,001th feature that is missing :-)

      - Ravi Jayagopal
      Those sound like pretty good features for SEO and a good start. I'm sure if more people knew about the power of Google First Click Free, they would request it.

      Right now, it's mostly big publishing companies, magazines and newspapers using this Google search feature to entice people to subscribe.

      They can read 3 to 6 articles or so from Google searches, then get prompted to become a member and join. That's usually how it works. The main benefit being that Google eats up all that juicy SEO content and they get a bump in the ratings.

      I know this is a bit beyond the functionality of most membership site plugins but am just throwing it out there as a unique benefit that some plugins have started adding into their value proposition and something to consider.
  • Profile picture of the author James Hessler
    I know what it's like when things go wrong. Not in IM not yet anyway, but in my street show, where people are aaargh. So I do vent. I do empathize with the OP and am do taken aback by some of the help offered here. Wow.

    I have DAP ON 2 sites with a third install happening soon.

    Sidebar... Rav, I've pmd you, will wait for your reply.

    Being peed off is hard to control sometimes, and hope the OP has found the assistance or solutions that are needed.

    Gotta love this forum

    JJ
  • Profile picture of the author squareplaza
    I'm Considering seriously bought DAP very soon. My main concern is that my native language its not english an when time gets on, i frustrated explaining techie and labor ate stuff.

    Also my experience putting the puzzle in place its not my best side. Did think guys, with my drawbacks will the possibility with works with Veena and her husband and made a great business relationship?
  • Profile picture of the author seanster
    Erika, I am sorry to hear about your problems. But could you ellude to the answers a little bit so we can possibly avoid those in the future? Also, why did you have to use an older version? Was it because it conflicted with your WP Version or Sales THeme?

    Thanks
  • Profile picture of the author xxxJamesxxx
    I got Dap the other month and used it for my latest product and it seems a really solid bit of kit.

    Yeah it can be a little overwhelming when you get it but the support is super and it just plain works.

    I'm happy with it anyway and I'll be using it on all my future products.

    James "Happy Dapper" Scholes
  • Profile picture of the author igrowyourbiz
    DAP is a DICEROLL

    for some it works..(usually on very simple installations)

    I have a 5 license deal.

    I JUST ran into a simple yet major problem and just as the OP said:

    1. Payment buttons would not work properly. I
    2. Recurring payments in PayPal did not work properly.
    3. DAP refusal to take responsibility for errors in software.

    Their support actually resorted to Belittling us after shifting blame, showing us old posts on their forum (where they also did not answer the question/resolve the issue)

    That alone, means I am done with all things DAP. Unfortunately I can't get a refund, and I would GLADLY sell my 5 license to anyone who cares to have this crap. I just wish I ran across THIS review before wasting money.
    • Profile picture of the author Spiderbait
      Originally Posted by igrowyourbiz View Post

      DAP is a DICEROLL

      for some it works..(usually on very simple installations)

      I have a 5 license deal.

      I JUST ran into a simple yet major problem and just as the OP said:

      1. Payment buttons would not work properly. I
      2. Recurring payments in PayPal did not work properly.
      3. DAP refusal to take responsibility for errors in software.

      Their support actually resorted to Belittling us after shifting blame, showing us old posts on their forum (where they also did not answer the question/resolve the issue)

      That alone, means I am done with all things DAP. Unfortunately I can't get a refund, and I would GLADLY sell my 5 license to anyone who cares to have this crap. I just wish I ran across THIS review before wasting money.
      I would be interested to hear what solution you have switched to for membership sites that do decent numbers of daily sales.

      I no longer feel like I trust DAP. At the very least, I should feel confident that every potential customer that tries to sign up will see my CC page, will be able to submit an order, and that order will successfully reach my processor, and I no longer feel confident of that at all.

      Don't even get me started on trying to cancel members with DAP (have fun logging into every processor manually for every cancel with DAP's "fully automatic member cancellations", trying to generate any type of useful report with DAP (conversion rates??, retention rates??, rates of conversion from trial to full??, attrition rates??) or using DAP preview codes with cache.

      Surely there has to be a membership plugin that works for people who've been in business long enough to know what retention reports are, right? For people who process more than 1 or 2 joins per day?
  • Profile picture of the author ravijayagopal
    Hi Maurice,

    Normally, I don't respond to such posts, because the readers on a forum can't really understand the actual issue or know the full context.

    But I just wanted to add this: It's very easy to blame DAP when things don't work, because while DAP appears to be the central hub of everything on your site, but in reality, there are so many other things involved in a membership site: Other third-party plugins, the theme you're using, the payment processor settings, list service settings, host configuration issues, server issues, etc.

    Anyway, we can help you resolve this. Let's connect via the ticket that you currently have open, and we can go from there.

    Thanks!

    - Ravi Jayagopal
  • Profile picture of the author robyne
    yikes... the way I look at any similar issue... regardless who is to blame for the problem and how it got there... customer service should NEVER blame customer for anything, even if afterwards they say, "now how can i help you".

    I was one inch away from clicking on the mouse to make a DAP purchase. Wont be now!!

    EDIT: Was also going to buy op... not now!!!
    • Profile picture of the author jaiganeshv
      Originally Posted by robyne View Post

      yikes... the way I look at any similar issue... regardless who is to blame for the problem and how it got there... customer service should NEVER blame customer for anything, even if afterwards they say, "now how can i help you".

      I was one inch away from clicking on the mouse to make a DAP purchase. Wont be now!!

      EDIT: Was also going to buy op... not now!!!

      I think in no place on his latest post Ravi blamed the customer, it is a FACT that there are 100s of process that interact with DAP being the central hub or the core. Even little things like your php libraries not activated in YOUR web host could cause the issue. This is just 1% that comes up right away being a software and plugin creator myself.

      Get these details as well so you would be more EDUCATED and know of the root cause of the issue than sugar coated customer service and black box like messages
  • Profile picture of the author ravijayagopal
    robyne,

    You're right: The customer is always right :-)

    In spite of our best efforts, sometimes we do get defensive, especially on a public forum, even more so on the warrior forum.

    We're still trying to master the delicate game of responding to customers on public forums. It's a no-win for sure, but hopefully, we'll get it right eventually :-)

    Thank you for your feedback.

    - Ravi Jayagopal
  • Profile picture of the author AJMontoya
    I posted a full review of InstaMember here on the forum if anyone is interested in taking a look. I also included a list of alternate Membership site plugins/software/scripts at the end.
    http://www.warriorforum.com/internet...rent-user.html
    • Profile picture of the author Its Trish
      Insta-member looked really good, and I purchased it too... but turns out it has major problems and serious bugs, as reported by several dozen warriors. (here)

      DAP... Awesome system. But Unfortunately for those of us with many sites, squeeze pages, & funnels, DAP seems too involved & time consuming to setup on each website. Someone suggested S2Member + OptimizePress, will have to see how do-able that is.
  • Profile picture of the author igrowyourbiz
    We ended up having to install s2 member a FREE PLUGIN for wordpress.

    Works like a dream btw. Not as many features as DAP, but all we needed was something that WORKED. Using the same type configuration IPN etc information it integrated with Paypal with no problems. Process of elimination shows the problem was DAP.

    In fact, looking at the "solution" given by the tech, we are not the only ones to have experienced it and DAP was unable to resolve this issue for others either. What causes it? who knows.

    Ultimately, I have a 5-license access for DAP -my one year will be up soon. I can see using it for manual only sites, if you need automation it doesn't work. Hopefully I won't find issues later on with the manual sites.


    I will add Ravi came onto the tickets to offer help, but that should have happened 72 hours prior when I first had problems. Also the employee should have been reprimanded at worse, fired at best IMO. He offered to bend over backwards to help...i don't require that, just rational and respectful help the first time. Unfortunately in this instance it was too late.

    I still do not recommend DAP but may change my mind in the future. Since I have dropped $500 on this, i might as well use it.
    • Profile picture of the author Its Trish
      Ravi,

      1. For those who previously purchased DAP's MSIAB (Membership Site In A Box), do you offer them the same free bonuses that now come with MSIAB? (specifically interested in the ticket system)

      2. Haven't yet purchased the yearly upgrade so I'll have to ask you this: Does the newest version of DAP allow all shortcodes to be inserted (from the standard page edit bar) while in the WP page edit mode?
  • Profile picture of the author ravijayagopal
    Hi Trish,

    >>1. For those who previously purchased DAP's MSIAB (Membership Site In A Box), do you offer them the same free bonuses that now come with MSIAB?<<
    Not by default. But if you open a ticket, we can look into this further.

    >>Does the newest version of DAP allow all shortcodes to be inserted (from the standard page edit bar) while in the WP page edit mode<<
    You mean like a shortcode editor? No, there isn't one yet. You have to copy/paste the shortcodes from this page into your page.
  • Profile picture of the author roblawrence
    I've always heard positive things about DAP, so this thread is a bit surprising. No membership solution is 100% perfect for all people. Sounds like there were other factors involved. A lot of warriors speak very highly of DAP.
  • Profile picture of the author sober
    DAP does things in a different way and wordpress only hosting services like zippykid or wpengine will not allow DAP installation for reasons I do not know. However, this does not mean DAP is bad or does not work. Wordpress only hosting services are pretty trigger happy when it comes to some plugins.

    And DAP is not the only prohibited plugin either. The famous contact form plugin cforms is also prohibited on zippykid. Anyway, the point I want to make is that it depends on a lot of things other than DAP source code. Some servers are simply not configured for optimum performance with DAP and some themes, believe me, are made by people who have no idea about wordpress.

    I would ask DAP guys about their recommended host if membership is going to be a major part of your overall strategy. The original post misses some crucial info like where is the site hosted and stuff like that. Some hosts who does not have the required server configuration would even blatantly lie that everything is okay at their end when they very well know what is wrong.

    Just my 2 cents...
    • Profile picture of the author uccmike
      Fyi...

      I purchased MSIAB in Dec 2012, I have had tech problems here and there, it's 98% perfect. But their support is 1,000%, better than what you would get from any corporation i.e. rackspace!!!

      Thanks Ravi and Veena.
  • Profile picture of the author ravijayagopal
    Spiderbait and anders3397 (and anyone else who may have be having DAP issues):

    Sorry to hear about your issues. Please PM me offline with any tickets you have open with us, and Veena or I will personally look into them and help you resolve it.

    If members are not receiving welcome emails, it's usually because of poor email delivery by web hosts. In that case, we would normally recommend connecting DAP with Amazon SES, which really increases deliverability.

    If some members are not able to log in after purchase, it is usually because DAP did not receive the payment notification from your payment processor. Paypal IPN is usually pretty consistent, but it has been known to be delayed at times. And sometimes, the host (usually shared hosts) may be experiencing heavy traffic and may not be "receiving" the IPN request properly.

    So having "auto login" after signup will mitigate that issue, where your buyer can be logged into the member's area immediately after purchase, so that they don't have to rely on the welcome email.

    However, that again, is subject to how you have set up your buy buttons (whether you are using a DAP-generated buy button), and also dependent on what payment processor you are using (auto-login is not possible with some payment processors - like ejunkie or infusion).

    So as you can see, at each point, DAP is dependent on a number of other components working well and doing their job. And of course, also on how you have set it all up. Web hosting, payment processor notification, email delivery, third-party themes and plugins that may be conflicting, cache plugins that may be interfering (need to whitelist member pages if you are using caching) etc.

    We understand that DAP is usually the first to be suspected when something goes wrong, because DAP is usually the biggest plugin (in terms of functionality) anyone has installed. And there is no other more support-intensive business today than a self-hosted WordPress membership plugin which is the foundation of your payment processing and content delivery :-)

    But rest assured, the issues you are facing is more of an exception than the norm (not that you care, but still). Otherwise, out of the 24,000+ users we have, you would be seeing thousands flood this thread about DAP issues, instead of the few who have done so.

    Our support is one of the best in the industry, and we take great pride in our software and support, and we very much care about our customers. So we're not going anywhere. If you can PM me with a ticket number, or open a new ticket at http://DigitalAccessPass.com/support/ , we will work with you to make sure your issues are resolved.

    Cheers and look forward to converting you both into delighted DAP users :-)

    - Ravi Jayagopal

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