The Power of the WF -- Stompernet magazine launch debacle answered by Andy J.

115 replies
Hi, Warriors,

I just opened my email to this from Andy Jenkins and the Stomper team. It's an apology with an analysis and review of what went wrong on their recent print launch.

Make no mistake, this email would not exist without the WF and the many Warrior's thousands of posts in the 'debacle' threads.

Here it is in case you missed it:

Hi, Andy Jenkins here.

I've never had to write an email like this before - and it's
one of the hardest things I've ever had to do at StomperNet.

Back in September, we launched our print journal, The Net
Effect, and offered you a chance to receive our top-of-theline
SEO training program, Stomping the Search Engines 2.0, for no
more than the cost of shipping. Nearly 18,000 of you took us up
on that offer, and although the vast majority of our customers
received the products they ordered without incident, some of
you did not. For that, I apologize.

At this point, we have reshipped thousands of products and every
problem that we are aware of has been resolved.


We've heard some folks out there on the forums are saying that
our customer service team didn't respond to them. While it's
possible that a few emails slipped through the cracks, our team
has responded to X thousand cases since September.

If you are still experiencing any problems at all, you can
reach our support team by email (escalate@stompernet.com) or
call our new 24x7 telephone support line at 404-348-4401. All
issues will be handled promptly.

1. The Short Story

At the end of this email, you'll find a download link for a PDF
file that contains the full story, in agonizing detail, of
everything we did wrong, everything we did right, and what
we've learned from this experience.

My hope is that by sharing this information, we can help some
of you avoid the kind of problems we experienced. In the
meantime, here's the short story. In August, before we made
our offer public, I placed advance orders for 5000 copies of
the Stomping the Search Engines 1 & 2 DVDs, and 5000
copies of Issue 1 of The Net Effect.

We hired what we thought was the best fulfillment house
available, based on recommendations from a lot of other folks
in the online marketing space. We tested the shopping cart. We
had inventory on hand. When we opened our doors for business on
September 5th, we honestly, sincerely believed that we were
ready.

2. How It's Supposed to Work

The process was supposed to be super simple. Our customers
would place orders, the fulfillment house would ship their
orders, and we'd produce additional inventory as needed if we
had underestimated the demand.

Our worst-case scenario was that it might take a couple weeks
to ship orders out, even if we sold out our original inventory
on the first day.

After giving our customers 35-40 days to evaluate The Net
Effect and cancel if they chose to do so, we would begin
shipping issue #2 to our subscribers in mid-October. (* Note:
Although our sales copy described it as a 30-day trial, we
allowed an additional 5 days for domestic and 10 days for
international shipping.)

3. How It Went Wrong

As I said, for the vast majority of our customers (well over
90%), everything did go more or less as it was supposed to.

But when you're dealing with 18,000 people, that's not nearly
good enough.

We could blame it all on the fulfillment house letting us down,
but that doesn't do a darned thing for our customers, and
besides - I'm the genius who hired them. When you do hire the
wrong fulfillment house, that bad decision gets magnified big
time.

You see, when you're shipping physical products, it takes about
3 weeks to even have the slightest inkling of a problem,
because for the first 2-3 weeks, your products are supposed to
be on their way to the customer. By the time you find out that
a whole lot of products were *not* shipped on time, or not
shipped at all... well, the damage is done.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

4. I'm Sorry

I could go on all day explaining everything that went wrong,
but that wouldn't be fair to those readers who just wanted to
hear me say "I'm sorry." I am. Profoundly so. But I'd like to
tell you the rest of the story - and I think I can make it
worth your while to listen.

So, here's what I've got for you:
a 23-page report (PDF) with
the entire blow-by-blow story.
Everything that went wrong. How
our team responded. What we learned. The steps we've taken to
make sure that this *never* happens to our customers again.
I'll explain how *you* can avoid making the same mistakes,
and a few things that just might help you do truly amazing
things for your customers.

There are some real gems in this report for anyone who does
business online - including an amazing solution to speed up
international shipments.

You can download that report here - no opt-in, no nothing,
just download it and read.


Thanks for your interest in StomperNet and The Net Effect!

Andy Jenkins
CEO, StomperNet

P.S. For anyone who thought we were going to just disappear...
Not a chance. Issue #3 is shipping now, and we'll be ready to
take on new subscribers in a couple days.
#andy #answered #debacle #launch #magazine #power #stompernet
  • Profile picture of the author Tim Dixon
    Wow, thanks for posting that.

    I'm downloading that report and settling down for a good read right now!

    Tim
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    • Profile picture of the author IMChick
      You're welcome. That was a 'launch to learn by', for sure. Very interesting read. Even though it's 90 days after the fact, it's a good case study.
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  • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
    10% of 18,000 is 1,800.

    10% delivery problems is not nearly good enough when you are dealing with 100 people.

    When the vocal minority is that massive it definitely causes PR problems.

    Interesting read.
    Signature
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    • Profile picture of the author Andy Jenkins
      Wow, you guys are fast. I was going to post the link to the blog and the download of the case study later this afternoon, but ya beat me to it.

      For what it's worth, I hope folks get some good information about what TO and what NOT TO DO or take for granted during a launch.

      To the comment about this communication being 90 days after the fact, I'll quote directly from the document, because I think it's relevant:

      "Why are we releasing this NOW, 90 days after the launch? The answer there is
      tied to the previous one. We want you to LEARN from our mistakes and failures.
      But there's not much to be gained from knowing about a problem if you don't
      have a solution.

      In the past 90 days we've taken DRASTIC steps to solve the problems we
      experienced in our last launch. These are changes to the fundamental
      organization of our company, and I'm VERY excited about how in the coming
      months we will exponentially increase our ability to serve and satisfy our
      members and customers. "


      So, basically, I wanted to have the problems FIXED before I wrote a public document about it, so we could offer the steps that we took to correct the problem - and ultimately add some value and information - rather than just a blanket apology.

      Thanks for posting it here. BTW, if anyone STILL has any problems, there's a phone number in the document (to a live operator) that's 24/7. Just ring them up and they'll sort you out.

      AJ
      Signature
      www.AndyJenkinsBlog.com

      "Shakespeare didn't have a word-processor. When we got word-processors, we didn't get Shakespeare"
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      • Profile picture of the author Lance K
        I feel for those that had problems.

        But as one who didn't, let me take a moment to say this...

        Andy, your team has put together one hell of a print newsletter. I look forward to getting it. So far, more so than any other marketing publication to which I've subscribed. I recieved a shipping notice for issue #3 and am eagerly awaiting it's arrival.

        For those of you who bought and had problems or didn't buy because you heard of the problems...this information is 100% ROCK SOLID. Don't short change yourself because the SN folks made an honest mistake. Take them up on their trial if/when you can. YOU'LL BE GLAD YOU DID!

        So to Andy and his team, keep up the great work. And nice going on being genuinely remorseful and transparent. If more "gurus" (quotes are for them, not you) would follow your lead, the level of cycnicism in the market would drop dramatically.
        Signature
        "You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want."
        ~ Zig Ziglar
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        • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
          As a former Stompernet member let me say that its nice to see Andy make a post and apology, but the company problems go far beyond what has been mentioned - and they start right at the top. Andy's partner already posted in the WF some time ago with a lot of excuses.

          Personally -

          Promised bonuses were not provided.

          An intentionally fraudulent credit card charge was made by Stompernet. It had to be forcibly reversed.

          False claims by Andy's partner were posted in the WF about customer support. In fact, I had a web page listing various problems with Stompernet and my server log documented Andy's partner's visit where he read them. No response.

          Strong words to be sure, but continuing to blame a fulfillment house does not cut it.

          But I will say this, the promotional advertising and videos to get you into Stompernet are some of the best marketing I have ever seen. Too bad its just on the front end for prospects.

          Here's some ideas for how to better promote a product and service:

          - If you promise bonuses - deliver them.

          - If you promise customer support email - respond to it.

          - If you promise customer support by phone - at least have an answering machine if you decide not to answer any phone calls for weeks.

          - If you advertise that this is all encompassing and the only membership you'll ever need, don't try to sell your members a new membership on how to market videos shortly after they subscribe.

          - If you advertise that a zillion hours of videos are available for members to view, you may want to mention a "credit" system that prevents someone from viewing more than a few videos each month.

          - If you want to use names like Frank Kern to promote your membership, make sure they are actually members and have logged into your site sometime in the last year (especially if you allow members to view other members details - such as when they last logged in.)

          - When someone cancels their membership because they haven't received what was promised and no one at customer support can be reached, don't wait almost 2 weeks before responding, and then don't run a charge on their credit card shortly after you respond acknowledging the cancellation and promising that no more charges will be made.

          There is a "case study" to be made for sure.
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          • Profile picture of the author IMChick
            Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

            As a former Stompernet member let me say that its nice to see Andy make a post and apology, but the company problems go far beyond what has been mentioned - and they start right at the top. Andy's partner already posted in the WF some time ago with a lot of excuses.

            Personally -

            Promised bonuses were not provided.

            An intentionally fraudulent credit card charge was made by Stompernet. It had to be forcibly reversed.

            False claims by Andy's partner were posted in the WF about customer support. In fact, I had a web page listing various problems with Stompernet and my server log documented Andy's partner's visit where he read them. No response.

            Strong words to be sure, but continuing to blame a fulfillment house does not cut it.

            But I will say this, the promotional advertising and videos to get you into Stompernet are some of the best marketing I have ever seen. Too bad its just on the front end for prospects.

            Here's some ideas for how to better promote a product and service:

            - If you promise bonuses - deliver them.

            - If you promise customer support email - respond to it.

            - If you promise customer support by phone - at least have an answering machine if you decide not to answer any phone calls for weeks.

            - If you advertise that this is all encompassing and the only membership you'll ever need, don't try to sell your members a new membership on how to market videos shortly after they subscribe.

            - If you advertise that a zillion hours of videos are available for members to view, you may want to mention a "credit" system that prevents someone from viewing more than a few videos each month.

            - If you want to use names like Frank Kern to promote your membership, make sure they are actually members and have logged into your site sometime in the last year (especially if you allow members to view other members details - such as when they last logged in.)

            - When someone cancels their membership because they haven't received what was promised and no one at customer support can be reached, don't wait almost 2 weeks before responding, and then don't run a charge on their credit card shortly after you respond acknowledging the cancellation and promising that no more charges will be made.

            There is a "case study" to be made for sure.

            I agree with Brian.

            I originally posted this email for informational purposes. I thought I could be neutral on the company itself and it's underlying issues. But...I can't, I have some rough experience guiding me. I'm also a former stomper with many of the same issues and concerns that were outlined in this post. I don't see how they can be 'fixed' with a phone call.

            Knowing how to run a company is as much of a skill -- and requires its own kind of specialized expertise -- as knowing how to develop a product or a successful launch. In this, they have proven to be lacking on numerous occasions. But points go to the guy who gets right back up on the horse and tries again, or goes on the WF to explain a bit behind the scenes.

            "Case study" indeed. I could not run my businesses like this and get away with it.
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        • Profile picture of the author IMChick
          Originally Posted by Lance K View Post


          For those of you who bought and had problems or didn't buy because you heard of the problems...this information is 100% ROCK SOLID. Don't short change yourself because the SN folks made an honest mistake. Take them up on their trial if/when you can. YOU'LL BE GLAD YOU DID!
          So, IF they're seriously sorry, AND the product is as solid as it's mythos indicates, it would make sense to market to former botched-launch customers on this. Since a huge number of us are still smarting after that last launch, offer a great monetary incentive to try the magazine again. Not opt-in bonuses, no other junk, money off, and let the market decide. Just my idea.
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      • Thank you for taking time to post here yourself (or one of your reps )

        I've been on the WF a little over month now and read quite a few threads every day. One thing I've noticed is too many people create threads or post in threads with nothing but negative comments (I assume just to get their post numbers to look high) with NO CLUE about the real life situation behind the post.

        I would bet $10,000 that none of the folks who posted ever had to do a product launch the size of yours. 18,000 (with only projections of 5,000) ain't nothing to sneeze at. Did you do some things wrong? Maybe. Could some things have been avoided? Probably. I'm looking forward to reading the report. (See comment about that below...)

        Bottom line - "he/she without sin cast the first stone". I stopped throwing rocks a long time ago when I learned it's easy to criticize, but even easier to support.

        I hope that if some of those who post here ever launch their own product (which I highly doubt they ever will) that they hold themselves to the same standard they're holding you to.

        And, as a side note, you could have EASILY turned your free report into a paid product. I sure at least 1800 of your 18,000 customers would pay $37 for a live case study of a product launch, complete with success stories and "failures", and do's and don'ts. So the fact you're giving it away free says something. Thought you deserved credit for that.

        Hopefully the angry mob will put their stones down for a few minutes...

        The Crazy Internet Dude
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        Your cure for Newbie Frustration Syndrome

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        • Profile picture of the author drmani
          Where this Stomping the Search Engines 2 launch was concerned, I know
          that I've lost a ton of credibility in the market. I'm not going to simply
          leave it at that. I'm fixing it, improving it, and talking about it.

          The alternative is to do...nothing. Why do that? I LIKE what I do. I LOVE my
          customers and have more life-long friends who are that than I do other
          relationships.
          Andy, you personally? No, you haven't lost credibility.

          The company? Yes.

          I've still a lot of respect for you, as a person. It takes guts to come
          out and say this, accept responsibility and offer to fix anything that's
          still broken.

          And then, point to what you've done about it.

          One thing you could have done differently is responded this way EARLIER.
          Much earlier. THAT would have soothed MANY ruffled feathers, and kept
          many more people engaged and supportive of your company.

          But hey, water under the bridge. We live and learn. And you can still
          congratulate yourself on being at the head of a passionate tribe - which
          is the key to success in today's fragmented market situation.

          Just my 2 cents.

          @Dan.Thies:

          Stompernet has been entirely focused on resolving individual customers' issues, which has required "all hands on deck."
          Simple solution? Hire MORE hands.

          ...and you can't be present in all those conversations.
          Ah, but you must! It's hard, no doubt.

          No excuses for delayed communication in today's networked marketplace, I'm
          afraid. Shaun is SPOT ON with what went wrong in the BIGGEST way!

          All success
          Dr.Mani
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  • Profile picture of the author Andy Jenkins
    Lance, thanks a TON. Seriously. Issue 3 is shipping.
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    www.AndyJenkinsBlog.com

    "Shakespeare didn't have a word-processor. When we got word-processors, we didn't get Shakespeare"
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  • Profile picture of the author Black Hat Cat
    Banned
    18,000 orders. Not a bad problem to have.
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    • Profile picture of the author IMChick
      Originally Posted by Andy Jenkins View Post

      Wow, you guys are fast. I was going to post the link to the blog and the download of the case study later this afternoon, but ya beat me to it.

      AJ
      HA! You've got to get up pretty early in the morning to keep up with everything on the WF!
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  • Profile picture of the author Devan Koshal
    To be honest ive had no problems with stompernet...at all. sure the first package came late but it was free do i wasn't to bothered...i got everything i ordered and i continue too.

    they have switched to UPS for international orders ...if im correct... so my order came today and it was shipped on the 16th (i live in the UK so thats good turnaround lol)

    The only real issue i have is that the cd cases come cracked...disks are fine though.
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  • Profile picture of the author blase40
    Thanks for posting this, and thanks for dropping by Andy. I received volume 2 of the Net Effect a few days ago along with the second DVD of the month.

    I have to say these guys are going above and beyond with their DVDs of the month for all of you that dont get them. This month's has about 4 hours of excellent content. The Rich Schefren presentation alone is priceless.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andy Jenkins
    IMChick, more like "Don't go to bed or leave my desk" to keep up with WF.

    kindsvater, shoot me an email at andyjenkins@stompernet.com - we can get on the phone and see what is amiss - clearly, there's no reason you should have had those kinds of issues. I'll take care of what ever issues you had.

    And no, I'm not my partner. Brad has clearly moved himself along to other things, so I apologize if he miss-represented anything to you.
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    www.AndyJenkinsBlog.com

    "Shakespeare didn't have a word-processor. When we got word-processors, we didn't get Shakespeare"
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    • Profile picture of the author Rod Cortez
      I can't remember how many times I've had poor customer service before and after the sale. It's refreshing to see Andy come in here and not only explain what happened, apologize for it, not overly blame someone else, and turn it into a learning experience when he could have chosen the path that most people do - to ignore it. I've dealt with my share of fulfillment debacles so can understand a lot of what he was saying. Kudos.

      RoD
      Signature
      "Your personal philosophy is the greatest determining factor in how your life works out."
      - Jim Rohn
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  • Profile picture of the author Leanne King
    Thanks for posting this I didn't get the email even though I am a subscriber to the Net Effect. When I was reviewing my subscriptions the other day I was trying to decide if I should keep this newsletter or not. I really like it and enjoy reading it so will probably stay with it but Andy.... if you are still there can you make it come faster to Australia

    Leanne
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  • Profile picture of the author Andy Jenkins
    Leanne - all international orders are now going out via Omni-Ship (It's explained in the doc), so the MAX time for delivery (according to the company that does it) is 7 days to anywhere in the world. It's a bit more expensive, but for the saved headaches, we just ate the increase.

    The emails are still coming - just dripping them out over time - being a little cautious. Once bitten, twice freaked-out.
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    "Shakespeare didn't have a word-processor. When we got word-processors, we didn't get Shakespeare"
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  • Profile picture of the author Andy Jenkins
    We are, and we will do a "Rescue Pissed Customers" campaign. InfusionSoft is just about ready to go - there's some further testing that needs to be done (again, not taking any chances this time), and we'll notify customers who canceled how they can pick up where they left off.

    Apology First. Then we'll do some (cough) marketing.
    Signature
    www.AndyJenkinsBlog.com

    "Shakespeare didn't have a word-processor. When we got word-processors, we didn't get Shakespeare"
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    • Profile picture of the author IMChick
      Originally Posted by Andy Jenkins View Post

      We are, and we will do a "Rescue Pissed Customers" campaign. InfusionSoft is just about ready to go - there's some further testing that needs to be done (again, not taking any chances this time), and we'll notify customers who canceled how they can pick up where they left off.

      Apology First. Then we'll do some (cough) marketing.
      Great idea, glad I thought of it second. I'll look forward to it. Many of us didn't get past the ahem, 'other' issues to be able to fairly evaluate the content.
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    • Profile picture of the author JuliusMoltgen
      Originally Posted by Andy Jenkins View Post

      We are, and we will do a "Rescue Pissed Customers" campaign. InfusionSoft is just about ready to go - there's some further testing that needs to be done (again, not taking any chances this time), and we'll notify customers who canceled how they can pick up where they left off.
      Apology First. Then we'll do some (cough) marketing.
      Great Andy - here is another problem case
      Order Number: 92010580 : [ ref:00D57jve.50055Y2fw:ref ]

      Sept 5 - SEO Course + OTO1 + Neteffect + DVD ordered
      November 26 - received shipment notice that it was shipped that day !!!
      Ok that's more than 11 weeks between order and some activity to attempt to deliver
      December 26 - nothing arrived + 3 support emails unanswered

      My request - as in "what do I want"
      Rather than continuing a deal which is already bad - start again.
      Refund the money - in total since I received nothing
      I subscribe again with my Miami Address since I have tracking from there

      A friend who lives in the US and had received your material mailed me her DVDs since they were not of much use to her - now how pathetic is that - if she can mail it and your fulfillment company cant.
      It takes about 10 days and I live in a good part of town. A package will automatically get registered at the border here and then delivered.
      Uruguay, I live in Montevideo - the capital is opposite to Buenos Aires but your post office might know that. (I hate it when I hear "Oh Uruguay - now that explains it" - it doesn't - I received the DVDs my friend mailed to me without problems!)


      http://simurl.com/sat Well here is a link to Google Earth to help your people locate it.

      One rings the bell where it says office and there are people there during the times when a post office might deliver:



      This might be South America - but the mail arrives here nevertheless.

      Anyway - there is no arguing that this is all substandard - I assume you'll take care of it.
      My credit card was billed on several occasions for Neteffect that were announced via Email but that your fulfillment company never got out of the door - not to me anyway. You can probably see that that might lead to some frustrations. When I look at you guys it is because I want to get the edge - a manual what not to do is really cute .... but now I really want to see some action.

      Take Care and Happy New Year to everybody!
      Julius
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      [center]Julius L Moltgen

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      • Profile picture of the author joneq
        Banned
        Don't hold your breath for email support I waited 2 weeks for a reply to a simple question regarding shipping charges and when it finally came the next issue was already shipped...

        The question was "will it cost $12 to ship subsequent issues of net effect +dvd"--since the first issue was "free" and it cost $12 to ship I figure it was a legitimate question..

        Since shipping is not $12 I think the first issue was not free..
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        • Profile picture of the author JuliusMoltgen
          Well I appreciate Stompernet's offer and everything that I have seen "from the outside" has been - what we Germans call "erste Sahne" - Top Notch
          Now I simply wanted to receive what I paid for. I ordered on day one - and after reading the ebook I have to assume that the fact that I live outside the US and ordered the OTO contributed to the delay.

          It is just that in my mind I prefer to pretend that what happened never happened and I start now - order a new subscription and receive my product on time. I have given up on support but wrote to Andy's email directly as well as to escalate@ - It is Saturday so I'll wait.

          I started out in Hong Kong and maybe that's why I am a bit superstitious - I don't like to continue a deal which went wrong - it seems like bad karma. That's why I want to subscribe again and start a new deal and do something productive.

          In a way it is a sobering experience. After all the superbly produced videos I saw they have taken off their capes and ... they are human after all.

          I posted the pictures just because people in the US often think Uruguay is somewhere in Africa or even if they know it is in South America they believe it is a place where people steal or lose mail. No that's not the case - I live like you guys and if the mail is not there, its because it wasn't sent or it was sent with the wrong postage. There is no duty on dvds here and it isn't stuck in customs.

          I assume Andy will take care of it. They probably subscribe to this thread and - well the reference numbers are all there.
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          [center]Julius L Moltgen

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    • Profile picture of the author jrsencio
      Originally Posted by Andy Jenkins View Post

      We are, and we will do a "Rescue Pissed Customers" campaign. InfusionSoft is just about ready to go - there's some further testing that needs to be done (again, not taking any chances this time), and we'll notify customers who canceled how they can pick up where they left off.

      Apology First. Then we'll do some (cough) marketing.
      Hey Andy can I get on the "rescue pissed customers" list too.

      The net effect 2nd edition and net effect 3rd edition were supposed to have been sent november and december and I have spoken numerous times to people on your staff but well... still no Net Effect.
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  • Profile picture of the author Leanne King
    Thanks Andy I have the first two issues now (after they came by canoe ) I guess I'll just have to wait and see how long the shipping is for Issue No. 3. I really like the magazine btw, my only issue is the long delay in waiting for it to arrive.

    I enjoyed reading your pdf as well.

    I should also say that I was one of the Pissed Off Customers originally but when Brad posted his email address in this forum I used it. I've said it before in another thread he was absolutely fantastic in getting everthing sorted out, keeping me in the loop etc which is why I didn't hit the cancel button. I'm glad I didn't because, as I've said, I like the magazine. You know you could solve these problems just by doing a digital download ... hint, hint

    Leanne
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  • Profile picture of the author Andy Jenkins
    Gang, I know no one is going to be all that impressed with an email and a pdf. I have no illusions about mending what happened with just words.

    To the post from Kindsvater, I do NOT want to start an argument here, as customers are entitled to feel however they want to feel. With that said, there are some things in that post that are simply NOT StomperNet policy. Of course, a mistake could have been made, but it's not intentional. Pissing people off is not a sound strategy to grow anything, let alone a company like ours. So, yes - it's clear that you had issues. I'm not disputing that.

    What I'm disputing is how you present the product here. The "New Membership" on how to promote videos IS part of StomperNet, for example. The Credit System does not offer a FEW videos per month, it offers more than you could watch if you sat at your desk for 4 hours a day, for example. Frank Kern is not mentioned ANYWHERE in our sales copy, but when he promoted, he probably mentioned that he WAS a faculty member, for example. If you didn't get your bonuses, got charged in error, or had bad customer service, there's no excuse for that - and the buck stops with me. No buts, no extenuating circumstances - it simply happens once in a while and I don't like it anymore than you.

    All I wanted to do was offer an outlet for you to contact me to see if I could sort out YOUR issues. Overall, StomperNet self-corrects constantly, and once in a while, it corrects because of feedback.

    Where this Stomping the Search Engines 2 launch was concerned, I know that I've lost a ton of credibility in the market. I'm not going to simply leave it at that. I'm fixing it, improving it, and talking about it.

    The alternative is to do...nothing. Why do that? I LIKE what I do. I LOVE my customers and have more life-long friends who are that than I do other relationships.

    But, it's clear your upset, and were I in your shoes, I wouldn't blame you. Again, sorry for the issues. I can try to fix them if you're interested - and I'll make sure we do better in the future.

    Other than that, I'll continue to take my licks and offer the very best advice that I am capable of giving on this or any topic.

    If anyone has any suggestions...
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  • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
    Well done on producing a high-quality report and analysis
    of what happened, what went right, what went wrong and
    more importantly what was learned from the process.

    Looking at the problem and providing solutions is great.

    However, the time for making an apology is NOT 90-days
    after the event.

    The time to apologize for the unforseen challenges is as
    soon after they've happened as possible.

    Even if you don't have a solution to present at the time.

    I think that the biggest lesson from this is to use all
    channels to communicate with your customers and keep
    them informed of progress.

    Hey - you're in the arena. Mistakes are bound to happen.

    It's how you respond to them that counts.

    Dedicated to your success,

    Shaun
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  • Profile picture of the author IMChick
    Any prizes for posting you on the first page of the WF? Oh, the horror...

    Seriously, it looks like the reevaluation and regrouping has begun to push the team back on the right path from what I saw in the email and pdf (hence, the post), even thought it looks like a nightmare from your vantage point.

    And no matter which side of the issues you're on, it took guts to do it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andy Jenkins
    IMChick - Sorry, just finished a 90 minute webinar.

    You've got my email address. (Wink)
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan.Thies
    Shaun,

    Stompernet has been entirely focused on resolving individual customers' issues, which has required "all hands on deck."

    It's not as if this has been ignored for 90 days - but I agree... apologizing to people who have had a problem and trying to help them individually isn't the same thing as a public statement.

    While I tend to agree with you in the general sense that a public response earlier might have served the aims of the organization better, it would not have done anything to help customers who were affected by fulfillment or shipping problems.

    That required focused effort and management attention, which could only be diverted by some kind of PR effort.

    It's just not that simple in the age of Twitter. Saying something in public generates a response across hundreds of channels, and you can't be present in all those conversations.

    If Stompernet had been putting out weekly messages saying "we know some people have had problems, and we're working on it" - how would that play on Twitter, the Warrior Forum, etc?
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  • Profile picture of the author Andy Jenkins
    Dan kinda beat me to that response - we DID work with customers directly who had issues and worked specifically on their needs to solve them.

    I thought and still do think that "going public" AFTER concentrating our effort on the people that were having problems was the right thing to do.

    Time will tell, I suppose. But I do see Shaun's point.
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  • Profile picture of the author tomw
    Andy and Dan,

    Yeah, the fulfillment house f*cked up. Yeah, the server crashed. Yeah, it took about eight weeks for me to get my stuff here in the UK. Yeah, it rained on my birthday! Sh*t happens.

    But you know what?

    The information you guys gave away was just fantastic. What has been lost in all of this is the tremendous value you guys gave at a mind blowingly tiny price. You offer was amazing. Hence the volume of take up. Despite the CS issues, people need to realise that the Net Effect launch was an amazing exercise in giving tremendous value to customers. Some key components of an $800/month membership where basically given away at a no brainer price point in order to trial the best magazine in the industry.

    What else can you do to make people happy?

    OK more people answering the damn phones and emails. A little better contingency planning...maybe

    But all in all, I have never been happier with the content of a product in the internet marketing space before. I'm sure most of your customers feel the same.

    Coming out and apologising shows some real class as well as what must have been a massive effort to put things right when you could have taken a half-assed approach and made another movie with all the money

    Thanks for the report I read it and yes, learned something, which, after all, is what it's all about.

    Take it easy guys, and I look forward to the next big launch, which sounds like being not too far away

    Thomas
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  • Profile picture of the author Andy Jenkins
    Thanks for the support Tom. I'm sorry to say that once I saw your profile picture, I can't get "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" out of my head.

    You Ladykiller, you....

    There's also a little Freddie Mercury thing going on there. Damn, if I had those looks....

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    • Profile picture of the author tomw
      Originally Posted by Andy Jenkins View Post

      Thanks for the support Tom. I'm sorry to say that once I saw your profile picture, I can't get "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" out of my head.

      You Ladykiller, you....

      There's also a little Freddie Mercury thing going on there. Damn, if I had those looks....

      Thanks...erm I think!

      My girlfriends a photographer and pretty insistent on the photos she *makes* me use publicly

      I thought you guys looked pretty slick in the launch videos...I thought I was watching Jake and Elwood for a minute

      Guess you'll be in the movies as well as behind them soon

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  • Profile picture of the author Leanne King
    @Thomas I agree totally I love the magazine plus all the free going natural vids.

    I can manage to stuff up simple links on a WSO so I would hate to think what I could do if I was behind a launch this big!

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  • Profile picture of the author tomw
    Andy...

    P.S. Thanks for totally blowing my credibility...I don't think I'll ever live down those comments!
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan.Thies
    Dr. Mani,

    We could debate this for years and never agree, because the fundamental choice here wasn't whether to hire more people (did that), communicate with *customers* (did that), etc.

    The fundamental choice that Andy made was to focus first, second, and third on doing what was right for customers, and worry about the "public relations" and marketing later. You may not agree with that decision. I may not even agree with it, but it's a conscious decision based on principle.

    Look up "opportunity cost" because that's what this is about.

    It is not possible to be present in every conversation. You can spend a lot of time and be present in a lot of channels, but every hour spent on *that* is an hour that you do not spend on something else.

    This discussion alone, on this one forum, will cost hours.

    Some things can't be fixed by throwing more bodies at the problem. You have to recognize that the bandwidth of management and leadership assets is limited.

    Whether Andy made the right decision for the business, we will simply never know. You can't split test these things. But I know why he made the decision - his default position is to put customers first. I will not argue with that.

    Again - agree or disagree, it's up to you, but it's very easy to tell other people what they should have done. In real life, tradeoffs exist, and unlimited resources and time are not so easy to find.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan.Thies
    Mani, apologies if I seemed patronizing, but actually that was very much how I took your post.

    When you say things like "simple solution - hire more hands" as if we wouldn't know better... it's hard to take it any other way.
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    • Profile picture of the author Nathan Hangen
      In this day and age, people expect "perfect" customer service, and often that is impossible to give. In the absence of this, the "perception" that you are doing your best will go a long way to keep relationships alive. I don't know what happened here because I didn't buy the product, but sometimes shit happens and you have to move on.

      I didn't buy the course because I'm not the type to pay that much for internet marketing materials, but if you did then maybe you should evaluate if you got what you paid for once the product was actually delivered.

      From their responses, I am guessing that Stompernet learned a valuable customer service lesson that will only improve the experience from here on out.

      The IM crowd is a tough one to cater too, and this is an obvious example. Everyone is an expert on a forum.

      I guess the takeaway is that no matter what, customer service needs to be #1...I sell physical products online and will always go up to the point of losing money if necessary to keep a customer happy.

      #2...be a reasonable customer and know that people make mistakes. Things are never as easy as they seem. If you don't enjoy the experience, get a refund...if that doesn't work then you need to escalate the problem.
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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        I think one of the biggest problems in this industry is the belief on the part of too many people in it that communication can and must be constant, immediate and universal.

        When things break, it can take time to find the problem. It can take more time to address it with the people directly affected - the paying customers and the affiliates. And then there's more time coming up with appropriate fixes to the system, to prevent recurrence.

        Things will always break, no matter how carefully you prepare. The world is full of sharp corners and things to stumble over. Resenting that is just foolish. It's part of reality, and it's not going to go away, no matter how many unrealistic people demand that it does.

        The question that matters is how you deal with it when things break.

        I am one of the people who ordered and had no problems. (At least I don't think I did. I haven't watched the videos yet.) Had I encountered any, I'd have been more interested in seeing that they were addressing individual customer issues than in whether they were broadcasting serial mea culpas to World+Dog.

        There are choke points in every process. Places where the resources available limit the choices one can realistically make. Dan pointed out one that is rarely considered: management's bandwidth.

        That limit isn't one that's going to go away. Ever. It is the resource that was needed to provide the explanation some of you decided should have been given earlier.

        What I find interesting is that a few people here seem more interested in using that bandwidth for public apology, and explanations to every random stranger on the net, than in customer service.

        Consider: John Reese had problems with the TS2 launch. Apologizing publicly and explaining the situation just got people here griping louder and making accusations of fraud and incompetence. Anyone remember that?

        This place used to be so rife with this crap that very few serious businesspeople would have anything to do with it. It wasn't worth the hassle. That had started to change, but it's sliding back.

        We often hear people talking about the power of the Warrior Forum. I would hate to see that power be characterized as coming from a lynch mob. Again.

        Yes, it's only a small part of the group. The fact that so few people stand up and renounce them is the truly bothersome aspect of the thing.

        If you had a problem with them and they fixed it, what's the beef? If you had a problem and it wasn't properly addressed, what does that have to do with public apologies? Andy's said he'd address it personally.

        If you didn't have a problem with them, you aren't owed a damned thing. Including an explanation.

        We all just need to grow up and get over ourselves.


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        • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
          Pearson,
          Just when I was beginning to feel I'd been a bit unfair to Stompernet, Dan shows up with his arrogance and his patronising attitude to Dr Mani and persuades me I was right to be angry with them.
          Normally, I tend to find myself agreeing with you. On this one, not so much.

          Read Mani's comments to Dan again.

          My first thought on reading them was, "Does he think he's talking to a child?"


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    • Profile picture of the author drmani
      Originally Posted by Dan.Thies View Post

      Mani, apologies if I seemed patronizing, but actually that was very much how I took your post.

      When you say things like "simple solution - hire more hands" as if we wouldn't know better... it's hard to take it any other way.
      Y'know what, Dan?

      After posting my reply to you, I was thinking about it - and realized I wrote
      something that just as easily as may apply to what I posted about you earlier!

      So, sorry for the tone I took - it was unjustified, and not the right one to take.

      My apologies to you, Dan.

      All success
      Dr.Mani
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  • Profile picture of the author pearsonbrown
    Just when I was beginning to feel I'd been a bit unfair to Stompernet, Dan shows up with his arrogance and his patronising attitude to Dr Mani and persuades me I was right to be angry with them.

    The fact is that they are charging a premium price for a magazine. That means that they should be expected to get both the content and the delivery right. The content has been fine but the delivery was poor for me. Charging my credit card the best part of 4 weeks before I get the magazine is not acceptable.

    Pearson
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  • Profile picture of the author IMChick
    Paul, There is no argument that this launch failed miserably and left many angry IM-ers typing furiously on the WF. It was 'instructive' to read the Failure to Launch pdf analysis put out by the team.

    However, the greater problem is not us 'getting over ourselves', rather, it is the snotty arrogance and patronizing attitude of Dan Theis to Dr. Mani. That about sums it up, in my view.
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      There is no argument that this launch failed miserably
      By what standard? Seems to have been a wild success, with some significant challenges that affected a noticeable fraction of the customers. The problem isn't that there were mistakes, it's that the Stomper folks worked on fixing things with their customers, rather than the general public.
      and left many angry IM-ers typing furiously on the WF.
      Yeah. I know. I read them. It doesn't take much to get people typing furiously here.
      However, the greater problem is not us 'getting over ourselves'
      No? Read the title of this thread. That is hubris of a particularly serious brand.
      rather, it is the snotty arrogance and patronizing attitude of Dan Theis to Dr. Mani. That about sums it up, in my view.
      You want to talk about arrogance? Here's a quote from the post that Mani suggested Dan read:

      "Frankly, my dear, no one gives a damn! We want to know we matter. We want to know you care. We want to feel cherished, respected, acknowledged.

      And to the extent you can do it, you win (and so do I).

      When you fail, we'll condemn and criticize you, we'll gleefully tear you down - because we don't like you rubbing it in our faces that you're oh-so-greater than us!"


      Sure. It's supposed to be about the customer. But customers are supposed to be adults, at least the ones in this industry. Patience and sanity are generally good things in which to indulge. But that last line...

      If we don't get what we want, the way we want it, we'll "gleefully tear you down."

      Those are not the words of a responsible, civilized adult. Those are the words of a child in the supermarket, who wants the candy, dammit, and wants it NOW!

      I don't even want to imagine the mind of someone who could take pleasure in tearing someone or something down just because they felt neglected. That's just... obscene.

      Nobody at Stomper rubbed anything in anyone's faces that I've ever seen. And using the fact that Dan responded to Mani in the same tone that Mani initiated is hardly an explanation for anything that happened prior to that post.

      I have enormous respect for a lot of the things that Mani does. He makes the kind of difference for many people that very few of us ever will. That doesn't mean he gets a free pass when he talks down to people who are trying to do the right thing.


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  • Profile picture of the author tomw
    Paul,

    for some reason the thanks button has disappeared for me and so I write rather than click.

    I have to agree with every point you have made in all three of your posts. None more so than the "hubris" observation and the fact that, for many, their judgment is a little clouded when it comes to regarding and analysing some of the things that Dr. Mani wrote here, by being aware of many of the wonderful things that he does elsewhere. The two things can indeed be considered independently. I thought he was pretty fair to Andy, but you're right, it was understandable for Dan to feel patronised.

    Thanks for the perspective.

    Thomas
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Thomas,
      The two things can indeed be considered independently.
      I would go so far as to say they have to be.

      We all make mistakes. I've probably made a lifetime's worth myself in just the past two years. Anything I've done which might be useful to others doesn't make those mistakes any less significant. Likewise, the mistakes don't make the contributions less useful.

      If we don't keep those things separate, it's just as easy for someone to say, "I don't like what Mani said, so I'm going to discount his good work" as it is to say, "He does great things, so I'm going to ignore his mistakes." And that would be both unfortunate and unjust.

      This is true of all of us. We are not defined by one or another part of our characters or sets of actions, but rather by the sum of those things.

      Which is, not coincidentally, the point.


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      • Profile picture of the author tomw
        Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

        Thomas,I would go so far as to say they have to be.

        We all make mistakes. I've probably made a lifetime's worth myself in just the past two years. Anything I've done which might be useful to others doesn't make those mistakes any less significant. Likewise, the mistakes don't make the contributions less useful.

        If we don't keep those things separate, it's just as easy for someone to say, "I don't like what Mani said, so I'm going to discount his good work" as it is to say, "He does great things, so I'm going to ignore his mistakes." And that would be both unfortunate and unjust.

        This is true of all of us. We are not defined by one or another part of our characters or sets of actions, but rather by the sum of those things.

        Which is, not coincidentally, the point.


        Paul
        Once again you more eloquently articulate and enunciate the point I was trying to make.

        Even though you've got quite a head start on me, I will catch you one day...and I will be carrying something very special from the Isle of Islay in my hand.



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        • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
          Thomas,
          the Isle of Islay
          Isn't that, like, a beauty cream?

          Sorry. Redneck. Never touch the stuff.


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          • Profile picture of the author tomw
            Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

            Thomas,Isn't that, like, a beauty cream?

            Sorry. Redneck. Never touch the stuff.


            Paul
            LOL! Possibly the finest single malts in the world are created there! Although they are so smooth they'd probably help out a neglected complexion.

            Thomas
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            • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
              Thomas,
              LOL! Possibly the finest single malts in the world are created there! Although they are so smooth they'd probably help out a neglected complexion.
              Oh! You mean like... Laphroaig? The stuff you can't even get here, without breaking import laws?

              Ummm... Okay. But don't tell JT.


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              • Profile picture of the author tomw
                Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                Thomas,Oh! You mean like... Laphroaig? The stuff you can't even get here, without breaking import laws?
                I wow I never knew that!

                But you guys don't do so bad with your Stagg, Evan Williams and Rittenhouse.



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  • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
    At this time I have not yet received everything they offered me. This after unanswered customer service requests forced a personal email to Brad from me that did get results but unfortunately never ended up in me receiving all that I was offered.

    I harbor no hard feelings toward Any or Brad or even their company.

    While I can respect them... I am not a satisfied customer.

    Pursuing it is not worth any more of my time and I understand %$&* happens. That's what the report is about.

    I cannot say that I have never had delivery problems in my own operations and so I can relate to both sides of the issue ;-)

    But if anyone is inclined to try to ridicule, discredit, or berate the "whiners" and "complainers" who were paying customers and did not get all they were promised...

    Just realize you do not have the full picture and I can honestly say that I am sure Andy does not have the full picture either after reading his report because there is some stuff that just doesn't jell with my own experience.
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Josh,
      But if anyone is inclined to try to ridicule, discredit, or berate the "whiners" and "complainers" who were paying customers and did not get all they were promised...
      I don't see anyone doing that. Do you? If so, where?

      I certainly didn't. I suggested that there's a remedy available in this very thread, and that the tone of the thread isn't, in my opinion, appropriate to the problem.

      If you haven't gotten what you were promised, I would ask... Did you contact Andy directly when he offered his personal attention and efforts to correct such previously? If so, and it wasn't addressed, then yes, you have an issue. If not, who is responsible for that?

      I don't begin to think I have the full picture. I don't claim to. I do think my comments are entirely appropriate within the bounds of what's been said in this thread. And they really don't have a lot to do with individual issues as much as with the way things are handled in this forum.


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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        Thomas,

        It's not so much the country as getting it in PA, which is where I live. Ordering from out of state here is a major hassle.

        Impact,

        In as much as you're effectively anonymous, it's hard to take your comments with the same degree of seriousness one might attribute to Josh's. That's not to say that you're not being 100% accurate. Merely that we have no reason to assume that to be the case.

        You could just be making it up. Or not. We have nothing on which to base that kind of judgment.


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        • Profile picture of the author LegitIncomes
          Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

          Thomas,

          It's not so much the country as getting it in PA, which is where I live. Ordering from out of state here is a major hassle.

          Paul
          Why is ordering outside the state of PA a hassle?
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        • Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

          ]

          Impact,

          In as much as you're effectively anonymous, it's hard to take your comments with the same degree of seriousness one might attribute to Josh's. That's not to say that you're not being 100% accurate. Merely that we have no reason to assume that to be the case.

          You could just be making it up. Or not. We have nothing on which to base that kind of judgment.
          Sure, here's what I personally spent, I've even left the order numbers in for you:
          1982776287 - STSE + DVD (cost $30.14)
          1982778842 - OTDMP640 (cost $103.51)

          Not as much as some who brought the top price product I'll grant you, and obviously those prices include the UK shipping.

          Yes, I could make those numbers up, but I certainly go to the trouble of doing so.

          Yes, I could have received the products and be pretending not to to get a refund, but I haven't, in fact I'd still rather receive the products paid for than a refund. If I didn't want them I wouldn't have paid for them in the first place. The sheer difficulty I've had in trying to get any kind of tracking details for them suggests to me that they might not have even been posted in the first place.

          Sure, my user name is relatively anonymous. The reasons for that will be obvious to most marketers, that in many employments you are responsible for what you do, and what your name is associated with, both during and after work hours. As I'm not in a position to leave my job that would hardly be a sensible course of action. But if anyone's that interested in who I am they only have to PM me, not that a name would mean anything. I could equally well have called myself 'John Smith' or any other common name, as many on the forum do, and that would be no more an indication of legitimacy than using a completely and obvious pseudonym.
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          • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
            Josh (Kulp, not Anderson),

            PA has laws about shipping wine and spirits into the state. You can do it, but you have to have it sent to the Liquor Authority, who sends it to a designated store, where you have to pay the state taxes when you pick it up. Assuming it makes its way to you after paying for it in the first place.

            I've had a number of liquor stores around here tell me they simply couldn't get it, even after I offered to pre-pay.

            Impact,

            Not likely you'd make up numbers that could easily be checked and discredited. And that's an interesting reason for not using a real name. That one actually makes sense, which is unusual.

            As far as fraud... I rather doubt that such a claim would be merited, as long as the company is making good faith efforts to address the problems.


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  • I think the simple fact of the matter is that I'm still waiting for $133.65 worth of merchandise that I've ordered from the offer, plus have wasted a substantial amount of time chasing up this issue with people who don't respond - the latest being the lack of any progress with the e-mail address provided with the 'make good' e-mail the other day (I've no intention of phoning an international number at my expense in these circumstances).

    Now, even being generous, and not charging for my time or frustration, and underestimating the number of people with major fulfilment issues, say 1000, assuming most people purchased one of the upsells, as that's where most of the problems appear to have lied, that's $100,000 of unfulfilled orders and missing money.

    In some countries that could be looked on as widescale fraud, not just mismanagement.
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  • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
    Paul,

    My post was not to debate anyone... just to offer another perspective. Not really in response to anyone in general.

    I jumped through the initial hoops several times including "personal contact" which I mentioned in my post. I moved on. Not really interested any more. I did eventually get physical part of the offer... late like many. The bonus stuff... I just figured I'd move on since 90 days is a bit late to collect those and I figured most companies expected them to be collected sooner than later.

    Frankly I find Andy's report, though I know he did not mean it this way, to be a bit condescending as in my ears some of his perceptions just don't ring true.

    The hard part is Andy did not intend to come off that way, which I know, but I just can't give a high five and accept the explanation because like Brian it just does not ring true from my experience.

    I wonder why I feel so bad about the entire experience as a customer?

    I don't think anyone meant to treat their customers badly. I don't think Andy or Brad worked so hard to design a marketing and delivery machine for their promotion just to leave hundreds and according to Andy's 90% stat as many as 1800 of his customers feeling ignored and 2nd rate.

    But when reading the report all it did for me was dig up those feelings. I'd almost rather have not had an explanation and never revisited the experience again.
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  • Profile picture of the author pearsonbrown
    Sorry I'm late getting back to you, Paul.

    I acknowledge that I am a friend of the good doctor. I will even acknowledge that he can sometimes adopt a Delphic tone which some may consider as patronising. But nothing he wrote there justifies the patronising nature of the reply he got.

    I have been through my fair share of cock ups in my business career. The secret to dealing with them is to convince your customer that you are hurting more than they are. You put in the time and money to fix it. You apologise over and over again.

    And when your customer makes what you consider rude remarks about you, you don't bite back.

    Pearson
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Pearson,
      But nothing he wrote there justifies the patronising nature of the reply he got.
      Other than " Look up 'opportunity cost' because that's what this is about.", what did Dan say that was patronizing?

      I mean that question seriously. I'm not seeing it. Take that sentence out, and it seems to me that you'd really have to stretch to find the post at all objectionable.

      Mani got righteously indignant. That's fine, and not unusual. It does not mean that Dan's intentions matched Mani's interpretation.

      I've known Mani for quite a while. I not only respect him, I like him. But lots of experience with him tells me that he practically looks for reasons to feel that his dignity has been offended. This is not a surprising trait in a surgeon, mind you, nor is it one of the worst things a person could do. It's just something to be aware of.

      It is not, however, something to be led by.


      Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan.Thies
    I like Mani too, and I appreciate what he does.

    I'm sorry. No excuse, I was tired, and wasn't in the mood for flip advice like "hire more people."

    Why do I call it that? Because that advice, and the admonition that you "must" be in every conversation on the entire Internet, is simply not helpful.

    Quite honestly, with all due respect to Dr. Mani's contributions to the world, I doubt that it was intended to be helpful.

    That doesn't make it right to respond in kind. The tone of this forum is negative enough without me adding to it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan.Thies
    PMs @ Josh & Impact - let me know. Anyone else, I am reading PMs here.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
    Andy...

    Write me down as being in complete agreement with Paul.

    The way I see it some mistakes were made in the act of
    doing something that very few of those who criticize you would
    have the balls to attempt.

    I kinda recall a famous quote about failing while daring greatly
    but I can't seem to get the precise wording to gel in my mind at
    this moment... lol

    In any case, you've lost no credibility with me. You guys give away
    more useful content than anyone I've seen and I, for one, appreciate
    it.

    I ordered and received my CD's and magazine in a timely manner... good job!

    Tsnyder
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    If you knew what I know you'd be doing what I do...
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  • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
    Andy...

    With regard to the "mistakes were made" comment I forgot to
    add that I learned a long time ago that you build your reputation
    by how you respond when things go badly. People rarely comment
    when things go smoothly.

    I think you've done a stellar job of addressing the problems and
    correcting the errors.

    "Good on ya'"

    Tsnyder
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    If you knew what I know you'd be doing what I do...
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Dan,
      The tone of this forum is negative enough without me adding to it.
      This is what I call a 'radar problem.'

      Overall, the tone of the forum is very positive. Look at the majority of the threads, and you'll see people asking and answering questions and sharing ideas in a helpful way.

      The challenge is that, for folks who come here in response to negative threads, those are the only ones that make it onto your radar. So, they seem to represent the entire forum and its activities.

      It's like police officers, spam fighters, and school counsellors. They deal with so many people who are involved in making some sort of trouble or another that they start to look at the whole world in cynical ways. It's a professional survival system.

      The majority of your experience with the place is probably limited to the stuff relating to people complaining. It's natural that those threads would form the basis of your opinion, if that's the case. It's an understandable picture, but an incomplete one.

      Just like it would be understandable for people to form a negative opinion of Stomper based on the complaint threads. Understandable and just as wrong.

      Terry,

      That was Franklin Roosevelt. A particularly apt quote, and one of my favorites. Here's the whole thing:

      "It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

      Apt indeed.


      Paul
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    • Profile picture of the author Martin Avis
      Like many people I had a long and frustrating wait for issue #1 of the Net Effect and the SSE2 DVD. Even though I don't really know anything about the Stompernet people and haven't bought from them before, I never really had any doubt that things would get sorted out. They didn't strike me as fly-by-night outfit and as a long-time business person I know only too well that sometimes the best-laid plans go wrong.

      I didn't buy any of the upsells as the magazine was what attracted me.

      Eventually issue#1 arrived and I really enjoyed reading it. As a 'reading' kind of person it suited me well. Like Paul, I still haven't watched the SSE2 videos (planning to get to them over Christmas) and so have no idea if they work.

      Issues #2 and #3 of The Net Effect have arrived very promptly and few days after the email telling me that they'd been shipped. And as a UK customer, I find that pretty impressive.

      So while Andy's report was of interest to me, I don't feel that it particularly applied to my case as I've clearly been one of the lucky ones.

      Should apologies have been made earlier? Perhaps, but correct me if I'm wrong here, but I seem to remember that Andy did post in the WF about the problems (and offered an apology) a long time ago. In any case, I don't think anyone watching this thing unfold can have failed to get the message that the guys at Stompernet were really sorry for what was happening. That's been crystal clear from the start to me.

      As to the product, The Net Effect is undoubtedly an expensive magazine if you make a straight comparison with something you'd buy from the bookstore. But consider this: for the price of one Net Effect you could buy about 4 regular monthly magazines. How many of those four would you want to keep (even how many individual articles) to refer back to time and again? My experience is very few. And yet, all three copies of the Net Effect that I currently have are well-thumbed, and have been read and re-read several times. The information in each of them has made me money - how many of the 'regular' magazines I buy each month make me money?

      As an aside, perhaps another lesson can be added to the report: while both Andy and Dan have come to this thread with good intentions, the end result seems to show that if a company has difficulties and is trying to manage public opinion, it is far better to appoint one person to be the spokesman and not to have several people chipping in. I'm not sure that Dan has helped by chiming in.

      Anyway, there are a lot of people posting grievances (and with good reason) but very few happy customers putting their hands up, so I wanted to redress the balance a little.

      Martin
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  • Profile picture of the author Wilson Mattos
    Andy,

    You still have many upset customers, so I am glad you will be reaching out again to those that canceled, because one thing is for sure: I have not heard even one complaint about the content you guys provided! Those that got their stuff were very happy with it. Those that did not get it should go get it!

    Thanks for the awesome content.

    StomperNet Rocks!

    Wil
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan.Thies
    @ Mani, thank you - me too - should we hug now?

    @ Paul, most of the time, I come in here to see what folks are saying about new products, so yeah - I do land in a lot of threads where words like "scam" are almost as popular as pronouns. This tends to be self-correcting because there are a lot of amazing contributors here, but it does leave an impression. Point taken though - and much appreciated.

    @ Martin, You may be right about that... I might have helped more by chiming in if I'd gone to bed after the first post and not gotten snippy with a guy who saves lives full time and helps people make money in his spare time.

    But I'm here because I care. I care about the customers who are happy. I care about the customers who have had problems, and I care about the people who are working their butts off to deliver for customers.

    This is personal, too - the lead offer on this promotion, Stomping the Search Engines 2, was *my* course. I spent 9 months putting it together, doing arcane testing, herding cats, and questioning everything so we could get it right.

    After what happened with the launch & fulfillment, I got a lot more involved with Stompernet's operations because my name was on the line too. Before this, all I had to do was work with the SN faculty, create great courses, and let Andy do that "marketing stuff" that he does better than anyone I know. Oh, for the good old days.

    After this launch, as of a few weeks ago, I have a new mission to add to that. Now I own the whole experience.

    I don't want to give short shrift to the reputation-management topic, I think it's a fascinating discussion about something that isn't nearly as simple as it used to be, but my #1 concern is the customer experience and how to make it better.

    Nothing will ever be perfect, but we can design a better experience, and we can do a heck of a lot better in execution, to make that design a reality.

    I'm going to be in the WF because this is one of the best places for me to find out what people want their experience to be like, from how we're marketed to, to the buying experience, guarantees, post-sale communication & support, etc.

    There's a lot of work to do. "Phase 1" was just to get the company's systems to the point where (as many will gleefully point out) they should have been on September 3 of this year. Beyond that is a vast space where we can make the experience of doing business with StomperNet live up to the quality of the content.

    I've done this before. I'm up to the job. I'm working with a guy in Andy Jenkins who believes in higher principles and who won't accept what's unacceptable any more than I will.

    I will be here for a long time, because I can't think of a better place to ask for feedback on best practices, and all the fun little dilemmas that you have to deal with.

    I'd love to say that "next time" we'll try something different, make a public response sooner, but I'm sort of supposed to make sure that there is no next time. We'll never be able to make everyone completely happy but we sure as heck don't want to see the word "debacle" next to the name again.
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    • Profile picture of the author drmani
      Originally Posted by Dan.Thies View Post

      @ Mani, thank you - me too - should we hug now?
      Definitely yes!

      I see what you mean, thanks for your detailed PM too, Dan.

      All success
      Dr.Mani
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      • Profile picture of the author joneq
        Banned
        Hello to everyone--I would like to share my experience so far, and it is [mostly] not good. Unlike some I received the first "free" for $12 [dvd and net affect] shipment pretty quick [once it was shipped that is]. I also got the freebies no prob [end of the not so bad part].

        The second shipment arrived very late because it was shipped very late. The video did not play past 1 min 20 secs [on 3 different computers] so that was useless... The last shipment;Nov] was shipped on Dec 11 and was supposed to be here NY on 12/18--as far as I can tell it is on its way bak to Georgia[the long way--just like it was supposed to come]

        Est. in Home 12/18/2008 [Estimated delivery]

        Manifest ID: 3006---
        Status: Enroute
        Est. in Home 12/18/2008
        Date Time Description Location
        December 23, 2008 2:57 PM Enroute KANSAS CITY,KS
        December 23, 2008 12:00 AM USPS Electronically Notified My post office,NY
        December 17, 2008 6:51 PM Enroute WICHITA,KS
        December 16, 2008 10:34 AM Sortation Center Departure EARTH CITY, MO
        December 13, 2008 8:15 PM Sortation Center Arrival EDISON, NJ
        December 13, 2008 6:18 AM Sortation Center Departure GROVE CITY, OH
        December 12, 2008 2:13 PM Sortation Center Arrival GROVE CITY, OH
        December 12, 2008 3:19 AM Sortation Center Departure ATLANTA, GA
        December 11, 2008 6:25 PM Sortation Center Arrival ATLANTA, GA
        December 11, 2008 6:25 PM Pickup ALPHARETTA, GA

        The DVD just got shipped today 12/26

        I guses I will be getting billed for the Jan--I mean Dec issue [I think] before I get the Nov issue[right?]---hopefully I will get it this year--The Nov isuue I mean



        I called the new 24/7 number [on Friday night} and there was indeed someone on the other end. after jumping through the hoops I was informed someone will get back to me in 24 business hrs meaning by Monday or Tuesday [29th or 30th of Dec] and to what end,my delivery will be back in Georgia by then

        Why do I feel 24/7 is a little misleading.Yea-- there is someone there, but so what--Even if you call them on a Monday you will still have to wait 24 hrs---

        I am a real SEO rookie and hoped to learn a lot--I still do, but while Stompernets info is very good--if not just in one place--the company has some management issues imo.. I would never survive running my real business that way--There are only so many excuses you can use. At least the stompernet crew does not have to do it face to face--How sweet is that...

        I need to put that aside and accept them for their expertise in SEO and not how to run a business...That is to say, getting a product out and delivered on time and no excuses.

        Maybe they could offer a money back guarantee if not deliverd ontme--something with meat...

        This is actually the worst I have ever come across and I order a lot of stuff from a lot of peopele--It is only a GD magazine/video for C sake...None even approach Stompernet...I never Know when I should expct something or when I might be billed--terrible...

        I guess I should be happy they don't bill me more than once a month

        On a side note: I get a little pissed off when I hear people congratulating the andy and co for owning up to their mistakes and posting here --what else can they do--they are in it #1 for the money and in the process the do offer good info,but to offer props to them for not hiding out is ludicrous....

        Kind of reminds me of a politician confessing/apologizing on his way to jain for taking a bribe or something---ridiculous...

        It can't always be someone elses fault.
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        • Profile picture of the author Dan.Thies
          Originally Posted by joneq View Post

          I called the new 24/7 number [on Friday night} and there was indeed someone on the other end. after jumping through the hoops I was informed someone will get back to me in 24 business hrs meaning by Monday or Tuesday [29th or 30th of Dec] and to what end,my delivery will be back in Georgia by then

          Why do I feel 24/7 is a little misleading.Yea-- there is someone there, but so what--Even if you call them on a Monday you will still have to wait 24 hrs---
          There will always be some cases that need to be escalated to a higher level of support. Clearly this is such a case. You've got a shipment that the carrier is sending on a round trip to nowhere, and that's going to require some investigation. If this wasn't communicated to you effectively, then we have some work to do to improve that.

          What kind of hoops did you have to jump through? The first step the reps need to take in handling these calls is to identify the customer, but other than providing enough information to make that possible, there shouldn't be any hoops. It shouldn't be a hassle to get support, so I would like to hear more about this. You can PM me if you like.

          You are understandably not happy because your stuff hasn't arrived. You are understandably unhappy because StomperNet hasn't communicated adequately about how the billing & shipping works. Because of the delays caused by switching to the fulfillment center, the product you were shipped is issue #3. Issue #4 is at the printers, and will begin shipping in early January.

          Yes, we have more work to do.

          With this many subscribers, there will always be some shipping problems. If we can handle these cases better, of course we want to do better. But there's probably no way to reach out and stop the carrier from doing whatever the heck it is that they are doing with your package, especially on a weekend. We will very likely need to reship it.
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          • Profile picture of the author joneq
            Banned
            Originally Posted by Dan.Thies View Post

            There will always be some cases that need to be escalated to a higher level of support. Clearly this is such a case. You've got a shipment that the carrier is sending on a round trip to nowhere, and that's going to require some investigation. If this wasn't communicated to you effectively, then we have some work to do to improve that.

            What kind of hoops did you have to jump through? The first step the reps need to take in handling these calls is to identify the customer, but other than providing enough information to make that possible, there shouldn't be any hoops. It shouldn't be a hassle to get support, so I would like to hear more about this. You can PM me if you like.

            You are understandably not happy because your stuff hasn't arrived. You are understandably unhappy because StomperNet hasn't communicated adequately about how the billing & shipping works. Because of the delays caused by switching to the fulfillment center, the product you were shipped is issue #3. Issue #4 is at the printers, and will begin shipping in early January.

            Yes, we have more work to do.

            With this many subscribers, there will always be some shipping problems. If we can handle these cases better, of course we want to do better. But there's probably no way to reach out and stop the carrier from doing whatever the heck it is that they are doing with your package, especially on a weekend. We will very likely need to reship it.
            Thanks for the PM Dan. I am sorry I said that never called SN in my reply. I did and completely forgot. I did however tell the grl to forget it. I was not waiting till Monday night.

            One of the many emails I received from SN support stated they tried to call me and could not get through--Maybe they were trying the wrong number--one of the hoops i had to jump through was giving my number a few times-There also was some difficulty with my email address being understood---after all was said and done she them informed me of the 24 business hr policy which meant Monday at the earliest---I told her to forget it.

            The girl was very friendly and courteous and none of it was her fault--she put up with considerable abuse[not really]and never lost her cool--keep her--she is good --keep her...I think she may be working out of her home though..I made 3 consecutive call to her via magic jack [with mic accidently off so she could not hear me ] When she could finally hear me it was like I never called before=pleasant

            I do not want to get into the rest of the story other than to say I cancelled my subscription on Monday an 1 hour later I got the net effect in the mail and tried to reinstate my subscription--It was not going to happen--SN is closed to new business. WTF!!!I cancelled my subscripon for a number of reason--none my fault--one certainly being that I might be charged for the next issue before I got the current issue..

            Very quickly I got an email saying I was refunded for botht the NE and the DVD---my account is still not showing and credit though [Tuesday night] I have received immediate refunds form others so while it is not particular to SN it is not always the norm to have to wait...


            I received multiple emails from multiple people at SN customer service all seemingly very concerned about my problem.. I would have preferred to deal with on rep, but that did not happen--I suggested to Dan they initiate a 1 rep per case if possible and or practical.

            Bottom line is I had my subscription cancelled by my request because I got tired of waiting and I cannot reinstate it. I have not yey been refunded the money.The phone call on Friday was handled professionally and the CS team was on top of everything--There were just too many of them and there was a little confusion---Nothing serious

            How would I have handled it???--Well--since the package was traceable and SN could easily see it had not been delivered/or it was about to be in a short while. I would have offered the customer the month free of charge [refund] for the inconvenience and tried to get Fex Ex to foot the bill or just eat it--It would not break the SN bank believe me...

            I would have suggested to wait till next month and see how it was handled and if it met expectations I would be charged as usual and continue to enjoy SN product. If I still wanted to cancel after the next month [with an appropriately good reason like late delivery] I would not be charged for that month either and my subscription would be cancelled with SN/FedEx apologies..

            All in all SN did a decent if not good job in responding to my problem. I wish it turned out differently, but that is life.. SN customer service gets 4 out of 5 stars.

            I am also on the list to receive a fresh copy of Nov video of the month because mine did not play

            Sorry if this post is a little discombobulated-and many thanks to Dan
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            • Profile picture of the author joneq
              Banned
              PM to me from Dan Thies..

              This is the message that was sent:
              ***************
              I've got my work cut out for me, don't I? It's a little bit tricky to keep one rep per case with 24x7 staffing, but with any issues that are escalated to the second level support team, that is definitely the only way to handle it. Thanks for pointing that out.
              We will be reopening our shopping cart with the full offer next week, but if you already received the SEO course you wouldn't want that. We will be able to enter orders for returning subscribers manually and we'll have a self-management system online.
              The next issue of TNE is scheduled to begin shipping on January 9th, and the DVD a few days later, so if you do want to restart your subscription, you should be able to do that without missing anything. I'll let you know when we're ready.
              Thanks Dan--If they told me that they were opening up the shopping cart so soon I would have given 5 stars... I had visions of months at least--

              I think 24/7 support is great,but a little disappointing when you cannot get anything reconciled with the first call--it is just to gather information--It would be better if something more than name and phone number was accomplished on the first call--You know something with some meat. That was pretty much why I told the girl to forget it--after I gave all the info I was expecting her to pull up my file or something and get to work on my prob --

              Stompernet !!!! You have a good man in Dan Thies------I hope he sticks around...

              Thanks Dan....
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan.Thies
    Julius,

    I've escalated this issue (although it appears you have already done so), and will respond to you by PM when I have more to tell you.

    The original shipments in September went out without email notifications - one of the many issues with the original fulfillment house. The November shipment would have been a reshipment. This would almost certainly have happened because you contacted support, but I will work to verify this.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan.Thies
    Julius:

    Confirmed that the original shipment was 9/17, and that the 11/26 shipment was in response to your email of 11/12 - you should have received a couple emails about that.

    It looks like you emailed again and provided a different (Miami) address on December 2. The response to that included the 11/26 shipping date, and that your record had been updated - you didn't receive this?
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    • Profile picture of the author JuliusMoltgen
      Originally Posted by Dan.Thies View Post

      Julius:

      Confirmed that the original shipment was 9/17, and that the 11/26 shipment was in response to your email of 11/12 - you should have received a couple emails about that.

      It looks like you emailed again and provided a different (Miami) address on December 2. The response to that included the 11/26 shipping date, and that your record had been updated - you didn't receive this?

      Hi Dan,

      Somehow I feel irritated reading your reply - as it turns out my gmail account has tracking too
      here is your shipment notice http://screencast.com/t/ZxYkrirBwl 11/26
      and here my reply to a mail 11/12 "important info on your order" http://screencast.com/t/0wYCPKKS7

      OK and here is what irritates me - if your company had really shipped on Sept 16th why did you not check with me before November 26 whether I had received anything.

      And of course if your other shipment company is so great why don't I have the goods by now.

      I have received my refunds which is OK. As I mentioned in my mail - I believe I can learn here and I am interested in your offer - however under normal circumstances I wouldn't consider doing business with your company again.

      I am not a negative person but I don't believe what you are saying. The items did not get lost in the mail twice. As I mentioned before - my friend send me hers and guess what - I received them both times!

      OK now I get back to some productive work. Unbelievable!
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  • Profile picture of the author lisawood
    Interesting - I received what I paid for, though it took a L O N G time. I received two issues of the Net Effect - the second one came just last week - a day after I cancelled my subscription because I was tired of waiting.

    And I never even got the "I'm sorry" email from Andy - isn't that ironic? ...
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan.Thies
    Julius, I want to understand, but I'm not sure what you're trying to tell me with the screenshots of your GMail account. You sent emails to Stompernet, Stompernet sent emails to you. I understand that - I'm just trying to understand what broke down.

    I don't know why you didn't receive either shipment that was mailed to you. Perhaps there was some error in the address, or the address was mishandled by the fulfillment system. I don't know. At this point, I can't actually see the original address that was entered into the system, because you asked them to update your address a few weeks ago.

    If you choose not to believe that the shipments were sent, I don't know what I can say to change your mind. I take you at your word, and I don't expect you to do the same for me, but lying to people isn't part of my job.

    You are correct that Stompernet's team did not personally follow up with every customer to ask whether they had received their packages. However, more than one email was sent with information about how to contact support, ship dates, etc.

    The first "all customers" email with shipment info was sent around September 24/25. This email also included the first billing date for subscriptions, tracking numbers for domestic UPS shipments, etc. You should have received such a message, since your original ship date was 9/17.
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    Dan Thies
    Glorious People's Link Liberation Front

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    • Profile picture of the author JuliusMoltgen
      Originally Posted by Dan.Thies View Post

      Julius, I want to understand, but I'm not sure what you're trying to tell me with the screenshots of your GMail account. You sent emails to Stompernet, Stompernet sent emails to you. I understand that - I'm just trying to understand what broke down.

      I don't know why you didn't receive either shipment that was mailed to you. Perhaps there was some error in the address, or the address was mishandled by the fulfillment system. I don't know. At this point, I can't actually see the original address that was entered into the system, because you asked them to update your address a few weeks ago.

      If you choose not to believe that the shipments were sent, I don't know what I can say to change your mind. I take you at your word, and I don't expect you to do the same for me, but lying to people isn't part of my job.

      You are correct that Stompernet's team did not personally follow up with every customer to ask whether they had received their packages. However, more than one email was sent with information about how to contact support, ship dates, etc.

      The first "all customers" email with shipment info was sent around September 24/25. This email also included the first billing date for subscriptions, tracking numbers for domestic UPS shipments, etc. You should have received such a message, since your original ship date was 9/17.
      Dan

      The address was correct http://screencast.com/t/6Ni4GTvW6

      I will take you as a person out of the equation - given that I usually receive my mail it is hard to believe that your company sent me something on Sept 16th which got lost in the mail and again on November 26th which again got lost in the mail.

      So while you may say that these items were shipped - and given the fact that you had the right address in the system - If find that unlikely.

      Now should the many packages somehow arrive here at my address ... then I shall post it here and apologize to you personally. So - don't take things personally - the address was right and if you insist that they were shipped twice!! - then I have trouble believing that statement.

      Or one could say that your new fulfillment service is not that great either.

      All the Best Julius
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan.Thies
    Thanks, Julius. I have no doubt that if I hand addressed something to that address, you would receive it 99 times out of 100 at worst. Clearly there is something wrong somewhere, and I will keep digging.

    I hate to ask, but I am ignorant: is the "59826016708" part of your address?
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    • Profile picture of the author JuliusMoltgen
      Originally Posted by Dan.Thies View Post

      Thanks, Julius. I have no doubt that if I hand addressed something to that address, you would receive it 99 times out of 100 at worst. Clearly there is something wrong somewhere, and I will keep digging.

      I hate to ask, but I am ignorant: is the "59826016708" part of your address?
      Hi Dan

      It is where one could call by phone - see - At this address there are two houses as you can see on the picture - one is an office and during office hours people are here.
      But let's say the postman would not ring the bell, and throw a notification into the letter box and that paper got lost - then someone from the post office here would see that this is a phone number and call and let me know that there is a package for me so that I can pick it up rather than shipping it back to the states.

      But here this is probably me filling out the order form correctly - I was probably asked to fill in the phone number and it may or may not have been printed on a label. From how I interpret the message I would assume that that number would have been printed under the word Uruguay on that label.
      We don't know since neither you nor I ever got to see the label.

      Well I hope it works out better next time.

      Take Care Julius
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  • Profile picture of the author JuliusMoltgen
    Thanks Dan! I think we can be friends now.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan.Thies
    Thanks, Julius - the reason why I asked is because we're going to find out exactly what prints on the label when we export that data. If it's as silly as that, I don't know whether to be happy or to shoot myself.
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  • Profile picture of the author JuliusMoltgen
    I guess the country should have been there if they plan to deliver internationally - the phone number is extra.

    Here they make several delivery attempts and the package will only be handed over to a person.

    During post office delivery times there are people in my office and in any case they would leave a notice in the letterbox on each delivery attempt telling us where to pick up the item

    Failing all that they would call based on what they find in the phone book or the number on the package to make sure we know there is a package.

    So the notification would have to get lost twice and the number be unavailable for each of the two deliveries.

    Our letterbox is next to the bell and goes through the wall - there is a 3m high iron gate to climb if someone was to climb that gate to get to the contents of my letterbox.

    This is summer and in front of the house is the beach promenade with people walking and jogging starting at 6 am until late at night. Climbing over the fence here would not to go unnoticed and besides there are vigilantes to ensure we don't get disturbed.

    In any case anything other than a simple letter from overseas gets registered at the border here even if you did not have it registered and someone needs to sign for it.

    I still believe these packages did not make it on the boat or on the plane. It is a good idea to investigate "why not" in any case.
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  • Profile picture of the author Julia Andersson
    When I first read this thread I thought... why would I want to read about the hassles stompernet had with the launch of stomping the search engines and the 'net effect' magazine.

    Guess it just goes to show that I'm not quite thinking as an entrepeneur just yet because the fact is that I can learn a lot by reading the report and seeing the mistakes that were made. Thereby potentially avoiding making those same mistakes myself. It doesn't really matter whether you are dealing with a small number of people or a large one.

    And yes, I'm actually a member who received the offer (I guarantee there would be a whole bunch of us on this forum). I know my set took about six weeks to get out... I think they must have sent it by seamail
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan.Thies
    Joneq - I have to beg for a little patience on some of the improvements we want to make. I've got 3 phases mapped out and we're approaching the conclusion of the first phase, which is, roughly speaking, about getting the systems to where they should have been in September.

    The training we gave the phone reps was intended to give us the greatest gain in a short time - roughly half of the support emails we receive don't contain enough information to identify the customer. Opening the phones up probably shaves a day off the time it takes to resolve a case because we're not emailing back and forth so much.

    Unfortunately, getting the phone reps to do more isn't as easy as it should be - yet. To do more than basic lookups, information updates, and status checks with the current "system" actually requires a pretty advanced person who is trained in something like 9 different systems, occasionally writing SQL queries, and other ugly stuff like that.

    Once we finish our migration to InfusionSoft, there will be only two systems and it will be practical to train the phone team in a lot more areas. We expect to be managing our customers in Infusionsoft by the end of this week, and we'll be able to tackle some more advanced training beginning next week.

    The manager responsible for that is currently up to her neck in InfusionSoft, setting up all the automated follow-up and communications that we didn't have in September, so that when we reopen we won't end up looking like a bunch of jerks again.

    I don't think we can afford to "write another case study" so we're spending a lot of time to double and triple check stuff.

    My "statistics consultant" just told me that we need to manually check close to 1000 customer records and see 100% accuracy on that sample, to be confident that everything is set up correctly. My napkin math tells me that's about 60 hours worth of work.

    I am 99% confident that the "full offer" with STSE2 and the other courses will be available again early next week because it doesn't require new development.

    I'm about 90% confident that we'll be able to reactivate subscriptions next week one way or another, even if it's by hand and 99.999% confident that we'll be able to reactivate people during the issue #4 shipment cycle even if it's not next week.

    We do have a pretty good stock on issue #3, a halfway decent stack of #2, that stuff is already at the fulfillment center, and there's a meeting later this week on how to handle back issues.

    I should have news on a UK customer service number in a day or two. I think it's down to haggling over bits and bauds and cents per minute.

    Still working on Skype/VOIP options but that will probably take a couple more weeks. It may end up being a "callback" system where you hit a form and we make an outbound call.

    That might not sound like a lot of fun, but this is what I signed up for.
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    • Profile picture of the author joneq
      Banned
      Good to know. Sounds like a plan

      Please check the status of my refund..I really would not mind seeing the refund show up in my CC account.. There are only 2 accounts it could be [but I know which one it is]--neither one has the refund showing as of now

      Customer Refund Notification

      Transaction ID : 2238124538 for $42.37
      Transaction ID : 2238125671 for $22.41
      Both transacted on 12/29/08 at 7:38 in the morning---2.5 days ago with no weekends [as if it should matter] involved...

      Not only am I worried about my refund, or lack of it,but I would not be at all surprised to find SN [not Dan] cancelled/refunded someone else..
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      • Profile picture of the author joneq
        Banned
        Just checked before bedtime and refund is there .. SN made the transaction on 12/29 like they said and it just went through :confused:--Good job SN
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        • Profile picture of the author JuliusMoltgen
          Same here:

          I received the money paid on September 5th back

          NET EFFECT JOURNAL NORCROSS 30/12/08 29/12/08 0,00 -19,84
          NET EFFECT JOURNAL NORCROSS 30/12/08 29/12/08 0,00 -103,51

          Thanks - Now I shall "start again" and we will take it from here.

          Should any of these "lost packages" ever arrive here at my office and will post it here.

          Happy New Year to you all!
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          • Profile picture of the author Jeff Walters
            Hi

            I appreciate the feedback - but would have preferred a customer email alert in October regarding the problems being experienced with the shipping company / the reasons for the delay. At R10 to the USD, this a very expensive magazine for me - and it would be great that it isn't just a collectors item when it is eventually delivered :rolleyes:

            I did receive my original order in October - about 5 weeks delivery - but have not yet seen the October (or November) magazine. I wish SN didn't use snail mail for overseas accounts.

            Maybe the Stompernet team should chat to Dan Kennedy - he always seems to get his newsletter to me within the month of publication. SN could tap into his direct mail expertise - Dan knows how to get his mail delivered on time - even to South Africa ...
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  • Profile picture of the author JuliusMoltgen
    Hi,

    I have the suspicion that some of the fulfillment centers simply don't ship orders they consider likely to get lost and pocket the postage.
    Amazon will get its things to me 100%, private packages will arrive too - so do DVD subscriptions. I get these from Mike and Barak.

    However during the last year 3-4 packages got lost. All were sent (without tracking) from the US - one from Frank Kern's Outfit, one from Mike Filsaime's and 2 from Stompernet. I have never met anybody in the postal system here who spoke English - so there is little point in stealing at this end.
    Jeff Walkers package arrived.

    It is just a theory ... but you have to admit that there is a pattern here.

    All the Best

    Julius
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  • Profile picture of the author dmarze
    I think we all should learn something from their mistake and NEVER repeat it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan.Thies
    Julius, might mean nothing, but I think Mike was using the same fulfillment house we were using. I believe he's also switching, if he hasn't already.
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  • Profile picture of the author JuliusMoltgen
    Well - so Stompernet, maybe Mike, maybe Frank ... I got Jeff's. I don't know their logistics and verification proceedure .... it is just strange that ALL of these packages from there to me were lost.

    What if there is a system behind this - you (as their client) would believe that mail to here is likely to get lost or that I probably typed in the wrong address.

    What would it take to steal the overseas postage on say 100 packages a week - all without tracking to destinations like Asia, Africa or SA - two or three people conspiring?
    It is as you said - if you had addressed and posted it - the things would be here.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jeff Walters
      Whew!

      Finally received October issue. And the November issue - on the same day. Great content and lots to do - so now I don't mind if the next one only arrives in a month's time. Maybe I should ask for another delay

      Just means of course that I operate in a time warp - implementing things about 2-3 months after other action-taking readers ... Not perturbed - as this is not faddish stuff - but solid business-building info.
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  • Profile picture of the author rajsidhux
    Wondered if anyone else with issues has been told by Stompernet that 'your billing is on hold' as they are doing 'major systems migration'?

    Does this mean that NetEffect is not going out to any customers? I have only received issue 1 & 2. No sign of issue 3 (December?).

    Anyone? Dan or Andy??
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan.Thies
    Sent you a PM.

    We're ready to ship the January issue, just waiting on Infusionsoft to finish the last step of the data migration so we can do that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan.Thies
    Issue #4 (January) is shipping.

    Rajsidhux you'll see #3 (December) and #4 (January) in the same shipment, which should go out on Monday. As we discussed in PM, the reshipment caused them to suspend billing. You won't be charged for the December issue.
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    • Profile picture of the author jaimeklein
      This is the first (hopefully of many) posts on this forum that I've made,

      So hello to all the WR members, pleased to meet you

      I'm a newbie marketer trying to soak up as much IM related info as possible, and STSE2 is a fantastic resource as is TNE.

      I'm launching myself head first into the internet marketing arena this year, but that's another story for another time....

      To Dan, I think you're doing a great job of answering everyone's questions, issues and problems. Well done and thank you.

      To everyone else who had issues with their order, I feel your pain....

      I am one of the people who didn't receive my package in an acceptable time frame,

      and when it did finally arrive, CD cases were smashed etc. There were also some unanswered emails etc but I'm not going to make this a whinge post, I just have some questions for you regarding TNE.

      Firstly, I'm in the UK at the moment and haven't seen any signs of TNE#3. Should this have been delivered already? (I'm in London)

      Secondly, when are the issues usually shipped out? Beginning of the month? End? Middle? Or does it change each month?

      Thirdly, I am moving to Australia end of January, (roughly) what is the time frame for TNE to hit Australian shores?

      Lastly, to change my shipping address to from the UK to Australia, is there a Net Effect website with our billing address, shipping address etc that I can log in to or is it a matter of contacting the STSE2 helpdesk?

      To everyone here on the forum, I hope you all make at least $1,000,000 more then you did last year, and if you're already making that much, then add some zeros
      2009 is going to be a great year! Despite the current economic climate.

      To Dan and Andy and the Stompernet team, the material that you put out is first class, top notch stuff, keep it up!

      Thanks,

      Jaime Klein

      P.S Dan say hi to Ed next time you see him, he's my favorite SN member, being an Aussie and all!
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      • Profile picture of the author Dan.Thies
        Jaime,

        We had a group of customers whose orders had to be reshipped. They typically received issues 1 and 2 in that shipment, or issue 2 in a second shipment in a few cases.

        Because of the timing, some of those customers weren't rebilled in December and weren't shipped issue #3.

        Assuming they didn't cancel, we're going to bill those folks for issue #4 and ship both issues (3 and 4) in the same package. We aren't "double billing," just "double shipping" to get things caught up.

        That *should* happen Monday. Doing this involves a little bit of database kung-fu so we don't bill for two issues, so we may end up delayed by a day or two.

        If you send me a PM and give me the email address you used when you ordered, I can look it up and see if you're in that group. Either way I can let you know what's up and get things straightened out.

        Updates on some other stuff...
        We will be reopening the "stomping the search engines 2 / net effect" offer in a few days for anyone who didn't get it the first time around. By the end of next week, we'll have a system set up for anyone who wants to reactivate their subscription - I slowed that down by a week because I wanted to make it easy to order back issues at the same time.
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        • Profile picture of the author jaimeklein
          Thanks for the quick reply Dan,

          All the best

          Jaime Klein
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    • Profile picture of the author jrsencio
      Originally Posted by Dan.Thies View Post

      Issue #4 (January) is shipping.

      Rajsidhux you'll see #3 (December) and #4 (January) in the same shipment, which should go out on Monday. As we discussed in PM, the reshipment caused them to suspend billing. You won't be charged for the December issue.
      So Dan, did these shipments actually go out?

      I have been informed several times by our customer support guys that the 2nd and 3rd editions have been sent and are on the way, well that was two months ago.
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  • Profile picture of the author ITOutsourcing
    You know what, I was kind of annoyed with the fact that that I couldn't reach anyone in awhile, but I also have to say the free product was a kick ass value. Andy clearly understands something that I don't understand, because that was some serious content for free.

    Andy btw if you are this form I have one question. Every once in awhile I come back yours and brad site and I don't see a reciprocal link or article page and your products have no follow tag on them. I'm not referring to contact us page or TOS your actual products. Did something change since the videos?
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  • Profile picture of the author Joseph Ratliff
    Originally Posted by IMChick View Post

    Hi, Warriors,

    I just opened my email to this from Andy Jenkins and the Stomper team. It's an apology with an analysis and review of what went wrong on their recent print launch.

    Make no mistake, this email would not exist without the WF and the many Warrior's thousands of posts in the 'debacle' threads.

    Here it is in case you missed it:

    Hi, Andy Jenkins here.

    I've never had to write an email like this before - and it's
    one of the hardest things I've ever had to do at StomperNet.

    Back in September, we launched our print journal, The Net
    Effect, and offered you a chance to receive our top-of-theline
    SEO training program, Stomping the Search Engines 2.0, for no
    more than the cost of shipping. Nearly 18,000 of you took us up
    on that offer, and although the vast majority of our customers
    received the products they ordered without incident, some of
    you did not. For that, I apologize.

    At this point, we have reshipped thousands of products and every
    problem that we are aware of has been resolved.


    We've heard some folks out there on the forums are saying that
    our customer service team didn't respond to them. While it's
    possible that a few emails slipped through the cracks, our team
    has responded to X thousand cases since September.

    If you are still experiencing any problems at all, you can
    reach our support team by email (escalate@stompernet.com) or
    call our new 24x7 telephone support line at 404-348-4401. All
    issues will be handled promptly.

    1. The Short Story

    At the end of this email, you'll find a download link for a PDF
    file that contains the full story, in agonizing detail, of
    everything we did wrong, everything we did right, and what
    we've learned from this experience.

    My hope is that by sharing this information, we can help some
    of you avoid the kind of problems we experienced. In the
    meantime, here's the short story. In August, before we made
    our offer public, I placed advance orders for 5000 copies of
    the Stomping the Search Engines 1 & 2 DVDs, and 5000
    copies of Issue 1 of The Net Effect.

    We hired what we thought was the best fulfillment house
    available, based on recommendations from a lot of other folks
    in the online marketing space. We tested the shopping cart. We
    had inventory on hand. When we opened our doors for business on
    September 5th, we honestly, sincerely believed that we were
    ready.

    2. How It's Supposed to Work

    The process was supposed to be super simple. Our customers
    would place orders, the fulfillment house would ship their
    orders, and we'd produce additional inventory as needed if we
    had underestimated the demand.

    Our worst-case scenario was that it might take a couple weeks
    to ship orders out, even if we sold out our original inventory
    on the first day.

    After giving our customers 35-40 days to evaluate The Net
    Effect and cancel if they chose to do so, we would begin
    shipping issue #2 to our subscribers in mid-October. (* Note:
    Although our sales copy described it as a 30-day trial, we
    allowed an additional 5 days for domestic and 10 days for
    international shipping.)

    3. How It Went Wrong

    As I said, for the vast majority of our customers (well over
    90%), everything did go more or less as it was supposed to.

    But when you're dealing with 18,000 people, that's not nearly
    good enough.

    We could blame it all on the fulfillment house letting us down,
    but that doesn't do a darned thing for our customers, and
    besides - I'm the genius who hired them. When you do hire the
    wrong fulfillment house, that bad decision gets magnified big
    time.

    You see, when you're shipping physical products, it takes about
    3 weeks to even have the slightest inkling of a problem,
    because for the first 2-3 weeks, your products are supposed to
    be on their way to the customer. By the time you find out that
    a whole lot of products were *not* shipped on time, or not
    shipped at all... well, the damage is done.

    But I'm getting ahead of myself.

    4. I'm Sorry

    I could go on all day explaining everything that went wrong,
    but that wouldn't be fair to those readers who just wanted to
    hear me say "I'm sorry." I am. Profoundly so. But I'd like to
    tell you the rest of the story - and I think I can make it
    worth your while to listen.

    So, here's what I've got for you:
    a 23-page report (PDF) with
    the entire blow-by-blow story.
    Everything that went wrong. How
    our team responded. What we learned. The steps we've taken to
    make sure that this *never* happens to our customers again.
    I'll explain how *you* can avoid making the same mistakes,
    and a few things that just might help you do truly amazing
    things for your customers.

    There are some real gems in this report for anyone who does
    business online - including an amazing solution to speed up
    international shipments.

    You can download that report here - no opt-in, no nothing,
    just download it and read.


    Thanks for your interest in StomperNet and The Net Effect!

    Andy Jenkins
    CEO, StomperNet

    P.S. For anyone who thought we were going to just disappear...
    Not a chance. Issue #3 is shipping now, and we'll be ready to
    take on new subscribers in a couple days.
    Yeah...good stuff IM Chick...the report you can download is actually a solid read in my opinion...and a good lesson for large scale launches like this.

    Other than WF, other forums started the same type of thread...so this was pretty widespread it seems.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan.Thies
    @ITOutsourcing, if you use any of the SEO browser plug-ins to look at nofollow links on MyWeddingFavors.com, it will appear that *all* of the links are nofollowed. That's part of a defensive strategy I put in place to deal with proxy hacking:
    Google Proxy Hacking: How A Third Party Can Remove Your Site From Google SERPs
    Because you are not a search engine spider, and can't fool the server into believing that you are, there's a robots meta tag added when you visit that says "noindex, nofollow" so it appears that all links are nofollowed.

    Real spiders are permitted to crawl and index - it's the same content, the only thing that changes is index/follow permissions.

    A lot has changed since "Stomping the Search Engines 1" - I'd recommend watching the new version.
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    • Profile picture of the author Charles E. White
      The only thing I have to say is from experience, I have known Andy for several years and have dealt with him several times without any problems at all.

      I do think there were some mistakes made on his part but I also think Andy has learned from them and will correct them in the future, knowing Andy as I do from his online business and dealings.

      I feel bad for the buyers who had problems but also feel bad for Andy that this has happened like it did. The only thing he can do is see that is doesn't happen ever again, which I personally think he will for sure.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan.Thies
    Quick question - we're releasing FormulaFIVE on Monday, how does this sound? Most importantly - can anyone find any "cracks" a customer could fall through?

    1) All shipments will be tracked - UPS 2-day domestic and International Express everywhere else. Domestic goes to ground shipping (still tracked) for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th shipments.
    2) A script starts running on day 8, checking the 7-day-old shipments to verify delivery. Any shipments that aren't verified trigger a manual followup - contacting clients by email & phone.
    3) Support team will have a 1-click "reship" process - they verify the address with the customer, click to reship. New package ships the next business day, with a 7-day trigger for manual follow up.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan.Thies
    Issue #4 is shipping - some went Friday, the rest Monday. The folks getting issue #3 and #4 together, will go on Monday or Tuesday.

    @jrsencio, if you can PM me with the email address you used when you ordered, I'll get you a specific answer on your issue.
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    • Profile picture of the author Nathan Hangen
      I have been keeping up with F5 and I am super impressed with the Brand of Stompernet. I don't know anything about the magazine (wasn't fortunate enough to get in), but the brand is amazing. Have you seen those videos?
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  • Profile picture of the author dejableu
    I stupidly paid around $300 for the free stuff (fell for all the sales letters).

    CANNOT GET A REFUND! Returned it all in November. NO ONE will even answer my emails! It's amazing.

    I've just sent emails to the ones listed on here. Bet I still don't hear
    back from them.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan.Thies
    Dejableu,

    November would likely have been past the evaluation period for that, but if you send me a PM here and tell me the email address you used when you ordered, I will look into it personally.
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