Thursday, September 28, 2006

Buyer Beware - Freestats Site Checker

Frustration in dealing with businesses is difficult for all of us. However, it seems even more so as parents of children with special needs. I don't like badmouthing businesses but it seems important to share with my fellow bloggers and fellow parents the frustration in dealing with Freestats.

Stat checker services come with my websites and are very helpful information to me and to my publisher. I love knowing how many readers look at my sites and where they come from. It is exciting to see that someone from half way around the world looked at my sites while I was sleeping. Thus, when I started this blog I wanted to track the statistics on it as well.

A search engine found Freestats which seemed to have enough information and was supposed to be "free" as the name implies. Not long into it I realized that it wasn't free for adequate information so I paid for a year of a more advanced level of stats. Overall the service was okay except that it there were multiple entries for the same visitor in the "last 100" which was frustrating.

According to the information I was supposed to be able to add another site to it. Thus, when I started my Lighthouse Parents Blog, I spent a lot of time on the Freestats website trying to add it to my account. In frustration I clicked on "help" and got the message that this page didn't exist (this was months ago and it still says the same thing yesterday). I emailed customer support and got no response.

We have been doing a test on another stat checker for comparison. We thought we had some time because I subscribed to Freestats October 27, 2005. On September 26th, I got an email from a "no-reply" at Freestats that they were about to renew my membership and wanted me to update my account information. Larry and I book spent time on the links they gave trying to find out how much time we had. The email contained links to update my information but not how to unsubscribe. It also gave an 800 phone number which I called. They could not find me in their records at all and finally said that is because they are no longer involved with Freestats. They gave me a general number which turned out to be Google and none of the extensive voicemail choices had anything to do with site checkers.

The final straw was when Larry finally found a place on the Freestats site to unsubscribe and gave me the phone number. I called and again it took a long time for them to find my account. She said they would unsubscribe me as of September 30th. I said no that I had subscribed on October 27th and paid for a year. She acknowledged that and said that the next billing date was October 6th - still early. However, she said in order to avoid having it automatically bill my card she would have to unsubscribe me as of September 30th. I pointed out to her that this was ripping me off of nearly a month of prepaid services. She acknowledged that it was but said that if she didn't stop it on the 30th it would automatically charge my card for another year on the 6th. There was nothing see could do about it.

Until next time,
Peggy Lou Morgan
My Other Blogs: Amazon Author Connect and Lighthouse Parents
Websites: www.parentingyourcomplexchild.com and www.lighthouseparents.com
Club Mom
Parenting Your Complex Child Yahoo Group

2 comments:

Lora said...

Thanks for sharing this info. I will be sure not to subscribe to this service.

KC's Mommy said...

Oh my gosh Peggy Lou! What a bunch of crooks! I am so sorry this has happened to you, at least something good will come of it, you making others aware of the crooks so they don't become victims too. Thanks for the heads up Peggy Lou. Hope you and your family are well:)