… And why I won’t be endorsing the Blog Engage RSS Syndication service hereafter. In fact I will remove or update my review about Blog Engage, just to make sure that I don’t endorse a service in which I’m not happy with.
Here’s the story
I am a member of Blog Engage since a very long time.
I started using the premium RSS syndication service since a long time back and I was initially very happy with the results. Blog Engage was my third largest traffic source.
Then by the time of Christmas holidays, 2011, I had an issue with my Credit card budget and so I stopped most of my subscription services. This is when I cancelled Blog Engage subscription as well.
Brian asked me why and I said him that I have some financial issues and I’ll subscribe again when they’re sorted out.
Then again in January, 2012 I subscribed again to the premium RSS syndication service that costs $29.99 per month.
For about the past six months (just that I was not in the “paid” mode for about a month) I was getting very very little traffic from Blog Engage. I syndicate all my 5 blogs and I rarely make it to the front page.
So I was unhappy about the 30 bucks I was spending on the service every month. Hence I unsubscribed. This is my personal decision.
Again, Brian asked why and I was busy to reply to his email and in a couple of days my feed syndication stopped, even though I was having about a week for which I’ve paid already.
Hence I asked Brian:
As someone who is paying money out of their pockets, I think I have the right to “test” and see what if I stop the subscription, right?
Here’s Brian reply
Brian’s words are in bold-
1. “…. you should rethink what you’re blogging about” – Seriously? Well, just because I’m not happy with a service doesn’t mean that I should be insulted by Brian telling me that I should rethink what I’m blogging about. Does he think I’m blogging for fun? I meant to say that I get very very little traffic from Blog Engage; not that my blog gets very very little traffic in general (I won’t be in business now if this is the case). This was very hurting in the first place.
2. When I subscribe to a service and I’m not happy with it, I can unsubscribe, right? That’s why the “Unsubscribe” button is there for. And I have the full right to do so.
3. He asked me why I unsubscribed and I just answered politely (if you can re-read my reply again). I just honestly said what my problem was. Is that a wrong thing to do?
4. What am I complaining about? I didn’t say anything against BE or Brian. I was just not happy with the service personally. After all I’m paying and I want to be accountable to myself on what I spend. So I just wanted to “test” the waters and see what changes I see after I stop using the RSS syndication service.
5. I was seriously not offending him in anyway. It was him who did that by saying that I should rethink what I’m blogging about.
6. And now I learned that I’m not the only person who is complaining about getting no value from the service. When I said this to him his reply was “Yeah I get a few complaining like you, I have 167 customers, 4 or 5 are like you!“. Well, OK.
What am I trying to convey here
No, I’m not writing this post to call out names. Although it seems that February is the month and I’m doing it for the second time!
First of all there’s no reason for anyone to be angry at their customer just because they’re not happy with their service/product. No one can expect that their customers should always say only positive things; and if they don’t (in honesty), one shouldn’t become angry and break up the relationship.
Whenever a complaint arises about a service, it is always good to listen to the feedback and improve the service. This will make things and business much better.
At the same time, I completely understand that in no way one can please EVERYONE in the world. If Brian thinks that his service is perfect and it is just the 3 or 4 little customers who are complaining, then he can just let go, right? If he had explained things politely (instead of asking me to rethink what I’m blogging about), I would have decided that OK the service is probably good but its not just for me.
Insulting anyone is really bad. I know that Brian didn’t say the same words (to rethink what they’re blogging about) to the others who were not happy with his service. Is it because my blog is a poor little PR3 thing? I don’t understand!
I also looked back at the history of some people at Blog Engage. Their stories are terrible.
Social Media Fail – David got his account deleted.
And Hesham discusses the issue in detail here.
In fact, if you read the comments at these posts there are quite a few others whose accounts were deleted as well (but they didn’t speak about it!).
Simply deleting accounts – what about the time and effort put in building those backlinks and relationship? You’re wiped clean at the click of a button. Although this is not my direct problem, I’m not sure that this won’t happen to me tomorrow.
I see that the relationship management is very poor.
About the service
Paying $30 a month for a bunch of social bookmarking backlinks is seriously not worth it (at least according to my business and my expectation). I think there is a lot more that can be done for $5 at Fiverr. Read this post, if you don’t understand what I mean.
Only a few people always make it to the front page and I don’t understand the formula behind this (no offense or nothing personal on those who get there on the front page). Brian says that I need to engage more and that my Blog Engage success is in my hands.
Well, I can do the same in social media (for free) and get the same amount or even more exposure! In fact, I just do that. Without much work I casually get amazing traffic and backlinks from Facebook and Twitter. And I do adore the amount of traffic I get from Blokube and Bizsugar for free!
There is a service at Blog Engage called “Direct to front page” for $99.99 per month. So what about the others who can’t afford $99.99? Does this service manipulate the front page positions? If so why should I engage more? Ya, Blog Engage success is in my hands – no in my pockets actually!
If its the voting system that will get me to the front page and will give me an exposure, its great – I’m ready to engage more. If its the money that matters, OK I’m willing to pay for that (just saying). But here its not clear! As Hesham mentions here, a voting system will never work over a paid system.
I stress again that I didn’t write this post to offend anyone or write a bad review about someone and get dirty. But I had to be transparent a bit so that I can completely convey you the back scenes and the real problems.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who is unhappy about the service (I’ve confirmed this personally).
And I’ve stopped endorsing Blog Engage just because I cannot promote a service in which I’m not happy in the first place. Well, may be most of you like the service. Just that I’m off the community and that I don’t like Blog Engage doesn’t mean that Blog Engage is not for you. It may be for you. I don’t know; you have to test and see if the service is right for you.
I’m writing this post and stopping my Blog Engage promotion just because I didn’t get what I expected out of the service and I was not treated correctly by the owner of Blog Engage. As a customer, this is one of my primary concerns – to be treated with respect.
And one more thing – due to all these, I think I will have to take down the Blog Engage accounts “bonus” prizes on the Blogging Tips 101 Contest. I don’t think Brian will be happy to be a part of something in which I’m involved.
I apologize to the participants for this.
So, that’s it, the bitter story. I’m happy that I’ve learned some precious lessons out of it.
As a blogger, I want to convey this to you, my readers. I want to make sure that you know the “behind the scenes” stuff and be warned.
I appreciate your comments as always.