Read before you purchase anything from Syed Balkhi and Thomas Griffin or any of their companies. As much as they claim their mission is to “help small businesses,” this is clearly NOT the case. Bear with me while I take you on my journey down the “OptinMonster” road.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
- All In One SEO: https://aioseo.com/about/
- Awesome Motive: https://awesomemotive.com/
- Monster Insights: https://www.monsterinsights.com/
- Push Engage: https://www.pushengage.com/about/
- Raffle Press: https://rafflepress.com/pricing
- SeedProd: https://www.seedprod.com/about/
- Smash Balloon: https://smashballoon.com/ (Corporation Wiki Company Info)
- TrustPulse (an OptinMonster company): https://trustpulse.com/ (I have to laugh at this one!)
- WPBeginner: https://www.wpbeginner.com/
- WP Forms: https://wpforms.com/about-us/
- WP Mail SMTP: https://wpmailsmtp.com/about-us/
ONCE UPON A TIME …
Back in 2014, OptinMonster offered a one-time price for lifetime access to their lead generation software. You could utilize it in two different ways, via a WordPress plugin or code. In my opinion, it is much easier and cleaner to use the code. (Since 2015, I have always used their code, not the plugin.)
Many startups offer different SaaS products for a limited time, and I have bought-in at ground level numerous times. All has always gone well, so imagine my surprise when, after using OptinMonster’s platform for seven years, I was contacted by them to let me know that my “Legacy plan to which you’re currently subscribed is being discontinued at this time.” BUT, not to worry, my account will automatically be upgraded to the discounted plan of $1,430/year. WHAT?!?? (I mean I’ve heard of scams before, but this one really takes the cake!!!) However, I took a deep breath and thought there must have been some mistake as “lifetime” means well,–lifetime. I went on a mission to (hopefully!), find my receipt. Thankfully, I found it!
My receipt, did indeed, state that I had lifetime access. I had noticed throughout the years, OptinMonster continued to market to me, trying to get me to subscribe to one of their “new services” such as “gamified” marketing popups, WooCommerce or chatbot integrations, but I wasn’t interested. I also noticed that after attempting to sell me some of these services, they suddenly became available within the client dashboard. This was a curious thing, and I wondered if they were having a problem separating the people who were paying for the “new” services, from the old, lifetime customers like me, who weren’t interested.
My experience with OptinMonster has definitely left me less likely to ever take action and purchase any “lifetime subscriptions” again. It’s really hard to wrap my head around the fact that this is the United States of America and a company is getting away with blatant and flagrant scamming. Yet,(so far!), they are. They have refused to respond to the Better Business Bureau, while at the same time, they haven’t ceased contacting me,–letting me know that I can subscribe (again?!?!!??) for their super discounted price of $1,430/year or use their “FREE” plugin in option. However, the reason I purchased a LIFETIME subscription back in 2014 was because I didn’t want to use their free plugin. (Actually there was NO free plugin back then!) From the reviews online, it appears their claims of a “free” plugin have also been misleading: https://wordpress.org/support/topic/scam-paid-plugin-in-free-repository.
7 YEARS AFTER PURCHASING MY “LIFETIME” SUBSCRIPTION
EMAIL(S) SENT TO ME
April 13, 2021; 2:11 PM
This is an urgent message regarding your OptinMonster subscription.
I’m reaching out because I wanted to let you know that the Legacy plan to which you’re currently subscribed is being discontinued at this time. Over the years, as we’ve continued to invest in our platform, we have adjusted our prices to reflect that value accurately. Because of this, we need to update your account to reflect a plan that best fits your actual usage and our current pricing moving forward.
Additionally, we realize that you signed up for a Lifetime Plan with us several years ago, so that you may be a bit confused. To explain a bit more, that lifetime license was for our standalone WordPress plugin (back before we were even a SaaS product.) Customers who purchased the lifetime subscription did indeed receive support and updates throughout the lifecycle of that plugin. Still, the plugin itself was actually retired back in 2015 when we switched to a SaaS model and moved to support more platforms than just WordPress.
We’re now a full SaaS product and have made numerous updates and changes to the tool over the last 5 years to continue improving things for our customers. We want to continue to be your solutions partner and help you get more subscribers & sales, but for us to do that sustainably while adding more new features, we need to transition you to one of our current plans.
Under our current pricing, a custom Growth subscription including up to 14 domains and 250K campaign impressions/month would normally cost:
Yearly (20% off): $1430/year
Your new OptinMonster subscription will also contain several exciting new solutions you can use on your site to grow your list, leads, and sales, including:
- More campaign options, including Coupon Wheel Campaigns and a built-in ManyChat Integration element
- More ways to target campaigns, including Onsite Retargeting and Geolocation Targeting
- More ways to interact with visitors after they opt-in, including Success Scripts, Behavior Automation, and Followup Campaigns
- Adblock Detection, which will show your campaign specifically to visitors whose ad blocker is turned on
- Priority email support
- As well as all features included in OptinMonster Basic, Pro, and Plus.
Currently, your account is set to automatically upgrade to the monthly option above on June 8, 2021, so that you can continue to get more leads and optimize visitor sessions without any service interruptions.
If you’d like to take advantage of the annual plan to see a more significant overall discount, just let me know, and I’ll be happy to make the switch for you. 🙂
And as always, we thank you for your continued support of OptinMonster. We’re committed to helping you win and win more often.
Accounts & Customer Relations
All tickets are solved in the order they are received, Monday-Friday from 9AM to 5PM EST. If you’ve submitted a ticket during that time, you can expect to hear back from us within a few hours. If your ticket is received outside of that time, please be patient. We’ll be with you as soon as possible. 🙂
Legal Disclaimer: responses do not constitute legal advice.
I was absolutely ASTOUNDED to receive the reply that I did. Apparently, when the cost of business goes up, it’s perfectly acceptable, in the eyes of Syed Balkhi and Thomas Griffin to break an agreement or contract with your customers with impunity. Life is a total free-for-all if a company can claim that it doesn’t matter what the “terms” were when you purchased something,–it only matters what they decide on any given day as long as they give you 30 days notice,–even if it is 7 years after you entered into an agreement for a lifetime purchase. This has to be fraudulent, bad business practice on every level. As we all know, the costs of doing business indeed are going up, however, how does this legally give OptinMonster the right to void all all LIFETIME agreements/purchases?
2015 OPTINMONSTER TRANSITIONED TO SAAS
In 2015, OptinMonster transitioned, (according to them), to Saas. Someone pointedly asked the question on this page: https://optinmonster.com/docs/old-wordpress-customers-migrating-to-the-new-optinmonster-app/ as to whether or not they would have to purchase a new subscription. The answer was “no” if their subscription had not expired, (mine had not as it was a lifetime subscription), or been refunded, (I had not asked for a refund). In fact, I received an email letting me know I had been transitioned to SaaS. This company blatantly lied again, because apparently that’s the reason that they’re not honoring my lifetime subscription now,– in 2021. (See email above.)
MORE EMAILS SAYING MY “LIFETIME” SUBSCRIPTION WILL “EXPIRE”
I’ve noticed that they have indeed sold OTHER “lifetime” deals. (I feel for the people who fell for their scams!)
BUYERS BEWARE! DON’T FALL FOR OTHER “LIFETIME” OFFERS!
As noted, OptinMonster, (Retyp LLC), continues to offer other “lifetime” deals. All buyers, consider yourself warned,–and hopefully, add your voice to mine in asking an attorney or law firm to initiate a class action lawsuit against this company. As the old adage goes, “the best prediction of future behavior is past behavior.”
RafflePress Lifetime (?) Offer – I Doubt It!
My “Lifetime OptinMonster” Offer Was Almost IDENTICAL to the “RafflePress Lifetime” Offer Above, INCLUDING the “20% off”
NO RESPONSE SEEMS TO BE THEIR MO
OptinMonster has to date, (June 5th, 2021), made it abundantly clear that they are going to refuse to honor my lifetime subscription,–even after “honoring” it for 7 years. Additionally, they have refused to respond the the BBB, which I contacted in an effort to resolve this matter.
THOMAS GRIFFIN OFFERING TO SELL ME AN OPTINMONSTER SUBSCRIPTION, BUT I’VE ALREADY PURCHASED A LIFETIME SUBSCRIPTION
A BRILLIANT CON?
Have you heard? There’s no need for crowdfunding or venture capitalists,–just convince a lot of people to buy-in at product startup/ground-level for a special, (one-time), lifetime fee. Then, tell those same people, (x number of years or months later), that the “lifecycle/lifetime” has ended, and if they want continued access to their product or service, they’ll have to pay a pretty steep price. Next step: OOPS, do it again and again and again,–until your actions are deemed unethical and you’re held accountable.
DO YOUR RESEARCH & FAKE REVIEWS
Do your due diligence before purchasing anything from this company. They’re very good at creating fake reviews and manipulating search results. If you look, you will find the truth.
- This is all sorts of wrong as Syed Balkhi and J. Thomas Griffin OWN SeedPod Pro and they’re reviewing their own product here: https://www.seedprod.com/optinmonster-review. (Remember that I said they’re master manipulators? Well, this is a prime example! They’re boosting their own search results by reviewing their own product under the name of another company they own. Unbelievable deceitful and rotten business practice. BUYER BEWARE!)
- Listed their plugin in the WordPress directory as a “free” plugin before it really was (free) and someone called them out on it: https://wordpress.org/support/topic/scam-paid-plugin-in-free-repository/
CALL FOR ATTORNEY(S) INTERESTED IN HELPING
At this time, as Syed Balkhi and Thomas Griffin of Retyp LLC dba as OptinMonster have refused to respond to the BBB, I’m asking if there is any attorney or law practice that would be interested in bringing a class action suit against them? I know I can’t be the only person they have deceived. It appears they have offered different “lifetime” deals via different companies under the Retyp LLC umbrella. While I’m sure most people, (and indeed, I almost fell into this group!), just can’t be bothered to pursue anything,–this type of dishonest and deceitful business practice just really irks me. What’s worse, is that they treat me as if I’m an imbecile who doesn’t understand and am confused. No,–actually I’m perfectly clear. They’re a dishonest company who claims one thing and does another, and then,–oops, does it again!
UPDATE AS OF JUNE 7th 2021
To Be Made Whole
On Wednesday, June 9th, 2021, my LIFETIME subscription was ended by OptinMonster. See email here: https://julieanna.s3.amazonaws.com/06-09-2021-Roundcube+Webmail+%5BOptinMonster%5D+URGENT+-+Your+Subscription+Has+Expired!.pdf. With or without refunding my money, they were going to revoke access to my lifetime subscription. They did refund the money I had paid for a lifetime subscription, which is NOT what I had asked for, nor was this what I had paid for. This was not what I had asked the BBB for either. I had simply asked for what I paid for; lifetime access.
Ripoff Report Filed
In addition to filing the report at the BBB, I filed a report on RipoffReport.com: https://www.ripoffreport.com/report/optinmonster/west-palm-beach-gainsesville-1508805, with the hope that it will help other people avoid the same type of scam that I’ve experienced. I am still waiting to hear from the FTC as of June 10th, 2021.