A Fool and His Money…

…are soon parted.

If you’re considering setting up an Amazon Associate store, please allow me to pass along some expensive (for me) advice. Don’t bother with Azon Authority and ADD Marketing Group. In my defense, I looked for information on the product before buying it but if there is one thing Sean Donahoe is good at, it’s promotion. The internet is full of his marketing disguised as reviews. Don’t be fooled. All the good reviews for his products are from ADD Marketing Group.

Not finding a bad review—my bad, I didn’t put enough diligence into my research—I purchased AzonAuthority, Done For You Power Builder, and AzonAuthority – Advanced Training and Power Bundle for a total of almost $400. I was serious about getting an Amazon store going and was willing to invest the money to do so.

The company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. Unfortunately, there are problems with the products and I made the mistake of struggling with them 2 days longer than I should have. Don’t go an hour over that limit. I fully understand that they’re in business to make money, but there is also such as thing as ethics. This company doesn’t understand the latter. I contacted them several times through their slow ticketing system; my paper trail made it evident that I couldn't get anything to work over the month I tried.

During my 32 days of struggle I spent countless hours watching the video tutorials, reading the FAQ’s, and looking for any other documentation they might have on their web site to solve my problems. I submitted 7 trouble tickets beginning the first week after purchase and continuing through day 32—the ONLY way of contacting customer support—and received helpful answers to only 2 (two, dos, deux, zwei) of them. Other responses were, “Read the FAQ’s, then get back to us.” I’m currently “between contracts” (unemployed), so I was able to spend several hours per day wrestling with these products. I have been a technical project manager since 1982 and have experience as a web/database application designer. I am not ignorant of the technology in use.

So what’s wrong with Azon Authority? Let me count the ways

  • Support is awful. They are slow and unresponsive. The only way to contact them is through a trouble ticket, which may or may not be answered with anything resembling timeliness.
    The FAQ’s are sorely lacking in information.
    You can join a discussion group to see if other users can answer your questions, but that costs extra.
  • There is no documentation for the product that I could find. The only setup instructions are in video tutorials, which are short on useful, and long on extraneous information. (Do I really need instruction in Photoshop before even getting the basic product to function?)
  • The videos are also poorly produced and unprepared. Sean goes through what might be useful information much too quickly with little regard for explaining how the product works. I watched the videos again and again, stopping, backing up, studying the screen to see if I could figure out what he was doing. But Sean is so unprepared, at one point in video #5 he even states that he forgets what’s on the page being displayed. He asks the viewers to wait a minute while he tries to remember. The he has the gall to state that this product is so powerful—blah blah blah blah blah. This is in a video that is already an hour in length, which is about twice what it should be if he would just stick to the material and present it with some logic.
  • Mr. Donahoe may be good at marketing, but he’s like the Music Man—all sales and no support. The videos demonstrate that Mr. Donahoe doesn’t have enough respect for his paying customers to even produce decent-quality training videos, much less product documentation.
  • The Azon Authority template is extremely “heavy” (programmatically) so esponse time is painfully slow. When I finally gave up on Azon and installed Prosociate response time improved noticeably.
  • As a final note, every time you log into your paid customer home page you get Mr. Donahoe yelling, “Hey there, I forgot to tell you about…” I asked repeatedly in my trouble ticket texts if there might be some way of logging into the company’s site without having to have your finger ready on the “stop” button to avoid the annoying video. Maybe the answer was in the FAQ’s but I couldn’t find it.

My contention is that more than 30 days is required for in-depth learning and evaluation of Azon Authority and the add-on products to determine whether they will function, given the lack of documentation and poor customer service. I wanted the product to work. I was serious about making the most of the product stack, thus my 32 days of trying. I would have continued, and maybe I would have eventually resolved my problems, except for the fact that on day 32 I found someone who recommended a better product, the aforementioned Prosociate, at much lower cost and was able to get my store in a presentable condition in a matter of a few hours with it.

While ADD Marketing Group has no legal obligation to refund my $400, in my most humble opinion they do have a moral and ethical obligation to do so. Their product is poorly documented, heavy, and poorly supported. I have approached them with my justification for a refund, but their answer was an insincere “Sorry, no can do. Thank you for your kind replies, you are greatly appreciated.”

As a staunch free-market capitalist, I feel I have a moral obligation to you, my readers, to let you know the problems I had with their product so that you might not lose your money. We can vote with our dollars. My advice: do not give Sean Donahoe your vote; DO NOT purchase anything from ADD Marketing Group.

Caveat emptor.


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