iContact i-sucks

Maybe its just me, bad karma or something, and I should stay away from anything with an ‘i’ in the name that tries to make itself look trendy, hip, or whatever the i is supposed to stand for. First the ihome, now a company called iContact.

Here’s the short of it. I found the company because I was in need of email marketing software. I’ve dealt with installing a solution on my own computer, and keep running into limitations of hosting services (only so many emails can be sent per hour or per day.) iContact fit the bill, seemingly, with a free trial and a plan starting at 9.95 a month.

Perfect. So I started out with a test list and built some other ones. The interface is nice and the service “seems” to work. So I upgraded my account to the $9.95 one.  I built a real autoresponder and put the form up on the web.

Of course, I have this ridiculous idea of actually testing something to make sure it works. I know, wtf, right?

Well to my surprise, I never received the double opt-in confirmation email for either test address.

So I contact their support department. Now in my mind, the opt in should come next to immediatelyn an hour or two tops. I mean, this is the mail that confirms your subscription to a list. But…nope. A support rep tells me it could take up to 24 hours. Um. Wow. Really. W-T-F.

So I wait until the next day. Nothing comes rolling in. I check my spam folder. Nope. Check my two inboxes. Nope. So I contact support again. The guy this time tells me “Hmmm…weird.” Then he asks for my email addresses so he can search through the logs and see what he can find. He asks for my email/contact info, I give it to him and he says hel’ll ‘research it’ and get back to me.

That was fuckin Tuesday. Its Thursday. I’ve heard nothing. How long does it take to search through logs? Hmm, seems you’d have a search query set for something like this. Or perhaps pulling a physical file, and Ctrl-F. Seems easy.

Now it bears mentioning that I’ve figured out (partially) what happened. I already confirmed the two addresses on a previous list, so in their system the addresses are probably set. The rub is I deleted the two addresses, then re-added them. So their database must still have those records. Therefore the system thinks I’m already confirmed…except if thats the case, and I’m already “opted-in” why don’t I receive the messages I send? And why isn’t the address listed as confirmed? Strange.

I can only take one thing away from this, logically. The delete functionality isn’t really there. Once you remove someone from any of your lists, you better not re-add them later or they will be in no man’s land.

Incidentally, I didn’t tell iContact about my hypothesis. I want to see what they come back with. If they get back to me at all, that is. Customer Service, FTW.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, February 26th, 2009 at 7:35 am and is filed under random complaints, sagas. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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