The last time Stompernet opened its doors, soliciting for people to join its elite monthly membership program, I signed up.
Like most internet marketers today, they used the SCARCITY tactic – if you don’t sign up now, we’re closing the doors and who knows when you’ll be able to get in again?
So I joined and if I cancelled within 30 days, they would return my money for the membership. However, it was not disclosed in their No-Risk Guarantee that I would have to pay separately for shipping the course materials (about $40), and upon cancelling, I would also have to pay for the return shipping to send them back.
You’d think that for a membership fee of $800/month, they could send you the course materials for free. But perhaps this is indicative of a high cancellation rate on their products. Who knows?
At any rate, I joined and I spent about 6 hours a day powering through as much learning as I could glean from their membership site and simultaneously implementing some key tweaks on my website that they claimed should immediately result in a 15 – 20% increase in sales.
By the end of about two and a half weeks, I cancelled my membership. Why?
Well, I can tell you that if you’re fairly new to doing business on the Internet, Stompernet Membership is probably worth your money and you should see a good return on your investment.
However, I’ve been doing business online for 10 years now and while a lot of their stuff was useful, it did not lead to any increase in revenue for me – either immediately or longer-term. Also, a large portion of their stuff I already knew.
But the big disappointment was the coaching and mentoring. This is the main reason I joined. Stompernet promised a one-on-one coach who would work directly with me on my business. This is what was worth $800/month to me. Since it is very hard for me to find people with more experience than I have to take an objective view of my biz. I get lost in the classic “can’t see the wood for the trees” scenario.
An independent, objective, yet highly experienced internet coach was definitely what I needed… and didn’t get. Stompernet’s excuse was: Wow! We’ve had so many people join, we’ve run out of coaches, so it’s going to take us a while to get new coaches up and running.
Can you believe that? I’ve never heard anything so pathetic in my life! And just where are they going to find all these new, highly trained, specialized, experienced coaches? What are the odds I would eventually be assigned someone with less experience than I have? Pretty darn high, I think
An Aside: This is exactly what happened to me when I joined IMC’s (Internet Marketing Center’s) mentoring program (cost: $10,000). First of all, they were honest and said it would take a while to find me a coach with more experience than I had. Okay, that’s fine, I appreciate honesty. But then the coach they eventually assigned me had WAY less experience than me and then they also wanted me to go through their cookie cutter “website-improvement” program without taking a close, individualized look at my business. Ridiculous.
Anyway, back to Stompernet. So there I was, after nearly 3 weeks (that’s $600 gone) and NO COACH.
My second problem with their excuse/reason for not having enough coaches is that it reeks of amateur planning. Anyone with any business experience would have figured out in the planning stages how many people they could accept for membership, based on the number of coaches they had.
Either that, or they got rampantly greedy and decided to wing it. Not good either way. They’ve betrayed my trust, I wonder as to their skill levels and business acumen and I’m now suspicious of their motives. I’m not feeling a whole lot of care and regard for the customer here.
Now, IF they had brilliant support and coaching on their membership forum, that could have made up for it somewhat. But here’s what I discovered about the Forum Experts – and I posted extensively: As long as I asked generalized questions, I would get a response.
But as soon as I asked specific, detailed questions, directly applicable to my unique situation – that would require the expert to actually go and have a look at my sites – I got….NO response. I’m not kidding. They would just ignore any specific questions entirely, or else give me a generalized answer about the topic in general.
So there you have it in a nutshell:
- If your business is less than three years old, you’ll probably benefit from Stompernet Monthly Membership because you can learn a ton from their automated content; videos, articles, forum posts, etc.
- But, if you really need some one-on-one, experienced coaching, or specific advice and feedback, give it a miss.
Personally, I wonder just what their rate of cancellation was… it must have been really high.
My membership site has a teeny-tiny number of members by comparison. But I’ve only had 2 cancellations since I launched 8 months ago. Apparently, this is unheard of for membership sites. But you know what? If you actually deliver what you promise and you don’t scalp people for it, why would they cancel?
It’s a real shame, because I’ve remained on Stompernet’s mailing list since they do put out excellent content for free (wonder if we’ll see a backlash with Eben Pagan’s “moving the free line” ethos after a while…) and I really like Andy Jenkin’s personality. I think he’s a great guy.
But due to that bad experience, I simply don’t trust them anymore. Case in point: I just received an email from Andy inviting me to their StomperNet LIVE 7 Event on March 6-8 in Atlanta. Ordinarily, I would seriously consider going as it looks right up my alley.
However, I DON’T TRUST THEM ANYMORE. Hence, I’m not willing to take the chance and waste any money. Because my last experience keeps playing through my head; where they made some very attractive promises and so miserably didn’t deliver. It’s sad really.
p.s. One good thing about the StomperNet Membership – they were so late getting the course materials sent out, that by the time I cancelled they still hadn’t shipped them. So I avoided all the shipping charges. Again, poor management, or, delayed on purpose due to high cancellation rates? Another positive: Their customer service was really good; responsive, pleasant and absolutely no hassles.
all the best,