In this Digital Access Pass review, I’ll go through my experiences with this script and the founders, co-founders and the company’s service
Digital Access Pass (DAP) is a PHP and MySQL based membership script. You can use it to handle payments; subscribing and unsubscribe members; drip feed content; and if you have PayPal Pro (costly) you can also use it as a shopping cart. You can use it as a plugin to WordPress or as a stand-alone product.
That’s the features of DAP. Now, let’s take a look at the benefits and especially the drawbacks of Digital Access Pass. I want you to keep reading so you can be prepared, should you decide to purchase DAP.
Several years ago, I bought a webmaster script package from Ravi Jayagopal. It was way before you could just buy a standard script to handle automatic delivery of electronic goods.
I used this script together with another script that would encrypt my PayPal buttons to avoid theft. It worked, but I had to do a lot of manual work. However, like I said: Back then you didn’t have much choice, so I was quite happy with the product.
I recommended it to two other persons that I saw asking questions on a PayPal developer forum. I had joined the affiliate program, so I earned a 50% royalty. Several months later, I remembered this and asked Ravi to pay out. He did so very quickly afterwards. I didn’t think much of the situation back then, since affiliate programs were in their youth as well.
Then Ravi wrote a book and asked if anybody would review it. It turned out that you had to buy the book (in print) to review it, so I wasn’t interested.
After that, I did a review of a WordPress plugin for him (a contact form), and then he came out with his first version of Digital Access Pass. He offered beta testing copies with no updates. I said that I would like to review it, but since it would demand a lot of work to do so (installing, testing, installing updates, etc.) I thought he should offer free life-time updates.
He said ‘okay’. So I got access in October 2008.
Do I have this conversation in writing? I think so, yes, but probably on a harddisk somewhere in the basement, so I’m not going to spend time looking it up. I trust my memory on this point as well as others, you’ll learn about shortly.
Like I wrote in an earlier post, I had some trouble making DAP work the way it should. And since I was in no direct need to use it, I just stopped. A couple of years later, they offered an iPad as a reward for promoting DAP.
Well, I didn’t have access to any downloads anymore. So I wrote, and the staff told me that since I’ve only sold one lousy copy of their product, they had stopped my access. Well, not in those words, but you can see for yourself here: http://getmoneymakingideas.com/pics/Ravi-Mail.png
Please note, how they twist my words from “It would seem fake to promote something I don’t use” to “But if you won’t promote DAP unless we give you a free copy, then unfortunately, we’re going to have to pass on your offer.”
I wasn’t asking for a free copy. I already got a “free” copy, when I did the beta testing, and I was promised life-time updates.
And oh yes, I’ve been promoting the script actively, and a lot of users downloaded it, but what can I say? Members of my list are not rich guys, who can just throw in $200 – $300 in a script. I thought to begin with that the script was too expensive, but my opinion was ignored.
Nevermind. I chose not to pursue and didn’t promote DAP.
After all these negative experiences, after getting the impression that Ravi is somewhat stingy, and after noticing that the affiliate royalty is only 30% (RAP and other scripts offer 50%), why did I choose to buy Digital Access Pass in August 2011?
My husband wanted a membership site, and we’ve set it up with the Profits Theme. Unfortunately, there was a problem with this theme, and all our subscribers were unsubscribed by the script. Voupti! Out you go!
This bug had been repaired, but we were on our way to Israel, so I didn’t have time to take care of it. Months later, I found out that I couldn’t just set up an extra product and offer our clients to get back, where they left. So I decided to look for a membership script.
My first choice was WP Sales Automator. I got this script for free (with life time updates), but it sells for only $10, and the founder provides excellent service! Really! Even to those who got the script for free. He’s even created some special features just for me at a time I needed them.
However, this script couldn’t handle drip feeding, and I would have to purchase an affiliate addon to make that part work.
I also considered the addon to Rapid Action Profits, but I was lazy. Using that would mean that I had to install RAP on this new site as well. So the third alternative was DAP.
Purchasing and installing DAP went smoothly.
Even though I hate watching videos and prefer to read a product manual, I watched the videos to learn how to install the script correctly, and how to set up the membership products and customer area.
I thought I had it all right, but somewhere along the line, I must have missed a detail.
I wasn’t about to know anything about that before the end of the 30 day’s refund guarantee period.
Friday afternoon, a client paid for his second month, only to discover that he still didn’t have access to the content. Not even the content he paid for the last month.
I checked, but I had no idea why his data hadn’t been updated by the script. Yes, he paid. Yes, the script had registered that he paid. However, his access period wasn’t updated, so he only got a blank screen. No products at all.
I contacted support right away. They only work from Monday – Friday according to their home page, but I hoped that my urgent problem could catch somebody’s attention anyway.
As you will see shortly on the attached photo, my ticket actually arrived a couple of hours before the end of their business week, but I only got a reply the following day.
I got several possible reasons for why their script didn’t work for some of our clients: that I should use 31 days as a period instead of 30; if I’d followed their guidelines closely etc.
I replied ‘yes’.
Then I was asked to make a test purchase (again – I already did, before I relaunched the site). I said ‘no’.
Doing a test purchase would mean that I had to delete the test user (which I didn’t know how to do); transfer money to my secondairy PayPal account (which would cost fees); do another test purchase and send the log file to Digital Access Pass.
I simply didn’t have the time to do all this, and besides, I was convinced (and it turned out that I was right) that this was unnecessary work.
Which I told them.
Then no further replies from them.
Two days passed, and I wrote again. I said that I wasn’t impressed by their service (answering only about once every 24 hours; giving me unnecessary tasks; asking the same questions that were already answered), and I was told that I was “nasty and rude”.
Well, so be it. I’m a bitch. I expect to get a minimum of service, when I purchase a script to $297. And if telling a company that offers lousy service that I’m not impressed is being “nasty and rude”, then again … So be it!
The problem might be solved. I was told that I should have put “30” in the “Second trial” field. I’d written “0”, since I had no second trial period.
This, of course, still doesn’t answer the question: Why did it work for some of our clients?
I’m not going to ask. Neither about another problem I have with formatting the results in the script. I’m not going to expend myself to that kind of service again.
I should have bought Rapid Action Press or have given a damn about drip feeding content (which I could have done with AWeber).
Lesson learnt – again! I should have listened to my intuition that told me that if somebody is stingy (in my opinion), and doesn’t keep his word (in my memory), then I shouldn’t do business with them.
Oh, by the way, you can see the whole ticket thread here – I put it online so you can see for yourself how “nasty and rude” I am 😉
I realize that I have no proof at the moment about the promise about the life time updates, when I beta tested Digital Access Pass.
I realize that you might think I am a bitch, and that I should just have done the costly, time-consuming and unnecessary tests, they asked from me.
In that case, please go ahead, try your luck with Digital Access Pass.
But if you believe me and want to save yourself from wasting time and having a bad experience, take one of the two other products, I recommend, either WP Sales Automator (really sympatic programmer behind this one) or Rapid Action Press (I haven’t tried it, but I love Rapid Action Profits, and Sid is the personification of good customer service).
But I care about you – the readers of my blog; my list members… I’ve recommended DAP earlier, and I wanted to correct this mistake. I wouldn’t want anybody to get back to me and tell me that he/she bought it, because I recommended it, and that now they’ve had bad experiences with it.
Hopefully the script will work without problems, especially after August next year, because I’m only getting updates so far. But if it doesn’t, I don’t want to feel guilty that others bought because of my recommendation.
UPDATE: I got a refund, although the 30 days had passed. Obviously, after I received the message, I no longer have access to Digital Access Pass, although I have to wait several days, before I can see the money back on my bank account and, technically, can buy a new script 😉
Yeah, well, I kind of expected that after the service they deliver 😉
Even more surprising… When I checked our MySQL database to export the users (easier than just using the screen dump I took, because I suspected that DAP would cut my access), I discovered that all our users passwords were in clear text!
Good to know, if you should ever join a membership site that is powered by Digital Access Pass – you’re leaving your password open for the administrators to read.
Therefore this honest Digital Access Pass review.