We were using Sendy as an autoresponder when my wife, Britt, found arpReach. She liked the product a lot since it could do things Sendy couldn't (and still can't as far as I know) and which she found very useful. She bought the so-called “Gold” license. According to arpReach, the Gold license gave right to the script for lifetime on five domains.
Since Britt liked the product, she recommended it to other people and, as an affiliate sold several licenses. Enough to earn her $ 225… Or should I say: Enough to earn her $ 225 if arpReach had paid the commission they owed her.
In the meantime, arpReach was sold to Mutual Advantage LTD. This shouldn't impact the commission affiliates had earned, but the representant of Mutual Advantage LTD, Frank, claimed that the previous owners said that they had no outstanding commissions, and he said he couldn't pay Britt what she should have received.
Frank was a nice guy, Britt told me. And he was really sorry about all that and he said that they will honor her commission on her coming sales if she kept on promoting arpReach and that he would try to give her a bit more each time so she would make her $225 back over time.
To be honest, I didn't like it one bit. Firstly, I don't see why they didn't pay the affiliates, all the affiliates, especially when they could document, like Britt did, that they actually sold the product. I mean, if you buy a company, whatever company it is, you certainly have to honor the debt or invoice this company has running. You just don't say to creditors: “Sorry, chaps! New owners! Tough luck! We won't pay you!”
If, for some reason, it was impossible (which I doubt!), I don't see why Frank, who was such a nice person according to Britt, didn't give lifetime upgrades for free or something like that as compensation. That wouldn't have cost him anything and it would have made everyone happy.
But Britt thought Frank was a nice guy and that we should keep on doing business with them.
If you check out arpReach on the net, you will see that many people complain about bugs and especially that these aren't fixed. But that was about to change since they were bought up.
Some time ago (months…) Facebook made some changes which meant that you couldn't post a copy of your mail automatically from arpReach to your Facebook account. “This will be fixed in the next version of the product”, Frank said. Three versions later, the bug is still there and it still doesn't work… But we have a new nice interface and the possibility to be “Arpverified”, which is a new (paid, of course!) product to “verify your email”.
And since the script is encoded, you cannot fix the PHP yourself.
We found another serious bug in segmentations. When told about this, Frank sent it to the programmers so this bug could be fixed. Needless to say that this bug isn't fixed either… But we have a new nice interface and the possibility to be “Arpverified”, which is… Oh… Sorry. Did I tell you that already?
Since I was making some instructional videos in French about how to setup arpReach and how to use it. I asked Frank (since Britt told me he was a nice guy), if I could have an extra license for a few months to install arpReach on a test-site and make the videos. I didn't want to use my own because I wasn't fond of showing everyone my lists, e-mail-addresses, etc. So it was just for a few months, the time to make the videos and to show everything from how to install, to setup, write mails… Everything (I didn't do anything about Arpverified, though!)
Then strange things began to happen.
First: The Gold license is now not for 5 sites anymore, but for 3. Needless to say that the price didn't go down accordingly. But there is often a very good offer “Save -> this week”, where you can get arpReach for a cheaper price. No need to hurry, though. “This week” is so to speak any week. Note that you can still upgrade to “the old” licence by getting an upgrade to five licence. Remember that, it will be important later on.
Second: arpReach stays adware, whatever amount you pay. You will always have a “Powered by arpReach” at the bottom of everyone of your mails.
Third: Licenses are not really lifetime licenses. Yes, of course, you might have the product on your page forever, but if you need to download your product again (for example if you move from one host to another) then you are stuck! After the “upgrade and support” time expires, you can't even download the product you bought. If you want to download the product you bought two years ago, you'll have to pay for “upgrade and support”. Very special understanding of what “lifetime” means, it seems.
Fourth: Now that we speak about renewing the licence it is time to remember what I wrote under “first”. When you need to renew your lifetime licence, you can renew three licences for $ 120. Three? What about if you have their upgrade with five licences? Will they give you the two extra for free or make a “special offer for you only”? To be honest, I wouldn't be able to check it out. Their last “update” was in December 2015. It was back then they gave the possibility to be Arpverified which is a new… Sorry! Couldn't resist.
Fifth: For some obscure reason (maybe because their script is too old), you can add a domain, but you cannot remove it yourself. You get five licenses… Sorry, three, but you can upgrade to five… You can only renew three, though… Er… This is getting complicated… For the sake of argument, let's say you have a new Gold-licence which gives you the right to three licences. You install arpReach on a site and then it will ask you for a key. You make the key through the user interface on arpReach's site. In this case, you will be able to make up to three keys.
Britt had arpReach on a domain she let go and that didn't own anymore.
If you change your mind or let a domain go or whatever, like it was the case for Britt, you might want to remove the domain from the list to “free up” the licence so it can be used for another domain.
Well, you can't do that! You have to ask arpReach to remove it for you. This is already bothering, but it doesn't stop there. ArpReach takes a fee of $35 to remove the key from their database.
Here comes the funny part. You remember the licence Frank borrowed to me, so I could make the instruction-videos? Well, it all started with me writing to Frank, telling him that the videos were finished and that I didn't need the extra-licence and telling him he could now remove it. They actually asked me $35 to remove it too!
I got pretty mad. When I answered that this was actually the drop, then Frank explained to me that I should be very glad that he went through the difficulties of borrowing one extra licence to me at no cost so I could make hours of video with a free promotion of their product. In short, I was just bloody ungrateful!
Then Frank went on and on with about that when we pay for 3 license, we shouldn't have six (or five) and that we weren't entitled to have more licenses that we paid for and so on, I never really understood what he meant and after trying for a couple of days I gave up. I finished by writing a mail in very simple English. When I sent this mail, I had tried to make him understand what was happening through several days and five or six mails:
Frank> While I appreciate that you do not like the fact that being able
Frank> to license arpReach for use on 5 domains really does mean 5
Frank> domains, not 6 or more.
Britt buy 5 licence.
Britt have 5 licence.
Cyril want make nice movie about arpReach.
Cyril ask Frank BORROW one licence.
Frank borrow one licence to Britt.
Cyril make nice-nice videos.
Prior to launch – Cyril ask Frank remove licence 6 because Cyril no
need licence 6 anymore.
Because one of Britt licence be on domain non-existing. Cyril ask
remove domain too.
Arpreach want money to remove licence Britt have.
Arpreach want money to remove licence Frank borrow Cyril.
Cyril think Arpreach unfair.
Cyril never want 6 licence for 5.
Britt never want 6 licence for 5.
I will try with drawings next time if you still don't get it.
Believe me if you want, but whilst there has been a crack of light somewhere, he seemed only to understand part of it.
Frank> Let's go though this one step at a time, just so I get it. I really want to understand where the bottleneck or mis-understanding is. I'm happy to take as long as it takes to get to the bottom of this.
1. You would like us to remove the domain malka.link from your account because that is the license you borrowed from us to make nice videos.
Is that correct?
By that time, I had given up a while ago and had decided to write this article.
So in short:
– arpReach cheats us for our affiliate money. They tell us that they will find a way to give us this money little by little over time. Britt earned more affiliate money afterwards and of course, there was not a dime more than what was earned (but Frank is quite proud that they actually did pay what they owed this time!). Britt never had any form for compensation whatsoever.
– They don't fix the bugs, the latest “update” is merely a way to try to squeeze more money from us with “Arpverify”.
– You can't download your product again after a while.
– You can't remove old license-domains unless you pay extra.
Personally, I do not recommend arpReach anymore. There's no way I will pull new users through THAT.
… So if anyone needs a set of videos in French about how to use this product…