Why I think Advanced Access Sucks! (Realtor Websites)

advanced-access-logo.jpg

Advanced Access is company that builds template websites for Realtors. They sell you on their websites and how they will optimize your website to be “search engine friendly”, meaning that the site will place high in the search engine rankings.

What they don’t tell you is how their service is horrible and if they do not build the website the way it was promised- they will not do anything about it. They are well-practiced at apologizing, but don’t deliver on any solutions.  While I was talking to the salesperson I was told all about how wonderful they were and how they pride themselves on their service. He told me about their 30-day money back guarantee and if I was unhappy about anything I could cancel the deal. What I experienced was very different…

They do not care about you after you have paid.

I paid for their top-of-the-line program, apparently the very best service and site possible from them. This cost me about $3000, plus whatever I wanted to pay for links and ads and such.

I was told they would build a website and optimize it for home searches in Salt lake City, Utah, but because they already have another client with Salt Lake City as their main city that they would make another city my “main” city, but it would still be completely optimized for Salt Lake City and really wouldn’t matter which city was named as my primary.

This was a lie. The site was built around another city and when I asked them to optimize it for Salt Lake City, as promised I was told they wouldn’t because another client had a site optimized for Salt Lake. I went over exactly what the sales person had told me and the service personnel said the salespeople would never have told me what they did and they would not do anything about it. The website was built as a template and the linking strategy and optimization would be according to their program and I could cancel or just accept their program.

They have a 30-day money-back policy, but it took them longer than that to even put the site together. In fact the site is still not completed and it has been about 60 days. When I informed Eric Mendes (a service rep) about this I was told the 30 day policy began the day I signed up, no matter how long it took them to build the site. He was not willing to discuss my concerns or offer any solutions.

So even if the product is not available to see, the policy expires. I called back and asked for Eric’s supervisor. They directed me to Casey Griswold, who informed me that he was, in fact Eric’s supervisor and after explaining the situation he told me that he didn’t care whether the product was what I was promised and the 30 days had expired and if I wasn’t happy I could cancel the website, but will receive no refund or concession of any sort.

I told him that I work with a lot of agents and couldn’t understand why they would want to give such horrible service to someone who could refer a lot of agents their way, to which he responded that he didn’t care.

Their business is built from online leads, not from referrals, and I don’t see this changing with the horrible service and ridiculous policies they have. Not only will I never do business with Advanced Access again, but I will let everyone I know about my experience and how I think Advanced Access, Eric Mendes, and Casey Griswold have bad business sense and no respect for their paying customers once the credit card has been charged.

Advanced Access= Buyer Beware

If you are looking for the best real estate website anywhere- with the best design and search- go to

blueroof360.com

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144 thoughts on “Why I think Advanced Access Sucks! (Realtor Websites)

    • They truly are a bunch of liars, who make all kind of false promises, to get one sign up and then making more promises and never to deliver. It is amazing …

  1. Hi Greg,

    Thanks for the heads-up. I’ll put this vendor on my “do-not-buy” list. I know it’s no consolation for the hassle you’ve had, but with just Jay’s answer and mine, they’ve already lost $6000 in potential business!

    • Still true today. They made promises and after you have paid, they will not give refunds even after 15 days! I went through two account reps. First one did not keep our scheduled appointment times. They don’t communicate between departments. Terrible customer service – beware!

  2. LOL why oh why do Internet people screw over active bloggers.

    Having followed BlueRoof for quite some time, I completely believe you Greg. Final a complaint with the appropriate consumer protection wing of the state government.

  3. your reaction is very understandable. i’d be pretty steamed myself had i had an experience like yours. but the one thing i have to say that i would have done differently was cancel WITHIN the 30 days. Had my sales person told me i had a 30-day money back guarantee i would’ve assumed like most business people that that means cancel “within 30 days.” why didnt you?

  4. Wow, I had the exact same experience with them. Two cases like this is too few to cry “lying in wait conspiracy” but very suspect… However, I was eventually able to get my money back. I did some internet detective work to find out who was the company’s CEO and emailed him directly. He sent an email to someone in the company and copied me telling her to refund my money. I wish I still had this contact information for you but it is worth a try.

    A 30-day guarantee of course starts AFTER the product is delivered. A typical 1-year guarantee on a newly built home does not start at the day they break ground, right? Can I get an “Amen?”

  5. Thanks for the warning. I don’t know if they are in California yet, but I’ll be sure to spread the word. I’m an agent with Prudential California Realty and a lot of our agents are starting to get Websites.

    Why would a company want to upset someone with a widely read blog (especially that agents read)?

    Now other people are talking about them, too.

    http://www.reliberation.com/blogs/phoenixrealestate/archive/2007/04/11/one-bloggers-thoughts-on-a-p2-competitor.aspx

  6. Will,

    I didn’t go into it thinking I wanted to cancel, and frankly didn’t think they would start the 30-days the day I signed the agreement. I thought it was 30 days from the time the site was finished. My mistake- the site still is not finished- they still haven’t added the home search function (for a home search website)!

    Brian-

    Exactly- how would I know if I was happy with the product for 30 days if it wasn’t even done?

    Missy,

    I told them that I do technology training for Prudential and that I blog and would share my experiences about how they handled my account, whether it was good or bad, but they didn’t seem to care.

    This is a new day for customer service because people can actually research companies and discover whether they treat their customers well or not.

    Bottom line- offer good service and if you mess up don’t charge people anyway. You learn a lot about people with the way they handle their mistakes.

  7. There are three sides to the story. Your side, AA’s side and the truth.
    What ever they did though, you felt powerless and cheated, thus this post. The moral of the story for me is not to not use Advanced Access but to make sure that my customers and clients do not feel powerless and cheated. Just because I’m right doesn’t help my business. Our policy: no policy. CUSTOMer Service should be custom to each person.

  8. Update- A representative of Advanced Access has contacted me (Anna Bourland) and informed me that she has read this blog and the company is concerned with my situation.

    She says she spoke to the president of the company and they will be refunding my money.

    Too bad this was not done in the beginning, but at least they are making it right.

    • Hello Greg, I wish I would have read this blog before signing up with this crooks. My story is very similar than yours. I was contacted by theirs sales rep saying how dedicated their tech support is and how our sattisfaction was their number one priority. Of course this was a lie. After their 30 day “money back guarantee, they did not care about my website anymore. They did not complete all the requests I sent them and now they tell me I am under contract and cannot terminate the agreement for a full 12 month. I think this blog is great to keep realtos informed and I will pass it along to my contact list wich adds up to over 300 realtors all over California.

  9. I think we all have a least two stories like this from either website builders or lead generators. It took us about six months to resolve a similar situation and a friend of ours about the same.

    What did we learn – Use Skype with Hot Recorder – and record all such calls with sales people.

    Add that to the list of spy tricks!

  10. I had the EXACT same experience with z57. Tons of promises, but the $700 startup and $50/month wasn’t enough to make your site successful, they try to schedule to meet with a “coach” for better SEO. For your site to really work as promissed (maybe), expect to pay $2000/month. Forget it. Buy a mac, download rapidweaver http://www.realmacsoftware.com/rapidweaver/, and make your own!

  11. Does the car warranty begin when they are building it, Will, or when you drive the car off the lot?? Of course Greg’s 30 days should beging when his site went “live”.

    Just curious Greg, why a new site, is it one for lead gen, or replacing BR, ??

  12. I had technically the same experience with them. I spoke with about 3 customer service persons. someone from customer service named William Holten, “Quality Assurance Manager” emailed me, he requested for me to call him in order to complete my cancellation and authenticate my request and verify some some additional information. Insted of doing this he insisted for me to continue the services and threatened me to bring the account to collection in case they cannot draft the payment to my credit account. I told them repeatedly that their product sucks!

  13. Mike,

    I had the new site built because the websites I have were all built around my preference of having visually appealing websites that don’t include a lot of text and links. But search engines don’t like those sort of websites because they don’t have a lot of text to tell if they are relevant to the consumer’s search.

    So I wanted to build a website that was designed from an SEO (search engine optimization) standpoint to see the difference with traffic, lead conversion, and just overall experience for the consumer. I want to see the difference actually owning a website that was developed to be search engine friendly versus the type I own now.

    I don’t know who to use because this was my experience with one of these companies.

  14. Our office currently has an Advanced Access website, and I agree with Greg. The service is absolutely horrible. They do not return calls, thay do not return emaisl, the only time I have ever been able to get any response out of them for anything is by threatening to pull our account. Right now, they’re having major problems. As of right now, 1:47 PM Wednesday, May 23, their servers have been down since Monday. Someone at their company had the bright idea to put the main servers AND the back-up servers on the SAME POWER SUPPLY, in the same place. Really intelligent huh?? At first, we lost everything, our site, our emails, all of it. Then yesterday we got email back, but no site until later in the day. As of right now we have a site, but most of the things in our website editor are not working. I have gotten nothing but a run around everytime I’ve called and been able to actually get through. Here is an email I sent to them last night:

    —– Original Message —–
    From: Susan M. J
    To: support@advancedaccess.com
    Sent: Tuesday, May 22, 2007 11:45 PM
    Subject: Your Techs have a problem with “time”
    Hi,

    I spoke with one of your techs Monday who stated to me that the problem would be rectified by the end of the day. Tuesday morning the problem still wasn’t fixed, I called again and was told it would be just a ‘little while longer’. I called again this evening 6:30 and was told the servers would be back up in a “couple hours”.

    It is now almost midnight on Tuesday, and I still cannot access our virtual office editor.

    Perhaps on Monday when they said the problem would be rectified by the end of the day, that wasn’t an entirely complete statement. Perhaps they weren’t talking about the end of the day THAT day, maybe they meant the end of the day Wednesday or Thursday…? Is that it…?

    Or Tuesday when I was told it would be ‘just a little while longer’ until everything was fixed, perhaps that particular time frame was stated to me by one of your techs operating from a different dimension, where another entire day really IS ‘just a little while.”.

    And I’m wondering….doesn’t ‘a couple’, mean, ‘two’? Or is it different in the magical, mystical land of Advanced Access Technicians, where a couple actually means …. more than 5?

    I’d call back tomorrow, but I see no point, because my tomorrow and your tomorrow apparently do not exist in the same time frame.

    Thank you.

    11:41 PM/EST

    or “87:63QZ/AAT” (Advanced Access Time, and no I havent actually seen your clocks, I’m just guessing.)

    Susan

    ++++++++++++++

    Honestly I was just trying to sound as ridiculous as theyre being right now.

    Anyway, we’re pulling our account as soon as our other site goes through with REMAX.com.

    Do NOT use Advanced Access, unless you like these types of problems.

  15. It appears that all this feedback has helped me in my decision not to use Advanced Access……In talking with some friends who use this product…..they explained that the site has been down now for almost 3 days…something I am not looking for.

    I have researched a company called Birdview Technologies….who seem to have all the solutions I am looking for, as well as what my office is interested in as well. Take a look for yourself to see if it’s something that could work for you

  16. Has anyone here ever dealth with Agent Image? They seem to have some good options for custom and semi custom…

    • My experience with Agent Image was not great. I signed up for their semi custom website package and found an example of one of the websites they designed. They told me it would cost extra. I have no control over the back end except the text, and it takes many, many hours to write all of the content or you can pay them $100 a page. I would not recomment wasting your money because they do not offer refunds. I have been looking at posts for the last few day and have come across many negative reviews about them all saying the same thing. Good Luck.

  17. Mike, agent image is great. They have good service and they work with you on what it is you’re looking for. I’ve been really happy with their service and product.

    I recommend them to others.

  18. I have tried many different web template sites such as advanced access, z57, Agent Image and more

    1. Worst thing is in the way their sites are built, their code is horrible when it comes to getting on the search engines, and if search engines see a whole bunch of sites with the same code structure, they all will do poorly.

    2. You NEED a webmaster not a web servicing company that has loads of people and turnover so you have to keep restating your issue again and again

    My Recommendation (and Savior)
    Go to front page placement dot com
    You will get one point of contact who is an actual webmaster, not a monkey on a phone that knows a little to impress you

    These people specialize in Search Engine Optimization.

    I’m a mortgage broker and have thrown away thousands of dollars in the wrong places like these service companies mentioned, I will be cancelling my advanced access website as it hasn’t garnered me one lead since last september

    Now most of my business comes from leads generated by the awesome top ranking site that was completely custom made for my company.

    I take pride in the fact that my website is on the front page of the search engines for some extremely competitive terms, but mostly I’m happy about a site that actually produces, this choice has made up for the past mistakes I have made.

    Trust me get one guy that knows what he is doing and you will be a lot happier

  19. I too am a former Advanced Access customer. To say they sucked is the understatement of the century. The sites is basically a front end for a bunch of affiliate marketing links.

    When I cancelled I had a similar experience to Perla above. After 5 weeks of pulling teeth to get my domain transferred elsewhere and the service cancelled I got a voice mail from Ryan Smith, a “quality assurance manager.” After two weeks of phone tag this cheeseball finally sent me an email telling me that they couldn’t cancel service without my calling him and telling him to cancel the service (something I had done with another rep 7 weeks before!) I finally was contacted by his manager, Michael LaLonde, as rude, arrogant and condescenging a person as it has ever been my displeasure to talk with. As of today, almost two months after my cancellation request, the service may finally be cancelled.

    If anyone reading this has had cancellation issues with AA, please contact me. From the many posts I’ve read on other blogs, my experience is not unique and I’m looking to get a class action suit going.

  20. A little late in the game here, but this is interesting reading.

    I’m a web developer that works with Realtors, so I’m familiar with some of the challenges.

    First, I am sorry to hear you had so much trouble with AA. If they told you they’d do something, they need to do it. If they already had an SEO client in SLC, they should not have sold you their services. It’s a conflict of interest for them to have more than one person paying for SEO services in a single area. I personally feel that any SEO expert should be careful not to step on their clients’ toes by working for competitors as well.

    That being said, if a company is good at SEO and they only take 1 client per market, you should expect that it will be expensive. Good SEO really is a lot of hard work. A lot of research, content development, tweaking and tracking is required. Developing good back links can be difficult, especially for a site that is specifically for commercial purposes.

    Here’s the thing: Web development has a low barrier of entry. If you have a computer and some time on your hands, you can learn it. Will you be good at it? Not likely. I’ve spent 7 years as a software engineer for Fortune 500 companies, start ups, individuals, mom-and-pop businesses, etc. I manage servers, write back end software, analyze performance, design and do SEO. AA probably has a lot entry level people working for them at very low salaries (for the industry). There’s no dedication from those employees. It’s a paycheck and nothing more.

    So, my suggestion to all Realtors is to find a web developer or firm that has a VESTED INTEREST in your success. It could be a one-man operation or a small firm where all the employees have ownership. In these cases, the “salesperson” will likely be the person doing the work themselves. This means they won’t over-promise and under-deliver.

    Side note: AA’s web designs are some of the worst in the world and quite frankly, I believe companies like them are the reason why so many real estate agent sites look horrible and get zero results.

    As far as template sites go: While custom is obviously the way to go, templates can be beneficial. They’re much more cost effective than custom websites, so if you’re on a budget they’re not a bad idea. You just have to pick the right one. If they offer a free trial, that will likely give you an idea of what you’re getting.

    And as a web developer who works with Realtors, I’d like to thank Greg and everyone else for all the insightful feedback. Helps me know what I’m up against. 😉

  21. Hi guys –

    I just did a search for “Advanced Access” sucks because I used to be one of the saespeople there. At first, they sell us on the service as well. Eventually, I found out two very important things. One, Realtors don’t want to be web designers. Two, their (AA) service was terrible.

    I was let go for spending too much time with my agents trying to optimize their sites and training them. My job was to keep selling these websites and not worry about training people on how to use them.

    Well, I take umbrage with selling something that is not properly represented once service is needed. So – I started my own company. Since my degree is in Web Design and I had all the contacts and DID provide GREAT service, I found myself very busy rather quickly.

    So – as an insider, I would completely agree that their service is absolutely terrible with their new ownership. Before they were bought out, they were a pretty good company though.

    Bottom Line – Stay away from AA and most template companies if you really want to be at the top of the search engines.

    Paul

  22. Greg,
    Not much has changed since you started this thread. Just more quality agents have left Advanced Access due to the continuing problems, especially down-time and customer service. As a current AA client, I experience their difficulties staying online each week and especially on weekends when more buyers are searching the net. Why am I still with them? After being with them since 2004, I still have about nine months to go. After their infamous “Black(out) Monday when the lights all went off for about 36 hours, nothing seems to be working right on a regular basis. To top that off, customer service provides mostly ‘canned’ responses and seldom anything informative. Weekends go by with no reps answering the message board pleas for help. Anna Bourland is on leave for a while and was good at CS but she is/was only a go-between to appease the agents. What they really need is a good house-cleaning from the top down with each and every person there filling out a description of what they actually do during their 8-hour shift and compare that to what their job description is. If someone asked you what you did over the last eight hours, could you warrant your paycheck? Are they understaffed or just “poorly” staffed with unqualified employees? One thing is for sure, their customer service needs a lot of improvement.

    Feel free to add your comments at my AAPowerOutage blog at: http://AAPowerOutage.wordpress.com/

  23. I am having the same experience with Advanced Access. I wish I looked online for these comments before signing on with them. I’ve learned my lesson. I currently have a “website” with them and it is still not fully operational after a whopping 4 months! I have over 50 listings and cannot get pictures to load or anything on any more than 2 of them as of 10 minutes ago. I’m going to work to find a solution, but so far, have been completely defeated.

    They may make a little off of me for a year as they won’t let me out of my “contract,” which like someone said earlier, ended after 30 days, and they hadn’t even gotten my site working right by then (or even now 3 months later). If they do actually allow my service to end as I have requested repeatedly, I will put a notice on this site letting people know and give full credit to the gentleman or lady who helps me at AA, but until then, I can only hope.

    Feeling abused in Michigan,
    John

  24. Well, I must say, I’m in shock.

    I just called American Express to file a complaint about Advanced Access and request a chargeback for the fees that I have been charged even though my website still does not work right after 4 months and not being able to get them to respond to any calls or emails requesting the name and phone number or email address of the CEO.

    I filed a chargeback once before when I had gotten taken by a company called “Top Search Solutions” last year and American Express really stuck up for me and we won hands down once all of the evidence was examined. If you have American Express, you already know how great the service is.
    The lady at American Express looked at my account after I told her the issue with Advanced Access, and she said that according to my latest activity, I had just been credited the fees back and that there was a note that I was not going to be getting any more charges. Can you believe it?
    I was not getting anyone to answer my emails or phone calls, but at least the folks at Advanced Access did the right thing.

    Well, I am a man of my word, and I had said that if they did comply I would post the good news on this site, and I am just following through with that promise.

    I’m not saying I would ever use Advanced Access again, but I may consider them if the service level ever improves over there. At one time, their sites really ranked high, so that is why I went with them in the first place. I wonder what happened?

    Feeling better in Michigan (despite the bad market),
    John

  25. John,

    I’m glad to hear you were taken care of- Some companies need to realize that people are talking about them and they should take care of these types of issues BEFORE they get out into the consumer dialogue.

    What’s right is right, and if a company doesn’t deliver what they promise- they’ll pay for it, as they should.

    Good service deserves to be rewarded with the business…

  26. I am writing to let you know about my horrible experience with Advanced Access. I purchased their template website and premium marketing package for $4399. After 10 months of waiting for results, I was disappointed to learn that I only had 30 unique visitors for the previous month. 30 visitors? That is a ridiculously low number.

    I was told at the time I signed up for my Premium Marketing Package that the metatags and keywords would be customized for each of my webpages. This was never done. Instead, all of my webpages have the same metatags and keywords. So, for example, when you search in google for my website only one page shows up as having been indexed.

    I was also told at the time I signed up for my Premium Marketing Package that I would receive a monthly analysis of my website with personalized suggestions as to how I could add to, or alter, the content of my website to increase my search engine rankings. Despite this promise, the first time I received an e-mail from AA with specific suggestions on how to improve my search engine rankings was 9 months after I signed up for the package. These suggestions were only provided to me after I called AA to find out what was going on with the search-engine optimization of my website. During this call, I was also told that the person who had been assigned to optimize my website was no longer with AA and that I would have to be assigned a new representative. Had I not called AA, I don’t know when you would have figured out that no one was working on the search-engine optimization for my website.

    These are just some of the ways in which AA failed to live up to the promises that were made to me when I signed up for the Premium Marketing Package. More than 10 months after I signed up for the Premium Marketing Package with AA, my website still has not been optimized. As the statistics for the last month show, I had 30 unique visitors to my website.

    I sued AA in small claims court and obtained a judgment against them for all of the money I paid them. I have not received any of it yet because they are appealing the Judge’s decision. It is ridiculous that AA forced me into the position of having to sue them for their failure to optimize my website, and that they are still refusing to admit this failure by appealing the Judge’s decision.

    I strongly encourage anyone who is considering hiring AA to optimize their website to do their homework. Knowing what I know now, I would never choose to work with them again.

    Very disappointed,
    ~Amanda

  27. Anyone looking to hire someone for website design or internet marketing would do well to check out our totally free real estate marketing resources. Regardless of who you choose to design your site, core marketing elements should be implemented to emphasize the most attractive aspects of your business, and the right campaigns should be launched to aggressively advertise those services you offer. We don’t talk about trying to fool the search engines or any of that stuff; simply making your site the best quality website it can be is all that it takes to make a difference.

  28. I recently agreed to the Advanced access not setup fee agreement with only a $49.00 monthly payment, 30 day trial. I cancelled via e-mail and phone message within a week and left over 12 messages only to get a response after the 30 days was up and they refused to cancell and demanded the full 12 month payments by made. The management is so unprofessional and are worse than used care salesmen, I was only dumb enough to be taken. BEWARE ADVANCED ACCESS ARE CROOKS!

  29. I couldnt agree more Greg! I had a similar situation with them as well. Except I did not pay $3000. I bought the middle package for $599.99 and nothing is customizable like they say it is, it took them 15 days to complete my IDX, their customer service sucked big time and when I complained they basically made me feel like I was completely out of luck. I filed them in BBB and Consumer Affairs. So now after I spent a boat load of money with them, I still had no site. So I did some research and found a company that actually does care, lets you customize your site to the fullest and had very good customer service. This company is called Superlative. My site is being upgraded(for FREE) right now otherwise I would share it as an example. Check them out, you don’t need to pay for links added or nothing. Their IDX updates every 20 minutes and their servers never go down. I have been with them for almost a year now and I am definitely going to continue my service. Advanced Access SUCKS!!! And I hope they go Bankrupt!!!

  30. I was one of AA’s very first clients. I was a raving fan for a few years and sent them literally hundreds of clients.

    I left a few years ago and did my own thing, then switched again to my present site.

    What has happened at AA over the last two years is beyond belief. Once the company was sold, things went from bad to worse.

    The marketing plan they soak people for is pathetic and they’ll never get the .NET code right for their “new” 4.0.

    Stay away.

  31. If you need any help or contact information for any of the executive team let me know. I spent 6 years with Advanced Access as a Director/National Speaker and recently resigned in December. Too many icebergs surrounding that ship. Especially with a blind captain. Sorry to hear the problems you all are having.

    • Do we own the domain name that we pay for with two cows. If not, how do we get it released from aa? What is the procedure that will work in the shortest amount of time?

      Thanks for your help!

    • I would like to contact someone in upper management. I had Advanced access for 8 years -all was fine as I had a friend help me design the website and it worked and I made money. . The IDX is my problem. I had logicaldog doing the IDX download on my Advanced Access then got disappointed with their customer service. Got the CEO of Coldwell Banker to give Advanced Access a license just for me. The search results are horrible and I was told the small changes I require for the IDX will go to programming to go on a “wish list”
      So far the only number I have is customer service and their hands are tied as this is a programming problem. I spoke to someone at Dominion and she said that Advanced Access needs to have the same fields as our NWMLS has data for. Thank you for any gelp you can give me.
      Joan Furlong
      joanfurlong@seattlecondos.com

  32. This outfit has a 1 year minimum in the contract. I had to close my real estate office for health reasons and the sales manager said that I signed a contract and would be billed for a year. I cancelled the credit card and told them to sue me. I figure if a $600. seal will upset them this much they deserve to get screwed. They never dis supply me with a website but Mr. Personality (sales mgr) still maintains I owe them.

    I would not use or recommend them for anything

  33. Juan, would you mind posting an email address where a former frustrated AA client could contact you for information on how to get in touch with AA’s upper management. I am still trying to get my money back from them after the crappy job they did ont my website. Thank you!

  34. I had Advanced Access for a little under a year, I ran into them due to a seminar from a Roger Butcher seminar (http://www.rogerbutcher.com) and I found them HORRIBLE to deal with. The same guy “Mendes” or whatever his name is dealt with me, I paid them big bucks and finally I decided to learn some html and I did it on my own. I get better results with my semi designed site than I ever did with these shysters. As for the BlueRoof 360, it looks good but it’s too expensive and I don’t want to be in someone else’s control.

  35. As requested from several emails to me through my personal site I have elaborated and posted the contact info for management.

    I spent almost 6 years with Advanced Access and after seeing things rapidly fall apart since the departure of John Morris, I finally resigned in December. The only thing I can tell you is good luck. You’re going to need it. The Customer Service Director doesnt actually deal with customers, and the General Manager (previously known as the President – pre Dominion Enterprises who is now being shopped by Landmark by the way, owner of Dominion Homes Media) doesnt understand the needs of his clients and according to the final Newsletter I received as an employee ‘07 was the most profitable year in the company’s history! No mention of the fact that what was the heart of the company has jumped ship seeing the iceberg ahead.

    In case you want it, the phone number for Justin Davis is

    714-685-5128 Office Direct

    Aron Spegon is the Director of Customer Service (no number available, lol)

    And if you’re interested in who is in charge of denying you your money back even though your site is not up 3 months into your contract you can call the “Director of Sales” Casey Griswold 714-685-5135. Office Direct – in charge of sales and quality control. Has the last say in who is able to receive a refund on their 30 day money back guarantee.

    __________________________________________________________________________________

    Btw…

    it is easy to assume that I could be a disgruntled ex-employee or Gruntled Ex-Employee (if you’re into the office) but the reality is that I came to the point where I didnt believe what I was saying anymore. My clients used to send me thank you emails. Then 4.0 came along, and agents started having trouble with our Customer Service department. Sitting in the Director meetings I realized the importance was not placed on our clients being satisfied with the service they were receiving, but on the sheer volume of calls we were answering. Nevermind that a client would call me and tell me that the cs rep they spoke to made them feel stupid and never answered their questions.

    The simple truth is that the decision makers in place don’t understand who our clients were. Average age 50+ with a relatively low tech measure. (No offense intended) Being a traveling rep in the field, speaking at 3 State Associations tradshows and representing the company in 10 states I spent a significant amount of time face to face with our clients and was able to see first hand what you/they wanted. Even though those things were requested and sent on to said decision makers nothing was done other than to force the senior staff into essentially a forced resignation. Larry Lokker who many more of you will know than myself has moved onto what was previously Realigent now Fidelity. If anyone is looking for a referral to a good website I can point you in the right direction. You can email me at info@next-genconsultation.com . And no I do not own a company that does websites

    Sorry I rambled. Hope the contact info helps. GL!

  36. same old shit…12:30 and my site as well as all AA sites down…no CS because they are closed…maybe tomarrow they will open and resolve the problem…my clients in Erope will have to wait..I hope.

    Losers

    Robert from Fla.

  37. Jane Ellsworth-Purcell is one reason that this company went down the way it did. She lacks integrity of telling the truth to many customers. Beware of future dealings with her.

  38. Quite a statement Jim. Though i’m not really sure how you came to that conclusion. Jane was instrumental in the growth of Advanced Access from literally being a company in the garage of John Morris to being what it was pre Captain Edward John Smith and 4.0.

    The policy of zero innovation, and complete isolationism is why AA is in the position it is now. Without Jane introducing the concept of Affinity Agreements at Advanced Access how else would they be able to state that they are the, “Preferred Provider for Over 40% of
    NAR Membership.”

    Since John detached himself from AA and placed the ship in the hands of the current regime all decision making was made by the Captain. I like to think that most people know that the most successful people in the world surround themselves with excellence. John had Justin Lajoie, Jane Purcell, Jerra, Kristi and a handfull of others. He knew who to trust with what.

    Since his departure there was no direction. Any and all suggestions for innovation were shot down as quickly as they were given. Jane was isolated and cast out. I know this from first hand personal experience.

    I personally submitted several proposals for the advancement of our products and services. Only one of which came to fruition only for me to have it stripped away and given to one of the Captains cronies. I guess I should have kept those Aces up my sleeves. I was even laughed at by aforementioned Capatin and crony during a Director’s meeting when I suggested we offer support for our Spanish speaking clients and or their website visitors.

    And you want to blame the deckhand who was shunned by the Captain for the Titanic hitting the iceberg?

    fyi… I no longer work with Jane, but can proudly say I did, and that your ill will is baseless and unwarranted.

  39. Just wanted to give you an update on my attempts to get a refund from AA for the $5400 I paid them for my website, “premium” search engine marketing, and fees that were charged by AA to me allegedly for 3rd party directories.

    I sued AA in small claims court, won a full victory at the trial level, which AA then appealed. I just won again on Appeal and now have a judgment against AA for $5400 + $105 in court fees. Note that this judgment includes the fees that AA charged me for submissions they allegedly made to the 3rd party directories.

    As a real estate broker & lawyer, I was able to defend myself and not get taken advantage of by AA and their crappy service and website. If you are in a similar situation, and would like some direction on how to proceed, just let me know.

    ~Amanda

  40. I read these posts with considerable interest, being a former AA customer. Here’s my questions today–can anyone recommend (if allowed here) companies that do provide good and reasonable services for real estate web sites? Thanks in advance! (Sorry!)

  41. I am glad to see that I am not the only person that has to pt up with these clowns. It is obvious that with all of the bad press on this site they do not care about the reputation they have.

    I have researched many web hosts and page designers and have not found anyone that has a 1 year minimum in the contract but was told by Eric (Mr. personality) that I would have to pay for the year even due to health problems I will be closing down my real estate practice.

    I would NOT recommend using this outfit for anything.

  42. As a former employee of Advanced Access I can atest to this gentlemen’s comments. I worked in the service department and often delt with problems such as this person had. The policy was along the lines of “oh well go ahead and cancel, you’ll be back” though our job was to basically lie, though managment there at the time saw every complaint like this as a case of buyers remorse. I even had one manager tell me that all clients lie and that they’re just out to take get something for nothing.

    Stay away from Advanced Access at all costs. The sales department is full of people who overinflate the abilities of both the product and the service staff (i knew several personally who admitted to me that they lied to you people to close a sale) who by the way is full of inexpireinced customer service practioners as the company can’t hold onto it’s employees for more than a few months at best.

  43. I have been with them since 2002. I have paid thousands only to have a Website that goes down at least once a month or more. One time it was down an entire week. They always say the same thing Server Issues. Well I am cancelling my credit card payment and when they call I will tell them I had Server Issues. I will be changing my website ASAP.

  44. They have to be the WORST Solution out there!!
    My email service has been super spotty and they just blew a contract for me where my clients did not receive the counter. Their tech support is completely unresponsive – I’ve sent them 10+ emails regarding my email and have either not heard back or when I have they send over some 12 years bubling idiot. AVOID their service at all cost.
    Disgruntled customer

  45. That whole story is a shame. Service is the prime differentiator in the web industry these days since technology and features can be so easily replicated.

  46. I fell prey to AA lst year. Cancelled in March and did actually get the transfer done within a couple of weeks but can’t get the “Quality Control” guy to CMB to do the final OK, Two months later, they are still popping by account. 10 Calls and later, I’m still waiting for Ernest to call.. Any suggestions?

  47. I have never experienced such poor customer service as I have with AA. I added “quick homes” to a basic site and the product has never worked. After being told it would take 3 months to fix I should have had a clue. Of course they still wanted to be paid. I have never received a call back after leaving a message. Rude comments from customer service and a run around attitude are standard practice for this firm. After 10 months, many phone calls with no response and a lot of money, I canceled my website. Next month they charged me again claiming that I have to give a 30 day notice to cancel. I was not renting an apartment! Then they claimed they did not receive my confirmation of my cancellation until nearly a month later. They firmly believe that a customer should pay for poor service and broken promises. It is obvious I am the fool and they are going to bank with my money.

  48. I too had the same problems with Advanced Access.
    Day 1: They switch over my e-mail. PROBLEM. Now I can’t access e-mail and they can not correct it until Monday.
    Day 3: Finally get my e-mail back and we begin building the site. Now the bugs start. Everything I was promised would not work they way they said it would.
    Now the sales pitch. We are having problems with that, but if you buy this package it will correct it. IF I BUY? Should I not be getting what I bought to begin with. I demanded a refund and they denied me. That was within 30 days. They just gave me more time on the contract.

    Their exact response was this. We can not guarantee that the software is bug free and we will continue to fix the bugs. This does not mean we have not provided you with the product. So I ask, if you buy a car and the engine does not work, does that mean they have met there requirements? We never said the car will run! Seriously!

    I bailed and watched my $1,500 go down the drain. I needed a better company that was actually in touch with reality. Worse Part is that my State Association. NYSAR, promotes the heck out of this company. Feeding us to the sharks I guess.

    I promissed them I will cost them what they refused to refund and I will continue to warn everyone how bad this company is.

    STAY AWAY FROM ADVANCED ACCESS!

  49. I gotta say, after having an advanced access site, I have not experienced the central problems all of you have. However, I have experienced some Customer Support issues, but they were no different than any other custumer support issues I’ve had with anyone else. don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to advocate AA or say that they’re the best, but here are the benefits I’ve seen dealing with them… They are template based and all I have to do is go in and choose a template (I think I saw over 100), I can change my meta-tags, which most companies like z57 don’t allow you to do. That’s important to me because I can make sure that my site ranks in the search engine and i don’t have to rely on any company to do that. One of the support people their, Renny, is probably one of the most helpful & knowledgeable people there. He takes his time, teaches me what I need to know, and his Search Engine Optimization understanding is far beyond anyone I ever encountered there. Another one is Christopher daniele. Maybe you all should try asking for either Renny or Christopher and see what happens then.

    Another problem it looks like everyone is having is that everyone is relying soley on Advanced Access to do everything. that’s the first mistake. I found out early on that Advanced Access is designed for the clients to do their own thing! Period! If you’re looking for someone to do your site for you, then Advanced Access is not for you. They will gladly walk you though anything as they did me, but don’t expect them to do your changes for you. that’s your responsibility. We’re Realtors, so we shouldn’t be so lazy as to use the excuse “we sell houses, not work on computers”. My philosophy is this, if you don’t know anything about computers, DON’T GET A WEBSITE!. That’s the bottom line. To me it’s like buying a car and not knowing where to put the gas or oil. We need to take more responsibility for things we do instead of blaming large companies and expecting them to do everything for us.

    Like I said, I’m not advocating for Advanced Access, but I do believe in being fair. I had Quickhomes and I tried to cancel it because it didn’t work for me. They told me someone would call me in about 48 hrs, but I didn’t get a call for about a week and a half… So What! They called and I asked about my credit. it took them about 2 1/2 weeks. Yes, I had to call and remind them, but they did credit my credit card. Did it take them a long time? Yeah, it did, but they did take care of it. I’m sure I wasn’t the only client they had to deal and I don’t think it’s fair to insist that I be dealt with first and right now. I guess we just need to be a little more patient and stop thinking that we’re owed everything.

    Just my two cents and my experience. Hope I didn’t offend anyone.

  50. I know, that’s what I figured…

    I hated having AA a couple of years ago. Horrible service.. Gave them up very quickly, even if Roger recommends them…

    With their crappy service, it’s amazing they are still in business. There are many gullible real estate agents out there, I guess..

  51. The customer service department at this company obviously needs to take some customer service lessons. Thanks for letting us all know about companies like AA, Greg, they really provide agents nothing but headaches. I just started researching them myself and your article has provided me enough info to steer away. Thanks again.

  52. Hmmm, that’s strange. I’ve had Advanced Access for over a year and I only pay $49.95 per month and have had nothing but success thus far. Far better than the crappy Z57 and ALaMode sites I had. Sorry you had a bad experience but mine’s been awesome. I would say sometimes you just get the one person who’s personalities don’t mesh.

  53. Pingback: Realtors Getting Screwed and Listening to Idiots- A Top Ten List « BlueRoof Blog- BlueRoof360- Real Estate and Opinion

  54. I am a former employee of Advanced Access. I was an upper level manager…. Advanced Access is by far the worst company for Real Estate websites… They use very shady business practices such as changing credit card expiration dates until your card will charge. We had almost 5000 clients that did not want service dating all the way back to 1999 charge for services they never intended to continue. They were all auto activated in 2008 and charged without any warning at all.. Stay far away from this company… I am not a bitter employee at all. I realized how shady they were and decided to leave on my own terms. Not to mention they do not really market your website so paying for the marketing package is a complete waste of money. 98% of the customers that signed up with Advanced Access received 0 leads from their website. Not to mention customer service is horrible…DO NOT TRUST ADVANCED ACCESS….

  55. Advanced Access is the worst company I’ve dealt with in 35 years of doing business. The techs know nothing, care even less. Impossible to edit or modify your own website, even if you are computer savvy. Interminable wait times, programmers and designers inaccessible, administration couldn’t care less. If I could take my website and go anywhere else, I would.

  56. A huge thank you to everyone for all your info. I almost signed up as they kept calling me, but I decided to research them before I clicked on the agreement. No AA for me.

    Does anyone have a good website provider they would recommend?

  57. They also do not respond to emails. I had some garbage come through my site and it was emailed to me, so I forwarded it to AA last week….still no response, other than an automated email. It’s time to cut and run….I’ve had enough of them.

  58. I am a web developer familiar with the way these kind of sites work. Though I can not help you with any back-end searches or other objects programmatically (for that area is locked out to me by these companies) I will say I have experience in designing them and making them look great. If you mention this blog when emailing me I will be happy to help you with your site at a discount and in extreme cases even free.

    eXtrotech, inc. is my own company with no affiliations.

    good luck to all of you.

  59. I am experiencing the same horrible service. They stole my money however they will not give any of it back! They keep on saying that the system is down.

  60. Well, I just signed up with them today and am waiting to see what happens.

    They are no longer charging a sign-up fee if you are with one of their competitors and reduced my monthly expense to less than $50 to compete with Z57, who I have had great experience with.

    I’m just curious to see how different it is. So far, however, today they’ve (as they say) have been having server issues so they didn’t get my site designed.

    All I know is that the competition out there is stiff and if they don’t match up, I’ll cancel pretty quick and get my $50 back.

    However, I should note they are still operating on the presumption that the 30-days starts the moment the sales rep puts in your order, not the day they have the product completed, though they did offer to extend the 30 days from the day it is completed (presuming it is within the 30 days).

    I’ll wait and see if they’ve resolved things or not and hopefully get back to you.

  61. They are down again – unreal – for 8 days now.
    For anyone that wants to switch or would like a custom site that is maintained and optimized by professionals, please check us out. I will give 50% off to any disgruntled AA customer and we maintain the sites for the same price you pay to do it yourself. AND – you own the artwork, have full access to the site and there is no contract.

    Custom sites are not cheap, but we’ll do it for the same price as the templates. If you need honest testimonials, please feel free to call any of our clients – you’ll be surprised.

    Thanks

    Paul Cox
    CEO
    The Agent House

  62. Wow, I have had Advanced access for years and been happy. But now I am yet another person who has been duped by them. I was told that my account was inactive due to being out of date (which it was, i had some health issues), but that if I added intellicards, etc, that I would get great search engine placement. I was also told that if I upgraded that I wouldn’t be charged until I got my website updated. When I tried to update the site it would not let me. It turns out that when I got my new MacBookPro I became incompatible with AA. Have you ever heard of a major web provider that could not support anything but Internet Explorer? Even PC users are using firefox and other browsers! Incredible. When I was told this I said, “then this website is useless to me,” and he got snittty. I spoke with someone else at AA and they said, “Can’t you just put internet explorer on your computer?” Obviously they know nothing about these technical things.

    When I cancelled and requested a refund I was told that due to the Easter weekend the could not do anything until the following Tuesday. I was ok with that, but they never called back. It has been a month. When I just called I was told that a refund was not going to happen. They even charged me again after I had already closed the account. I believe that is illegal.

    I will no longer deal with the customer service people. My only hope is that they are a Partner Provider with Prudential and Prudential doesn’t look kindly on anyone screwing their people. I believe that is blog post will definitely help. Thank you all for your input.

  63. I have been with Advanced Access for over 10 years. It has been an interesting experience. I always felt that each year when my site was up for a renewal, they calls and made it look like they have these new wonderful things they are going to do if I sing up again, but after I did I never heard from anyone again. Getting a hold of tech. support was not bad Year and Years ago. Within the last 3 years it has been a NIGHTMARE!!!! I had nothing but problems with them. Right now I have been holding for technical support for 48 minutes and no one has come on yet. I only had 3 people front of me when I got on. On Monday I called and held for 43 minutes and when it sounded like I was getting through they hung up on me.
    My site has been having serious problems, loosing leads, loosing listings, not giving me the statistics on the traffic, sending e-mails to tech support and never getting any answers back.
    They got me to sign up for an upgraded site 2 years ago and told me I can cancel any time. Because I was curious about what the new site does after being with them for over 10 years and not getting the upgrade automatically. I was told I can cancel any time. I did cancel after a week. A year went by and when I was doing my taxes I found out they were charging me after I cancelled the site. When I called them they said they will reimburse me but will credit me for 10 months of free service on the original site I already had for over 10 years. Now I am being punished. If I need any help no on helps me.
    When I go on my site and send an e-mail to the support department, after I type up my message it kicks me out and tells me to sign in again even if the message is 2 words.
    I CAN NOT GET ANY HELP FROM THIS COMPANY.
    I DO NOT RECOMMEND THEM and would NOT buy anything from them.
    Does anyone know of a reliable and good Real Estate Site we could work with without these problems. Please e-mail me.

  64. Sorry for the typing errors on my previous comments. I was too excited and did not check before I sent it. Sorry.

  65. If someone were to have absolutely damning information about this company, what would it be worth?
    I am not looking for extravagant amounts of money, but I didn’t work there for too long(making sales for them made me understand my daughter’s worst tantrums), and don’t have a lot of money myself. I suppose if everyone pitched in we could make it worth everyone’s while.

  66. Hi Christine,

    I just reviewed your account, and see that it has been closed, and we refunded the month of hosting that was automatically billed. That refund was processed yesterday according to the notes in your account.

    I apologize that there were issues with using the Mac; I know other clients who are successfully using a Mac by either adding the IE plugin to Firefox, or having Windows on their Mac. I actually am able to use FireFox for most of the Virtual Office, it is the HTML/WYSIWYG editor that is not displayed properly by Firefox. If at any time you find yourself with Advanced Access in the future, please contact me and I will be happy to lend a hand.

    Again, please accept my apologies for our lack of follow up and crossed lines regarding your account and technical requirements.

    To “AA, more like FF”: I am not sure that it is in anyone’s best interest to assume there is some sort of damaging information available in the first place, and to try and gain financially from that exchange is most unethical to all parties. I am forthcoming and am always happy to answer any questions, knowing that we are not perfect. My advice is to share or not share whatever it is you believe is this important, but don’t try to pad your pockets in the process, the subscribers here deserve better than that. All my best to you in your future endeavors.

  67. I would highly advise everyone to steer clear of Advanced Access. They have lied repeatedly to my broker about “fixing” our website that hs NO PHOTOS!!!! And the promise to update daily is a joke. I listed a beautiful home with the promise of a great web presence, back in the first week of April and it is not on our web site yet. We pay extra for daily service!!!! My clients are furious. You are ruining both my reputation and my only source of income. I am wondering if I can hold you financially responsible.

  68. Wow! I wish I had read this before I threw $2200 down the drain for the “premium seo marketing placement package” at Advanced Access. I am a Lic. Realtor and my web presence is extremely important to me. So to find out from 3 seperate SEO placement firms (One of whom I have hired) that after an entire year of paying for this service I was not even on Google or any of the other top search engines for ANY of my keywords was a complete shock!!! I promptly called Advanced Access and was put on hold for over 1/2 hr.. (This happened frequently. They also never followed up with their monthly activity tracking updates they promised either. I asked REPEATEDLY for this!). And when I asked for a copy of their ranking compared to other companies last week, I was sent a link to a ranking from 2007!
    This company is a joke. They are not educated in their field, they are unprofessional and worst of all they give you promises they can’t keep. To find out after an entire year of paying for the seo ranking/placement service that I was not even on GOOGLE was appalling to me. Their only response was, “I can’t tell you why”. Why not??? Isn’t that what I am paying you for???? I have wasted an entire year of my career online because of Advanced Access.
    It’s inexcusible. And frankly if this one posting stops someone from getting a website with them, then I have done my job!

  69. I love threads like these. I had an AA site for about 7 years. During that time, I learned about the various ins and outs of internet marketing and building websites from the AA forum and others on the net. My site PAID FOR ITSELF many times over. Eventually I just outgrew AA and wanted to try something else. I did have some issue canceling, but it was resolved to my satisfaction. Yes, AA has had some appalling issues since it was sold to dominion.

    @Laura if your site was brand new, expect at 9 months to a year before you would show up for any very popular keywords. If you were thinking you would rank for Miami real estate in a year, that may have been wishful thinking on your part. You have a lot of competition in your market. Some very knowledgeable agents that spend their own time marketing their site. You might want to re-think your strategy and stop linking to your competitors like Trulia. You also need to find out if the marketing package includes link building. If it doesn’t, then you either need to do it yourself or hire someone that will for you. Your site has almost no backlinks at all. That’s why you are not ranking for anything.

  70. Anyone get to court yet? If so who did you name?

    {perhaps SEC needs to check out a little paper work HUH?}

    Their Anaheim Business Lic states:
    INC Anaheim Business Lic. States:
    Owner CONRAD HALL, PRESIDENT
    Owner PETER ILL, VICE PRES
    Owner MICHAEL ASKEW, TREASURER
    Mailing Address ADVANCED ACCESS P O BOX 2333 NORFOLK VA 23501 2333
    Business Name ADVANCED ACCESS 8101 E KAISER BLVD 300 ANAHEIM CA 92808 0000
    Corp/Partner J WILLIAMS INC
    Owner JOHN MORRIS
    Owner JERRA MORRIS
    Corp/Partner DOMINION ENTERPRISES
    Owner L T M COMPANY LP??????????????
    Owner A T C HOLDINGS INC ?????????

  71. One of the A’s should stand for “Audacity”

    I was actually a happy customer of Advanced Access for more than 4 years. My brother and I buy and re-sell custom renovations in the established neighborhoods of North Dallas, as well as, provide custom remodeling services for our clients. Considering our business model, utilizing a “realtor-centric” template system like Advanced Access’ has been a bit of a challenge but AA’s technical support team has always been readily available to help us minimize the compromises.

    The trouble started about 6 months ago when their sales department approached me about a third-party service they were selling that would secure key placement on Google called PowerSearch. I was a bit skeptical, but elected to give it a try on a month-to-month basis. I’m not going to go into all the gory details but, suffice it to say that, the landing page PowerSearch was supposed to build for me (for which I gave very specific details) was not even close to meeting my expectations. Seeing as I was an Advanced Access customer, I immediately called to see if they could get this process on track. I spent more than 30 minutes trying to navigate through their voice mail system to get to someone in a position of authority and, once located, another 15 minutes on hold waiting for that person to pick up the phone. It was during that time that I came to the realization that the objective was not to actually deliver a viable product but to create a billing opportunity. When prompted, I left that person a message to cancel the PowerSearch order and credit my credit card for any charges associated with it. That never happened.

    A week later, I checked my credit card balance to see that the charges had not been reversed. I contacted customer service and they informed me that the charges were “non-refundable”. I asked to speak with a manager and she told me the same thing. I told her that my next call was going to be to my credit card company to dispute the charges. She asked me not to do that until she had a chance to speak to management and get back to me. She never did. So I proceeded to dispute the charges with my credit card company.

    Here is the fun part. After disputing the charges, my credit card company reinstated them after receiving “proof” that the charges were legitimate. As proof, AA submitted a copy of the invoice with the following language under “Payment & Refund Policy”,

    “Agreement to the terms of service authorizes ADVANCED ACCESS to charge the total amount indicated, including successive charges on a monthly basis where applicable. With the exception of PowerSearch Advantage and domain name registrations fees, which are non-refundable, all products/services are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.”

    Now, here is the language on the invoice delivered to me via email at the time of sale.

    “Agreement to the terms of service authorizes ADVANCED ACCESS to charge the total amount indicated, including successive charges on a monthly basis where applicable. All products/services are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. Domain name registration fees are non-refundable.”

    Now I’m no lawyer but I believe this is FRAUD. Needless to say, I have submitted this documentation to the Attorney General’s office of the state of Texas for their review.

    Only recently have I become “enlightened” to the world of blogs. I have found the information posted here to very helpful. I only wish that I had found it sooner. Being a member of one of the largest MLS providers in the country, I plan on sharing this thread with 15, 000 of my closest realtor friends and neighbors so that they, too, may be aware of the perils of doing business with Advanced Access. I encourage you to do the same.

  72. Hello Scott,

    I am sorry to hear about your frustration with your PowerSearch and Advanced Access experience.

    The PowerSearch welcome email and product agreement do indicate that the charges cannot be refunded. Any pay-per-click charges involved in our PowerSearch product are remitted to a third party (Google for example) and funds are used when website visitors click on the link to your PowerSearch page in their search results.

    The other email you are referencing was sent when you purchased your website; prior to having PowerSearch. We have had PowerSearch as a product for less than one year, so the original disclaimer you saw was accurate for the time of purchase (4 years ago as you indicated in your comment).

    I checked with our product team, and all emails and invoices have the same verbiage since PowerSearch has been added to our product list. The disclaimer includes PowerSearch and domain name registration fees as non-refundable.

    If you have questions, please feel free to contact me directly at 714-685-5125.

    Anna Bourland
    Advanced Access

  73. Anna,

    Thank you for your reply, but your argument does not hold up for a number of reasons:

    1) The invoice I have is NOT for my website. It is for PowerSearch and it is dated 3/17/09 and the “non-refundable” language is not on it. I can get you a copy if you like.

    2) How could charges be accrued on Google if I had not yet approved of the landing page? My displeasure with the layout of the landing page is the reason I contacted you in the first place.

    3) I called in and cancelled the PowerSearch order on March 30th, yet I was billed $249.95 on April 2nd.

    Now, I’m not going to debate this issue with you any further. You have until Friday (8/21/09) to resolve this issue
    or I start blasting this thread to everyone I know in the industry…and that list is considerable. You have my number.

    Scott Stevens

  74. Wow. I just cancelled my account with AA and am praying not to run into the problems like the ones mentioned above. I wish I would have found this blog before I signed on with AA. I felt that everyone I talked to at this company was on a different page and felt that their tactics were basically “Bait and Switch” to make money. Luckily, I decided to cancel my account yesterday…day 29…unfortunately day 30, today…the 2nd months charge is on my card….I talked to Gladys who seemed like she would take care of it….give me a refund and make sure that the 2nd charge would not post. Anxious to see if she keeps her word. My dealings with this company were brief but never the less unpleasant.

  75. They still suck, I only had to wait 45 mins. on hold to ask them about a refund. I started that issue up about a month ago. Still getting the run around. Also, they have never fixed their Quick Homes search they doesn’t. If I search my local MLS I get 197 with specifics I enter, If I search the AA Quick Homes I get 11. I can’t believe they offered it to Realtors when I doesn’t even work properly. Their customer service stinks, If we as Broker make someone wait for 45 mins. we would be fired. And the advanced placement and SEO work what a joke. I waited 2 months for them to remove all the link button in my home page content and write 2 paragraph. I should have gotten someone from the local high school and paid them 8/hr. instead of $360 a month. Advanced Access and quick to take your money, but when you have issues to be resolved, forget about. The is a lower budget template site company that offers a website and nothing else. Their add-ons and bells and whistles are junk. Realtors, beware, I ended up have a custom site built and it’s already rank higher in 3 month than my other site every got in 7 years. Good luck. Chad Hart

  76. Hi Chad, I have passed your comments to our customer service manager so he can review your account and make sure any outstanding issues are tended to ASAP. My apologies for a long wait; we do our best to make sure every client is assisted in a timely manner. The customer service manager will also check into your wait time. We keep logs of all calls with specifics (phone number, wait time per call, etc). So if you waited that long, it will most certainly be addressed.

    • Dear Ann: I have called your phone number at least 9 times in the last two days. Can you put me in touch with a customer service manager? Or whatever manager is in charge of programing? Last month, I convinced the CEO of Coldwell Banker to give advanced access a license for IDX access. They did this for me because I have been a agent for 20 years. The IDX search results are horrible, in that the thumbnail is way too tiny and the search display itself appears dwarfed on the search results. I emailed Kris Nedrebo, customer support (supervisor?) samples of other search results along with a copy of Advanced Access search results so he could see how inferior it is. I also told him that two things need to be corrected. One: the teeny, tiny photo need to be a lot larger and Two: Advanced Access needs to have all the mls fields available that our mls provides data for. The most important “missing” ones are HO DUES, TAXES, OPEN HOUSE DATES. i have been an Advanced Access Customer for 8 years and have made a good living from my website when the IDX download was supplied by another Vendor. Please don’t make me sorry I changed the IDX. seattlecondos.com had a good reputation and yesterday I got my first email in 8 years telling me that my website was terrible, and frustrating and unusable and they were going to search somewhere else for condos. I left my phone number on your voice mail several times. Please call me. Joan

  77. I had decided to pull the trigger and use AA as my current site is not working well for me. I only had a few miniuites to kill but I read every word. I signed up but canceled in the 30 day period. Now I am wondering if I ever got my refund? I’ll be checking. I also must admit I was contacted by a manager of theirs as to why I canceled and he made me an attractive offer to resign. Now I’ll really have to think about it. One or 2 disgruntled people maybe – but not a history of them. I’ll report in about my refund before I decide on weather to use them or not.

  78. Hello Bob,

    It looks like your refund was processed on 8/28. You should most likely see it on your statement for the card you used by now.

    I understand that this thread can seem daunting to anyone who is considering Advanced Access as their website provider. However, this thread was started in April, 2007 after a major equipment issue we had at our facility. Since then (over 2 years later), a lot has changed in how we host our sites, which features we include, how our customer support team is structured, and more. While I have always felt that we offer the best support in the industry, I can honestly say these posts are not the truest representation of our service today.

    If you do decide to sign up again, you can feel free to work with the manager who contacted you, and you can call me any time. 714-685-5125 (direct).

  79. I’ve heard alot of not so nice things about Advanced Access. I’m thankful I did not choose to go with them. I use a company called Busy Agent Pro, http://www.busyagentpro.com, and they have been wonderful. I’ve had my sites with them for about a year and their customer service is timely, friendly and very helpful. Also, the features for both designing your websites and optimizing them for the search engines far surpasses anything I’ve seen for real estate. You should check them out. They are still selling exclusive market areas. Oh, and did I mention you can have an unlimited number of websites for no extra cost? Check em out…. http://www.busyagentpro.com and you can even try the free membership first to check things out.

    Good luck,

    Stacie Robbins

  80. WOW! What a great thread!

    I was looking at AA myself but have definitely decided against it now.

    I am amazed that they would treat some people like this (especially the author of the article). To charge him for a product that isn’t available for his target area then not offer a refund……. I am sure AA lost much more from this thread than the $3,000 they took from the original poster…

  81. I used Advanced Access since 2001 with an experienced website design friend helping me build my website using their format. Fortunately, I wasn’t screwed out of any design money. The IDX company that I used for mls search results on my website was Logical Dog. (whose customer service stinks)
    I convinced our Coldwell Banker CEO to give Advanced Access an IDX license because I thought I would get better IDX service. Not so. When I requested that they enlarge their thumbnail photos which were way too tiny and that they were missing fields that I need on my search results, like Taxes, HO Dues and Open House Notices, they said they would put it on their customers”wish list” I am still battling with them and will daily until it is resolved. Many agents in my office use a company called Superlative and are very happy with their customer service. I

  82. Advanced access made charges to my account that I did not know about. Do not give Advanced Access your card number for any reason. End of story

  83. No problem solving results yet for an 8 year Advanced Access Customer. I did get a response to my search results problems from Anna Bourland. She said (above)” Let me check with my programming Manager on this personally” She implied, though dozens of emails to me that ,two of the missing mls fields (which should have been there in the first place) will be added. Those are:HO Dues and property taxes. Not yet! The open house field, she said, is not possible, even though our NWMLS tech support told me that Advanced Access should provide every field that the NWMLS has data for. The open house field is necessary to be competitive because every realtor website in the State of Washington has it.
    Michael Lalonde suggested I take my business elsewhere! Now that is customer service.
    As for the too tiny thumbnail photos? Advanced Access programming said, they have no time to fix it.
    Search results is one of the most important things for a realtor website. Be sure you check it out before you choose a website host.

  84. Wow, almost a full year and over 100 comments later – you’re still being heard. As a matter of fact, this webpage is #2 for a Google search for Advanced Access websites. I wonder if the original supervising rep realizes that solving the original problem would have prevented this long standing blemish on Advanced access?

    If I were a Realtor looking for a website, this post would have steered me away from Advanced Access. Thanks for letting everyone know. Looks like you’re as good at SEO as they are 🙂

  85. Whew! Doing a little googling and reading some posts on LinkedIn landed me on this thread. I’m not super-technical but I realize that a good website with effective SEO and easy-to-use IDX searching is paramount. I also realize that I don’t want to throw my money down a rabbit hole or suffer with maddening customer service. I would not allocate my hard-earned budget to Advanced Access after reading this. I also think that Anna Bourland has incredible courage to work for this company but she might want to update her resume. I don’t think they’ll be in business for long.

  86. The customer support people are great at helping you with your Advanced site, but they have no control over fixing IDX problems. Anna Bourland, also customer service, it seems has no authority. Have been trying to get IDX problems solved since October 2009. Poor Layout, important fields missing (like HO dues), property address missing on the flyers and the inquiries come from my own email instead of the clients so I can’t reply to leads. My latest understanding is that Advanced IDX (product) is provided to them by E Neighborhoods. That is why no one at Advanced owns up to fixing or improving the IDX . They can’t.

    • I signed up with Advanced Access in March of 2009, for the hosting of my website. The monthly fee was 50 dollars a month. I was not getting any action on my site so I called Advanced Access to see what they offered to help with my site. In speaking with Advanced Access about the search optimization I was just inquiring and did not ask to be on their program. I did not recieve anything from Advanced Access regarding being on a program at $299.00 a month, nore did I agree to this. I recieved a call from a person in the middle to end of November asking for more information regarding my website. My wife takes care of the Chase buisness account and I was totally unaware of the charges to my account until the third month. I was only brought to this because of the call that I recieved from Advanced Access. When I called customer service I was told that I had been charged 3 months at $299. I told the girl I had not signed up for this and asked her when the billing for the next month would be? She said the 4th of December. I told her that I was canceling my account. Advanced Access charged me for another month and when I tried to get any further information I was put on hold for extended periods of time or told that a Manager would call me back. Which they would not do. I am very dissapointed in the service and communication I have had with Advanced Access.
      The employees of advanced access have been very difficult to work with. Today I spoke with Jeremy Rivera and recieved more information then I have ever recieved in the 14 plus hours I have spent on the phone with Customer Service. He has offered to give me 6 months free service with the search optimization or talk to the powers that be to find out what they are willing to do. I would just like to have my money back and go on my way. I am very disatisfied and just want to be done.
      Sincerely,
      Del Huffaker

  87. I went for the sales pitch from Advaned Access to add web content, plus other promises never seen and agreed to have them do thier thing for 3 months, all verbally, and they would just charge my credit card on file. After a few weeks I got an email from one of the content writers telling me all this great new content they aded to my site. I looked at what I could and was extremely disappointed. Words were misspelled, grammer was BAD, they didn’t really write content that applied to my area, or that was accurate. It’s like they just picked whatever easy crap they could find online in my very general area and used that. I complained of course, but then got another email a couple months later about all the new content they added again. Nothing they did had any real value and they continued to charge me past the “verbally” agreed to 3 months, which I am now in a dispute with them about. They seem to make lots of promises but do not follow through on anything. Nothing they did for the money has made any improvement to me and my business. I think they are fraudulently doing this type of thing to increase thier revenue, but screwing thier customers. I think eveyone who has had issues with them need to get together to persue a class action law siut. We will win big!

  88. Today Advanced Access call me. They have called 3 times in the last week and each time hung up when they did not get me (gee why not leave a message). I know this as I called the number back after the 2nd time. Today they got me and I was willing to listen. I was with them before and thought I would see what was new. My assistant in the past hated them for customer service and ease of use (not).
    They had me go to findushome.com. I went there and was being given the sales pitc, I asked why the site that I was directed to showed Coldwell Banker as a major link? The guy said “I don’t know” and I said-I really don’t like that and he said ok and just hung up on me. SO I gather they are really a front for Coldwell. OK, no problem-just be truthfull and proud! I am Keller Williams and a past Coldwell agent. I just want a neutral web hoster not a front for others. INTEGRITY!!! A missing thing here.

    So they will never have my business and not because they are Coldwell but because they act with us the public and as potential clients! Never burn bridges Advanced Access!

  89. From my personal experience Advanced Access is a company that focuses on the sale and limited service….It is unfortuanate that a company can thrive with poor products (for the most part & in my opinion) and poor customer support. They do however have a fairly well manned sales team to sign people up though…..which is the one department they do fairly well at…selling you on a site.

    • Really? Why would you say that? At least from my perspectvive, I have heard just as many complaints about Z57, however, the complaints are involve a lot of billing and re-fund issues and not standing up to their guarantee &/or warranty.

      However, the Better Business Bureau does rate Z57 higher than Advanced Access on their rating scale, as Advanced access is a D and Z57 is a B. But either way, neither would not be my preferred choice.

  90. FYI Advanced Access is apart of dominion enterprises. AgentAdvantage, AdvanceAccess, and Homes.com, Number1Expert and Eprospecting, E neighbor hoods, are all ran under one roof. All losing more clients than clients coming in. Plus there customer service is horrible. There customer service is all under one roof and is out of Tallahassee FL. There are a lot better website companies out there.

    • uh no Jim its ot there are actually several offices that cover support and the clients havve actauly gone up but always glad to see someone do research first.

  91. BUYERS BEWARE- ADVANCED ACCESS IS A RIPOFF WITH ZERO DESIRE TO GIVE GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE. Do not join. Even though I canceled after one month realizing they were not able to build my site as promised. I have 3 debits on my bank statement and they will not credit me back.

  92. I can’t believe that I am the only one that has had a good esxperience with Advanced Access. Their customer service department has always been very responsive to me. A lot of the comments made above seemed to think that there was going to be an easy shortcut to get good rankings for their website, but there is no short cut. Only lots oforiginal and unique content will get you there.

  93. I was with Advanced Access for 9 years. Over that time I would grade them with a C+. Relatively good product, low cost, easy to use, customer service was OK. Recently it was obvious the product was becoming outdated. The cost to upgrade and setup SEO to make things more competitive with other providers wasn’t a good value and to top it all off the customer service went to hell. I’m talking downright rude!!! Anyway, I’ve moved on and anybody reading this should too.

  94. I had two websites at two different times, with advanced Access.
    I would not do business with this company again. It provided no business that I could attribute to the website and the customer service got worse over the years.
    To sum things up, I should have never let the same dog bite me twice.
    J. Vayer
    California.

  95. Advanced Access is being shut down because Dominion Enterprises has decided to close that office and move all of it’s operations to “Homes Media Solutions” in Tallahassee, FL which is supposedly supposed to be a “better” company with “better” products combined from all of the companies that DE previously acquired (AgentAdvantage, AdvanceAccess, and Homes.com, Number1Expert, etc).

    Apparently, the office out of Tallahassee is supposed to handle all current Advanced Access clients, although they do not have experience with the product or clients which will cause total disaster. Good luck Homes Media Solutions!

  96. Listen Up People! I am a broker for 34 years, left z57 with a perfect website, went to Advanced Access and they lost my flash for my home page and they can’t figure it out, they don’t call back..Duh!!!

    Guess I am the one who should know better! Run as fast as you can away from Advanced Access!

  97. Do NOT use AA. I am stunned. I’ve been with AA for a decade with a website that has served me well over the years… Obviously something BAAAAD happened with them – perhaps new management. I was solicited by someone claiming to be with AA who would “update and improve” my site for $1300. After making that payment and corresponding with a rep for a bit, my site was reactivated and is entirely wrong – AA has not returned several calls over 2 days. My rankings were good with search engines and this mistake will certainly be the death of my site.

  98. WARNING!

    Homes.com bought out Advanced Access.

    Homes.com is intentionally trying to upset current Advanced Access customers and trying to convert them to switching over to Homes.com. If you call into AA support right now, it is actually Homes.com customer support that is answering.

    DO NOT SWITCH TO HOMES.COM

  99. I cancelled our account the 1st of February and are still getting billed. They wanted copies of bank statements to prove they were still withdrawing my funds. When asked if their records show my withdraws they said they do but it was policy to have me send my records as proof. I have sent them 2 times and they claim they have not received them. Save your self some heart ache and run don’t walk away from these idiots. We are trying Real Estate Sites . com hoping they are better but who knows. Anybody have comments on them?

  100. Once again, I must express my total disappointment in Advanced Access. Without a bill, an invoice or as much as a phone call after more than a decade of being a very loyal AA customer, they just turn off my website. A few months ago I switched from yearly to monthly and apparently someone totally dropped the ball. I have now been off line since??? Tues., or so I assume. That is totally unacceptable. Here is the e mail that I received on Tues. morning and didn’t even notice till now:

    Hello Beth

    We appreciate and thank you for your business and are grateful to have served you.

    It appears you will not be continuing with the following product(s):

    Classic Marketing Pkg. Renewal $499.95
    Total: $499.95

    We regret to inform you that they have been discontinued.

    Are you kidding me… no invoices, no phone calls, no attempts to charge my card the monthly fee as you were directed only 2 short months ago or less to do. This after your “tech” decimated my website while I paid him to do “SEO”… A job that cost me tens of thousands of hits and dollars of business. That tech was subsequently fired from AA from what I understand, but trust me, after the worst year of business of real estate in a decade and after the hits on my site dropped in half as a result of his “SEO work”…. this just may be the final straw that breaks the proverbial camels back….

    I just checked and my site is not yet up. If this costs me a listing there’s going to be a BIG problem. I have just had it with AA. I will expect a call from someone in upper management as early as possible in the morning. I also expect a decent credit for this HUGE mistake which has undoubtedly cost me money already as I am offline..

    I’ll be at the FL Realtors summer meetings in less than 1 week as I am on the Board of Directors to the state.. How your company is described will definitely depend on the outcome of your reaction and solution to this egregious error.

  101. You have made some good points there. I looked
    on the net to find out more about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this web site.

    Lavonne

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