Disturbing and Disheartening Story: Second Shopify Store Closed without Valid Answer

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Excursionist
12 0 6

This is somewhat of a lengthy message, but it may help some, or many.

First off, I am experienced and well educated in marketing and business. I currently major in business management. I have been into online business the past 8 years. I have started and grew extremely successful businesses from the ground up, so I understand a great deal about ethics and acceptable business practices. 

I am however new to the Shopify platform, starting in March. Though I got the hang of the platform quickly and fell head over heels in love with it! I could just see myself starting many successful businesses off of this robust platform. I launched my first website in March, and used paid advertising to send visitors to the site. Things were moving slow, though, I knew I had to create brand awareness through marketing.

A few weeks later I eventually launched a second website on work on, in another smaller market, and did everything the same as far as with setup. Though when I tried to add my debit card on file after selecting my monthly plan, I would get an error message. So I tried a few more times before contacting support. They informed me I needed to use a credit card in order to select a plan. This did not make any sense, because on my first website I used a debit card, also. So I tried adding my card information again, to only get the same error. Less than 12 hours later, the store was completely gone! Login disabled! And unable to find out a reason why. There was no email from Shopify regarding what happened or why. So I contacted support, who was as perplexed as I, and so they escalated the case. Well, 4-5 days later I get an email stating:

 

Hello,

C*****e here from Shopify Business Operations.

I'm afraid that after reviewing your information and website we believe your business presents a level of risk that we will be unable to support with Shopify. Unfortunately for security reasons we will not be able to provide any further details.

Best of luck with your business going forward.

C*****e

Risk Analyst

 

What risk? Where in the terms of service or policies can you guide me to show me where I failed to comply? Please tell me so this can of course be avoided. The response above was so vague and auto-generated, lacking much information.

Is this really how this company operates? To disable your business with no valid answer?

I again contacted customer support, and asked thorough questions. Were there an issue with my IP address? Browser cookies? Do I need to use separate browsers? Do I need a different debit card for each account? All questions were answered “no.” I told the representative that I did not want this problem to happen again in the future, and that I wanted to be in full compliance with all policies and to avoid this. The only valid explanation I can think of is that maybe when I re-used my debit card too many times it triggered the system and flagged my account. This is only my opinion, however.

But I was reassured I could still create sites and use the platform and should not have any problems.

So, maybe two weeks later, I did some research into a new market and found another small but growing market to start another business in. I created a logo and some display banners, setup a toll-free phone system and had some recordings done, registered a domain name, and opened a new Shopify store for this business. Everything went well. My debit card went through after selecting my plan, and I just knew all would go well from here on out. After working on the site for hours and hours for nearly three days, I was getting ready to launch it, then start some advertising campaigns. But before that, I went to rest my eyes for maybe an hour. I came back to my computer, eagerly ready to finally launch the site after all my hard work.  And, well, it was completely gone. Again!

How… Why…

Once again…strongly disheartened, in a platform I thought I could trust. All my time and work gone in seconds. So as of right now, I am back to where I was again and waiting to hear back from support. For someone who is new to this platform, this has been my worst experience online in my 8 years of doing business online. I have never seen anything like this. It is also worth noting, my first website on this platform is still running and there has been no problems. So why does the next two websites I create become wiped out before they even have a chance to launch?

A businessman who creates nothing but legitimate businesses registered with my state, and follows ethical business practices and adheres to business laws. Another business on this platform gets blackballed again. I create and develop all my logos and graphics for branding, product photography and image processing. My products are generic and come from trusted vendors. Everything is done professionally. So, I am utterly lost on why, “why me.”

My trust in this company is now scarred.

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Tourist
4 0 2

I had the same issue and shopify isn't helping! All my hard work was gone instantly!

We all got the same standard answer from their risk team. 

Which platform did you end up using? 

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Tourist
7 0 1

I'm not associated with Shopify in any way, and I only speak from experience with previous employers.  "something" associated with your account (specific bank account, bank, location, series of actions etc.) has triggered some fraud alert or suspicious activity.  They won't give you details because of some internal policy on how to handle risk assessment.  As businesses grow, loss aversion (especially fear of lawsuits) and the advice they receive from legal professionals, makes them adopt a policy of silence as a form of protection.  If they tell you why, and then it's unfounded, then they open themselves up to legal action.  They would rather lose a small amount of business than risk a large loss through lawsuits or fraud, so its safer for them to say nothing. 

I'm sorry this happened to you.  Considering the information you provided, I'd suggest creating an entirely new account at a large and reputable bank for future projects. 

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Excursionist
12 0 6

Hello George. I ended up using WooCommerce (a WordPress plugin) and never looked back. Now, all of my hard work is always saved and there is no worry of waking up tomorrow and my business being shut down. WordPress is an open source software and content management system (CMS) that gives you ultimate control over your business. WordPress can be used to build literally any website (forum, blog, social network, ecommerce, and so on). It is the most widely used and trusted software for building websites; the most highly customizable and editable software with more plugins than you can imagine. So invest your time and energy into building real websites and not these hosted platforms. The same goes for Big Commerce, Mangeto, and other hosted platforms. My WordPress-based website is hosted on my own server and I am in control.

I utterly mean it when I say leaving Shopify was the best business decision I have ever made. These hosted platforms can always close your business down despite you complying with terms of service and policy. Never give another company more power over your money and time than you do. Today, my website is a success and is thriving with sales. Please, invest your time and money wisely.

 

Best of luck, and much success.

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Tourist
4 0 2

Thank you for your reply. I'm definitely consider woocommerce. Thanks again!

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Excursionist
12 0 5

I've read this before about Shopify and Woocommerce.  But is it more expensive to use WooCommerce in the long run, due to paying for the "extras" like newsletter/email service, dropshipping service, etc.?  I'm seriously considering my next store being there because of the lack of control over my website.

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if you go with WooCommerce, you will end up paying at least $50-$60 in hosting fee itself.

Shopify Basic is way more worth and better than self hosted solution because there are hardly any reliable hosting company who can give a great hosting package at $29 USD/month

We are a Shopify Partner Company
Built more than 100 Shopify Stores
Connect to me on m.me/firstwire or skype at anand@firstwireapp.com
Check portfolio at https://firstwireapp.com/shopify-services/
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New Member
1 0 0

Thanks for the info...........

Apk Uncle

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Tourist
6 0 3

The Same thing Happened to me. they took my money and shut down my store with no reason, reached out to support but no response. I'm pained because i thought i was about to start something for my self. After investing time and effort shopify wont Give a reason why my account was blocked it took me months of preparation to finally get here and shopify just took my money and shut down my store. at least give me a refund. i didn't even get to use my store after I paid. The only advantage they have is most  marketers promote shopify  

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Tourist
6 0 3

I see. So that's the reason Shopify Treats us Customers badly, because they is no competition at it's Price Range


@FirstWireApp wrote:

if you go with WooCommerce, you will end up paying at least $50-$60 in hosting fee itself.

Shopify Basic is way more worth and better than self hosted solution because there are hardly any reliable hosting company who can give a great hosting package at $29 USD/month