Should I ask for a refund from this App Developer for $3000?

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Shopify Partner
59 0 7

Got a tough one here. The app developer will go unnamed.

But the app developer does help with ad creation for facebook, web, etc for facebook ads and google ads.

Been running with them for 40 days. Always looked good on the surface with ROI in the 6x range byt their reporting system. But when I pulled the actual report from them for the first 30 days and phsycally compared it to the sales they generated, the results were actually 4x roi. 

First, I am upset because my own efforts yield 4x. Now I am paying someone else who does not perform better than I.
Second, after I called them out on it, they then informed me that they have a known reporting issue with shopify customers. They did not tell me this upfront.
Third, it's been 10 days and they are failing to update their end to make sure current reporting is correct. So they do not appear to be correcting the issue.

Sure, they made me money. But the level of investment and fees make it just not appealing. Why pay someone for ads and efforts if I can do better in the end without the fees?

What would you do?
Do I bother to tell Shopify?

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Shopify Partner
1622 47 149

 The app developer will go unnamed.

Classy. seen quite a few posts where people commit libel on stuff like this good on you for keeping cool.

Before anything else what does the contract say? Asking for a refund and getting one are 2 different things. Which side will be able to enforce the outcome.

Been running with them for 40 days. Always looked good on the surface with ROI in the 6x range byt their reporting system. But when I pulled the actual report from them for the first 30 days and phsycally compared it to the sales they generated, the results were actually 4x roi. 

First, I am upset because my own efforts yield 4x. Now I am paying someone else who does not perform better than I.

Again contracting, unless they stipulated some sort of performance based metric this is a "wash your hands" of it type deal.


Second, after I called them out on it, they then informed me that they have a known reporting issue with shopify customers. They did not tell me this upfront.
Third, it's been 10 days and they are failing to update their end to make sure current reporting is correct. So they do not appear to be correcting the issue.

If it was a known existing issue the timeline for them solving it may be indeterminable making them unwilling to admit that. But ..without more detail a 6x vs 4x reporting sounds fishy.

Sure, they made me money. But the level of investment and fees make it just not appealing. Why pay someone for ads and efforts if I can do better in the end without the fees?

These are 2 opposing statements, sit down do the accounting, calculating your cost AND TIME(you pay yourself right?) for clearly stating whether it was a loss or a gain.

What would you do?

Document all interactions, do the spreadsheet, give lawyer heads up(or retain lawyer if you don't got one).

Do I bother to tell Shopify?

Shopify only facilitates arrangements, even if it was with a listed expert, after that your pretty much on your own. It's not like they'd step in and mediate this. Now if you can prove something like fraud,misrepresentation,etc yeah but even then that's more blackballing than actual action. Otherwise seek the refund and leave a bad review(/shrug before or after refund /shrug).

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Confused? Busy? ? Get me to solve it paull.newton+shopifyforum@gmail.com.
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Shopify Partner
59 0 7

Thanks for the detailed response. 
No contracts or guarantees.

The point of hiring them was to do better than my 4x ROI that I can achieve. They are just not doing that.

 

Well, while I am here...any good suggestions for a company that can help with web/google retargeting?

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Shopify Staff (Retired)
Shopify Staff (Retired)
60 0 10

Hi Jason!

Rob here with the Guru team.

I am so sorry to hear about this.  Is this app developer a Shopify Partner?  Know that we value your feedback since our goal with the Expert Marketplace is to recommend very professional and trustworthy Shopify Experts. If you'd like to email us or chat/call into us we can  notify our Experts team immediately so they can take note of the situation. I want to assure you that we do take action on experts that receive negative feedback, so it is definitely worth letting us know of the situation. If you would like us to recommend another designer or developer, please reach out to us and we would be happy to assist you.

Rob
Shopify Guru

Rob Shopify Guru
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Shopify Partner
59 0 7

Yes they are.
Had a follow up discussion with them. They noted and agreeded there was a problem with their reporting. Basically their reports showed double the sales they were actually generating. 

I really wanted to work with them on this. But in the end they said because they delivered the ads and I got 3x conversions, that they did their job. The fact that their reporting shows 6x ROI does not matter to them. But it matters to me because I would not have invested with them, or changed the ads, or something.

It's like having 6 muffins paid for and delivered to my home. The invoice says 6, I paid for 6, but 3 are in the delivery. But because they delivered the muffins, they have no obligation to send me the other 3 per their explaination. I was just asking for a credit, not even a refund. I was on track to spend $30-40k with them for the year. Didnt matter, so I am going to leave them soon.

If I should report this to shopify, please let me know whom I should talk to.

Jason

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Shopify Partner
1622 47 149

 

Basically their reports showed double the sales they were actually generating. 

Yeah , so this is either an infrequent(phase of the moons and planets) type bug,  or it hasn't ocurred to them to just divide everything in the reports by 2.    

that they did their job.

For anyone in this situation,  expectations versus agreement are two very different things.

 

The invoice says 6, I paid for 6, but 3 are in the delivery. 

I understand the sentiment but the analogy is false, as the invoice saying 6 is a documented transaction. If any invoice you recieved says 6x roi , then yes that is a very big issue of misrepresentation.

 I was on track to spend $30-40k with them for the year. 

Always interesting to see an example of how things end up costing more money by magnitudes if not resolved properly.

 

The take away here, do the professional thing don't skip steps on both sides. Before now, either party might have been unaware of the need for a formal signed agreement. But now both know and may regret it.

 For any substantial amount of money this is where contracts belong. It protects you as much as it does them, it makes money. Annoying to hear, annoying to do, but more annoying not to have at all.

 

If I should report this to shopify, please let me know whom I should talk to.

Disclaimer i am also a service providing partner so take these words with salt.

That's the catch, if no agreement was broken, or no misrepresentation was had then it's just a bad review for a service provider that's non-public.

Since you've already reached out to the provider to no avail; without any recourse may as reach out to support@shopify.com about the experience and|or experts@shopify.com for some recommendations.

 Like Rob noted they do keep track of these things so it could help establish a pattern of behavior if other clients like yourself keep getting the same experience.  Needless Commentary: That thier billing at those amounts without service agreements isn't a good behavior and this could force them to change that. But keep in mind sometimes technically defining what you do isn't easy to assign a dollar amount too, and contracts increase financial risk and thus cost.

Personally i try 2-3(24hrs,then 7days,30days) depending on value, so if your happy with every other aspect of this provider and willing to give it another go tell em straight up, no more work without contracting.

 But, if they find no way of either fixing or compromising in a system they control,

and KNOW is broken:   (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻.

Problem Solved? ✔️Accept the solution so you can help others.
Confused? Busy? ? Get me to solve it paull.newton+shopifyforum@gmail.com.
Buy me a coffee? ☕ paypal.me/paulnewton or donate to eff.org
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Shopify Partner
59 0 7

Thank you for the lengthy reply and details.

To clarify, 3k was not an upfront sum. It was broken down and something paid weekly. When I saw results for week 1, I increased my budget for week 2, then the same for week 3. In the end I paid the 3k for the first 30 days. But the weekly budget increase was based on their reporting showing the 6x roi.

As you said
Always interesting to see an example of how things end up costing more money by magnitudes if not resolved properly.
That is what gets me. Admitted error by them. No compensation that would equal 5% (Math may be off here?) of the expected revenue generated from me. So they gave up at least another $25,000+ to save a $1500 credit which doesnt even cost them that.

Really hard to do because I really liked the company and I can see the potential. Just shaking my head here. I really just want to put it behind me, so I may just move on.

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