Why NOT To Buy an Advanced Access website!!

Here it is May 7th, and I had 226 broken links as a gift from the jerks at Advanced Access. Now, going on over 24 hours, they still have not resolved the issue…please DO NOT buy an Advanced Access website – please spare yourself the bleeding , pain, misery and humiliation from your clients.

jeff
http://www.jeffboyce.net

Advertisements

Advanced Access – Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow. NOT!

After using up the free months I earned as credits that extended my subscription beyond my annual renewal, I finally parted company with Advanced Access this past weekend. There was no cake, no good-will wishes, and no tears. Like leaving an employer that you once loved working for, time and ongoing issues had taken their toll. Looking back, I can’t recall a single upgrade that Advanced Access added to my product in the past four years. I was still using the same virtual office to make website changes, and seldom saw any new templates being offered, if at all. It seems that they were simply running the rubber off the old worn tires, trying to get whatever mileage they could out of them.

Sure, they eventually came out with their 4.0 update but it was never offered to the 3.0 users as promised for well over a year. I’m sure it is plagued with problems, and being designed on a different platform, is undoubtedly just too incompatible with 3.0. Reading the posts on the forum and by agents who asked for their money back, those of us riding on their 3.0 bald tires should probably consider ourselves fortunate. Speaking of the forum, what a graveyard that has become! Seldom is anyone online and when there are posts they usually consist of what appeared over the weekend such as:
Getting Frustrated
Problem Editing Webpage
VO Home Page editor is text only
Problems uploading docs
Design Center File Upload Stopped Working
Template Manager on the Fritz
e-mail not working
Scrambled Stats Again
Forum Posting Stopped Working
Slideshow Builder Broke
Stats not adding up-Please fix
Website is not W3C valid

Typical weekend, though, and very little Customer Support to deal with the questions. If they do answer, about all they can do is send up a ticket so not too many repairs get done until after Monday morning coffee. My site is now hosted by Point2Agents a company highly recommended by the Amigos who sponsor RealTalk as well as teach the ePRO classes. Several months ago, they also stopped recommending Advanced Access of which they, like me, were staunch supporters. I already had three other websites with P2A which rank very well on Page #1 of Google and was always impressed how they were able to make ONGOING updates to their software that continue to enrich them with more and more great features. And, NO, they haven’t had a power outage that comes anywhere close to Advanced Access meltdown last year. In fact, I don’t recall my site ever being down!

If you read what Advanced Access posted on their ActiveRain blog, you can see that a pattern of power outages continue to shut agents sites down. For example, on 05/22/2007, they posted “At this time, Advanced Access is having significant power issues at our offices and all services are currently down. 100% of our resources are dedicated to solving this problem with many various solutions being implemented at this time. There has been no data loss or corruption of your services. We are expecting that all services will be shut off for the rest of the day.” This was followed by a post on 02/25/2008 that said “At this time most systems are up and running. Specifically, certain websites will be running slowly throughout the rest of the day and the Classic 3.0 Virtual Office is currently inaccessible. Email is operating and will be slowly moving through the backlog of messages from the past day and a half. Our entire staff is working diligently to correct these remaining issues and we will continue to keep you updated.”

The question I ask is in regard to their continued comments of “The new data center is a state-of-the-art facility with multiple fiber paths for internet connectivity, redundant environmental control systems, on-staff AC and electrical technicians and on-site backup diesel generators.” Why are sites constantly down due to outages?

Now, I can concentrate on getting my pagerank back to where it was before the Web Guerrilla decided to make an example of it and got me banned by Google for over 30 days. What an airhead, and he never did accomplish what he promised to those at Advanced Access who bought into his BS. They finally woke up when his one-year contract came up for renewal and showed him the door. You never see anything posted by AA regarding his accomplishments, so apparently, even they were unimpressed by the results. Between the unimpressive independent web reporting stats for Advanced Access sites and the lack of proper page identifiers, it is difficult for anyone with an AA site to keep a high Pagerank. I slipped from a PR5 to a PR3 but stay tuned, folks, things are going to be changing for the better!!.

Server Error in ‘/’ Application.

That seems to be the most popular message lately for viewers looking at Advanced Access real estate sites. And to add insult to injury, Customer Support seems to be missing in action! Over the last few days when it comes to giving their clients any answers to the latest problems, CS seems unwilling to post any details. Sites barely load, working in the virtual office is a waste of time since pages never load, IDX is down, and the list goes on and on. We are not talking about just a simple outage that has been corrected, we are talking about several days of poor hosting with no solutions being brought forward from Customer Service. It’s no wonder that the e-Pro sponsors no longer recommend this company!

Advanced Access Finally Running Out Of Steam!

Yep! That’s right folks! Advanced Access has finally run out of gas or so it appears. Several days ago agents were reporting outages about the same time Florida went without power due to a repairman accidentally shutting off the backup switch while making repairs. The only problem is, Advanced Access is based in California and so are their servers! Well, they finally got sites back online with a weak response in the forums stating that ALL 3.0 sites were now functioning. Great AA, but how about telling us what went wrong?

Following the days that this power outage occurred, agents continued to report that they couldn’t accomplish updates in their virtual office area. Advanced Access NEVER ONCE responded to these issues, totally ignoring the bombardment of problems being reported. Agents are seeing blank pages, white lines, partial pages, etc. when working on their pages. Today, I tried uploading a photo and was met by a blank screen that refused to load. I finally had to load it on another site and point at it in order to complete my task.

Today is Sunday when many consumers are looking on the Internet for homes. I tried about ten different AA sites and if I were a consumer, I would have clicked off these sites long before they ever loaded. It is not surprising to see the almost daily posts from agents who are not planning on renewing their accounts. A company that refuses to be upfront with their clients and keep them informed of problems and planned solutions will soon be history. How long can Advanced Access continue to survive on just the revenue from new accounts? I often see numerous “Guests” viewing the forum. If you are one of these, take heed and spend your hard earned money on a winner, not a loser like Advanced Access.

Another DOWN Weekend for Advanced Access Sites

When will it end? Once again Advanced Access can’t seem to get through a busy consumer searching weekend with all of their sites and IDX remaining online! Many agents are currently reporting that their sites are up, then down, then up, then down, like a roller coaster ride. Others have reported that their interior pages are not appearing or their IDX is offline and unavailable for consumers to search for homes. I’m sure that once again we will all see the canned excuse from Advanced Access Customer Support reporting the same old, same old, with no solutions. If I were a betting person, I wouldn’t give this outfit much chance of long term survival since they seem to be on life support already!

Clients Bailing From Advanced Access Sites

While doing some Googling for ‘Advanced Access sites’ the other day, I came across a blog from www.WebNewsForUs.com that made mention of several great looking Advanced Access sites. Upon recognizing many of the agents in the post, I clicked on the half-dozen hyperlinks and wasn’t surprised to find that ALL of the FORMER Advanced Access clients were now hosting their real estate websites elsewhere. I knew that several of them weren’t active on AA’s forum anymore and had gone elsewhere but was surprised to see that ALL the ones that were touted in the article had left. Just another example of the problems that exist at Advanced Access and why some of the greatest sites (as well as agents) that were once hosted there have bailed out. Are YOU a former AA client, and if so, WHY did you not renew with them?

Advanced Access Sites DOWN per Agents & Clients

Well, it seems like Advanced Access just can’t seem to figure out the magic formula to keep the power on. Once again, agents and their clients are reporting that the websites are unavailable. This has been an ongoing problem with Advanced Access for quite some time, even though they claim to have a state-of-the-art backup system in place. The other problem is trying to reach Customer Service to report any problems, as many agents indicate that calls go unanswered or they tire of being on hold forever waiting for a supervisor. All this should change once enough agents bail out and the size of the Advanced Access client base becomes something that they are capable of handling. Is there anyone who can save them before they go under?