RankTracker.com: killed (by) their lifetime deal?
We all love AppSumo, right? It's the place where you can snag lifetime deals on SaaS tools without breaking the bank.
Over the years, I've saved quite a bit of money on tools like Accuranker, SE Ranking, and iubenda. However, I've also squandered a fair amount on various AI tools and chatbots that I never really used 🙈.
Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. AppSumo is a bit like a startup investment—you never know if it's going to be worth it.
The sad story of RankTracker
But something unexpected happened recently. A company outright refused to fulfill their lifetime deal. The company in question is RankTracker.com, a rank tracking software.
In 2021, I purchased a $299 subscription for 1,000 keywords. Initially, I used it but found it sometimes inaccurate and very slow at times, so I eventually switched to a different product. It wasn't until a few weeks ago, when my wife asked for a rank tracking tool, that I remembered the AppSumo deal.
To my surprise, I wasn't able to access the tool. All I saw was that I was supposed to pay $82/year to get access to my lifetime deal. How on earth?
Upon checking their Slack community, I quickly noticed that there were other disgruntled AppSumo customers. And as the original poster predicted, this message was swiftly deleted by one of their admins:
Digging further on sites like Trustpilot, I realized that probably hundreds of customers were dealing with the same issue.
What AppSumo says
When I asked AppSumo for a comment, I received this response:
"Despite our efforts, we have been unable to reach the Ranktracker team and we understand from our customer’s reports, that there are concerns surrounding technical support reliability as well as account accessibility."
They also said:
"When Ranktracker was featured in the store in 2021, our Partner contracts did not include an explicit clause requiring Partners to offer support for their tool(s) after their campaign ended. Thankfully, we have been very fortunate to work with high quality Partners dedicated to our shared mission in supporting aspiring entrepreneurs. Sadly, Ranktracker was not this kind of Partner."
So apparently, AppSumo had a loophole in their contracts (which seems pretty negligent, to be honest) and RankTracker was happy to exploit it fully.
In the past, they might have gotten away with it. But in today's age, with all the customer review platforms, I wonder if the company can weather this (shit)storm.
Shitstorm on Trustpilot
On Trustpilot, their ranking plummeted rapidly from a previous 4.0 stars to currently 2.4 stars, despite them trying to fight back with fake 5-star reviews as it seems (all the recent positive reviews come from people who have published 1 review in total).
Of course, I also added a 1-star review. About 10 days after I added the review, I received a message from Trustpilot informing me that RankTracker claimed I was essentially lying as I wasn't a real customer. So they were asking for further evidence. They probably do that with all negative reviews right now, hoping some of them will disappear.
Of course, I was more than happy to provide the evidence, which might even earn a "Verified" label for my review.
What's more, Trustpilot added a warning to the review page, advising readers that RankTracker is displaying an inaccurate score on their website:
And indeed, when I last checked, RankTracker was still pretending to have a 4-star Trustpilot rating on their homepage. But not only that, their G2 and Capterra ratings aren't accurate anymore either.
Why are they doing this?
My best guess is that they are under a lot of pressure. They probably sold too many lifetime subscriptions, which were eating away at any profit margins they used to have.
They then likely scrutinized their AppSumo agreements again and found the aforementioned loophole, thinking:
What if all these pesky lifetime customers had to pay us again and again?
Essentially, they went fully confrontational, sparking enormous outrage—they must have seen this coming. A company would probably only take such a step if they were already in a tough spot. This behavior might seal their fate now.
What could they have done better?
Let's assume that they indeed miscalculated what all these lifetime deals would do to their profit margins. They could have been honest about it and asked for their users' understanding, offering a refund of the lifetime subscription fee.
But they may not even have all that cash, as AppSumo certainly took a large chunk of it. Also, this would have sparked outrage as well, although perhaps not as hefty as what's happening right now.
I guess there's no elegant way to get out of this. But I can't see how they'll survive this turmoil. Anyone looking for a review will immediately be confronted with words like "scam" and "fraud." Any potential employees they might want to hire will see the same. It's going to be a very tough road ahead for them - and rightly so.
Have you had any issues with them too? Let me know and also review them on the platform of your choice.