Netsuite nightmares: part deux

Summary:Last September I wrote about how NetSuite has been failing its customers. It isn't getting any better.

Last September I wrote about how NetSuite has been failing its customers. It isn't getting any better. Following that post I started to receive emails going into detail about how NetSuite's sales talk bears no relation to what the company is able to deliver. It seems that most of the problems stem from the CRM productbut there are broader issues. Commenter - JP Browne56 captured the mood of many commenters:

NetSuite is a catatrophe: sales people promise the moon but there is little flexibility, no support, and no willingness to help solve problems. My firms is small and we almost went under because of the delays and costs of dealing with NetSuite. We had to junk the entire solution and start over from scratch. Avoid NetSuite at ALL costs!

Earlier today I spoke with Tara Rose, CEO of Nurse Staffing Unlimited a small nursing staff agency in Boca Raton, Florida. Her story mirrors much of what others say: plenty of promise, little delivered. In her case, Tara's company forked over $140,000 for a service that was late, incomplete and incapable of providing the right information for workers compensation and professional liability insurance calculations. Specifically, reports that should not include assignments that went unfilled kept showing up, effectively providing incorrect information for insurance audit purposes.

We signed the deal back in the Febraury/March time and had an agreed delivery date of 1st September but by the time Septmber rolled round, they'd pretty much done nothing. I was horrified to find they needed to write scripts. At first it was two but ended up as eight. About a week after delivery in the October, they pretty much dumped me. That was around the time things started going badly wrong. They never cleaned up the test data they used and we can't get it out the system. In the end we had to come off NetSuite.

Mike Krigsman often points to failures at buyer organizations. I asked Tara to spell out her experience as a user, the way in which the Business Resource Development (BRD) document was developed and whether it was complete. Both Tara and her colleague are computer savvy and she says there were three iterations of the BRD before it was signed off. She is adamant that NetSuite's consultants were satisfied with the detail provided and did not charge for any change orders. NetSuite must know they have issues because Tara's company was offered a $40,000 refund or credit to hire a consultant to come fix the issues. She chose not to take the money but has instead handed the paperwork over to lawyers in anticipation of legal action. Tara has set up a website called  NetSuite Consumer Fraud where she hopes to garner enough support to file a class action lawsuit against NetSuite.

I also heard from Alexander Cua, who runs Lexis Coatings:

I signed up March 2007 and I'm already shopping. Netsuite gave me a 60% teaser discount to sign up. At the time, they told me I would get the abiliity to host multiple webstores with the 2007 version which came out in May. When my account was upgraded in August, I found out that the multi-site capability was not only a $4000 additional module, it piggybacks on an equally expensive Site Builder module. Needless to say, I need to spend 10,000 more to get the features they promised me in the first place. All the sales manager could do was give me the same temporary discount that is in effect. My sales rep has not been in touch with me after the mistake and my account was quickly turned over to another division in the company.

The Netsuite website does not tell you what are part of the base package and what are additonal modules. They give you a 15 day trial that is full featured.

Other users that signed up in 2006 got a free user with the subscription. They also had Site Builder for free as long as they have a Powered by Netsuite logo at the bottom. This year, when their renewals came out, the free user was gone and so was site builder. I can't begin to imagine that added costs this company is going through. Not only did they lose their starter discount, they now have to pay 6000 more per year to maintain the same level of service.

One user commented that their costs are now 5 times more than when they started 5 years ago.

Last month, someone started a post called Price Increases have Doubled. This post was quickly deleted by the moderator within the same week when it was becoming a very popular topic.

This week, a post titled - "Please Save Netsuite" was also pulled.

I also spoke Tom Foydel who is a reseller/consultant for NetSuite and fellow Irregular. He agreed that NetSuite - like many software vendors - has its share of aggressive sales people but defended the company's sales strategy:

You have to be careful with on-demand because in the past, people have felt they'd been oversold and ended up with more than they needed. That's why NetSuite took the modular approach.  Yes, the forums do get some people ranting  but let's not forget we're talking about software which always needs enhancements.

Tom prides himself as acting in an honorable fashion and will turn away business upon which he feels he cannot deliver. However, when you keep seeing a steady stream of people who are unhappy then you have to ask whether the company concerned is offering a fit for purpose service. In the world of on-demand, anything less than working software soon gets exposed.

Topics: Enterprise Software

About

Dennis Howlett has been providing comment and analysis on enterprise software since 1991 in a variety of European trade and professional journals including CFO Magazine, The Economist and Information Week. Today, apart from being a full time blogger on innovation for professional services organisations, he is a founding member of Enterpri... Full Bio

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