Netsuite nightmares: part deux

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.

Topic: Enterprise Software

Dennis Howlett

About Dennis Howlett

Dennis Howlett is a 40 year veteran in enterprise IT, working with companies large and small across many industries. He endeavors to inform buyers in a no-nonsense manner and spares no vendor that comes under his microscope.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Netsuite Victims enter

    Don't get hurt with Netsuite !
  • RE: Netsuite nightmares: part deux

    You always here more from the entities who have something bad to say than something good to say. You can find the same nightmare stories within SAP enterpise customer base. The difference there is the target market often has the MILLIONS to apply the consulting needed to get on track and even then, it isn't always enough.
    The people that complain here are mostly under-budgeted. Yes, salespeople tend to oversell. But I know NetSuite very well as a user for over 6 years. The pricing, possible increases, module features, etc - it's all in writing and if you do the dilligence, you shouldn't be surprised. Champagne dreams - beer budget. Most of the dissenters would be in the same boat with any complex ERP application they chose.
    • 1 in 1,000,000

      You must work for this company. I have a complete 3 page NetSuite License Agreement and a statement of work that was provided to me and yes I did my due diligence but did NetSuite actually do their's. Not likely. What ever happened to trust? I trusted NetSuite. I trusted my sales representative. I didn't have Champagne dreams nor did I have a beer budget but if you believe in going with NetSuite your Champagne budget will eventually turn flat.
    • Ahem

      While you are correct to point out that companies frequently make mistakes, the cases I unearthed were not in that category. The fact so many people are dis-satisfied with Netsuite tells me there is something fundamentally wrong. Check the facts - that's what I did.
      • Dennis Was Duped; Will He Man Up?

        Ok, let's get to the truth of the matter shall we? DH's campaign against NetSuite began with a post in 2007 that told of scores of unhappy UK-based customers (none were named). He followed in 2008 with another NetSuite screed based largely on the case of Tara Rose, CEO of Nurses Unlimited (a two-person company), who told the tale of her "nightmare" experience implementing NetSuite and who, as a result, launched a class-action lawsuit blog that attracted no one but NetSuite competitors logging anonymous BS about how bad NetSuite is.

        This individual is now suing another vendor for so-called "nightmare" issues and has rattled the NetSuite law suit threat even though this person has done everything required and MORE.

        Where does this abuse of the legal system and the ZDNet blog community end?

        Dennis, when will these ugly, old and inaccurate blog posts come down? Have you no shame, man? Time to man up!
    • Budget?

      With Netsuite pricing going up 100% a year on average since they started, how can you even budget anything? Netsuite is the one having champagne dreams while we are all sipping beer.
      • Contract

        Check the terms of the contract - they should make it clear.
        • Contract Does Not Matter

          They make incremental prices increases clear in the contract if that is what you negotiated for. The problem with Netsuite is the practice of spinning off features in the base package into expensive modules. Those things aren't covered in the contract.
        • Contract ? really

          well, well, well

          I had limited time of support like 2 month or so. I got the answer to my first question, which was in form of a question itself, after 2-3 weeks.
  • NetSuite support???

    For a compnay that sells CRM software, their support is severely lacking and not enterprise quality.
    • 3rd party company support

      Most of the big ERP vendors have had so many former employees spin off their own 3rd party support outfits. Does anyone know of 3rd Party NetSuite support contract outfits?
      • 3rd party company support

        I know this is over a month late, a very good solutions provider is 360 Solutions (303)471-1109
  • RE: Netsuite nightmares: part deux

    I was really surprised when I saw netsuite was raising big money through their IPO. We have a client who signed up through netsuite and it has been nothing but crap support from them. You email their support and wait for weeks to hear back if you do hear back at all and their support documents are out of date so they are of little help to a person wishing to help them selves.
  • RE: Netsuite nightmares: part deux

    This just goes to show that you do not always get what you pay for. Smaller independant hosted CRM providers make more time for their customers. I use 3slive CRM in my business development role which is great because you get all their functionality from the start and. I would advise anyone looking for a better provider to look at
  • Former Netsuite users? We are one

    We are a former Netsuite user. We leased for three years and chose not to renew when the price tripled (so much for the promised 'lock in' of our first lease' Our sales person made numerous promises most of which were never honored. He doesn't work at Netsuite anymore so they are off the hook I guess and can blame it all on him. We still suffered from some of the same bugs after three years and multiple new features upgrades. NS seems much more concerned about getting new customers and acclaim than taking care of current customers. Now we have a combination of QuickBooks and ShopSite which actually does some things better than NS at a fraction of the cost, and without the downside of not "owning" our own data.
    • Prices have Tripled?

      I know about Doubled but have not heard of Tripled. I did ask NS sales reps about that and here is what he said - "As we add features to the system, isn't it reasonable that we should charge more?".

      With this logic, at the rate Peachtree, Quickbooks, MYOB, heck even Windows have improved over the years they should be $600+ each if you used the Netsuite pricing model.
  • RE: Netsuite nightmares: part deux

    I am not familiar with Netsuite, but it sounds like the source of Scott Adams (Dilbert Comic Strip)inspiration. If the situations described were not so tragic, they might be funny.
    • Disagree

      I really don't think you can apply the Dilbert analogy to this story.
      • Disagree with your "Disagree"

        actually it's very true.
  • RE: Netsuite nightmares: part deux

    TRUST ME!!!!

    MAYBE if you we on an unlimited timeframe and had an Unlimited amount of Money, Netsuite MIGHT work for you.. BUT the implimentation is a JOKE, it is Dragged OUT, the intial costs are Way Over the Sales people promised.

    And then the Sales manager will call you and say --"Since you spent all this time already with Netuite, maybe the cost was more, we didnt hit the timeframe BUT, what are you other options? Start over from scratch."

    Stop from getting ripped off.

    We NEVER used Any of our Netsuite License, and Never got out of the primilinary stages and PAID over 30K. this does not include the complete licence costs..