The other day I was talking with a friend of mine when they brought up a story that, quite honestly, I didn’t believe at first. They said they knew a “legitimate” company that owed their company $60,000! I decided to do my own research and was, at first, shocked to discover that the company has a hidden secret: while their website promotes them as an amazing resource for business owners who require event planning, their reviews, even the reviews by their own employees, say something quite different.
The online company Acteva is a great example of how a real business can take real money from their customers without the customers being able to do anything about it. On Acteva’s website they state that they are the “largest and most experienced event registration, class registration, and private community software provider in the market today.” Open for 12 years, the company claims that they have helped over 20,000 organizations to host events. Their customer testimonial webpage is filled to overflowing with clients talking about the positive experiences that they had with the company.
But you can put anything you would like to on your own web page, which is why smart consumers look elsewhere for their reviews – so what happens if you enter the phrase “Acteva review” on Google? Well, something like this:
This review is found on TrustPilot.com, a community-based platform that allows users to post reviews about companies. “But,” you say, “that’s only one review and any business is likely to get at least one bad review, right?” That is a fair assessment and it is true that almost every business is going to get people upset with it after being open for 12 years.
Keep searching, though, and you wind up with this:
Found on Yellow Pages, this is definitely a compelling review. The reviewer seems truly upset to have had to write such a negative review. Again, a person casually searching for information may think nothing of two negative reviews, but if you notice both reviews complain about the same thing – the company’s refusal to adhere to their payment schedule.
The fact that both negative reviews reference the same issue should raise the red flag a bit. The reviews found on Salesforce, however, should not only raise the flag but should cement it firmly into the ground…
Once again you have two Acteva clients complaining that they did not get the money owed to them by the company. On one review there is a response from what we can only assume is an Acteva spokesperson stating that “this must have been an exceptional case”, but nowhere does Lead Marketing state that they will do everything they can to pay the customer the money that they are owed.
Because of the way Acteva is set up, many non-profit organizations have turned to using it. Unfortunately it seems like many non-profits are having an issue with the company as well.
These reviews, found on TechSoup, a website created to help non-profit organizations, shows that a number of different non-profit organizations have had an issue with the company.
The one thing that is the most worrisome about all of these reviews is the fact that, when contacted, the Acteva company does not seem to contact its clientele back in a timely manner. Can you imagine being owed $100,000 and not being able to access the funds that are rightfully yours? That amount of money could easily be the end of a business, especially businesses that rely heavily upon funds, like many non-profits.
That may be why the company has a little issue with the Better Business Bureau…
Not only did the company have 48 complaints against them in the past 3 years, but they failed to respond to 14 complaints and their accreditation has been revoked!
NOTE: At the time this article was written Acteva had 48 complaints through the BBB. Only one day later they had 50!
You may be wondering how a business that has so many negative reviews against them, that refuses to answer to the customers who have complaints about it, and who lost their BBB accreditation can still be open.
That is a very good question to speculate upon, and the answer is this: because people keep using them. When consumers refuse to use a service it is forced to close. When consumers continue to use a service, however, it is able to remain open. Often consumers are so happy to have found a possible solution to their problems that they do not take the time to search for customer reviews online, nor do they do any in-depth probing about the company.
For example if you look at the Acteva website they state that their global headquarters is in San Francisco. Call the number, however, and you are instantly re-routed to India. That’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with utilizing an Indian based company, but consumers should know exactly where a business is based without any smoke and mirrors.
The final nail in the coffin for Acteva, for me, anyway, was this:
Glassdoor is a company that allows employees to write about the business that they work for. As you can see from just these two reviews, Acteva is obviously not well loved by its employees!
So you’ve got a company that has tons of horrible reviews, that has had their accreditation revoked by the BBB, and a company whose own employees seemingly can’t stand the company!
Guys, you have to investigate any company or vender that you plan on hiring or working with! My friend’s company has been going back and forth with Acteva for quite some time trying to get paid, and from the way it looks it’s doubtful that it will happen. Had my friend’s company even looked into Acteva a little bit it is likely that they would have passed on them and found a different vendor.
See what others are now saying about Acteva: