On Sunday, Kajabi shut down our Kajabi site. The reason reported (by email), at least apparently, was vague.
Once we realized this Monday morning, we started doing what we could to bring it back up. Since Kajabi has a 24 hour chat, I hoped it would be fast.
Turned out it was a “billing” issue and the only guy who could fix wasn’t coming in until later that morning. I tried some social media pressure, but that didn’t even bring them in on time.
You have to love the Internet lifestyle that makes the reporting for work in the morning more a “concept” than a specific time
A bunch of you expressed frustrations with Kajabi (http://www.facebook.com/paulcolliganfan/posts/10151452847486477) in my Facebook post. A number of issues came up that I thought I might address here.
Now, turns out the “problem” was a comedy of errors caused by both the way Kajabi handles billing and some changes we’ve made. In short, when we changed the account over to a new email address, we didn’t change the email on the billing. The credit card expired, they notified the (old) billing address and, yes, it wasn’t monitored like it should be.
In some ways I point the finger at myself for not making sure everything was right when we made the transition from the old account holder. On the other hand, I think before anyone shuts down a big customer, automatically, when there is no chance to fix things quickly, they should double check their actions.
I’ll honestly put this one up as a draw. Kajabi was quick to get the site back up once everything was figured out. Our down time was around 14 hours and, personally, I’ve seen down time of much worse. I’m sure you have as well.
But, what can one learn from this (other than the obvious suggest to Kajabi above)?
1) If you are going to use a third party system to manage your billing, you might want to set mechanisms in place to double check on auto-shutoffs. Vice versa, if you sign up for auto-billing through a third party process, you might want to keep notes accordingly and make sure, if transitions happen, that you cover all your bases.
I actually understand and appreciate the use of third party billing systems. PCI compliance and the wacky world of hackers should make anyone considering online payments consider all the options. I have no desire for a merchant account for my Colligan.com activities anymore. Like everything in life, both options have their trade off.
2) Some of the complaints you mentioned on social media (on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus), spoke of the price of Kajabi, the lack of certain options, etc. You also mentioned not liking having to pay monthly as opposed to the single purchase option of some other popular membership sites. Pondering choices based on these variables alone are as silly as picking a car based on the what the price of the stereo is. There are dozens of variables at play here – you need to consider them all.
What do you want, who does it best, does it make sense to go down that path? Ask those questions before you ask any others. Right now, Kajabi is the best option for us, and yes, they get payment every month for their services. We consider it more than worth it.
3) Yes, there was a scary feeling of being out of control during the down time. This happens whenever someone else is running your system. Of course, I type this on a MacBook Air that I couldn’t fix to save my life, while posting this to a social network that could, at any point change anything.
You’ll notice this gets cross-posted to my blog for that very reason. No matter how cool and how fast these things are, backups are always a good idea.
4) You catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Yes, I left several strongly worded messages with the powers that be at Kajabi, at the end it was, despite whatever comedy of errors I call it, “our fault.” Had I been a jerk among jerks, they could have responded with the same. They were great and once we figured this out, things came up quickly.
A sigh of relief before lunch on Monday. I thought I’d catch you up to the details.