On Sunday, Kajabi shut down our Kajabi site.

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.

#CT

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Jennifer

    Could you have also been caught during that temporary Paypal outage the other day? I noticed that Kajabi was completely offline and they said it was due to problems up line (assuming with other companies that are linked to Kajabi) and sure enough, Paypal was out for a bit that day; this wasn’t Kajabi’s fault, but it’s humbling how one little thing breaking down can put our membership sites at risk. Everything is so interlinked. Kajabi depends on Amazon’s S3 service to upload our videos and audios; we might also be accepting payments through Clickbank and/or Paypal; loads of stuff needs to be working for it all to come together. It’s kind of miraculous that things seem to work as much as they do!

  • http://twitter.com/renoweb Reno Lovison

    I predict a time in the near future where the back up plan will be to call the contact person prior to shutting off their site and everyone will think what a novel use of the telephone that will be.

  • paulcolligan

    No, like I said in the article – it was completely our fault on payment (behind a comedy of errors).

  • paulcolligan

    AMEN BROTHA!

  • http://twitter.com/timolson timolson

    Paul, I commend you for taking the blame at the end of the article, since that is the case.
    The starting domino was under your control and could have been thwarted by using Gmail to check all your accounts.
    Was a little sad to see the post begin as if you were an internet hipster intent on “occupying Kajabi” via social media.
    Though again, I commend you for making lemonade and staying in touch with your peeps during the outage.
    If not in place already, Kajabi needs a second credit card and secondary email on file for subscribers.

  • paulcolligan

    Hey, it was our fault in the end. I do try to call it like I see it. And, yes, we need someback – as does Kajabi.