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Why I don't like Overture

let me count the ways...

     
10:48 pm on Mar 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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1. Interface is too complicated and confusing.

2. Cancelling an account is like finding a needle in a haystick.

3. Can't pause ads.

4. Looks like a total bidding war--whoever has the most money wins, as opposed to those who work hard at figuring out the system, such as it is.

4. Last, but certainly not least--I don't like the way they just automatically charged my account when it ran out this month and made it sound like they were doing me a favor!

These are my impressions after having joined just over a week ago. I'm about to cancel as soon as I figure out which Type of Inquiry to choose in the drop-down menu in the Support Request Form which was about as obvious as a needle in a haystick. Why do I get the feeling they don't want people to easily cancel an account? And what could be the reason? Hmmmm....

10:52 pm on Mar 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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What did Overture say in reply to your suggestions?
11:31 pm on Mar 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I haven't sent anything to them yet. I'm still pondering what to do. BTW-if anyone wants to prove me wrong on any of the above points, I'm open minded and willing to reconsider.
12:17 am on Mar 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hi

I can understand your problem.

In a normal mature business sector, someone of Oveture's comptence wouldn't last a week. The reason that they do is internet history, and you just have to accept that. :)

To your points

1. Interface is too complicated and confusing.
Answer. Yes

2. Cancelling an account is like finding a needle in a haystick.
Answer. Yes.

3. Can't pause ads.
Answer. No

4. Oh don't get me started on this one.
I have my budget set to £1 per day, just to keep my account active. These are the figures for the first two days in March

Date Impressions Total Clicks Total Cost £ CPC £Conversions Conv. Rate Cost Per Conversion Current Budget Amount
Mar 01 2005 3642 77 7.70 0.10 0 0.00 0.00 1.00
Mar 02 2005 6336 187 18.70 0.10 0 0.00 0.00 1.00

I paused my account after this and sent them an email, asking for a refund, they never replied. ;)

Don't get me wrong Overture does work for certain products, you just have to know what you are doing.

Its their system that doesn't work.

dregs33

2:09 am on Mar 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I haven't sent anything to them yet.

Why not? If your house was on fire, would you put out the fire or just go get a new house?

5:02 am on Mar 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Call me a cynic, but seeing how Overure functions, I don't think they really give a damn about what me or thousands of other disgruntled customers experiencing similar frustrations may "suggest." I'm sure they've heard all kinds of complaints. Even if I put the above rant into diplomatic language, I'm not naive to think that it would change anything.

They are out to make money, and they are succeeding. But I don't agree with the way they are doing it. It reminds me of the description of the insane Colonel Walter Kurtz as described by General Corman in Apocalypse Now: they're ideas...methods, became... unsound.

2:57 pm on Mar 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I'm outta of my mind now. They've gone ahead and charged my credit card again, when my budget was ON. That's twice. They will now hear an earful from me, along with a cancellation, and a phonecall to tell them how much they suck. What is the chance of getting any money refunded?
3:29 pm on Mar 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Just to add to the above comment, I can take some responsibility for the first time Overture charged me without warning, because I'd been playing around with the budget and it may have been "OFF." But the second time, my budget was "ON" and I had 3 days left when I went to bed last night (of course their freakin' stats are way out of date, so that helps them, not us). Here is the email that I have received twice in the last week:

Great news! You'll be happy to hear that your site has received a large amount of targeted clickthrough traffic from us! As a result of this traffic, your Overture account balance was low. We processed a new credit card transaction on Mar 13 2005 06:19 PT and
deposited $XX.00 to your Overture acct: XXXXXXXXXX.
The credit card transaction was successful. The details of your transaction are as follows: etc....

So my account balance was "low," and that gives them the right to steal?!

I just cancelled and reiterated my above points, via their confusing web form (note--no drop down category for cancellation, so I sent it to Billing), and demanded a refund. Good luck to me. They are not home on Sunday. I guess I'll scream at them on the phone tomorrow.

3:37 pm on Mar 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

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seeing how Overure functions, I don't think they really give a damn about what me or thousands of other disgruntled customers

That is completely wrong. You should have seen how bad they were a couple of years ago. Sure just about all of your comments are valid, but it used to be a lot worse.

4:13 pm on Mar 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

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So are you suggesting that A) they will take my comments to heart and/or B) give me any kind of refund?

It would be nice if they do this--I remain open-minded and I'll see how they respond tomorrow, but they are not stupid--they know they are ripping people off. They have set up their site and their system that way by design.

The fact they were once worse doesn't mean that they don't still harbor the same business attitudes as before. It just means they have adapted. Same BS, different day.

4:35 pm on Mar 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Scroll to the bottom of the 'Budgeting' page, check
the box where it says 'Check this box to specify a
different amount', and enter $0.00 in the box marked
'Amount'. Then use the 'Add Money' link at the top
of the page instead of using Budgeting. You can add
money when you want to add it and not automatically
be charged.
7:54 pm on Mar 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

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OK I'll try that before I get charged yet again (bastards). Meanwhile they've sent me another email saying that my account will soon go offline, and in response to my request to cancel via their web form, their automated response interpreted this as me wanting to ad funds which they say they've rejected because it was via email! These people totally suck and I'm fuming...
8:01 pm on Mar 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

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So I tried what you say and this is what happened when I put in 0.00 and clicked Submit:

Budgeting
Minimum daily budget amount is $1.00.
Please Note: If you wish to add funds to your account, please click here. If you select one of the budgeting options below, your current payment plan will be deactivated and your credit card will be charged the amount you choose below every time your account balance is low.

What now?

8:07 pm on Mar 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

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>1. Interface is too complicated and confusing.

It can look that way but you soon get used to it.

>2. Cancelling an account is like finding a needle in a haystick.

Just call them up.

>3. Can't pause ads.

Yes you can and I do sometimes.

>4. Looks like a total bidding war--whoever has the most money wins, as opposed to those who work hard at figuring out the system, such as it is.

Yes but that is the way it has always worked.

>4. Last, but certainly not least--I don't like the way they just automatically charged my account when it ran out this month and made it sound like they were doing me a favor!

The emails could be better worded!

8:16 pm on Mar 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Sem...how do I pause the ad as I sort this out?

BTW--they are apparently not open (on the phone) Sunday, although they managed to charge my credit card and send nonsense emails.

8:52 pm on Mar 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

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When Microsoft pulls MSN distribution, Overture will need so start singing a different tune or it will be marginalized.
9:00 pm on Mar 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

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>Sem...how do I pause the ad as I sort this out?

Go into 'manage bids', select the listings you want and click on the 'listing on/off' button; then use the drop down menu to select 'offline'. This should pause the selected ads.

4:30 pm on Mar 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I've been on the phone with Overture and I have to confess that I've changed my mind somewhat. The problem really is the interface, and they admit that they need to revamp their budget page to make it more clear.

They also offered me a refund, but instead I have put my acount on hold. They walked me thru the whole system, making my ad more targetted and due to the inconvenience they're giving me a free $25 worth of clicks.

So I've decide to keep my ad for now, and, at least use up my monthly budget, and then take it from there. I was impressed with their customer service -- I just wish their interface and their business model (particularly their billing system), was better. Beware of the Budget On/Budget Off button!

 

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