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TemplateMonster.com / Shady business ethics

1 United States Review updated:

On May 9th 2008 I purchased a template for a website I wanted to put together for my new business. Before purchasing I made sure I read through all of the FAQ's and Statement Agreements. I decided everything sounded good enough to purchase. I got my credit card and made the purchase!

Now the fun starts. I get an a message from the website to type in my phone number because an operator will contact me w- a code to input and verify my purchase. Ok, phone rings, pick up, got code, put code in. I receive a link to my template and low and behold nothing shows up. Every page is blank, red x's every where and "can not display page" errors every where.

I then log onto their online chat to speak w- a rep. I'm trying to explain what is happening and w-out telling me they switch me to some one else and I have to repeat myself all over again. I thought that was rude but hey whatever, right?

At this point I was even more upset than when I purchased the blank template for $64. I couldn't get over how my questions were being ignored. Finally "Robert" tells me I have to email Paul for a refund and thanked him and emailed Paul.

Today, May 10th 2006 I check my emails. It's now 1pm and I emailed them about 12 hours ago. Still no response. I contacted CHRONOPAY.COM which is their merchant I guess. (I think they are the same people, they all have the same accent). Anyhow, when I explained what happened she told me to contact them. I said I tried that and I have all different numbers for them. What's going on? I have a NY # then a Ca. # and then you??? I don't understand. I tried the # she gave to me low and behold they pick up the phone. No, "hello templatemonster, how can I help you?" Just a dead silence. I had to ask if it was Template monster.

So for the Third time I explained what happened and I was so frustrated from all the hoops I have to jump to get some help I just wanted a refund. Andy wasn't rude at all but didn't seem to have a clue as the rest of the people I either spoke w- via chat log or the one other person on Chronopay.com.

Through out all of this I was very calm and very professional. I thought when I spoke w- Andy I was getting sort of the same. He wasn't extremely professional but obliging. He said he was going to fax me a Waiver of Copyright once I sign and return they would refund me. I said Thank you I will get that back to you ASAP.

I received the waiver, signed and faxed. Then I receive this extremely unnecessary, rude, obnoxious email from Paul. (I will post on the bottom of page for you to read). It was the most ridiculous, unprofessional, unnecessary email I have ever received. He said that I was "black listed" from their site and I wouldn't be able to purchase anything from them again. Haha! As if I would ever make that mistake again!!! I would never refer anyone to their rip off site or even look at their site again. Is he serious?!?!

I then realized that they work out of their home and bought into some sort of franchise working from their homes. That makes more sense as to all the different #'s and the shady business ethics.

Anyhow, I am extremely sick of these types of pseudo companies ripping me off and then having the nerve to be nasty. Someone needs to publicize these jerks.

Below is a copy of the chat logs between myself and the online operator and then the email Paul sent to me.

Ji
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Comments

  • Al
      30th of Aug, 2009
    0 Votes

    I also made the mistake of coming across these individuals and "company". I filled a form with all kinds of questions and also I was requested to give my landline telephone number as they would use this to verify I had not stolen the card. That was annoying enough as I have been making purchases for years in Amazon, flight tickets etc without having to stand by the telephone like a spinster. My bank has additionally extra safety procedures that when the card is used, I still have to enter extra codes for my bank given to me by it. I gave all those details and nobody called me, and I did not get any template. Not only that. I was at the surgery, my working place, a place whose telephone number is on the Yellow Pages, thus, i was very well traceable. Nothing, they did not bother to call. Worst than that, I received an email saying that I should fax them a copy of my credit card but I could cover some numbers if I wanted. So, I had to go through all that rubbish procedure that took me an hour waiting for a call that never came and then they still wanted me to get out of my workplace, and find a scanner and find a fax and send them a copy of my card. That was the peak of rage. I asked them for my money back. They never returned my money, never sent me any template. Additionally I have heard that most of their templates are faulty, don't work, are not genuine, are not made by them, but on the contrary, they take templates from authors and give them a share, (I want to think so) . You are not allowed to contact the authors of the templates. My advice. Stay away. Do not buy anything from them. I have seen the web is full of complaints about them.

  • Cu
      4th of Nov, 2009
    0 Votes

    Jim did you get your money back?

    I am reading all of that and wondering if I am simply lucky ? I have a bunch of friends and they all buy stuff from TM without any hassle, and these complaint really surprise me. I think you need to send a complaint through their complaint center and have someone from their management to get back to you and resolve all the things amicably.

  • It
      15th of Nov, 2009
    0 Votes

    Thanks for your opinions, I am thinking of going to TM and doing some due diligence.

  • Te
      28th of Apr, 2010
    0 Votes

    Dear TemplateMonster.com Clients!

    My name is Andrew Adamson, I'm the Customer Care Manager for TemplateMonster.com. I would have been glad to address your issues and assist you with resolving your problem if you contacted me prior to submitting your complaint here. I'm available through the ticket system (www.template-help.com/tickets), "Customer Care" department. You may also email me directly to shaman [at] template-help.com to schedule a phone call.

    Just to avoid confusion: Template-Help.com is a company that offers technical support, customer care and billing services for TemplateMonster.com.

    Do not hesitate to contact me directly if you have questions or concerns.

  • Ti
      18th of Dec, 2010
    0 Votes

    Template monster is full of it. I don't know where they get their customer service but they run you in circles and never complete anything. They put you on hold on their chat while they "SAY" they are looking into your problem. 8 minutes later... the chat times out do to Inactivity. I have put in tickets about their word press templates and each time I get someone new... they ask for the same info all over again. It's not a good idea to give you FTP info to anyone let alone 5 people. Then at the end of the day, someone else answers the ticket without even looking over the site to see the problem. I asked for a a refund...not to my pocket but as a credit for the template that does not work. They have insisted they would correct the issue... but they have not. So I am contacting my CC company for resolution. It's not the money, it's the principle. Don't they get it, the Internet is a viral place and bad news spreads fast.

  • Te
      11th of Jul, 2011
    0 Votes

    DO NOT MAKE THE MISTAKE OF USING TEMPLATE MONSTER OR TEMPLATE TUNINNG! they are all full of it, you will waste your time and money. Plus, editing templates is not an easy task, they do a GREAT JOB selling a product that WILL NOT work. Please please don't make the mistake.

  • Te
      29th of Aug, 2011
    0 Votes

    I had the same thing happen to me.
    I bought a magenta template 3 weeks ago along with the logo service.
    I have yet to receive the correct template with logo.
    Ive been strung along for weeks. And my project manager had the nerve to say it was my fault.
    They have no working numbers and nothing ever get resolved. My project manager somehow only works 2am to 10 am..so it makes it extra hard to keep in touch. Anyhow I paid 300.00 for this crap that I haven't even received. Please don't make the same mistake I made.
    The steal your money and your time as well as you energy.
    Stay away from template monster.

  • Ki
      1st of May, 2012
    0 Votes

    I am currently attempting to get a refund. Purchased template and install. Cannot get a response from chat forum, email, or phone. None of these options were working at template tuning so I went back to the Monster template sales chat and recieved the most unprofessional support person I have ever dealt with. Basically told me to just wait indefinetely for the templatetuning project manager to get back with me, even though the install was to be within 4 days I even tried installing it my self, no assistance, my host site let me know that I would have to contact template company because it was not a normal install. I have asked for a refund with no response...
    NEVER BUY FROM THIS SITE! I too am turning this over to my cc company.

  • Le
      20th of Jun, 2012
    0 Votes

    I had an awful experience with Template Monster today. I paid with Paypal, and they wanted me to send them copy of my documents, with I thought was very suspicious. I forwarded them the payment confirmation I got from Paypal, but it didn't work. The customer support was awful, and showed no respect with the client. Here's a copy of the conversation:

    [17:01:06] I paid through Paypal, forwarded payment receipt and my order is still pending.
    [17:01:29] hi
    [17:01:30] sorry for the inconvenience but we can't process the order without further
    verification. Please send us the scanned copy of your driver's license
    or a passport to verify yourself as a cardholder. You can cover all
    digits at the document for your safety. We need just to see the copy
    of a valid document with your name so you run no risk sending it to
    us. Please inform us if it is good for you, otherwise the order will
    be canceled.
    [17:02:21] I paid through Paypal. No credit card.
    [17:02:39] We are asking you to send us the copy for security reasons because of a growing number of fraudulent transactions.
    You may cover all the digits on the document, so it is totally secure for you to send it.
    You can take the digital photo with the web, digital or cell phone camera.
    It is one time verification so all your next purchases will be processed without any delays.
    [17:05:46] So everything peolpe say about you online is true, I guess. I didn't use any credit card. I paid through paypal. Since there's no credit card involved, you are the ones who look fraudulent by asking copy of my credit card. I just ask for a refund at Paypal. I'll forward them this conversation as a proof of non-delivery. I'm sorry I ever bothered buying from you guys.
    [17:06:22] as you wish

  • Ia
      6th of Jul, 2012
    0 Votes

    Dear Customer,

    we are terribly sorry for inconveniences and for this experience . Our billing department asked for additional verification because we received a huge pack of fraudulent transactions via hacked PayPal accounts from Brazil. So we protect Brazilian PayPal holders too. It was a one-time verification procedure and all your future purchases would be processed immediately. We prepared a special discount offer for you. Our manager will contact you via e-mail . Kind Regards, Ian Troy (Templatemonster Deputy Chief Billing Officer )
    e-mail : yan@template-help.com

  • Dh
      7th of Dec, 2012
    0 Votes

    I have had the exact same experiences you all have had. We are currently at stalemate even though I have shown them that by their own policy, I am eligible for a refund.They keep offering me more of their crap products to try and get me to keep my money there so they don't nee to follow their own refund policy. As if I'd want to go back for more of this mindless slamming of my head against a brick wall..I have now spent hours of my time politely writing to these rip off merchants. The reason I bought the template is that I RESEARCVHED beforehand by chatting with their "REP"...Bad Idea..he assured me it was so easy anyone could customise it, but he failed to inform me that "ANYONE" was a fourth degree wizard adept at the dark arts. Basically, he lied to me. So after making my purchase based on the fraudulent assurance of their staff I now find myself in an endless mill of back and forth emails which basically boil down to them wanting to keep the money that actually belongs to me for giving me a useless (but pretty) template. I would never recommend anyone buy anything off these fraudsters with absolutely no concept of business ethics...after all, they don't even know how to follow their own frikkin policy. Sav

  • Kr
      17th of Dec, 2013
    0 Votes

    This company is a nightmare to deal with. They either do not read or do not understand customer communications. Their responses generally consist of a few useless lines and a link to a "solution" that's not even remotely a solution; it's a wild goose chase. They demonstrate almost no interest in actually resolving customers' issues. If there's anyone at Template Monster who does aspire to this, I have yet to meet that person - and I certainly have tried, over and over and over. Their templates are beautiful, but even so, I don't know how they stay in business when they demonstrate such a frustrating lack of regard for their customers' needs.

  • Jo
      13th of Jan, 2014
    0 Votes

    Dear Kris,

    My name is Joe Navarro, I'm the Customer Care Manager for TemplateMonster.com. We are extremely apologize for any possible inconvenience caused. I would appreciate if you send all the details of the issue to joe [at] template-help.com for further assistance & discussion.
    Thank you!

    Best regards,
    Joe Navarro
    Customer Care Department
    Template-Help.com
    TemplateMonster.com

  • Ti
      30th of Aug, 2014
    +1 Votes

    Template Monster actually have some great templates on the face of it, but unless you have extensive knowledge of the type of template you are buying - DON'T

    Once you have bought a template - if you require any help, you will be directed to Template-Help. I initially found them quite helpful - they even made me a custom video, explaining step by step how to do something. That service was great. However, if you want anything more than basic help, you will be directed to Template-Tuning.

    These guys will charge you (a lot) to do even the most basic of things.

    All I requested was that my contact form was altered to allow me to choose which recipient it was sent to, with the addition of a drop down box. I was advised of a price of $120 for this, but as the original template had only cost $62 I could not justify this. Linda Robertson (if that is her real name) agreed a discount and I ended up paying $79.

    I was then passed on to a project manager called Rose Bennett (again doubt if this is her real name) who told me that it would be completed quickly. Within a few days I was sent the updated files. Anyone knows that to add a dropdown box to a contact form only requires a few lines of basic code and this was something I could have easily done myself.

    I tried to get the form working, but it wouldn't. When I looked at the code, I could see that all they had done was to add a dropdown that was not connected to any emails and was NOT what I asked for. They had also added quite a few unnecessary files. When I pointed this out I was told that I hadn't paid for the form to be 'activated' and for that they would need more money. Hmmmmm

    I ask you - what is the point of adding a dropdown that does nothing? My chats with them (which I have) clearly state that I wanted the form to be able to email different recipients.

    I was getting nowhere with my supposed 'project manager' and that was when I could get hold of her. The 'chat' option was never available and she would take up to 4 days to reply to emails.

    Luckily, I had paid via Paypal, so I opened a dispute via them. Jetimpex Inc (their trading name) did not respond via Paypal once - despite me sending at least 3 different messages.

    Eventually, I was passed on to someone called Emma Barnes (Customer Care Manager). Despite her admitting that the service I had received from both Linda and Rose was substandard, including that I should not have been given a discount, she also refused to accept that I had not got what I had asked for. Under threat of making a claim via Paypal - my fee was refunded in full.

    My advice is very simple. The only way to sort this part of Template Monster out is to stop using them. Whatever you do - DO NOT pay them anything unless it is via Paypal - that way at least you are protected. I STRONGLY advise that you do a search for Template-Tuning and read all the awful reviews that are out there. They pretty much all say the same thing.

    Buy your template from Template-Monster, by all means. Most of them are very well designed and attractive, BUT if you need any customisation or help in activating it etc I would Google a company called Freelancer.

    At Freelancer you can register and then make a job request for whatever it is you want doing. Within seconds you will have a huge choice of Freelance experts bidding for the work. You can see their feedback, success rates etc and then pick one to do your job for you. Most offer a fixed price (a LOT less than Template-Tuning). You then pay the fee (which is held by Freelancer) until you are 100% happy with your project. Only then do you release the funds to the programmer. A great service and most jobs will be completed within 24 hours! I chose a guy called Puneet (puneetjaini) He said he was a ‘Guru’ and he was! The job that Template Tuning failed to do in 3-4 weeks was done in less than 18 hours!

    A huge difference to Template-Tuning who will take your money, then be difficult to communicate with, not produce what you asked for and then try to extort more money from you to do the job you wanted them to do in the first place. The only way that Template-Tuning is going to learn is by people reading the reviews and voting with their feet.

    I hope I have done a decent job in warning you. I have all the chats I had with these people as proof should anyone want to know more.

  • Su
      22nd of Mar, 2017
    0 Votes

    @Tim Line Thank you so much. It appears I dodged a bullet.
    Also a thousand thanks for the mention of Freelancer. As a one-man-band ecommerce operation their services will be most welcome.

  • Em
      10th of Oct, 2014
    -1 Votes

    Rebuttal to Tim Line's Post


    My name is Emma
    Barnes, I'm the Customer Care Manager of TemplateTuning.com. I would like to file a rebuttal to this complaint and restore the reputation of our team, as distorted information on the case is presented here.

    I addressed the case and assisted the Customer prior to his submission of the complaint here.

    Unfortunately, the Customer was not specific enough when making the initial customization request:

    Customer: “All I need is the contact form to be the same as it is now - but at the top I want a dropdown box - (or similar) so that the user can make a selection as to where the email is sent to. For instance different departments
    or in my case I want the option to send to 3 different emails.”

    We completed the project according to the requirements - drop-down menu was created, as there was no mention of the need to create a custom script that sorts the emails automatically according to the selection. After the project completion the Customer complained about the absence of the script – and the manager offered assistance for extra money, as the service was not included in the initial quote.

    The Customer was offered a nice discount for the project. The custom coding costs more than $120 – the Customer paid $79.

    We value our customers, and never keep the amount paid, if the customer is not satisfied.
    That is the reason why refund was issued immediately. We did our best to treat the case honestly and in timely manner, in no way trying to "wriggle out" as the Customer kindly mentioned. I provided my thoughts and explanation on the case, based on a thorough investigation, straightly admitting the inappropriate service quality provided by pre-sales manager.


    We did not try to extort more money – we delivered the result exactly as the Customer specified in the initial request and paid for, any additional changes, especially custom scripts cost extra, as we need to pay the work of our team of developers.

    The money was reimbursed, though the result was delivered.

    We consider the case to be closed, as we did our best to find an amicable solution.

    We hope that such cases won’t happen in the future.

    Regards,
    Emma Barnes
    Customer Care Manager of TemplateTuning.com

  • Bu
      2nd of Oct, 2015
    0 Votes

    This is the worst company ever. They sell templates that become outdated very quickly and will not provide any updates for the teamplate. I have wasted hours and hours of my life with their support for all kinds of problems. I am a web designer and have bought like 50 templates and usually never needed much support but when i did holly cow the worst. I dont know how they are still in business. I rate this company a F. Worst ever

  • Mu
      13th of Dec, 2015
    +1 Votes

    Poor Customer Service, Support Staff Are Awful

    So I've bought a few themes from TemplateMonster in the past and i've never really had an issue (scroll to the bottom if you don't want to know all the details and only want to read a small review).

    However - i'm making a new website for a client and they wanted to have a website that had a store as well as a YouTube background and all the bells and whistles. Anyway, Black Friday sale, great discount on Monsteroid had everything I wanted what else can I ask for right?

    I proceed to purchase and I pay but when I come back to the TM store it says my payment failed but i've got a PayPal receipt and a SMS from my bank to say i've paid. I contacted customer support explained the situation and they told me to send a screenshot of my PayPal and my bank which I did. 24 hours pass and i'm waiting for a response...I get told that the payment failed and they have not collected any fund. I contact customer support and explain again that my bank has taken the funds and PayPal has paid them, they tell me they will be in touch etc etc etc. Its now 3 days later and I get really frustrated as the project is being delayed so I just purchase the template again and I log a PayPal claim for the first purchase (which is a long process in itself). Within a few hours I get an email from PayPal saying my money has been refunded - after customer support told me they didn't receive the funds, so if I didn't make a PayPal claim I probably wouldn't have got my money back. Anyway - happy times I now have the theme right?

    Wrong.

    This was the beginning.

    It's not a couple of weeks later and I have time to start the project again - i've now taken the clients site offline and i've installed Wordpress and I use their very helpful Monsteroid installer. Everything is going well until I am importing the sample data - there's an error. Great. So I contact customer support and explain the situation and send screenshots. Talking to customer support to just explain the situation itself is a nightmare as they take ages to reply and 9/10 times they just send you a link for a video. Anyway - a ticket gets created and I get a video link for manual install (which I have already tried, but hey I maybe I was doing something wrong) so I deleted all of Wordpress and decided to start over just in case. It still didn't work so I got in touch with the customer support again...went through the whole process again and a few hours later I get another video for manual advanced install. I follow the steps (bearing in mind this is like a day later now) and it works.

    Now, I wanted the homepage to have a YouTube video background and Monsteroid sample data already has a page for this. I proceed to edit the video link and ooops. Suddenly the fullscreen video background became half the size with a black box playing a YouTube video inside. I contacted customer support again...went through the steps again (btw first line support know nothing, i've learnt this by now) I send them to the page, I show them the original video then I change the link and show them the difference (this process alone took 20 mins). They log a ticket and send it to second line support. Now my project is being delayed so I have another slider that I previously purchased with another Theme from another website so I decided to use that instead of using the slider that was provided. I install it and everything works the way I want it to amazing.

    Is that it?

    Of course not.

    Now the Motopress Content Editor has stopped working and i've logged a ticket yet again and spoken to the ever so helpful support (not)! I'm awaiting a reply. Let's see i'm not holding my breath. I'm going to wait till the morning or else I am going to buy a new theme.

    Moral of the story - TM are good if you never ever need support and your product works 100% OK. If you are one of the unlucky ones, the first line support is useless. They are have no technical knowledge and cannot guide you through the simplest of mistakes. Sometimes they decide to transfer you to a new person mid conversation so you have to start again because their shift is over! Based on this experience I would never purchase from TM ever again even though i've used them many times before. As a person with a tight schedule I don't want to talk to customer support and wait for replies for days on end. I purchased a theme so that I can have an active website within a few hours worst case scenario a few days. If I had weeks I would have written the theme myself!

  • Ma
      5th of Jul, 2016
    +1 Votes

    They sold a template without admin, we asked for refund so we could purchase the same one with an admin. They did an under the table exchange buy sending us a link not putting it through the account or doing a refund. When we looked at the link we found it was 30$ less than we had paid, they refused to refund the difference. Very sketchy overseas phone support and rude to boot. I will never buy from here again.

  • Pa
      26th of Jan, 2017
    0 Votes

    A bunch of thieves who sell outdated products. It's impossible to adjust their websites to mobile devices...plus my account, purchase ID, all details etc...everything disappeared. Their websites do not meet today literally the basic requirements!!!

  • Ra
      4th of Jun, 2017
    0 Votes

    I too have been scammed, same exact thing happened to me.
    It is my own fault for not checking all the negative reviews online.

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