Alstrasoft E-friends Nightmare! Beware!

#1

I bought Alstrasoft's e-friends software and I have to say that this software has been a nightmare. Right out of the box, about 50% of the features that Alstrasoft bragged about on their sales page do not work at all.

Throughout the process of installing the software my web/php developer spent numerous hours fixing errors in the original source code. These things include but were not limited to:

  1. Slashes appearing instead of apostrophe's on almost every single page.
  2. Links incorrectly directing users to wrong pages
  3. Links to photos in the image folder that dont exist.
  4. Major layout and format inconsistencies from page to page.
  5. Very basic spelling errors in the php code which obviously caused
    errors in the functions.

Searching these problems out and correctly them was very time consuming and costly for my company, however, due to the fact that site was being customized for my business enterprise, I was only mildly irritated that these bugs were present in the software. Fortunately they were fixed.

Once the site was completed and we entered a beta testing process, we recognized many more problems. These however were not simple glitches or bugs but MAJOR problems with E-Friends core features. These include:

  1. The "People Search" function. Searching by zip code simply does not work. The displayed results show everyone. Nor can a user change the zip code field. It is pre populated with the zip code the user provides in the their account info. Meaning that if a user would like to search other members from a zip code not there own, they cant. The only function that works in the "basic" search fields are First Name, Last Name and Email. Ultimately, this means the ONLY usefulness for the search function would be for searching users by name.

*2. The "Classifieds Search" does not display results correctly. Running a search with certain keywords display multiple pages of matches. However, clicking on "Page 2" of the search results(or "Page 3" or "Page 4" for that matter) leads to nothing.

3. The "Forum" does not allow users to use any sort of normal formatting when posting messages. A carriage return, Quotation marks, all end up leaving jibberish on the page. Why can people make new paragraphs in the meesage section, the blog section, the invite section, the classifieds section, but *NOT the forum? I dont understand this.

*4. The "Chatroom" section is only compatible with Internet Explorer. Any chance of allowing the other 30% of the online population that use Firefox or Opera or Safari the opportunity join in on the chat?

  1. The "Calender" doesn't work in so many ways its not even worth listing them all.
    *
    These are all major problems. I cannot go public with a website with these key functions not working correctly. It's been almost 3 weeks since I wrote to the company and have yet to hear back from their support. In fact, I just signed on to "check my ticket" and guess what? MY TICKET ISN'T VALID ANYMORE!!!! WHAT A SHOCK.

I love the "idea" of e-friends, BUT this is rediculous. If there is one thing I do today... I hope it's to stop you from making the same mistake I did by purchasing this garbage. AVOID ASTRASOFT AT ALL COSTS!!!! PAY TWICE AS MUCH FOR ANYTHING ELSE!!! PERIOD.

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#2

Anbody got theirs to work fully? I keep getting into more and more errors and I barely know any php to fix it all. Any help would be appreciated.

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#3

I agree, bought the script and it had alot of problems as well and ended up not using it.

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#4

You should have done a search for reviews on the product/company before you purchased it.

I don't think I've ever seen anyone say anything good about that company.

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#5

Yes, I had a similar experience. But when I purchased it, very little had been mentioned about it on sitepoint.

There's a moral to this story, research research research and you are better off building a customised site from scratch. If you are going to invest so much time and effort, spending the money will be worth it in the end.

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#6

All alstrasoft products are like that, it's probably the worst software company ever conceived.
Their products are less than half finished and full of bugs, don't buy that **** :/

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#7

Thanks for the review..i almost bought it..thank God i didn't smiley

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#8

Yep, I had the same problem! Support is terrible too. I actually purchased this prior to PHPFox...

Did you try to get your money back?

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#9

I never tried getting my money back and I have just put it down to inexperience (on my part). And no, I never got it to work fully either. I just abandoned the whole thing and hired someone to build a site from scratch (far worth it!).

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#10

I find it hard to believe that people still spend hundreds of dollars on scripts available from hotscripts listings without going through it 100% as if the site / demo was on your own server.

Sometimes it's hard to tell if a script works 100% just demoing it due to many hidden features that become visible during "specific actions and / or events" in the software that may be the source of bugs "after you buy" but this is why many firms offer a online demo.. for you to act like a customer that will use the service. Sometimes (including my own software) you will receive a Encoded Trial to fully test for x days on your own server.

This is a notice to all software purchasers - do your research to the point where you can't do anymore, then be sure to TEST TEST and TEST again. It's not wrong for you to even contact them and ask about known flaws.

Try something different next time:

Tell the software company that you will only purchase from them based on the a legal binding contract they will sign stating there is no "known software flaws". Be sure you do this AFTER you receive a response based on them telling you "There is no known flaws".

Peter

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#11

That's good advice Peter. Thank you.

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#12

i bought the software the last week :nono:

alstrasoft not yet send me e-friend...
now, on his page (http://www.alstrasoft.com/tos.htm) i read:


All sales of our products are final unless otherwise decided. Decisions are to be placed only in the hands of the AlstraSoft agent handling your request. No refunds will be issued, guaranteed or promised. Once we issue a registration number or registered copy there is no way for us to recall, or rescind a registration number or registered program that has already been issued to a customer. Essentially, once the registration information or program has been issued there is no way for us to guarantee that a customer has not, or is not continuing to use the product. AlstraSoft does not accept any returns nor make any refunds for the Software. Refunds are NOT given if server specifications does not meet requirements as listed on our corresponding product info page. Refunds are NOT given for unsuitability to a web server requirement for which the requirements are clearly listed on the product site. Refunds are NOT given for missing "features" or missing capabilities for our products which feature a fully functional online demo. The customer is responsible for determining if the product is suitable by using the demo. Refunds are NOT given for installation fees or other non-product labor costs.


I please you to read the bold...
I send them a lot of mail, but i not yet received software...

In this case, can i cancell the order?!?

thanks
nicola

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#13

Another piece of advice, never buy php scripts that have been encoded. Besides the issues of getting your hosting company to install the required software in the web server, you are left waiting on the software company for even the most simply changes to the code.

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#14

I see how they get around negative feedback, they add their products many times on hotscripts see http://hotscripts.com/New/20060910-2.html they add the same script twice

I guess they are hoping that people find the listings with no negative feedback. Like this one http://hotscripts.com/Detailed/59812.html low rating but no feedback, but this one http://hotscripts.com/Detailed/63271.html has no rating or feedback

Maybe some of you will take the time to complain to hotscripts, this could hit them. Or you could all club together and get a developer to rectify the bugs?

They market other peoples scripts, in fact they probably have ads on scriptlance for buying peoples scripts, reselling but never testing?

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#15

If the software doesn't work, then essentially they breached their agreement. The developer can whine, complain and protest that their policies are no refunds but they have NO CHOICE but to give you a refund if there are MATERIAL defects like you claim. They did not deliver on your half of the agreement so you should get your money back. This does not generally apply with minor bugs (always look at the terms of the agreement) but it sounds like a whole lot more than that and essentially the script does not work as advertised. Good luck.

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#16

Looking back, I would/should have taken your advice but it has been such a long time now as I bought the script back in 2005 and then I had it heavily modified but to no avail. Oh well. I guess I have learnt and this time I am doing things very differently.

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#17

Ditto ^that^. I've never heard ANYTHING good about them.

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#18

I'd send them another email, say the product does not function even close to how its advertised, and if you don't receive a refund within a set deadline, then you'll instruct your credit card company to do a chargeback. It might stick a rocket up their jacksies, and even if it doesn't you'll at least get money back, and stop it going to people who are basically thieves!

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#19

I got interested in the Alstrasoft Online escrow Pro and was to purchase it before deciding to visit the forums.I've not read any comment on this program specifically.Does anyone know an alternative program or company that can offer the equivalent program for running an escrow business?My search so far has not yielded any results. `
Appreciate your helpful response.

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#20

Iagree but unfortunately humans love instant gratification, which is why the internet became so popular. Easy access to everything... as you can see - some people trust in companies and get burned and then it creates a lack of trust for "the web" in general.

Companies like Alstrasoft ruin it for legitimate companies online. Alstrasoft sucks... I hope more people read this thread and choose wisely before purchasing from Alstrasoft.

:shifty:

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