I have found my Freestart website to be incredibly easy to set up and update. The staff are always extremely knowledgeable and helpful.
I have to say that I thank the day that they phoned me out of the blue. I wouldn't be where I am without them. I highly recommend them!
We first joined Freestart some years ago because of the very low start up price. As we have got more sophisticated with website building and control, we have been able to upgrade and enhance the theme and presentation of the site at a reasonable price. Recently Freestart have made their sites mobile friendly and this has worked well for us. Technical support is good, and their web developers have recently added a suggestion box,, and have taken on board lots of improvements to speed up text input, This is ongoing so all in all we are well satisfied with the web site and cost..
I have had a website hosted by Freestart for nearly 4 years and found them to be very professional to deal with. They have also frequently contacted me to make suggestions on how I could improve my site and generate more traffic. They have helped me understand the back office side of website optimisation in terms of how to give your site the best chances on google searches etc. And last but not least the price to have all this support and hosting is very reasonable.
Jonathan Adam, www.biosafesolutions.co.uk
We were contacted about 2 years ago by this company, The lady rung us telling us how fantastic the company was. We went with this company as we were a new business and wanted to get ourselves on the web. We payed the fee, that was my first big mistake. I constantly rang Free start concerned that people were not buying from our site I was advised to up date the sight with new banners but it would cost £90+VAT I did this, 2nd big mistake. I found that this also made no difference I was advised to add a bugle store I did this at £99+vat, 3rd Big mistake. Again I contacted Freestart With the problem of nobody buying from our site The only suggestion was for me to update the site at a cost of £199+vat I did this, 4th Big mistake. I was so disgusted with it I cancelled the site When my renewal was due. I found the staff Rude, Agressive, And very unhelpfull. Even the manager was an utter disgrace I have been taking legal advice against this company. I would strongly recomend that anyone thinking on setting up a website would steer well clear of this company. I have spoken to a manager today to ask who their regulator is I was told "We dont have one and it wont do you any good to take legal advice" The general attitude with the staff at this company is that of Vicky Pollard Am I Boverd.
i have been with freestart for years and find the control of the website a must in my business with discontinued styles being able to take off and put on when i want also if there is a issue with the website the the guys deal with the problem asap which is what we expect, i have introduced a number of businesses to freestart who also are impressed with the ease of controling there own web site.
Freestart gives me instant access to my site, I don't have to wait for a third person
to upload content . Its worked well for me over the last 10 years +
We have three site, I haven't had that many wives.
I have had my web site with Freestart for 4 years and it has gone from strength to strength. It is a very easy system to use even for beginners, especially with help from the helpful support staff.
You have the option to take a fairly simple web site template initally and then you can upgrade it whenever you want.
I went for a bespoke version which was set up by Freestart who built in and worked on my design ideas.
I have had many complements of the appearence and easy use of the site from customers and feel that Freestart have been a good choice to host my site.
Simon Little www.fun-decor.com
When we call Freestart they are always willing to help and to come up with ideas to help our website thrive. Sometimes they take a couple of days to return our calls but that is because of their workload.
We recommend them
I would thoroughly recommend Freestart for building your website as they are extremely helpful. The webiste setup is very user friendly and fairly simple to use. I like the various page layout options and the image uploader lets you add images very simply.
My only slight gripe is the design of the website layouts is a little old fashioned, but overall I'm very happy with the service they provide.
Yes, me to. Signed up for a 1 year deal for £99 and now get a call saying I gotta pay the 2nd year now after 10 months. Luckily the card I paid on first time has changed, so they are now chasing/harrasing me for the 2nd year. I wont pay and shall be telling them I will see them in court. Keep these threads going and we will have all the amunition we need to fight this!
Clearly Freestart is a company who adopt underhanded selling techniques.
There are so many other companies out there who can offer similar service (even <external link removed> themselves) with great service / reviews.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE - DONT GIVE THIS COMPANY THE SATISFACTION OF YOUR TIME
Please feel free to contact me at <private data removed> (ignore their stupid response below, I have receipt to prove I was a customer)
I would defiantly recommend this business to anyone! I have recently built a website using Freestart's website builder and the result is fantastic my website is
Although its not finished yet I am happy with the result! Its easy to add my stock on and I change the content at anytime instead of waiting for a web designer to get back to me a week later, I like the fact that I'm in control of the website just like I'm in control of my business. I love the end result and I can't speak highly enough of the great customer support they have, UK based telephone support who are always helpful and even though I've been a bit of a pest there always eager to help. What's more this telephone support is included in the cost!!!! So thanks Freestart I will definitely recommend you to everyone I can!
This is a 2 year agreement - renewed automatically ,,,,, beware ! Renewals manager is extremely unhelpful and gleefully hides behind the hidden detail in the terms. No mention whatsoever is made of a 2 year deal when they sell the product. I've been onto Citizens Advice and Trading Standards - complaints logged and I'm not alone !
I fell for the same scam by this company. I am kicking myself that they have taken a payment of £178.80 (close to Christmas too) or a 2nd year contract that I too knew nothing about as nowhere was this mentioned by the telesales girl or in my welcome email. It is hidden away in the terms and conditions and only sent once payment has been made. I am really annoyed. I have rasied a dispute with my credit card company to get my money back. I would happily fight this in court if I had too.
I am only leaving one star with this review because the ability to leave a zero isnt there.
Avoid at all costs.
I am probably quite a difficult client and have been on the telephone to the technical team all the time this past year while developing my website. I have found them always really helpful and if they could not sort out my problems immediately they would always get back to me. I can't understand the above negative comments as this was definitely not the case for me. I could not have been happier with the help given. My only negative comment about this company would be that as a novice developing a website the price I was originally quoted went up considerably, I was not in a position at the time of ordering the site to know all the extra's I would need and that they would incur charges. If you are new to developing a website but want to do it yourself and have a professional and high functioning site then this is the company for you. It is very easy to use and understand and there is always someone on the end of the telephone to explain how to do things. They even wrote an extra piece onto their programmes so I could offer vouchers/% discounts on bigger orders - charged me of course! But I am very happy with their service and my new website.
Have a look at my site - www.thewashablenappy.co.uk
Their product does not work well. The instructions they give you for their site are not even written for the software they provide you with
They signed me up for an annual service and never tell you it is a two year contract. Just read all the other reviews on them. I can only think that the couple of positive reviews are written by themselves.
As I said, I did not know it was a two year contract as they never mentioned it at all. To add insult to injury they have now charged me for the 2nd year, only 9 months in to the first year. They said they sent a letter which was a notice to charge my card 3 weeks ago but this is not true. They are in breach of contract
They would not talk to me on the phone - a lady called Lynne Fletcher who is the renewals manager: tel: 08447747777 refused to speak to me, leaving her subordinate under her direction to inform me to fill in their online complaints form (which is worrying that they would need one anyway!!!)
On the complaints form I asked her to call me but she just replied saying they were not in the wrong and just to email her if I was not happy.
I have now approached HSBC to refund my transaction. If you have had similar problems, please report them at first to Citizens Advice on +44(0)845 404 0506, it only take a few minutes and the more complaints they get, the more likely it is these guys will stop ripping people off.
This sounded great on the face of it simple porting of our Ebay Store onto Facebook, the reality entirely different. Difficult to understand and use the software, and customer support service non-existent. We were sold a PUP by a slick talking cold calling tele-sales person, and told we could cancel at any time BUT they have just taken £178.80 off our company credit card without our permission. As I type I am on the phone to my bank disputing the payment and this is after phoning Freestart to complain and I have just had the phone call from Lynn or Linda who talked over me and said they'd sent me a renewal in the post, which I had not received and she told me they got special treatment from Royal Mail and all undelivered mail was guaranteed returned to them - WHAT A LOAD OF RUBBISH. First I knew of anything was the invoice received 3 days after they had raided our credit card, with T&Cs on the reverse again the first we had seen of them.
We never got an invoice for the first transaction, and never saw any T&C's.
I did not give them verbal or written permission to retain credit card details or to permit a perpetual payment to be taken, and to cap it all Freestart did not contact us to advise on renewal timescale and ask permission to take a payment - this breaks all sorts of financial regulations. SOFTWARE DOES NOT DO WHAT IS SAYS ON THE TIN, COMPANY BEHIND IT ARE SCAM ARTISTS - DO NOT TOUCH THEM. I would urge anyone who has been targetted and scammed by them to petition someone like Tony Hetherington at the Mail On Sunday and get this company and their unscrupulous activities exposed.
AS AT 05 MARCH 2013 I AM STILL DISPUTING THE SECOND YEAR CHARGES FROM THIS COMPANY - my bank has a letter from them hiding behind verbal telephone agreements for perpetual payments (ask them for a copy of the tape recording of the conversation they legally have to keep) and copies of terms & conidtions they say they posted (never received) and a 14 day advance warning of 2nd year payment (again no email or letter received). PLEASE PLEASE EVERYONE WITH A BAD EXPERIENCE WITH THIS COMPANY GET ONTO TRADING STANDARDS, CITIZENS ADVICE AND TONY HETHERINGTON AT THE MAIL IN SUNDAY - this company needs to be made to behave in a more transparent and ethical manner
After careful consideration we decided to give this a chyance as it sounded pretty good. We were told it was an introductory prise of £99+vat, but when the marketing for it went live at the end of the month (July) it would go up to over £300. We were informed it was for 12 months and could cancel after this time if we were unhappy or if we wished to continue the price would remain at £99+vat. We have now found out it is for a minimum 2 years and we have to date had no orders from the site as it is impossible to find on facebook without the link
They promise the earth and at such a low price - bargain you think! It all seems too good to be true, and on this one you'd be right!
Their 'sites' are nothing but antiquated crappy templates which look straight from the 90's. Don't think you're getting an original website because it's likely some other poor sap has done the same as you and chosen an identical website to yours!
Very poor customer service and many hidden terms and conditions, which others have mentioned are not given to you until you pay, so you don't know what you're getting yourself into. They rope you into a 2 year contract without your knowledge, give you a great whopping bill and threaten you with legal action if you delay payment by even a few days.
This company should be avoided at all costs; they really give web designers a bad name, I still have a year left to go but have paid it all up just to get them to leave me alone, it's really not worth the headache!
Instead I went with a local web designer that was recommended to me, and I couldn't be more pleased. I paid more than with freestart but the design I got is truly unique, and I am much happier with the overall result.
Lesson to be learned: NEVER buy anything from a cold caller - your best bet is to ask for recommendations and give local businesses a try
Agreed to a Bugle store as a one off payment to implement, a year later came the shock when a bill to pay arrived out of the blue. This has meant all trust in Freestart PLC has been lost.
I currently have two bespoke websites with Freestart as well as the Buegle store option which I have enhanced over the last 10 years or so and they generate many sales enquiries as well as £1000's worth of direct on-line sales.
I consider the running costs of my sites as money well spent and by far the best and most cost effective advertising I do.
Freestart staff are always quick to deal with any queries regarding design, features, etc. and respond very quickly to any problems with my sites.
Freestart provide a platform for you to build your site on, it is up to you as an individual to keep your site fresh, new, well stocked and up to date. Do that and your Freestart site will work very well.
Take a look at my sites:
I'm not a computer expert or website builder, there are no difficult features in the site control panel - It's childs play!
The people leaving reviews here are idiots!!
A couple of hundred pounds a year for website, hosting, emails etc is as good as free. Of course you have to do some work on it...thats the idea! The most informed and accurate information for your businesses site surely would come from you.
These posts are really annoying, my business turns over £500,000 a year built up from 90% website revenue from Freestart.
If your site is not working for you, its probably user error.
I have three very different sites with freestart and are all very productive and pay for themselves over and over and over.
I bought a website with Freestart back in August and the company has been great in creating a fully bespoke website and Buegle Store on Facebook for me.
Please check out my site above to see how fantastic the sites are how much value for money you actually get :D
Ok i got the call and i accepted just to get my products on Facebook, but only after negotiating £99 for 1 year.
I called for help with the porduct as what they said was not done. I was told to "Do it Yourself". Sotware is time consuming and does not do what we need - basically mis-sold.
Now 1yr later recieved a letter wanting a total of £178.80 for 2nd year of contract - now i was never told or aware of this.
Basically cheating liars i will not pay and will pursue them in court no problem.
Do not use. Service and help was poor, constant calling to get me on bored and then repeat calling after I was already signed up trying to sell me it again.
Interface is difficult and laborious to use. Also only received terms and conditions after paying.
Which state it is 2 year minimum contract. Very poor and sneaky. Told them I was not paying for a second year when I had not used the product for the first year.
Do not be duped into using this. Extremely poor company and attitude.
Facebook is a social networking site and it is NOT a viable platform for ecommerce, (in my opinion). I have had numerous sales calls from these people trying to sell me their useless software and each time I tell them I am not interested but they can’t take a hint and keep calling.
If you are ever tempted to buy the software, ask yourself this, “If the software was any good then why are they having to cold call?”
I am all for innovative products but Facebook commerce wont ever work, (in my opinion) but if you must go down that route then visit template monster http://www.templatemonster.com/facebook-templates.php and buy one of the facebook shop templates from them prices start at USD50 and you get the same functionality with no contract.
I was caught off guard by the cold caller who offered a discount on this product for £99, only if I paid there and then by credit card over the phone. I received the email and found the product to be very hard to use, it is extremely basic with minimal functionality, no stock control, no shopping basket, just paypal buttons, so you're dependant on paypal. I could not use it as I rely on stock control and I had no faith that I would get any business from it at this point, so why waste effort making a shop.
I punched myself in the face for being so stupid as to sign up to a service that I believed to be good just because a cold caller said it was. So I put it down to experience and vowed never to talk to a cold caller again. After having a go and giving up, I haven't used the product at all.
1 Year on I get a letter telling me that my registration is about to be renewed for £118. I phoned to cancel, but was told I can't because I signed up to a 2 year contract. Obviously I was not made aware of this, why would anyone sign up to 2 years when they just want to trial the product for the first time?
When I checked the terms and conditions, it says minimum 2 year contract. But I didn't even get the link to the terms and conditions (which is hidden away at the bottom of the welcome email) until after I had paid over the phone for the service.
This is obviously intended to catch people out. When I phoned up, I was rudely told that I had to pay else they would persue me for the money. They spoke to me like I was a numpty, not surprising because I must be a stupid to sign up to something like this.
I received many sales calls from this company. I requested on a number of occasions that they should block my number and not call again however I still received these calls. I eventually complained to their General Manager Alan Laithwaite and the CEO Earl Crooks. Mr Laithwaite admitted that there had been "many calls" made after I had asked them to stop and I got an apology. However I complained to the ICO and if you have also been receiving nuisance calls after asking them to stop you should do the same.
If you want to complain to the company itself you may get a response if you email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. You can phone Alan Laithwaite on 01942 406100 extension 291. He said they were not doing anything wrong by their persistent calling as my number was in the public domain. Well, his number is in the public domain also so if you have a problem with Freestart then give him a call.
Signed up on 16th December 2011 for the Facebook Shop and a web site which they discounted in order to get us on board then nothing they won't help you in anyway, we manage to get one reply to an email when i told them i was going to do a charge back on the card payment which they have also taken twice and not refunded even after asking them 3 times, NO CUSTOMER SERVICE AT ALL THEY DON'T CARE, they are part of a company called buegle, i have found a better email address to contact them is firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Freestart PLC, Andrew House, Lord Street, Wigan WN1 2BN
How many times do they need telling that I am not interested.
I get at least one call every day and each time they lie and say they will delete me from their lists.
If I ever do want to start a facebook shop, freestart will now be the last people I would call.
I signed up with Freestart several months ago. It seemed like a good, low risk deal for a facebook store.
However with 1000’s of sku’s and no easy way to bulk list products it has been a complete waste of money. Lesson learned but that is not my main complaint.
I am absolutely and completely hacked off with the constant phone calls trying to sign me up. Read this Freestart, I HAVE ALREADY SIGNED UP & PAID YOU.
I sometimes get 3 calls per day from a different person at the company! In all I guess that I have had over 60 calls from Freestart trying to get me to sign up for something I HAVE ALREADY SIGNED UP FOR.
I have pleaded with each person to remove me from the cold calling database. Unfortunately it seems that they only employ chimpanzees as even this simple task is beyond them. In fact I think that I am being unkind to chimps as they would be able to press a button on command.
If I get one more phone call from Freestart I will take the time to drive to their HQ with a pair of garden shears and personally cut the phone lines!
The legality of this operation seems to be suspect. They seem to be getting their information from eBay. I doubt that eBay are selling data. It is more likely that they are getting contact information from eBay listings, which is meant for customers only.
My company is also registered with the telephone preference service which means that every time Freestart cold call me they are breaking the law.
My advice, if you get a call from Freestart. Put the phone down or tell them to stick the facebook store where the sun does not shine
I was 'targeted' by freestart to open a 'facebook' shop. Two days after paying I realised that this was not what I was looking for. Three weeks later and various phone calls I have still not received a refund. All I keep getting is various members of staff phoning me and asking why I wanted to leave them. Well FREESTART the main reason is your appalling customer service. I have now after three weeks been told to fill out a form. I run an online shop and if I treated my customers the way FREESTART treats their customers I would be out of business which I very much hope is what will happen to FREESTART. So to anyone who has been targeted please just put the phone down.
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