Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Hello everyone -- this has been an interesting and painful conversation to watch. I am Sean, co-founder of FeeFighters.

Integrating the acquisition of a small company into a large company is hard. I suspect there are very few acquisitions where customers do not experience at least some pain. I am deeply sorry for customers who have had support tickets get dropped or experienced slow responses during this period of integration. We are working to smooth things out.

When we got bought, in addition to some personal stuff, like moving across the country (most of our team moved to Palo Alto, so we could all be together instead of distributed), we had to very quickly build additional functionality and scalability into our product to support the ambitious goals that Groupon has for our technology. Since we have been more focused on development and since Marc and Stella, who were doing a lot of our customer service, did not come along with the acquisition, our customer service has suffered.

It is really uncool how quickly other startups are to snipe at each other. We started a business, pivoted, built something valuable, sold it at a profit, and are now in an amazing position to solve the customer problems we initially set out to solve. If that resulted in you having a bad customer experience, it is perfectly reasonable to complain about it, and we are listening and working to fix it. But (Fred from Fleapay) why would you insult us by saying that we didn't build our product (we did)? And what do you know about why Groupon bought us? And what does Ayn Rand have to do with this anyway?

As always, if you are a customer and you want to talk, I am at sean@feefighters.

> It is really uncool how quickly other startups are to snipe at each other.

You abandoned your paying B2B clients, and left them holding the ball with annoyed customers and damaged cash flow. Isn't it unfair then to complain that they are badmouthing you?

Out of professionalism (if not contractual obligation), this situation should have been better handled. Finance is all about trust in questions such as: will they pay me? can my customers have faith in them? what happens if there's a problem?

To be fair, FeeFighters isn't the worst transitional incidident in recent history (AlertPay's was much worse), and hasn't harmed the most people (ePassporte and iBill before it were terrible).

I'm not one of your clients, and before this fiasco I had quite a bit of respect for FeeFighters, but in the future I'll find myself vary wary about using any financial product you create or invest in.

Reminds me when a bunch of Minnesota nurses walked-out on their patients in protest of conflict with their union negotiations claiming "We're doing this for our patients, because we are understaffed and the hospitals need to staff more but are unwilling." Complete BS. You care soooo much about your patients (customers) that you walk out on them... not cool [and highly hypocritical].

This is nothing of the sort.

I would feel genuine sympathy for FeeFighters if they were shutting down their program because it didn't pay well---bankruptcy, and the need to feed your family are reasonable obstructions to delivering an orderly shut down.

However that's not the case. They got acquired, and on the eve of their pay day they decide to begin ignoring the very customers responsible for their valuation.

I have tried contacting you guys at least 10 times (emails to help, support, sean, sheel and left VM at the 855 #) during hte last 2 months after completing my merchant account process for Samurai. I have NEVER received an email back, even a courtesy note saying "due to the Groupon acquisition, we are not processing new accounts" or "we have received your email, can we reply back on <date>".

I guess the bottomline is when are you guys going to be back to normal?

1) Cleaned up support options on the website - remove the old emails and phone #s if they don't work or nobody is manning them

2) Reply to support within a reasonable amount of time like 24-48 hours

I just need a date so I can stop bothering you until then.


I was in the exact same situation, unfortunately. Had everything built out, with a final nagging notFound error. No response for two weeks, tried twitter, email, phone - nothing. Eventually I learned of their acquisition issues when Sean responded to a post I made here: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4101870. If customer service comes down to responding to angry HN submissions, something is seriously wrong. At the VERY LEAST turn on an auto reply for support requests that explains the situation.

Anyway, best of luck.

It's assumed that a company acting in its own interest is a foregone conclusion, but when a customer does the same thing it's a problem. Note that this post was apparently the only way to get attention to the problem.

Call a spade a spade: the ball was dropped here. No need for butthurt, you guys got paid.

It's really uncool to blame your poor planning on other people. This is a business not a frat party you forgot to text somebody about. You're the owner of a company that is taking other peoples money for a service. You dont get to say "Sorry guys, I was moving". I mean, are you serious? That's your excuse. You could have easily delegated some time or had an employee handle support and offset your move dates in order to offer seamless support and not put peoples trust and their own customers relationships on the line. If i was your customer I would immediately jump ship.

Also: 3 weeks of no response is far from "quickly" becoming snipe. I could understand if that mans blog post was after 3 days, but 3 weeks? Come on. You guys fucked up.

I have to wag my head at the lack of a having a smooth transition plan for customer support. The new Groupon overlords should've insisted on it, or at least supported it.

Sounds like GroupOn might be able to compete with Digital River for crappiest customer experiences.

I have to admit that after reading the post and not getting any responses to emails or phone calls, and seeing other people experiencing the same thing 3 months after acquisition, we assumed the worst. I'm glad you guys are still working on the product and I hope it survives and becomes something even more powerful.

Applications are open for YC Winter 2023

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact