IM Automator is now known to many as an automated social bookmarking site owned by Caroline Middlebrook. But what is the real deal with this site?
Well here is the good, the bad and the ugly from the point of view of a former customer for you to read prior to signing up. I have been a customer of IM Automator since July 2011 so after nearly a year with them I can give you an up to date genuine opinion.
When I first came across IM Automator I never signed up as I had already had a bad opinion on the product owner. We had been involved in a copyright issue as we had both ordered designs from a local designer and she had given us the same designs and Caroline didn’t seem to care that her goods were online in a copyrighted way. That made me think that she didn’t take business that seriously. Then from an internet marketers point of view instead of selling her successful blog she just left it to rot and then went on and deleted all posts and started a completely different niche on it – when the average internet marketer would simply sell it and start a new one.
With her doing all this I really struggled to weigh up whether or not without business brains she had what it took to run a successful software site and look after her customers.
So I avoided IM Automator for a while and finally signed up several months later as a premium customer after a recommendation from a fellow internet marketer on the warrior forum. I was still sceptical but thought I would give it a ago. After all Caroline Middlebrook is very good when it comes to building software its just the ability as an internet marketer that she has always lacked.
So when I signed up I was impressed with what I saw and the only problem areas seemed to be regarding how slow she was with expansion and how often she updated her blog.
I have a lot of different sites so my main focus was on social bookmarking and of course blog spinning (which I no longer do due to the latest panda). I still did some social bookmarking manually but I also did it to the social bookmarking sites that are covered on the IM Automator site.
So I social bookmarked my blog posts and images whenever I added a new blog post via my social bookmarking assistant and everything went well. I also used the article writing section and spun about 10 articles a week too to help improve the traffic to the site. And I carried on as usual with my routine for about nine months.
I heard rumours earlier this year that their servers couldn’t cope so those that were using all features of the account were getting banned for no particular reason – but I ignored them and assumed it was the competition having a moan for nothing.
And then I was even more impressed when they added the article spinning tools to the account and was looking forward to using them. Then a couple of days later my Assistant Manager emailed me while I was in hospital with cancer (I got the all clear last week) and told me that the account was suspended. My Husband was dealing with all my emails at the time so sent a polite email back to find out what the problem was and was told the account was closed due to spamming and there was no appeal.
After exchanging a few emails over the course of a week we were told that they couldn’t provide information of what I had spammed, they had sent us constant warning emails (we never received them and when we asked for proof they said they didn’t have any) and that there was nothing we could do about it.
Funny how this happened the day after they had collected our payment by recurring billing.
To say I was furious was an understatement – due to major surgery I wasn’t in a position to be working so my husband started proceedings with Paypal to get back the money as our account had been closed all backlinks had been lost. Unfortunately we were only able to put in a claim for the last 60 days and we had the most recent payment refunded and the other one paypal refused due to their dodgy virtual services not being allowed to be disputed. Yesterday I started proceedings with my bank and then I have informed me that they will refund all payments under the credit card guarantee made between now and when my account was open so at least no money has been lost.
But its not the point is it? The point is that you just cant treat your long standing customers like this and the thing with internet marketing is that anyone can start a business whether they are qualified to do so or not. Especially with internet marketing overheads being so low.
Since I mentioned this on Twitter I have been flooded with others complaining that they have also had problems. And remind me again – wasn’t social bookmarking sites used for internet marketers to bookmark their blog posts in order for Google to find them?
It makes you wonder how these companies consider your work to be spam – if you ask me many sites use this term too much after all spamming is sending someone unsolicitored emails last time I looked. And I can guarantee I never spammed Caroline Middlebrook. I was just an internet marketer using social bookmarking and article directories to enhance my business with original unique content.
So I am back to doing the manual bookmarking and to be honest it is much cheaper to pay someone to do it all for me knowing that it gets done and I wont lose my backlinks at a later date. I have used several social bookmarking sites during my time in internet marketing and never had a problem and the regret is signing up for a paid one when the free ones really do look after you.
To do 25 social bookmarks a day through a virtual assistant on Odesk.com costs me less than $8 a week so Caroline Middlebrook has done me a favour and saved me some money that I can add towards my upcoming holiday to Disney World.
During my entire 7 years in internet marketing I have only ever done three reviews when things have gone wrong (even though there was many more) as these are the ones I don’t want my readers to have affecting them so I strongly advise if you are subscribed to go back to the manual system and save yourself heaps of hassle and money at the same time.