So for our digital marketing agency, Indigo Consulting, we were looking for a SAAS-based Project Management System that would help us manage large and small digital marketing projects, and track time sheets. Copper Project was referred to us by a friend in the US office of a large advertising network, so we did our evaluation and invested significant time in setting up the system for our needs, training our staff etc. While the product seemed to have most of the features we needed, some basic things like reports, ability to view your own time sheets etc were missing which they kept saying they would consider for a future release.
However 2-3 months into usage, we found the the performance of the site had dropped considerably. With barely 110-115 users, the site would often time-out, or worse, just would not record an entry. When we raised this issue, they said they would try and work on it. In the meantime, we had to suspend use of the PMS.
Eventually, they admitted they will NOT be able to resolve the problem (which in itself was surprising considering it is a cloud-based project management system and availability is a prerequisite), and themselves offered to provide a refund.
We even suggested that we could then perhaps opt for upgrading to the next version where we can get the source code and install it in our own network. The fees already paid could be adjusted against the same.
However, after that we NEVER heard from them. There was no response to any of our emails or phone calls. It was then that we realised we are dealing with more of a shell than a company. There are NO proper contact details on the website – the link just leads to some anonymous info@ email ID. There is no background on the company, the owners, management etc. During the course of our interactions on support, we only had the contact of one Ben Prendergast, who refused to respond to emails or phone calls.
After 3 months of futile attempts, I finally sent a DM to their Twitter Account (http://www.twitter.com/copperproject) to which I finally got a response. Shockingly, they FLATLY REFUSED to offer a refund and claimed they had “retracted” the refund offer and that we were harassing them by continuing to follow-up!!! We had, of course, received no such email, so we asked them to forward the email. Which was again met with silence. Cos obviously the cheats never sent the email and were now hiding behind lies.
The failure of the Copper Project PMS can be understood – not all products are killers. But the attitude of the company, the anonymity of the management, and most of all their string of lies and lack of accessibility, were shocking to say the least. Trust and confidence is the bedrock of any successful relationship, and Copper Project clearly does not care for these values.
Besides the fees paid for a product that does not work, we also lost considerable time and effort, and of course all the data.
We have since started using Zoho Projects and are so far quite happy with the product and the support response times, although its only been about a couple of months.