My Wealthy Affiliate complaints experiences started a while back since I have been interacting with them since January 2015. In June 2021, I decided to document the complaints here.
Cannot Downgrade From Premium To Starter
I joined Wealthy Affiliate on the free Starter account in January 2015. I upgraded to Premium in February 2015 and was Premium until March 2021 when I attempted to downgrade my account to a Starter account.
That was when I discovered that I could not technically downgrade my account from Premium to Starter. My Wealthy Affiliate account is technically “On Hold” according to Wealthy Affiliate.
Ex-Premium Members Don’t Earn Commissions When Their Referrals Buy/Renew Premium memberships
This was when I also discovered that as an Ex-Premium member, I do not earn commissions for any Premium subscriptions/memberships that I referred to Wealthy Affiliate while “I am away”.
In my opinion, anyone who refers referrals who purchase Premium subscriptions/memberships should be paid the same rate, whether they are Premium members or not.
With most organisations, it is free to become an affiliate. Many have specific hurdles you need to overcome before they approve your application. And most pay out real money when your earnings have reached a theshold.
However Wealthy Affiliate is unique in that they do not pay out to ex-Premium members. And this is a “hidden policy” of theirs. I would imagine that most ex-Premium members only find this out after they have become ex-Premium members.
Limited Pricing Options
By this I mean that they don’t have a “Pay As You Go” option. Members buy Premium or Premium Plus membership on a recurring monthly or yearly basis.
It is quite expensive for members if they are not regularly using their services. I think that they should also have a “Pay As You Go” option which allows members to access Premium or Premium Plus functionally using a “day pass” or a “weekly pass” or a “monthly pass” without automatic rebilling.
There are three cases to cater for:
- A member who is not currently Premium and is not currently Premium Plus who wants a Premium Pass (daily, weekly or monthly). I would suggest pricing as follows in this case as $5 daily, $25 weekly and $55 monthly.
- A member who is currently Premium (and who remains Premium for the length of the pass period) and is not currently Premium Plus who wants a Premium Plus Pass (daily, weekly or monthly). I would suggest pricing as follows in this case as $5 daily, $25 weekly and $55 monthly.
- A member who is not currently Premium and is not currently Premium Plus who wants a Premium Plus Pass (daily, weekly or monthly). I would suggest pricing as follows in this case as $10 daily, $50 weekly and $110 monthly.
I would expect the daily passes to be most popular followed by weekly passes. I would not really expect much uptake of the monthly passes however feel that the choice should be there.
Notice that the monthly pass is priced just above the standard monthly membership fee to limit large numbers of members becoming monthly memberships subscribers who cancel the recurring aspect just before being rebilled.
Daily being calculated for a consecutive 24 hour period from when the service is started which must be within say 72 hours of purchase. And similar ideas for weekly and monthly. The important thing is that the pass does not automatically rebill and renew. The member must buy passes manually.
I would suggest that certain Wealthy Affiliate services where this concept may not work so well be excluded from this approach, like hosting.
For hosting, I would suggest looking at website hosting on a per website basis like what other webhosts do for secure managed WordPress hosting.
I think there is merit in the concept of these passes to cater for people who are interested and want to do learn more however feel that a more pay as you go approach would be the route for them.
Starter Members Are Treated Better Than Ex-premium Members
It took me a while to find out and confirm that in my opinion, Wealthy Affiliate treat Starter members better than Ex-Premium members. It is not possible to downgrade from Premium to Starter. I explain how I found out this “secret policy” in way more detail here.
Off Topic Material
There is quite a bit of off topic material within the vast amount of material available. There is some material developed by Wealthy Affiliate Members that is way off topic in my opinion.
By off topic I mean that the subject matter that they discuss is not affiliate marketing related nor is it online business related nor is it business related nor is it self-improvement related.
Some members in my opinion seem to think that Wealthy Affiliate is Facebook, where they exchange “social media” personal type of messages. To each their own, I suppose. 🙂
The Wealthy Affiliate Search Function Needs Improvement
The search function within the Wealthy Affiliate dashboard needs to be improved. This to make it easier to find exactly what you are looking for. They need to include more than the first ten entries in the different categories, like the way that the Google search engine lets you continue looking really deep into something, like the search term I used in the following image. Each page in this case displayed 10 entries:
If this was a relevant search term in Wealthy Affiliate, I would only have got the first ten entries in the list, whereas in this case with Google, I am on page 22 and each page contents 10 entries, so I could have explored the two hundred and 10 earlier entries in this list before I came to this page (making 220 entries by the time I get to the last entry on page 22).
Members Internal Ranking System
I don’t like the members internal ranking system. This is distracting and takes away from the core activities of what you are supposed to be doing in my opinion.
Depending on how active you are interacting with other members and answering their questions, and how you actually use the services and tools within the platform, you get ranked.
This is just an internal ranking system which has no bearing outside of the Wealthy Affiliate platform.
Way too many members get side-tracked with this internal rank. They think that it is important whereas it has no real bearing at all in the real world.
“Don’t get side-tracked by this number.David from Work From Home Notes
Yep, there are a few other really what I consider to be minor complaints that I thought I should mention. Most of these I can actually live with and am not too bothered by them. However I thought I should mention them for completeness.
No Phone Number To Call Them On
This is one where I can lean one way or the other. On reflection, this is more of an image thing when looking in to Wealthy Affiliate from the outside world.
Sometimes people need website technical support and feel that a quick phone call will sort that out for them. I am not so sure about that as providing phone technical support can be very time consuming. They provide website technical support using an online ticketing email system which in my experience is very responsive. So this is not really an issue for me.
Sometimes people have a billing/payment issue and feel that a quick phone call will sort that out for them. I am not so sure about that as providing phone billing/payment support can be very time consuming.
Members and non-members can use the Wealthy Affiliate contact page to report their billing/payment issue. Current Premium members also have the option to private message Carson or Kyle directly within the Wealthy Affiliate platform.
I have used the Wealthy Affiliate contact page which in my experience is very responsive. So this is not really an issue for me.
Two tips if you do this:
- You might want to keep a copy of your initial message as this approach does not include this in the email discussion.
- You can technically continue the discussion via email however you might not get a reply. I don’t think that they monitor that email address. So starting another inquiry using the Wealthy Affiliate contact page may have to the way to continue that discussion if you have to.
Way Too Many Emails
In my opinion, they send an awful lot of emails which may lead to overwhelm. The good news is that there are email settings that you can change within your Wealthy Affiliate account. See the following screenshot:
They have more types of notifications on the bottom of that page which I will not include in the above screenshot. However you can disable or enable the type of notifications you want to receive.
Because members can control the amount of email notification they get, this is not really an issue for me.
However during the first week or two of opening up a new starter account, they do in my opinion send an awful lot of emails. Your email client might get so fed up with them that it may automatically put a number of them into your spam box without being prompted by you!
Some of these emails are encouraging you to upgrade to Premium now.
This may seem like learning to run before you can walk. Therefore my take is simple, only consider upgrading to Premium after you have completed one of the two courses (or both) that they give you access to on the free Starter and only if you think it is a good idea for you.
I better explain the two courses that they give access to on Starter.
One is called the Online Entrepreneur Certification course. On Starter you have access to the ten lessons in phase 1 of this course. You do not have access to the other phases associated with this course.
The second one is called Affiliate Bootcamp course. On Starter you have access to the ten lessons in phase 1 of this course. You do not have access to the other phases associated with this course.
I explain this in more detail elsewhere within this very detailed review.
No Refunds and Automatic Recurring Billing
Once you order Premium or Premium Plus membership, you are setting up a payment for right now and every month (or year) into the future. This has a number of benefits for you and is great if this is what you truly want.
However it can be problematic if you forgot to cancel a yearly deal in time as the process is automatic and no reminders are issued before the next billing date.
This is why I recommend going for the free Starter account first and then only consider upgrading to Premium after you have completed one of the two courses (or both) that they give you access to on the free Starter and only if you think it is a good idea for you.
I recommend the following approach: Complete one of the two courses (or both) that they give you access to on the free Starter.
Do not even consider going Premium until you have completed one of the two courses (or both) that they give you access to on the free Starter. As a baby, you did not walk until you crawled. You did not run until you walked. Similar idea here.
Then only if you think it is a good idea for you to proceed to Premium, upgrade to Premium.
My understanding is that the first month on Premium is always $19 on their special deal price, so don’t think that you have to upgrade to premium within the first seven days.
Only Upgrade to Premium After Completing One of the Two Courses that the free Starter gives you access to: Here’s Why
Say I am wrong and your first month on Premium costs you $49. However because of other time commitments it took you four months to complete one of the two courses that they gave you access to on the free Starter. In month five you went Premium and paid $49 for that month. Months 1 to 4 were free as you were on the Starter.
However you ignored my suggestion. In week one of your free Starter, and took advantage of the first month on $19 offer. However it still took you four months to complete one of the two courses that you have access to on the free Starter. By month five, you paid $19 (for the first month). And $49 for month two. And $49 for month three. And $49 for month four. And $49 for month five. Making a total of $215 verses $49. That is why I suggest completing one of the free Starter courses before upgrading.
Going from Starter to Premium Process
During the process of upgrading your Starter account to Premium, I think that you can either set up recurring payments for every month or every year.
At this stage set it up to monthly. You don’t want the yearly amount going out in a month if you are not yet convinced that Wealthy Affiliate is for you. You are using the first month of Premium to help you make this call for yourself. Give yourself some time to make this call, up to three and a half weeks.
For the next three weeks, your first month on Premium, go through as much of the training that your schedule allows you to. Do this at a pace that is right for you. There is no need to put yourself under time pressure.
Start to build your website. Start using the Wealthy Affiliate tools. Remember that you are learning and doing tasks in your learning phase.
Sometime between twenty one days and twenty five days of your first month on Premium, review where you are and how happy you are with Wealthy Affiliate. This may be a decision time for you.
One option may be to stop. In which case, you may need to cancel your Premium payment due in a few days.
Another option may be to continue with monthly.
Another option may be to go yearly. This makes sense if you truly see yourself needing their services for the next year as they give you a decent discount.
The “but” is that if you pay yearly and then decide three months in that it is not for you, it is not possible to get a refund nor is it possible to put your account “on hold while you are away”. This was one reason why they give you a decent discount on the yearly deal in the first place.
You might be better off paying monthly for a few months before going yearly for this very reason.
Automatic Yearly Recurring Subscription and Payment
They consider that it is up to you to remember that you have set up this recurring subscription and recurring payment. It is up to you to cancel it in time if you want to.
Personally I think they should send you a courtesy reminder about the automatic recurring subscription and recurring payment about one month before it is due if you are yearly. However they don’t. They are not obliged to. You agreed to these terms when you set up the payment. So this is not really an issue for me.
Wealthy Affiliate Hosting panel has no cPanel
The cPanel that comes with many shared hosting options contains loads and loads of options to manage your webhosting. Unless you are already technically proficient in using cPanel, you are going to have to invest either time and money or both in order to learn about how to use the cPanel. Wealthy Affiliate actually saves you from having to do this, which I happen to think is a bonus.
Wealthy Affiliate hosting is managed WordPress hosting. In my opinion, managed WordPress hosting is a different service than shared hosting. Using cPanel that comes with many shared hosting solutions means there are loads and loads of options that are not really required with managed WordPress hosting.
Using a cPanel instead of the more streamlined dashboard within the Wealthy Affiliate secure managed WorodPress hosting would lead to a lot of clutter that would waste a lot of your time. The Wealthy Affiliate Managed WordPress hosting uses a clean dashboard with just the required options to improve your effectiveness.
I have noticed that the EasyWP Managed WordPress Hosting by NameCheap also uses its own clean dashboard with just the required options. It does not use the cPanel either.
To be fair, if you are just looking to host just one managed WordPress website with no email functionally and no affiliate marketing training and no keyword research tool and without the affiliate tools that Wealthy Affiliate provide, the EasyWP Managed WordPress hosting may be a better solution for you. I tried it twice in early 2021 and both times, I reverted back to Wealthy Affiliate. Then in March 2021, I went to my new webhost and did not go back to Wealthy Affiliate.
Anyway, many people waste time learning how to do tasks using the cPanel that they then never use in the real world. That time in my opinion has been wasted. It could have been better spent doing things to actually build your affiliate marketing business. Or to do things with your loved ones.
The Wealthy Affiliate managed WordPress dashboard contains exactly what is really needed to help you build your affiliate marketing business.
Wealthy Affiliate not using the cPanel dashboard is not an issue for me.
My Wealthy Affiliate Complaints Experiences Conclusions
My Wealthy Affiliate complains experiences shows that they do have some issues which need to be fixed. I am under no illustions.
These issues are not going to be fixed at least not in the short term as they have already been around for years. In my opinion, they are relatively easy to fix however Wealthy Affiliate choose not to fix them.
I am extremely disappointed and disgusted at the practices that I discovered when trying to go from Premium to Starter. To recap. I can not go from Premium to Starter. My Wealthy Affiliate Premium account is “On Hold”.
Having said that, they have overall a lot of affiliate training, affiliate tools and affiliate services that affiliates need in the one place.
They use a recurring subscription model which can be problematic from a customer’s point of view.
I have yet to find a competitor that includes a lot of affiliate training, affiliate tools and affiliate services that affiliates need in one platform.
There are of course other affiliate marketing training solutions out there. How can you know before purchase which affiliate marketing training solution is the best for you at the current time? Practices evolve over time. You expect your affiliate marketing training solution to contain training related to the latest developments.
However others have commented that their training does not take account of the latest developments in the online marketing world. And because of this, some of the approaches taught by Wealthy Affiliate may be no longer as effective as they once were.
There are of course other webhosts offering an extremly wide range of web hosting offers and packages. With of course an extremely wide range of price points.
I consider the cost of Wealthy Affiliate premium membership to cover hosting. This Wealthy Affiliate membership includes other benefits which I consider as “free bonuses” as I don’t really need them at this stage and I do not think I would buy them if they were sold separately.
And this is key. Why should I buy Wealthy Affiliate Premium membership at over five times it now costs me to host my websites with another webhost? I could not justify that price difference to myself.
In my opinion, Wealthy Affiliate need to provide more tiers and more real choice in their offerings rather than using bundled options which you may not really need or require.
Indeed no one organisation is one hundred per cent perfect all of the time for all of the people all of the time. And it would be wrong to expect Wealthy Affiliate to be.
It might be worth the money if you can use a mixture of their training, tools and services to justify the recurring fees to yourself. This is why I recommend starting with Starter and only upgrading to Premium after you have completed one of the two courses (or both) that they give you access to on Starter.
Looking for Affiliate Marketing Training?
When looking for affiliate marketing training, look for people who are currently successful doing this who are teaching their current proven successful approaches and who are not teaching outdated or ineffective appoaches. Look for proof of this recent success from independent well-known trustworthy sources.
If you are looking for affiliate marketing training I do suggest that you look at a number of companies in the teaching affiliate marketing space. Funny enough all the ones I started following recently also have active YouTube channels.
Most of them also have courses which may hit the sweat spot for you. Some of these courses are not cheap so you do need to do a lot of due diligence yourself to be sure that they actually fulfill your needs.
For the moment anyway I am reading their blogs and following them on YouTube. I have already subsribed to their email newsletters. Of course, if you decide to buy anything from those emails be sure to do your own due diligence as well.
I am finding that this approach is working for me. It may also work for you.
Here is my current list as in September 2021.
These are not affiliate links. I do not earn anything if you purchase at these websites.
I think if you are interested in affiliate marketing, you should get an overall view provided by different people who are currently doing affiliate marketing today before spending money on affiliate marketing training if you ever do. If you ever go ahead and spend money with them, be sure to do your own due diligence as well.
Here’s my current list in no particular order as in September 2021:
Their website and YouTube channel are full of useful information. Their videos are entertaining and full of good information. Their information is based on their real world recent experiences doing affiliate marketing. Their approaches that I am aware off make sense to me.
They change their recommendations and approaches over time in response to the changing world. They do testing and experimentation on their own websites. They regularly start off new websites from scratch.
For instance, they used to recommend three different types of post along with recommended word counts. Since about May 2021 they now recommend two different types of posts along with recommended word counts. These recommendations are based on them doing different experiments on their own websites and what they recently found out. They do that on an ongoing basis. They also recently changed their keywork research process which they call search analyis.
Brian Dean, the founder of Backlinko provides a lot of actionable information mainly about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If you are doing affiliate marketing, you need to know and do good Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If you look around in his blog you will find a lot of affiliate marketing related resources.
Their website and YouTube channel are full of useful information. Their videos are entertaining and full of good information. Their information is based on their real world recent experiences in building authority websites.Their approaches that I am aware off make sense to me.
They are data driven and scientific driven. They recommend using a $99 a month keyword research tool in their approach. They don’t earn commissions from that recommendation. In their eyes, that happens to be the best tool for the job. Their idea is to be very smart about deciding what to do (or not do) based in part on figures that this tool provides.
They change their recommendations and approaches over time in response to the changing world. They do testing and experimentation on their own websites. They regularly start off new websites from scratch.
Matt Diggity, the founder of Diggity Marketing provides a lot of actionable information mainly about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). His information is mainly based on tests he has done. He’s not into theory stuff.
Matt also usually blogs near the end of the month with a “News roundup of what is happening in the search engine world, in the google search world and in the SEO world in general”. That blog post usually contains useful timely information.
My Affiliate Marketing Training Conclusion
These are the people and organisations I feel comfortable sharing with you at the present time. I have learned not to be totally dependent on one source of affiliate marketing / search engine optimization information.
Some of them on occasion disagree with others in approach. So knowing that and maybe knowing when they have their opinion and maybe knowing why they have different opinions leads me to form my own opinion.
I hope that you find the above information useful in your affiliate marketing adventures. If you ever go ahead and spend money with any of them or with anyone else on the internet, be sure to do your own very detailed due diligence as well.
Here Are Some Recommendations
Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful. Here are some recommendations that I hope you’ll also find helpful. Of course, I may earn commissions if you buy using my links.
Domain Registrations, Renewals and Transfers
I use Domain Cost Club for domain registrations, renewals and transfers. I been using them now for over six years. I find that they do the job and do it very cost effectively. You can read my review of them by clicking here.
A good WordPress Hosting webhost is Bluehost. They have a good interface and they have 24/7 support. I wrote a short post outlining some of the packages Bluehost have available. Click here to read that post.
If you are more technical and already have practical cPanel Hosting expertise, you might find the cPanel Hosting solution I currently use hits the sweet spot for you. Just know this solution does not have 24/7 support.
I wrote a post explaining my definition of managed WordPress hosting which includes a pricing comparison at the bottom of that article. You can read that by clicking here.