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WSI franchise, AIS media or other internet franchise?

There are current internet franchises such as the WSI franchise or AIS media and im looking to get some feedback from anyone out there with experience with these guys.  Does any have any success stories or horror stories relating to the WSI franchise, AIS media or any other internet franchise?

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AIS Media

I bought into the AIS Media franchise early on, around 2003 or so - can't remember the exact year. This means that for me the investment was minimal, $5000. I would never get into it now with the exorbitant fees they (or WSI or any others) charge. The positive part was, AIS TRIED. They had weekly group phone calls/meetings, they tried to be sure all your questions were answered, they provided a large number of services. But the downside did not work for me. Let me add that I can create graphics, web pages, sites and code myself. So I happen to have the best of both worlds and knowledge about it. So, knowing something about the business, here is what happened for me. They provided discounted services that I could mark up, from web hosting to design, to logos, to the full sites, but even then I would have to charge so much to clients that I was embarrassed to even try to do so. Sure, if every client is Walmart or ATT or IBM, fine. But most clients are small to mid sized and I could not charge them what it would have turned out costing. Secondly, the work that I did get back was poor, poor design, poor code. The turn around time was not great. I waited 3 months for one and I got apologies but never a real explanation. Each single item was piece-mealed to the point that it was ridiculous. Want another single jpg on the page? Fee. Want another block of text? Fee. Had I used them it would have made the final price ridiculously expensive for my clients. All the most economical choices were merely templates and with the added fees it was absurd. Otherwise you would have to go with a custom site and that price was impossible. I could create better code and graphics with a faster turn around time and put it on a less expensive host account by myself, without AIS, and then have a very happy customer - which is what I ended up doing. So I used AIS to sort of "brag" about my "partnership" with them, but I couldn't actually use them for providing services. The people at the company were extremely defensive and uncooperative if I said anything about it (I tried several times). I just looked at their site - those same people are still there today so I would expect the same from them today. From my own personal experience, I would not recommend this route to anyone, particularly with the massively increased fees to join the franchise that they charge now in 2015. It was bad enough to lose $5000. My solution was to look for good, honest economical smaller companies that I could partner with. Some were here in the states, I had one in Russia, one in Macedonia and one in India as well. This was the way I managed to increase my sales and productivity without paying an arm and a leg and without having to do all the work myself. If you try to do all the work yourself, you can only do so many sites a month. If you partner, you can spend time making sales and outsourcing. It's what AIS and WSI will pitch to you - but the way I did it would cost you nothing but time and you'll have happier clients which means return business and recommendations. Just my 2 cents.

WSI UX

Guys and gals,

It's simple...look at their website. The UX is awful...tells you everything you need to know about the company.

No need to be a franchisee!

Hi all, i'm based in NY and joined a company in the UK that actually ensure business success online.
There model is:
Your only costs are to purchase your domain and set up your company and stationary (~$100). Thats all, they provide you with the website to supply web design, logos, social media, reputation manag., local busin. listings, SEO, PPC, Branding. They provide training and learning materials, and wholesale prices and you just mark up and sell. They don'y put their name to anything so you are building your own business with minimal running costs. I've been with them now for 6 months and am currently doing arround $3500 - thats with doing my full time job too.
I havn't asked for permission from them to put their website address so havn't. But will do as soon as i do.

Good luck guys.

Can you provide information

please contact me I,m in Montreal Canada arona.diarra@gmail.com

Interested to know

Could we speak about in private.
info@bcmoz.com
regards
carlos

more info needed

hello, can we discuss further?? in private

Thx
Ben
bk3355@gmail.com

Terrible investment WSI

WSI is a terrible investment, they make so much effort on trying to picture an image of being the number one in the market and that's where the BS starts, they throw you all kinds of arguments like WSI is like Walmart, it has access to cheap quality production centers and they have their own innovative products in house which are exclusive on the market, total BS, I paid off the price which I thought would be a good investment and I ended up facing the most terrible investment I ever made, they give almost no support, their training is a one week training on their very modest headquarters in Toronto, when you enter their system and see what kind of tools they use, you realize it's too late, these production centers they call are only cheap indian and other body shops that builds crappy HTML sites based on Wordpress, things that even a 16 year old kid could do, so you end up paying their partners, their royalties and a lot of fees which they only show up later on the game. Their systems and websites look like old 90s websites, they are not a tech company at all, they are only focused on selling the franchise, or selling a "dream", they have a big turnover rate, lots of unsatisfied ex-franchisees, and they still claim they're the best, only because they flood the internet with BS trying to picture that, but don't fall into this trap, this is a total ripoff stay away and see this company has its days counted.

Does WSI Franchise Help to Grow Sales?

Hi everyone!

Thanks for your feedback and comments.

I'm the founder and CEO at http://alignedcode.com. We're a web development studio focused on mobile web. I'm considering WSI franchise to leverage Sales in my company. From the info provided by the WSI representative there's no need to work on sales pipeline. So wanted to clarify does WSI really help in generating sales (projects and opportunities for web development)?

Hope for your detailed replies. Thanks!

Does WSI Franchise Help to Grow Sales?

No, sales are up to you. The story is that they have 100's of leads that they filter out to their franchisees, but even the structure of the franchise system (with potentially 100's of franchisees occupying the same geography) makes it impossible to happen. It doesn't happen. Don't count on any leads from Corporate.

What the franchise provides is an infrastructure of Production facilities and some training. Few will be fit enough to make a go of it and get it off the ground. The ones that are able to, I suspect would have been successful in whatever business they ventured into.

The concept of a Franchise is a good one for Services and Products that are easily repeatable and with good brand recognition backing you up. Unfortunately, this franchise fails on both fronts.

First off, Internet Marketing is far from easily repeatable. It is the fastest changing game there is. The production centers are not keeping up with it, even if you can find a production center within their network that you can tolerate working with due to their lack of customer service or any form of professional assistance. They pay fees to corporate too, plus sell to other businesses that are not in the franchise network. A new franchisee with little know how and potential immediate revenue will get very little respect without kicking and screaming.

Next is the brand. WSI - You mean the Waste System Guys ... Internet ... what? Never heard of it. Nobody knows the brand. Corporate will tell you that they do not make any money of Franchise sales, it all goes back into development. They also don't make any money on Franchise royalties, it all goes back to development. As you can see, the story does not add up. As well, there is no money put towards Marketing the brand. You may as well call yourself Bob's Internet Service as your brand will be just as well known.

They over sell and under deliver on support. You can make it, yes. But you would have anyway and there are better choices.

thank You

I was just looking at the Gogiro franchise seriously. you have just saved me money.

Holly Cow

I didn't realize these companies carried such a bad wrap. I'm a designer who operates my own web design business but would rather be out doing sales vs. building websites if I'm going to make a living in the business long term. I've been considering a franchise since they should have the back-end resources to do the development. I've reviewed GoGrio's and WSI's "recent" websites and frankly I wouldn't feel comfortable selling them to clients. They look like outdated template websites coded in html table format circa 1996. Old look and feel with antiquated code to match. GoGrio wanted feedback so there is my first objection. Makes me question who is behind the scenes and if they really are capable of staying current with web standards that clients will demand. Thanks for the heads up on the other practices.

Gogiro Response

Thanks for the feedback James, just to clarify it's not Gogiro that carries a bad wrap in this forum. In regards to your input though, we at Gogiro read your post, took that seriously here and have just rolled out a new line of Website Pro products, all based on the hottest new website theme technologies. This improvement project has already had excellent market response, and will continue to develop into 2012. Please feel free to check us out again or contact us directly if you'd like to re-explore the opportunity, and our doors are always open for feedback and constructive criticism.

very interesting

I have no experience about it ... but in my opinion this is very interesting :)

wsi and ais

folks I am from England. I have recently talked to both wsi and ais. I have found a regional franshisee for one of these and they are doing ok, taking on staff.
I think that it isn't what they tell you / promise; it is at the end of the day going out and finding the customers and if you haven't the contats or it doesn't work cold calling then you will be stumped. maybe they should focus more on that at pre qualification stage? and should say that it takes time to build a business so you need another job / have working capital about equal to the initial fee if you are going to try a franchise / partner agreement.
wsi and ais models are different and each can work but you have to find the leads and there are lots of local firms competing.
I may get involved with one of these firms so any up to date feedback would be good

AIS Media is a Rip off. I

AIS Media is a Rip off. I fell for their sales pitch and it cost me over $50K. They do not provide the services and expertise which they promise.

I am not alone; if you look hard enough you will see an incredible number of people who were ripped off as I was. The failure rate I saw was about 80%. Most will not comment for fear of retribution by AIS because of the contract you are forced to sign, which prohibits them from doing so. Check the latest D&B ratings also. Frankly, I'm surprised they're still getting away with their fraudulent practices.

Same with me, WSI!

I decided to buy the franchise, went to take training, and was certified in 2010. The overall costed me over $40K. However, they did not provide either services or expertise they promised during the training.

As Internet use among

As Internet use among consumers continues to skyrocket, so, too, does the number of businesses seeking to market their products and services online. All of these businesses are clamoring for a full range of professional Internet services, yet the service provider industry remains dominated by small contractors with limited technical capabilities and credibility. Partnering with AIS Media and becoming a certified eBSP® (eBusiness Solutions Provider) offers you a unique opportunity to capitalize on this growth. You can be the one business in your area people turn to for the full range of vital Internet services they need and earn handsome profits -- and you don't need a technical background.

----------------------------------

comptia a+ | exam 70-536 | itil v3 certification

 

 

WSI and AIS

Thanks for all post comments. I am currently talking both WSI and
AIS and are very uncertain both business models.

WSI is a Total Waste of Money

I bought my franchise two years ago, have had some sales success and am stuck under contract for three more years until my contract expires. Several mistakes I made that you don't have to make!
1. Avoid this franchise. I should have looked at a brick and mortar business or just sold junk on e-bay. I would not be in the financial mess I am in now due to WSI.
2. Have an attorney read your UFOC document that describes your franchise. I read and thought I understood it but did not catch a few things. I cannot just quit. I still have to pay a $750 a month minimum royalty for three more years.
3. WSI and, for that matter, AIS Media are in the business of selling dreams although AIS Media is not actually a franchise and does not collect royalties. AIS has much more limited support though.WSI does offer reasonably good support but it is very difficult to replace ones income building and marketing web sites. The business model is flawed.
4. I should have picked up the phone and called franchisees that I should have Googled and not just the four or five WSI gave me to call.
5. I know one of the most successful WSI franchisees. Of the roughly 1500 franchisees, there are maybe 50 really making any kind of living at this. At least one that would make it worthwhile to quit one's job.
6. Finally, Before you buy any franchise, make sure you talk to alot of the franchisees before you buy. I am approximately $100,000 in the hole. There's a sucker born every day and I was one of them.

Name Withheld for obvious reasons,....WSI will come after you (so I hear).

In the same boat

All they're revenue is from selling franchises and there is no support or development of existing.

Why your franchise didn't

Why your franchise didn't work?what was the major problem you faced?please send me as much of infos because i was studying thi franchise to buy it.
thank you foryour help

i shouldn't...

I should not do this but here I go...

I'm a web developer in wsi and what you're saying seems to be more frequent these days. But you know what... I've always said that slogan "you do not need to know about programming to develop websites", that is just a big... well... if you are going to sell trucks you need to know where the clutch is and how to start the engine, right? ... well, the same goes for websites, you can figure out how to use one, not just how to sell one. but it will help you a lot if you know how they work under the hood.

So... you can make a living at wsi, i've seen ic's doing that, and all of them understand the development process, they know the difference between databases & tables, they know what i mean when i say words like "tags", html, web services, DotNet, servers, blah blah blah... but... omg! when a consultant comes to me and does not have a clue of what i am talking about, that's a failure for sure in the short term.

do not give up.

learn.

talk to your pc, talk to all of them. ask someone to explain HOW websites works, not how to sell them (marketing and seo are great terms, but you NEED to know how a website works), learn how to USE them, and by God's sake!!! learn some HTML, it will make your life easier.

trust me, you do not need a multinational entity to which sell a website... I've seen how with our simplest modules you guys create great websites not for the IBM competitor but for the carpenter next door and guess what? you succeed, you make money of that, and the most important in this business, your client makes money too.

Do not come and tell us "build me a big house, and start with the walls from the third floor, forget about 1st & 2nd floor, i need the walls to install some great curtains my client is asking me"... just start by writing clear requirements and we will be more than happy to help you.

Maybe, someday I'll develop your website, and what we get at the end will be another cause for pride for us.

Do not try to reach me whenever you stay or leave wsi, i get here by chance & thought had to say something.

I coded HTML myself and WSI is still horrible

The costs put you out of the market. The restrictions of trying to separate yourself from other franchisees are like a noose. Look at their own site and case studies. Those companies they use as case studies don't even use WSI anymore or links are broken. They can't even maintain their own site!!!

michael webster's picture

Idiot Guests

Why do guests even bother shilling?

Guest writes: "Maybe, someday I'll develop your website, and what we get at the end will be another cause for pride for us.

Do not try to reach me whenever you stay or leave wsi, i get here by chance & thought had to say something."

Well, you didn't have anything to say.  You clearly have no knowledge of what the WSI franchise system is selling.  Why bother defending a pointless franchise unless you have some hard facts to back up your claims.

Here is one you could give us: how many sites have you developed, where are they, and what is their current google page rank? 

Michael Webster, a franchisee attorney in Toronto, Ontario, publishes a website on business opportunities and franchises called "The BizOp News"

Offer to buy out of your contract...

Why don't you pay to be free of your contrct and wind down the business?

Better Yet,

Contact Mario Herman - 202.686.2886. Yes, it does cost for his services but look at it this way.....why continue to feed the monster?!

Donna

getting suckered into WSI

I have paid over $50,000 for the WSI franchise with the understanding that if I bought into their telemarketing company,I would make between $5,000 to $10,000 per week. They also told me that I didn't need to have any computer savvy nor high speed. Well none of this is true... so in all, I have spent over $65,000 with not a single sale. I never wanted to do hard sales.... Many franchisees, have failed... in fact, one of the instructors in Toronto said at the beginning of the class (once we paid our fees) that out of three people; 1- will succeed, 1- will barely make ends meet and 1- would fail. Need I say more?

Odds aren't even that good

That's better odds than it really is

getting suckered into WSI

"one of the instructors in Toronto said at the beginning of the class (once we paid our fees) that out of three people; 1- will succeed, 1- will barely make ends meet and 1- would fail."

In first year this may be close. After 2 years it gets far worse, after 5 years ... no one buying a franchise could ever see the real #'s.

I would say a 2% success rate for those targeting $100K or more annually and a 10% success rate for those that may be satisfied with $50k or less a year as a second income, after getting the business established after 5 years. The thing is though, you do this to have less stress in life, not more. How is it less stress in life when every client you get is also potentially a new Boss. Instead of one Boss you had when you were working, you may now have many. From hosting outages to change management ... so much for freedom ...

One out of three - It's not that good!

One out of three succeeding is probably a high number. Probably one out of 20 is the right number if we are talking about replacing an income that will support a family.

Gogiro Feedback

Thank you everyone for the feedback – the online industry is obviously not creating a good name for itself, hopefully that will change.  I really feel that Gogiro’s system is structured so that the company is only succesful if the partners / franchisees are succesful and the end consumers, which has been the leading directive from day one.  I would really appreciate anyone who is interested in reviewing and providing some constructive criticism to the model.  If anyone wants to to tear Gogiro apart and offer advice or feedback on any holes or weaknesses, please message me directly and I will work with you on a one-to-one basis. 

 

It’s important for Gogiro to do this now, at the outset so that any areas for improvement can be identified now and a more comprehensive adaption process can be utilized as we move forward.  From the feedback noted above, what im reading into are a couple of key points;

 

-         Overselling can create insecurities and competition within, maybe lack of individual support and development

-         Open doors to additional income streams that can be controlled by franchisees

-         Bottom line, does the franchise provide business, accounts, revenue, etc..

-         As well, people do not want to buy a job; DO NOT sell me a job

 

Craig - Im committed to seeing only future Gogiro success stories.

 

michael webster's picture

WSI Stories

Are you kidding me?  Get the FFD, look up item 20, and do a blast fax to the "franchisees". 

Guess what? Youwon't find most of them!

As reported by Julie Bennett in the Franchise Times, May 2009. 

"About half those franchisees are in the U.S. and the company’s latest FDD, filed in March 2009, reports 652 franchisees here at the end of 2008, down from 872 at the end of the previous year. In a press release dated March 30, WSI president Ron McArthur explained the 220-franchisee loss as a re-focus of the company, moving from Web site development to selling Internet marketing services. " 

This is possibly the dumbest franchise system ever -but really good for the franchisor.

Michael Webster PhD LLB
Franchise News

Wouldn't bother with either WSI or AIS Media

WSI will try to sell you a franchise with another franchisee three blocks away in a suburb. The rebuttal you'll hear is "it's like a McDonalds." I don't think so....

With whatever business offering you are looking into - make sure you ask ALOT of questions. If you feel uncomfortable with any of the answers then keep asking questions. Do not rush in to any decision. Personally, I think you're better off partnering with a local web design/development shop and work out commissions for the sales you make. This is basically what you would be doing with either franchise (or um.. partnership) anyway. You'll get better support and you can always buy a few books on web design/Internet marketing rather than send your cash to AIS Media or WSI.

There are some differences between the two - with WSI you have to use one of their internal development/production shops. With AIS Media, technically, you are not locked down to using only their solutions. However, after sending them between $30-40K you'll want to get your investment's worth.

In short - I'd stay away from WSI. AIS Media, I'm afraid, is not much better.

How do you know?

Are you a franchisee with WSI or AIS Media? Not really sure how you qualify and how do I hire these designers? How much should I expect to pay for a designer? Should I have the designer do the site also?

Designers

Read the previous post again if you're interested in knowing which franchise the poster was talking about. Consider both WSI and AIS Media partners/franchise owners are trying to run a business. it's not in the best interest of these folks to disparage the systems they have bought into themselves.

If you are a small/medium sized business owner or a VITO then I'd suggest you look for the following:
1) Ask the designer for specific work *they* have done.
2) Find out how portable the site is once it has been designed *and* developed. In other words, make sure you are not required to go through them for either updates or for a simple thing like hosting.
3) Shop around. It is always in your best interest to get three bids. While this approach may not be the best for the sole proprietor/franchise owner of web consultancy, it's best to protect yourself.
4) Ask for references/testimonials and talk with them. Ask them questions to see if it's a similar fit to your situation *and* make sure they are not just buddies looking out for a friend.
5) Network and find what worked for other business owners. There's tons of resources from the local chamber of commerce to networking groups like BNI.

In a nutshell, if you spend your good money on a web design/development/etc/etc, you need to know that you are getting your money's worth.

Hope that helps and good luck!

Craig Hsueh's picture

Internet Service Franchises

"Does any have any sucess stories or horrer stories relating to the WSI franchise, AIS media or any other internet franchise?" - Gogiro

I'm assuming your list includes horror stories or success stories about Gogiro. I bumped into a WSI franchise owner once who was not happy with his franchisor. He said royalties were high, training poor and that they really didn't get anything from their franchisor, especially accounts. His WSI franchise went out of business.

Want to Buy a Franchise? Don't buy a WSI franchise!

I've seen so many people lose SO much money with WSI. I feel so stupid for being gullible and buying a WSI franchise. I talked to several franchise owners who had just started and gave good reviews. A year later they were out of business.

WSI paid me to say good things

When I was struggling with minimum sales to pay minimum royalties, WSI paid me in "IC Mikes" basically points to pay off my feed to talk to prospective investors and tell them how wonderful it was. I feel horrible I even did so but I had no choice as I needed to pay my monthly $625 ($300 royalty and $325 access to "marketing" and software (which their CRM I can get on my own for $30/month and their WebScan is nor proprietary as they tout and there are free apps to do the same stuff)). It's all a scam. I got a list of franchisees to call prior to investing and I realized it was their five success stories. I demanded a more thorough list from the FranNet consultant I used to look into businesses and now realize even if they were failing, they were likely paid to paint a rosy picture.

WSI franchise

I am one of unhappy WSI franchisee. I want to go out of the business. How is it possible. My contract will be valid for more than 3 years since now. I decided simply to stop paying fees. They stopped my access to the system and thats it. Do you think than It is a danger I will have to pay something for the rest of my contract. Do you have any contact to somebody who is out of WSI business, please? Thank you for the answer.

Don't sign temp shut down

Do not sign a temporary shut down agreement. They'll try to get you to sign a contract that is a temp shut down so you need not pay fees but said contract prevents you from any recourse. Since they force you, illegally, to use their suppliers, which are sub-par at best, the quality of the work destroyed my reputation in my whole region and I had a decent pipeline of clients. I mean, look at their own site. The case studies and testimonials are outdated, broken links, or companies who no longer use WSI. A marketing company that cannot even market themselves.

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