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  1. #1
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    Netdepot in financial trouble?

    I cannot help to wonder whether Netdepot are in financial trouble or not because I find it strange that they have almost no stock available. (From the 12 different servers that they advertise only ONE is in stock)

    To make things even worse not even their sales department knows whatís going on and simply ignore you during an online chat when you want to know when they will have stock for all the servers that they advertise.

    If I am not mistaken a webhostingtalk user also complained in other post that he already PAID for a server that was out of stock.

    For a company with such excellent services itís almost a tragedy that they either donít have the money to buy enough stock or have a very bad person behind their stock control while the attitude and ignorance of their sales people such as Jeneba Cisse donít help very much.
    Frank Coetzee
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  2. #2
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    Thank your for your inquiry as to our financial health - I think it is an important question. Let me answer the question and some others.

    We are one of the few companies that is financially strong in this market.

    As I have said many times on this forum - we make money, have very little debt and pay taxes - that last one is the most important - you are not really making money if you are not paying taxes. I have heard all kinds of stuff about how accountants should look at ebitda differently and add in future unearned ebitda off non contracted revenue - but that is really an accounting gimick that typically leads companies to financial trouble down the road.

    I challenge you to now go apply your speculation to the others on the board - I think you will find much of it goes unanswered.

    We are out of stock on many servers because we have been getting a new line ready and AMD recalled the cpus that we were ready to ship so we decided to switch gears.

    We also polled our users when we shifted gears to a new line and are rolling out more servers- but we test them thoroughly before we do.

    So to your point - your speculation is incorrect - but hopefully I have cleared that up for you.

    Jenebe Cisse is not a sales person - she is in credit and collections / billing -
    so sometimes she does have to be firm.

    We dont buy new stock on older servers when we EOL it - we roll out new ones which we are in the process of doing. That is not due to a bad stock manager.....

    But I guess I am glad you raised the question because it gives me a chance to answer the question and go on record and challenge others to do the same. Maybe you can post a follow on and speculate about the other guys and see if they will be transparent and answer you.

    To your point about someone in another post...yes we have updated our inventory to be real time now so you cant order if it is not available. The user you refer to would have gotten a server but they ran to here to raise a fuss instead of working with me to get it. If he spent as much time on working with me vs running around tyring to bash us he would be far better off - but that is inexperience at 17.

    In another post another user had the same issue on the same server and emailed me for help and we got him up. he posted a thank you in the same post.


    We have plenty of servers available as well aat <<<removed>>> under that brand.

    Expect to see 2 more servers coming in the next week or so.

    We are definately not perfect - but we do our best.

    Thanks!
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  3. #3
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    Just a further note for those of you that know about banking.

    Bank of America just did the financing on our latest generator and building expansion and they removed the personal guarantees on this credit line. That will show you our strength of our earnings and our balance sheet. This is very difficult to accomplish.
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  4. #4
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    Jenebe Cisse is not a sales person - she is in credit and collections / billing - so sometimes she does have to be firm.
    Firm about what?

    She simply start ignoring me during our chat when I enquired about the out of stock condition because I wanted to PROMOTE these servers to our clients and the out of stock condition worries me.

    I also emailed a copy of the conversation to each and every Netdepot email address and NONE of them responded at the time I post this. (And looking in my inbox just now still did not)

    Netdepot offer EXCELLENT services but this is not the first time that there is a lot of problems because of the out of stock condition or sales people and despite the different excuses it is definitively not something to be proud of.

    Hopefully this critic will trigger a much needed review of the attitude of your sales people and the stock contol at Netdepot so that it don't drag an otherwise excellent company into the mud.

    Why do billling staff anyway answer sales chat requests or do Netdepot have a shortage of trained sales people too?
    Frank Coetzee
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    "I hear and I forget, I see and I remember. I do and I understand. " - Chinese Proverb
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  5. #5
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    Franc, please also realize that NetDepot's data center (which they run) just went through a brief, but serious, power outage in the last 48 hours, and all staff have been working mega extra hours around-the-clock dealing with cranky customers, fussy servers, a flaky backbone (unrelated -- just bad timing) and arranging the prompt installation of new power systems ... all within the last 48 hours ... and the insanity is ongoing still today.

    Perhaps if this week had been an ordinary week, the billing lady wouldn't be doing sales, and the company contacts would have responded to your email by now. Honestly though Franc, your poking at this right now is just really bad timing for these folks.

    Yes, ideally, they should have enough staff to deal with any crisis. Well, they are dealing with the crisis. They are prioritizing things, and I am sure your inquiry is a low priority, all things considered right now. I do not think it is fair to judge them at this particular point in time. They have a lot bigger and hotter pans on the stove the past 2 days than some stranger asking, "is your company financially stable?" Stuff like that is gonna get filed until someone has the time to deal with it properly. They're busy taking care of their existing customers right now, which IMO is where their priorities should be.

    I'm sorry, you know what a customer advocate I am, and it pains me to point out the relativity of it all. However there is a lot more to the story here that I am confident you've not been aware of, and which explains everything.

    Bailey
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  6. #6
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    Thanks Bailey

    I am also a Netdepot customer and was not aware of this.

    Ignoring customers is however not a very good option if a simple explanation could do wonders or what?

    For me it seems that not even Netdepot's own support staff knew about the problems because I logged a support ticket the day before yesterday to brought it to their attention that the netdepot.com site is VERY slow (while my own servers at them don't seems to be effected).

    At first the support tech said I must provide my details so that he can have a look and when I pointed out I talk about their site he said somebody worked on the site recently and he will bring it to their attention.

    Fact of the matter is that it is plain BAD manners and attitude to let a customer wait and wait like crazy during an online chat conversation without any excuse or reason and it's even worse to blame the customer for his/her reaction on that.

    They're busy taking care of their existing customers right now, which IMO is where their priorities should be.
    Correct but "priorities" don't meant to be rude to EXISTING customers like me.
    Last edited by Frankc22; 01-11-2008 at 11:13 AM.
    Frank Coetzee
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    "I hear and I forget, I see and I remember. I do and I understand. " - Chinese Proverb
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by sailor View Post
    Thank your for your inquiry as to our financial health - I think it is an important question. Let me answer the question and some others.

    We are one of the few companies that is financially strong in this market.

    As I have said many times on this forum - we make money, have very little debt and pay taxes - that last one is the most important - you are not really making money if you are not paying taxes. I have heard all kinds of stuff about how accountants should look at ebitda differently and add in future unearned ebitda off non contracted revenue - but that is really an accounting gimick that typically leads companies to financial trouble down the road.

    I challenge you to now go apply your speculation to the others on the board - I think you will find much of it goes unanswered.

    We are out of stock on many servers because we have been getting a new line ready and AMD recalled the cpus that we were ready to ship so we decided to switch gears.

    We also polled our users when we shifted gears to a new line and are rolling out more servers- but we test them thoroughly before we do.

    So to your point - your speculation is incorrect - but hopefully I have cleared that up for you.

    Jenebe Cisse is not a sales person - she is in credit and collections / billing -
    so sometimes she does have to be firm.

    We dont buy new stock on older servers when we EOL it - we roll out new ones which we are in the process of doing. That is not due to a bad stock manager.....

    But I guess I am glad you raised the question because it gives me a chance to answer the question and go on record and challenge others to do the same. Maybe you can post a follow on and speculate about the other guys and see if they will be transparent and answer you.

    To your point about someone in another post...yes we have updated our inventory to be real time now so you cant order if it is not available. The user you refer to would have gotten a server but they ran to here to raise a fuss instead of working with me to get it. If he spent as much time on working with me vs running around tyring to bash us he would be far better off - but that is inexperience at 17.

    In another post another user had the same issue on the same server and emailed me for help and we got him up. he posted a thank you in the same post.


    We have plenty of servers available as well aat <<<removed>>> under that brand.

    Expect to see 2 more servers coming in the next week or so.

    We are definately not perfect - but we do our best.

    Thanks!
    Sailor not to wind anyone up but you have made this comment now a couple of times. Why do you think that there are only a few companies that are financially sound or that there there are only a few companies paying taxes?

    I would think that most companies pay taxes. I am in Canada so maybe I don't understand something in the US. We still have payroll, sales and other taxes to pay.

    Another question. If you end up paying taxes on a net profit of $1000 but have no funding are you in better financial health than a fully funded business with a 10 year plan that is not paying taxes as they are operating in a loss for the first 2-3 years?

    Honestly, I am just asking these questions. I am not at all suggesting that you are any of the above scenarios.
    Andrť Allen | E: aallen(a)linovus.ca
    Linovus Holdings Inc
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  8. Quote Originally Posted by Coolraul View Post
    ... I am in Canada ...
    Hooray for GST decrease!
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  9. #9
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    In your original reply that you edited Sailor you begin with.

    I can only wonder what the motivation behind your post is.
    You also said that

    As I have said many times on this forum - we make money, have very little debt and pay taxes
    If you yourself admit that you had to defend the financial position of Netdepot many times on this forum then you don't need to wonder what is the motivation of my post.

    Obviously as stated by yourself many other people also wondered about the financial position of Netdepot and I can almost BET that was mostly triggered by out of stock conditions at Netdepot.

    A financial strong company with good stock control very seldom ran out of stock and definitively NOT at this scale (1 out of 12 advertised servers available) while regular or serious out of stock conditions is often the very first sign of a company in financial trouble.

    Instead of defending the financial status of the company so many times why not rather post some information about how Netdepot plans to get rid of the hopefully REAL problem and sorted out the out of stock syndrome once and for all?

    Provided that there is enough funds available I BET that even a junior stock clerk would not be so bad to achieve an out-of-stock condition of 11 out of 12 product ranges. (91% server configurations out of stock - 9% in stock)

    I am still VERY satisfied with Netdepot as my hosting provider but surely even you must by now realised how much damage this situation do to your company and if this post can help Netdepot to realise that and resolve this issue it would serve it's goal.

    (Oh yes. I KNOW that there is also other stock like memory, hard drives etc but the servers are the LIFEBLOOD of your company. What would YOU think if you experienced it from time to time that KFC don't have any chickens available?)
    Last edited by Frankc22; 01-11-2008 at 11:56 AM.
    Frank Coetzee
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    "I hear and I forget, I see and I remember. I do and I understand. " - Chinese Proverb
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankc22 View Post
    A financial strong company with good stock control very seldom ran out of stock and definitively NOT at this scale (1 out of 12 advertised servers available) while regular or serious out of stock conditions is often the very first sign of a company in financial trouble.

    Instead of defending the financial status of the company so many times why not rather post some information about how Netdepot plans to get rid of the hopefully REAL problem and sorted out the out of stock syndrome once and for all?

    Provided that there is enough funds available I BET that even a junior stock clerk would not be so bad to achieve an out-of-stock condition of 11 out of 12 product ranges. (91% server configurations out of stock - 9% in stock)


    Frank,

    You are missing the entire point here. Those old systems are PURPOSELY not stocked. NetDepot has a policy of not buying OLD hardware. Once NetDepot has deemed a server line 'End of Life' they cease to order new systems and only continue to service the systems currently in inventory.

    Money is only invested into the newest, fastest, best lines of servers so the stock of the newest is always full and up to date. Old servers would become available as cancellations are processed and the "old" hardware is again made available.
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  11. #11
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    (Oh yes. I KNOW that there is also other stock like memory, hard drives etc but the servers are the LIFEBLOOD of your company. What would YOU think if you experienced it from time to time that KFC don't have any chickens available?)
    Just like Burger King would stop selling the whopper... The world would be a very different place:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVm84...eature=related
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  12. #12
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    Look at the Old EV1

    I don't think there has ben a time when any major vendor has been out of inventory for one reason for another, and I don't see this as a measure for any financial concern.

    Look at the old EV1 back when Headsurfer was building the 20,000 + server empire. For many, many years servers were OPNLY listed on a first come-first serve basis, and it was quite frequent for them to be flat out of new servers.

    Nobody ever doubted that Headsurfer didn't have the bucks.
    Ray Womack @ atOmicVPS LTD
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  13. #13
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    Maybe it's you that miss the whole point Ryan???

    Even now, at this very moment, Netdepot ADVERTISE this very same servers what I am talking about.

    The Dual Clovertown 5320 for example can hardly be described as EOL but the FACT of the matter is that Netdepot at this very moment only have the Dual Harpertown 5405 available but STILL show 11 other servers on their website that is out of stock and according you at the end of their life.

    With above in mind I am very curious to see the new servers and will definitively post again if just ONE of them is one of the servers that Netdepot regard as EOL.
    Frank Coetzee
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    "I hear and I forget, I see and I remember. I do and I understand. " - Chinese Proverb
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  14. #14
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    It certainly sounds like they're out of stock due to being EOL'd and new lines of servers coming down the pipe. However even if that were not the case, it is quite common for even the largest hosting providers to have server shortage issues.

    As for the comment about paying taxes - I think he's referring to the fact that quite a few companies in the hosting industry (and in general, honestly, its a very common thing) prefer to boast their EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization). Most of these companies are not actually profitable if you include interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (not that that's necessarily bad - in addition to being quite common, as I understand it EBIDTA is a well-known, well-used indicator of financial health).
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankc22 View Post
    Maybe it's you that miss the whole point Ryan???

    Even now, at this very moment, Netdepot ADVERTISE this very same servers what I am talking about.

    The Dual Clovertown 5320 for example can hardly be described as EOL but the FACT of the matter is that Netdepot at this very moment only have the Dual Harpertown 5405 available but STILL show 11 other servers on their website that is out of stock and according you at the end of their life.

    With above in mind I am very curious to see the new servers and will definitively post again if just ONE of them is one of the servers that Netdepot regard as EOL.
    Again you just simply aren't understanding how the process works.

    1) Server isn't the newest product line threfore netdepot doesn't order any NEW equipment for that line
    2) the server stays on the website as "out of stock" since there are hundreds of servers IN the datacenter in use.
    3) When someone cancels a server already in use it then becomes AVAILABLE on the website.

    What part of that process is not clear? They are only advertising the 5405 systems and list all other systems as currently out of stock, or more appropriately "SOLD OUT"
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coolraul View Post
    Sailor not to wind anyone up but you have made this comment now a couple of times. Why do you think that there are only a few companies that are financially sound or that there there are only a few companies paying taxes?

    I would think that most companies pay taxes. I am in Canada so maybe I don't understand something in the US. We still have payroll, sales and other taxes to pay.

    Another question. If you end up paying taxes on a net profit of $1000 but have no funding are you in better financial health than a fully funded business with a 10 year plan that is not paying taxes as they are operating in a loss for the first 2-3 years?

    Honestly, I am just asking these questions. I am not at all suggesting that you are any of the above scenarios.
    I know there are some that are and are doing very well - however I also know that there are some that are not.
    Its just a difference in how you run your business and your end goal.

    You can look to run it for market share without regard for earnings in the near term - in hopes that one day either someone buys you out for more money than you are in debt for so that you have some stockholders equity to walk with.

    This is a much more risky venture and a risk to do this. Like in Vegas - sometimes you hit it big - other times you dont.

    You can also run it to make a profit and grow it out of cash flow either with or without a small amount of debt to increase growth. You will not grow as fast but all your growth will be bankable and you will be much more insulated against shifts in technology and or market downturns becuase your balance sheet will show very little debt against your cash flow producing assets. This is the way we operate. Our goal is not to be the biggest at all costs.

    You mention about would I rather be fully funded for 10 years or making a small profit?
    First of all I dont know any investors that would fully fund a company for 10 years. Even if they did it is not likely that the funding would really last for 10 years since things change and people tend to underetimate the amount of funding they need. Usually this is where the investors come in when the company is in dire need of cash and they say - well we can save you - but this subsequent round of financing is going to cost you dearly. Then the original guys get heavily diluted out - sometimes to the point of losing interst in the business and then you see management teams exiting to go in different directions or to go do it again with new funding. I would never want to be in that situation again - i have been there and done that before. It stinks. I have heard the story so many times - here is some money - go do this and when you accomplish that we will give you some more. Then when you need it - be prepared for serious pain. oh yeah - one more thing, the investors can lose intersest as well and decide they dont want to give you more money and then they just walk and write it off. Its very very bad.

    So -I would rather be making money - that equates to fully servicing the depreciation on your equipment and if your cash flow is good then you can fund a lot of your growth from your own cash flow. Its definately far from glamorous - but you will be around for a long time if you do things right.
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  17. #17
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    The chicken example is not a good one. We are not doing one time sales and if we dont have chicken in stock we dont make sales.

    If we dont get more servers in we simply dont grow. At some point you also start to skhrink as the servers that are there producing mrc revenue start to write down in mrc as they get older.

    I have stated this before - our goal is not to be the biggest or control the market. We want to provide the best service as a effectively costed provider to our customers. Our growth is dictated somewhat by our cash flow and profits. I feel confident we will be here a long time though to take care of you and we make improvements every day over time. Its not usally all at once because we dont run a loss to suport growth or development.

    This leaves us behind the curve sometimes but over time on average I think we do very well.

    We are glad you are happy with our service and we are glad to have you as a customer for many years to come!


    Quote Originally Posted by Frankc22 View Post
    In your original reply that you edited Sailor you begin with.



    You also said that



    If you yourself admit that you had to defend the financial position of Netdepot many times on this forum then you don't need to wonder what is the motivation of my post.

    Obviously as stated by yourself many other people also wondered about the financial position of Netdepot and I can almost BET that was mostly triggered by out of stock conditions at Netdepot.

    A financial strong company with good stock control very seldom ran out of stock and definitively NOT at this scale (1 out of 12 advertised servers available) while regular or serious out of stock conditions is often the very first sign of a company in financial trouble.

    Instead of defending the financial status of the company so many times why not rather post some information about how Netdepot plans to get rid of the hopefully REAL problem and sorted out the out of stock syndrome once and for all?

    Provided that there is enough funds available I BET that even a junior stock clerk would not be so bad to achieve an out-of-stock condition of 11 out of 12 product ranges. (91% server configurations out of stock - 9% in stock)

    I am still VERY satisfied with Netdepot as my hosting provider but surely even you must by now realised how much damage this situation do to your company and if this post can help Netdepot to realise that and resolve this issue it would serve it's goal.

    (Oh yes. I KNOW that there is also other stock like memory, hard drives etc but the servers are the LIFEBLOOD of your company. What would YOU think if you experienced it from time to time that KFC don't have any chickens available?)
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankc22 View Post
    Even now, at this very moment, Netdepot ADVERTISE this very same servers what I am talking about.

    With above in mind I am very curious to see the new servers and will definitively post again if just ONE of them is one of the servers that Netdepot regard as EOL.
    Given your requirements, Netdepot would probably have to stop advertising completely.

    I suspect a company their size probably has a very fluid inventory, including "EOL" machines that they will sell when they become available, so keeping ads up for old hardware that could become available at any time doesn't seem like a big problem or misleading to me.

    It's a matter of opinion what the most responsible thing to do is.
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  19. #19
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    Netdepot buys ONLY new hardware - at this time its the 5405 - as we add more to this product line they become available (from customers upgrading) on the website at reduced prices.

    I have read the chat log you posted in all the tickets as well as the actual log that took place during your 20 minute conversation where Jeneba attempted to assist you.

    Over the past few days we have been very busy, as all technically capable staff were assisting customers. I apologize that you did not understand the way we buy servers and hope that this post has clarified that to you. As we add additional server lines you will see more become available. This latest release was only the first of many and we are very excited about it.

    Id like to take this time to answer your question about how you can resell dedicated servers if you dont know what is available as it is a valid question that applies to both you and other resellers.

    You have two options:
    1) You can choose to only sell our latest product line, the ones we keep in stock all the time.

    2) Next week we will be rolling out our live inventory RSS to all of our resellers. This will let them keep their websites updated live with our inventory. This is just part of our reseller system overhaul including the newly released branded portal they have access to.

    I hope that we have been able to solve any concerns you have with our sales process as I understand from your other post you are already very happy with our services.
    Jordan Jacobs | VP, Products|SingleHop| JJ @SingleHop.com
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  20. #20
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    Hi Jordan

    I am the first to admit that I was wrong but everything was so unnecessary if it was not for the people hunter from collections that cannot change her habits when helping out in other department.

    I don't regard myself as stupid and think that not many people would sat and think things thru from a datacenter point of view.

    After reading the post by Ryan I now understand the way you operate but can perhaps make the following suggestion.

    Change the wording to "unavailable" and "New Stock" and post a line at the bottom of the form explaining that "unavailable" means that all the servers with that configuration are in use by existing clients. Obviously you only BUY the latest server ranges but the older servers become from time to time available when a client migrates to a better server.

    I am sure this will help a lot to minimize confusion and a potential bad impression.

    In fact, it can even be used positively by suggesting that the potential client either add their name to a waiting list for a specific server or select a newer model. It might however takes a while before a server becomes available because most clients are very satisfied with their servers and most machines only become available due to upgrade to a better one.

    2) Next week we will be rolling out our live inventory RSS to all of our resellers. This will let them keep their websites updated live with our inventory. This is just part of our reseller system overhaul including the newly released branded portal they have access to.
    Excellent but would it not also be a good idea to provide an annonymious order form for resellers? It would be much easier and better to simply link to such order form via a special code. (Maybe you have such thing in place but nobody responded when I send an email to ask more info about the partner and reseller options. Your website also provided NIL information about this options.
    Frank Coetzee
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    "I hear and I forget, I see and I remember. I do and I understand. " - Chinese Proverb
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankc22 View Post
    Excellent but would it not also be a good idea to provide an annonymious order form for resellers? It would be much easier and better to simply link to such order form via a special code. (Maybe you have such thing in place but nobody responded when I send an email to ask more info about the partner and reseller options. Your website also provided NIL information about this options.
    I think you may be misinterpreting how the reseller arrangement works.

    Resellers work as Value-Add providers. They do not simply "resell" the services via a white label site where thy just get credit for the sale and NetDepot handles the rest of the customer relationship. The "reseller" or a more appropriate term of Value Add Partner / or Value Add Resller is someone who themselves deals directly with the customer to handle their first line of support, their billing, and management of the overall customer experience. They in turn manage the single relationship with NetDepot.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by sailor View Post
    Just a further note for those of you that know about banking.

    Bank of America just did the financing on our latest generator and building expansion and they removed the personal guarantees on this credit line. That will show you our strength of our earnings and our balance sheet. This is very difficult to accomplish.
    Well, if it were a small generator picked up from Home Depot it wouldn't be that hard, but... :-)
    Karl Zimmerman - Steadfast: Managed Dedicated Servers and Premium Colocation
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  23. #23
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    5,084
    Quote Originally Posted by KarlZimmer View Post
    Well, if it were a small generator picked up from Home Depot it wouldn't be that hard, but... :-)
    Completely off topic but funny nonetheless.
    Andrť Allen | E: aallen(a)linovus.ca
    Linovus Holdings Inc
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  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    290
    Is it any wonder that I misunderstand the reseller or partner program if only the following, somewhat confusing information is available on your website?

    Partner Program
    Questions about Reselling Programs? Please call our Sales Department at 404-230-9150
    NetDepot reseller programs are renowned for ease of use, making it easier to manage your clients and accounts, and -- best of all -- creating a residual revenue stream to grow your business online.
    Reseller Program
    NetDepot's award winning Reseller program provides a full suite of solutions for you to be successful. NetDepot keeps you ahead of the competition with consistently reliable services.


    The first heading is Partner Program and the second heading Reseller program so it gives the impression it is two different programs.

    I would also expect that an ONLINE business would at least make use of their website and the internet to provide information instead of relying on the very OFFLINE business method of telephone communications. (Which is in many cases very expensive and even impossible given the GLOBAL orientation of an online business)
    Frank Coetzee
    SA Internet News Group cc


    "I hear and I forget, I see and I remember. I do and I understand. " - Chinese Proverb
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  25. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    WebHostingTalk
    Posts
    8,878
    Quote Originally Posted by Frankc22 View Post
    I would also expect that an ONLINE business would at least make use of their website and the internet to provide information instead of relying on the very OFFLINE business method of telephone communications. (Which is in many cases very expensive and even impossible given the GLOBAL orientation of an online business)
    You've asked the question about their financial trouble and they have indicated there is none. I dont see a need to continue on with this back and forth... if you have questions about them, maybe it's best to communicate directly with the gnax staff.

    For now, </thread>

    Sirius
    I support the Human Rights Campaign!
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