Tread carefully with Grammarly?

COMMENTS ABOUT MY EXPERIENCE WITH GRAMMARLY
While I was on the Internet a month or so ago, I noticed a product advertised to help writers and professionals improve their writing. Because I do freelance and blog writing, I thought I’d give it a chance. So I followed their prompts to get a document reviewed (which they did) but didn’t provide the actual analysis and results of my writing sample. I was disappointed and confused at the results. More on that later.

Grammarly vs Other Products

Let’s just say I’m still interested in Grammarly to see if it will provide the kind of writing and editing feedback I’m looking for, the option is to accept their 7 day trial offer. I begin going through the process and realize I need to provide credit card information. I still don’t have any feedback on the quality of their product and I’m asked for credit card information for a trial period. At this point, I don’t have warm and fuzzy feelings for this company or process. I think to myself, if you believe so strongly in your product, why not give a 30 or 60 day free offer and not request the credit card information? If a user is really excited about this product and they find value, business will come your way.

They’re also asking how I’d use this product – trying to secure additional information from me without providing tangible value (returning my document) to me. First, provide value before you try and make a sale. In this situation, not only analyze my document but provide me the feedback to give me a better idea what your product can do. 

It is interesting to see at the time there were only 3 testimonials on the home page. Was their original design to provide many more testimonials on the home page? How did they decide on 3?

On their home page, Grammarly scores well against other products. What are those products? Are those other products fee based? For a fair comparison, we need a lot more information before this comparison provides the kind of value they want it to provide.

Just for grins, I ran the email I received welcoming me to Grammarly from the Grammarly Team and scored 54 out of 100 with critical writing issues.

Regardless, I was still intrigued with this product as there was some mention of a free plug-in for Microsoft Word so I inquired further with no success (explained later in post).

Grammarly's Home Page

LETTER FROM GREG CARPETS REPRESENTING GRAMMARLY

Hello,

My name is Greg Carpets and I am an Account Manager with Grammarly, the world’s most accurate grammar checker.

Recently, you attempted to sign up for a free trial account at www.Grammarly.com, but never completed it. Maybe the requirement of a credit card or a Paypal account was a problem for you, in which case I’d like to ensure you that Grammarly will not charge you unless you choose to keep your subscription past 7 days. Even though Grammarly trial is completely free, we require a valid payment method at the time of purchase. This helps us ensure you will have uninterrupted access should you choose to keep your membership. If you cancel within 7 days, you will not be charged. Cancelling is easy – you can cancel from within your account management panel, or by contacting our support representative 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

I am also happy to help with any other enquiries you might have regarding Grammarly features, support questions and the like.

Best regards,
Greg Carpets
Individual Account Support
Grammarly.com
Applied Linguistics LLC
93 South Jackson Street, Seattle, WA, 98104
Phone: (800) 318-6146 Fax: (888) 442-2421

INSTANT REPORT WITHOUT ANY CONTEXT
Grammarly advertises that they provide an Instant Report of your document and paper which is technically true. It’s within the letter of the law but perhaps not the spirit. They will analyze your document in real time checking 150 points. Check your writing for grammar, punctuation, style and much more. Indeed, they will provide a report with detached data but will not specifically list the errors in your document.

I find this disingenuous and misleading. Especially considering the fact that they show an edited document to the right of this offer. If you briefly glance at the top of this home page, it is implied the report will provide a corrected document. It is a “No Go” without signing up or trying the 7 day offer.

Let’s be honest, Grammarly is in the service of making money. My suggestion, provide each potential client a means to really be able to “try out” the product to help them make a viable decision. Give potential clients a better idea of the service before requiring credit card information. 

COULD YOU RESPOND TO MY EMAIL?
When they determine you’re not interested or can’t afford the service, they drop you like a hot potato. I tried 3 times to communicate with them after I said I couldn’t afford the product as I’m currently in transition. All I wanted to know is if I could use an Add-on for Microsoft Word. That’s something I read somewhere and wanted it confirmed but they haven’t responded.

I’m not that familiar with Grammarly but my recent interaction with this company makes me suspect. Even if there’s value in their product, the lack of communication to my follow up emails and the fact they don’t provide a complete writing analysis without providing credit card information makes me uneasy.

If you were me and had a similiar experience, what would be your takeaway?

Kevin Schwarm

I have over 25 years of professional experience in business, information technology (IT), and customer service. Industry experience in retail, medical insurance, higher education, non-profit, financial services, and property and casualty insurance. Customer focused professional interested in providing value (save time, money and aggravation) by evaluating and analyzing information, services and products with a unique perspective.

24 Responses

  1. 09/29/2011

    Anders Bjartell…

    […]Tread carefully with Grammarly? – KevinSchwarm.com :: KevinSchwarm.com[…]…

Leave a Reply