Uppercut Digital Review: Is it a Scam? - kindestCup.com

Uppercut Digital Review: Is it a Scam?

Since I started the kindestCup.com website, traffic (mostly organic) has been growing slowly but steadily and by the beginning of this year I had a pretty steady conversion rate of around 0.7%. 

I often receive emails from companies trying to sell me services to improve my website. 

How I met Uppercut Digital

One day last spring I was contacted by Daniel Rios from Uppercut Digital in Toronto and offering to improve my conversion rate first before I have to pay anything.

My first reaction was: this sounds interesting. But also, if my conversion rate is so 'easy' to improve, maybe I can do it myself. Since my theme was already outdated and I didn't want to invest into improving an outdated theme, I decided to upgrade to a new theme and make myself a better, faster website.

Unfortunately, my efforts backfired and when I launched my new website in April, my conversion rate promptly dropped to around 0.4%... I clearly am not an expert at this.

I contacted Daniel from Uppercut Digital to see what they could do for me. 

Daniel and his colleague Michael Slavei met with me in an online meeting and they explained how they were going to streamline and improve my website and go through an iterative process of testing of various design options to crank up the conversion rate.

The contract and first draft

On May 15, we signed a contract that stated that Uppercut Digital would improve my conversion rate to 0.8% for 5 consecutive days and I would pay them a fee if that target was reached.

The first version of their improved website (V1) went online from June 22 and stayed up until July 12 (3 weeks). Overall, the conversion rate for those three weeks was a disappointing 0.42% but there was 5 day stretch in there (Jun 27 - Jul 1) where the average conversion rate was 0.85%. This was promising, wasn't it?

We met for another online meeting to evaluate the performance of V1. Daniel and Michael highlighted this 5 day stretch as a success but acknowledged that it did not meet the target (which was 0.8% for 5 days consecutively, not on average). They explained that it was more difficult than expected to hit the target and asked if I'd pay them the fee in advance so that they can put more resources towards future revisions and try to reach the target.

I should also mentioned that there were some issues with V1: 1) it did not include all of my product variants and 2) it created some misunderstandings re the purpose of the product. I hardly ever get requests for refunds but I got two requests form that 3 week period that V1 was live, both of them related to wrong expectations.

Overall, I liked what Daniel and Michael did in V1 in terms of design and I was hopeful that with some minor changes and more testing and tweaking the target was achievable. I agreed to advance the payment to continue the work.

I did clarify that this was an advance payment and they assured me that they would give me a refund if the target wasn't reached within 6-8 weeks.

The scammy part

Unfortunately, once Uppercut Digital received my payment they stopped doing any work on the project and started feeding me lie after lie about timelines that they never kept. They were going to have the revisions done by end of day Aug 24. That day came and went. They were going to have the revisions done by Sept 3. Came and went. They were going to have them done Sept 8. Again, nothing. Clearly, I have given day more than enough time and nothing was happening.

After the work they did in July, they only logged into my online store portal once, on Aug 21!

I figure that they probably found more important clients and that my project is no longer interesting to them. I am ok with moving on, but their half finished work is no good to me so I requested a refund (which is what we agreed upon anyway).

However, Uppercut Digital is refusing to issue a refund. They shut down the slack channel we used for communication after I questioned them about their refusal.


I'm not sure if these guys are just some young, entitled amateurs who have skills but no idea how to run a business or if this 'technique' of delivering a quick first draft and cashing in full payment is an actual scam... But if you are considering working with these guys I would caution you to be VERY VERY careful and NOT make any payments ahead of target. 

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