I no longer recommend Wealthy Affiliate as default go-to for myself to learn and build passive income internet businesses; they have very strong support, robust discussion/forums, strong fundamental online business training programs, and best of all, there is a free-for-life basic membership program where you can learn the basics of online business, get 2 free websites and webhosting too.
Yes, one of their strong points is that you can stay as a free basic member for life if you want to, or once you’ve learnt as much as you can from the basic level and want to level up, you can opt to upgrade to be a premium member at $49 per month or $359 per year (the yearly option is much cheaper).
The reason why I changed my mind is because they do not provide a refund if you pre-paid for their yearly membership; instead you have to wait out your membership – I disagree with this approach. They also call themselves “the only online business platform you ever need”, which isn't true. Read my sharings on that here. Instead, I am very comfortable recommending you AffiloJetPack, which I'm a student of and Solo Build It, which I've used since 2010, check them out for your online success.
Hello there! I am unashamedly a proud premium member of Wealthy Affiliates, and have been happily using their platform for a while now, and this article highlights the main complaints that people have about WA, though rare.
Generally, the good outweights the bad, but I'd still think that it'd be good to pay attention to the complaints, and at the same time, I'll also outline some of the benefits of being a member.
Free Membership “Only” Has 7 Days Of Write Access
One of the most popular decision that Wealthy Affiliate has done is to offer a free-for-life basic membership program, like a “try first, and if you like it, upgrade to premium”, which is a wonderful freemium model. Of course, the free program is free, and is basic – you get 2 free websites that are hosted and limited access to the training, and you get 7 days of connecting with the community.
This means that for basic members, they can only connect with other members, ask questions, post comment etc, for 7 days only before this access is removed. During this time, you can connect with anyone, even the owners Kyle and Carson.
BUT after 7 days, eventhough you still have access to the Wealthy Affiliate platform and some affiliate training, you will need to upgrade to Premium if you want to communicate and continue to connect and get help from the 100,000-strong WA members.
Yes, 7 days is short, but it's to give you a sample of what's it like to be in one of the world-class online business and marketing training platform, and to me it's more than fair since its free to try anyway.
Rare Billing Issues
It is rare, but a very, very small number of members encountered the rare billing issue. Over the years with more than 250,000+ members, only 3 to date had this issue, since WA was created in 2005.
That's 1 incident in 83,333 members, average of 1 incident per 33 months.
This is very, very commendable. Kyle and Carson explained that the terms and conditions were highly transparent before anyone joined. For me, I am a full-paying Premium member, and I am 100% in control of my own membership and I'm not tied down with shady contracts or hidden clauses (like the recent defunct California Fitness that disappeared with $900+ of my money). I know I can leave whenever I want so…I don't know why there are people complaining about this – maybe it was the the recurring billing that occurred and they wanted out before the recurring bill took place?
Clarity On The Free Basic Membership in Wealthy Affiliate
Yes, WA has a free-for-life basic membership that you can sign up here, no credit cards required.
But I want to highlight an issue that I notice: many sites that promote Wealthy Affiliate always use the term free membership, which is true, it is free – no cash or credit card required, and there is no obligations or sketchy clauses to lock you in. Nope.
They even give you 2 free hosted websites as well as training how to build an online business, as well as 7 days of full write access (as I've covered above about being able to connect with the owners and community etc) – you can opt to stay as a free basic member for as long as you like, or if you're happy with basic and want to unlock more benefits as a Premium, you can sign up and get 60% discount on the first month (instead of $49 for the first month, you pay $19 only) or enjoy the cost savings by paying yearly (I pay yearly which is $359 per year, instead of $49 x 12 = $588 for the monthly one).
This being said, the “Starter Membership”, though is free, has a lot:
- 2 free websites (sign up here for your free websites)
- webhosting for the 2 websites above
- training and tools such as keyword research
- networking with the WA community
All of these are available as a starter member.
If you have tried and you liked what you received as a starter, and want to unlock more functions/features and take your online business learning and profits to the next level, there is a Premium membership which gives you access to everything at Wealthy Affiliate, as well as everything you need to build and grow your online business.
For the first month, there is a special promotion where you get 60% discount and you pay $19 for the first month, thereafter is $49 per month. As I shared, once you go Premium and are serious, it makes 100% sense to pay the yearly amount of $359 (average $30 per month) versus paying $49 monthly ($588 at end of the year).
You can cancel your membership anytime too.
You are always in full control during your active membership in WA, you can contact support, the community, Kyle and Carson directly, learn and relearn the training that keeps getting added.
What About the BBB Complaints and the A- Rating for Wealthy Affiliate?
So I did some research to understand the issues as BBB (Better Business Bureau) and WA that has been around since 2005, together with the parent company Niche Marketing Inc – has a super record. Come on, achieving an A minus BBB rating with only 6 complaints since 2005.
I mentioned earlier that WA has 250K+ active members, so the numbers is very good, that's a complaint ratio of 0.0024% – no company in the world can do this to date. This is world class in my opinion, unashamedly.
Ok, no matter what business you're in, there is always someone that is unhappy, but really, 0.0024% is truly out of this world. Not everyone can be happy, and Apple and Samsung will be pressed to have less than 6 complaints EVER.
On the flipside, there has been more than 100,000+ positive reviews, and I'll leave this to you. What I can say is that any company that lets you try before you spend a single cent, and you can opt to be a free member for life and upgrade only when you want to – they're pretty confident and solid. I'm a happy Premium member.