Wine-Searcher's New Wine Alert Policy Sucks

What Option do Wine-Searcher’s Customers want?

  • Two-years before removal is automatically triggered (the way it was)
  • Six months before removal is automatically triggered (the way it unfortunately is now)
  • Hey, they are a software company - they should let each customer select the duration for each alert and make everyone happy.

0 voters

I just wasted about an hour of my life re-entering 150+ Wine Alerts that I had previously taken significant time to enter into Wine-Searcher because their removal was automatically triggered because Wine-Searcher switched the prior two year automatic removal trigger to just six months. This makes as much sense to me as Donald Trump and malt liquor.

The 6 month policy - unannounced - must have kicked in about …oh, six months ago, as I had well north of a hundred emails flooded into my inbox recently. Anyone else have this happen?

Since I pay for Wine-Searcher mainly for the Wine Alert feature, and the prospect of having to repeat this burden every six months looms in November, it has me scratching my head and wondering why I am paying for such annoyance when a software company could so easily fix the problem and make every one of their customers happy.

“Sorry we haven’t been able to find a product matching the Wine Alert you set up for “bart bonnes mares” over 6 months ago. To re-instate this Wine Alert for another 6 months, please use the link below.”

Repeat ad infinitum every six months? Hopefully they will come to their senses before my renewal is up.

By the way, yes, I did ask why and they responded: “We have changed the parameters of time based on feedback from our users.” They did not have an answer when I suggested that it stands to reason that, before the change, they only heard from those customers who did not like the two year span… [help.gif]

It should be a setting - select 6 months, 1 year, 5 years, permanent.

The alert is actually not that useful to me, since it only triggers the very first time a wine appears, not when it’s added by a new merchant (that might have a lower price than an earlier alert I ignored). Not sure why they felt they needed to make a change at all, can’t be costing them much to keep track of alerts.

Can’t say it concerns me much either way, but it is hard to believe there was an outcry for a shorter period. “Please please please don’t alert me to wines for a two year period. I really want a six month period.”

Alan, you can delete merchants you don’t like (or can’t buy from) and you can put in price triggers (below $x). Very useful.

I know about excluding merchants, didn’t know about the price triggers, will look for that.

I also had ~80 alerts kicked out automatically - without warning.

I find the new policy annoying as well.

Clearly, wine-searcher folks need to upgrade their servers with the revenue they are getting (or perhaps we need more competitors)…the 6-month policy must be a result of a compute limitation with two possible solutions:

  1. lower the average number of alerts by auto-kicking out everything post-6 months with the theory that this will lower the alert traffic by up to 4x
  2. new Capex for new, faster servers.


How stupid that would be if true. I was unhappy when they suddenly limited Wine Alerts to 250. This is far worse.

Look, someone voted for 6 months! Wine-Searcher must have seen the post. [popcorn.gif] I guess we’ll find out how many employees they have. [cheers.gif]

The price trigger is only available in the Pro version, but it is very useful. Pick your price threshold and let the software do the walking (for 6 mo at least).

It is (and its why I pay the increasing annual fee) but not if we who use it widely have to spend an hour or two every six months re-entering them. Why would anyone who uses them widely pay for that annoyance? I just looked back and I still have 50+ to go through!

How much spending a year does WS Pro really make sense for?

just curious

They should consult with Eric to get a more consumer friendly site.

This policy change will have an impact on my decision to renew my Pro account when that times come.

If the site is to promote access and sales, why would you have a particulr policy that is the opposite? I wonder of they have statistics on the number of folks that end up purchasing using the alert feature. I"m sure others have had good success with the alert feature, but I can’t recall the last time I got a hit that I ended up with a purchase. I have maybe a couple dozen alerts active now, if that.

The accusations are totally unfair, especially with Wine-Searcher having been through the intensive customer relations programme run by TSA.

It will usually pay for itself with your first purchase or two.

I just received a response from Ross at Wine-Searcher:

Dear Ryan

I’m sorry for the inconvenience. Yes, we had a problem that forced a change to wine alerts. Constantly adding features ‘adds weight’ to the servers, so we are always working to provide the fastest of searches and the most accurate of results while looking to streamline, or simplify, existing features. Sometimes this means looking at trimming existing functions. That is what happened here. We were experiencing two issues: people setting alerts, forgetting they had done so and then querying why they were getting an alert two years later, in between times our servers have an increasing workload of checking every wine alert, every day, across every merchant.

We do listen to feedback, hence the change to six months for alerts. Hearing that six months is actually too short a time frame, we will provide a longer duration alert within the next 48 hours as we get a new technical solution in place. Any of your existing alerts will be refreshed to this new limit. We are working toward providing a one year alert time frame; with a simple one-click renewal to roll alerts over a for a second 12 month period.

Or Clinton’s server… [snort.gif]

Now that is good news! [cheers.gif]