Last week I decided to check out Fantasydraft.com on the recommendation of my podcast co-host, Jake Richmond, as well as a fair amount of cyber chatter. When I first got to the site I was impressed with the number of “guaranteed” tournaments that were listed in their draft lobby. I threw a C-Note into the ring to give it a test drive and entered a couple of their larger GPPs as well as a few other small tourneys. Considering the sheer volume of supposed guaranteed tourneys I saw that first day, I figured I would come back Sunday morning and buy my way into several other tourneys that would surely have overlay considering how sparse their fields were on Wednesday.
Sunday morning arrived and I went back to the site to attempt to find all these guaranteed tourneys only to find that only two were listed. Now it is certainly possible that the majority of these other ones filled up, but considering how little they had sold by Wednesday – combined with the level of overlay remaining in the tourneys that I pre-registered for made that hard to believe. Either they selectively sold out most of these guaranteed tourneys between Wednesday and Sunday early morning, or they were pulled by the site, or the software just wouldn’t display them.
Whatever the reason, they missed out on the ability for me to enter some more tourneys there and potentially deposit even more money as well. At the time I guess I took it at face value without too much concern that it was a computer glitch and nothing more. So I rolled into the Sunday games with only a few dollars tied up in the site and the hope that maybe if I check back a couple hours later I might find some afternoon or primetime only games for me to enter. About 1 PM CST, I checked the site from my phone during brunch, ugh was my only response. I couldn’t find record of the contests I entered. I couldn’t check my lineup to see how my team was fairing. The live scoring applet was showing empty lineup cards in each of my tourneys. It was basically the FanDuel and DraftKings fiascos all over again.
Having learned my lesson from those two sites problems, I immediately emailed the support email box. I got a fast response but it was in the form of a form letter. I determined that it was purely a form response because another online friend of mine tried emailing them as well and he received the verbatim same response.
As the afternoon games slowly approached, I was happy to find that they finally got the live scoring up and I was able to register for a few other tourneys. I played a couple more in the evening and was generally pleased with how they were run.
In follow up to the problems, I did some more in-depth digging, researching their site problems from last week. What I found surprised me mightily. It appears that they had even worse technical issues Week 14, so badly so that they had to fully reimburse most users…on top of paying off the winners. This is not the type of start you want from a DFS site. This is not a good sign, a couple weeks in and already a couple technical hari-kari failures. The song says 1-2-3 strikes you are out, but these guys probably won’t get a third strike from most users.
If not for my better experience in the late games, I know I would’ve taken my money out and forgotten about them post haste. They spent a lot of time and money on marketing, getting endorsements, and promotion – perhaps they should have spent more on technical oversight and design. I mean you have to learn to crawl before you walk or run. I’m going to give them one more week to show that they belong with the big boys but rest assured that I subscribe to the philosophy of fool me once.