Rating: 3 / 5
Your '5' is gracious but I'm giving BPL.com a '3' for now.
If you pay $25, or $5, or $100, it doesn't matter. The product quality needs to be exceptional.
Customer service to date has been seriously lacking and not up to industry standards. As of one week ago, we are making dramatic improvements in this area: we hired a customer service director, we've added more self service functionality to the MY ACCOUNT page, and make big changes in how backordered and prepurchase availability info is communicated to subscribers, added automated order returns, and customer support issue management, all from within the BPL.com website.
The biggest change to customer support, in addition to our new hire, is bringing it back in house where all of your support issues, contact record, subscription info, and order history are managed from a single administration interface on our backend. You don't see it, but it makes our ability to address your issues fast a whole lot easier.
The shopping experience has been redesigned and streamlined, and article display pages have been redesigned in recent days.
However, there are glaring holes here, still:
1. A powerful site search engine. That's our current major initiative at this moment. Site search will integrate all sections of the site and not leave forums and reader reviews hanging out there with their own search pages. The new site search will also actually work to help you find what you're looking for.
2. Better access and display of gear guide items.
3. More functionality in the community sections: forums and reader reviews. Upgrades slated for the next release include user 'home' pages at BPL.com where you can view a user's forum/review history, recent/new reviews posted, and more integration between those two sections.
So, stick around. Lots around the corner, as always.