SPS Commerce proves what a joke they are….again.

I’ve decided to post this email string from Amanda McFarlane at SPS Commerce.  Read through it and decide for yourself just how useful and effective SPS Commerce is as an “outsourced EDI solution”.

Please note that I was told that we must complete the testing detailed in the email by a certain date or face fines and penalties, imposed by SPS Commerce, and potentially jeopardize our relationship with OUR customer who is detailed in the email string.

I’ll let the email speak for itself as to SPS Commerce’s effectiveness.  Never have I loathed a company and their business practices as much as SPS Commerce who claim they are “the intelligent way to work with trading partners”.  Since when is ineffective, unnecessary, fake document exchange testing “intelligent”?

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11 years ago

Hey Todd,

Did a Google Search on “SPS Testing” and came across an old entry on your site. I laughed when I read the email from Amanda… it really makes me give my head a shake.

I’ve just spent the better half of my week explaining to my customers why they have to shell out $500 to good ‘ole SPS for testing that is really meant to provide value to the retailer. It’s not an easy discussion to have.

Back in 2009, did you happen to have any discussions with other Distribution America suppliers around filing a formal complaint against SPS? We ended up in a 2 hour hallway meeting at work this morning trying to come up with ways to put an end to this nonsense.

Any thoughts you might have are welcome.

Hope you haven’t had to deal with Amanda again either!


11 years ago

Sadly, I am happy to see that others have the same disudt with SPS commerce as I. Not only is the testing a joke as displayed in the emails but oftenm the maps themselves are an utter joke. SPS will try to claim that they did not design the maps but I found out from a customer that they actually were responsiboe for the design.
Furthermore when you ask a specific question regarding the maps and the intent – no one at SPS commerce has a clue. I have seen maps that contradict themselves – all at the hands of the fools at SPS commerce.
The latest venture SPS Commerce is on is the X12 855 Order Acks(which really turns out to be an order change the way they design and pitch the customer). They have statuses all over the document that no one can explain – and the ones that are understandable contradict between Header and Detail.
It seems just about every time we test – we fail and they have to manually pass us after we prove we are doing the right thing andd their test software is incorrect.

I hope you end up filing a formal complaint – maybe that could moptivate our company to do so

11 years ago

Their testing is an absoulute joke. I’ve gone through the same thing with them. Generic data, have to make your own test files and PAY THEM to test with them. Once you move to production you still have to make changes to meet your partners requirements, once you get REAL data. Can’t figure out why companies are using them???? Our company is trying to figure out if we could tell our partners we refuse to test with SPS. Good Luck everyone!

8 years ago

I found this old thread by Googling “SPS Commerce Complaints”, but everything said here still rings true in 2013. We too have been forced into testing with these inept geniuses many times. In EVERY case (not most… EVERY case), after we completed their unbearable testing procedure and we got an EDI production order, it failed. We then had to scramble to re-invent the wheel because the live orders had to be processed quickly. We all know by now that their testing procedures have basically NOTHING to do with production, and it is truly astounding that they are able to remain in business.
I have spoken to a few colleagues at some of our customer’s EDI departments, and they are disgusted with SPS as well, so it isn’t just us suppliers that are suffering.
Two amusing SPS anecdotes:
I was once speaking with a friend (sort of a free agent that happens to work with GXS and others) and he was talking about how arrogantly inept one of the SPS reps was. I almost fell over when he just casually mentioned her name: our Ms. Mcfarland! I too have endured the “pleasure” of working with her. I don’t know if she is still there, but when a new “demand to test” email from SPS comes in, I tell SPS that I flatly refuse to work with her.
Another time I was complaining to a low level supervisor at SPS about the ridiculous $500 testing fee (and subsequent retesting fees when they fail you because you do something so catastrophic as use “Street” instead of “St.”…). She asked if she could call me back to explain how I can avoid paying those fees. “Sure” I said.. Well, turns out I could do that by making the big switch, and use SPS as my VAN. ……….! My whole office looked up as I uncontrollably burst out laughing at that thought..
How I despise those 3 letters (wait.. maybe it’s “So Pathetically Stupid?)
I would like to learn more about companies banding together to put end to the madness.

7 years ago

EDI guys named Todd who share a common hatred of SPS….how many of us are there? Nice to know I am not alone though. My contact had the balls to call my VP of sales because he didn’t like that I had no news regarding a decision on whether they would agree to submit to their useless EDI testing farce. Their ‘deadline’ for this decision is still two days away, btw….Apparently he wanted an answer NOW. So yeah, when i found he called a VP I tore him a new one in an email (he wasn’t picking up his phone), and went on to say that if we do submit to the ‘testing’, we will do so only if he is NOT our testing contact.

7 years ago

its end 2014 and it is still the same.
I am so frustrated with SPS and it sucks that I did not read these comments before signing the contract.
We pay a lot of money every month for nothing.
Nobody at SPS has any know how about what EDI is about. Since 4 months they try to test a 850 with us but it seems they really don’t know how to implement it.

They promise you to implement everything within 3-12 weeks. They promise that they already did lots of migrations before. Was any of these ever succesful?

We should warn the whole world keeping away from SPS.

We will try to get out of our contract as soon as possible.

Any recommendations whom to use for EDI outsourcing?

6 years ago

so finally after more than frustrating 12 months, we decided to stop financing this “Youth in Science” group called SPS Commerce.

Every other month the go-live day was shifted again. The employees are poor students not knowing anything about EDI. Seems like the development team sits somewhere abroad, not knowing what to implement, and working on hundreds of projects at the same time.

I hope that no other company makes the mistake, ever signing a contract with them.

6 years ago

Every few months SPS Commerce hits me up for testing fees for one of our existing customers. Yes..EXISTING. Customers we are already fully trading with via EDI. Last week SPS Commerce contacted me to begin “testing” all the EDI documents for HEB. It’s stupid!! We’ve been successfully trading EDI documents with HEB via direct AS2 for several years already. And now SPS jumps in out of the blue, insisting we RE-TEST every existing document, and pay a $500 fee for doing so?! Plus, an additional $300 just to conduct the trading over AS2! If not completed in a specified time frame, additional fees in $300 increments begin to apply. This is ridiculous, and it needs to stop. We are happy to add more documents, or make adjustments upon request from any of our customers. But this is extortion, plain and simple. SPS Commerce’s “testing contract” identifies our company as their “customer.” I laughed! THAT is a joke because for us to be their “customer,” we would have actively been seeking their services, and we would have had a *choice* in which service provider we signed up with. There’s no choice here. Just extortion plain and simple: Manufacturer pays SPS Commerce’s arbitrarily set testing fees, or risk losing business with the customer. How is that even legal? We do NOT need SPS, and I will never *willingly* be an SPS “customer.” I’m going to start refusing to pay their fees and see what results. By continually signing their non-negotiable contracts and paying their baseless testing fees, we are condoning and encouraging their unethical business model. I’m done doing that.

6 years ago

Oh, no there’s nothing wrong at all with the existing EDI-traded documents. I am confident that this has been PURELY a revenue-generating initiative on the part of SPS Commerce. Easy money. A racket pure and simple. I’ve saved the emails relating to this for a few years now. I’ve been railroaded through this with several retailers. Cardinal Health, Grainger, Ariens, Delhaize America… and there have been others. No more. SPS Commerce’s core values [well, supposing they actually had values] clearly do not align with ours. If they refer to me as “customer” then I’m going to take that meaning I have a CHOICE. Not an ultimatum, but a choice. And I’m choosing NOT to use SPS Commerce for anything.

6 years ago

I keep expecting (hoping actually) to see SPS Commerce at the center of a class action lawsuit. The supply side of the equation is paying inflated prices for “services” as a result of SPS Commerce’s monopolistic, anti-competitive tactics. Their contracts, in which they use extortion to force vendors/manufacturers into paying exorbitant, arbitrarily established fees for “services,” and in which no other service providers are even permitted, seems like an obvious violation of competition law….

6 years ago

I’m glad I found this site! Everyone here has the same problem as I do. The fees are ridiculous and once you are done “testing” you aren’t done. This is a service for the vendor (in our world) to outsource an EDI department. They should pay. That I’m even force to use it is ridiculous. My maps are usually right on the first or second shot. Some of the maps they force me to use are ridiculous, filled with things I’ll never use.

My most recent terrible experience was with (Name withheld). The spec doc they sent for the map I needed to create was almost unreadable. They blamed the other party, naturally. I explained from the beginning that it was our first EDI customer on our new software so that there would be a learning curve. We also had some logistical things to figure out in house with this particular vendor, which they were made aware of. When the testing date came and went, he abruptly canceled the testing, even though we had started sending test documents, and then told me I had to pay for another round of testing because I missed the date. I TOLD HIM I WOULD MISS THE DATE (sorry to yell). You’d thing at that time he would have made me aware of the extra $ so I could have expedited the project. I complained, loudly, not only to SPS but to our vendor.

Megan Schreck at SPS was emailing around to my vendor telling them they test at my pace. YEAH RIGHT! My pace was sending docs, waiting for a test to show up in their terrible “portal” (which functions like it was written in a high school HTML class) and then an answer on error questions. That process typically took 24-48 hours. If the pace is that of a turtle, then I can see how she would think 48 hours is ok.

After the ordeal was over, I get a follow up message from Briana Naescher. She wanted to know how they could improve the experience. I went as far as siting very specific examples of their ineptitude with copies of emails and date/times of when I would submit a question and when answers arrived. Her response? Crickets.

Now I go out of my way to convince vendors not to test with SPS and that my maps will be fine on the first shot. Of the 20 I’ve added since then, only 2 have absolutely required I use them. YOU HEAR ME SPS? Thats $5400 bucks you lost out on because you suck! We have about 6000 active customers. WHOOPS!


6 years ago

What is the alternative to the SPS test?
We are a new vendor need to be EDI compliance. SPS have contacted us with their Only option(Including the testing fee).
I would appreciate it if somebody can offer me an option.
Thank you, Jeff

6 years ago

So whoever reads this. Never go with SPS. We stopped the project after 14 months and lots of wasted time and money.
Went to inhouse SAP PO and got everything up and running within 4 months.

6 years ago

The EDI business is a scam to pull hard earned dollars from vendors. For us small businesses, the exorbitant costs for monthly “fees” and “testing” are not meant to help us. Instead, these “fees” are fed to the wall street investors who see companies, like SPS, as money streams for overpriced services. Stay away from SPS. They are only interested in pulling your hard earned cash out of your pocket instead of helping your business grow.

6 years ago

I work at SPS and couldn’t agree with you more.

6 years ago

I went searching around after having an awful experience with SPS Commerce. It sounds like I am not alone.
Firstly, I am transacting with HEB, which we have been working with for years and never had an issue with our EDI documents. Now, all of a sudden they force us to “re-certify”. That’s HEB’s fault, but absolutely ridiculous.
Enter SPS Commerce…
From our original conversations, they made it seem as if all of our EDI documents would, from now on, be transmitted through SPS Commerce. Not true! It took me nearly two weeks to finally figure out that we have to “certify” with an AS2 connection to SPS Commerce and then change back to a direct connection with HEB for production. You know, that one that we already have setup and working perfectly!
Then on to the actual testing. They just use an automated system that is pass/fail. The problem being that the EDI guidelines that they provided on the portal were completely different than the ones that they were checking against. We kept getting errors for things that didn’t line up with the requirements. The person I was dealing with would send me a screenshot of HER requirements and they were completely different.
I never did get any explanation of why they were different, just “Well, use what I sent”
I absolutely despise SPS Commerce and have no clue how any company would think that they were getting any kind of value from their “services”. The fact that the vendors have to pay the testing fees is absolutely insane as well. We get no value from them, just unnecessary work.

6 years ago

This seems to be a new thing at SPS. Forced retesting.
Because we cancelled analytic services (SPS told the preceding people they were needed and aren’t) they claim we must have a new software system (we don’t) so we have to retest all our customers who go through SPS.
They are non responsive to issues and are not interested in their customer needs at all.
I’ve been doing EDI for 25 years and trust me. These guys are the worst

6 years ago

My company no longer pays SPS Commerce testing fees for our customers. We recently started including the following statement in all our contracts: “Each party shall be responsible for its costs incurred in participating in EDI, including any costs related to the use of a third-party service provider”.
This was in direct response to our customers who hired SPS Commerce as their EDI service provider – then expected us to pay the fees associated with testing.

5 years ago

So a quick update from us.
We cancelled the project with SPS a year ago (after they were not able to migrate our maps for more than 14 months with a team of more than 6 people).
We are successfully migrated to SAP PO within a 4 month project with 2 consultants.

Now all the sudden, SPS Commerce starts telling us that we need to retest all our EDI Documents with all our Trading partners that are customers with SPS Commerce. They want to charge us $500 for each of these tests.
This is absurd! As most of you stated, SPS found a way on how to make more money for their shareholders. This company has no substance and no reason or right to exist. I just wish that all customers would realize that.

5 years ago

I was fired from SPS Commerce a few weeks after posting my comment in May. It’s baffling that a company with so many intelligent hardworking people will continually screw their customers over and just say they are doing what they are suppose to do. I’ve never worked at a company with so many incompetent human beings who day after day pretend to care but are just doing what they have to to keep their job. SPS Commerce wants to be a billion dollar company but they won’t be if they keep demonstrating just poor judgement. i think the median age in the company is 26, so people don’t know what the fuck they’re doing. SPS Commerce = So Pathetically Stupid. They have an opportunity to be great, but will only fail because of the absolute morons who are in “management”. Don’t believe the hype about what a great place it is to work, because it’s a bunch of soulless, mechanical, academically gifted morons who would rather treat people like shit, than run a good company and a place to work. If you want to work at SPS Commerce, get ready to tell customers they are shit and you’ll screw them with an open smile. If you don’t do that…you won’t have a job at SPS Commerce.

5 years ago

An one more comment. If you email SPS Commerce and complain about getting screwed and nickeled and dimmed (and rightly so) there is a great chance those employees will share your email with other people in the company and openly mock you and laugh at you. I was unfortunately a witness to many of those attacks. I really hate to type all of this, but it’s the truth.

5 years ago

Interesting I found this thread.

I am currently tasked with finding a partner to outsource EDI with and SPS is on my list. Their term (1year) and Implementation Pricing are attractive despite their fees — the other two companies I am looking at are much higher. After reading this, it may be too good to be true.

Can anyone here provide me with some guidance as to what to ask SPS to unearth some of their issues?

5 years ago

Thanks for the Reply.

We are looking to outsource the bulk of the mapping. I have a basic-to-medium understanding of EDI but mostly based on backend integration to an ERP.

Additional information:
Partners – 100 (85 Vendors, 15 Customers)
Documents – 850, 860, 856, 810
Versions – 4010 (vendor and majority of customers), 5010, 5030
Communication – 95% VAN, 5% AS2 by volume
ERP Backend – 30 year old Legacy DiBOL (Homegrown)

The way this operates today is that we pull from the VAN and enter orders into the Legacy ERP as a fully automated process — no manual pulling of the orders for manual or semi-automated entry into the backend.

I have found a consultant group willing to help with the vetting process but they also have a vested interest in keeping this in-house as they want do an upgrade of our exists mapping environment (webMethods) and take the outsourcing of the mapping. Its a viable alternative but a tough sell as Company and Sales leadership has ‘used’ Managed Services in the past with ‘success’ and want to pursue that path pretty hard.

I appreciate the picture painted, this is exactly the type of feedback I need to enforce the need for more eyes on this project.

5 years ago

We, too, have had it with SPS. Long story, but suffice it to say they are THIEVES! We do EDI in house, but unfortunately, every once in a while, a trading partner will “force” us to test with a third party. That third party is almost always SPS. Can anyone recommend an alternative third party provider. I would switch tomorrow.

5 years ago

Had a lot of fun reading this. It highlights many of the problems I have dealt with over my past 12-14 years of dealing with SPS. I always steer customers away from SPS Commerce.

At the end of 2015, we had a large customer inform me that they were transitioning over to SPS at the beginning of the year. They were going to start with Inventory feeds and work their way up to have SPS handle all order processing as well. Needless to say, by the end of 2017 this customer only had their inventory feeds up and running. They transitioned their entire dropship business over to Commerce Hub instead.

4 years ago

It’s 2018 and SPS continues this bad business practice. Every complaint in this thread is true. I experience everything from unresponsive email replies, overcharging monthly “integration fees”, setup fees, trading partner fees, and portal fees. Any kind of fees you can think of they have it. They claim to know EDI. If you have a choice don’t deal with them. There should be a class action lawsuit against them!!!

4 years ago

2018 SPS testing support even getting worse.
Last two years we had 5 customers selected SPS EDI to process their orders, for each partner we paid test fee and connection test fee, include FTP, or SFTP or AS2 which our customers selected. That is fine for us. For each case SPS assigned a dedicated test rep to contact us, which is good. We are luck two times that the test reps are response quickly.
In most case we just need our sent documents displayed on their test portal, no matter they are correct or with error, so we can adjust our mapping to fix the error. Since these two reps are response us, we completed the test less than one week. The rest three testing are much tough for us, mostly close to 24 hours after we sent multiple follow up emails that we can receive response from them, SPS insist only 24 hours response, which were really suffered us especially when we began to do this kind pay testing with SPS, compare to Amazon EDI that we also integrated our system to, Amazon EDI test is really a smart system, well document defined, user friendly test portal, good samples, unlimited test try, well error message organized both in service case and email response. Any error in test document you sent, Amazon sent feedback email to you include the reason. For SPS the most headaches for us is when there is error in documents you sent, SPS still receive it, response 997 with accepted, but just not display in their test portal, and no email noticed that. And the test rep response is way behind we expected after we issued request again and again, day by day just waiting for their email to fix the show up problem, you called them, only message box, although we finally completed the test within 15 days for these three tries, we just regret that a business like SPS to treat service like this.

2018 even worse, we have another partner for testing start from late December 2017, this time SPS not even assign a dedicate rep for the test, instead randomly select a tech support reply us, someone not even review our previous emails and replied us with no sense, disappointed with the low efficient for this case, the same issue encountered us, they received document (855,856,810) we sent, reply 997 accepted, just not show up in test portal, tried multiple time to email them, many hours waiting for reply from them, one email replied even on 7:50 pm est. after a whole day expecting, so sad and high pressure with their test.

We integrated our internal system with major partners system, Amazon, UPS, FedEx, QuickBooks, Amazon EDI system is smart and completed for yourself debug, UPS tech support is well knowledge and disciplined to reply customer within 2-4 hours. QuickBooks you can call them to get answer, however for SPS, they may not think testing customers are their customer, but we still pay $500 or $800 for the test, we may influence our customers to select EDI as third party service.

Anyway from EDI testing point, I really hope SPS can change some:
1. Make test portal smarter, trap any error, and include errors that causing SPS not show up testing document in test portal, send auto email to testing partner with these errors.
2. Improve EDI definition documents (850, 855, etc) quality in format (stick with PDF), notes and more samples.
3. Provide ISA, GS definition and samples to testing partners (like Amazon did), most not showing up issue came with these segments error.
4. 24 hours response for technical oriented testing support is unacceptable within 15 days due. 2-4 or 4-6 hours make sense, but please stick with the frequent, let your partners know your support on the way

4 years ago

So my hatred for SPS is pretty spot on with all previous comments. I have an idea that can probably work, might still need to pay them the stupid fees, but will save everyone a lot of time with there useless tests. Hit me up if you like to discuss further, I think the idea will work but will want to bounce it off other individuals in this realm. jpmc009@gmail.com

4 years ago

SPS commerce are a total joke. We had a single product that was supplied through a wholesaler. The wholesaler moved to using SPS and said we had to use their services. This was actually a lie, but anyway. The wholesaler passed the costs onto us and we had to pay SPS commerce to have orders sent to us to supply our own wholesaler. Anyway, the wholesaler was totally useless, so we stopped supplying them – SPS commerce still sent us bills after we stopped supplying the wholesaler. Then when we did not pay, they had a debt collector chase us and add another $1500 dollars of fees!!! Screw you SPS – you are total thieves and hide behind a big corporation!! NEVER DO BUSINESS WITH SPS COMMERCE – THEY ARE A FACELESS CORPORATION WITH NO ACCOUNTABILITY!!!

3 years ago

EDI and report portal, what a joke. How do they continue to stay in business is beyond me. Now at my second position where I have to deal with these idiots. At least not as bad as first where SPS was the EDI provider. The horror stories company to company, incredible.

2 years ago

Oh no. OH NO!!!! COSTCO has gotten in bed with SPS! We do significant business with Costco. Can’t wait to watch everything that has been working perfectly for years, go up in smoke. Yay, SPS. (and by “yay” I mean F-you)

2 years ago

SPS is terrible. I’m so glad that I got out of it.
But every now and then, our customer would hit us up with SPS asking for us to pay their 100% testing fee of $500 or they will charge us 0.5% fee per order.

Even if you are a vendor that they rarely buy from you. maybe a few orders a month. SPS will still want you to do pay $99 per month for their portal. probably better just to take the 0.5% fee.

1 year ago

Have crossed paths with SPS commerce many times in the past twenty years. The first time was as an EDI consultant where I was trying to help a client migrate off of their platform. They were extremely difficult to work with. Nearly every time since, it’s been the same that everyone else is saying. They hit you up to suck these testing fees out of you and try to leverage the weight of the relationship with your customer to twist your arm to pay them. They are relentless, and their quality is garbage. I called once to have them find a document and the guy spent at least 10 minutes trying to figure out where the GS ID was.

Like Todd, we are using Data Masons products, and I am nervous about SPS’ involvement. I thought Data Mason’s product to be pretty bad and poorly-designed itself, so I suppose it’s a perfect match. We also have some consultants running it for us. They are truly excellent, so we’ll be keeping them around if/when we move to something else.

Jay Berry
1 year ago

I’d say I have to agree with Todd on this. The business model sucks.

  1. They harass your vendors with endless sales calls, saying you won’t make the ridiculous timing unless you go with them and move over all your suppliers.
  2. They charge for you to test yourself.
  3. I’ve proven several times where the platform was wrong.
  4. They keep calling even after you’ve certified through them to get more sales.
Former SPS Employee
7 months ago

I worked for SPS for 8 years, their management is shit. It’s all about the $, not about the quality for the customers. Everyone is an “account executive” even if it’s their first job out of college. Makes the client feel warm and fuzzy, unless you know how they wordspin everything. They acquired a lot of companies over the years and their whole goal is “Journey to 1 Billion $”. Why? Anyone in business knows you have to make a profit, but they put profit above EVERYTHING including their employees. Their last acquisition was another platofrm I used as a client and their management sucks as well. The DataMasons application is not stable and is constantly “evolving” which means they are still trying to figure out stuff. The VPs from Datamasons are clueless as well and don’t even know EDI. They are SPS Sales puppets.