Envato are selling a service they cannot enforce

tips-and-tricks

#1

Hello everyone. Long time Envato user here and wanted to share my thoughts on a problem I’ve noticed on Envato recently. Just before I decided to write this post, I was reading a thread about changes to refunds. As a previous author (although many years ago) and now primarily as a buyer I wanted to share some of my concerns. In order to stay within the rules I will not mention names of authors or the theme I am referencing. A while back, I purchased a site admin template, and decided to work on implementing into my project.

During this time I noticed the LESS code was very poorly written, and that their logic was very hard to work with, and as a result, I decided to ask for a refund for my purchase.

Support got back to me and said “There is no obligation to provide a refund or credit in situations when a buyer finds an item extremely difficult to modify.” and further added they wanted me to “please list all the specific error messages or issues you are facing when using the item” and “kindly add screenshots to make sure we fully understand what you’re referring to”.

I decided not to pursue that and went on my way.

However, yesterday, I decided to try and ask for a refund again when I noticed that theme I purchased had support enabled as shown below (image edited to hide information):

However, if you were to check the comments on the theme (as of yesterday), you would see the following:

Each is a unique comment made by a buyer of the theme, some as long as two months ago. The author says he supports the theme, but did not respond in over two months

The author is an “elite author”.

The purchase page has extended support for $7.50 for 12 months.

Even if you get a refund, you do not get refunded to the original payment method, instead, you get given what could be useless Envato credit (even if you paid using a card/paypal).

This is why as a buyer, I do not trust this website, and why some are looking to “game the system”. Not every author is terrible, but I’ve had my fair share of bad authors and maybe that’s because they don’t make enough money to make the time investment on support worth it.

However, Envato do not have a system in place to check if the author has responded to their messages on the page.

They are selling support for 12 months for $7.50.

This is a scam, they cannot enforce it.


#3

What does it say on the support tab? Although ideally they should, there’s no responsibility for the author to respond to comments posted to the comments tab, unless the support tab specifically states that support will be provided through the comments tab.

Most authors will use some kind of online support tool, and if they do, and the item is supported, then support should be provided through that.

If there’s no other way to contact the author other than the comments tab, and the author is not providing the support they should be through that channel, then it might be worth getting in touch with support again, see if they can prompt the author.


#4

Hi :wave:

I’m Christian, one of the Help Team Leaders at Envato.

Thanks for taking the time to share your concerns with us, they’re really important and I appreciate the opportunity to provide some reassurance.

With regard to the refund terminology particularly around our obligations to refund and the request for supporting information, it looks like this request was made prior to Authors taking ownership over refunds. The digital nature of items sold through envato market meant that in some circumstances supporting information was required in order for us to validate an issue and issue a refund. Since then we have implemented Author-driven refunds, and I’m pleased to see that you were refunded for your Admin Template purchase.

With regard to Authors upholding their support commitments, we are aware of our responsibility to ensure Authors are compliant with their legal commitments. As SpaceStockFootage has correctly pointed out, not every Author will respond to support requests in the same way. Having said that if you (or any other customer) find that you aren’t receiving a response at all, I would urge you to raise a dispute with us that our Help Team will mediate. This process may include a refund to the payment gateway (not account credit) if your rights and legal obligations have not been honoured.

Happy to answer any other questions you may have,

Thanks

Christian


#5

Thanks for taking the time to respond to my thread. I know the chances of you answering this are low, but is there a reason Envato doesn’t have a author/client support system integrated on the marketplaces? The user would click “create new support ticket” and this could all be tracked in house (with the ability to flag the correspondence if there is no reply).

When you let authors use third party tools, you lose that ability to track statistics. You could have your support system automatically perform analysis and flag any authors which may not be upholding their end of the deal…

Not having a native support system has always confused me from the day you announced the new support system. The fact you are still allowing authors to use emails and comments for support is disgraceful and makes the entire thing unviable and gives buyers like me extremely little confidence that buying extended support is not just throwing my money into a drain.

I’d love to see if extended support is actually viable and being honoured in its current state, I’d guess more times than not, no (authors disables their theme because it’s a hassle to support it once they’ve made most money off of it, then that’s it…)


#6

So I made this post a few months ago now (July 2016) and it appears another one of my products that I purchased has an author that has seemingly gone MIA. I know that linking to authors may be against the rules and I took care to remove information in my original message but the truth is, both the author and Envato are allowing the support to be purchased for a real world amount, similar to any other service online it should be possible to call out those who are not delivering on this promise.

The item in question is here: https://themeforest.net/item/clean-ui-admin-template-classic-material-design-landing-pages-angularjs-starter-kit/16678285/comments

You can observe the number of comments left with no response for over a month now with no information as to why the responses have stopped.

If you’re going to sell a product please ensure it can be enforced. I could spend $18 right now and what am I getting for that $18? The ability to leave comments on a page which I can do for free? Besides, authors seem to care about their ratings, so I could probably say “help me for free or I’ll rate 1*”. Sure that may not be allowed but it’s up to the author to make that decision.

I’ve never understood this author support system as a buyer/customer, it seems a complete waste of money and there are no systems in place (dynamic) that looks at whether the author is replying, adjusting the “2 business days” dynamically, disabling their product/automatically offering refunds if no response is given etc.

Why anyone would ever pay for support is beyond me.