Support policy is broken

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#1

Dear Envato,
The new support policy has absolutely failed.

  1. User receives notification that theme update is available.
  2. User updates theme
  3. Child theme isn’t compatible with new version
  4. User cannot receive support because support expired.

Solution? Simple.
Either free updates and free support or change the “support license” to paid updates and paid support.

The current half-in-half-out state is bad for clients and bad for us.
This is seriously hurting our business.


#2

The child theme not working, It is like 1 out of 100 examples and most probably something wrong from user side.
Yes, users have also to update their Support Then and respect the user author time, buy a support extension and go through with it.
It is not bad to pay extra 20$


#3

Hey there. The system is already in place. You can always extend your support for 6 months from the item you’ve purchased. Cheers!


#4

I can, but I’m talking from the Authors perspective here :slight_smile: - people complain about this exact thing in my comments and have no desire of renewing support. And I kind of have to agree with them. Paying 50$ just for a single question seems unfair ( from the users perspective ). Paying the same amount of money for continuous support and updates would make sense. But paying 50$ just to get a question answered - harsh. It doesn’t really matter if they have 1 or 200 questions though - at the time of the problem they most probably feel that they have only 1 question.

And it really doesn’t matter “who is right”. If the user refuses to renew support, and because of it - I refuse support - I establish a reputation for refusing support. That is a serious issue for us, as we want to provide the best support possible.


#5

That 1 in 100 is going to leave me a 1 star rating. And it’s not 1 in 100. If I make breaking changes in the theme ( for example changing a class name on an element because of a CSS refactor/cleanup ) - the user is now automagically stuck. At the moment it looks like I have a choice - don’t continually update items anymore, or refuse support to people who need it but aren’t willing to pay 50$ for.


#7

Well, considering a Theme like the best seller on the market, in custom labor would probably set you back a couple of thousand dollars ( aka XX.XXX$ ) paying 50$ is not really that harsh.

Secondly. Hypothetical scenario. WordPress 5.0 changes absolutely everything and updating the theme would make it incompatible with many plugins. The author has 10.000 purchases and 5000 have expired support. What then? Work for 5000 customers for free for 5 months? I think not.

Consider this system a sort of warranty. And I know only a few products in the world ( hardware ) that give lifetime warranty. Others, that rely on components that need updating / upgrading, never give warranties or support for life.

Buy a new car and go ask them a question each day for 6 months, see what happens! :slight_smile:


#8

Actually all you need to do is shorten the time of free support drasticly. Lets say down to 10 days. Problem solved.


#9

I understand that, and I agree, continuous support for authors is necessary. But making customers feel that they’re paying to get questions answered is not the way. It was a good experiment, but now I see it doesn’t really work.

Even in that hypothetical scenario - it’s a lot easier to justify the logic when you’re paying for updates, not support.

And I don’t really have to consider anything - I’m happy as is. My customers however, they don’t see “pay the developer” as something that they should do. They are in a mindset - I bought this, this should work for me forever. Asking them to pay for something other than an update is just adding more fuel on a fire.

Am I the only one who has had this experience with customers ?


#10

I agree with your point, after i release an update, i always got support requests from users with expired support, they threat you on bad rating if you don’t support “your script/update is broken”, then simply it ends up supporting that user.

I think the solution should be 6 months support + 6 months paid updates. like other companies do out there.


#12

To be quite honest with you I reply to all my questions, but renewed support should be subscription based.

Offer 1: Pay XX$ and get 6 months support
Offer 2: Pay X% every year and get lifetime support.

Simple, efficient. My 2 cents