Support terms of 6 months & excessive fees are just wrong

wordpress

#1

There’s another thread talking about a lot of different issues related to how the new support policy is going to affect his business, and how there should be more options to create some lower cost support items if someone needs minimal help. I used to purchase items that I wanted to evaluate and didn’t use right away - this easily accounted for 50% of my purchases - but now I have cut my spending by 50% because I’m not going to purchase the item until I’m sure I need it, so that it coincides with a bizarre warranty period of 6 months.

I’m beyond confused at the bizarre idea that product warranties or support contract terms would ever last 6 months, and adding insult to injury is the pricing formula that Envato has adopted is unlike anything I have ever seen.

Much of what is sold here is written in PHP - there should be a minimal charge to receive program updates without support with the goal in mind of keeping the internet safe and secure for everyone. Software simply isn’t warranted for 6 months and software maintenance is never to exceed the original cost of the software for a subsequent yearly term of support.

I have worked in technology for over 30 years and I have never seen a software maintenance fee exceed the cost of the original software for a period covering 1 year. The most common fee I have seen is 20% of the original software price and the highest fee I have ever seen is 50% of the software price. I have unanimously rejected any software package charging 50% of the software’s price for subsequent years, so I believe I will be unanimously rejecting any software sold at the Envato Marketplace.

Please do not try to make a winning counter-argument based on criticizing my choice of words. I have a lot of software that I need to be able to update regularly and these charges are simply out of line with what is customary and appropriate.

Where in the world did Envato come up with this ridiculous 6 month thing?

I have never heard of being limited to purchasing support 6 months at a time. Clearly Authors should be allowed to offer 1 year terms if they so wish. Clearly Envato could help make sure that this risk was minimized.

Regardless, this notion of 6 months is a neat way to shove this non-standard and I say unethical pricing structure down our throats.

A product that costs $100 is really $137.50 to receive an industry standard 1 year support & warranty.

To extend that product’s support & warranty for an additional year, it will cost $125. That’s not just wrong, that’s a scam. Software maintenance & support for a subsequent year is a FRACTION of the original cost of the software - - and FYI so you know my objection ahead of time - it is NOT a fraction of the current price of the software!. What idiot willingly pays more for the software’s support for an additional year? Nobody. This is a dishonest business practice - when purchasing software you are not told that to receive critical security updates to your software will cost more on an annual basis than the price you see before you.

The notion that support has expired and someone should pay more to purchase a support contract is just plain wrong. It’s not justified at these outrageous rates. Further, the cash flow demands that Envato is creating are so exorbitant that there had better be a very generous grace period to renew those support terms - Does Envato think I have nothing better to do than to manage the support contracts of dozens of items I have purchased over the years? It’s beyond ridiculous, because I can’t purchase support terms in advance, but only when they come up for renewal… Sheesh!

My research tells me that support contracts have been in the area of 20-25% of the original cost of the product for a very long time. That means for a $100 product, the cost to extend support for a 2nd year should be $25 maximum, and Envato should be reducing their commission by at least 50% for those purchases for these purchases bear no relation to how Envato manages the marketplace, and instead are completely related to the quality of the product and support that the developer provides.

There should be a greater incentive to maintain support in order to receive automatic updates for web-based products. This policy is so absurd that I can only envision it creating incentive to download products from hacker websites where the code is littered with viruses and malware.

Furthermore, Envato should be allowing authors to set their own rates & terms for these items. Obviously some products require more support than others, and authors should be allowed to offer higher levels of support for mission critical applications. By all means, authors should be allowed to offer fair prices in contrast to the absurd rates that Envato is forcing on all of us.

When is Envato going to take a reasonable amount of responsibility for these products - I have had authors pull products without notice, and what is Envato going to do for me for all the money they are insisting I pay to authors?
They’re not going to do anything - not even allow me to download the latest copy of that software that I purchased. I have never been contacted for any type of partial refund when this has happened.

Lastly? Envato takes all of our money ahead of time and then has the unmitigated gaul to tell us that any money on deposit not spent within 1 year is theirs to keep. But they don’t let me specify any amount of money to add to my account so that I don’t have extra money on deposit with them. If I want to purchase something for $11, I have to deposit a minimum of $20. Envato can’t find the goodwill to conduct business in such a way as not to make people hand over more money than they need to, and they can’t find a better policy than having the funds expire after 1 year?

And I wonder where that idea of funds expiring after 1 year came from, where was that guy when someone was trying to figure out how long a software warranty or support contract should last?

If I have made any factual errors in what I have stated above, please let me know and I will correct it immediately.

I am also curious if any of these bizarre policies and pricing formulas have anything to do with Australian laws, at least providing some explanation for all of this horribleness?


#2

Lot of words, but you are obviously missing one important thing - updates ARE available even after support expiration.


#3

Updates are free forever, only support is capped at 6 months.

There is no industry standard for support length for web templates.

Your funds don’t expire after a year, simply contact Envato support and they will re-instate theme, the 1 year soft disable is a requirement against money laundering, same with gift cards etc.


#4

I swear to God I was just sitting on the couch and thought to myself, “Wait, maybe updates ARE available”… and your posts were here. This has escaped me the entire time - and I have been reading the documents. I’m dyslexic, maybe I jumped around the information on this topic and was focusing my attention on the parts that would cost $.

Anyone’s need for support goes down over time, I still stand by this pricing structure being bizarre.

How come there isn’t some kind of nominal fee for the software updates?

Nothing I buy here is reasonably considered a web template. The programming required easily qualifies it to be comparable to any other software.

The overwhelming number of WordPress related products that have a specific period of support area are warranted for 1 year. 6 months is an invention of convention by Envato.

For the record I don’t think the 6 months is some way of Envato squeezing more money out of us - I believe it’s there to mitigate risk. However, 25 products renewed every year means 50 renewals a year. Come on, the simple logistics of that alone are absurd.


#5

PS I forgot to thank you earlier @tommusrhodus about the info about asking support to reinstate any unused balance. Thanks.


#6

Nobody is forcing you to renew anything. Would you really require support for all those items after 6 months? I rarely get support question from buyers who purchased a theme several months ago. But in the end, it is always on author if he decide to help buyers with expired support or not. Some authors will provide shi**y support even if you still are within support period.