Lead up to WP e-Commerce Premium Support Forum

السلام عليكم, this morning in discussions with Dan Milward (Lead Developer of WP e-Commerce) I raised the hot topic of a paid-forum to deliver timely responses from the Instinct team and community developers to time-critical development questions; the original topic being created by Douglas on Why Don’t You Guys Change This to a Paid Forum? which customers, community developers and myself commented on.

Out of the conversion I gleaned the following nuggets worth posting to the WP e-Commerce community:

yeah we’re planning the premium forum […] we’ve put a lot of thought into it

…so the premium forum will be available shortly!

Operating on the popular token currency system whereby customers purchase credits via credit card, direct debit or PayPal balance – to create support Topics which will notify premium forum moderators and invite their participation. All premium topics once resolved will be moved to another thread that all users can see and benefit from.

Here’s the cool part, WP e-Commerce users running the free release will also be able to get involved. You know as much as I do, I’ll update as soon as I know more, مع السلامة

12 responses... add one

“All premium topics once resolved will be moved to another thread that all users can see and benefit from” that’s a very good approach, the worst thing would be to replace the free forum or pay-wall-off the answers like some dodgy theme sites do.

Shouldn’t anyone who’s paid for Gold Cart or some other module expect decent support as a matter of course? The current support forum is so hit and miss in terms of getting responses and many of the issues I’ve come across tend to be bugs in the code. Asking paying customers to pay more for assistance seems unfair.

I agree with Trevor.

The WP e-Commerce at present does not deliver what it promises on the tin.

Many of the listed functions do not work. Not a case of the end user getting it wrong, but one of the program not actually working.

I like the program, but I’m sorry to say the support lets it down.

I thought I’d help by doing some beta testing, but my posts remain unanswered. I want to help, but no-one seems bothered at the other end.

I have taken an active part in Prestashop coming up with a few solutions of my own, but the developers converse with you over there!

Hey Tyke,

Sometimes “what it seems” is not how it is – we spend all our time working on the Plugin and a “huge” amount of time helping people. To support “everybody” all of the time we’d need to hire a room full of underpaid kids in a third world country – the sheer number of downloads means its hard for us and we do our best. Sometimes we miss people and that sucks for us because over all we want to support everybody and we want everybody to be happy.

In term of listed functions not working – tell us what they are. Otherwise I don’t believe you 😉
The only one I know of that doesn’t work is the Facebook integration due to Facebook changing their APIs…

Why not start contributing now by linking here to some of your forum posts.

Ciao,
Dan

Hi Trevor, the hit and miss support from community developers and limited Instinct developers is what has brought about this new feature; not to flak the hard work done every day by moderators, developers, customers and users of WP e-Commerce.

As a store owner and community developer using WP e-Commerce I’m very likely to be resolving Topics as well as creating new Topics within the premium support as I’ve got my own urgent requirements and issues to adhere and resolve. If it means I have to pay $10 USD to get the attention my site needs then I’m willing to pay.

Gold Cart customers will get access to the premium forum and one token. Additional tokens will cost $10 USD, further moderators will be awarded commission for every 10 Topics marked as resolved leading to quicker and more comprehensive discussions.

Hey Trevor, I agree that all paid customers should get some support BUT the amount of support you get needs to somehow be relative to the amount you have paid. For us that is probably going to be giving everybody that has bought a product 1 free token to ask 1 question. Maybe the business buyers will get 2 tokens – its all being worked out at the moment. Also any people will be able to purchase tokens should they want more prioritized support.

This system will enable us to prioritize and achieve what you say. I fundamentally believe that if somebody has paid for something then they should get some level of support. Heck even if it is us telling them there server is bung or they have a dud host. It happens! Right now at the moment we don’t know if people in the forums have paid or not – this new system is being designed to help the most people most of the time.

I also feel that this will encourage people to first search the forums properly as opposed to just asking questions without thinking. People will value their free tokens and the people spending them will also feel proud that their answered & resolved questions will go back into the resource pool for the whole community.

Our showcase proves that our plugin works. Not just works, but works well for developers and designers and for most people wanting to sell anything online. I think that most of the time people will find what they are looking for if they look – because you can clearly see that people are selling products making a living using the WP e-Commerce Plugin online right now.

Will users still be able to get support by emailing the dev email address? I got assistance with the search not using the product descriptions to generate results and it was determined that there was an extra space in the code.

That’s an example of a function not working and not user inexperience or server problems and it makes sense that I wasn’t charged for bringing this error to light.

Trevor, I agree with you. It does seem silly if a customer has to pay to get an error fixed that was a part of the coding.

We’re probably going to kill off dev email address – partly because doing dev via email means it is hard to collate all the work we do for others to benefit from. Currently only one person benefits from each piece of work we do. Whereas if we do it using the new forums the entire community can benefit.

If people find a bug (like the one trevor described) they will be able to submit bugs to another form specific to submitting bugs and patches – but we will force people to provide decent details that enable us to help without going backwards and forwards groveling for a decent error report. Just like how Automattic do it on their websites 😛

We’re not getting rid of the free community moderated forums. We’re just providing a way for people to deal with us direct – you try calling Automattic the next time you get a permissions problem on your server. You’ll get told to goto the forums, read the documentation or to pay for support.

Best… Dan

Dan
I admit in hindsight my comments were harsh saying there were loads of issues.
I’d like to play an active part in the development of the program, I’m not a coder I just cut and paste a mess with code.
I had hoped the the issues I raised in the beta forum may get a quick “noted” reply from the team as an encouragement to find bugs .
An on a final note can anyone show me a site where the cross selling is working?

For me at this stage, I have purchased the gold cart plugin and am awaiting a support email to actually get it working.

If the premium forums were running, I don’t think it would be fair for me to have to pay more money for help on a paid product that is not working as advertised.

Help on setting things up and similar issues I can understand paying for the extra support but I do expect that what I paid for works, which at this point, doesn’t.

I agree…most of us are ready to pay for support if it could be faster.

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