Would this mean I can’t sell my support anymore? What next, paid customisations, so I can’t charge for customisations anymore?
This is another problem Envato have to deal with if they insist on their policy change. Many authors already offer paid support how can you deal with this.
Please guys give suggestions for this situation. If anyone interested in reading my suggestion, it’s in the previous page … http://themeforest.net/forums/thread/item-support-timeout-gathering-more-data/140559?page=21#1109070
Even though I’m not that of a big seller on Envato I have lots of experience as a buyer and a seller too. I also have 15+ yrs of support related experience(in fact I make my living and more out of it still) so I hope my comments will be useful for the community.
First of all I have to draw the line and make sure that I don’t accept Envato(or any partner of mine) to change terms without asking me and on top of that downgrading me from a partner to an employee.
But for the sake of this discussion lets I say I was asked and accepted(digitally signed) the new terms.
I find it rather annoying having to go back and forth from Envato to my email or my own support platform when clients come from Envato, no1. priority should be Envato building a support system that they can manage and review. Having a two or three way support system will only add problems to this. Next I must comment and criticize the way that Envato is trying to use the support feature(which I believe is essential overall) and that is screwing the Authors. If Envato said that we ll get paid for adding support on our items lets say 80% of the item price per month after a 1 month free support then everyone would be happy. Since Envato must make some money out of it they should either add their 30% on top of that or subtract it from the Authors which is actually what will happen.
In this case as it seems we’ll get paid much less than 80% of the price item for support AND give away 30% of that price. In fact they are trying to squeeze our profits so they will get their own profit without offering any service to us or to buyers while at the same time they are forcing us to deliver support within a few days(I already do this but I choose to I’m not forced by anyone and will never be, ever!). That alone is a strong reason to believe that Envato will fail to this new project they are trying to setup.As a conclusion, you cant add a middle man in a support service unless that middle man offers a part of the service too. Envato doesn’t offer anything here, not even the support system itself.
^ This! .. I don’t want to repeat things, but there is no “Thumbs Up” button here (maybe a future improvement you can add).
downgrading me from a partner to an employee.
This is a very good point I wanted to stress on. Mandatory support without even a support tool, like an employee without a desk!
My advise is to start with developing a support system like many others said, this support system can be with reasonable monthly subscription (something make us choose to pay, not forcing us to cut of our income and time). After one year or so of running it successfully, you can start to offer “Pro” support packages by the authors who decide to opt-in this “Pro” support program, the others who didn’t opt-in, will continue offering standard support.
For example when you go to the support section of each buyer/item, you will find either both standard & pro support OR standard support only. Standard is the same as the current free support that any author here offer, not required, the pro is the one that you pay for (as a buyer) and is required to be in a specific timeframe or so. If the author choose not to offer support at all, there is no “Support” tab is his profile/items page.
“Pro” support packages, can guarantee faster response, several support methods (email, chat, phone… etc, Inside the support system that Envato should develop first) and any other advantages over the standard support that make the buyer choose to pay for it. In the same time you don’t force the author to offer it if he\she can’t.
The Specs of a support system that I’m looking for
Myself after trying different types of support systems (email, forums, tickets), I prefer the private tickets system (for personal information like server information, passwords .. etc) with FAQs section (like in the current item comments) for not answering a repeated question several times, and the ability to create replies with text formatting (bold, italic, lists, links …etc), inserting images (even from external host) and of course code highlighting.
It also need to have a good search and filtering capabilities, and of course ticket status feature (open, solved, closed, pending …etc).
Hope that suggestion make sense.
1. Envato needs to spend the time and money to build and host a complete and functional support system for all of us to use. Something that integrates completely with our products, with buyer licenses, and any other pertinent info that makes managing a support system for Envato products easier to maintain. As a whole, the author community has wasted millions of hours, each of us coming up with our own support systems. Just setting up a support system alone is a huge task… and if you want to integrate it with the API and sales data that a whole other huge undertaking. Envato could have a single, centralized support system will all the bells and whistles that we can just “use”. How nice would that be!
2. Envato should employ a support staff to answer basic HTML, CSS, WordPress, etc. support questions (and give authors a quick button in “Envato’s new wonderful support system” to push these questions off to) so authors don’t need to support questions that are “general” questions… We should only need to answer questions that pertain to our specific files.
3. There should be a full set of FAQs on Envato for all the major project categories that we can link to for general question as well… Even if it’s an author populated archive. Just something that we can all use without each author having to create their own on their own support system.
There’s probably a whole slew of other things that Envato could do “for the authors” to help us optimize our time, create better files, create better customer relationships, and generate more money for everyone. But it seems all the burden and expectations gets put on authors, with limited resources and time, trying to figure these things out flying by the seat of our pants.
+1Envato should initiate these kind of things first and then think about mandatory support. Replying the buyer questions that are not related to item is a huge burden – that should be handled through centralized help section. We better do these kind of efforts and then call ourselves “COMMUNITY”.
That said, why would you refuse or deny support to someone that paid you ? You are only required to respond and give a fix if the issue is caused by your product or help within the limits your willing to go to support your own product.
Simply because some people don’t deserve it and I wan to keep the right to say NO! And I would keep it anyway! I am a free man. Came here to sell my product to whomever want’s it. I am NOT selling my time and services and definitely NOT doing it on flat rate someone else decided. I have agreed to sell my products under certain conditions. Now they change the conditions and the only thing we hear is “We MAY eventually think about your concerns, but at the end – take it or leave it”. Well – I would rather leave it.
If the problem is with my product I would fix it anyway as I always did. But I wouldn’t help anybody who don’t deserve my time and efforts. My products ARE working. Checked, reviewed, proven. Ask the right way – you get help. Treat me like I owe you – may God help you if you get in trouble with my file. That’s it.
If it suits YOU – stay and do what someone else want’s you to do on a price someone else decided.
I am not that desperate. It’s as simple as that. That’s what we are discussing. Something definitely not right happening and we express our opinion. You don’t agree and can’t understand – sure! You have the right to do so, just like the others have the right to say NO.
So, as a final conclusion (and this time I would really not write here anymore):
1. For now I’ll wait and see how would things go on 1st of December (or whenever it kicks in)
2. I would not support someone just because someone decided to bundle my time with my product IF he doesn’t deserve it
3. I would not GIVE 30% of my side earnings to anybody. I could eventually TRADE those 30% for something in return if the offer suits me. I would rather ADVICE my customers not to buy support packs as they would still get support and risk to be banned. Giving money for nothing is not part of my life philosophy.
4. If I decide to stay – I’ll find a way to make it worth it for me with the new conditions and probably trick/exploit the system whenever I can.
Last but not least – I still LOVE envato, I am still loyal and grateful for everything they gave me till now. I just can’t tell for how long I would be able to do so in the light of the latest announcements.Peace to everybody. I am tired of this and going to do what I do best – work/design/develop.
Two years and half ago, I had some vision problems and had to make an eye surgery. After it I was not able to work in front of the computer monitor for about 2 months. No work, no support, no anything!
How can I or anybody manage a situation like this with mandatory support?! That’s the first question came to my mind.
I really can’t see the reason to make item support mandatory! Almost all of us provide support, everyone manage it the way he/she like and suit his/her style of life and available time. And we grow together, we and Envato, what is the problem to make changes?
Support put a lot of stress on authors, it needs a lot of time specially if you have a big amount of sales. We asked Envato several times to develop a support system because the comments system is not practical. Yes it got improvements and updates over the last year, but it’s not enough. So it’s very surprising to hear about mandatory support without support tool!
I think to manage a mandatory support, you need your own support system (I mean Envato), this is the only way to manage problems like customer blackmailing and bad ratings. By the way, are you (Envato) ready to the headache of judging between angry buyer and author?
And what about support ratings?!! We are selling themes and plugins here, not support!! Why should I give 30% of my time cost to anybody for nothing when I’m already giving 30% of the main item cost (for marketing and hosting..etc, I know and I accept)?
If you want to cover the costs of developing a practical support system, and do us a favor in the same time, I can accept paying a monthly/yearly subscription fee for a good dedicated support system for Envato marketplaces, without ratings or forcing me to provide support.
For the hopeful voices here, with all the respect. I suggest a beta release of a support policy like this, and see if you will do the SAME work you already do, or the things will get worse in terms of the amount of support tickets and customer happiness.
Long story short, my concerns are:
- Mandatory support, it’s not a good idea specially for freelancer who work alone, or who make work to sell on Envato as a part time. Most of us are individuals not companies. Just leave it optional or not a requirement as it is.
- Support ratings. Are we really need several kinds of ratings?! Items ratings, support ratings? So if a buyer like my item, but don’t like my support, he will give a positive item rating and negative support rating? Not at all.
- Support tool. I may choose to give a mandatory support but if I have a dedicated support tool, but giving 30% of my time cost for supporting customers on my own support system? hosting, expenses…etc, sorry, will not work.
Sorry for the long comment, and my bad english. Sincerely, Ahmed
That’s great, thank you!
I think I’m going to give freshdesk another shot.
I would recommend freshdesk rather than ticksy. I was with ticksy and zendesk for about 4 months but moved to freshdesk because of all of the features it offer. IMO freshdesk is hands-down the best support system available. One thing I love about freshdesk is that it allows us to add our own JS code (they use jQuery btw). With that you can basically do anything you want, like verifying purchase codes.
I already used freshdesk trial before, the main thing I’m missing in solutions like freshdesk and zendesk (generally any email support system) is the lacking of some important tools as a WP developer such as syntax highlighter or even a simple way to insert code snippets without using external tools like pastebin. And inserting inline images. I’m not sure if freshdesk cover my needs, let me know if I’m wrong.
Did you make any success developing a solution for verifying purchase codes? Do you mind to share it if any?
Hi, thinking about moving to “ticksy” support system. But I’m confused which is better to start with, a “public support system” or private one.
The public mode is more like a forum so tickets can be answered by other buyers and any body with similar case can see the answer directly without opening new ticket, this is the main
if not only advantage of the public mode. The disadvantage is the fact that all public tickets are viewable by any unregistered visitor.
The private mode is more private for both, me and the buyer. No unregistered visitors can see question or answers. This disadvantage is the multiple tickets for same case. But this maybe can be resolved by creating FAQs for popular/repeated questions.
What do you think guys?