You researched that authors provide support within 72 hours. Okay.
You received a strong feedback that support should not be mandatory. Okay.
But did you ask authors about support packages? Support pricing? Optional it will be or mandatory? Support tools they are using? Their wish overall? No. At least i can’t remember any of these researches. Here they are, in this thread, from real authors.
Andrew, i understand you are working hard on these “improvements”, but WHY on earth you haven’t discussed with us, authors and buyers, do we really need them? You can see in this thread that we don’t. Personally i will not charge users for support in any kind, this is my personal attitude and i am sorry, but you can’t force me to sell it without my permission, because it is a service that i provide according to my availability, it’s not a product on your website.
@Andrew, thanks for the info, now it’s more clear to me.
One thing i want to mention – in this case buyers will be totally confused: You sell support packs, which is actually free on my own forum and we can’t tell users about it. Then user will ask reasonable question – why envato sells support which is actually free? Who will be responsible for this kind of situation?
If you allow us to do this, i think paid support should be optional, otherwise you’ll be called scammers for attempts to sell free support.
“Support is free” or anything similar that contradicts or confuses the item support options or the definition of support, is not allowed.
Thanks for being direct. Let’s assume this situation:
- User purchases the item
- I include the banner that says “I provide support through support forum” which doesn’t break any rules
- User registers and asks quesitons
- I answer these questions for free
Question is – you can control me on themeforest website (item comments section), i am not allowed to provide support for free on TF only. But you can’t set the rules how to manage support on my own website. I will not advertise free support, but i will provide it. I will not force users to purchase support packs and redirect them to my own support system instead. I believe this does work with your rules, doesn’t it? Or you want to sell my time even if i don’t want it?
Anyway, you’re definitely going a wrong way. I understand you want to make money for nothing covering with “reduce buyer confusion”, but in my opinion you are going to make things much more difficult.
andrewfreeman saidDoes ebay charge buyers for asking sellers about shipping? You recommend or you don’t allow us to include “Support is free” banner to item pages? Be direct.
Providing support outside the definition of support for free We believe authors should be compensated for the support they provide. We recommend authors only provide support within the definition and stick to the periods included/purchased by the buyer.
Do you also apply for a work permit?
This problem has been generated by years of wrong mixed-use. What Andrew says is right: being COMMENTS, also users without support must be able to read them (as well as unlogged ones).
I understand, my concern is they want me to provide support in item comments section as well. Most of the authors ask buyers to go to their own forums for support. The question is if they don’t provide a proper support tool for me as i don’t have own support forum, why should i pay 30% of support package? For what? For permission to provide support for my own products? If this is a company-author relationships, i pay this company for SOMETHING, not just for NOTHING.
Buyers will still be able to see the support tab and use the support functionality even if they don’t have a valid support entitlement. Under the new item support policy, authors are fully entitled to ask buyers to renew their support if they are seeking assistance when their support has expired.
@Revaxarts + 1
Do you guys even realize what mess it will cause? If user who didn’t buy a support package goes to item comments, he still can read all author replies to the questions what user who have bought support package asked. The only difference is he won’t have a badge that he purchased it. Where is the logic?
In that case add a basic support forum to author’s profile page, add threads that correspond to author’s items and give access only to users who purchased support package. Comments section will remain the same for GLWS messages.
@Andrew, thanks for the answers, but still the most important questions were ignored as always.
1. Why we can’t control support pricing for our own services?
2. If i want to provide a free support and free updates to avoid any enforcements, can i simply answer user questions for free?
3. What about update period? Let’s say i update items once in 6 months, user simply can purchase support and miss the update, again gives 1 star rating that he also expected updates to come. In this case 1 star is fair enough.
4. If you control prices, why the hell support is so cheap? HTML template costs $25. Author gets $25 / 30% = $7.5 – 30% commission = $5.25 – taxes in my country = ~ $3. Is this a joke? For this 3 bucks i have to satisfy everyone from now on, now i can at least point to the documentation or ignore annoying users. But for $3 i can’t anymore.
From what I understand, updates are also linked with item support. Buyers who don’t have an active support will not be able to access the update.
Could Envato please clarify this?If I understood this correctly than this is a good news for everyone as I believe this will only increase item quality. In case of a major item update, authors wouldn’t need to consider adding the item as a new item. This would mean focusing more on item quality and updates.
But what if update is very important, such as security update as it was with prettyPhoto?
And what if i want to provide a free support with free updates? When i can ignore annoying users after i’ve received 1 star rating etc.
Quick follow up:
As for me, the best solution is to allow authors create their own support packages and set different prices, for example:1. Simple package. Price: $10/year
- Answer questions
- Bug fixes
- Guaranteed 72 hours reply
- Access to updates for 6 months
- All from simple package
- Help with 3rd party plugins integration
- Guaranteed 36 hours reply
- Access to updates for 12 months
- Priority answers
- All from advanced package
- Help with setup and demo data import
- Guaranteed 24 hours reply
- Access to lifetime updates
- Github access
- Feature requests
- Customization issues
You add forums for each item under Support tab or to author profile. We create packages, we select options, we set prices, we give you 30% of package price. At least we know what we are paying for. Win – Win to all parts.