2 posts
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 5 years
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e4girl says

It seems that lately authors are just not following through with promises. I have been a member for almost 4 years and spent over $1,000 on various themes, plugins, graphics and other miscellaneous files (I like to try to support authors that seem promising).

Until last week, I’d never requested a refund (I did get a refund) but I am now also considering asking for 3 more. Why? Because I ask a lot of pre-sale questions to understand what the product does or doesn’t do and to make sure it will work the way I need it to.

Now, I’ve made mistakes in the past (bought something without fully reading the description but that’s my fault), but when I spend time researching the product and speaking with the author on it, it’s just so disappointing and frustrating when it doesn’t do what it should. Then when I follow-up with the author and get … well, nothing. No response, no “I’m sorry, this can’t be done after all”, nothing. It makes me feel like I wasted my money and my time.

I understand that authors are not required to support their products but when they say they will, they should. I’m not talking about customization – I’m talking about ensuring the product works as promised in the description and in the pre-sale questions.

On these last few items (all in a row!), I’ve waited weeks for answers (going on 3 months for 1 of the products). I’ve left comments and sent emails multiple times … nothing.

I guess I want to know is how the community and Envato feel about this? Is this becoming a more common practice? It seems like the odds of getting 4 products in a row that don’t do as promised should be really low – but this can’t be just bad luck.

This is my first post in the forum. If this is the wrong category, I apologize.

36 posts
  • Has sold $1,000+ on Envato Market
  • Has collected 1+ items on Envato Market
  • Sells items exclusively on Envato Market
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 2 years
simplejackbe says

My experience here as a buyer is really positive and I haven’t had any problems whatsoever. I’m sorry to hear you had such a bad luck streak.

Personally I always try to answer within one day to enqueries/questions etc sent by buyers and or potential clients. This should be standard in my oppinion. I fully understand that it is very frustrating to wait on a reply several days / weeks.

It could be some authors are flooded with emails always asking the same, could be ‘hit and run’ authors just selling one thing and moving on.. Who knows. All I can say is: there are a lot of really great people here and a lot of them are highly skilled and passionate in what they do. I’m fairly certain that your situation is indeed a case of extreme bad luck.

Kind regards,
Mats

358 posts
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  • Has sold $40,000+ on Envato Market
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billyf says

Hello,

I think you might just had bad luck. I think most authors would give a response as soon as possible (you can gauge their level of support by checking out the comments section before buying an item), especially some new authors who are in need of larger customer base. I personally respond to all queries within a day and sometimes immediately. However, on rare occasions, a request might just ‘slip’ through my eyes when there’s many emails with many questions.

If the item doesn’t work as described, I think you should report it to Envato. If it’s a pre-sales assurance which isn’t accomplished by the author, I think leaving a reply at the comments would make others wary of the author’s credibility.

In conclusion, I think you should check out the author’s credibility before buying an item because that’s more important than just false promises made before you bought the item. Good luck getting better support from authors in the future!

63 posts
  • Has sold $10,000+ on Envato Market
  • Has been a beta tester for an Envato feature
  • Has collected 10+ items on Envato Market
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PrimeThemes says

Maybe the author is simply not active anymore? For items more than 6 months, I usually (with my buyer account) check the comment section before decide to bought the product.

16 posts
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  • Located in United Kingdom
crystalballltd says

Having bought several items for personal & work use, I have recently had to ask for my first refund also. NOTE: I am also a part time author (adamlcasey)

When purchasing items, I do the same research e4girl mentioned and make certain assumptions about authors from the following info:

1. How many items has the Author published
2. Last time they updated their files 
3. Does the author offer dedicated customer support? 
4. No. of comments item receives (Plus balance of those comments, good or bad) 
5. How long the Authors took to respond to comments
6. Does the Author have Elite author status? 
7. Item rating

The item that I’ve recently had refunded is a WP theme. The author has stated on the Forums, that he’s taken a new job on and doesn’t have the same amount of time to look after this customers queries.

I understand the authors situation, but as I’ve used his item for business use, I can’t afford to wait until he he finds the time to get around to updating his theme. So I decided to shift themes for one that has better support.

This author is an Elite author, his items have sold between $250k & $1million, and he has been a featured author.

When you look at these factors you’d be reassured that buying from an author like this was relatively safe. The truth is I really liked his item and maybe I was a little blinded by these trust elements/votes of confidence when deciding to buy. But I missed one key element off of my check list. The author has no dedicated support – My fault entirely! Note:This author was prior to this making a really solid effort to reply to support comments inside of his items comments section. But his circumstances have changed and that means his customers are now going to suffer (I’m not the only one there are currently 6-7 pages of unanswered support comments, some of which are really urgent – theme is broken in WP 3.5)

Now I know this maybe an isolated case, however I still believe there needs to be a solution. After all, this item is still for sale and only the backlog of unanswered comments would deter an educated buyer!

So what is the solution???

I believe there needs to be a new badge! (Maybe for complex items only?) That states that this item’s author has signed up to the “Envato customer support promise”.

Now I know this is fairly complex as I imagine some product type would need different levels of acceptable response times. But if a change in circumstances (like the author we’ve just had a refund from) means they can’t fulfil their promise. They loose their support badge. (They can also win it back if things change again)

IMPORTANT: This badge should be as prominent as the current Elite Author button (right next to the buy button). Because currently I believe it is misleading to buyers to show all of these positive trust elements such as 5 stars, Elite Author badges, without stipulating that this author has stopped supporting his item!

What does this me to me as an author?

1. I'd make sure I'm producing better quality items with less bugs
2. I'd look to improve my support documentation
3. I'd make myself more available to customers.

What do I think would be the result?

1. More sales from new customers who spot my support badge when deciding over two items
2. More repeat sales from satisfied customers, who trust that I will keep my support promise.

What do ya’ll think to this?

407 posts
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  • Located in Europe
PaddyTaylor says

While this is a nice idea I am not sure it would work.

Firs toff no author is currently required to offer any support and your suggestion while not having to change this would put pressure on authors to do so.

Many authors have full time jobs as well as here so they do not have time to be able to dedicate that degree of commitment to support and again it would create an unfair position against those who just work from here.

Finally as an author I am sure you are aware of the potential amount of support requests an author receives and the ridiculous nature of some of the requests.

I do think your idea is valid but it would need to be structured very carefully

24 posts
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adamlcasey says

While this is a nice idea I am not sure it would work.

Firs toff no author is currently required to offer any support and your suggestion while not having to change this would put pressure on authors to do so.

Many authors have full time jobs as well as here so they do not have time to be able to dedicate that degree of commitment to support and again it would create an unfair position against those who just work from here.

Finally as an author I am sure you are aware of the potential amount of support requests an author receives and the ridiculous nature of some of the requests.

I do think your idea is valid but it would need to be structured very carefully

Hi Paddy,

I appreciate your comments and understand that no author is required to offer any support. I also agree it would be challenging to implement. I also agree that If I was a complex item author (I’m not), it would give other authors an advantage over me, as I would not be able to gain the highest support badge, as I’m also part time. (Maybe there can be different levels of badges?)

But personally I think that is fair, if they offer better support then I can, fair play to them, they deserve to get more sales than me.

But I posted this with my buyer hat on. I need to know this critical information before I buy. I’ve wasted two to three weeks of my companies time implementing this theme and although they understood the risks in buying cheap themes, this still reflects badly on me. It was unfortunate but potentially could have been avoided had I gone with another author who is on hand full time to support his customers.

Finally as an author & a buyer I’m conscious of the amount and nature of some customers support requests. Unfortunately you can’t always choose your online customers.

However I believe that more needs to be done from Envato to help customers find answers to questions better. (Item comment search!) and help authors streamline how they support customers, possible with new features such as…. allowing easy linking to FAQ’s maybe?

This is a good topic and I’m guessing from Envato’s recent survey they are looking into how to make things better for everyone.

Fingers crossed. :)

407 posts
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PaddyTaylor says

Actually I agree completely with you on many of your points e.g. comment search and that those who offer outstanding service should be recognized more BUT as you rightfully pointed out it is a question of the nature of the marketplace and how it works i.e enforce support etc and would it happen? and if not how many potential or existing authors would give up because they cannot do it?Offering serious support requires the business set up in which to do so and that is a big ask. (you only need to look at competitor sites and how long support takes there and how much custom changes cost – and that is coming form a major business supplier not individual authors).

While I can totally appreciate the frustration on your part having to fix issues that then reflect on you and waste your time and while you obviously do this the right way one of the things that amazes me the most about here is the number of “developers” (and this is is in NO way aimed at you – obviously you have the right knowledge to bring up these points) who buy templates then charge clients to edit them and potentially pass it off as their work. We have seen this week alone someone who is kicking off on forums because an author would not tell them how to change a CSS spacing issue? Personally we would NEVER use a template for paid client services (again i appreciate that different situations require different actions but as you said it comes with dangers of not using custom coded solutions).
I feel strongly for authors who must receive hundreds if not more “support” requests to modify elements because these “developers” cannot do it.

My point with this is that there must be many of these requests and this is NOT SUPPORT – this is CUSTOMISATION. To differentiate these types would greatly help with support issues also.

Again I completely agree with you that there are things that could be done to help both authors and buyers however my concern is that to really achieve these would mean some radical changes in the way the marketplace operates

24 posts
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  • Has sold $100+ on Envato Market
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adamlcasey says

I feel strongly for authors who must receive hundreds if not more “support” requests to modify elements because these “developers” cannot do it.

My point with this is that there must be many of these requests and this is NOT SUPPORT – this is CUSTOMISATION. To differentiate these types would greatly help with support issues also.

Again I completely agree with you that there are things that could be done to help both authors and buyers however my concern is that to really achieve these would mean some radical changes in the way the marketplace operates

I also feel strongly that Authors are being hampered by support queries that potentially should never be asked. As a customer looking for answers to error messages, it pains me to trawl through the item comments to see them clogged up with customisation request or the same question answered several times over previous pages.

From what you’ve said above, I’ve had an idea that I don’t think should be two hard to implement???

When adding a new comment to “Item Comments” there could be a couple of tick boxes that have options to categorize the type of comment.

a. This is a customisation query b. This is an error query c. ?

Then when users search they can filter out those comments that are customisation queries, when they are looking to solve an error?

Over time it would also allow Envato and Developers to see the percentage split of support query type and understand what additional changes could be made to help streamline the support process.

407 posts
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PaddyTaylor says

Yes again you have a good idea there – it would have to be the author that dictates what category it all comes under as users may not realize that they are buying a building block not an out of the box customized ideal solution.

While you would have to rule out the GLWS type posts and it may not cure the bigger scale support questions AS A PART of comment searching this would be a GREAt feature to add – good idea

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