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dnp_theme says

The way you treat the “noobs” is what makes you a good author at the end of the day, because if you come to think about it, all buyers are “noobs”, else, all buyers would be authors and we’d be out of business.

I strongly disagree, I’ve had the great pleasure of working with hundreds of amazing and hard working people, it was an honor to have had the chance to provide support for them, hats of and all respect. All my work is dedicated to them.

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Enabled Volunteer moderator says


The way you treat the “noobs” is what makes you a good author at the end of the day, because if you come to think about it, all buyers are “noobs”, else, all buyers would be authors and we’d be out of business.
I strongly disagree, I’ve had the great pleasure of working with hundreds of amazing and hard working people, it was an honor to have had the chance to provide support for them, hats of and all respect. All my work is dedicated to them.

I wasn’t pointing fingers at the way you do business, I was simply remarking upon the paradox of insulting the very people who purchase our scripts. In the end I don’t mind that you don’t provide support! You’re not obliged to! But at the same time you cannot ask staff to remove your 1 star ratings when you’re not providing 5 star support. And that’s about all I have to say. Again, this is my personal opinion. I didn’t mean to insult or attack you in any way! :) I’m sorry if I did so.

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familychoice says



Calling noobs some of your buyers is unprofessional, those “noobs” make you a living, most of them are just glad to read some extra things if you just send them some guides for newbies. You’re not selling your services to developers here, but to normal people, that are not programmers. Joomla and WordPress are for normal people, the so-called “noobs” by you, you’re not selling themes and templates to programmers.
Actually it’s the opposite, I am making a living with the others 99% who rated me 5 stars, and the noobs ask for refund :)
The way you treat the “noobs” is what makes you a good author at the end of the day, because if you come to think about it, all buyers are “noobs”, else, all buyers would be authors and we’d be out of business.

I think you’ll find some of us are perfectly capable of building our own themes too, and a few might even have more experience of design and development than the majority of theme developers on TF.

Try to replace ‘noob’, with ‘customer’ and you might get less 1 star ratings, and bear in mind you’re providing a product and a service to a wide range of buyers.

I buy themes and plugins not because I can’t do it myself, but because paying someone else $40 to do the hard work and then tweaking things afterwards is sometimes a better investment of my time (and yields a bigger return) for some projects than spending a week building things from scratch.

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Enabled Volunteer moderator says

I was adding a word between “quotes” because I don’t agree with this term either! ;)

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familychoice says

I was adding a word between “quotes” because I don’t agree with this term either! ;)

Good to hear it, I hate that term. I mainly wanted to pick up on the ‘you’re not selling themes and templates to programmers’ comment though as sometimes you will be, and “noobs” can spend quite a bit of their time providing a free bug-fixing and usability feedback service for some developers.

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Enabled Volunteer moderator says


I was adding a word between “quotes” because I don’t agree with this term either! ;)
Good to hear it, I hate that term. I mainly wanted to pick up on the ‘you’re not selling themes and templates to programmers’ comment though as sometimes you will be, and “noobs” can spend quite a bit of their time providing a free bug-fixing and usability feedback service for some developers.

I provide support to all my buyers exept the ones who start out angry or simply like to insult my hard work! I accept 1 star ratings because it’s a job that implies working with people. Some may bot like my comments, attitude, it’s a trade thing! Even Apple gets bashed, and those guys have amazing support!

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familychoice says



I was adding a word between “quotes” because I don’t agree with this term either! ;)
Good to hear it, I hate that term. I mainly wanted to pick up on the ‘you’re not selling themes and templates to programmers’ comment though as sometimes you will be, and “noobs” can spend quite a bit of their time providing a free bug-fixing and usability feedback service for some developers.
I provide support to all my buyers exept the ones who start out angry or simply like to insult my hard work! I accept 1 star ratings because it’s a job that implies working with people. Some may bot like my comments, attitude, it’s a trade thing! Even Apple gets bashed, and those guys have amazing support!

+1

That’s a good attitude to have. There’s a skill in dealing with difficult clients/customers which some developers don’t have, and seem to forget their responses are being watched by potential customers. To be honest it’s a skill I don’t always manage to employ so I admire anyone that does. However I think it’s perfectly justifiable to remove support when clients/customers become rude or offensive.

As for the 1 star ratings – it’s unlikely even the worst theme would warrant such a low rating or it wouldn’t make it onto TF. Potential buyers know this, and understand that it’s been used as a vote of protest. Rather than falsifying the ratings and removing them, developers would do better to try and deal with the reasons for the bad feedback.

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sevenspark Volunteer moderator says

As for the 1 star ratings – it’s unlikely even the worst theme would warrant such a low rating or it wouldn’t make it onto TF. Potential buyers know this, and understand that it’s been used as a vote of protest. Rather than falsifying the ratings and removing them, developers would do better to try and deal with the reasons for the bad feedback.

I agree with you on the whole, but we face two issues at the moment (regarding your last sentence above).

1. Not all 1-star “protests” are valid (see below for examples)

2. We currently don’t always know why we’re getting a 1-star rating (which is why we need a review system, which they’re working on).

Many customers here are excellent developers themselves, no question.

Many customers are inexperienced an willing to learn. It’s great to see customers with a self-starting attitude, and when they come to the author for support because they hit a wall, they’re eager to learn, grateful, and go on their way trying to improve themselves.

Unfortunately, there are also inexperienced customers, who believe they know what they are doing, but are in fact mistaken – these ones are the problem. I’m not in any way suggesting that this describes all or even most buyers, but there is no denying they exist. When they ask for support, they blame the product when the vast majority of the time they did not follow the instructions. These are the customers whose ratings are, well, useless, because they don’t reflect the quality of the product they are reviewing. Here are a few examples of reasons (ranging from silly to ridiculous) why I’ve received 1-star ratings from these buyers:

1. Plugin didn’t “work” because stylesheets and javascript weren’t loaded – 1 star!

(The theme the customer was using did not call wp_head() or wp_footer().... )

2. HTML template won’t install on my WordPress site – 1 star!

(Customer did not understand the difference between an HTML template and WordPress theme)

3. Author won’t write 300 lines of CSS to customize the plugin for free – 1 star!

(Theme authors can’t be responsible for free customizations for stock products, but customers still “protest” this with 1-star ratings).

4. No refund on a working product? 1-star!

I just recently had a customer who had flipped all the settings in their plugin control panel and then reported (rather abusively) that the plugin was broken. I reverted all settings to the defaults and the plugin worked perfectly, and did some free customizations to make it styled just the way they wanted with their theme. They were happy and thanked me for making it work perfectly for them. Then they changed their mind and decided they didn’t want to use the plugin after all, and requested a refund. I told them they were free to contact Envato and request it, but that since the plugin works properly, they were unlikely to receive it. Their response? 1 star!

(By the way, I tend to go above and beyond with support and I have a paid support assistant as well, like many authors, in order to provide the highest level of support possible)

That’s not to say there aren’t valid 1-star ratings from intelligent customers – certainly there are. My point is that not all customers are reasonable (neither are all authors, I’m sure). But I suspect 1-star ratings are more frequently unreasonable and unwarranted than any other rating. While I don’t have a problem with 1-star ratings standing (like you said, I think most savvy customers understand the implications and it won’t prevent sales of a good product), I can understand the issue here. I also think that these issues are frequently not addressable problems with the product, but more often indicative of a lack of understanding on the buyer’s part (as in my examples above). That’s why these 1-star ratings really bother us from an author’s perspective.

Again, the intent here is not to attack customers at all. I think most customers are great and I enjoy interacting with them. There are a few bad apples in any barrel. I just wanted to provide some perspective on what we deal with and what 1-star ratings often really indicate.

All that said, I think that asking for a review to accompany low ratings alleviates this issue significantly. :)

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Codestag says

+1 for having the username of the customers that rated 1 star. And a reason.

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familychoice says

1. Not all 1-star “protests” are valid

Like a website design company, you’re selling a technically complex product to customers with a range of abilities. From their perspective their rating is valid and arguing or complaining about ‘noobs’ will only alienate other potential buyers. You can only do your best and try and ‘educate’ clients by providing as much information as you can and dealing with complaints/enquiries in as polite a manner as you can, which I’m sure you do. But if you’re not happy with the client/customer/seller relationship then maybe this isn’t the business for you.

We regularly get clients complaining and bad mouthing our company because of ‘hosting problems’ (due to their own cache/ISP issues 99.9% of the time), ‘problems with their website’ (Wordpress installations that haven’t been updated for 7 years) and I even received an abusive outburst regarding my ‘f* bad support’ despite responding to their enquiry ten minutes after they sent it, on a Sunday morning, and which again was an issue caused by their own stupidity/incompetence/negligence.

It used to get to me, now I ignore it. Fck ‘em, they pay the bills at the end of the day so everything they say is valid. But if I don’t like it then I try not to take it personally, eventually they’ll go away and bother another company.

The important thing is to deal with any issues in a calm and professional manner. Potential customers won’t be looking at the ratings breakdown as much as they’re watching your replies in the comments section, and being helpful will get lots of praise to offset the bad customers.


2. We currently don’t always know why we’re getting a 1-star rating (which is why we need a review system, which they’re working on).

You’ve just listed a whole load of reasons, so you’re obviously getting some feedback. Can of worms, ignore the occasional 1 star ratings and love your genuine customers – otherwise you’ll spend all your time arguing against the comments.

Chill out, basically or you’ll end up as grey as I am. Life is short, don’t wast your time on timewasters, genuine customers will see through the 1 star ratings and those that don’t are probably customers you wouldn’t want anyway.

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