My key point is this, Envato’s Knowledgebase gives a logical reason why we’re not obligated to provide support here
Whilst we do encourage authors to provide support for their products, they are under no obligation to do so, and this is entirely their choice. This is part of the reason why files on the marketplace are so cheap.
So the only logical conclusion is for authors to receive payment to offer a 6 month support guarantee. Then I will agree that Envato can monitor that agreement is honoured, and enforce rules such as response time windows because authors are being paid to offer such a service. We might sell our items for cheap, but our time is highly valuable.
It’s called a Review Process because there are two outcomes 1) Approval 2) Rejection. If we called it an Approval Process – it’s like assuming everything that get’s uploaded will eventually get approved – which is not the case, some authors upload an item multiple times and get rejected each time and give up.
It may seem like a Review has a negative connotation.. but it’s basically a process that checks if your item meets Envato’s standard for sale. If you get Rejected, it’s easy to take it personally, but it just means you’re not meeting that standard and you need to follow the guidelines or work on your skill set.
Also the Reviewers job is not to help you get approved – their job is to sort out what items are at the standard and which are not, and then they’ll provide reasons which you’ll need to take into consideration for the next time you upload – so they’re not being paid to teach you how to get approved. You need to figure that out, by following the guidelines and looking at what types of items are getting approved to get an idea of what you need to be doing. Practice and patience!
The think the whole concept of mandatory support for micro stock items is flawed, because authors time is far more valuable compared to what he is receiving from a single sale. The only way for this to work, is if customers purchased support time as an additional cost upfront. But the whole idea just doesn’t seem fair at all, just in terms of what the author is receiving, and what he is expected to give – his product, and his time for a few dollars?
RescueThemes saidNo, he is saying that almost every author here is more than happy to support 99.9% of their customers. BUT that 0.1% that has unreasonable demands, threatens you with 1 star ratings and expects you to answer a support question asked on sunday evening within 5 minutes will get even more power to blackmail us than they have now. I am very happy for you that you never had such a guy, but believe me, while i love to help the 99.9% of my customers who are kind and awesome people i also love to tell that obnoxious 0.1% guy to kindly leave me alone.
digitalscience saidYou’re essentially saying that supporting your items is a bad idea.
mandatory support is a bad idea.
Exactly… RescueThemes – once you’ve had your first negative experience with a customer, you’ll understand what I’m talking about. I once worked for a customer on Christams day to help him with support to fix his site, just because he was freaking out so much, it was easier to just do it then and then not have to worry about it on holiday. And at the time he almost assumed I was meant to be on support standby or something. I’ve also had one customer find my land-line number from my ISP and called me for telephonic support … so this is the reason why we need to be protected from those types of demands – especially if they’ll now think they’ve paid for our support time.
2) The ones that eventually want it, will be paying, considering these as new customers, support we are already providing. This is extra income we aren’t making today.
Ok but Envato hasn’t confirmed yet what rate you will get for support packs.. I’m guessing it will be far less than your freelance rate, plus you’ll be giving Envato a 30% cut.
Why exactly do you want to work for Envato and do additional support for a few extra bucks? Rather work for yourself and make more themes!
if a buyer is being unreasonable or demanding, then we don’t have to support them
I don’t see any reason why you would have to support a buyer who is asking for anything beyond what support is defined as. If they’re being unreasonable or demanding, then you can simply explain that what they’re asking for is beyond the scope of the support you’re able to provide.
I haven’t read anything in the announcement that says that customization requests are required.
And if they want more than what’s defined as basic support, then charge them extra for the service. Boom. Cash money, honey.
Haha.. well I can see you’re still in the honeymoon phase of being an author on Envato.. but trust me, in due time you will run into nightmare customers I’ve been here several years and have experienced my fair share to know that mandatory support is a bad idea.
Those that are against making support mandatory, are you saying that you don’t want to do all those things for your items? You don’t want to make a solid product? That you don’t want buyers to trust you and want to buy your products because they believe that you’ll stand by it? In my opinion, this is a win-win for all authors and will generate greater buyer trust which ultimately brings us more sales and moola.
Mandatory support gives buyers too much power and leaves things open for them to be more demanding and also to take advantage. The current “free support” we have now works, because authors are protected – if a buyer is being unreasonable or demanding, then we don’t have to support them. The other reason is the principle of it.. because we signed up to sell our stock items, not our time or have our time managed by Envato – the idea was to be independent. If you’re ok with someone else selling and managing your time for you, then I guess this won’t bother you.
I have no issues with the original announcement. I already provide lifetime support and have less than a 72 hour response time (in fact, most threads are answered in the first 12 hours). Very few users come back 1 month after purchase, let alone 6 months. With the original plan as announced, the only thing that would change is that I’d be making more money and have less support after 6 months. I really don’t see how this could be a bad thing for me. Although, it could be better with an Envato built support system linked to the item page.
It might appear that nothing will change for you.. but the difference would be your time is now being bundled with the item for the same price. The customer now owns you for the next 6 months. Sure they might not ask a support question, but some will – and now you’re locked into an agreement to commit to that. Considering you’ve already spent a large amount of time on your item, and your customer is getting that work for a few dollars – you’re now also guaranteeing more of your time without any additional payment. In the real world, you would not a sell a website to a client for a few dollars, and then tell him you’ll be on support standby for the next 6 months, but on Envato Market where we are not directly selling to customers, it’s easier to give away our work and time for a few dollars without thinking about the bigger picture or what will happen further down the line.
So what are the core author issues with Envato’s current plan for mandatory support? Here are some of my thoughts from author feedback – feel free to add!
- Mandatory support was not part of the original agreement when we signed up – it’s a distortion of the original concept of selling micro-stock items
- There’s no additional compensation per sale for authors to offer a 6 month support guarantee
- We don’t want our time managed, such as the 72 hour response time window – one of the pro’s of being an author is our freedom and that we’re independent
- There is no opt-out for the new support plan, other than to leave the marketplace
- Buyers will have more power for the same price – potential to become more demanding / potential for abuse
- Envato support response time might be too slow to handle author / buyer disputes relating to new mandatory support policy
- A large majority of authors use their own support systems, for support time to be monitored they’d need to switch to an Envato monitored support system which does not exist yet, and the current support system is not a favourable support platform for authors
(I’m a top buyer here)..
ENVATO WP THEME SUPPORT FORUM: ...um you need one—where is it? I would think to myself if I were new here. Why no Envato FORUM with threads for general WP theme support?
+1 We’ve asked for similar features even back in FlashDen days – for example a general support for working with Flash and XML which would save authors time with support… I guess it’s in the pipeline…. For this new mandatory support idea, we’ll definitely need better support systems and tools.