+1 for at least test a 2Gb limit
My feedback, for what it’s worth, is that it’s worked as-is just fine and dandy for 6 years therefore it’s not broken therefore it does not need fixing. The only thing that hasn’t worked so far is Envato’s ability to define what should and should not be expected when buying micro stock.
If authors provided and promised ongoing support/updates, which historically most have done, you cannot legally all of a sudden start charging for what had historically, at time of purchase, been included at no additional cost. Some ‘grandfathering’ in provision for pre vs post tos/support plan purchases needs to be included.
On behalf of all buyers, I’m confident/hopeful that envato will do the right, legally compliant step of adding in some grandfathered provision to honor support/update promises originally made by authors at time of purchase (and observed as ‘typicality of support provided at time of purchase’), to take care of prior purchases. This is my final post on the topic, I know envato needs time to research this (call the ACCC/FTC) and develop a fair, balanced honest approach.
stewboon said Q. Before the start of the new policy, what if a buyer believed they were buying with access to more than 6 months support? A: Buyers should be able to trust the item descriptions, but assume that support will get limited soon to 6 months.
That was not in place at time of purchase, so some ‘grandfathered’ in provision for ongoing support needs to be provided to buyers who bought Before the limited-support policy goes into effect. Check with the FTC/ACCC for compliance laws in this regards. Whether or not specified in the TOS on the site; what counts is the ‘typical sales/support’ that was seen/provided to buyers at time of original purchase. Which was not 6 months limited support. We bought on the premise of author promises and observations that ongoing support is included, which is what we saw at time of purchase.
+1 more buyers should speak up… or else you hear from the 5% loud authors who don’t want to provide support like the topsellers already provide. Let’s get BALANCED input. You saw from Buyer Survey what expectations are, right?https://speakerdeck.com/envato/buyer-survey-key-results-item-support
click the ‘play button’ to see other results on survey at top of page. If there’s a big disconnect between buyer and seller expectations, BUYERS/customers win since we’re who pays you. Money talks. In my business I survey customers every few months and update/adjust my business based on what they say. That’s why I’m a topseller in my industry. I listen to and RESPECT/respond to my customers, who reward me with high sales. At least that’s worked the 15 years I’ve been online fulltime.
to clarify, by support I don’t mean customization work; just what topsellers in TF are already providing included, which is what other WP theme companies already provide, is forums with 24-hr response time to questions about themes/css fixes/how to implement features etc. Overall the issue is there’s a lot of different authors with different ideas about what they are obligated to provide w/support right now.
For your competitors, most major WP theme companies have forums with ongoing timely support. Some have annual plans (and developer licenses, eg for less than a few hundred $ you can use multiple WP themes on multiple client/personal sites, unlike envato which has restrictive one-project usage license, which is very expensive if you want to use theme on multiple sites), and they have active forums with 24-hour responses. Check out from buyers’ standpoint what others provide.
Here, the topsellers usually provide solid support (like ‘avada’ and ‘the7’ themes, and revo slider, all which provide great support), which potential buyers see, and we use to decide whether or not to buy.
But what about the other 90% authors who have WP themes or plugins that only sell a few dozen…how much support should they be required to provide? It’s hard to make a one-size fits all policy that meets needs of both buyers and authors; that’s the big challenge.
I agree re I think it should mostly stay the way it is, since it has worked reasonably well and meets buyers’ expectations.
the only thing you might want to add is a completely Optional for-pay “platinum support” type program for NEW Purchases made After it’s announced, on a per-theme/product basic that authors can choose, or not, to participate in, which would for say an extra half the cost of the theme per year guarantee 24 hour turnaround time, or something like that. Key is it’s the author’s choice whether or not to offer a platinum upgrade plan. and if they do, envato should get maybe 10% of that as fee not 30%.
basic support should still be provided within 72 hours for a reasonable number of questions, like up to 2-3/month for as long as the product is still selling, or a year, or something like that… for all new sales…for pre-existing grandfathered in sales the support situation should stay the same since that’s how it worked at time of original purchase which is why us buyers bought, we saw upgrades/support that’s included w/purchase price.
but a totally optional platinum plan might be a good way to test the idea of paid premium super-fast support, but Only for authors that want to offer it. it’s not worthwhile likely for occasional, new authors so don’t force all authors into one plan, since that doesn’t “one size fits all” actually doesn’t work well since so many different author types, is my .02
I think it also highlights the need for a consistent support/update policy here, which is good that envato is working on.
Some authors provide regular updates, eg whenever a new Wordpress version is released, others flake out and never update. (before I buy, I check this type of thing carefully).
Some authors provide timely fast support (bestselling good authors) while others flake out or take forever to answer questions, if at all.
It’s very challenging to develop standards given so many different individual author approaches, time they have to support, and more.
As a buyer I focus my energy on buying (often multiple licenses) from those authors who support and update their products, included at time of purchase.
I see the challenge envato faces with so many diverse authors; everyone has different micro-business models that have different resources and value, expectations.
I guess a helpful question is, what do Authors think is a fair ‘grandfather in us prior buyers’ policy to use? Put yourself in our shoes, eg I bought a single-site $58 license for one theme, to use on just one site (which is expensive, compared to other theme companies that don’t restrict usage as tightly), and when I bought it, I saw there’s always support, and I get unlimited updates. Thats’ the expectation you set when you sold it, because that’s how things have worked. Then all of a sudden you want to start charging for support, which when I originally bought, was included free .WTF? is what all us buyers are saying. So we’d end up buying less, most likely, in the future, and go to competitors that don’t charge extra for support.
It’s not easy, and I’m sympathetic to a desire to be paid extra for support, but that’s not what us buyers signed up for when we originally bought so much. So what idea for ‘grandfather in’ /cover us prior buyers? what’s fair for both sides? changing the rules after taking our money isn’t fair to buyers, maybe for new buyers charge them is ok.
What’s valid is the conditions in place at time of purchase, as shown by “typicality” (to use legalese) of observed policy, which historically has been never charging for support or updates here. As a buyer for example if I’ve always gotten updates and support and that’s been typical of all purchases to date (which it has), then it’s a “reasonable expectation” (another legal phrase commerce attorneys use) that the same level of service/support is provided post-purchase. Whether or not that’s in the official tos is not as binding/valid as typicality of use experienced/demonstrated at time of purchase.
So ‘grandfathering in” pre- vs post-support/update charge policy is important. Someone mentioned a similar instance where a theme company that used to offer lifetime theme updates changed to an annual model, those buyers who bought lifetime model are grandfathered in and not charged for updates/support, though all New customers are. That’s fine, and legal.
It’s important you all realize the ‘reasonable expectations’ that were set at time of purchase (nowhere is there for-pay support nor for-pay upgrades here), which is WHY many of us buyers have bought so much. We expect to get what we paid for at time of purchase, which is ongoing support/updates. You can’t take our money then change the rules or tack on new charges for what had been included, After we bought.
If envato wants to start charging for support/updates that’s their perogative, but only for NEW post-TOS change purchases, not for previously-bought items for which we have a legal ‘reasonable expectation’ of ongoing support based on observed behavior by current authors. Feel free to check w/your attorney/ACCC/FTC for clarification. Just like you can’t sell under one license model, then all of a sudden change licensing terms to enforce with older-purchases done under prior license. What Counts is what was in place at time of original purchase. Ask any commerce/trade attorney. I did.
As a top buyer I expect my purchases to be supported, I would never pay additional for support, that’s not what was advertised nor how envato has run for years.
When I bought over 1,500 items, it was without limitations on support, and my expectation (and I’m sure other buyers as well), is that we’ll continue to be supported and get updates since that was in place WHEN we Originally Bought things here.
That was a big part of our purchase decision, is that we saw that ongoing support and no limits on that or updates. That was how envato’s markets operated as ‘general standard practice’ (whether or not in tos/legal docs, what counts is what behavior/generally expected outcomes were the way the site has run historically, is what FTC/ACCC would look at).
Noncompliance or change in terms without grandfathering in support for prior purchases would result in civil actions/complaints via ACCC/FTC for noncompliance of what was provided/advertised at original time of purchase.
You can’t sell something under one set of rules then all of a sudden start charging for what had been included at original time of purchase…check with any legal compliance attorney. I’m sure envato would face legal and ACCC sanctions if they tried to do so (in addition to civil litigation from disgruntled buyers), unless some ‘grandfathering’ in of continued support/updates As Originally Sold/advertised that was in place at original time of purchase.The ACCC is Australia’s equivalent of the FTC for consumer protection: https://www.accc.gov.au/
If envato wants to ‘change their business model’ and start all of a sudden charging for support and/or updates, you need to do so only for NEW purchases made After the TOS/terms have been implemented.
Pre-existing/PRIOR purchases must be supported with business practices that were in place at time of purchase (whether or not in tos/docs, what counts is what was actually provided as a general ‘standard of business behavior’ at time of consumer purchase, which here is no additional limits or additional charges for updates/support). Check with any attorney. I did.