I didn’t know exactly how to pose this on the forum in the form of a subject/title.
It seems I’ve run into a few cases where a customer buys a template as a web designer, demands adjustment after adjustment for their client – presumably with the threat that they will issue a poor rating in return.
What happens is the theme developer ends up catering to the buyer, basically creating a new site for their buyers client, and does so because of a looming poor rating that may or may not effect the overall ratings of their theme.
I’m sure others have experienced this, but I’m curious to know how they handle it – and if there is any way Envato could somehow prevent this abuse?
Theme ratings do not affect sales.
You have to draw a line somewhere. It’s tough when you’re trying to avoid a poor rating but ThemeProvince is right… one irrational or unfair rating isn’t going to ruin you.
People are going to try and take advantage of a system no matter what checks and balances are put into place. Just do what you think is fair and move on.
You have to draw a line somewhere. It’s tough when you’re trying to avoid a poor rating but ThemeProvince is right… one irrational or unfair rating isn’t going to ruin you. People are going to try and take advantage of a system no matter what checks and balances are put into place. Just do what you think is fair and move on.
OT: shell shocked Jami
I don’t do any customization for any of my themes. I simply draw the line. The exceptions are questions like, “How do I change the color of…” and such where it might take a short line of CSS code or something I can provide from memory.
Just today a customer asked how to take 2 graphics (both part of the theme) and make them work as a link with one being default, the other the hover state. I simply explained the general concept, “You’ll need to make a new hover state for the link using CSS …” but also told them that they will have to create that custom CSS themselves because I don’t offer customization for any of my themes.
You can always follow up with something like “I’m always here to answer questions if you have a problem or the theme isn’t working… etc…”
Let them know you’re there to help, but don’t work for them. This is challenging because some customers are going to get pissed. I mean really pissed. I remember one person saying something like “It’s just a simple blah, blah, blah. I’m sure you could do it in 5 minutes. I don’t understand why you won’t just give me this code.” In these cases I restate that I do not do customization, and follow up with, if the task is as simple as you say I’m sure you can do it yourself or find a freelance developer to help.” It’s unlikely a customer like this is going to change their stance on the issue but as long as you’re clear and consistent it works out in the end.
Just last week a “potential” customer claiming to have a pre-sales question threatened to write a nasty review of me and my support on their (according to them) popular blog simply because I would not answer a question that I believed was too specific to be anything but a support question. They sent the request from my company website and I only allow support emails to come through the ThemeForest form on my profile page. This is for my protection from piracy as well as my support work flow requires it. Even after several back and forth emails explaining the policy and why I would not answer until they used the TF form they still refused and threatened the bad review. It was around this time that the person claimed to be doing research on TF authors and the level of support they offer. I didn’t care who they were or what the were going to write. I told the person I don’t respond to rudeness or threats. I was glad they chose not to buy my theme because it was a customer I didn’t need. If they were going to get that angry over a simple request to send the email in a way I could ensure they had not stolen my theme, just imagine the problems that could later come up when I didn’t setup the theme for free or any 1 of 1,000 things.
You’ll get used to it in time.
ThemeProvince saidThen themes ratings do affect sales don’t they?
CLINE123 saidYou see themes with 2000+ sales but only rated 4 stars. Its only when a theme is rated less than 3 stars or less then people starting asking questions.
ThemeProvince saidReally? How did you arrive at this conclusion?
Theme ratings do not affect sales.
I don’t even give a theme a first look with 3 or less stars. Whether the low rating is deserved or not I just don’t have the time to take the risk. This means good themes ARE losing sales.
I would recommend getting out of the habit of doing free customization as quickly as possible. I spent months giving in to every customization request and ended up doing hundreds of hours of work for free all in the aim of keeping buyers happy.
I now operate by a very simple rule: If I can provide the code needed without having to open php files, connect to test servers and test code then I will. Otherwise I provide the theory behind what they are trying to achieve and offer the basic approach I would take to achieve it. If they want someone to provide the code for them they will have to do it themselves or hire a freelancer to do it.
I have found that 99% of buyers understand the situation and are appreciative of the general help and guidance.