I initially contacted you enquiring if it was possible to purchase a single user licence and then upgrade to a multi-user licence when I'd finished testing.
Your responded offering me an unlimited licence for $50 as you said you needed $150 to secure a new theme.
I actually sent you $75 as a gesture of good will and support!
I appreciated that, and still do. I thought we had gotten off to a very good start, and was excited to have the in-depth feedback you provided regarding the rendering issues in Opera and other issues. I did end up acquiring the theme thanks to your help, and hope to actually release it one of these days when I have the extra hour to spare away from support and programming tasks. It's been sitting on my hard drive, collecting dust.
22/6/2011 – I filed a PayPal dispute.
Hooray – you responded saying that you had left your reply from 3/6/2011 as a draft and that the files could not be downloaded while the order was set as a dispute.
Yes, I made a mistake, you filed a dispute, I apologized, and we were working things out. It seemed like although our business relationship had taken a hit, we were both willing to work things out.
6/7/2011 – I emailed you to advise that I had cancelled the dispute and that I was still unable to download the files.
I did respond to that email right after you sent it. I went inside my Orders dashboard, and marked your payment as Complete, which automatically sends you an email stating that your order is fulfilled and that you can access your downloads. You should still be able to see them here: http://wpstorecart.com/download/my-orders-downloads/
19/7/2011 – I emailed you the following message which you seemed to find “rude”?
Yes, after our PayPal dispute you send me one email, which I followed through on by releasing your downloads & sending the automated email. The next contact I get from you was basically a "I give up, I'm done communicating, and I'm done with your product" sort of email. It took me a bit by surprise. I was expecting more of a "hey, what's up with that bug, did you find a solution yet?" sort of thing.
At that point, since you said you had no further interests, and since I was a bit shocked and offended by your reply, I figured you were serious. Then, I happen to check the forums here, what, 9 days later, and see that now you're out in public trying to wreck my livelihood at a time when rent is just a few days away and I'm $700 short. I have a 3.5 year old daughter, a just turned 2 years old son, a wife, and a cat who I am trying desperately to keep from being homeless. I know, what a sob story huh? But that's the reality of my situation.
So, as you can see here… I sent plenty of emails saying "hey, what's the status on that bug fix?" but you chose to ignore them.
I agree you sent quite a few before the dispute. After the dispute, I got one email from you, which I responded to immediately. I get the next email, and it's the "I quit, have no interests, dead horse" email. I understand why you were so quick on the draw, so to speak, after the dispute, but it still didn't make any sense to me given that I had followed through on the last email.
I’m sincerely sorry that you and your family are struggling Jeff…. But we all have bills to pay. You don’t seem too concerned about my family…I invested $75 in your venture that I had to go out and work hard for, and what did I get for it? .. Well…less than nothing… I didn’t get the wpStoreCart files.. and I wasted time with a plugin which, by your own admission, is fundamentally flawed.
I care about your family, and the PRO files are still right there for you to download any time. And where do I say my plugin is fundamentally flawed? Both Flat Rate and USPS shipping work fine for me. Is there a bug which effects some server configurations? Yes. Does it effect everyone? No. Am I working on fixing it? Yes, I am rewriting the entire shipping module because I cannot recreate your shipping problems. I am going out of my way to fix a problem that I cannot even recreate, because I wanted to help you.
You seem to have time to devote to developing marketing materials (which is reprehensible) and writing page long emails… you’d be better off fixing serious issues.
Yes, let's spend two years and $10,000 creating the best billboard in the universe, and then let's put it in the middle of the desert so that no one ever sees it. Of course I have to do marketing. If I want to make a living, i.e. actually sell something, then I have to tell people about it. Do I like marketing? Hell no, I hate it. I hate ads, I hate selling stuff. I mean, who but the most sadistic person enjoys marketing? And I spend a good 4-6 hours a day just writing emails. It's the most time consuming aspect of my job, especially because of the high volume of email I receive. I agree, my time would be much better spent writing new features, fixing bugs, and otherwise working on improving my product. But I'm a 1 man shop, so I have to wear all the hats. I wear my programmers hat, my support staff hat, my sales hat, my marketing hat, my damage control hat (currently wearing that one now), my web designers hat, etc. etc. The only hat out of those I enjoy is the programmers/web designers hat. Is this reprehensible? Maybe to you, but it's the reality of running a software company to me.
Mike, I recognize my role in this, and not offer an excuse, but a big part of that is that I am overwhelmed by contact. On average, I get over 100 new contacts a day, between pre-sale emails, support emails, support tickets, private messages, facebook support requests, IM, etc. I take every weekend off because I have no choice, I am responsible for my amazing kids on Saturday & Sunday (although I work a bit in the morning, for a few hours during their naps, and then a bit in the wee hours of the morning. My daughter always complains that I work too much, and she's right.) However, every Monday I wake up with about 200-300 new contacts to reply to. With this volume, combined with all my other tasks, I quickly lose track of who is who, where I know them from, what they've ordered, etc. etc.
Not that this is your problem, nor does it justify poor customer service, but I am trying to give you an honest glimpse into my daily work life. Now, if I were making what I used to make when I sold closed source scripts ($3500-$5500/month) then hiring help would be no problem. Also, contacts would be way down, since there would be no free users bugging me all the time. All contact would be either pre-sale or post sale customer support. I think I averaged about 10-20 contacts a day back then.
Anyway, I bring this up because if something doesn't change, instead of one angry "Mike Dee" effecting my business, there may be ten, twenty, or billion angry customers destroying years of hard work due to my inability to keep up with communications & support. I think this situation has been a big wake up call for me that I cannot possible keep up with this volume, and whether or not I can afford it or not, I have to bring in outside help.
So although I am short as hell on rent, I need to address the support system immediately to prevent the total destruction of wpStoreCart. To that end, I just outsourced & hired some small, reliable (high feedback) company on vworker.com for $4/hour for 10 hours a week, to handle all incoming emails, support tickets, etc. Of course, I will still end up dealing with a lot of issues, but this should keep response rates on time, and filter out the unimportant contacts from my attention. That's $40 a week, $160 a month, just to try and prevent miscommunications like this from happening again. Maybe this vworker will pan out, and maybe they won't, (can always try more) but I've got to try something to save my business and home. Hopefully someone will hire my lovely and talented wife soon, so the burden of all the bills isn't mine. Too bad the Federal Reserve/CFR has destroyed the US economy, or my over qualified wife would've gotten a job by now.
When it all boils down to it, I see you as having legitimate reasons for being upset as a customer, especially before the PayPal dispute. I can only assume that after the dispute, either you did not see or get the automatic email. I understand why you jumped to the conclusion you did if that was the case. However, regardless of if you continue to use wpStoreCart or not, the shipping core is already being rewritten to address your issue, and progress will be made. I'm going to check this whole experience off as a good learning lesson myself, and hopefully this situation can be resolved with good spirits intact.