• We were testing Happy Forms to utilize in our websites, and were shocked that after going back into the staging site, that all our setup was blown up.

    NO professional organization disables in this way. Of course they need to find a way to make money, no one is denying that they should not. But with virtually no notice, nor grandfathering or any other mitigation, we are done with this.

    But here is the other thing. There is NO WAY, absolutely NO WAY we would ever even consider ANY product from Theme Foundry.

    You burned yourself, and deserve all the pain you are getting from this huge error you refused to mitigate.

    You use your little form builder and think it is so special that you remove capabilities from the freemium version. As opposed to someone like pagebuilder Brizy who currently is ADDING major capabilities to their free version, and enhancing those in their paid model.

    I can’t understand your blunderheaded business move. But what would I know… I only mentored startups for years in an incubator.

Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • Plugin Author thethemefoundry

    (@thethemefoundry)

    We’re so sorry to let you down, @avb3!

    For what it’s worth, we made this decision as an alternative from completely removing the free plugin from the directory. Either way, we knew this would upset folks. But we figured at least keeping the plugin capable of creating simple forms for free was the best solution.

    With your experience, what would you suggest we should have done? We did, over 18 months, continue to add free features will no benefit to our bottom line. Any insights you could share would be super-appreciated.

    Thanks! And, again, sorry.

    First of all, the notice you gave was exceedingly short. I’ve had other platforms that were changing their business model, but which gave months advance notice. People rely on their websites, and web developers do not check back every day to see what might be new. What a horrendous action.

    Secondly, why didn’t you consider a phase out period for existing users or, grandfather them in? New users would be going to the new model. I bought a tool for multiple websites on exactly that premise. The developer gave significant notice of a substantial price increase, but all existing users were given a chance to buy a lifetime subscription at a greatly reduced rate. He had a huge uptake on that, used the cash flow to develop a better product, and new users pay the higher rate. He kept in continual contact with users via a Facebook page, and still does. He welcomes suggestions for improvements, gives timelines for features, and attempts to respond to trouble issues. He has a very loyal following as the results of keeping in touch with his clients/users all along.

    It may not be too late for you to recalibrate your strategy. You really need to do damage control now, as new users see all the negative stars. You really need to find a way to address this. Of course you need to make revenue off the product, but consider giving existing users a lifetime subscription and a low rate. You may get many back. The example I gave the developer went from a $249 lifetime license which was converted to $499/lifetime and $249/year option.

    However, he offered existing clients a short, 2 week special of $89 for a lifetime license. It was an amazing deal, but almost everyone took him up on it (duh!). Since then he has continued adding great features. The goodwill he captured still resonates to this day.

    Compare what he did, to what your company did. One caused nothing but positive feelings, and yours? You know that answer.

    Plugin Support Drew Strojny

    (@drewstrojny)

    Hey @avb3

    I’m Drew, the owner of The Theme Foundry. You’ve got some great insights on this problem and really appreciate you sharing them. You’re 100% right. We should have communicated this more aggressively and given you even more notice before pulling those features. At the end of the day we would have ended up in the same place, but you would have had more notice to take corrective action on your end.

    I apologize sincerely for that. For what it’s worth (I understand if you’re 100% done with us), we are offering a special deal for existing customers, and we’d love to have you onboard if there is any way you’d take us back. If you’re not seeing that discounted upgrade option in your dashboard, let us know, and we can get it for you.

    Once again, I apologize for how this was handled and I appreciate you sharing with us.

    Plugin Author thethemefoundry

    (@thethemefoundry)

    Hey @avb3 👋

    I hope Drew’s comments give you some context of the tricky situation. I wanted to chime in here and address this question specifically:

    Secondly, why didn’t you consider a phase out period for existing users or, grandfather them in? New users would be going to the new model.

    We really wish this was an option! As it happens, our hands are tied. What you suggest is in direct violation of the Plugin Directory guidelines:

    Plugins may not contain functionality that is restricted or locked…
    Attempting to upsell the user on ad-hoc products and features is acceptable, provided it falls within bounds of guideline 11 (hijacking the admin experience).

    We’re sorry to let you down!

Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
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