Support » Plugin: Store Locator Plus® for WordPress » Forced to upgrade: inelegant, costly, unstable

  • I award this plugin one star. It would be none, but that’s not an option.

    It must be difficult being a WordPress plug-in developer; having to keep everything up to date all the time, releasing new versions, having everyone complain when this go wrong. I imagine it’s tough.

    I’ve run this plugin now since 2012 – and EVERY TIME an update comes along for the core plugin, any additional add-on upgrades you’ve purchased then stop working, which then forces you to pay additional monies to keep everything running as it did previously.

    In other words, instead of updating the plugin to ensure that the core functionality works, the developer adds on features and changes the way the plugin (and any upgrades you’ve purchased) works to incorporate additional features, which you are then forced to pay for – even if you don’t want those additional features.

    I fully understand the developer needs to earn a living, but the model is flawed; the metaphor he uses to describe how he operates is like purchasing a car; when you upgrade to the new model year, you get new features. However, the metaphor is wrong – if you DON’T purchase a new car, you should at least expect to be able to drive around in the old one, with than car being fully operational! The way I perceive this plugin (and it’s upgrades) are being run presently, is if you don’t upgrade to the new model – they’ll come around and slash your tyres and take a baseball bat to your windscreen!

    Also, free support verges on rudeness – the support staff don’t properly read the questions, which makes their responses totally ineffective at first. They have a free forum, which gets answered after a day, which then pushes you onto their paid for support… nice work if you can get it.

    I do struggle to reconcile the idea that a plugin that stops working after every major release or update is only supported *properly* by their paid for support; it is as if the developer is baiting you to use their paid for option. I find that distasteful and not very classy.

    My suggestion to this developer – release free core plugin updates to ensure stability with the current versions of WordPress, and then upsell based on functionality only. By all means retain your paid for support, but at least communicate with your users effectively, tell them what will go wrong if you press ‘update’ on the plugin, and don’t seemingly bait users with your paid for support. And ensure that customers who have upgraded previously are well catered for.

    As I said previously, I’m sure it’s tricky being a developer. But I would prefer a mutually beneficial transaction, rather than one where I seem to pay, and everything stops working, whenever you feel like it should.

    I’ve asked for support numerous times – it’s just not working as it should.

Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • Plugin Author Store Locator Plus

    (@charlestonsw)

    Your review should be limited to the FREE plugin that is offered here on the WordPress Plugin Directory, NOT the premium add ons nor the extended support services.

    That aside, your claim of “forces you to pay additional monies” is absolutely false. All add ons release since version 4.2 of Store Locator Plus, which is over 2 years old, are still functional with the latest 4.6 release of the base plugin. You may need to login to your account at StoreLocatorPlus.com to download the latest version , but it is not disabled NOR do we ever require that you re-purchase the SAME add on you originally bought. In addition, the add ons will always continue to work with the version of Store Locator Plus that they were originally released with. Don’t want to go through the add on upgrade process? Don’t upgrade the base plugin to the latest release. You also want to be careful not to upgrade WordPress as they have been making significant changes lately that break a LOT of things in the plugin and theme world.

    Eventually there MAY be a version of the base Store Locator Plus plugin that does not work with an add on from 3+ years ago. This is no different than any other software you purchase. WordPress 4.6 broke hundreds of plugins and themes that were multisite-aware. I’ve had to purchase the latest version of several premium plugins I use on my sites because WordPress changed something. I needed to get the newest version of those plugins *IF* I wanted to use WordPress 4.6 instead of version 4.4. (I’m still trying to get WP Ninjas to fix the premium Ninja Demo plugin I purchased – yes, THE WP Ninjas. Paid plugin, support that takes over a week to get answers, updates that don’t work… maybe I should write a scathing review on their free plugin here.)

    Speaking of WordPress 4.4, that broke thousands of plugins and themes when they replaced the version of jQuery with a newer 1.12 release. Many of our clients had to purchase newer versions of their themes and plugins (but NOT Store Locator Plus) because they upgraded WordPress 4.3 to 4.4 and the plugins needed a new version installed to be compatible. Several sites had to find completely new plugins because the authors of the FREE plugin decided “I’m done earning nothing and having customers demand I fix this thing FOR FREE because WordPress changed something”. In the non-WordPress world we see the same thing but with a much steeper price. I upgraded my other laptop to Windows 8.1 and the thousands-of-dollars in Windows software that I had used for years no longer worked. Microsoft wanted me to now pay a monthly fee to use software that I paid thousands for just 4 years ago.

    As an aside – when WordPress 4.5 came out we had 37 complaints that our plugin broke when they clicked updated. When we got on to those 37 client sites, 36 of the 37 issues were because ANOTHER PLUGIN broke. What 37 of 37 customers failed to mention was that they upgraded WordPress AND our plugin AND 10 other plugins AND their theme.

    As far as your car analogy, it is very much flawed. What you are doing is getting a car FOR FREE then spending $50 on a high performance kit for the engine. 3 months later you go back and get ANOTHER NEWER CAR FOR FREE and get mad because your high performance kit for the previous car didn’t just bolt right on and work flawlessly. Funny thing is that unless your performance kit is more than a few years old we’ll even give you a newer version of that for free.

    As for the quality of free support, we receive far more compliments than complaints. Sometimes my support staff can be less-than-friendly, I agree; though reading how rude and obnoxious some people can be I can see how they can be in a bad mood some days.

    I’m a bit shocked by the claim everything breaks EVERY TIME you updated over the past 4 years. There are nearly 20,000 sites running Store Locator Plus at this very moment. Over 10,000 sites have upgraded to the latest release. Over 6,000 sites have upgraded at least FOUR TIMES in the past twelve months. Less than 100 issues have been reported about problems caused by an update.

    Is the plugin flawless? Far from it, but it certainly is not completely broken on EVERY UPDATE for the past 4 years. If it was that broken we’d be getting 10,000+ complaints not a half-dozen. On a related note, there is an issue in 4.6.1 that we learned of just this week. The patch is coming out in 4.6.2 later today. Sites running WordPress < 4.4 or that are on WordPress 4.6 running multisite without a proper multisite license may run into a “function not found” error that will break the site. The fix? Stay on SLP 4.6 or wait for the 4.6.2 patch to come out in the next 24-48 hours to resolve the issue.

    I agree with the reviewer, not the developer. This is how it appears. Broken functionality then a email campaign asking for 35/month and 550 setup. NOPE. 4.6.2 and the PRO PACK have issues with reporting.

    cicistorelocatorplus

    (@cicistorelocatorpluscom)

    hey jolly not so jolly,jolly, you are incorrect, first,you only needed to go to your account to update to a newer version of any add-on. Secondly, this plugin to be reviewed is supposed to be for reviews of the FREE base SLP plugin. We have not had any reports as of 4.6.4 that SLP is broken. If you know of any errors please report them via email to support on the main web site.
    Thirdly, the email campaign was to offer discounts to those customers who were advanced users of the Plugins add-ons who may not have been aware of the new versions and features, not just anyone using the plug-in. If you were on that list and shouldn’t have been , just unsubscribe.

    Yikes.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 11 months ago by ndenitto.
Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
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