Support » Plugin: Paid Memberships Pro » Need a degree in php !

  • My 20 years of website building experience has not helped me whatsoever with this plugin. I am not a newbie and I cannot get anything to work the way I need. Support is very vague and speaks to you as though if you are not a php expert, you have no business using this plugin, or you need to use it out of the box with nothing else needed. They make it sound so easy. It isn’t. All I wanted was to be able to have members find other members based on their state or district, as we are a geography based club. I was told for 4 months this wasn’t possible, it’s very complicated, I need to hire a developer for $900 to do this, etc… then I found out they Integrate with BuddyPress who WILL do all of this, but they won’t help me to set it up with my site, which is already destroyed with non working code. So months of arguing about it when BP integration will do what I was asking all along and none of them mentioned that ? No help there. I asked how payment info will be stored with importing existing memberships and support told me that PMPro does not store any payment info at all ??! It clearly states word for word on their support page that they do. When I wrote back to clarify, I was ignored. I have never in my life wasted so many unpaid hours, sleepless nights and anger and frustration at being treated like a moron because I’m not a php expert and state sorting was some bizarre, out of this world $900 request. I spent a lot of time researching plugins, I watched videos on this, saw all the reviews and knew this was the right thing for us. After 8 months, it is clear it will never do what we want unless I pay someone thousands to custom a simple feature. I am desperate to get my money back, as our site was never able to go live, it was never set up properly and I made my non profit pay $249 for something we cannot use. I may very well lose my position within my club because of this plug in and my pushing for us to use it and getting the money approved for it. All wasted. PLEASE make sure you know what you are getting into with this plugin. OR that you are a very high level php expert.

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  • Plugin Author Jason Coleman


    I am very sorry PMPro and our paid support did not work out for you. We processed your refund as soon as it was requested.

    I don’t like 1 star reviews. They suck, and we try to avoid them. But worse than bad reviews, I don’t like that you wasted 4 months and dozens of hours trying something that wasn’t going to work.

    Your refund request and review have prompted me to look over our ticket support history with you to figure out how we could have done better. Could we have gotten an acceptable solution to you sooner, or barring that helped you to move on from PMPro before you wasted so much time with it?

    It’s too late to help you avoid the struggles you went through, but here are some things we are thinking about.

    > They make it sound so easy.

    This is something we are always working on. A few years ago, I had the team scrub the specific word “easy” from our website. We don’t want to lead people on. It’s not easy to build a website or manage a membership operation. At the same time, we don’t want to scare people away. There are many non-developers who set up PMPro and our Add Ons, and it would be just as bad to scare away a user who would have found value in our plugin.

    It’s hard to strike that balance. A while back, we started labeling our Add Ons with difficult ratings. Many of the ones you were working with were scored to require developer support.

    The specific features you needed, while often requested and something that one could imagine might be easy, actually required a developer to set up and test. To our credit, we pointed this within 2 days of opening your first ticket. We pointed this out repeatedly to you as you tried to move forward on your own.

    > BP integration will do what I was asking all along and none of them mentioned that.

    Our team is instructed to try to take a step back when users request something to see if we can get at the real business needs. Sometimes there are alternatives. We sometimes get caught up in answering specific questions and aren’t able to do this. In reviewing your initial ticket with us, I don’t believe that recommending BuddyPress, which is a large plugin with many of its own moving parts, was an obvious answer to the questions you gave us. However, when you submitted technical follow up tickets, we should have picked up on the frustration you were having sooner, to prompt us to look for alternatives.

    Here are some other things we are planning to do in our support to avoid similar situations in the future:

    * We’ve updated the “How much support can I expect to receive?” section on our pricing page to include more detail about the cases where developers are required or not. (If there are other specific sections of our documentation you felt were misleading, let us know.)

    * From now on, when we recommend a customer find a developer for support, we are going to note that on the user record. This will make sure that our support team has this context when handling new tickets from the same customer. We want to avoid leading customers on by supporting specific technical issues, when the greater issue is that a developer is needed to manage the work in general.

    * We are looking for ways to make it more likely for customers who post multiple tickets have the same staff handle those tickets. We work in a first come, first serve basis, and whatever support agent is working will get the next ticket in the queue. In your case, you had 5 different agents help you across at least 5 tickets, and each agent had to rediscover and re-recommend that you wouldn’t be able to do what you were trying to do without developer support. We can add some flexibility into the queue so agents are more likely to work on tickets for customers they’ve worked with in the past. If the same agent had seen your follow up tickets, they might have stopped you earlier or been able to step back and figure out the business requirements and if there were non-coding solutions that worked for you.

    * We are going to more strongly recommend alternatives (or simply moving on from PMPro) when customers express disappointment in our support costs or the costs for recommended development. In some cases, we will be more likely to proactively refund customers and let them know that our paid support is not a good fit for them.

    * In other cases, we will simply remind customers that they can get a full refund. While our written policy on the website is a full refund within 30 days, in practice we will do a full refund whenever technically feasible. You might have felt locked into using PMPro because the 30 days had passed and you didn’t want to lose out on the money you spent. In reality, you could have gotten a refund in August instead of waiting until October.

    Sorry again for the frustration we’ve caused. Thank you for sharing your thoughts here, and prompting us to improve our products and support.

    John James Jacoby


    On behalf of the BuddyPress team, I’ll second all of the above for BuddyPress. Thank you @strangerstudios for a wonderfully written reply.

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