Problems that MUST be addressed before this plugin can be taken seriously
I originally posted this message on the Instinct forums, but the moderators deleted it. Apparently they don't take too kindly to constructive criticism.
Here's the message, in more-or-less its original form:
Dear WP e-Commerce plugin developers,
While I applaud you for the tremendous amount of work you've put into this plugin, there are several issues that must be addressed before this plugin can be taken seriously:
1) Google Checkout is broken. Seriously. As evidenced by many posts on your forum, many people (myself included) have tried and failed to get Google Checkout to work, with the only result being the dreaded "Oops! We are unable to process your request" error message. And before you ask, YES, we have set shipping countries on the Google Checkout gateway configuration page. It still doesn't work. It's astounding to me that anyone has ever gotten this feature to work.
Until integration with Google Checkout works, and works well, it should be marked as "Experimental" (or removed altogether). It's disingenuous to advertise features that do not work.
2) PayPal Express is broken. Period. Just like with Google Checkout, integration with PayPal Express doesn't work. There exists multiple threads in your forum about this topic. Months ago, a post by Dan claimed that the "latest Gold Files resolve this. My humble apologies!!!"
That's all well and good, but many of us have not (yet) upgraded to the Gold version of the plugin, so PayPal Express remains broken. If this is to be a "Gold only" feature, then please advertise it that way. As of now, it's supposed to work in the free version of the plugin, but does not. Any chance of releasing that updated code to the free version?
3) Tax settings are broken. I can only speak from the perspective of a US-based store owner, but the tax settings do not work properly at all. If you set a tax percentage for one state, that same percentage is charged to customers from all states (even if the remaining states are set to 0% in the plugin). Let's say that I need to charge sales tax in California. The way it works now, customers in Kansas, Georgia, and all other states will also be charged that same sales tax! Unacceptable. I had this problem in both 3.6.12 and version 3.7 RC2.
Of course, one could solve this problem by just NOT charging any sales tax, but that's not a viable solution for most US-based store owners.
4) Customers with WordPress logins can see your store sales data! This is a showstopping bug. If any customers register for accounts on your WordPress site, they can see all your sensitive sales data in the WordPress Dashboard! Wow! There's a pretty easy fix for this using WordPress user Roles, but I can't believe this problem hasn't been fixed globally yet.
Naturally, one solution is to disable user registration within WordPress, but that feature is handy for repeat customers.
I say all of this not to be critical, but because I want the plugin to IMPROVE. There are a number of things that the plugin DOES do well, but some of these bugs are spectacular.
An e-Commerce plugin should be solid. Store owners should not have to lie awake at night, tossing and turning, wondering if something is about to break on their site. Right now, the plugin feels sloppy, and I have a hard time recommending it to anyone with needs beyond the most basic production uses. I'd love to change my mind about that.
Developers, please keep these issues in mind for any upcoming release(s).
It's too bad that they felt the need to delete my post. I'm authoring an upcoming book from Packt Publishing about this plugin, but I have a hard time documenting broken features. Believe me, I'd love to see this plugin work well!