I have raised my review from 2 stars to 4 stars for now. This is due to the developer contacting me shortly after I posted the original review, having fixed the problem already. I am impressed by that.
Why not 5 stars? Because still, I was in a situation where I could only rely on their marketing to make a purchasing decision, and the combination of unclear marketing and no-refunds policy put me in a situation where – if they hadn’t been as responsive – I would have invested money and time towards a plugin that does me no good.
In his response to my review, the developer says they make many features for free so we can test it before buying; however, the feature I needed was not included in the free version so there was no way to test it before buying.
The developer points to the problems with piracy in the WP community. I’m sure that happens; however, the question is do real people with real businesses bother using pirated plugins? I certainly don’t – there’s no support, there’s risk of malware, and I don’t have the time to mess with that.
So in a sense, due to their concern over piracy, they are pushing the problems on to legitimate paying customers who have real businesses and expect real support.
While the functionality is now working as hoped, this kind of policy will never get 5 stars from me, as it is putting the problem onto legitimate paying users. It doesn’t excuse that I paid for a plugin that didn’t have the expected (obvious) functionality and in their initial responses, them simply reciting the no refunds policy.
I do not know the solution to the piracy problem; it is not mine to solve in this case. I do know that a poor experience for a legitimate customer is very hard to make up for later, and that is my concern.
Overall the plugin install was easy and the user interface seems clean. For that I give a few stars.
However, as with most plugins these days, the “free” versions don’t actually do what is needed, so we have to resort to paying for the “pro” version.
My plan was to use the trigger in buddyboss/buddypress for when a person posts to a social group message, to send that message to zapier so people can be notified of new posts in another system (e.g. slack or etc).
Based on the marketing materials, this sounded like it would work – there was a clear listing for a trigger of “user posts message in buddyboss group” (pro feature), and there is a webhook to pass information to zapier etc (pro feature).
Based on this, I purchased an “access pass” to just it as a bundle rather than buying them individually.
Within two hours I discovered it won’t work. Their trigger of “user posts message in buddyboss group” won’t actually allow to get the message posted to pass it on to the action! It only gets the username of the person who posted the message, not the message itself.
Of what possible use is that?
I contacted them right away – within several hours after purchase – about a refund, since this is the sole reason I purchased the access pass, and it doesn’t work.
They said “we have a strict no refunds policy on access passes” and they referred me to their website refund policy. Reading that, they give the reason that they have the policy to prevent “abuse”.
The only ones doing abusing here are them; they wasted many hours of my time researching, then purchasing, installing, trying to get it working, reading documentation, filing a ticket, going back and forth with them, only to be told that I can’t get a refund (because I might be abusing it).
To their credit, they did say they “will add this feature soon (within 1-2 weeks).” However, they clearly intend to force me to stick with this plugin and be at the behest of their development schedule, for something that any reasonable person would have expected already works.
If they had offered a choice of waiting or getting a refund (and a credit for the few weeks off an annual subscription while I am waiting), I would have considered their offer carefully. I would have considered it because they give me freedom to choose – but in the actual response, they offered no choice.
Forcing me to wait for something that was clearly a marketing ploy (to list a feature that doesn’t work for the intended purpose) is unacceptable.
So, I write this review to encourage anyone considering the Pro version to be very wary. Make sure to ask some very specific questions about the functionality you need before you buy, because once you buy, there is no going back, even if it doesn’t work as it should.
I hope this saves someone the headache and time wasted I have experienced.
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