• Resolved Ton

    (@tonloo65)


    I’m very disappointed.
    When I started using Happy forms the 1st time I was very enthousiastic, I even did a full translation to Dutch. But what’s happening now is unethical. Making the free plugin basicly useless and forcing people to upgrade to he paid version! Looks very much like this was planned from the start! This is not the way to treat people.
    I rated the pluginn with 5 stars in the past. I’ve changed this to 1 star!
    People looking for a free plugin? Skip Happy Forms and try another free plugin…

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • I completely agree. Most of this plugin’s reviews are now bogus because they apply to the earlier feature rich versions of this plugin; the versions that made the plugin useful compared to competitor contact form plugins.

    The developer’s replies to updated reviews — or to any review that calls out Theme Foundry’s unethical practices — usually take the line ‘We took this heartbreaking decision because of xyz.’, or some variation of the lie. No, the decision was neither heartbreakingly nor painstakingly taken. The decision was taken because Theme Foundry realised it could get people to use the plugin then remove features from the plugin to thereby force those users to either upgrade or switch to another plugin. To be frank, Theme Foundry’s behaviour would be diagnosed narcissistic or sociopathic were it a human being.

    I’m surprised this plugin is still open in the WordPress plugin repository. Other developers who pull this type of con usually see their WordPress plugin repository closed.

    I think it might be time to create a fork of Happy Forms. We could call it Skippy Forms.

    Max

    (@maximkadum)

    Absolutely agree. After the update, most of the fields in the form were missing, there were no warnings in advance.

    Very disappointed too. I was one of the first happy users of this plugin. Spent a lot of time writing to fix bugs and to suggest ideas and now critical features disappear overnight.

    I had to change my review and rating from 5 to 1.

    There are better ways to monetize from a free product – Promising one thing and then giving something else suddenly is not one of them.

    The review:
    https://wordpress.org/support/topic/great-stuff-252/

    Plugin Author thethemefoundry

    (@thethemefoundry)

    Hey everyone!

    We know sharing our apologies now doesn’t fix anything for you. We are, though, truly sorry that we were forced into this situation. The last thing we ever wanted to do was upset anyone.

    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.

    Again, we’re sorry!

    This is STILL the best free contact form plugin on the WP market and repository!✌🏻SO easy to setup, customize, style DONE the only thing missing is having backup form replies in the site, and what free plugin form does that anyway? BIG THNKS Theme Foundry (and hopefully the paid version can come down in price one day ✌🏻)

    @thethemefoundry

    For what it’s worth, we made this decision as an alternative from completely removing the free plugin from the directory.

    You have pretty much removed the plugin from the directory anyway, albeit little-by-little.

    Please do downgrade the free version back to version 1.7.10 then close the plugin. Tag it 1.8.11 so that existing users receive an update-to-restore-functionality notice in their WP dashboards.

    Again, we’re sorry!

    No you are not. Same stock line. No real sentiment behind it.

    @thewebstylist Do not delete topic tags.

    I totally agree with all the above comments. There are plugins such as Asgaros Forum and Participants Database which are infinitely better than Happy Forms and are totally free. This company will pay the price for their greed and arrogance.

    Plugin Support Drew Strojny

    (@drewstrojny)

    Hey all.

    I’m Drew, the owner of The Theme Foundry (company behind HappyForms). Just want to make clear this was not our intention. We made a mistake in initially assuming more people would be willing to pay for the upgraded version of HappyForms. This was 100% our fault. The reality is we had less than 50 paying customers on a plugin that will cost at least $20,000 in developer time to support on an annualized basis. As we’re a small business and not a charity, our alternative was to shut down the plugin, remove it from the directory, and stop supporting it completely.

    Again, we know this hurts. You had a plugin you loved and used for free, now we’re telling you it’s going to cost money to get many of the features you use. You should know The Theme Foundry is a small business (literally 3 people) trying hard each and every day to make this work. I promise you the team is not all off on some desert island sipping margaritas and laughing maniacally while thinking up new ways to ruin your day. If you care about supporting HappyForms ongoing development, we’d encourage you to upgrade, because it gives us the fuel required to continue to work on the plugin. If you don’t believe me, or are simply done with HappyForms because you feel misled, we understand completely and wish you the best.

    @drewstrojny Drew, I’m sympathetic to development costs. Experience tells me that most WordPress admins and developers prefer free to paid and that not many people like to donate toward development costs. I feel that pain. I really do.

    However, I am also aware that developers will pay to upgrade to the pro version of a plugin once developers trust the product, trust the brand and have had time to discover the usefulness of a plugin. There is a caveat: the usefulness of a plugin needs to warrant the cost of the upgrade.

    A few months ago I was ready to purchase HappyForms. I was a happy HappyForms user. I promoted HappyForms to other developers and influencers. I originally became aware of HappyForms through other developers, specifically a theme developer who trusted the HappyForms brand enough to include it in an importable starter ‘site’. Then, sadly, Theme Foundry began cutting up the plugin. Every update saw another chunk of HappyForms surgically excised; the price became prohibitive; and trust in the team behind the plugin plummeted with each successive update.

    Theme Foundry deserved to make money from HappyForms. This plugin did forms the right way. Another form will take its place. It is sad.

    Theme Foundry created a great product but then ruined both the product and trust in the Theme Foundry brand by choosing the wrong way to monetise the plugin. The reason this is truly deeply saddening is that someone else will run with the ideas employed by HappyForms and market their plugin the right way.

    I’m not sure how Theme Foundry will regain the trust of WordPress developers but I do know it will not be easily accomplished.

    There are many ways to market and monetise a WordPress plugin. Theme Foundry had an amazing head-start built within the WordPress plugin repository. I can’t believe the route Theme Foundry took.

    I feel for you, Drew, I truly do. It is heartbreaking to watch all this unfold.

    Plugin Support Drew Strojny

    (@drewstrojny)

    @leehodson Thanks for sharing that. I really appreciate it. It means a ton that you would take the time to write such a considered and thoughtful reply. I know you’re done with HappyForms and want nothing to do with us, but I appreciate everything you’ve done for us in the past and I apologize we didn’t meet expectations.

    I share your frustration. HappyForms had over 20,000 active users before we made any of these changes, but less than 50 users paid to upgrade and support ongoing development of HappyForms. 20,000 users were getting ongoing value from HappyForms, but less than .25% of them were willing to pay for it. I’m skeptical that with a lower price or a slightly different monetization strategy the floodgates would have opened and we’d have 1,000 – 2,000 paying customers.

    The reality is a plugin like this cost real money to support and develop. While we probably could have done a better job around monetization strategy, we couldn’t continue to support it without paying customers. With that in mind, I’d love to hear any ideas you have around pricing and / or marketing a plugin like HappyForms.

    Pepper_Brand_Managers

    (@pepper_brand_managers)

    I was first made aware of this by clients complaining that fields have gone missing from their sites. I now need to go back through correspondence to rebuild the forms close to how they were.

    I will not upgrade for one simple reason – You may decide to arbitrarily move the goal-posts again and once again leave me with a 6 hour mess to clean up.

    I understand that you need to raise revenue but this has been done very poorly. The free version is unusable.

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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