Spinetta
I've been using Dolphin since v1. I can say if it was a subscription model, I would never have even tried it. Not at all interested in this business model. If the market goes to subscription based, it will be the last purchase we make.

This is nothing more than you trying to milk customers for more and more and more money & it's getting REALLY old. It was bad enough when you "redid" the licenses and effectively removed our license from future perks/benefits we were promised, now see more this? Really starting to lose what little faith I have left in Boonex. The stupidity is spewing forth from your company at an amazing rate. You have been around as long as you have for a reason. If it's not broke, DON'T FIX IT.

We paid you enough for the license. We shouldn't - and won't - pay you monthly to fix the numerous bugs that have always plagued this system. The only problem Boonex has and always has had is horrendous support & quality control. Money won't fix that.
Spinetta
You can't even write a bug free social networking script & you think we'd trust you to run our hosting?
Andrew Boon
Nobody can write a bug-free script, but we can and do write a really good one. As for hosting - it is run by Zarconia, who has proven to be very good at Dolphin hosting. We package their hosting with our license and some pre-paid support, which works out to be not much more or in many cases LESS money than you would spend for the license, hosting and support otherwise.
Spinetta
If you're some fly by night company running a network, sure. After, what, 10 years? This model would have cost us a small fortune. You guys need to up your monitoring of the Market. Changing how clients pay is not going to fix the fact that market is & always has been overrun with scammers & junk products.

You want to clean up the market? BAN the scammers. BAN the spammers. BAN the hosting companies that clutter everything up with useless ads. In short, moderate your network & you see more won't have these issues.

Changing to a subscription model will do nothing but scare people off. Countless marketing studies have shown that clients STRONGLY prefer a one-off payment to anything recurring. But as usual Boonex doesn't want to actually do any work, you just pass the buck & blame us. I'll never, ever, forget your rant about 5 years ago about how paying customers "spam" support trying to get this buggy software to actually work. This post smacks of it. Passing the buck as usual Andrew.
Andrew Boon
Like I said, we want to keep both options. Subscriptions and one-off payments. It's a case of choice. Personally, I was always a "pay once" person before, but gradually I came to see that paying, say $10/month for Photoshop works better for me than paying $500 one-off and then potentially extra $50 every couple of years.

As for the money aspect - I don't really see what is with the "passing the buck" issue? We provide product and service in exchange for money. In order for see more us to do anything at all we must be able to commit time to it, and therefore receive compensation. One-off payments are good in the beginning, where there's a small client-base and fast growth. After 10 or so years, the pyramid stops working. We can't justify paying $30/hour to a tech that will support a client that paid $300 some 10 years ago and needs 5 hours of assistance every month. It just doesn't work and it is the same for Market vendors. One can complain about poor coding, bad support, no documentation, ban this, ban that - but software is never a finished product - it needs continuous attention, it will always keep everyone busy, and so small monthly payments make everything more sustainable. So, thus we may be able to afford additional moderators, reviewers, coders, etc.

And again - there is still a one-off payment option.
geek_girl
For large ticket items, subscriptions, like leases, may be a good way to go. Most modules in the Market are not that expensive so a subscription model in those cases is not a good ideal. If you decide to try to go with subscriptions, it should be up to the vendor to decide to allow a module to be sold by subscription. Coding in a call home for a $20 module means that the module will no longer sell for $20 so you may end up driving up module prices.
Andrew Boon
Yep, I believe it should an option. Just a way to create separate listing, perhaps for bigger modules that need continuous support and development. Also call-home can be bundled into once-a-month-for-all.
Andrew Boon
You can think of it as of a way to trial-run an extension. If it's good for a month or two - you can buy it.
Spinetta
And how long before module makers figure out they can exploit more cash out of people using the monthly model & start refusing to put a one-off payment, or jack it so high no one in their right mind would pay it? You see it happen with just about every such based market, hell even Ebay & we all know you're not going to bother policing it, you never have.

As far as passing the buck, your attitude talking to me right now is a great example. I'm a paying customer. I very likely would have see more spent more money here over the years than I have, except that every. single. interaction I have ever seen you have with this community is you blaming us for your problems.

And no, I didn't expect you to provide 10 years of free support but a little help getting v1, which was a pain in the a** to setup & running would have been prudent. But nope, you tried charging even for that.

The reason your market share has dropped Andrew, is your reputation. Not because of any one-off payments. Search around. Seriously. You have a reputation for producing buggy software with zero support. Why would people buy it?

When you go and "redo" the license, removing licensing people paid for from having access to new features and perks that were supposed to be included in the purchase price...why in the world would we trust buying another one?

You have a long standing history of blaming your customers for problems & constantly trying to figure out how to milk us for more and more money. THAT is why Boonex is dying. This "new" Trident thing you've got going is a prime example & it makes me wonder how far off Dolphin's EOL is.

I can say that I run 10 sites. 1 runs Dolphin. They all would, it's the best software out there if you can actually get it to run but you lost our trust a long time ago & have done squat to get it back.

Dolphin is great, when it works, and could SO easily blow these other software companies off the face of the internet but you're so busy blaming your customers for your issues, you fail to see that you are the only one that can fix it. And yes, that does mean long hours. Yes, that does mean little pay. That's called being a business owner. We all deal with it. That's just reality my friend & it's how you stay in business. You have milked this community dry & it's dying a slow death.
Prashank25
Well if something doesn't feel like its priced right then you simply just don't buy it and about vendor "exploiting", you do know vendors want to actually sell and is not the cure for cancer that you have to buy.
Spinetta
Thank you, you summed up the attitude I'm worried about vendors cocking very nicely. Andrew, right here, case & point.
Prashank25
And you sound like a good client to have as well. Good luck with your sites.
Andrew Boon
I'm worried about product quality and support, not attitude. And look, if you have paid $100 to a vendor, received a product and don't plan to pay again - would you expect better attitude compared to a situation when you pay $10 and would continue paying $10 each month IF you're happy with the product? If anything, vendors would have to become a lot more accomodating then.
Spinetta
Touche', Mr. Boon lol I do see your point...I just see an incredible potential for abuse and more cost in the long run. There's several modules I've purchased that were worthless, despite having great reviews & thus aren't used, at about $50/ea. But on balance, there's several I have purchased at much lower price points (around $10-20/ea) that are fantastic and used daily. It's one hell of a Catch 22. However when it comes to Prashank here, I more meant he read your post & is seeing dollar see more signs. Not incentive to provide better support, or hell even just not be rude to people.
Spinetta
Joomla, Wordpress, etc. all have curated markets and have never had to do anything like this. Might be worth studying their modalities before you make any changes? Granted they do have subscription based modules but they are by far in the minority.
Andrew Boon
We once made a WP plugin for a project we've been experimenting with (called "webhome"). It was listed although it was half-done and was more like a proof of concept. It also sat there for a few years despite being incompatible with at least a few latest WP versions. Why? We just had no incentive to update it, or even look after our listing. If we were receiving at least $20/moth for it, we'd certainly give it more love.
Andrew Boon
I find that clients are a lot more price conscious when dealing with subscriptions. So, vendors would have to set prices wisely and make sure they continue providing added value continuously. Also, we can work out a way to provide free trials.
Spinetta
Yeah but due to their ranking structure, etc. your project was likely actually seen by very few. Which granted, that presents it's own problems in & of itself as far as new guys getting started & ranked, etc.

And yeah, you hit the nail on the head with that one. The pricing is exactly what I'm seeing become a huge issue. Say each of them decide they want $5/mo. They decide that's "reasonable". I go and add 15 of 'em. My operating costs just spiked from $50/mo for the server, see more to $50 for the server + $75 for the modules so from $50/mo to $125.

Now taking into account that your average Boonex user/builder is a hobbyist working on a small community with a shoestring budget and the attention span of a humming bird, how long & how much money do you think they'll spend monthly until they give up and the negative reviews start spewing forth as they vent their frustration?

Say I have a small paysite, it starts to struggle. What am I supposed to tell users when I have to start yanking features because I can't afford their monthly fee and still maintain the professional "big site" image you need to get anywhere?

Your average vendor can't even figure out that they need to be polite to customers and provide at least basic after-market support but you're expecting them to behave as professionals? The average vendor is also generally just a hobbyist, which is why the code tends to be sloppy & half assed. Very few if any do this for a living and while that would be nice, I don't really see it happening.

I can also honestly say that there is not a single module on the market at present that I would pay even $3/mo for. A one-off $20 maybe, but the last thing I want or need is another monthly bill to worry about.
Spinetta
For the numerous instances of Dolphin that barely stay open from ad revenue, where do they get this money?
TravelNotes
Free trials are a must. But don't expect too many buyers (sorry, renters) to stick around once they realise that each module has a monthly 'service' fee.
TravelNotes
I'm thinking some of those 'reviews' are from fake accounts.

Take a look around, how many of these 'reviewers' actually show how good the mods are working on their sites?
Andrew Boon
I really didn't mean to display any kind of negative attitude. Sorry if it seemed to be that way. In this exchange I am trying to talk to both you and anyone who reads it potentially - and explaining my ideas to clear things up.

Subscriptions is going to be one of the options, and there will be people - both clients and vendors - who would benefit from such options. I see it as a positive development and not at all as another way to "milk" community. I see forums posts where clients see more are complaining about lack of attention from vendors and I understand where it comes from.

As for product and support... we have done quite a bit in recent months to address both - we have live support chat where we actually respond within a few hours on average. We released the new DolphinPro 7.2 and rearranged development to push 7.3 earlier than planned. We also released a service update to address and urgent bugs. The long-awaited responsive design is finally there and we're adding a new Chat with 7.3. I believe that Dolphin is by all means #1 in the industry and our current support and development is among the most efficient.

And still, I assure you that your feedback, critique and input is very much appreciated.
Spinetta
Well, you asked for feedback & that is my feedback; and it's coming from someone that has been in this industry just about as long as you have. It is a VERY BAD idea. I'm sorry but the potential for abuse is HUGE. Unless you're planning on actually moderating the market and keeping it under control, I see this blowing in your face Andrew.

Please understand that my frustration with you & Boonex as a whole is entirely born out of 10 years of loving this product, despite it's numerous flaws. see more There is no consistency with the code, or the database structure. When you get under the hood it looks like a bunch of amateurs slapped a ton of scripts together & prayed it would work. That's what I meant by "poor quality control". QA is a HUGE part of software development and you guys never do it. In fact, I'm still running 7.0 because I know better than to upgrade when you release something, it usually takes a few years for you get the bugs out. Hell it's been 10 & Orca STILL doesn't work.

So far as subscription anything on this site, my answer is a loud and resounding NO. By moving the licenses to subscription you insured I'll never buy another, even if you somehow manage to regain the trust you lost the last time you decided to modify the licenses.

I completely agree that Dolphin is the best on the market, as I said, but it's reputation is crap. Like I also said, search around. Feedback for this product is not hard to find. Good feedback, anyone saying anything good about it at all however, is very fleeting.

You issue is not pricing & it never has been. Your issue is a complete lack of support & crappy attitudes from your staff. To be blunt (ok, more blunt) you make us feel like freeloaders. And we're not. We paid you fortune.

On a side note, you really need to explain what "DolphinPro" and "Trident" and all these new buzzwords mean. You've made a lot of changes, that much is true & I'm glad to see some forward motion here however you changed so much that even your veterans are confused and uncertain as to the future of this company....which is likely why none of us are buying.

What is "DolphinPro" and how does it differ from Dolphin? What is "Trident"? I thought that was new version of Dolphin, as that was said at some point but at this point I have no clue what it's even supposed to be. I'll tell you the way it's been presented it looks a Dolphin clone that you're going to have separate licensing for. Like I said, milking customers. When I buy a LIFETIME license for something, this is exactly what I expect to get.
Spinetta
The bottom line is that there is already so much abuse on the Market, abuse that's been there since the ZZZ sites that has never been dealt with I have little faith this is going to work. It would require constant supervision and strict policies that are actually enforced.
Andrew Boon
I agree. And as any continuous work that is to be done it has to be backed by sustainable revenue that covers the cost. Subscriptions would be the way to arrange it. We plan the subscription-based products to be reviewed and supervised strictly, since the payments would go through us and we must ensure quality.
Spinetta
If it means the market's going to be cleaned up, as in honestly cleaned up then I'm much more open to the idea. In any case, please don't take my blunt nature as ungrateful or unappreciative. I code as well & know full well how much work has gone into Dolphin, Oraca and Ray to become what they are today and they are great, could be better but compared to virtually any of the others on the market that allow self-hosting it is hands down the best. My users love it, I just get tired of beating my see more head against it (I was in the process of trying to move it to new server as we've been talking...stilling fighting with it. LFD has decided it's bad thing for some reason. Keeps killing sql.)
Andrew Boon
I appreciate the blunt nature of your feedback. Easier to process and understand this way. Thank you! ;)
Spinetta
It's rare that I get thanked, I usually piss people off LOL Thank you for at least listening.
geek_girl
"We plan the subscription-based products to be reviewed and supervised strictly, since the payments would go through us and we must ensure quality."

I doubt if the vendors are going to like this. Most vendors want the payments to be handled by them; now Booenx is going to be the man-the-middle? Some vendors have already moved their products outside of the Market and more may follow.
Andrew Boon
Yes. They won't like it. I know for sure though that it would increase sales significantly. Frictionless billing is what made Apple App Store so successful.

"The average rate of cart abandonment in 2015 is 68%." - this can be halved if billing is done through one-click order billed to preset card. It's even more pronounced in Boonex Market, because every vendor has their own separate checkout, so shopping cart has be checked-out in stages. Theoretically, we should be able to DOUBLE see more checkout success. Refunds on subscriptions are only given in cases of approved stolen-card cases, which is handled by PayPal and Stripe quite efficiently. So, at the end of the day, even if vendors only try this with a few products, they may end up seeing the benefits and then expand.
Andrew Boon
You should try 7.2.x. It is by all means a MUCH more polished product than 7.0. In fact 7.0 was a big core update that had to come out quite "raw". 7.1 and 7.2 were evolutionary and stabilised the platform significantly.

Also give our support a second chance. In last 4-5 months we have been attending to every single support request with an average response time of 6 hours. All through email and online chat.

And as for DolphinPro and Trident - we have announced before and re-confirmed see more a few times that if you have a license for Dolphin, even if you bought it for $99 or whatever - you will still forever be able to use DolphinPro or Trident without paying for the license again. It is a lifetime license, and it does cover all future versions and iterations. The new names are not for new licensing - they are for product differentiation and marketing purposes.
Doc
Dude, My support emails take about 2 or 3 days round trip just to get back to me.. and that's on trivial matters. I'm trying to evaluate this thing so we can actually buy a subscription for our club, but if I can't even get simple stuff handled, what's the point. We want to move to a paid membership setup, but I looked in the forums about it, and a request to fix this module (money maker for customers) is only met with impudence and a blasé attitude. It took you guys over 2 weeks to add Captcha see more to it. That kind of response is not a confidence builder for a customer that is deciding on if he should come back and try this new version.
Andrew Boon
Thank you for feedback. I've looked into your conversion with us. It is indeed going slower than most, because it is assigned to AlexT and he's a bit overloaded, bust still trying to fit it within 48 hours. Also, please check - there's an unanswered email we've sent you a few days ago.
TravelNotes
You're fighting your corner well, Andrew. Kudos for that!
TravelNotes
Every time Dolphin upgrades it's becoming a real pain going through all the market modules to see if they are keeping up.

One has, another hasn't.

Some module version numbers change, others don't.

Updated dates on the modules may be altered without any clue as to whether certain files need to be uploaded again, or not.

If anyone is considering purchasing Dolphin, I would have to advise them to think very carefully about whether the out of the box package does everything they want.

Using see more the module marketplace is both costly and very time consuming. Add to that any customisation you might want to make, and you could find yourself permanently in development; or slowly going bald through periodically tearing your hair out.

How can people concentrate on building a community if they have to keep fixing the back-end?

https://www.boonex.com/forums/topic/Upgrading-Dolphin-is-a-Pain.htm
Andrew Boon
And yes, as for exploiting more cash... you would see that it would rarely mean that clients spend more cash. Majority would actually save quite a bit. Only those who PREFER subscriptions and use the extensions for long-long periods of time and like it that way - those would pay more, willingly.
geek_girl
Yes, and this is also an irritant with some. Boonex moderators are getting a slice of the pie; what about other hosting providers that provide just as good a service? Remember there are many that drive business towards Boonex and they should be included. What about an affiliate programme where I get a piece of the pie for every person that I convince to use Dolphin or what about my hosting company where I optimise servers for Dolphin using Nginx and MariaDB which means better performance than some see more Apache/MySQL server.
Andrew Boon
We had an affiliate program for a while and in fact we are still tracking referrals. Once all these pricing changes get settled, we'll re-launch it. Also we do have hosting partnership program, where we can work out a referral deal, too. Yes, there is still room for hosting service, since we will continue providing downloadable package for DIY setups. By the way you could offer it as a subscription product at Boonex Market when we launch subscriptions.
Andrew Boon
Every time we "redid" the licenses we upgraded them. We have never removed any perks or benefits and grandfathered all end every commitment we ever made.

It really isn't a case of "if it's not broken, don't fix it". Better (or worse) half of negative feedback that we get stems from poor market experience. It does need fixing.
 
 
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