Price hike, no more ticket support - enough signals from Invision

Pete

Flavours of Forums Forever
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Kier, Mike, Chris, Jeremy P and NixFifty. And I don't know exactly when that happened - but it was some months ago now.
 

sanction9

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Kier, Mike, Chris, Jeremy P and NixFifty. And I don't know exactly when that happened - but it was some months ago now.
Yeah, with that many devs onboard, and considering how long since 2.2 was released, I'm thinking that we really should be able to count on some kind of announcement for 2.3 by the end of this year or very early next. I hope.
 

zappaDPJ

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I wonder if IPS would do the same in that sort of situation.
I've seen Invision step outside of their t&cs before to help someone out but like all good deeds, it didn't go unpunished. The pitchfork waving crowd don't take kindly to their perception of someone getting preferential treatment.
 

Tracy Perry

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I've seen Invision step outside of their t&cs before to help someone out but like all good deeds, it didn't go unpunished. The pitchfork waving crowd don't take kindly to their perception of someone getting preferential treatment.
Generally though you see more of this from the XF developers. IPS is a VERY rare instance of similar happening.
Personally, I think if you purchase an add-on 3 months or less before renewal you should not be forced to pay for a full year renewal when you didn't actually get that benefit from it. There should be a way to pro-rate a renewal cost based upon time of purchase of the add-on.
 

zappaDPJ

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Personally, I think if you purchase an add-on 3 months or less before renewal you should not be forced to pay for a full year renewal when you didn't actually get that benefit from it. There should be a way to pro-rate a renewal cost based upon time of purchase of the add-on.

I agree.
 

whitetigergrowl

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I know by now some, if not many, already know how I feel about this situation. Let alone the forum/social media debate.

Forums serve a purpose. Sure. But I feel they no longer serve the purpose they used to. As well, while they have made some improvements, social media is leaps and bounds ahead of forums in innovation and finding ways to attract people.

Like I said earlier, even if you get a cheap webhost, other costs add up pretty quickly to maintain a forum that in most cases won't generate revenue to compensate or break even the costs. So essentially forums become money pits. There are free options, some of which are ok. But like anything free there's always a cost elsewhere.

I think for most people the time and cost to maintain and support their forum (many of which are hobby forums) is reaching a critical point.

It's funny how the business world works.

If you want to expand and get bigger you need more money. So you raise costs to support that. But then when people start to slowly leave that business and not support it as much, costs get raised more to try and maintain what the business used to have. The flip side to that, is that it likely won't attract as many new customers with the price hike. But will also turn existing customers away.

So in the journey to try and keep going, businesses tend to slit their own throat so to speak. Much of the time that is due to inability to adjust to a changing market. I feel IPB (and other forum software), for as much as they trumpet forum software, are in that boat right now.

As mentioned earlier, IPB has generally always remained middle of the pack and not as popular as Xenforo or even VB when that was popular. They had the chance to overtake Xenforo while Xenforo was being sued and stopped/slowed development. But they didn't. For some reason they couldn't overtake that market share.

Do I feel IPB is worth the increased cost? No. They still have some pretty rough edges over the years that never seem to get fixed or go away no matter how many times they are brought up. Their butchering of support costs and how support is handled is another reason.

While they have official addons such as the gallery, pages, and commerce; compared to others (including 3rd party plug-in creators) they feel lacking. I prefer Xenforo Gallery over IPB gallery any day for example. It's lightweight, doesn't look or feel bloated, has less empty space, and handles video embeds much better.

I could go on. I'm not sure who IPB is aiming the price hike and support changes at. But I'm pretty certain it's not going to help its 2nd place standing in the forum community. Let alone amongst hobbyists. While it does have some nice features like the integrated marketplace and a bit more drag and drop stuff, it's got other problems IPB never seems to resolve or try to improve.

I know for me, the cost of renewals on the plug-ins, the webhost costs, the nice price and renewal hike for IPB, the horrible support changes and price increases, the rough around the edges feel of IPB, time invested, etc etc...for me it's all too much.

I think the biggest problem IPB will face from this is the defection to Xenforo and other forum software. Getting those people back won't be easy once they start to invest in new software. Which comes down to what I said half way through this post.

I think IPB just slit its own throat. I feel this further cemented Xenforos lead. At least for the near future. And I'm not sure where IPB will be going with all of this. I just don't think it's gonna be where they hope it will be.

While IPB has some nice features, with many forums struggling to attract and hold onto new members (let alone keep them active), and many forums dying, I think this will be an uphill battle and many forum owners will reassess their need for IPB and its increased costs and customer support changes when it comes time for them to. With everything I'm seeing, I just don't see this benefiting them long term like they hope.

And Matt if you see this, IPB really has a wasted space problem. While the look and layout of the forum has improved slightly, for the love of god get the look and feel of IPB into 2021 and not 2012. So much wasted space that just sits there. Tighten the forum up. Profiles for most forums have been generally useless as no one really uses them. They serve no real purpose. And kill dead space a person might leave after posting. You know. Like Xenforo and FB do. VB might even. Time to catch up.

I think what appeals to many is Xenforos less bloated, less wasted space feel. It's tight. It's quick loading and posting. It just feels more refined. IPB doesn't. And I think that's a big thing holding some people back. It needs refinement.
 
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Chris D

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Fun fact I noticed https://xenforo.com/community/threads/xf-license-renewal.198793/#post-1539300 today which covers the exact issue discussed upthread about products in tied licences and XF making an exception if you make a ticket.

I wonder if IPS would do the same in that sort of situation.
Just to be totally clear as someone else mentioned it - we make this kind of exception when we’re asked and always have done. We don’t have separate renewal dates for the extras as we feel that ends up being a rather confusing mess of having to pay for different things at different times so it makes a lot of sense to tie it all to the main license.

And it doesn’t come up as often as you may think. Most people buy other extras like XFMG RM ES around the same time as their renewal anyway and most people realise of their own accord that it’s better to renew the license first before buying the extras to ensure the renewal is as cheap as possible.

Those that don’t realise at the time often do and in those cases we’re more than happy to issue a partial refund so they’re not out of pocket.

We’re keeping an eye on it though. We don’t want people to miss the subtlety of the renewal price differences and end up paying more than they should.
 

sbjsbj

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I was writing a message yesterday. Was composing it but then had to leave. It was still in my draft as you can see in the screenshot below. I wanted to write it today but seeing Chris's message made me smile cause basically I wanted to say the same thing and don't need it anymore :D.



1633265879748.png
 

K730

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The community support is what is totally laughable. Quite frankly, the company does not have a good history of effectively managing their support forums as demonstrated time and time again, so to ask customers to "trust" that they will manage it better in the future is a big leap. This is a company that literally told customers that the company forums should not expect company support because they couldn't properly investigate issues, and "you should send in a ticket". And now the client base is expected to believe that the company will provide great support all the time on forums, when they literally said they couldn't in the past?
100%

There was a short period of time there when Invision Power Board was a 'free' product that there was great community support that came along with the old Ikonboard community. That community support has now been lacking for the better part of 15 years.


Second - support. Right here on TAZ, people have repeatedly, for years, criticized IPS for not having any/enough/active support in their forums. IPS now announces plans to fully and formally have staffed support forums.

But nobody seems to want to give it a chance. Will it work? I have no idea. Maybe it won't. But everyone is burying the idea before it even has a chance.

But IPS has never made a formalized plan/commitment like this before. That is - a commitment to provide exactly what some of the same people complained about not having before and are now complaining about the commitment to provide it?

Maybe it won't work... But maybe it will?

They could of provided support via the community in parallel to their support desk without announcing it for a few months first to trial it. However IPS has a history of crapping the bed when it comes to building trust and loyalty among its customers. This dates back to the way CharlesW handled the whole move from Invision 2.0 'trial' to fully paid. The company today would not have been what it was without those hard decisions made, however having Charles anywhere near the customer base is how you get these changes both communicated and executed so poorly.

They've had to hire JordanInvision to essentially be his public minder/speaker. No amount of video PR with hugs and exploding hearts will change how you fundamentally communicate with your customer base. For that IPS has always continually earned a 0.

No issue with IPS increasing the price for a quality product in their niche, issue with the way they go about their changes.
 
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Tracy Perry

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I could go on. I'm not sure who IPB is aiming the price hike and support changes at. But I'm pretty certain it's not going to help its 2nd place standing in the forum community. Let alone amongst hobbyists. While it does have some nice features like the integrated marketplace and a bit more drag and drop stuff, it's got other problems IPB never seems to resolve or try to improve.
Their target has never been the hobbyist. I've had a license with them for 4 1/2 years and during that entire time they acknowledged that they did not target the hobbyist market. They are primarily about the big bucks that a corporate account will bring in.
I like the script, but I do not like some of the people in charge (Charles looking directly at you) and their attitude towards their license holders. If you are a hobbyist license holder, you are basically a bastard step child to them.
 

KimmiKat

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Someone told me that a major virtual world may be dumping Invision to go to another mboard platform. No indication if they're going to Xenforo or a completely different package.

Their target has never been the hobbyist. I've had a license with them for 4 1/2 years and during that entire time they acknowledged that they did not target the hobbyist market. They are primarily about the big bucks that a corporate account will bring in.
 

JordanInvision

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No amount of video PR with hugs and exploding hearts will change how you fundamentally communicate with your customer base.

What's wrong with hugs and exploding hearts 🥰

Going to agree to disagree with the sentiment that we don't care about self-hosted clients (mentioned a few times by others as well). We're doing our best to communicate with clients in our forum on the daily (most of whom are self-hosted). The team works hard to listen to our clients and help - whether that's support-related matters or implementing change.

For example, after our price change, we rolled back asking self-hosted to pay for the full year and amended it back to the six-month term. That happened because we absorbed the feedback and wanted to take some action to show we care (because we do). We also rolled back our decision to offer Zapier for only cloud-based clients; it's now available for all. I'm sorry some people think self-hosted are the step-child.

I guess I have this mushy PR reputation, but I'm ok with that as long as the message becomes a little clearer: that we do care and are trying our best to grow while also maintaining healthy relationships with self-hosted clients. We wouldn't be where we are without them.
 

Tracy Perry

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Going to agree to disagree with the sentiment that we don't care about self-hosted clients (mentioned a few times by others as well). We're doing our best to communicate with clients in our forum on the daily (most of whom are self-hosted). The team works hard to listen to our clients and help - whether that's support-related matters or implementing change.

For example, after our price change, we rolled back asking self-hosted to pay for the full year and amended it back to the six-month term. That happened because we absorbed the feedback and wanted to take some action to show we care (because we do). We also rolled back our decision to offer Zapier for only cloud-based clients; it's now available for all. I'm sorry some people think self-hosted are the step-child.

I guess I have this mushy PR reputation, but I'm ok with that as long as the message becomes a little clearer: that we do care and are trying our best to grow while also maintaining healthy relationships with self-hosted clients. We wouldn't be where we are without them.
When you have Charles himself telling you that their primary audience and target is the commercial crowd and the self-hosted hobbyist are a simple by-product it's pretty telling that they have no real concern for those self-same hobbyist. They consider their "bread & butter" the larger corporate style accounts.
As for 6 months vs 1 year, that is a non-issue for me and probably most others as it works out to be the same amount for the year.
I think one of the "big" issues was the removal of ticket support in the base price and a HEALTHY surcharge to continue receiving ticket support. With many of us, IPS's attitude towards providing support in their SUPPORT forum left a bad taste in our mouth. I have no issues with forum based support. It's where I received my assistance with XenForo. I think in the 9 1/2 years I've had that script I submitted two tickets with them and that was at the very start. You get quality assistance from both the developers AND other admins/owners on their support forum regularly. I've got a sneaking suspicion that IPS is going to find that their work load will drastically increase due to the"forum support" process, AND they will be severely slacking in providing efficient support. I know that there are not that many capable admins on the IPS site (most are what I classify as forum owners as they have minimal system admin abilities) to answer the more technical core level questions/issues so the weight at that level is going to fall upon a limited group that is using a format that is not effective for technical support as information may have to be released into their forum that has privacy concerns. I personally don't think this was well thought out as for the benefit of the license holders, but was processed more along the lines of "how can we increase our revenue stream", something IPS (and vBulletin) are well known for.

I think $1300 a year is rather pricy for ticket support. And honestly odds are the "upgrades performed by us" most likely only entails being a stock system. Custom styles, custom Pages with associated custom templates most likely are not included in that handy dandy service.
 
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JordanInvision

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When you have Charles himself telling you that their primary audience and target is the commercial crowd and the self-hosted hobbyist are a simple by-product it's pretty telling that they have no real concern for those self-same hobbyist. They consider their "bread & butter" the larger corporate style accounts.
As for 6 months vs 1 year, that is a non-issue for me and probably most others as it works out to be the same amount for the year.
I think one of the "big" issues was the removal of ticket support in the base price and a HEALTHY surcharge to continue receiving ticket support. With many of us, IPS's attitude towards providing support in their SUPPORT forum left a bad taste in our mouth. I have no issues with forum based support. It's where I received my assistance with XenForo. I think in the 9 1/2 years I've had that script I submitted two tickets with them and that was at the very start. You get quality assistance from both the developers AND other admins/owners on their support forum regularly. I've got a sneaking suspicion that IPS is going to find that their work load will drastically increase due to the"forum support" process, AND they will be severely slacking in providing efficient support. I know that there are not that many capable admins on the IPS site (most are what I classify as forum owners as they have minimal system admin abilities) to answer the more technical core level questions/issues so the weight at that level is going to fall upon a limited group that is using a format that is not effective for technical support as information may have to be released into their forum that has privacy concerns. I personally don't think this was well thought out as for the benefit of the license holders, but was processed more along the lines of "how can we increase our revenue stream", something IPS (and vBulletin) are well known for.

I think $1300 a year is rather pricy for ticket support. And honestly odds are the "upgrades performed by us" most likely only entails being a stock system. Custom styles, custom Pages with associated custom templates most likely are not included in that handy dandy service.

Appreciate you taking the time to write that out. Think we'll have to agree to disagree, but thank you for sharing your thoughts. I know it took a minute to reflect on all that. Thank you (not being sarcastic) - ultimately if you didn't care about IC (even just a tiny little bit) you wouldn't have bothered. Have a great weekend ahead! 🙏
 

KimmiKat

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Mar 21, 2005
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My sister works for a major company and they tasked her on how to improve their company's board. They currently use Invision and due to the changes they are looking at options. I suggested she look at The Admin Zone and read about the various boards talked about and she was shocked at what Invision did and now looking to move to another package. It won't be easy as their board has over a million posts and customised. They may lean towards Xenforo or maybe have a custom in house forum.

When you have Charles himself telling you that their primary audience and target is the commercial crowd and the self-hosted hobbyist are a simple by-product it's pretty telling that they have no real concern for those self-same hobbyist. They consider their "bread & butter" the larger corporate style accounts.
As for 6 months vs 1 year, that is a non-issue for me and probably most others as it works out to be the same amount for the year.
I think one of the "big" issues was the removal of ticket support in the base price and a HEALTHY surcharge to continue receiving ticket support. With many of us, IPS's attitude towards providing support in their SUPPORT forum left a bad taste in our mouth.
 
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