Stay away from Invision Power Services and their products – it's a shady and greedy company

simonweb

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Oct 12, 2013
Messages
26
Okay, this is going to be a long rant about Invision Community, aslo known as IPS or Invision Power Services, Inc. and Invision Power Board (IPB). If you don't want to read it all, the tl;dr is that Invision Power Services is a shady and greedy company that you should not do business with.

Alright, so earlier today I purchased the official Blog add-on from their website invisioncommunity.com so I could add it to my community. I already have the Forum, Gallery and Pages (which is their CMS-system) add-ons which I've purchased and added to my community in the past.

Once I've finished the check-out process and had paid $75 for the offical Blog add-on I went to my Client Area to download the files for the new, and to be honest rather overpriced add-on. And to my surprise I was greeted by a message that said that I first need to renew my license in order to access the new add-on which I had just purchased.

And incidentally, since I purchased the new add-on (which I am not allowed to download!) my renewal fee had increased with $10 and will now cost me $60. That's $60 for only 6 months of access to files which you have paid for.

In the past, my license has been automatically renewed when I've purchased new add-ons for my different websites. My license for this site expired on December 24th, only nine days ago. So it's not like I haven't been an "active customer" for Invision Power Services (IPS).

Obviously I just thought that this was some temporary glitch in their system or something, so I sent their support team a message asking for help to download the new add-on which I had just purchased. I explained that I've purchased add-ons before from Invision Power Services (IPS) and that I've never had to pay for a renewal as well. Earlier, my license have been renewed for another 6 months when I've purchased a new add-on.

Jim Morrissey from the Invision Power Services (IPS) support team said this in a reply to my question:
Sorry, in order to download our core application files you must have an active license. It seems that adding the new application has canceled your pending invoice for your license renewal. I have regenerated this invoice for the current renewal of your license.

Thanks,
Jim M.
Invision Power Services, Inc.

So I replied back and basically said that in the past my license had been automatically renewed when I've purchased new add-ons for my suits. I also asked for clarification if this was not the case anymore. It's worth noting that none of the pages during the check-out process or inside the Client Area had explained that I also had to pay a license renewal fee to access the files I was about to purchase.

Jim answered my new support question with this comment:
Sorry but applications can no longer be renewed at different points and the renewal has been placed on the whole license. With your license currently in expiration at time of purchase of Blog, you are not being charged any extra, the invoices are just being delivered separately.

Thanks,
Jim M.
Invision Power Services, Inc.

And wow. This is really greedy.

This new change in the license policy was not explained anywhere during the check-out process. Invision Power Services (IPS) even allowed me to purchase a new add-on despite my license not being active!

So I've just paid $75 on a new add-on which I don't have access to until I renew my licence, which just happened to INCREASE with $10 after I purchased the new add-on (that I am not allowed to download). So I've just wasted $75 on NOTHING.

I thought I only had to pay $75 do get a new add-on for my Invision Community. But with this hidden cost I have to pay $135 to access my new add-on.

Only shady companies use hidden fees like this. I used to think Invision Power Services (IPS) was a honest company that you could trust, but I guess I was wrong!

Invision Power Services (IPS) shouldn’t let you add new add-ons if your license isn’t active. The system should force you to renew first and then you can purchase additional add-ons. This way just feels like a shady and greedy business practice which I frankly hadn't expected from Invision Power Services (IPS).

I have created a topic about this on their official forums, it's located here if you want to check out the conversation: https://invisioncommunity.com/forums/topic/442852-cannot-download-my-newly-purchased-blog-add-on/

To be continued!

Update 3/1-18: See this post
 
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Paul M

Dr Pepper Addict
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Jun 26, 2006
Messages
4,012
Allowing you to buy something that you cannot then download not only seems dodgy, its probably illegal.

That said, I think you are being somewhat OTT in your reaction. Having been involved in maintaining a pretty complex forum software sales and licensing system, I suspect this is just a bug in the way their system currently works, caused by a recent change of policy, I highly doubt its deliberate.
 
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tony45

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Jul 1, 2014
Messages
190
I thought I only had to pay $75 do get a new add-on for my Invision Community. But with this hidden cost I have to pay $135 to access my new add-on.

Only shady companies use hidden fees like this. I used to think Invision Power Services (IPS) was a honest company that you could trust, but I guess I was wrong!

Invision Power Services (IPS) shouldn’t let you add new add-ons if your license isn’t active.

Since some years ago (3 I think) you have to have your licence active to be able to download the rest of your stuff, thats something logical, dont you think?. Thats not a hidden fee.
I dont remember exactly their client area (Im a community in the cloud client so everything is much easy now), but I do remember it was really clear that the most important thing was to have your license active
 

Tracy Perry

Opinionated asshat
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May 25, 2013
Messages
5,046
It is rather poorly handled on their part. If your license is expired, it should NOT allow you to purchase an add-on (first party). Simply providing a notice that a required renewal must be paid before further purchases would have sufficed.
It also sounds like their great commerce package screwed the pooch as it should have kept your renewal invoice as valid and then added the price of the add-on to it AND added the difference in the support tier that the add-on costs per year.
I have to agree also with the post above that the allowing of purchase but refusing the ability to obtain the product would most likely be illegal. No different than going into a store and buying a TV but then them refusing to give it to you because you didn't purchase the ongoing service contract for it.

BUT, this is not that different from many other scripts. They have streamlined their licensing so that ALL 1st party add-ons renew at the same time. It's one of the reasons even with XF it's foolish to buy the RM, gallery or ES if you only have a month or two left in your license as you only get that few months of use out of it before it needs to be renewed.
I'm pretty sure XF will allow you to purchase the add-on even if your license is expired...

There are differences between the two... with XF you can download ANY version up to the latest when your license expired. With IPS you can ONLY download the latest, and if your license is expired and there is a newer version, you sure as hell better hope you kept your latest version downloaded in a safe place.
 

simonweb

Aspirant
Joined
Oct 12, 2013
Messages
26
Here's an update for you guys! Lindy from their management team sent me this message today:
I'm very sorry for the confusion and frustration here. With Invision Community 4, the applications are much more tightly integrated and as a result, it's really not possible to operate them independently of each other as was possible in past versions. The ability to update one application without updating the entire suite was causing significant outages and damages to client sites, so coupled with confusion on renewals, we streamlined the process a couple of years ago. Now all applications need to be renewed, upgraded and maintained in full.

With that said, the confusion here is simply due to a bug on our end. You should not have been permitted to purchase any additional applications without first renewing your license. Unfortunately, because the license expired so recently, the system did not "catch" this and properly warn you. For that, I'm very sorry. Our development team will be correcting this issue shortly to prevent any future mishaps and frustration.

This was not an intentional act - you should not have been able to purchase Blog, because as you've correctly noted, you wouldn't be able to download it unless the parent license is active.

If you would like to proceed with a refund for Blog, I will certainly do that. Alternatively, I can remove Blog from the renewal and once you reactivate the suite license, everything will be available to you. Please let me know how you'd like to proceed.

Once again, my apologies for the confusion.

Regards,

Lindy Throgmartin
Management Team
Invision Power Services, Inc.
I am happy to hear that Invision Power Services (IPS) are taking this seriously and that they are looking into ways to ensure that this does not happen again to other customers - because it really looked like some shady business practice and a cheap money grab. And it restores some of my faith in IPS, to be honest. But with that said, I will seriously look for alternatives to IPS for future projects.
 
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haqzore

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Dec 6, 2012
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2,579
Still a dramatic, sensationalized topic.

They publicized long ago you would need an active license.

They made a mistake (they're human) via a bug allowing your purchase.

The initial responses were understandably frustrating, but no reason to run screaming rape as this topic did.

But they've made good, admitted fault, and committed to preventing it from recurring.

You're going to have better results giving credit for how a company handles a mishap rather than looking for one who is perfect and never messes up.

Everyone makes mistakes. Companies who handle them well are worth your business.
 

dynamite

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Joined
Jan 7, 2004
Messages
52
IPS has had some issues with their licensing system for a long time. I had a similar issue where the system tried charging me $35 extra on a new purchase back in 2014. It was fixed, but I can understand the frustration. They really do need to come up with a better way to handle their licensing. I have never had or heard of this issue with other companies
 

Dubbed Navigator

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Jul 22, 2014
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Although I do think IPS are somewhat expensive, to call them a shady company for what was ultimately a mistake they did rectify is a wee bit unfair.
 

AdamD

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Oct 21, 2007
Messages
2,846
The only thing I don't like about IPS' license system is that even when you've paid for a product, if the license/subscription isn't renewed, it blocks you from downloading anything.
You'd think it would be like vBulletin and Xenforo's system, where you can download copies UP to the point where the subscription expired.
 

Hostname.club

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Joined
Dec 4, 2014
Messages
18
This is a big mistake from their billing system, not their fault. Their policy also changed from IPB v4 as a staff said on a thread.
Hmm, seems you are not lucky enough :D
 

Tecca

Fan
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Apr 13, 2009
Messages
786
This is a big mistake from their billing system, not their fault.
It's their system, it's technically their fault. But they handled things the right way imo. From my experience with IPS, they're a pretty great company overall.
 

gogoblender

shiny happy pantless
Joined
Feb 20, 2006
Messages
15,308
Still a dramatic, sensationalized topic.

They publicized long ago you would need an active license.

They made a mistake (they're human) via a bug allowing your purchase.

The initial responses were understandably frustrating, but no reason to run screaming rape as this topic did.

But they've made good, admitted fault, and committed to preventing it from recurring.

You're going to have better results giving credit for how a company handles a mishap rather than looking for one who is perfect and never messes up.

Everyone makes mistakes. Companies who handle them well are worth your business.


Well said.
it's great seeing the companies we purchase from "tested" and coming through in a fashion that earns our admiration and keeps earning our trust.
Ten years now with them, and very satisfied

:)

gogo
 

Ummagumma

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Feb 27, 2015
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487
Surely this thread can be seen as extremely damaging, over a simple glitch/bug that seemingly was an innocent mistake?
 

121JEJ12EJ

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Jul 20, 2019
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Ummagumma said:
Surely this thread can be seen as extremely damaging, over a simple glitch/bug that seemingly was an innocent mistake?
My response:
It may damage IPS's reputation, however, the thread started contacted IPS's Customer Support first, and they refused to understand/correct the bug, but of course, Customers do have every right to protest against those Companies.
 

JordanInvision

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Apr 28, 2021
Messages
25
Hey simonweb, Jordan from Invision Community here. I am really sorry to hear about your experience.

As someone who's used Invision Community for more than a decade, and now officially works for IC, I find this post a bit upsetting 😢.

Simon, I know I'm late to the game in responding to this, however I'd still like to reach out and see if there's anything we can do to correct course. I don't want to silence you by any means, but perhaps we can find some resolution so we can work towards scrubbing this post off the Internet. That is, of course, if you decide it'd be worth doing. I would hate for someone to pass on the opportunity of using us because they read this (though I can understand your frustration. Let's see if we can help ya out if it's not too late ;]). And if it is I just want to apologize for your experience and tell you we continually strive to grow and become better.

Please feel free to reach out to me via this thread or via PM. That goes for anyone reading as well :]

Sending you lots of good vibes. 🙏

- Jordan
 

TLChris

Administrator
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Jan 2, 2020
Messages
347
Hey simonweb, Jordan from Invision Community here. I am really sorry to hear about your experience.

As someone who's used Invision Community for more than a decade, and now officially works for IC, I find this post a bit upsetting 😢.

Simon, I know I'm late to the game in responding to this, however I'd still like to reach out and see if there's anything we can do to correct course. I don't want to silence you by any means, but perhaps we can find some resolution so we can work towards scrubbing this post off the Internet. That is, of course, if you decide it'd be worth doing. I would hate for someone to pass on the opportunity of using us because they read this (though I can understand your frustration. Let's see if we can help ya out if it's not too late ;]). And if it is I just want to apologize for your experience and tell you we continually strive to grow and become better.

Please feel free to reach out to me via this thread or via PM. That goes for anyone reading as well :]

Sending you lots of good vibes. 🙏

- Jordan
Hi JordanInvision - welcome to TAZ, and congrats on your new role. You're replying to a 3 year old thread, that the OP posted an update from Lindy resolving a number of concerns. Not sure what else you're looking to change, unless you're looking to remove this thread per your post.
 

JordanInvision

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Messages
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Hi @JordanInvision - welcome to TAZ, and congrats on your new role. You're replying to a 3 year old thread, that the OP posted an update from Lindy resolving a number of concerns. Not sure what else you're looking to change, unless you're looking to remove this thread per your post.
Ohhhh?!

I don't particularly love the idea of censoring someone's posts/thoughts. However, if the issue has since been resolved, and TAZ is open to removing/hiding this thread from view, I'd be very grateful for that. If not I understand of course.

And thank you for the kind words!
 

dynamite

Participant
Joined
Jan 7, 2004
Messages
52
Ohhhh?!

I don't particularly love the idea of censoring someone's posts/thoughts. However, if the issue has since been resolved, and TAZ is open to removing/hiding this thread from view, I'd be very grateful for that. If not I understand of course.

And thank you for the kind words!
JordanInvision - I understand the intentions are good, but digging up a 3 year old post is probably more harmful than good. Also, with the internet you can never truly make something go away, so even if TAZ removed it, I'm sure there are archival places to still see it. Also, as a business owner, seeing that a company has worked to resolve a customers complaint is a good thing. Lindy and I have had disagreements in the past about Invision's billing system, but I think his response to this post was reasonable and satisfactory, and it shouldn't be removed from the forums just because it isn't favorable to Invision.
 

JordanInvision

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Apr 28, 2021
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JordanInvision - I understand the intentions are good, but digging up a 3 year old post is probably more harmful than good. Also, with the internet you can never truly make something go away, so even if TAZ removed it, I'm sure there are archival places to still see it. Also, as a business owner, seeing that a company has worked to resolve a customers complaint is a good thing. Lindy and I have had disagreements in the past about Invision's billing system, but I think his response to this post was reasonable and satisfactory, and it shouldn't be removed from the forums just because it isn't favorable to Invision.
Totally understand. It was worth inquiring about. It shows up on the first page of Google when searching 'Invision Community reviews' :sob:💔

I see the OP's response which includes a message from Lindy, but I fear people stumbling upon this page via search engines won't read the thread, just that first post. 😢

Would you be open to updating the title so it says: "Stay away from Invision Power Services and their products – it's a shady and greedy company | Update: Invision Power Services responds"

Appreciate you taking the time to respond.
 
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