Xenforo Forum Staff

Wes of StarArmy

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Joined
Sep 17, 2006
Messages
399
Today I posted in a thread where a user who hadn't bought Xenforo left was asking a pre-sales question about a style that he saw on another Xenforo site. The question was NOT a technical support question, but nevertheless the Xenforo staff refused to help him because he hadn't purchased Xenforo yet...but this was in the pre-sales forum, so of course he hadn't. It was frankly an embarassment for Xenforo's staff and I, after serious consideration, ended up pointing out that this was not a great way for them to handle people shopping for forum software.

This post I made was:

This thread is a great example of how to drive away people who are interested in purchasing Xenforo. It seems like the the OP is just trying to "window-shop" for themes before he buys XF and instead of help he was basically told to pound sand by staff and some of the most prominent posters on the forum.

The style they're using is FlatAwesome by Pixel Exit. You can purchase it here for $30 after you have purchased your Xenforo license.

I hope you still purchase Xenforo. I've been using Xenforo since 2013 and I really love it, and I think you will too if you use it for your forum.
If you want to see the whole thread it's here: https://xenforo.com/community/threads/what-is-the-name-of-this-theme.163568/#post-1341098

I was very, very nervous about doing this because I depend heavily on Xenforo for my own website and I don't want to get on the Xenforo staff's bad side. I felt it was the right thing to help this random guy and the wrong thing to ignore the thread out of self-interest. Also, I feel like the more people buy Xenforo, the better off we all are because that means more support and more updates.

I really love Xenforo as a software, but this got me thinking:

Is there an issue with the attitude of Xenforo staff? I'm not saying there is or isn't but I want to put the question out there. I feel like I've heard rumbles in the past about some people feeling unhappy with them. I am kind of worried now about what will happen to me for calling them out. I don't think they're bad people or anything but it's generally a faux paux to go in a different direction than the moderators on any forum, and I just did that because customer service seemed to have been tossed under the bus in that thread. Anyone else have this issue? If so, is there anything they or we can do to improve the situation?
 

we_are_borg

Administrator
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Jan 25, 2011
Messages
5,381
There us an issue with the forum itself, i almost never post there i find the atmosphere not welcoming. When i look back at vBulletin the forum felt differently but i felt welcomed, the same with IPS but its i think harder to get support from peers vs vBulletin and Xenforo. From day one on the XF forum it felt like you’ll needed to be a fanboy of Xenforo and KAM.

You and Alfa1 and another gave an answer that is correct and diplomatic. Just by saying its x from y but they will only help if you have a Xenforo license because you’ll need the token. He has his answer but he now knows he needs a valid license because else you can not buy the style.
 

Russ

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Oct 20, 2011
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I think over the years they've just seen so many people try to skirt around getting support in the presales area, it's kind of a grey area. If he is running a nulled license, he's literally trying to get support by asking what style it is. But when someone could add "I'm looking into purchasing XF, I'm curious if anyone knows what style this is?" It's really not that big of a deal to answer the question in my opinion either way.
 

Chris D

XenForo Developer
Joined
Aug 23, 2012
Messages
786
Whilst mistakes occasionally happen, in this case we have other reasons to suspect that this is not a prospective customer.

That said, no complaints about your reply.

In isolation, without context, I can see how it might look harsh. But it’s one post out of tens of thousands which are friendly, helpful and supportive.

There us an issue with the forum itself, i almost never post there i find the atmosphere not welcoming. When i look back at vBulletin the forum felt differently but i felt welcomed, the same with IPS but its i think harder to get support from peers vs vBulletin and Xenforo. From day one on the XF forum it felt like you’ll needed to be a fanboy of Xenforo and KAM.
I feel like we’ve had this conversation before but I do not understand where this comes from in the slightest.

You never provide any concrete examples and it seems to be based on some vague “feeling” that is not shared by the majority of our customers.

Please don’t avoid posting there. Please post there and I’m certain you will get the support you require.
 

Alfa1

Administrator
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3,914
From his seemingly evasive posts I got the sense that the user may not really be looking to buy the skin but rather needed the name to then look up the nulled version.
 

R0binHood

Habitué
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Nov 23, 2011
Messages
1,336
I checked out the forum linked in his post and it certainly has some interesting content :eek::D

I'd be game for some raiding a neighbouring borough here in London. Somalis have all the fun.

Considering how many of the active ocean pirates today are Somali, I wouldn't put it past someone pirating XF to start a Somali forum :p

upload_2019-4-8_16-29-51.png
 

Steve

Fanatic
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Apr 17, 2009
Messages
3,743
but he now knows he needs a valid license because else you can not buy the style.
This isn’t the case at Pixel Exit, we don’t create any extra hurdles to purchase a style. We know from experience things like that only annoy legitimate customers and has near zero impact on our styles being on nulled site.

Edit: I will say we do take action if it’s an obvious violation of our terms but we do not go “hunting”.
 

Wes of StarArmy

Adherent
Joined
Sep 17, 2006
Messages
399
Yeah, I saw the Somali forum and the first thing I did to answer his question was to look for the branding and when I saw it was missing it made me wonder whether or not the forum was legit. I ended up getting the answer from viewing the source. I didn't want to assume malice. If it had been a technical support question I would have told him to get a license, definitely.

Thanks for the reply, Chris D -- I feel a lot better now.
 

we_are_borg

Administrator
Joined
Jan 25, 2011
Messages
5,381
I feel like we’ve had this conversation before but I do not understand where this comes from in the slightest.
We had few years back and still i have that feeling at Xenforo but strangely i still have that feeling after all that time. If i could pinpoint why i feel like that i could talk about it but i can’t it’s just a feeling or vibes from the forum and users (some we know a long time).
 

R0binHood

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Nov 23, 2011
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Ahh yes, I never got into hooliganism. Might have to give it a go sometime to see what all the fuss is about.
 

cornnfedd

Captain Futurama
Joined
Aug 12, 2006
Messages
996
I am pretty sure that poster was a spammer or something similar, it seemed dodgy to me, and I reported a few other posts in that topic for spam as well with people posting some sneaky links and stuff... I didn't have an issue with the response but I would agree maybe they can be a bit nicer about it.

Other then that I have found the forum quiet helpful for me so far.
 

sanction9

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Joined
Feb 19, 2015
Messages
216
For the record, this guy was almost certainly using a nulled version of the software. I know because of some of the questions he asked me via conversation, which would have been when he was still supposedly considering buying it. One of them was, "I still haven’t figured out how to change my logo on the forum page. Any help would be appreciated." After that, it was, "I’m new to using Cpanel, where would I go to find the folder to upload too ?" And I answered him because I was only half-awake at the time and probably still drinking my first cup of coffee and wasn't really thinking straight.

Then there was one last comment: "thanks for the help my friend. once i realized where the default logo was, i did a face palm when i realized how easy it was to upload a image to the server LMAO. its all a learning experience so im taking it in stride. are you running the 2.1 version ?" By that point I'd had a "Wait a minute..." moment, so I never responded again.

Anyway, I'm not in the habit of sharing personal conversations, but I figured I'd make an exception in this case to vindicate the XF crew. :tup:
 

Dryline

Neophyte
Joined
Apr 30, 2016
Messages
7
I don’t post a lot on XF but whenever I have I felt I was treated with respect and never given the slip. I think it largely depends on the tone of the post and whether or not it’s obvious you’ve done your homework by searching first to see if your issue or question has already been addressed multiple times before.
 

fixer

I'm In My Prime
Joined
Jan 28, 2010
Messages
2,061
We had few years back and still i have that feeling at Xenforo but strangely i still have that feeling after all that time. If i could pinpoint why i feel like that i could talk about it but i can’t it’s just a feeling or vibes from the forum and users (some we know a long time).
its the cabbage Brogan
 

Joel R

Fan
Joined
Nov 24, 2013
Messages
775
There's a huge brand lesson here. This customer only visits twice a year, and in this precious and rare touchpoint with the company, he was completely disgusted by the response from an official rep who was trying to be a clever wiseass.

This is unfortunately something that Ive seen firsthand on the Invision Community forums too.

When you represent a brand, you have to be extra careful. Comments of unqualified sarcasm, even with no malicious intentions, can be interpreted very badly by customers.

Even for someone like me with a quasi-official title on Invision Community, anytime I joke it now has to be after qualifications of positive intent back to the user so they know I'm supportive. This means first acknowledging their concern and expressing appreciation. This positively affirms them as a person. Only then do I allow myself to crack a joke.

This is an important nuance of communication that brand representatives need to pick up on.
 

haqzore

Devotee
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Dec 6, 2012
Messages
2,243
Brogan is knowledgeable, but regularly & consistently comes off as an annoyed expert rather than a customer facing company representative.
 

MagicalAzareal

Magical Developer
Joined
Apr 25, 2019
Messages
561
When you represent a brand, you have to be extra careful. Comments of unqualified sarcasm, even with no malicious intentions, can be interpreted very badly by customers.
It's a tricky one. For some people, it can be really easy to just let out a bit of sarcasm, controlling my emotions isn't exactly always my strong suit lol

It is fairly important though, as some people take offence to far different things than others and some have more tolerance than others might. The amount of exposure they have to a community usually also has an impact on what they're willing to tolerate.
 

Joel R

Fan
Joined
Nov 24, 2013
Messages
775
It's definitely true that users will interpret various levels of offense, but the burden is always on the brand representative to speak in a way that doesn't cause offense.
 
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