Post by MrTech » Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:45 am

Just wondering if others are often left feeling caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to mods? I currently have two commercial mods that don't work as advertised and I'm @ the mercy of the developer to get them working. I paid for something that does abcdefg but in fact e,f and g are still being worked on I'm told. Or I end up reporting 2, 3, 4 errors so now I'm debugging code for them and all I had to do was dish out cash for the right to do so.

I've read there are no refunds in the extension store so I'm not going to go down that road, instead I'm just going to chalk it up as a learning mistake and move on. However there are slim chances I will be buying a mod from someone else in the near future.

How to fix it? My suggestion would be to allow extensions to have a "certified" label to work with a certain version. For example, the devel could pay $25 to have their software certified to work with a certain version that way I'm not at the whim of a developer to help me or not once he has cash in hand. Certs would be optional of course, that way serious shop owners like myself could opt to only purchase "known working code".

Getting replies from a developer saying "I don't understand I sold it many times and I've never had a problem" will not solve my undefined index errors no matter how many times it's been installed on another server! Before I get off my soap box let me just be clear to devels reading this ready to tear me a new one.

I paid for software, it throws errors at me that aren't theme related, the reply is that it's worked for many others so there is no problem. I am now out some cash, have a mod that doesn't work as advertised, devel can't fix it or won't, and I can't get a refund. I get frustrated with the developer and he tells me that it was all a big misunderstanding and that he would no longer be helping me out.

Just wondering if I'm the only one?

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Post by ncdad2four » Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:47 am

I can only speak for myself but as a developer I offer free installation on any purchased mod as I know not all stores are alike. Just because it works in store A doesn't mean it is going to work flawlessly in store B. And while it is not specifically related to the module, I feel an obligation to make sure I do what I can so the purchaser can use the mod they purchased. All that have purchased (I give the same support to my free mods as well) can tell you I offer superb support for my modules. Fast answers and if needed, free installation and troubleshooting to make sure the module works. I know not all out there provide that, but certainly don't lump all developers into the same category

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Post by OpenCart Addons » Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:51 am

I completely agree with ncdad2four.

There are some developers I'm sure that don't provide adequate support for customers, but I would think that the majority of us do.

Sometimes the problem you explain where an extension has features abcdefg, and the customer only gets abcd can also be a misunderstanding by the customer. It's hard to write a flawless product description that isn't left open to interpretation due to the different languages spoken by the OpenCart community. That's why I try to provide demo's for all of my products, this way the customer can see first hand exactly what my extension does.

Often times, when a customer asks me about a feature that they believe is missing, or believed existed in my extension, I will customize it to do what they need, and if the feature is something I think would benefit everyone I will release the next version with this feature included. So sometimes these misunderstandings can actually benefit the customer.

The hard part is like ncdad2four said, every store is different and sometimes people make modifications to key features that end up causing conflicts. I try my best to resolve the problems or will offer a refund if the problem cannot be fixed. Troubleshooting is usually a painstaking task too as some customers speak English as a second language. The easiest way to debug a problem is to see it first hand, which often requires access to the customer's store and backend, but there are customers (understandably) who won't give temporary access to a developer. This means I have to make a modification, send it to the customer, wait for them to upload the change and get back to me. If the problem continues, I have to repeat this process again. It can be time consuming for both the customer and developer in this case.

In the end, like ncdad2four, I try to provide the best possible customer support I can for all my commercial and free modifications. This includes installation, debugging (rarely required), modify the extension to change built in parameters, add new features by request, etc.

I hope you have better experiences with developers in the future, and the few bad apples slowly get weeded out in time.

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Post by Johnathan » Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:40 am

As both a developer and a purchaser of extensions, I understand there's frustration on both sides of the issue. I, too, have purchased extensions that don't seem to work quite right and have had to fix bugs with them, and it's kind of annoying. At the same time, as a developer I understand that sometimes you just can't plan for all the variables involved in someone's store set-up.

I do think it's the developer's responsibility to at least *try* to get it working in circumstances like these, as long as the extension is being used in the way it was designed. That's just good support. Unfortunately, there's no way to know if someone has good support ahead of time, except for perhaps the comments section on the extension.

You might try asking around in the forum before purchasing the extension, to see if anyone has had any experience with the developer before, and stay away from extensions where there's no history of support or no good recommendations.

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Post by MrTech » Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:40 am

Well that's just great, all the great devels reply to my rant... I feel better after reading your words of encouragement and I'll stick to buying mods from folks such as yourselves that constantly get rave reviews

The main issue is not the lack of support but mostly the amount of time and resources required to get a mod working. After over 12 emails sent and 15 days of "waiting" for some kind of fix or response it gets to the point where you ask yourself if it was worth it.

PS: For what it's worth I am a happy customer of Jonathan's and if you haven't been to his website, you need to pay a visit just to see what a well done cart can look like (no he hasn't paid me to say that).

Thanks for taking the time to post, it's appreciated.

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