Tue, 1st July 2014
Dear UnHappy Customer,
Your leaving us so suddenly put some of us in a state of great disbelief. We couldn't believe it was you who was so unhappy and never let us know about it. Our support was very upset as we didn't see it coming. Whenever a loyal customer leaves us in such a way, this is a great cause of concern, and we need to find out what we did wrong to at least make sure we know how to not make the same mistake again.
Going through our history of doing business together, which, btw, dates back to early March of 2010 (yep, a four year history of successful website operation), and reading your most recent email, it appears that we know what the deal is. Unfortunately, hind sight 20/20, this could have been a 5-minute fix, had it not evolved into such a sad situation. Since you specifically asked us to not contact you again via email, we'll respond here and clarify certain points using facts, not emotions.
You are mentioning that our product is heavily encoded. This is not true at all, and anyone can download it free of charge, unzip and see. Of the total of 6,079 files (excluding paid modules), just 53 files are encoded. This equals to 0.8% of the total files, less than 1 per cent of the total.
You are saying that it costs customers $175 to set up a custom project. It is not true either, as it costs any customer only $75, and for this much money we perform two installations, one on our server to show you the draft of the project, and the other one, on your server, with all the changes in it. In addition to that, we'll have to create a customization patch, upload it on your server, and if anything goes wrong, we'd have to fix it until it works.
Again, you are stating that you were requested to pay $600 for two websites to upgrade to the latest version. For whatever reasons, you appear to forget to mention that the $600 for two websites is the actual cost of two custom upgrades of two heavily modified websites with multiple customizations. The upgrade was forced upon all of us by PHP changing its syntax, and ISP's phasing out servers with the old PHP version. We of course released a new version of the products, and provided everyone with FREE upgrade patches like everyone else does.
The fact is that you would need time to figure out how to update your websites, where many files were modified (because it is open source) per your request. The total cost is not for the upgrade, but it is for us to do it, pure labor costs. Upgrade patch is FREE. We fail to understand why you never considered hiring a third-party developer if you didn't like our costs. There's a ton of them out there who can do this job just as well. We'd even recommend you an awesome company like www.arayoweb.com that makes marvelous websites based on our products.
When you are saying that we are stealing from our customers "a large amount of money without providing a full true open source copy", ask yourself, Have we ever promised you to provide you a 100% open source and editable copy? Our EULA specifically says that some files are encoded for intellectual property protection. If it was a full open source, then anyone could purchase a copy and start reselling it everywhere. Why would we take ourselves out of business by doing something as stupid as this? Not sure what your expectations are, but they don't appear to be realistic.
You complain about spending 2K over the span of four years of successfully running a website for your customer based on iAuto. For that money, you had several custom projects, a full license with addons, and you are complaining that you spent $500/yr to run a comprehensive classified website? How much did YOU charge your customer over that period of time? Getting a website that runs for four years steady, and quitting because we asked for $200 for a custom upgrade of the PHP version just because you didnt' want to do it yourself? Good luck with your business DW, and God bless you!!!