[Support System] Extra Functionality

Dear WPMUDEV Team,

I've been a WPMUDEV member for almost a year now. Throughout this time I've been experiencing numerous technical issues with various plugins  (Snapshot, Hummingbird, SmartCrawl) across most of my (20) websites.

Whenever I want to submit a support request, the support contact form limits me to requesting support for only one plugin and only one website. This is very discouraging when I need to get help for 3-5 issues (plugins) on 20 different websites. And at this step I always wonder if WPMUDEV subscription is worth all the continuous frustration it's causing me, when even the support system is inadequate to receive the kind of support I need.

If you check my support tickets, you will see that getting actual resolution to a problem is a never ending story. Every time I start corresponding with the support team, it goes on for days, and it just gets more complicated, and in the end I am forced to give up since there are other things in my life I need to be doing. So I leave it and then after a while when I have more time and come back to it, I need to go through the support tickets again, getting back to the same issues, trying to get the support and the solution, and it's very mind draining and time consuming since I have to keep track of which plugins and which websites I am currently working on. I can only set aside so much time to deal with so many plugin issues on different websites.

Considering that the very reason I decided to pay the subscription for WPMUDEV was to increase productivity and save time, the fact that I have been losing so much time on just trying to make it work (as advertised) since April 23rd, 2018 is nothing short of ridiculous.

I therefore urge you to seriously consider my suggestions:

It would be nice – when creating a Support Request, to be able to select the plugin, and then add all websites that are affected with this issue, not just one website.

Another helpful feature would be having the option to select one website and then add all the plugins that are not working on that website.

These two features would go a long way in helping me (your faithful user) make some sense of the mess which I am trying to sort out, and have a better overview of issues that are actually getting resolved.

It would also provide you with the priceless insight into the number of issues a certain user is having in their hub, and the opportunity to assign their support request a senior Support operative, or give it some priority at least.

This leads me to my final suggestion – I'd like to point out that I am hanging on to the idea that WPMUDEV works for most users and that my case (being an overwhelming amount of issues) is a lonely and isolated one. I keep telling myself that the issues I am experiencing can be fixed with some proper support and that soon I will be enjoying the many benefits and blessings of WPMUDEV, like other, normal, regular users. Which is the only reason that after 10 months I am still paying for the subscription fee.

If my case is unique, then after all this time I would expect to get some urgent priority support, like maybe one person with advanced skills who would be responsible not just for giving me support, but actually finding the solution to the problems I am having.

Last three months I've been paying half the subscription fee as a sort of compensation for my troubles. I understand how internet works and I know there will always be some issues with plugin updates and conflicts and whatnot. However, the amount of issues I am experiencing is alarming, and I think it would be fair if you completely waived my subscription fee until all major issues in my hub have been resolved and I am able to actually use the tools I've been paying for.

I've shown in the past 10 months that I am a reliable, paying customer. Now it's your turn to show that you are committed to making WPMUDEV work for me.

Thanks and Regards,

Dubie Bacino

  • Adam Czajczyk
    • Support Gorilla

    Hello Dubie

    I hope you’re fine today!

    I appreciate the feedback a lot and while I personally fully agree that an ability to add more than one plugin/site to the ticket could be very handy – especially “on your side” – in some cases let me explain this a bit :slight_smile:

    1. As for above suggestion. We’re preparing/going through some important and major updates here so while I”m not exactly aware of technical details of it (as I’m not the developer or sys-admin) , I’m sure that once this is done there’ll be plenty of room to make changes and/or add new features. I’m not able to give you an ETA I’m afraid but I’m absolutely confident that we’re heading the “it can only get better” direction that’s gonna make it all a “smoother” and better experience. So thank you for the improvement idea.

    2. However, there’s a reason for kind of “forcing” separate tickets. While it might not “look like this”, in most cases even the issue that seems to be the same, can have surprisingly different reasons and require quite a different solutions. It also lets us actually better follow “what’s happening” (“multiple issues tickets” can get very complex very fast) and focus on a specific issues to provide much more accurate assistance and do it faster. Though still, I can see cases when “multiple sites/plugins” assignment could actually help :slight_smile:

    3. As for your tickets. I do understand your point and I’m sincerely sorry for any delays/inconvenience/troubles that the current “work flow” could cause to you. But I also checked your tickets just to make sure what happened so far and I can see that some are marked as resolved so apart of those they are all responded by our staff in time and are actually waiting for your reply in most cases.

    While I understand how “following all the tickets separately” can be time consuming and inconvenient, I can promise you that we’re doing everything we can to sort things out for you as quickly as (taking a specific issue into acocunt) possible.

    I also believe that in a (not so distant) future we’ll be able to add some new really fine features here to make it all easier for you and us to handle and follow up :slight_smile:

    Kind regards,

    Adam

  • Dubie
    • Free Atom

    Hello Adam!

    Many thanks for your response.

    I’d like to point out that my criticism of your support is directed exclusively at the support system, not at all at the support staff.

    I am currently corresponding with at least 5 different people on your side. As helpful as you all are, that’s still five of you and just one of me.

    Consequently, I spend all my free time submitting separate ticket requests and following up on them. It’s Sunday evening and I could have gone somewhere this weekend with my kids to enjoy the first sunlight of the spring, but no… I’ve been here glued to my desk all day long since Friday, trying to track the wide variety of issues with different WP MUDEV plugins on my websites.

    Please consider that unlike you, I am not getting paid for this. And that’s not fair. I am a paying customer, yet I feel like a beta-tester who is working full time on identifying bugs and issues so they could be “passed on to the development team” to further look into it.

    I am growing increasingly aware of the fact that the most powerful WP MUDEV plugins are the ones that still seem to be in the development mode.

    To name a few:

    Smart Crawl

    Sitemap URL crawler scan is not working as expected, and throwing the following error:

    ?Your SEO crawl has timed out due to an unknown error. Please try again or contact support.

    Please see: https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/smartcrawl-pro-smartcrawl-not-working

    Hummingbird

    Issues with the Hummingbird performance test failing that are caused by Google PageSpeed API.

    Please see: https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/hummingbird-performance-test-failure

    Snapshot / Defender

    Then there’s the issue with IO limit is an ongoing one for complex plugins, such as Defender and SnapShot.

    Please see: https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/snapshot-pro-backups-not-working-for-alienated-me and

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/io-issues-with-maxing-out-at-1mbs

    In theory these plugins can do wonders, but in reality they only seem to slow down the website and take away not hours, but days of my time.

    Anyway, that’s just my 2 cents.

    Kind Regards,

    Dubie

  • Adam Czajczyk
    • Support Gorilla

    Hello Dubie

    Thank you for your response!

    I’d like to point out that my criticism of your support is directed exclusively at the support system, not at all at the support staff.

    I absolutely understand that and please remember that all the feedback and constructive criticism (like yours) is more than welcome as it always help us understand your – Members’ – needs.

    I can assure you that we take all such feedback really seriously and we’re doing everything that we can to improve the “level of service” and to adjust the way it works to make it a “smoother experience”. However, that also can take time as over all these years around we have grown really big and any changes – especially that it not only includes “procedural changes” but also “technical” once – must be done “step by step” and with great caution.

    As for you having to deal with different people. Yes, I really can understand how inconvenient it is from your point of view. However, it would be quite difficult to assign all the issues that you report to one single person and there are multiple reasons for this; just a few of them for example:

    – that would mean that we’d have to assign a dedicated support person to each Member to keep things fair for everyone; but we’re working form different timezones and you – as Members – report very different issues so that would also make some support people ending up with very complex cases only and some with just simple things;

    – we all have some “common” knowledge and experience but pretty much all of us have also some more “specific” area of expertise so in some cases I can assist you better, in some cases one of my colleagues will be able to help you better

    Please don’t get me wrong, I’m absolutely not trying to argue with you, it’s only how this looks from our perspective. But let me emphasize this one more time: regardless of what I wrote above, this feedback of yours is very valuable and helpful for us and while I cannot promise you any changes like this to happen “right away”, I can assure you that we take it really seriously and we are already – and will continue doing that in future – doing everything we can to speed up and “smooth out” support process (hence e.g. live chat 24/7 – which wasn’t here for years; “centralizing” things via The Hub, planned future updates of our support forum and many more coming up) so I’m absolutely sure it’s gonna be better and better over time :slight_smile:

    I appreciate all you remarks a lot and thank you very much for them!

    As for your tickets, I fully realize how this affects the site but I checked them and I must confirm what I mentioned before: those are things that are specific to the environment they are happening in. I’d love to provide some “universal solution” for them but they just need to be investigated and solved individually. In general: there are 3 most common “types” of problems – those that are either bugs or some other issues that are “common” (and those are usually solved by releasing an update of the plugin), those that turn out to be bugs but only reveal themselves in a very specific circumstances, meaning very specific aspect of setup (either site or server or both) and while usually fix would also be an update to the plugin they still do need individual investigation; and those that are completely individual – while the “outcome”/error message/behavior might be the same as some other already reported cases, the culprit is different or is the same but requires different solution in each case.

    To sum it up: once again, please do not take my words as I was trying to argue with you. I hope it makes some sense to you, I’m just trying to explain a bit how the things look from “the other perspective” :slight_smile: I can assure you that we’re constantly working on making entire support process more and more convenient for you over time and we’ll also do everything humanly possible to solve all the issues that you’re reporting as solid and fast as possible.

    Thank you for the feedback again and have a great day!

    Adam

  • Adam Czajczyk
    • Support Gorilla

    Hi Dubie

    I’m sorry for the delay with response.

    Can you please clarify, as it seems I might be getting it wrong – when I should submit separate tickets? I was told by Pawel that I should “open tickets for separate issues, not sites.”

    Yes, I know about that as I spoke with Pawel about it, so sorry about causing a small confusion here. Let me just clarify this then :slight_smile:

    Basically, the idea is that there should be a single ticket per single issue per one site. Of course nothing wrong happens if you don’t follow this convention and whatever you do and however you report the issue, we will work with you and assist you the best that we can anyway.

    But the recommended way (that’s helping us “stay on top of things”, help you faster and more accurate way) is to “keep things separate”. There are some exceptions though but it’s not like we have a “closed set of strict rules”. I’d rather say, let’s all just follow our common sense :slight_smile: If you’re experiencing an issue that manifests itself with the same errors/warnings/behavior with the same plugin, on the three sites of yours, configured in very similar way and hosted on the very same server (it’s important) – that would be perfectly valid case for a “single ticket”.

    Now, the same case but those sites are hosted on different server or they are on the same server but the configuration of these sites is very different from each other – that would rather be recommended to put it into separate tickets.

    Another example: let’s say you want to make a series of small, “cosmetic” changes to the number of your sites and you need help with CSS. On 1st site you want to change the H1 header font color on homepage, on 2nd site you want to enlarge logo image, on 3rd you’d like to change color of the submit button on the form… and so on. Surely there’s no reason to put these all issues in separate tickets (tho you are welcome to if you want) as they are just simple CSS issues that can be solved easily with simple lines of CSS.

    But if in case of the same three sites it happens that on first one you need help with nearly complete re-styling of the layout of appointments booking calendar, on the second one you need help with creating child-theme and custom page template and on the third one it’s some layout issue with Slider Revolution slider – that’s again something that should go into separate tickets :slight_smile:

    I hope that makes more sense now :slight_smile: Still though: regardless of what I wrote above, please remember that we are here to help and we’ll always do our best to assist you. “Worst case” scenario: we’d just ask you to create a separate ticket for one of the issues or create it for you and point you to it :slight_smile:

    Have a great day,

    Adam

  • Dubie
    • Free Atom

    Hi Adam,

    I understand what you are saying, but the examples you have given involve styling and cosmetic changes, and I still haven’t moved on from basic functionality issues. I am not dealing with the change in font color but struggling to keep my websites accessible online.

    I really can’t keep up anymore. This morning I found two of my websites down. After spending 20 minutes on checking the hosting end to identify the problems, I spent another 40 minutes just going through my support tickets with WPMU DEV to find the ones relating to these two websites in order to update them. Then some extra time to cross-reference them in case they are related.

    When i submit a new ticket, I am asked to reference the website affected. I suppose this website is visible on your end. However, on my end the website referenced is not displayed, only the plugin and the issue. This makes it very difficult for me to track down the website in each ticket, especially when I have multiple websites affected with the “seemingly” same issue.

    Before using WP MUDEV, honestly I had no idea what was wrong with my websites in terms of performance, speed, security, etc. and I didn’t care since there were no issues with hosting. It was a state of blissful ignorance. Now WPMU DEV gives me this powerful set of tools that tell me in great detail what needs to be improved and how to do it, but every time I attempt to make improvements, it’s like taking one step forward and three steps back.

    I can take a hit when my website goes down, but when a client’s website goes down, the only thing I can take is a Xanax. I can’t afford to gamble with my professional rep or stress out over website stability. And I can’t afford to invest any more of my free time in this either. The only thing I can afford at this point is WPMU DEV subscription fee, but as far as investments go, it doesn’t seem to be a smart one.

    Regards,

    Dubie

  • Adam Czajczyk
    • Support Gorilla

    Hello Dubie

    I understand what you are saying, but the examples you have given involve styling and cosmetic changes, and I still haven’t moved on from basic functionality issues. I am not dealing with the change in font color but struggling to keep my websites accessible online.

    Yes, I understand that. These were just examples that I gave hoping to make the things (in terms of how this works) a bit cleared. They weren’t related to your sites.

    I’m really sorry to hear that it’s so inconvenient and time consuming for you. But please trust me on this: we’re doing everything to help you as fast and efficiently as possible. I can also assure you that we take all the feedback really seriously and it’s extremely valuable for us, helping us make things better overtime. Just please note that any changes, especially that big like related to the way tickets are created and handled, must take time. But we keep and plan to keep improving things out.

    It’s also always good to try to follow the practices outlined here as it really helps us help you:

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/docs/getting-started/getting-support/

    Kind regards,

    Adam

Thank NAME, for their help.

Let NAME know exactly why they deserved these points.

Gift a custom amount of points.