Customer Satisfaction Poll - Customers Only Please
I am posting this poll as I am interested to see what others think of PS3. I for one am experiencing an unacceptable level of issues.
I am posting this poll as I am interested to see what others think of PS3. I for one am experiencing an unacceptable level of issues.
We appreciate any and all feedback. To anyone participating in this poll please also comment here on any aspects that you are satisfied or dissatisfied with so that we can continue to improve our products.
See this post: showthread.php?t=10766
I can't get past the installation wizard due to a special database user privilege required.
I'm trying to run this a very typical standard Linux hosting provider called Surpass. I've installed many application with this provider. I've also installed Power Gallery.
So now I have to set the installation aside and wait a few days for support to help me out.
Sorry folks, just venting - but it gets frustrating.
Here's my list of problems:
1) Massively Insufficient documentation. This is a problem with most of your software - but this one is the worst I've seen so far. We are reduced to asking basic questions on this forum, but all of these things should be addressed in a thorough "How To" or "Help" guide that goes into great detail step-by-step how this works. (I remember back in the good old days how fantastic your Data Assist help guide was!) There should be a site map that explains what pages do what - and a Database map to explain how the data flows. This would save most of us hours and weeks of reverse engineering so that we can more easily customize this product.
2) Lots of bugs that aren't documented on the forum in a "KNOWN ISSUES" topic - or on the FAQ. (Goes back to my documentation statement.) One must painstakingly search through this help forum to find answers to major issues that have come up. (Like the USPS test API problem.)
3) Misrepresented as a much simpler solution than it is. It DOES require a thorough knowledge of database structure and CSS and php with dynamic site experience to customize this store one bit.
4) More explanation on how to integrate/customize this store with the WebAssist Dreamweaver extensions if we own them.
5) I haven't tried it behind an SSL yet - but that should be explained/addressed as well in the documentation.
6) Some of my questions on this forum have yet to be addressed. And once again - all would be fine if there was some thorough documentation on how this store works with data and site maps.
Great post by "carlene"
Great software with poor documentation and slow support = software I don't want to purchase. It's important to us web designer/developers to get these applications up and running quickly, good documnetation helps tremendously. I gave up on eCart a few years back, it's not worth the effort and time it takes to get one of those up and running when there are plenty of very powerful solutions out there that I don't have to build the application from scratch. That's why I bought Power Store. Bottom line good doc's are so important.
All I am seeing from all the other posts is that even after I get PS 3 installed - which has in itself become quite frustrating - I will no doubt continue to have ongoing issues long after the installation process is complete. The advertised PowerStore made for the general public, looks to be not necessarily so. My I please suggest that there be some sort of phone access to tech support for us "special needs" folks. i.e. the greenhorn that bought the idea of simple install and maintenance of PowerStore. Or, perhaps a much quicker response time in the forums might be the answer - certainly a good first step. Maybe longer hours for tech support (think about us in EST & CST) and more tech personnel help in general. Or, maybe a better way of finding a previously answered question with better indexing, etc. Maybe more videos? The way things stand now, what is happening is bad for future business and will hurt WebAssist's good reputation. Nevertheless, I am now committed to this cause which I never dreamed would become so daunting. I am indeed hoping for the best!
There have been several bugs found so far in the new release of PowerStore (ver. 3) This is not too surprising considering how much was changed between ver. 2 and ver. 3. I lot of nice new features!...but also, just like Microsoft has proven...with a lot of new functionality...comes a lot of bugs. It's just the nature of the game.
However, that is not the end of the story.
(1) Customer Service/Technical Support
(2) Change Control
(3) Quality Assurance
(4) Marketing Strategy.
These are the primary issues that PowerStore 3 has forced to the forefront. WebAssist is (I hope) planning to be around for a while. I hope you are. I like your products.
(4) Marketing Stragety. I'll take the last item first, as it is the shortest. Selling low cost products: To be successful over the long term...you need to have many customers... and many repeat customers who will promote your brand. Your marketing stragety is to sell (or via subscription) offer a lot of low cost products to a lot of customers and to continue to resell to them with newer, and more functional products...right?
To be successful at that, you need to keep your existing customers. In today's world, bad news travels fast...and far. It has always been true that bad news travels faster than good news. But it is so much more so in today's internet assisted world.
Defects in PowerStore 3 have raised the stakes in working with WebAssist's technical support team and call into question your support delivery methodology and functionality
Some of your more recent decisions on licensing (purchase vs. a subscription model) have I believe harmed your reputation. Also, the very short 30-day warrantee is not industry standard and will turn away prospective developers if they have heard any criticism of the quality of your products...just not worth taking a chance if you only have 30 days to get free product updates for defects. As a consultant-developer I would never subscribe to a tool set that I did not have an right to use if I cancelled the subscrition...How would I support my existing customers?
(1) Technical Support...in terms of post-release issues.
(1a) Not Appropriately scaled based upon product customer base.
Who are your customers? My impression is that many of your customers are not corporate IT folks...not even medium-sized businesses with on-hand IT staffs. Rather, they (we) are small businesses...without a dedicated staff for IT, or the time to become IT gurus ourselves.
We purchased from WebAssist because you promised products that required "No Coding" to be functional out of the box. In many cases this has been true. But lately...especially with PowerStore 3... your promise has been broken. There are many problem with Powerstore 3 that are I believe very minor...needing only a few tweeks to fix...providing that you are familiar with PHP/MySQL/CSS/HTML...etc...etc...
But therein lies the problem. We purchased because your products advertise they are ready to go (solid)...out of the box...with no coding required. So, when we find that something is not working...(i.e....it is in fact broken out-of-the-box) then it is frustrating to us to be told to search a forum and then make code fixes to your code to correct the defect just to get it to do what it was supposed to do out-of-the-box.
(1b) Product-focused Forums
Instead of telling customers how to fix your product, point them to the product page where you have placed module patch files and change control (release update) documents. (By the way...you did this in the past, but not so with PowerStore 3...????)
The "advice" provided in the forums sometimes leaves me wondering what you were trying to say...This is not a criticism of your tech support folks so much as it is a simple admission that "I am not smarter than a PHP coder, or at least not as familiar and comfortable with mucking about in the code as a PHP coder.
I believe that anyone purchasing your products has some expectation that they will want to "fiddle" with the code "a little" to customize/enhance it for their needs. But therein lies another problem...non-coders...trying to be coders. This now leads to new bugs being introduced into your more-or-less stable product and the complaints by the users that YOUR code is broken.
Different Responses needed to two differnt class of issues. Software Defects (1bi) identified product defects (which are solely the responsibilty of WebAssist) and Technical Documentation (1bii) issues that are caused by, or misunderstood by the users. Each set of issues needs to be addressed differently, in my opinion.
Response to (1bi) Software Defects. ANY code that is broken (out of the box) should be corrected by WebAssist as soon as it is reported and a new module released (along with a change log indicating what was changed in each module.) After all, your support staff goes to the trouble to resolve the problems submitted on the forums and you do keep an internal log of bug fixes, right?
This should be posted for download on the product page and notifications sent out to the licensed users. With the change log and updated modules, the user can then decide if they want to apply the patch or not...and if so, they can figure out if they need to go back and re-apply any "enhancements" they have created. This is not a new concept. This is industy standard for many software products.
WebAssist will be better served in the long term if you assume responsibility for updating modules and posting the updates rather than just telling users how to do so and considering the issue "closed." WebAssist should make the corrections to the affected modules and re-release them with appropriate "change control" documentation...not just tell the end user how to fix it for themselves.
Response to (1bii) Technical Documentation: A lot of the problems I have (and I suspect that others are having) are due to a lack of technical documentation or inexperience as a PHP coder. To be clear, I do NOT hold WebAssist responsible for my lack of coding skills. However, I do feel that it is in WebAssist's best interests to be supportive of your customers needs...
Not just to provide a box full of PHP modules...but also to provide more substantial product technical documentation with a perspective that the consumer of the documentation is NOT a professional PHP coder and needs to have to some degree...more explaination than you would provide to your staff programmers.
(2) Change Control
Issue 1: I was one of the very first to purchase/download PowerStore 3. The download was missing several files (There was no install directory.) I went bak later and downloaded again and the directory was there. Issue 2: The website revision number was the same on both downloads.
As stated above, we really do need more frequent break-fix updated modules instead of "here's how you fix our code" forum postings. "What's changed" documentation with the updated modules will help us to evaluate what if anything we need to do if we've elected to modify those modules.
(3) Quality Assurance:
Overall, the number of defects and the severity of the defects is higher than in PowerStore 2. The install would not work at all at first. Then the "t-string" bug prevented me from using the product at all as the directory path translation funtion did not work. I am unable to change the ProductSKU or ProductName and a few other fields because the code does not update the database. The advertized "Testing" flag does not seem to work...or not as I was anticipating it would. Some variable name usage is inconsistent...like the localhost vs. PowerStoreConnection, etc. There is little or no technical documentation that explains the usablity or implementation design of many of the new features.
Finally, I want to say that when the tech support folks do respond, depending upon who you get...their help is valuable and we really do need that help. Thanks for making these products available. I hope that this will be of help to you as well.
I wanted to address your comment regarding PowerStore's documentation directly, because it is unclear where people are struggling with documentation, and where holes need to be filled. Our approach with documenting PowerStore 3 has been to do everything necessary for a beginner (non-developer) to get their online store up and running. I believe we have documented this thoroughly with the tutorials found on this page powerstore/.
Where PowerStore users are struggling seems to be with regard to modifying PowerStore to do something it doesn't currently do. In most situations, we review these requests for documentation and have to determine if it is something we can document and help a lot of people, or if it is too complex and we should include it in a new release. Oftentimes, people's complaints regarding PowerStore's documentation is to accomplish something so unique, it would only help a couple customers if we were to right a tutorial for it. In such cases it would be better if resolved here on the forums.
We want your documentation suggestions, and we want your feature requests. So, post them in the WishList forum if you are looking for something specific.
Elton, very well put.
Lack of documentation is my biggest problem also. Sometimes I've felt I was flying blind and just lucky things have worked out...
A central download area with hotfixes (could be a sticky thread here in the forum) would be wonderful....
How about posting a database map? Data Tree - whichever you want to call it. Your company posted one once for a the Database Starter kit. Was very helpful. I don't think that's a lot of customization. I just want to know how the database maps out and what's called where. That's super basic stuff.
Site Map. Same thing. Layout the page relationships with page names and how they inter-relate. I'm guessing it's far to much for your customers to want to have a site that isn't WebAssist blue? Is that what your referring to by "modifying PowerStore to do something it doesn't currently do." It currently displays everything in blue. Why can't you guys just map out which CSS docs control which pages same for modifying your templates. I'm not talking major modifications - I just want to see how the site inter-relates so that I can change a basic background color. I'm certain that other users would want this ability as well without spending a week with Firebug reverse engineering the CSS of the site!
Also as far as the documentation goes - when you are installing the site it asks for the PayPal User Name and Password. Couldn't a one pager be created explaining that this is the API User Name and Password that's being asked for? I'm just stepping backwards for users who aren't so advanced. It doesn't say that anywhere - and yes, that's confusing.
And adding products to a store shouldn't be considered "customization" of your store. That should be the DEFAULT thing that is a "How To Use PowerStore 3." That is after all the main purpose for buying the store! Customization is changing the color of the navigation or the logo images and font and home page background.
The directions if followed on this page: signup_usps.php
cause your store to not work due to the fact that the page you're directed to gets you a testing credential with the USPS and the PowerStore 3 software doesn't work with that.
Also a Known Issues forum topic is very much needed right now for PowerStore 3!!!