Envato, News - September 8, 2015

How Envato Changed Its Support Policy for the Benefit of Customers

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One of the angles that Envato had been criticized about was the liberty of ThemeForest and CodeCanyon authors to provide support for their products. Granted, a liberal approach would leave the decision to authors whether to provide support or not, and customers would have the freedom to choose between authors with good support and bad support (and no support). However, the distinction between the levels of support that authors provide wasn’t made clear to the customers, which led them to criticize Envato items to have bad support as a whole, instead of criticizing individual sellers. This, of course, led Envato to make a move on this issue.

In this article, we’re going to have a look at the changes to this issue that Envato made over the course of the past twelve months.

First Steps: Introduction of the “6-Month Mandatory Item Support” Rule

Just a month after introducing the “Author Teams” feature in the end of July 2014, Envato announced a roadmap for authors on providing mandatory item support. Rules were very clear in the announcement:

As of 1st December 2014:

  • Theme and plugin support will be required for all authors on ThemeForest & CodeCanyon (except on PSD Templates)
  • Support will be limited to 6 months, with prices remaining the same
  • Buyers will continue to receive all item updates made available by the Author (even after 6 months)
  • Items sold before 1st December 2014 are treated as follows:
    • If the item didn’t advertise support, nothing changes for prior purchases.
    • If the item offered < 6 months support, then that period is honoured.
    • If the item offered > 6 months support, then those items will be supported until 31 May 2015 (6 months from the new rules taking effect)
  • Buyers needing clarification about their purchase should contact Envato Support.

Debates and Delays

Although, this raised more than a few questions amongst the authors in ThemeForest and CodeCanyon. After much debate in the forums, a new proposal was made by Envato, which took things down a notch. (The initial discussions were never intense, though. We never saw an angry crowd marching towards Envato headquarters.) But by the end of the year, a bigger problem emerged about the change of VAT rates in the EU, which forced Envato to put the whole operation on item support on hold.

Good News In Spring

The next announcement was made in May 14, 2015, telling us the good news about a new roadmap on the topic of “item support”. In short:

  • Authors would have the right to choose to provide support or not, which will be made very clear for the buyers.
  • The buyers of items with support would have the right to ask for support for 6 months with their initial purchase, and they would be able to purchase a 6 month support extension with or after their purchase.
  • The pricing of support extensions would be flexible and 70% of the revenue would be transferred to the seller, leaving 30% to Envato.

Because much of the debate was already made the previous year, people agreed on this is actually a good deal for all parties (sellers, buyers and Envato).

And as of the beginning of this month, September 2015, everything’s set and the “item support” project is now in practice!

What Now?

 

This is certainly a big step towards providing better support to buyers in ThemeForest and CodeCanyon, but there’s always room for improvement in everything. We don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, but we’re hopeful that Envato will keep taking great steps like this to protect and satisfy the needs of buyers, sellers and the company itself.

What do you think on this topic, as a buyer or seller in Envato marketplaces? Share your thoughts with us in the Comments section below.

Thanks for reading!

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