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Nico Westerdale Most of our Vendors will respond directly to comments posted on the deal, we actively encourage it and we automatically send the emails direct to them. However some Vendors simply are not set up to answer questions and comments, it's unfortunate, and we'd love to answer them ourselves but having literally thousands of products on our roster makes it impossible to keep that many details straight.

In these types of cases, where the vendors have not responded we rely on you  the BitsDuJour community, especially those of you who own the product already, to pitch in and help out other users answering their questions.

Please note that (as far as we know) we're the only type of website that has this type of communication with software vendors where 99% of the comments and questions are answered quickly. We're always trying to push the envelope!

If you have any thoughts on the subject please let us know.
        Aug 12 2010 at 1:30pm
ehab I think the main question is how much technical support the vendor actually provides?

Usually sales question get answered quickly but what really matters is responses from the technical developers, it really gives a clear indication of much support one gets after sales and perhaps even suggests feature requests that can be delivered or added in wish lists.

So in comment replies its good to add what was the level of technical support.
        Aug 14 2010 at 12:46am
Nico Westerdale That can be true, but not always. Some of the bigger named products are not set up to handle comments through 3rd parties like ourselves. This can happen if they have a web-based support system, or if an e-commerce company arranges the deal for us and can't get a support person. So it would be a mistake to consider them non-responsive with their own support system.
        Aug 14 2010 at 3:46am
Roger Thomasson To second Nico's original point:

By making the dubious assumption that there is a meaningful connection between our comment threads and a vendor's commitment to supporting his/her customers, you could be missing out on a great piece of software with a perfectly good -- or even exceptional -- support department!

If a vendor can't, won't, or isn't set up to respond to Bits comments, check out the level of activity in their support forums (if they exist). 

Or even better, email their customer service with your question and see how well/quickly they respond!  

Then report back to your fellow Bits customers and let them know what the *real deal* with support is.  Now that would be meaningful :-)

        Aug 14 2010 at 4:17am
ehab somehow that was my idea that you presented better.

        Aug 14 2010 at 4:41am
Roger Thomasson "So in comment replies its good to add what was the level of technical support." 

Ah yes, I understand :-)

        Aug 14 2010 at 6:28am

@ Nico, @ Roger:  I beg to differ strongly.

Yes, companies are most comfortable with their existing support systems.  Alas, all companies today, especially software companies *must* be nimble and responsive--that's why they participate in BDJ promotions (that and Nico's/Roger's persuasiveness!)

It's not an unusual effort for a company to have someone monitor the several BDJ emails over a few days and respond.  It's a tiny part of being a responsive enterprise.  After all, this is a *promotion* and the responses are read by a large community. 

It doesn't help anyone if companies don't act in their own interests.  We  need for our business partners to remain healthy.

A company's candid responsiveness is the best indication I have of their ability to adapt and support distributed modern software.  If a company is unresponsive to appropriate BDJ questions, then sorry, I'm just not interested.

        Aug 14 2010 at 10:21am
Roger Thomasson Let me reiterate Nico. 99% of our vendors do participate on the comment boards.  That's just a fact.  They might not respond the second a customer posts a comment, or even the same day (global time zones can make this very difficult).  But the staggering majority of our vendors address the majority of questions and concerns before the promotional period has ended.  

Of those that don't, in most cases it's because of a "legitimate excuse":  The appropriate button wasn't checked, the wrong email contact was listed, there was a mistake on the BDJ admin side, there was mis-communication between any of the potentially four parties involved, there was a death or illness in the family (happened several times), or a business trip, conference, or vacation was accidentally double booked.

In other words, real life.

Incidentally, a conference is exactly the reason that I wasn't able to respond to this thread yesterday :-)

In the history of Bits du Jour, only two vendors have openly stated to me that they are simply not interested in participating in the comment boards.  Two, out of nearly 2,500 promotions.

As I said earlier, at the end of the day we can't really control whether or not customers choose to associate BDJ comment participation with the actual support that an independent software vendor strives to provide.  

But from our perspective behind the curtain, it's a very unfortunate assumption.

        Aug 16 2010 at 2:48am

Roger (thanks for your response),

Of course you're right.  Life does happen, and dogs do eat homework (it could happen, I think).

Yes, too, the vast majority of vendors are great and responsive (where *do* you find such a bunch?).

Again, we're not talking about instant responses, but about a vendor's ability to "cover" business issues some time over the several days of the promotion (i.e., continuing to be in business).

I'm on the other side of the curtain.  I'm not arguing that you should stop a promotion if a vendor seems to disappear--but  a vendor's responsiveness is *my* best predictor of their business model, and of their commitment to the product and its support, and their likely commitment to me.  

If the dog eats their homework, please give them a pass because they may need it.  I, however, will be waiting a short time for the next great vendor!         ;-)

        Aug 16 2010 at 12:22pm
Roger Thomasson Fair enough, but if you're concerned, I'd still recommend clicking over to the vendor's website (I hope that everybody does this anyway!) to see how they handle support :-)

        Aug 17 2010 at 12:24am

We have some recent examples of responses soooo good that it puts all of this in very sharp relief (and puts to shame the vendors who have excuses).

Consider Vladimir Radmilovic of Dataland Software/Web Log Storming who responds intelligently and instantly--and in response to a smart question built, tested, and added to his product offering a requested non-administrative version of his product. 

His outstanding professionalism, competence, and interest in developing technical and business relationships are what most of us hope for.  

That certainly biases us to buy, use, and (without extra frustrations) even prosper!

        Aug 23 2010 at 6:02am
_*_ Sometimes it is not easy to get your question answered at the product website. As a customer, I do not expect instant response, but it would be good to see a response. Vendors must know the date their software is up for sale on Bits, and there are typically several if not many questions asked by potential customers.

The Smart PDF Converter sale is an example of a vendor that seemed to start off well, and then Bits had to take over to answer questions. I waited all day for a person's question to be answered, and when it never was, it made me hesitate to purchase (I did not purchase) the product.

I am sure it is not always indicative of the vendor's support of their product, but it is the only thing Bits customers have to go on as a before the sale consideration.
        Nov 21 2010 at 5:54am
Roger Thomasson I'm not sure that it's the 'only' thing that BDJ customers have to go on. I'd like to think that the trial demo plays a pretty important role as well :-)
        Nov 22 2010 at 2:04am
DrTeeth The trial doesdoes, but in the case of PowerCmd...

The web site's copyright notice is dated 2009, the latest version is 2.1, but it is not dated (so cannot tell if is being developed) and reports of poor CS on the program's thread.

Wanted this prog, but I will not buy dead-in-the-water software.

If possible, this sort of thing could be checked before a program is offered here...
        Jan 17 2011 at 7:28am
LU Hello Nico.

I am writing because I have receive a response from Wondershare and I really think you need to look at this. The only thing I changed is my name and my email. It may effect the way you right the Policy on their software.

I asked a customer service rep this:
"Thank you Sara for the reply back in July of 2010. I just wish to be extremely clear about this subject.

I would like to advertise all of your software on my site at

I see on your support page of Wondershare that the faqs state you only support lifetime updates for minor versions.

Am I correct in understanding that your support lifetime upgrades for purchased products? Lifetime upgrades being major and minor version upgrades.
And your upgrade policy is the same for all of your software?

Would you be very clear in this subject because I have visited many forums and there is much confusion with this and your company?

Thank you very much

****** *

Their Response was this:
"Dear ******,

Thanks for your letter. This is Sara from Wondershare Support Team.

You are welcome and it's my pleasure to help you. We highly appreciate you advertise all of our softwares on your site. Our support lifetime upgrades for purchased products. Being a registered user of one or more Wondershare products, you are entitled to a free copy of any minor updates to the products. Minor updates are those updates of which the first version number remains the same. For example, if you have purchased version 1.0.0 of the product, you will get all the further 1.x. x versions free. A major upgrade is released with a significant amount of improvements and new features, and the first digit of the version number changes. For the major upgrades, you only need to pay a small upgrade fee to enjoy all the benefits of the new version. Sometimes, our upgrade policy is not the same for all of our software. For example, if you have DVD Slideshow Builder 5.1, we can upgrade this version to version 6.1 for purchased customers for free.

If you have any question or suggestion, please feel free to contact us, or visit our support center

We are looking forward to hearing from you.

Happy New Year!

Best regards,

Support Team"
        Jan 17 2011 at 9:09pm
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