• Thor Muller

    About Thor Muller

    Thor is perhaps best known as the co-founder of Get Satisfaction, where he served as its original CEO (2007-2009) and later CTO (2009-2011).

    33 Comments

    1. I don’t need any of your paid features, but I’m very glad that _at last_ you have a sensible price point for a one man company.

      I will be upgrading to the $20 plan because what you give for free would be better valued at $20/month in my opinion.

      However, your previous high price points stopped me from upgrading prior to this – it just seemed to much for a low volume operation like mine.

      Well done!

    2. “Going forward, our free plans will no longer provide basic moderator tools such as the ability to set official responses and topic status.”

      Taking away features from existing customers is probably not a great way to build a good word-of-mouth client base.

      You’d probably be better to follow Google’s example of adding progressively more to all levels of service, while reducing the price at the same time.

    3. Unfortunate. So disappointing. I’ve used your free solution extensively, and was considering the platform for a funded startup we’re about to launch, but completely disagree with reducing features for a freemium model after the fact. Why turn outspoken advocates who give you free publicity over and over again the middle finger?

      Don’t get me wrong, I understand your revenue needs, but you find a way to up the game for everyone involved; you don’t skim features from one group and pull them inside your walled garden of paying plans – that’s what companies did three years ago.

    4. Please clearly specify if you plan to have a fee to maintain a get satisfaction community too. Now I am not sure weather I should continue to grow my community in GS as you never know when they’ll make it all paid. This kind of profiteering s highly unethical.

    5. This is rather sad news, and I have to agree that this is a bad idea. To an existing customer it feels like a bait-and-switch.

    6. I disagree (with DShan). You have to make a living from your product, especially if it’s a popular one that lots of people are using. If the best way to do that is pull some features from a free plan and move them to a paid plan, so be it— your customers can decide with their wallets.

      I think (for what it’s worth) that the health of the Web 2.0 economy depends on people deciding that the Web apps they get the most value from are worth paying a monthly fee for. So you go, guys!

    7. Please reconsider converting currently free features to pay-only. You would undoubtedly get some upgrades to paid plans as a result, but you’d also risk taking a big karma hit. My decision to use Get Satisfaction in the first place (for the Ruby on Rails Tutorial book) was influenced by the free feature-set, and I suspect that this is the case for many other users. We are advocates for your service (I even mentioned Get Satisfaction in the Rails Inside post about Rails Tutorial); following through on this new policy would risk turning us into very public detractors.

    8. Scout Labs will be proud to ante up the whole $19 (is that a month? so, like, ~$200/year?) that it sounds like we will need to pay to continue moderating our community. We are total believers in your concept and service and that price sounds pretty reasonable. Our users really like interacting with us in the Get Sat community.

      And that Google comparison is unfair, because Google doesn’t need its new products to make money. The ability to command a price for a feature is a signal from the market that tells companies when they’re doing a good job providing value. Putting a value on a feature can actually help end users by showing the company what their customers consider valuable and pushing further product development in that direction. I’m happy to pay this amount for a service that benefits both my customers and my company.

    9. I’ve got to chip in here as well…as a librarian, I’ve helped publicize GS as a useful tool for libraries around the country. However, most libraries can’t afford _any_ additional expenditures at this point in time. Sadly, this will probably result in existing users being forced to stop using GS.

      One suggestion that I have is, in addition to the “don’t remove features” that has already been said…please, please consider an educational plan that allows schools and libraries to continue using GS as a tool for our patrons at no cost.

    10. This is really disappointing and feels like a bait and switch. I’d echo those that have said that removing features from the free part of a freemium service is really bad form.

      I use Get Satisfaction for a free web app that I made, and am very happy with it. As my site is free, there’s no way I can justify $20/mo, and I don’t need the extra features. $20/year, maybe. What I do need is the ability to set the status of a reply. Without that I might as well just use regular forum software. If at some point in the future I decide to make a commercial business out of my app, perhaps I’d have wanted to move onto a paid plan. What I do know is that I’d never punish my existing customers by crippling the free version. Really, really bad move, guys.

    11. Hi there,

      I’ve been building up 5 companies and have had my successes with them. But one thing that we all have learned is, to NEVER remove features from a plan, paid or not.

      From a financial standpoint I understand your move, but from a service culture view, this is a huge mistake. I’m sure there is another way to leverage your customer base then to take away features from your existing loyal customer base.

      Furthermore, this move just sends a signal to ALL customers, in the sense that you guys will by any given time, reduce a feature set of any paid plan. Instead of giving your customers a feeling of gratitude and satisfaction, you send a signal of greediness and insecurity.

      Please don’t understand me wrong. A $19/month deal sounds great and personally think that if you can’t afford a $19/month for your business you need to change your business strategy. But the point is not the low cost value here, point is that you remove features from a free plan and put them now under a paid umbrella.

      #Customer #Service #Fail

      Kind Regards,
      Nitai

    12. I understand your demand for making money. But taking away features from an account to force your current customers to upgrade to a paid plan is never a good idea. Even when its only $20 per month.

      I would be ok, if you do that with newly created accounts, but not with existing ones.

    13. In the past I’ve seen some of getsatisfaction’s approach as a bit arm twisting… let’s wait till customers post something you don’t like then we know you’ll pay up to delete it. This plays into that. Providing an unmoderated yet company endorsed forum for my customers was already worrisome. We are not funded and are still building our product so we could never afford your paid plans. I actually always considered alternatives since I didn’t like the feel of being forced to upgrade to protect my brand. Now I will be forced to make the decision to delete our getsatisfaction account or upgrade. That might be your intention, but given any easy alternative I will go with that. I have no issue with paying for premium services, however I do have an issue with paying what seems like protection money.

      IMO, moderation should be free for low volume forums. You should charge for better tools that successful companies will need.

      As the above commented noted, word of mouth will decline. Any referral to getsatisfaction that I make will come with heavy qualifications and an urging to consider alternatives. You are showing your hand in how much control you have and not demonstrating that we should trust you with that control.

    14. I have to concur – removing features from the free plan is a cheap move. I’ve used GS to support my free, open-source WordPress plugin for the past 6 months or so precisely because it offered a reasonable free option for providing support. Now what happens? Every issue is forever marked as “Needs Solution” or “Needs Answer”?

      Disappointing.

    15. Thanks for the comments. I am very sensitive to the notion that this is any kind of bait-and-switch. The fact is that we understand our business today in a way that we did not when we started. In particular, we understand that the free plan is fundamentally a customer-to-customer offering, and that moderation tools are uniformly part of the professional (paid) offerings. There’s a coherent framework that underlies the new pricing, and we have to make a clean start for it to work.

      We value all of our users, including companies that use our free product. Honestly, we’ve spent a ton of time debating this internally, and with lots of advocacy for free customers. Please don’t think we’re giving you the middle finger. Instead, we’re saying “this is what will allow our business to thrive.”

    16. I like your solution and revenue model. I just came across your site while searching for a customer friendly solution to managing my clients’ questions. After reading “The Four Hour Work Week”, this is a great solution for the small business owner. I support most companies that are dedicated to bringing big company applications to the small business arena. Again awesome solution!

      In regards to charging for features that were once provided at no cost….that’s the name of the game. The features were not actually free in the first place. The “free” members give away their information in order to benefit from great product without spending money. I call that a Web Strategies 101 technique.
      Get Satisfaction does not appear to be a nonprofit organization. If you continue to provide a great product and excellent “Customer Service”, folks will keep paying; even when the prices go up. :-)

    17. I guess I’ll be moving all my support in house. I loved the community, but am very sad to hear that existing customers are getting their feature set reduced. Add my voice to the existing horde in this comment thread for people suggesting you keep the features for existing free customers, and find some other way to support your company. (Plenty of great examples out there see http://ma.tt for innovative, friendly, and profitable social development)

    18. This is very disappointing, I started a community just a month ago and now I’m forced to upgrade to a paid account or all the topics in my community will always have the “Needs Solution” or “Needs Answer” banners. That is not the image I want to give to my customers, and I think not a lot of people will want to create new communities that project such image.

      Just to make it clear, the problem is not with paying $20/month, the real problem here is the way you are changing the rules in the middle of the game after all community owners have brought their customers here. This does not look like fair play for me.

    19. I have sympathy for being able to tweak services and business models, including occasionally taking away free services.

      If you provide a public-to-public forum to talk about my product, that’s your right and it’s the right of anyone to discuss anything they want. However, you promoted your widget as a support channel for businesses. Businesses implemented that widget, and posted “employee responses” in your forums, both of which endorsing your forum as an official support channel where customers expect answers as well as promoted and built the getsatisfaction brand. Now asking for payment to have any say over what was once a reasonable support channel is extortionate.

      It’s great that you guys pushed to a better price point. The problem is no matter how much you debated this internally, you still pulled a meetup.com.

    20. Please don’t think we’re giving you the middle finger. Instead, we’re saying “this is what will allow our business to thrive.”

      But how can we interpret it any other way? Adding value is how business thrives. Add features we can’t live without, and use those as the incentive to upgrade. (Reply by email, for example?)

      Imagine if Google announced that although Gmail would continue to be free, access to your address book was going to cost $19 a month?

    21. We were just getting started with GS and and already you are pulling free features. Very disappointing!

    22. This is very disappointing, I’m not averse to paying for the service however how can we be sure you won’t hike the price in the future? I’ve now got a decision to make on whether we keep our small but growing support community here or move it somewhere else where I can be more confident we’re not going to get stung further down the line.

      Exceptionally bad decision I’m afraid.

    23. I have just recently signed up with GetSatisfaction for use as a forum replacement on software that I have not even finished developing yet. I just want the pieces in place to handle support when I release my app at $2 a download. It will take a little while before I am ready to start paying a monthly fee for support software.

      Choosing to use GetSatisfaction when I have never used it before, and have the ability to develop my own support toolset, was a very challenging decision to make. From my research this decision is a challenging process for many individuals and companies – do they stick with support processes they can control themselves via traditional online methods such as forums – or do they make the move to GetSatisfaction. On top of the issue of control is the issue of cost. For all these reasons a commitment to GetSatisfaction is a big commitment to make.

      The decision to remove features from the free version is only going to strengthen the arguments against a move to GetSatisfaction. It epitomizes the fact that indeed, customers are not in control – GetSatisfaction can change the game any time they like.

      Sure, many reasons can be provided by GetSatisfaction for starting to charge more, or why features are removed. And some of these reasons may be valid. That is not the point. It is about trust. It is about a business relationship and partnership. It is about a commitment to support a community based on known parameters. Not just for today, but for tomorrow. All the things that GetSatisfaction is supposed to be about.

      I seriously hope that GetSatisfaction rethink their idea to remove features from the free version. Be patient and allow customers to get started, to experiment, to learn to love and trust the GetSatisfaction approach and toolset. Then they will commit – and pay.

    24. IMHO – If every website (such as get satisfaction) gives their service for free but has to pay providers to keep the service alive (ie staff and hosting) then the answer is simple… they will go bust! And you will end up loosing the service that you loved so much!

    25. BTW I really hope to see the Zendesk integration come down to a lower price-point as well. I can use the full Zendesk system for $9/month as a single entity – but have to pay $99/month to get integration with GetSatisfaction – doesn’t seem to line up….

    26. Amy Muller

      @Matthew Delmarter – Hang tight! Good news coming. :)

      @Justin Vincent – Thanks for the support & understanding! :)

    27. Looking forward to the new plans … when will those be revealed?

    28. Update–existing free accounts will keep their existing features. More info here: http://blog.getsatisfaction.com/2010/02/24/ahem-theres-been-a-change-of-plan/

    29. Amy Muller

      @Ryan Thrash Monday, March 1st. Pre-communication going out to existing customers today. Much more communication coming soon.

    30. Ooh! When will the new plans be revealed? Looking forward to ‘em! :D

      Glenn Friesen
      http://impactlearning.com
      http://twitter.com/impactlearning

    31. customer-to-customer support communities must be a good idea.keep good working.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.

    You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

    Scroll To Top