I wear eyeglasses and sporadically enter random optician offices to request adjustments. The cosmetic changes last no longer than five minutes, and I’m never charged.
When I bring my car into Jiffy Lube for an oil and filter change, air pressure in the tires is typically checked by the mechanics without their asking me and filled for free.
Shall I mention the Starbucks barista who slips an insulated warmer over the cup before calling out my name and handing me a cool-to-the-touch hot chai?
Since hearing Anne Herbert’s quote, “Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty,” in college, it has stuck with me. So much so, when I come across online companies asking me to pay $99 to answer a simple question, I am dumbfounded.
Beginning in March 2009 when I shared 23 WordPress plugins with you, and again in September 2009 when I reduced that number to 22 must-have plugins, I’ve always included WordPress Mobile Edition in those lists.
I’ve always thanked developer Alex King for his dedication to helping bloggers like me create mobile-friendly layouts.
Alex is among a select cadre of individuals who have contributed many plugins to the WordPress community. I thank him for his loyalty; but as I indicated in a recent email to him, I am very disappointed by a recent turn of events. Earlier this year, he helped launch a technical support system called the WordPress HelpCenter — charging affordable prices for users requiring assistance with an assortment of plugins and themes which Alex and his colleagues develop.
Early reviews are favorable but I have a beef.
Attempting to receive an answer to a customer service question I posted about the plugin to the free WordPress.org help forums in April 2009 about the complexity of version 3.1 that made it very confusing for me to do something that was a cinch in an earlier version, I emailed Alex last week.
He directed me to email the help center.
Chris of the help center responded:
You can easily do both the changes by modifying the template itself.
No kidding. How?
Seeking more details, Chris wrote it would cost $99.
Anne Herbert’s words came back and haunted me. Shouldn’t a developer be thankful I am using his plugin (and not another developer’s) and go out of his way to answer a simple question to identify a line of code that changed between versions?
When the help center’s pricing schedule lists a 25-minute phone call costs $19.99, why would a request for a line of code cost five times more?
I’m sure Alex is not to blame — but someone must be held accountable, so without having more information at my disposal, I’m going to fault customer service and suggest the WordPress HelpCenter is anything but helpful.
If Alex is the car mechanic, why not be gracious I am his customer and go out of his way to fill my air pressure? At the least, ask for me to pay a nominal fee. A hundred bucks sounds like highway robbery.
I’m still his customer, as I returned to the 2.1 version — but I’d really like to use the later 3.1.