Now, two days later after Internet Brands first launched their new look front-page with lots of information posted on it about vBulletin 4, plus full pricing details. And let not forget the rather pathetic 2 week discount time being offered which caused most of the fuss from customers on their official vBulletin forum later that same day. You’d have to say nothing much has changed since!
Yeah! Less customers are having their say two day later, but that’s to be expected really. It would have been hard anyhow to have kept up what went on that first day – which can only be described as “World War 3″ breaking out on vBulletin minus the nukes. Now though it’s all simmered down to be more like an Invasion of Iceland with 20 soldiers armed with French bread rolls and butter.
Sure some customers are still moaning, and talk is still about vBulletin 4 issues in general. But the initial aftermath of that first day which saw the vBulletin beach-head left stained red with IB blood is over. Giving them some breathing space to reflect back on what just happened.
Internet Brands are casting a very dark shadow over themselves, many customers have lost all faith in anything they have to say about vBulletin 4 now or in the future. They could never have planned for the kind of negative reaction they got two days ago, and it’s something they should be very concerned about indeed!
I’ve never seen anything like it
In all my time at vBulletin as a paying customer, I’ve never seen the likes of what happened like that before, with so many customers expressing their anger in no uncertain terms on there hidden forum board. That’s right I said “HIDDEN”, as a guest (none customer) you cannot see what was posted on that forum board at vBulletin. So on the surface all looks serial and calm, which is exactly what Internet Brands want you to see there as a visiting guest.
They’re even venting anger in Twitter
Even in Twitter I’ve been seeing some very senior (customers) from vBulletin, who I just happen to follow. Posting they are now moving over to IPB (Invision) forum software instead, expressing their anger in Twitter for all to see and read. When you start seeing long standing and faithful vBulletin customers doing this who have supported them for many years, it really IS time for Internet Brands to sit-up, take the bull by the horns, and do something now about stopping the rot before it gets worse than it already is.
I can even foresee in 12 months time if things carry on like this, they’ll be left with a company they purchased in (vBulletin), worth a fraction of what they originally paid for it 2 years ago. Here’s hoping this latest WAR on the vBulletin forum teaches Internet Brands a hard lesson:
Never treat your customers like mugs because of greed, they’ll come back and bite you were it hurts most – your profit sales margin butt!
Don’t believe the vBulletin public relations hype
Some staff members at vBulletin are trying to “project an image” that all is going well and according to plan with the sale of the new vBulletin 4 Suite. Keep in mind here that these staff members saying this get (paid) for doing a job, and as such have their own lively-hoods at stake here should Internet Brands (vBulletin) self implode to the bottom of the ocean.
The truth is, many customers have already done a walk and slammed the vBulletin door hard behind them on the way out. Moving over to pastures much greener at IPB (Invision). IPB themselves have posted that they are getting inundated with new angry vBulletin customers, and that they’ve had to take extra measures to deal with the huge influx of extra sales being generated by them jumping ship.
Internet Brands are selling you something that’s not even ready
Remember also, that Internet Brands are trying to sell you something in the: “vBulletin 4 Suite”, that’s not even out yet! In fact, it’s still only in the Alpha testing stage. No time-line has been given as to when they even expect it to go final release, which of course they can’t give with it only being in Alpha.
Now forgive me for saying this, but who the hell is going to buy something that they can’t even see in action on their own official vBulletin forum, let alone be able to download and use after paying good money for it. They don’t even have a working DEMO for people to test before making their minds-up whether to buy or not.
Is it just me, or does this sound a little like: Trying to sell Ice to the Eskimos in summer. I mean really, is it any wonder customers after hanging-on since 2007 (when Internet Brands first purchased vBulletin), have now finally decided enough is enough and are jumping off a sinking ship like rats drowning fast.
The bottom line
You want the truth, I’ll give it you! With Christmas just around the corner, and it being the Biggest Sales period of the year for any company. It’s looking like Internet Brands have not developed vBulletin 4 faster than they’d hoped: “Having it ready for the Christmas peak time sales“.
Because they don’t want to miss this biggest sales window of the year, they now want you to buy something which you can’t download nor even use. This is their so called (leap of faith) which they expect you to take so blindly, just so they can bag the bucks at your expense, leaving you with an empty Christmas stocking!