vBulletin Staff – Behind the Curtains

First, let me start by saying a big thank you to Internet Brands, and the staff at vBulletin. Thank you for not making me regret my decision to ditch vBulletin, for the far superior XenForo. Thank you for continuing in the downwards spiral that you have been going in, one which will ultimately lead to your demise.

It has been some time since I last visited vBulletin forums. Still having an active vBulletin license, I do like to frequent the forums time to time to read about the latest happenings, but in truth mostly to get a good chuckle out of the mess vBulletin has become. Recently, I was browsing the “Licensed Customer Feedback” forum and a thread caught my attention and actually shocked me. This forum is a private forum only accessible to current licensed members of vBulletin, and is not visible to the public, which is most certainly a good thing for Internet Brands because it allows them to hide and censor the reality of the debacle that is now vBulletin.

Recently, a new staff member joined the team – Lawrence Cole. Here I was thinking it couldn’t possibly get any worse for vB, then they surprise me yet again by hiring this 34 year old man who behaves like a child. Having read many of his posts in the private forums, it was apparent that he is completely unprofessional and has no respect for the customers. He engages to cheap tactics and resorts to name calling, belittling and being all out rude to customers. His excuse and justification was essentially (paraphrasing) “if you attack me, I’ll attack you” I think he fails to understand that he is a staff member, one who should be focusing on CSR and not engaging in picking fights with customers. Do any of the other staff members come in to support the customers? No why would they actually care about concerns have, instead they let the thread, and bashing by the staff member continue, until he decides to close the thread.

Don’t take my word for it, have a look at what happens behind the closed doors, if only the public knew just how bad it was in this private forum.

In sum, there is no excuse for someone in his position to behaving this way towards paying customers. Even if other customers were “attacking” him, the solution is not to retaliate in this manner, as a customer I would expect them to approach it in a professional, courteous matter…then again this is vBulletin and it seems that shipped sailed long ago.

Internet Brands, enjoy the customers you have, it’s only a matter of time before the remaining ones you have follow the rest of us and move on from vBulletin to bigger and better things. The primary reason you are even able to get new customers is because you censor any signs of conflict in the public forums, and allow it to go in in the private forums that new members (and potentially new customers) have no knowledge of. This ruse is a temporary solution, and since you will do nothing for an actual solution, it will be just that – temporary. Enjoy it while it lasts.

  • Lavapixel

    Over the years I have ran several websites, and always used vBulletin as my forums software. After finding out what they did with their licensing, I decided to leave.

    Their behavior and politics over the last few years disgusts me, not to mention IB filing a law suit against xenforo. Since looking further into what happened I have switched to xenforo and am now stuck with vB licenses I will never again use.

    It is a very sad thing as I always liked vB (with the exception of v4) and now a great forum software is doomed. Pay attention to your customers, and listen, they are the ones putting the bread on your tables.

  • http://vbtruth.com Chronos

    @Lavapixel
    I agree with you 100%. I’m also in the same situation as you, currently using XF, with an old vB license sitting around now wasted.

    There was a time when vB was the best of the best, but after the fiasco they caused with the licensing, politics on the board, frivolous lawsuits and essentially forcing the old team out, the whole situation there is a mess. More customers need to realize that they (paying customers) are the reason vB is still around, and they need to realize that Internet Brands is certainly not listening to them, yet some customers still stick around. Hopefully they come to their senses soon, as vB demise is inevitable.

  • http://politicalbuddies.com Rebel

    Xenforo is far superior and this is one out of hundreds of reasons why.