So you’re offering me the opportunity to pay you 50% more to get back a feature I just lost?

August 15, 2014

wrongguyYes, that’s what Bloomfire wants me to do. Apparently I’ve got two weeks make up my mind. If I don’t it looks like my rate may triple. Yup. Triple. I do not feel like a customer right now even though the company I work for pays them several thousand dollars each year.

Let me back up…

Bloomfire is a knowledge sharing platform but how I use it has been a bit unusual – I’m not the typical use case. To support the activities that happen between live vILT sessions, I set up a new Bloomfire sub-community for each session. In that sub-community, students have discussions, share work, comment, ask questions, submit assignments, and download course materials. As a result, I can end up with 100 sub-communities per year but only six or so active at any one time. Each only stays open a few weeks after a course ends then it’s deactivated. So I’ve got a bunch of deactivated communities.

locked outOne of the features I liked about Bloomfire when I started using it was unlimited sub-communities. Imagine my surprise when I noticed little locks on top of several features when I went to set a new one up. Clicking on it brought up a message that this was a premium feature and I should contact sales. WTF? I had no notice of this change. I submitted a support ticket. It was fixed. Then next time…you guessed it, locked again. And fixed. And so on. Then I heard from sales. Adversarial would be the best adjective to describe this call.

upgradeI expect to pay more for new features. I don’t expect to have features shut off and then have to pay to turn them back on. I expect to see a solution provider raise their rates – it’s the nature of business. But I expect to have adequate time to make a decision and adjust.

Thank goodness I’ve got a second platform I’ve been using more and more of. Otherwise I’d be left high and dry. “You’re messin’ with the wrong guy!” (because I blog).

Just moments ago..
Here’s the response I received within their public community when I mentioned this. I hope to hear from other users as well.

  • dotcalm

    I love how he writes, “your A-typical use case.” The word is “atypical” – so, does he not know the English language or is he trying to make some other point by writing it this way?
    He “A-pparently” is not going to give you an answer you want to hear so is not going to discuss it publicly.
    I think what he’s saying is others are using this program in an unanticipated way and it’s more work for them so they need to charge the lot of you for being “A-typical”.
    There’s at least one – which means probably at least 100 – others that are trying to do the same thing and that’s why they’ve decided to make money off it.
    I’d love to know if they decide to work with you on this.

  • jclarey

    Thanks. I’ll keep you posted.

  • jclarey

    Ended up canceling and going with something else that’s more learning-focused.

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