I really wanted the discussion to end but *sigh* I do feel the need to respond to some serious and direct accusations...
Refusal to notify in advance,
Notification that the $60 special would be going away was on the site for quite some time. 60 days I believe.
Discussion concerning it happened on these forums at:
Within that thread I note I do discuss the problems with the discount and the "double dipping"/extra discounts resellers were getting.
The website/thread noted that the $60 special would end...which, w/o anything else would equate to $5 more per month increase for annual packages, but that none of the price changes will affect any annual packages for a minimum of 30 days (from the time of the actual announcement) to as much as a year, and that because of other changes which will be announced, the impact should leave you at "about the same or a whole lot lower" depending on the choices you make because when you see "the whole picture" you'll find that the increase is not near as much as simply closing out the special would be.
The End Result:
ALL Monthly Non-Resold Visionary, Pioneer, Prospector, Trailblazer, Voyager, Odyssey, High Capacity, and MQS Packages Are Lower In Cost whether the client does something or nothing.
All Monthly Resold Visionary, Pioneer, Prospector, Trailblazer, Voyager, Odyssey, High Capacity, and MQS Packages Are Lower In Cost whether the reseller does something or nothing
All Annual Non-Resold Prospector, Trailblazer, Voyager, Odyssey, High Capacity, and MQS Packages Are Lower In Cost whether the site owner does something or nothing.
All Annual Resold Voyager and Odyssey Packages Are Lower In Cost whether the reseller does something or nothing.
All Annual Non-Resold & Resold Visionary and Pioneer Packages are higher in cost by about a dollar per month
Some Annual Resold Prospector and Trailblazer Packages are higher and some are lower depending on how the extra points etc affected the reseller and providing they refuse to downgrade for whatever reason. Price difference is less than a $1 per month....
The VAST MAJORITY ARE LOWER IN COST.
whether you wish to agree or not.
Of those that are not in the majority, it depends on the site owner/reseller's requirements. Many Pioneers were able to downgrade to the Visionary and lower their costs. Other's choose not to downgrade for a variety of reasons and incur a $12/yr annual increase along with a ton of extra features...
For those resellers with Prospector size and above, a huge number of them are in fact downgrading and lowering their costs by a LOT. Others choose not to for a variety of reasons and may incur an increase in costs of less than a dollar a month. This falls into their own decisions and how their current system/packages/etc worked out.
For those on the Visionary that have no where to downgrade to, a huge number wanted MySQL and/or more disk space/bandwidth. The majority got what they had been demanding for quite some time but at a cost of $1 per month extra (a price many on these forums said they'd be more than happy to pay for the extras, esp MySQL). At the same time, there's another group in this area that simply incurred a $12/yr increase and had no use for the extra features. These are the folks I expected to hear more complaints from, understandably, however, there have not been too many as of yet.
We notified that the annual packages would be $5/month more by the 1st of the year on the web site for a long while.
We discussed on the forums that this change would come with many others and that it shouldn't be quite as bad as it sounds, most will benefit, and some will need to make decisions.
I could not lay out the entire plan because yes, I worked to the very last moments ensuring I was giving the lowest possible costs to everyone and the billing system was still being rewritten to handle the new plans. It didn't even get all of the way completed which caused some concern as to whether or not it could even be done. However, to ensure it could be, and since the scripting side of the system still is not all of the way completed, I agreed to come in every night and handle it manually until it is done. Which is exactly what I will continue to do. Why? Because for the vast majority of site owners these surprise lower costs and bigger packages are a welcomed treat and I didn't want to delay it any further.
The above is my excuse, reasoning, explanation.
Now... at the same time I acknowledge that no complete explanation for the resellers prior to the announcement made it difficult at best. If I could have I would have but I couldn't. There were too many unknowns all of the way to the last minute but I felt that since no price change would affect anyone for at least 30 days that it would be fine since technically it's like getting at least a 30 day heads up while obtaining the "goodies" immediately. Unfortunately that didn't work out so well for some of the resellers and the simpler plan actually caused confusion because switching from the more confusing old plan to the new was overwhelming.
For this, I do apologize, have apologized, and believe it or not, agonized over long before the announcement.
I had two choices:
From the time we were certain we could provide everything promised we could Announce or we could "announce to resellers and wait 30 days" to talk about it.
People were vehemently demanding more disk space and bandwidth.
People needed MySQL with the Visionary
People were pleading for lower overall costs.
Discussions were not going to change the requirements of fixing the specials and ending the annual reseller invoicing.
Announce it as soon as humanly possible so that the masses can be taken care of and work with those that landed in the "Red Zone" to assist them in understanding all of their available options. This is what I did. Judging from the majority, this was the right decision to make. Nevertheless, it left some valuable resellers feeling jilted and the most I could do, have done, and certainly am doing again right now is apologize.
refusal to solicit input or feedback,
This would be a lie. No I did not come to the forums and lay out my business plan for all to see and request their feedback, but yes it is very much the feedback of ALL INVOLVED that caused the changes to happen as they did.
refusal to give resulting concerns anything more than passing consideration,
This I consider to be a lie as well. I read all concerns carefully. I responded to all concerns. I explained everything repeatedly as best as I possibly could. Changing the rules to suit the requirements of a handful of resellers and "giving resulting concerns consideration" are two totally different things. I absolutely gave all concerns far more than passing consideration.
and refusal to even look at documented explanations of the opposing viewpoint (which supposedly is wrong).
I do not believe this to be true either. I went over your entire account and mapped it out....
You then wanted to show me how it affected your actual business plan. Well, to me, I clearly already saw how it could help or hurt your plan. If you make no changes it will certainly hurt. If you adjust it might help. This doesn't make your statement that "it's worse" right or wrong. It just means, yes, it could be worse, or yes, you could make it better.
I didn't feel it vital that I review the numbers in your plan vs the factual numbers of what you get and for how much.
If, however, you would like to share your plan within the forums, then I'd be happy to offer my input as well.
If your plan is private, then again, I feel it should remain that way. It was you yourself that stated, in not so many words, if it wasn't public then it couldn't be true or accepted as truth, and/or if I didn't share my own books with you then they cannot be considered.
I can not and will not share my books with you for several reasons and I can not (as much as I WOULD LOVE TO) show you the tremendous savings many resellers are receiving right now. Just as I don't think you should really be sharing "your books" either. But if you want to...we'll have a look. If it's private, then I still stand my recommendation to keep it that way because my opinions of how you should run your business are not something I really want to spend time developing nor something you should really need... By showing me "what's wrong with your plan and our system" I could only recommend ways to change your plan to work with this system...and even that I've already done.... the rest I feel is your decision. I don't think you can call that a refusal...just a reality...imho.