So we currently have a mobile web app built with jQm but it has so many bugs that we are looking to move to another framework. We have been researching sencha touch and it looks very reliable and like a good solution. However, I have noticed by many articles on the web and from my own experience that trying to get a response from anyone at sencha is quit impossible.
While playing around with the demo user interface in the forms, I noticed that I was able to disable the form fields yet I could still check and uncheck all the check boxes. I went to the contact us page to report this and never received a response. A potential customer of the premium support that does not get a response from the contact us form is not a very easy feeling. I don't feel like registering for a forum just to report a bug that should have already been noticed since it is part of their online demo.
By not receiving a response this makes me hesitant to recommend Sencha Touch as our platform and for the company to dish out $300 for support that we will probably never get a response from.
I think it is great you don't require a license for commercial products to use your platform however it makes us second guess on where this platform is headed and will it be supported in the future because we cannot even get a simple fix.
It also makes me question about this product because there is no customer bug tracking system. We have to use the forums to follow and report bugs. That is a hassle...
Anyways... Just thought I would rant about my frustrations for a first time potential sencha customer.
This is not acceptable for a company. Being able to test the waters for support before we pay $300 would be nice. Simply trying to contact the company to notify them of a bug and receiving no responses is unacceptable. After browsing through the bugs forum I noticed most of the bugs reported go untouched without any developer response. Switching our application to Sencha and not being able to get bugs fixed would hurt our business. Making users pay to get any type of reply on a bug is just bad business. Of course if we were to invest in moving to sencha we would of course purchase the support package, however I do not think we will migrate to sencha after doing more research.
Playing with the demo on both android and iphone I see many bugs and after a week and a half of reporting one and not getting a response it makes me think that this platform is not for our company.
The community forums are a venue for the entire community to help each other out as people try to create applications. Sencha Touch is a free commercial product and we have hundreds of thousands of people using it to create applications. Sencha folks participate actively, but there's no guarantee that you'll get a response to a question even if you're asking them "the right way" (ie. have done work to try to solve the problem yourself, checked that it's not a duplicate, post relevant source code and phrase your question politely).
We do look at all the bug reports in the forums and transfer them to the internal bug system. We prioritize the bugs and fix them according to a sane prioritization scheme ("does it crash the browser" .. all the way to .. "minor thing that's sort of slow in one browser"). There is no guarantee that any particular bug will be fixed in any particular release, particularly if there is a workaround, but we look at the number and heat of posts against a particular bug and that factors into the fix order.
Our sales contact form is not supposed to be used for bug reports, and I apologize if it gives that impression - that's what the bug forums are for. We literally get hundreds of questions a day into that contact form, we try to get to as many of them as we can. If we didn't get to yours then we apologize.
Neither the general forum nor the sales contact form has a Service Level Agreement. That's where, if you purchase a support contract, we guarantee that we will get back to you within a certain time. Our goal is that our support ticket responses which come with a service level agreement are timely and helpful.
I hope this helps address some of the issues you talk about above.
Sorry mmullany but you are expecting potential customers to just "Trust" that you are good on your word that you will provide support only if they pay. When they see almost no interaction with regular users let alone zero interaction with regular users submitting bugs to make the product better it makes a potential client think that maybe sencha is not the solution for them.
Regardless of the paying status all bugs should be addressed and at least replied to letting the user know that you are atleast acknowledging you are aware of the issue and not just ignoring the issue.
Also regardless of if a user sends in a bug to the sales team they should receive a reply stating that the bug is being forwarded to the development team. The reasoning behind this is your demo page has numerous bugs in them for both the android and iphone platform. How do you expect me to sell to the rest of the development team here that they should overlook the demo page bugs and just trust that the issues will be resolved if we pay $300. So if I was a potential customer and emailed the sales team and were to receive a reply back I would know for a fact that you have good customer service and are willing to go beyond the norms of your duties to make sure my bug reaches the appropriate location. Ignoring a potential customer just because they didn't pay $300 is absurd.
Also a bug tracking system for the public is needed instead of using forums to manage bug requests. I would like to know the status of the bugs and what resolution is taking place to resolve them. Seeing a bug in the forums that a bunch of people have that is 3 pages long and has 0 staff replies scares me. It makes me think that Sencha will only pay attention to people that pay to report bugs which will limit the amount of bugs that actually get worked on. I would much prefer sencha take 10 minutes to take a look at a bug from a non paying member than to just ignore it and help me because I pay, knowing that I will most likely encounter that bug in the future.
These are all just suggestions on how to improve customer experience as when I first saw sencha touches potential I was impressed, but after doing research and seeing that I cannot even get some of the demo pages to work and will not get any help getting YOUR OWN demo pages to work so we can pitch it to our team without having to pay $300 on a product we might or might not go with is shocking.
If we would have received responses about submitting bugs on your own demo page I have no doubt we would have gone with Sencha Touch and paid for support. But knowing that it is impossible for non paying users to submit bugs to help out the quality of the product for the paying members, it will be a hard time getting everyone on board.
Please look into free bug tracking software so that users can see that their bugs are atleast assigned and being looked at instead of seeing no staff replies to their forum threads for over a year.
Thanks for your comments. You made several good points and let me try to respond to some of them.
First, on the issue of the value of purchasing Support, when you purchase Support you are entitled to several other avenues into Support. One, as mentioned by Juanito, is access to Sencha's Premium Forums. This section of the Forums are available exclusively to Support subscribers and tend to be monitored more frequently by Sencha staff and customers. This is also a great resource to search to see if an issue has already been addressed.
Also, as a subscriber to Sencha Support, you will have access to a Sencha Portal account where you can file tickets directly with the Sencha Support team. Your tickets receive individual attention and have targeted response times.
The second issue that you brought out is how forum posts seem to go unanswered. Yes, and I could try to offer an explanation for that but in the final analysis none of them would be sufficient because I didn't like what I saw on the bug forums either. All I can say is that Sencha is serious about building up its Support. If I didn't believe that, I wouldn't be here.
I left a good job at a well known company to join the Sencha team a month ago tasked with building out the Sencha Support offering. We're serious about Support at Sencha. If we weren't, Sencha wouldn't have created this position and I certainly wouldn't have joined.
But, as our products and company have grown so fast, we definitely have some challenges that I am committed to resolving. I agree we've got a big hole in the bug forums but we have good plans in place to make up that ground. Change won't happen overnight. But while everyone's individual perspective might be different, from a big picture standpoint things are already getting better in many areas as we are executing on our plans to support our rapidly growing customer base.
I feel good about the direction of this company and the direction of the Sencha Support offering. I don't expect to sway your opinion with just a few short paragraphs. In the end, you need to do what you think is best for your development team. But, I just wanted to let you know that your concerns are understood, to tell you that changes are already taking place, and make sure you knew that your Support experience with a Support subscription should be, by design, much different than your Support experience without it.
Oh. And on the issue of the bug tracking system that customers can access to see the status of their bugs? Seems to me like everyone would win with that one. I think that's come up several times already on these forums and I've got it on my wishlist as well. I hope to make it so.
Thanks again for your comments and giving us a chance to respond.
As a Sencha Touch user since Sept of last year and a paid support customer since June of this, I'm sorry to report that I can't honestly recommend paying for support at this time.
The people at Sencha seem to be nice people, but to date they have over-promised time and time again. I think they're trying to do too much with too little. I also think they sometimes make poor choices on resource allocation (e.g. the Sencha-fication of the forum software, which brought along numerous bugs, rather than spending the same resources on support instead). Sometimes I feel like I've had to pull teeth to simply get them to follow through on things they've already promised me (e.g. SVN access that has code updated more frequently than months ago).
Contrary to what was posted above, I have not found the premium support forum to be very useful (perhaps the Ext one is much better than the Sencha Touch one). Sometimes someone (usually Mitchell) will pop in and answer question after question. Sometimes it will sit for days or weeks with not a word from the staff. This is especially true if they are working on a new build of the product. They don't have enough personnel to do both support and development.
You'll probably hear "we're hiring support and soon all will be much better" and that very well may be true. But I've heard this exact same response over and over again from day 1. You can search the forums a bit and find a history of it. I'd say check back again in six months to a year and see if anything has actually changed before spending a minimum of $300. As it stands right now, I run into bugs in the framework on a daily basis that cause me to need to ask questions. My $300 buys me 4 questions. That really just doesn't help at all. Maybe if they had an official policy that a support ticket that was a result of a workaround in either the bugs or the docs would be guaranteed to be refunded, I'd use that system more. But as it stands I would have burned through those 4 questions the same afternoon if I used them for the kind of questions I need to ask.
So play with Sencha Touch now, but try not to put yourself in the situation where your success depends on it. Hold off on support until the support is there or the code and docs are brought up to a level where you need support for your mistakes, not theirs.
I apologize in advance to any Sencha employees that are hurt by my comments. I know it must seem I have it out for you or something, but I feel I have to give my honest assessment of the situation based on my own experiences. I think you have a great start on a fantastic product and you're very far ahead of the competition. I wish for nothing more than your success.