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ATT: Staff ---- Verified XenForo Customers (request)

Discussion in 'General XenForo Discussion and Feedback' started by Adam Howard, Jul 15, 2012.

  1. Adam Howard

    Adam Howard Well-Known Member

    Respectfully, we honestly do not have a valid and visual way for the community here to verify if a user is truly a customer of XenForo or not.

    There has been a growing concern about piracy and honestly, as the current developer of the vBulletin 4 Importer, you would not imagine (or maybe you would) how many people register here and ask for help, but are not valid customers of XenForo.

    I have noticed a large increase of people who have even asked for support to move away from IPB (Invision Power Board) toward XenForo. I think about a month ago it was also phpBB users as well.

    Perhaps we could simply have a user group for customers or a banner or something, just so we, who do help people here... Know that we are helping the right people.

    I would imagine this would be in the best interest of everyone here.

    Please take this into consideration and thank you in advance. :)
  2. Brandon Sheley

    Brandon Sheley Well-Known Member

    I do not support this option..
    You have to take privacy into a bit of consideration, maybe users don't want others to know they are xf customers.

    Also I know other sites do this, one I can think of is the support forum for phpLD, but I've never really seen a benefit to me as a user.

    (edit - grammar)
  3. Luke F

    Luke F Well-Known Member

    +1 for addon piracy reasons
    but -1 for somewhat publicising xf sales figures etc.
  4. Vincent

    Vincent Well-Known Member

    I more support the case that if you are a customer, you can see that other people are customers. I don't want everybody to know that I own (a) license(s).
    And for the people like Brandon Sheley, an option to not show that you own a license.
  5. Onimua

    Onimua Well-Known Member

    Isn't support given in forums where customers can only post to anyway? Including resources too?
  6. Chris D

    Chris D XenForo Developer Staff Member

    I agree with this and have been thinking about the same thing.

    Privacy is a pretty non-issue in this example. Anyone concerned about not wanting to be seen as an XF customer must be actively avoiding posting in most forums, which is counter-productive if they end up needing support themselves.
    TheVisitors likes this.
  7. craigiri

    craigiri Well-Known Member

    Aren't sales figures relatively public? I'm thinking the combo of sites that crawl for signatures (builtwith) and then a basic guess on how many forums have not yet been deployed live could get you pretty close?

    Also, it seems like sales figures for UK companies are quasi-public?

    I don't see any benefit from hiding sales figures.
  8. Adam Howard

    Adam Howard Well-Known Member

    Personal Conversations do not require you to be a valid customer and personally approach a developer and ask for help.

    Also, maybe it is a bug or maybe the security settings are incorrect, but before I was a customer I was able to "like" post in support forums and that sometimes did give people the false idea that I was a customer.

    There are many ways to "get around" people and convince people you own a valid copy. It would be nice if there was a solid way to know who really is one here.
  9. Blue

    Blue Well-Known Member

    It would be easy to display a graphic under a users avatar visible only to other confirmed customers.
    Cal and TheVisitors like this.
  10. DRE

    DRE Well-Known Member

    I cosign this. I don't want spammers hitting up my profile and sending me conversations anymore. I attract them like a fly for the simple fact that I currently have the most resources. smh
    TheVisitors likes this.
  11. Steve F

    Steve F Well-Known Member

    Usually if I can't tell the user is licensed or not I post a link to the support forums and tell them they need to ask there. 9 times out of 10 I never see a post from them after that.

    It would be beneficial in some ways to show that a user is licensed. I get PMs asking for support on skins mostly but before I can reply to them I look back at their posting history and see if they have posted in a customers only forum, if not I do as I described above.

    I see some negative things from it also, one being if a user asks a support question and is not licensed they will probably have the posse come down on them pretty quickly, and that could make things look bad around here business wise. Sales figures I thought may have been posted publicly somewhere before but can't find it right now.

    But I do see people asking for support on here quite often that are clearly not customers and they are taken care of quickly usually, its the PMs that get annoying..
  12. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Well-Known Member

    Sort of related, but I always thought it would be a good idea to allow people to find out if a user's license was valid by making a request with an md5 hashed site URL... Similar to how Gravatar works for displaying avatars (like mine here).

    Gravatar hashes my email address so someone can only get my avatar if they actually know my email address (9a7529ba379b76e48b522e7ea991840e is my md5 hashed email address).


    It would give a way to validate that a site running the software is legit (with a simple true/false response), but wouldn't reveal who's site it is or anything else... and the requestor would need to know the URL first.

    Would certainly make it much easier to report piracy if we had a way to determine if a license was valid or not (without exposing who owns it).
    JVCode, Sway, Cal and 3 others like this.
  13. Forsaken

    Forsaken Well-Known Member

    I was talking to Onimua about requesting this so we can use it in the car that Xenique/XenFluence uses as I currently have to ask Jake Bunce or another moderator whether someone is a valid customer or not.
  14. Slavik

    Slavik XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    This is something I have been discussing with Ashley for a couple of weeks, and making it work in such a way to protect all parties involved.

    For the moment, the easiest way is to get the user to post in one of your threads in a restricted section which requires a license.
  15. Chris D

    Chris D XenForo Developer Staff Member

    Keep working on that Slavik :)

    I will also be more careful about what forums I help people in ;)
  16. Blue

    Blue Well-Known Member

    That's the way vB does it and I do not like it. I once got dinged a point via the warning system for trying to help someone. I did not notice that they had not ask in the proper forum and i got penalized for trying to help. I stopped helping after that.

    Just a simple graphic showing if someone is a customer would work fine.
  17. BGL

    BGL Well-Known Member

    From a customer standpoint, I'll always be buyer of add-ons and services, it was all the answers to my questions and the activity level of people getting answers to questions that was a deciding factor in purchasing XenForo and purchasing much more in add-ons and services. If there was a choice of two add-ons in functionality, I'd go with the add-on whose author was most active and helpful in the forums.

    Wanted to add a buyer perspective so you don't have unintended consequences of putting up barriers to asking for help.

    Suggestion on the add-ons is charge a minimum of $0.99. That way you'll always have a register for your own use when giving help privately.
  18. Chris D

    Chris D XenForo Developer Staff Member

    There's a big difference in your case, BGL.

    All of your questions were clearly pre-sales queries. You never once specifically asked how to do something in the context of already having the software or getting post-sales support.

    You clearly didn't already have the software and you were clearly asking questions to help your buying decision.

    This has, and always will be absolutely fine.

    What we're trying to stop here is people trying to get specific product support when they are not entitled, or not yet proved their entitlement.
    Cal likes this.
  19. Adam Howard

    Adam Howard Well-Known Member

    vBulletin (if I recall) use to have something like this where you could simply enter a url and would show if it was valid.... They also had something that called home.

    I nulled my own copy to get around it. I dislike things that call home or which can be keyed in.

    However, provided what you suggest is not something that ends up on my server... I'd have no problem with this. For example, if XenForo has a search able database that allowed you to search if X domain was valid or not, but without releasing customer information.
  20. Cal

    Cal Well-Known Member

    +1 on this.

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