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Just got the email - going from $45 a month to $850 a month - What are you all migrating to?

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Many still didn't learn the lesson.

WebPros can easily acquire every software they think is worth their money. They can literally buy DirectAdmin, Blesta, HostBill or any other software in no time since they're super cheap compared to cPanel, Plesk, WHMCS and SolusVM.

They took Plesk. We all moved to cPanel. They took cPanel we moved to DirectAdmin. As soon as DirectAdmin becomes relevant in this industry, it will be a really good snacks to buy. Same goes for people moving from WHMCS to any other panel that comes to mind. No matter what the owner of this or that panel promise you today. People can easily change their mind with money.

This "hide and seek" strategy is just stupid and impractical unless you are a small provider willing to invest your time migrating from A to B every three or four years. Large and medium-sized enterprise can't afford this silly game. Not to mention that every time you move from A to B you're basically leaving a better software for a worse one. It doesn't make any sense.

As I said in other places, the only way to fight this kind of capitalism and so WebPros, is going for open source and free softwares (GPL license). End of the story. There's no other escape.

p.s. In past I've been accused by someone of self-promoting myself just because I happened to have solutions or answers for problems like this one. Unfortunately some people are unable to percieve me as a person but as someone that comes here trying to sell his stuff. I really don't care about selling anything to the point that I removed ads from signature, stopped to bump posts of commercial modules and listings on marketplace as I'm economically independent from WHMCS world. I really hope that this time I won't hurt any feeling for expressing my opinion.

38 minutes ago, ravex said:

Yes, there is! Paul has written a blog post about this situation and has addressed this very point! In his blog post he writes "As long as I have a say in it, we will continue to put integrity first.", he goes on to say "No bait and switch. No empty promises. That doesn’t mean that changes at times aren’t necessary, but there is a way forward that preserves integrity with gratitude.". He then finishes that paragraph saying "Blesta is privately owned, so there are no cold Venture-Capital hands pulling strings here, and we have no plans to sell. We aren’t making any changes."

They're just words. Remember lifetime? What about unlimited disk space and bandwidth? Or things like "290 EUR / Lifetime"? And anyway any company can be acquired including privately owned. Let's see what this Paul has to say when WebPros comes with a briefcase full of euro and can sit down and relax for the rest of his life.

Edited by Kian

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28 minutes ago, Kian said:

No matter what the owner of this or that panel promise you today. People can easily change their mind with money.

Totally true

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1 hour ago, ravex said:

Blesta is privately owned, so there are no cold Venture-Capital hands pulling strings here, and we have no plans to sell.

So was WHMCS, until it wasn't. 😉

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1 hour ago, bear said:

So was WHMCS, until it wasn't. 😉

I'll take open source over hidden code in future- this way an owned license would get more than 3 months of lifespan should another service try this! 

At least it can be patched in-house or with help from the community! Currently, there's owned license holders knowing full well a patch will be released within a month on the new pricing... citing a critical issue. 

Everyone will know its a *, but those on older versions unwilling to move will be forced to pay. 

The same will go for newer versions until this self hosted version feels like a dream and web pros charge even more and the hosting industry is dead! I get it is tough for those invested in the eco system - but do you think it'll improve? Do you think it'll stay the same? 

I'm giving Blesta a go, it'll be the last time I do trust a 3rd party - but let's face it- we've all gambled with lawsuits for long enough using WHMCS - none of us can honestly say what data goes where with our systems - nor can we be sure we're safe. 

Open source code is the only way forward for us now 

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5 hours ago, WHMUp said:

The problem is that by moving away from WHMCS to any Blesta or any similar software, does not solves the problem. The real problem is that sales have drop for all flagship scripts (Hosting, community, Dating, Facebook clones etc), and the authors have the wrong (don't say idiot) thought that by increasing the prices will solve the problem of missing sales.

Talking specific for WHMCS now. I don't support their decision to increase the prices. But looking the other side of the coin, is there any written guarantee from Blesta (or any "Blesta" solution, that they don't change their pricing model after some months?  If there is, that's fine. But if not, be sure 98% that you'll face the same problem very soon. You'll get again a similar email about "as a way to increase the quality...".

I wish to not be again (like vBulletin) a bad news fortune teller.

There is a difference at least with Blesta vs other products. Being open code, even if Blesta goes bust tomorrow and closes the door, you will still be able to patch and update the code and the community will certainly make sure of that by making patches public. Blesta would be in a very hard position to pull off what WHMCS did since they only encode the license part and nothing else it seems, which means you could keep actually using your owned licenses as opposed to WHMCS and all other products. That alone is very reassuring. With Blesta owned licenses, you actually do get something of value in return, which is the PHP files.

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3 hours ago, Kian said:

Many still didn't learn the lesson.

WebPros can easily acquire every software they think is worth their money. They can literally buy DirectAdmin, Blesta, HostBill or any other software in no time since they're super cheap compared to cPanel, Plesk, WHMCS and SolusVM.

They took Plesk. We all moved to cPanel. They took cPanel we moved to DirectAdmin. As soon as DirectAdmin becomes relevant in this industry, it will be a really good snacks to buy. Same goes for people moving from WHMCS to any other panel that comes to mind. No matter what the owner of this or that panel promise you today. People can easily change their mind with money.

This "hide and seek" strategy is just stupid and impractical unless you are a small provider willing to invest your time migrating from A to B every three or four years. Large and medium-sized enterprise can't afford this silly game. Not to mention that every time you move from A to B you're basically leaving a better software for a worse one. It doesn't make any sense.

As I said in other places, the only way to fight this kind of capitalism and so WebPros, is going for open source and free softwares (GPL license). End of the story. There's no other escape.

p.s. In past I've been accused by someone of self-promoting myself just because I happened to have solutions or answers for problems like this one. Unfortunately some people are unable to percieve me as a person but as someone that comes here trying to sell his stuff. I really don't care about selling anything to the point that I removed ads from signature, stopped to bump posts of commercial modules and listings on marketplace as I'm economically independent from WHMCS world. I really hope that this time I won't hurt any feeling for expressing my opinion.

They're just words. Remember lifetime? What about unlimited disk space and bandwidth? Or things like "290 EUR / Lifetime"? And anyway any company can be acquired including privately owned. Let's see what this Paul has to say when WebPros comes with a briefcase full of euro and can sit down and relax for the rest of his life.

You are correct, but investing firms are not interested in small companies. And with Blesta, while it's not GPL the code is open, it would be very hard to pull something similar like with WHMCS, or cPanel or Plesk which are all encoded.

If there was something open source, people would move to that (there is for control panels, Virtualmin which is excellent) but not for billing.

Blesta is the closest thing in that regard. I don't actually care what the owner of Blesta said in public, he could change this mind tomorrow, and it can also be sold in the future, but actions speak louder and they advertise directly on the main page that 99% of the code is open. That is far more reassuring than any promise they make in public or what they say. That is more than enough for most people, companies and even developers.

The trick here is that WHMCS is only able to pull this off because nobody has access to the source code and nobody can edit the PHP files, you are locked. Blesta only encodes the license part, everything else seems to be open which means people actually report or even fix bugs and improve the software and Blesta seems to welcome that as well.

Edited by yggdrasil

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3 hours ago, bear said:

So was WHMCS, until it wasn't. 😉

But WHMCS was always encoded from day one, just as Hostbill and other products. I know some bigger companies that actually moved from WHMCS to Blesta just because of that. Bigger companies don't like to run obfuscated code in their billing servers. Even if WHMCS decides to backpedal tomorrow with owned licenses, you still have no control over what gets installed on each update in your server. They could even put a backdoor and get all your customers database and nobody would ever notice and since the company that owns WHMCS also owns several hosting companies which are probably some competitors to some people, that is even more concerning in terms of conflict of interests. Even more concerning when WHMCS launched its own marketplace to resell products that some probably already sell.

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Though I agree obfuscated code is partly to blame for this debacle, open source is not a full on panacea here. Yes, as it stands now you could patch/update (for those that are able), but there are other considerations in play. Basing the decision *JUST* on it being mostly open source code is likely to fall flat at some point also, though possibly for different reasons. 

Not everyone loves the "blestaverse", but pickin's are slim at present.

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11 minutes ago, bear said:

Though I agree obfuscated code is partly to blame for this debacle, open source is not a full on panacea here. Yes, as it stands now you could patch/update (for those that are able), but there are other considerations in play. Basing the decision *JUST* on it being mostly open source code is likely to fall flat at some point also, though possibly for different reasons. 

Not everyone loves the "blestaverse", but pickin's are slim at present.

I totally agree bear, 100% I truly do... but a crown of thorns or a potential toe stub in the future... I'm going to risk a sore toe 🤣

I do feel, the amount of developers showing interest is promising! Sure, it's a gamble but we know full well what's happening here so in my mind it's an easy choice 

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12 hours ago, yggdrasil said:

There is a difference at least with Blesta vs other products. Being open code, even if Blesta goes bust tomorrow and closes the door, you will still be able to patch and update the code and the community will certainly make sure of that by making patches public. Blesta would be in a very hard position to pull off what WHMCS did since they only encode the license part and nothing else it seems, which means you could keep actually using your owned licenses as opposed to WHMCS and all other products. That alone is very reassuring. With Blesta owned licenses, you actually do get something of value in return, which is the PHP files.

I totally agree on this, even if not all people can do this. But again, is a great advantage.

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On 21/04/2021 at 11:02 PM, twikamltd said:

Same here, showing as unlicensed.

I wonder how was that happened?

Edited by ShiyaWare

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6 minutes ago, johannes said:

which mail you got?  i didnt got any from them.

One that basically says "We heard you, and f$%k you"

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https://assets.whmcs.com/customer-licensing-guide-2021.pdf

I thought (yes, stupid of me) they changed their pricing to normal values. But this is not true, they only added two hops in between: 20K en 30K.
So not very useful at all. But this only shows they do not like the negative responses and are actually reading this.

However this change is pretty poor and has no real effect...

Edited by MvdL1979
Added more information.

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5 minutes ago, ravex said:

One that basically says "We heard you, and f$%k you"

thx, i just got their new email right in the moment where i wrote my previous text.    i am away from them, from now and forever.

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this make my owned license worthless!
therefore, a reimbursement for owned license customers or at least a price reduction against the new monthly fee would be the correct course for all owned license user.

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Sad that there is no engagement from WHMCS here on their forums. Where are Matt and the team engaging with customers?

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48 minutes ago, xyzulu said:

Sad that there is no engagement from WHMCS here on their forums. Where are Matt and the team engaging with customers?

That's par for the course man.  16 days and Mr. Kipling has stopped responding to support tickets.  He apparently cant handle the heat and tough questions being asked.

Questions asked of him with no response:

"And again you sidestepped my question about unencrypted source code. Since you're abandoning us, you need to provide the source code so we can continue to support the product and fix all of the quality problems that exist and any security holes that you've "forgot" to plug before you locked us out of support. Why do you keep side stepping this question? I've asked it several times and yet each time you seem to always "forget" to answer it. Once again, annoying a current customer, working hard not to keep their business, and working hard to ensure they share widely their terrible experience.

You point to a section of the EULA but that section does not spell out what exactly you are gathering. I again ask, what EXACTLY are you pilfering from our software? We have the right to know what information it is you're collecting and if you have accessed or taken any information about our clients. A vague statement in an EULA does not suffice. You need to answer this question. Stop skipping it.

Again, I fail to understand what value WHMCS or you for that matter, gain from denying a request for a refund. The money is not yours. It's not WHMCS's. It's not WebPros. It's not Oakley Capital's. It's ours. It's our money that we deposited into a stored value account for usage for future product sales. Since future product sales will not be occurring with this software, that money will never be used, which means no products will be purchased with it. There's no reason for you to continue to hold those funds other than just to be a "jerk" about the matter. If you buy a gift card at a store and that store goes bankrupt, the bankruptcy courts allow you to that money back from those accounts since they are stored value. This is no different.

Can you provide, in writing, if WHMCS will continue to release patches and security fixes for critical defects in the software for the next 5, 10, 15, or 20 years? If you're unable or unwilling to do so, then there's no business for you to continue to hold those funds and attempt to extort us into giving up our rights to the license we purchased. Again, you can buy back the license for a fair and reasonable price, but it will not be for free."

I await your latest installment of vague answers and ignored questions."

And frankly with how shady this entire process has been, I have grave concerns about exactly what data they are pilfering from our systems. Are they taking client data? Are they taking our financial records? I've never supported the hacking or cracking of software, but in this instance, I almost have to insist the code be cracked so we can know for sure what data they are pilfering from our systems.

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And for sheer entertainment value, here's his last reply... 16 days ago..

"You are entitled to your own opinion about the value of our product. The price changes we announced were the result of considered research and discussions with customers.

Quote

Which customers exactly? Because from the sheer volume of pissed off people, you obviously didn't talk to the correct set of impacted customers.

Regards your auto-update issue, it cannot be ignored that the auto update feature is working perfectly fine for the majority of other users of the WHMCS product. If it were a product defect, the issue would be affecting many others too. Do set your expectations that our public support channels are for users experiencing software problems; the absence of tens of thousands of threads reporting a successful update doesn't mean it's not happening. If you continue with WHMCS we would be happy to look into this for you again but it almost certainly is an environment issue as support has diagnosed.

Quote

So in order to get support, on our existing support contact, we have to pledge to stay with WHMCS? Um.. wut?!

Over 5000 feature requests have been submitted via our public tracker, with many more submitted via other channels. It is impossible to deliver every request that gets submitted, but we have always done our best to accommodate as many as we can. The pricing announcement explains that we are investing in additional team and resources which will enable us to accelerate our development throughput and deliver more change in future.

Quote

Make the investment first,  PROVE you're doing something to improve things, THEN ask for the price increase. Don't increase then give a vague "promise" to increase development.  Prove yourself first, you haven't done that.

We will not be purchasing back the Owned license from you. You have received the value from that purchase many times over in the many years use you have had of our product and service. Marketplace credits are non-refundable, but should you wish to close your account with us we will be happy to process a full refund.

Quote

Another open attempt at extortion. We shouldn't "give back" something we paid for, just to get a refund from a stored value account that will go unused.

With regards to your question about what data is being collected from systems, I refer you to section 2.4.3 of our End User License Agreement. Enforcement of client limits is done client side by the software."

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I liked this section from the blog post that mentioned the exciting features they were working on for a future release:

Quote
  • Integration with the new WordPress Toolkit offering from cPanel and Plesk - enabling web hosting companies to provide a better experience to customers looking for WordPress hosting and solutions, with an easier, simpler user experience and tools to help users manage WordPress
     
  • New and better services and integrations - including things such as even more automation around SSL, more Site Builder choices, and automation for more products and services.

More marketplace bloatware to look forward to, but who knows, maybe we are in the vocal minority and most users are requesting this?

Edited by D9Hosting

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Just now, D9Hosting said:

I liked this section from the blog post that mentioned the exciting features they were working on for a future release:

More marketplace bloatware to look forward to, but who knows, maybe we are in the vocal minority and most users are requesting this?

I know for a fact we never requested these features.

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6 minutes ago, agentblack said:

I know for a fact we never requested these features.

Simply put; WHMCS, cPanel and Plesk (and several others) belong to Webpros, which is owned by Oakley Capital (= investment company).

So it does make sense that they have added this. And they do not care if it was not requested. They are pushing to use all the software owned by them. Simple as that.

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