More emphasis on "try first, then buy"? :-)

I’m half serious, half in jest, with this post.

Must say I’m getting frustrated and burned out with the minority of the new purchasers of Scrivener who suddenly show up in the forums ranting and raging about how they’ve been misled and how the software doesn’t do what they thought it would and how they are the center of the universe and L&L and the universe had better bow down in fear and trembling before their genius and self righteous anger, turn on a dime, apologize abjectly, refund and make everything right again…

I know many people now days are not being brought up with the concept of taking responsibility for themselves, their decisions and actions and their lives, but man, this gets old…

Leap into purchasing and using Scrivener for a complicated project, without first trying the free full feature evaluation version to do proof-of-concept testing on a portion or all of the project… Do use the evaluation version, wait a few months so that memory becomes unreliable, purchase, then announce that were mislead as to what the software can do… Wow. The post for the last one was titled something like “I was misled”. I so wanted to respond… “let me help you with that… I misled myself”.

Sigh. Don’t know how L&L folks manage to stay civil and responsive in the face of such.

Anyway, leads me to wonder if results in enough grief that might be worth inserting some notes/prompts in the purchase process/screens to the effect that “while we’ll be glad to take your money now, have you first tried the free evaluation copy, to assure that Scrivener is the tool for you?.. Scrivener is good, but it’s not magic or the only such software. If you haven’t, go try it and the other software first, then come back and purchase when you are comfortable that Scrivener is the tool, or one of the tools, that you want.”

Superb product. Thank you.

Okay, got that out of my system. Cranky old man signing off.

With you all the way on this. Lord alone knows how we get any decent work done with such crap software eh?



It’s difficult to know what more we can do in this regard. True, on the Mac App Store we are unable to offer a free trial or even mention that we have one available on our site (Apple in fact refused one of our updates until we removed the mention of the trial from the app description), but I see that most of these angry posts are coming from the Windows side, and “Free Trial” is the first thing on our product page, right above the “Buy” link. I worry that if we prompt people, “Have you tried first, are you sure you want to buy yet?” during the purchase process, it might imply a lack of faith in our own product that might put some people off who would otherwise be perfectly happy with it.

I think (hope) that some of the grievances arise because of the current disparity between the Mac and Windows versions, but the Windows team is currently breaking its collective necks in trying to bring things up to speed. Version 1.7 is a huge step forward in terms of over all stability and features, and we are working hard to have feature parity by the end of this year or early next. (If that sounds a long way away, that’s only because there are some big changes coming to the Mac version in that period that will also be going into the Windows version in tandem with final areas of catch-up.)

These are good points, though. It is certainly disheartening to receive angry or demanding emails or see such forum posts from unhappy users, as we do work very hard to make Scrivener as good as possible, and the poor old Windows team have been trying to play catch-up while I constantly develop and add features to the Mac version.