Let's say you are selling a product and you have a support forum where your (potential) users can ask questions, give suggestions, etc. - the usual stuff support forums does.
So, what do you do when unpleasant questions pop up? IMO one shouldn't delete them. However, some companies don't think so. Unpleasant questions - no problem, just remove them from the forum. Or even worse, when the support is really in trouble - just remove the entire forum and voila, no problems shown. Unnecessary to say that I detest such actions. Such actions also may suggest that there are other problems with the product and calls for caution.
So you are wondering why I am blogging about this. Because it happens here and there. Recently I looked at MaxiVista software for utilizing my laptop as a 3rd monitor. While it works it has some annoyances – one of them, asked by many users, should be really easy to fix but for some obscure reason it isn’t. Anyway, one day I saw a post in the forum asking whether MaxiVista will run on 64bit Windows one day (it doesn’t right now). The answer was something like: “no, we are working on Windows Vista support instead”. Ok, this is their strategy. The strange thing is that the topic was locked so no further comments could be posted. Even more bizarre was the description of the forum: “MaxiVista is for YOU, so please let us know what you would like to see in the next version. We carefully listen.”. They might be listen but what for, since no one can post anymore? So I asked about why the topic is locked and expressed my opinion that 64bit support should happen before Windows Vista support since 64bit CPUs are becoming maninstream and Vista is futher down the road. After the response “read previous thread” and my another opinion on the matter the whole topic just disappeared into the void. And I thought that they are listening to (potential) users. After that I posted the question about where did my topic disappear. Needless to say that this post soon disappeared, too.
What should one think of such behavior? It certainly doesn’t fill you with confidence…
I won't even write about the other product I have pleasure to met. It was a fine product (again with some bugs here and there) but the support forum was a disaster so they just removed the entire forum to "fix the product"