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Free! You're not paying anything!
  #1  
Old 06-25-2010, 02:16 AM
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Wenchie Wenchie is offline
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Default Free! You're not paying anything!

So, the company I work for has a free public search site for houses... it's definitely NOT our main focus. We have our MLS site (for our actual realtor members) and our corporate site which is updated with training manuals, tip sheets, links to all sorts of helpful things, news articles, etc. A lot of other MLSs have gotten rid of their public search sites because listing syndication means that the properties are on google & yahoo & trulia & zillow & 8 million other sites.

But we still have our site. And we revamped it this week. We're changing color schemes and adding a bunch of functionality and all sorts of other things. Yeah, there are a couple of things that are missing from the site that our IT department is going to be adding back in, but the majority of features are still there. Just in different places or don't work the same.

But it's free. The public can use it and they don't have to pay anything or even register online. Completely free to them.

BUT OMG some of the emails that we've gotten this week since we changed it. Some are good suggestions, some people just don't actually look or read so they're sending in emails complaining that they can't do something that they CAN... and some just don't make sense, like this one:

"Comments: I like the new web layout, but keep the old format!"

We've gotten several complaints because we "I use your site constantly and you should have told me you were going to be changing it!" (Ummm.... we don't require people to register so we don't know who's on the site and YOU'RE NOT PAYING FOR IT ANYWAY)

And some people I just want to fit in the face with a shovel:

-----------------------------------------

Comments: I apologize in advance but your new web site blows. The search function is an absolute joke. Your previous web site rocked!! Bring it back ASAP!!

Comments: I hate your new website. I go on it almost everyday & this was not an improvement. It's so hard to find anything on here now. It's very user unfriendly. I'm EXTREMELY unhappy with this new setup.

Comments: PLEASE bring back old website. This new one is slow. Photos do not show as well. Search options are less useful. IT IS ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE. Please bring back old website NOW.
(NOTES: New website isn't slow unless you're on dialup. Photos actually show BETTER and are larger. There are more search options to play with.)

Comments: this new web sight suck

Comments: I don't have any questions.
I know how to search the new site
The new site sucks it's terrible
It was a waist of time and money to install something so bad
To replace something that work great ?
So I guess that would be my only questions I would have ???
Why would you screw up a good thing for a bad one ???


-----------------------------------------

And maybe those don't seem too bad (and we've had worse, but I don't feel like searching through my email to find them) but we've been getting 100+ emails exactly like this every day since Monday. Some of them are multiple people... but still! I hope it slows down soon... *cry*

What I do find funny is that 75% of the emails say that they're not going to use our site again... like we're losing out if they go away. And I bet you that most of these people have never used the site before anyway. Honestly, we make NO money off of it. We have it for a courtesy to people... if people stopped using it we could just get rid of it completely and not have to worry about it, and then we could focus on things that DO make us money!

  #2  
Old 06-26-2010, 10:47 PM
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Kristev Kristev is offline
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Well, I don't know what to say.
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  #3  
Old 06-27-2010, 01:36 AM
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lineswine lineswine is offline
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Such is the mindset of the Entitlement Whore - they pay nothing, but expect everything to be done their way.

  #4  
Old 06-27-2010, 01:48 AM
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Quote:
Quoth lineswine View Post
Such is the mindset of the Entitlement Whore - they pay nothing, but expect everything to be done their way.
Yup! The best one I've had so far was someone bitching at me because our site now won't work in Dial-up. DIAL-UP. Seriously???

  #5  
Old 06-27-2010, 10:41 AM
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Now, hold on. Money doesn't grow on trees. I had dial-up for years, simply because of the cost of the better alternatives.
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  #6  
Old 06-27-2010, 03:29 PM
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Wenchie Wenchie is offline
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Quote:
Quoth Kristev View Post
Now, hold on. Money doesn't grow on trees. I had dial-up for years, simply because of the cost of the better alternatives.

Understood... but it's now 2010 and most of the united states now have satellite internet if cable or dsl isn't available. If you're still on dialup, it's pretty much by choice now... and if you're on dialup and trying to access a website full of photos of houses for sale, you should know that you're going to have problems with it. Bitching at the company that runs the website that you're access for free on your decrepit internet connection (and probably running Windows ME) it not going to help anything other than to lighten OUR mood because you gave us something to laugh at.

Now, as for our REALTOR members who are still using dialup... they're in a career that is dependent on having a internet connection so that they can quickly pull information for their clients. If you're in a job that depends on internet, please DON'T have dialup! And if your computer is 10+ years old and was a cheap model to begin with, maybe you should get a new one since it IS a business expense for you. At least something that actually RUNS new and/or current programs would be nice.

Quote:
Quoth Polenicus View Post
My recommendation?

Start charging for the site.

Seriously, nothing will generate more complaints and entitlement than a free service.

The problem is that there are so many free public sites out there... charging for one just means that they'll go somewhere else. Which I wouldn't mind. I actually hope our board voted to just make the site go away... there were talks about that. It's too much to hope for... I hate dealing with the public with this site. Even though the average age of our actual members is around 300, I at least can deal with them because they have to follow specific rules/regulations as specified by our policies/procedures along with their own ethics stipulations. Which means that if one of our members is doing something they shouldn't on our site, I get to actually call them out on it. ^_^

Last edited by Wenchie; 06-27-2010 at 03:38 PM.

  #7  
Old 06-27-2010, 03:33 PM
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Host a "man our website sucks, submit your own code and win a bagel!" and see what delicious website gold these people submit. mmmhm.

Also, I'm on DSL (because im cheap) which runs all websites fine. I haven't found ANY site I cant view. I pay 19.95 a month with taxes and fees. There are areas without dsl/cable set up, but i also doubt thats the area the OPs site caters to.
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  #8  
Old 06-27-2010, 11:28 AM
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My recommendation?

Start charging for the site.

Seriously, nothing will generate more complaints and entitlement than a free service.
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  #9  
Old 06-27-2010, 11:54 AM
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That's actually a wicked idea. Wicked as in, excellent, wonderful, terrific, or grant. Let them pay for the site.
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  #10  
Old 06-28-2010, 12:25 AM
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In a way, I miss dial-up. I got a lot more chores done during the day while awaiting uploads.
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