Complaining about Logos

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This post has 25 Replies | 5 Followers

Posts 3
Alan Harris | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Feb 20 2017 6:52 AM

WARNING!!!

 This post contains the opinion of the writer and is not intended to convey the thoughts, beliefs or opinions of anyone employed by Faithlife. I am not an employee of Faithlife.

 With the disclaimer out of the way...

 Before I comment on the complaints I want to say thank you to Faithlife and the folks who produce Logos.

THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS!

 I read a string of complaints recently regarding the pricing of Logos books and the updates that come out every so often for which Logos users are charged. To be straightforward about it I was really bothered by this. Folks, do all of us work for free? Do we expect others to work for free?  Thank you Logos for the recent version 7 data update!!!!!!!!!!

The issue I see is the complaining itself. (If you use Logos and are not a Christian please disregard as I am addressing the household of faith) If you take the word of God seriousely please consider the passage below:

Phil 2:14-15
14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.

 This would include the purchase and use of Logos as well as our interaction with Faithlife. These are people and we must not think that we can grumble and complain against them and have the Lord Jesus be OK with it. As I said they are not volunteers, they are a company and they do produce a product that helps us all do what we do.

 I for one use Logos every day and could not do my ministry as well as I do without it. I work a full time job so that I can pastor and Logos enables me to do this. I thank God for the software and all of those who have worked so hard to make it what it is. I am currently in a payment plan with them for a recent purchase so I am doing business with them and will as God enables continue to do so. 

 I would also add a comment about our witness to the employees of Faithlife. Brothers (and sisters!) we claim the name of Christ. What do we think our complaining and grumbling looks like to those who work at this company? Do we think that Christ is glorified with our complaining? Do we thing that God is pleased?

 There are less expensive programs available for your Bible study but in my opinion they are not as good.

 If all I had to go by was the string of complaints I read I would wonder if there were any Christians using the software at all.

 

Pastor Alan Harris

   

Posts 259
scooter | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 20 2017 7:06 AM

Lets say I have an issue, Alan.  Would you say I am complaining if I bring it up?  How, then, in your opinion do I bring it up? 

If I list ''just the facts,'' am I complaining?  If I mention how unhappy I am, am I complaining?  If I see it as a long standing issue + hit it a little harder, then what?

Posts 1117
Sean | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 20 2017 7:37 AM

EDIT: Never mind, I'll withhold the snark.

Alan Harris:
 If all I had to go by was the string of complaints I read I would wonder if there were any Christians using the software at all.

Reporting this post for abuse. FL, do you really want to let your customer base be abused like this?

Posts 10307
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 20 2017 8:10 AM

I think scooter has a good point. How should anyone cry foul? Alan also has a good Jesus question visa viz some Christian traditions' expectations. And Sean abuse-ing the Christian guy for abusing the Christians ... that certainly can be found in the Paulines.

It must be Monday morning, and way too much rain on the American west coast (neutral subject).


Posts 5565
Forum MVP
Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 20 2017 8:23 AM

scooter:

Lets say I have an issue, Alan.  Would you say I am complaining if I bring it up?  How, then, in your opinion do I bring it up? 

If I list ''just the facts,'' am I complaining?  If I mention how unhappy I am, am I complaining?  If I see it as a long standing issue + hit it a little harder, then what?

Not answering for Alan, but if you have an issue, please bring it up! It's how you bring it up that's the difference for me personally.

Why just complain, when you can make a suggestion? Why settle for just saying what's wrong with something, when you can be a part of getting it fixed? Often it's as simple as stating "the facts" (in a fair way, of course) and then asking a sincere question "Is this how it's supposed to work?" (or something like that).

I've seen both, and often for the same or very similar issues. The "suggestion" strategy, as far as I've seen here, is simply more effective, in addition to being a more pleasant approach for everyone.

Just my 2 cents.

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

Posts 3
Alan Harris | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 20 2017 8:51 AM

Brother,

Thank you for withholding the snark. This is as it should be.

How is it abusive to muse about the possible thoughts of someone reading some of (NOT ALL!)   
the complaints that frankly were out of line? I say SOME because there were some that were
expressed well and were not the subject of the post. Take me to the Scriptures and offer the correction that I 
seem to need from the word of God brother.

Quote: "Reporting this post for abuse. FL, do you really want to let your customer base be abused like this?"

It's OK to be abusive to the FaithLife staff but certainly not to the customer!

Posts 3
Alan Harris | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 20 2017 8:54 AM

Well said! With kindness as well. 

Yes, issues should be raised is they are legitimate issues but are we going to say that simply having an issue gives us license speak on a forum any way we so choose?

(Spelling edit)

Posts 1029
EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 20 2017 8:58 AM

These are all legitimate questions. Similar questions arise in the church, in our marriages, and in life in general. How do we honestly resolve problems without tearing each other down in an unloving way? I have no special wisdom on this.  It does seem to me that:

  • It is legitimate to express our concerns to FaithLife (or to any other company, or a spouse, or a friend, for that matter);
  • We shouldn't make our concerns out to be greater than they really are;
  • Viewed dispassionately, our concerns may not really be as great as they may seem in the heat of the moment;
  • We should not assume bad faith on the part of FaithLife (or unfettered greed, callousness, disregard for customers, etc.);
  • FaithLife can (and should) benefit as a business from candid, constructive criticism;
  • Offering as many facts and potential solutions as possible can make our feedback more effective and useful; and
  • Sometimes no one solution will work well for everyone.

If 34 years of marriage have taught me anything, it's that when it comes to relationships being "right" won't save you if you say it wrong. I think that's generally true whenever we deal with other people on anything but the most trivial matters.

Posts 5252
Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 20 2017 9:19 AM
Complaints I would say are wanted by Faithlife, no not the kind ones where you are just bashing the company for no other reason than being a business, but constructive criticism is very helpful to a company. If FL does something that even a large minority doesn't like I am sure FL would rather hear it voiced and offered a chance to answer things than those customers walking away and going to another company. I do not think words like "this is unchristian" or any other judgmental comments are useful, however as a customer if FL wishes to keep me as a customer I should feel I have a right to voice my concerns without being attack by so called "fan boys" who treat FL as some anointed prophet who must to be questioned (I am not thinking of anyone in particular but I have heard of people who have felt attacked when some MVPs have come to FL's defence, in one case I can think of I would have definitely said the complaining person seemed very out of line and overly sensitive to the response). I do not want to see any one or FL attacked, but complaints can be constructive criticism that can be exceptionally valuable to FL. So I say please complain... but ALWAYS be kind and don't assume the worse about FL or individuals. -Dan
Posts 5148
DIsciple II | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 20 2017 11:34 AM

Alan Harris:
The issue I see is the complaining itself. (If you use Logos and are not a Christian please disregard as I am addressing the household of faith) If you take the word of God seriousely please consider the passage below:

Rev Harris, for me the biggest issue I see on these forums is customers who judge other christians, they love to point the finger (and in doing so have more pointed back at themselves),and some to justify their actions by adding a single scripture to their put down.  But the ones that really pride themselves on their judging of their fellow christians love to name call people names in addition to telling them they are not Christians because they have complained about the business practices of FL.  Some even think they have the right to question their fellow customers faith.

Personally while I'd love to see, and I think we all would if we were honest, cheaper prices, I respect FL is a for profit business and its employees do deserve to be paid. So I generally refrain from making complaints about prices being too high but at same time don't point the point and quote ad those that do - their beef is with FL, not me so I take no offense, even if I dont' agree with them.

But I will, much to your dislike raise complaints about issues where I see FL letting me down as a customer, and where I see their business practices, particularly their marketing inappropriate, or I believe their customer service is lacking or they have made poor design choices in the software.  

So Rev Hall because of that, without ever having met me you are deciding I am not a Christian simply because I am prepared to be honest with a business that I have entered into a financial transaction (many transactions) when I believe they have let me down as a customer.  

As I mentioned earlier whenever you point a finger at someone else you actually have more fingers pointing at yourself. The fact is none of us are perfect, we all sin and fall short of the glory of God each and every day, whether we want to be honest about it or not. 

PS Rev Harris:

I work for a business and we encourage people to complain, their complaints are put up on a TV screen in our office where everyone can see the complaints raised - do we as business always feel the complaints are fair - of course not and we do prefer to see their positive comments,  but the complaints do help us identify where we might be missing customer expectations, help us see  to identify areas where we can improve as a business that we might have otherwise missed because we are too busy in our office playing business.  Complaints, although not pleasant and not always fair, are an important part of customer engagement and the two way transaction between a customer and the business. A business who truly want to engage with its customers, a business that is customer focused with welcome and take note of customer complaints and use that information to shape how it does business with its customers in the future. So not only do I believe it inappropriate for you to make a judgment call on other people's faith simply because they raise a complaint on these forums, I think you are showing a lack of understanding of business by your comments  as well as setting yourself up as someone who has the right to make a judgement call on the faith of other people that you have never met.

Posts 1029
EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 20 2017 11:59 AM

I sense that we're talking past each other here.  I'd offer up a couple of questions in the hopes that they might be useful.

  1. Is there a difference between constructive feedback (a.k.a. a justified customer complaint) and "grumbling or disputing" as used by Paul in Phil 2:14-15?
  2. Should there be a difference in the way Christians provide customer feedback and the way the average non-Christian might react in the same situation?

My personal answer would be "yes" to both.

Posts 10307
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 20 2017 12:04 PM

doc, that's interesting about your workplace.

My general experience from inside businesses is they tend to be inward focus'd ... customer good-comments (we're great!), and customer bad-comments (nutty customer!) One time I responded to a hotel post-survey, suggesting they needed more parking (construction dept). It got passed to the manager and she tried to nail us with pets (I guess their technique). Anyway, no more post-surveys. 

Noting the return of 'prices', I don't accept ' they need profits!!' when competitors can offer better prices and as good functionality (to a customer). And Christian-wise, the high prices mean less-affluent pastors need not apply. If indeed it helps pastors (Faithlife claim), then its absense reduces gospel  effectiveness. Else hobby-ist software.


Posts 1029
EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 20 2017 12:31 PM

Denise:

Noting the return of 'prices', I don't accept ' they need profits!!' when competitors can offer better prices and as good functionality (to a customer).

It's not unusual for companies in the same industry to have very different internal cost structures.

Posts 5148
DIsciple II | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 20 2017 12:54 PM

EastTN:

I sense that we're talking past each other here.  I'd offer up a couple of questions in the hopes that they might be useful.

  1. Is there a difference between constructive feedback (a.k.a. a justified customer complaint) and "grumbling or disputing" as used by Paul in Phil 2:14-15?
  2. Should there be a difference in the way Christians provide customer feedback and the way the average non-Christian might react in the same situation?

My personal answer would be "yes" to both.

The answer is yes we should, the reality is we are all fallen creatures who fall short of the glory of God each and every day. My concern is how we respond to one another when we do inevitably fall short and from what I see on these forums it as at times absolutely disgusting the way people talk to one another and must grieve God no less than the inappropriate way someone might have raised the complaint.  And I dont' believe questioning peoples faith is any more an appropriate response than is calling people names, or MVP's telling customers they are wasting the precious MVP's time, or quoting a single scripture out of context and scolding a person for raising a complaint simply because you don't see the issue in the same light as them, or telling people they should not complain about any of the shortcomings of Vryso because its just  'hobby' business.

Posts 10307
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 20 2017 1:07 PM

Now, EastTN ... that's gobbledegook ... even Cadallac is subject to the same managerial demands for efficiency ... but low volume, high margin is their  equation. And nothing to do with the cost structure (or premium cost structure) of the gospel businessmen It's the latter, that's the curiousity. 

Now, before you get mad at me, I only pose the issue of NJB. (No, not my preferred). Then note the Logos pricing apologetic arguments apply equally to Brill.


Posts 1029
EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 20 2017 2:22 PM

Denise:

Now, EastTN ... that's gobbledegook ... even Cadallac is subject to the same managerial demands for efficiency ... but low volume, high margin is their  equation. And nothing to do with the cost structure (or premium cost structure) of the gospel businessmen It's the latter, that's the curiousity. 

Now, before you get mad at me, I only pose the issue of NJB. (No, not my preferred). Then note the Logos pricing apologetic arguments apply equally to Brill.

Mad at you? Never! Big Smile

But I don't think it's gobbledygook (well, not completely, at least). You mention a particular business strategy, low volume, high margin. That strategy has implications for a company's balance sheet and income statement - and for they way they manage their finances. A high-volume, low margin business will have a different balance sheet and income statement, and will manage their finances differently. Neiman Markus and T.J.Maxx both sell clothing - but they aren't managed the same way and their margins won't be the same. You get the same sort of differences in the restaurant business. A trendy, high-end restaurant in New York will likely have a different pricing strategy than a Domino's pizza in rural Tennessee.  I don't see why we would expect anything different in the Bible software industry.  Some companies will be Neiman Markus, some will be Lord and Taylor, some will be J.C.Penney, and some may be T.J.Maxx.

Having said that - no, I don't understand all of the decisions that FaithLife makes.  Some completely baffle me.  But the universe of things that baffle me is vast, so I just try not to worry about it too much.

Posts 2856
Doc B | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 20 2017 2:36 PM

Alan Harris:
are we going to say that simply having an issue gives us license speak on a forum

Apparently it does for the OP.

Or does complaining about people complaining not qualify as complaining?

Am I the only one who sees the irony in a thread created to complain about people complaining?

Alan Harris:
I would wonder if there were any Christians using the software at all.

I would be curious to know how a person that judgmental functions as a pastor. Seems like it could be a bit difficult.

My thanks to the various MVPs. Without them Logos would have died early. They were the only real help available.

Faithlife Corp. owes the MVPs free resources for life.

Posts 10307
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 20 2017 2:59 PM

Doc ... your final point would merit a book.

Now, EastTN (just helping the OP get as many views as possible). Believe it (or not), I've worked on the analytics for most of your examples (competitor research). But let's ignore that. Because: Gospel economics is a maximize function. Not an optimize function. Now, some will argue quality (optimize) over quantity (maximize). But if you read your NT (OT was optimizing), you'll note the principle of maximize (quantity). Souls. Sitting around trying for high-quality souls was never the goal. And for good reason. The end was at hand.

This, I believe, is where Logosians get mixed up. Faithlife is an optimizing company. Bucks, not souls. Imagine, if they priced books as their competitors (OT, BigA, etc), and then literally charged for the features at full cost. Pastors could buy inexpensively  as needed. And feature-itus people would be faced with the obvious; value?


Posts 259
scooter | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 20 2017 3:45 PM

Denise:

some will argue quality (optimize) over quantity (maximize). But if you read your NT (OT was optimizing), you'll note the principle of maximize (quantity). Souls. Sitting around trying for high-quality souls was never the goal. And for good reason. The end was at hand.

This, I believe, is where Logosians get mixed up. Faithlife is an optimizing company. Bucks, not souls. Imagine, if they priced books as their competitors (OT, BigA, etc), and then literally charged for the features at full cost. Pastors could buy inexpensively  as needed. And feature-itus people would be faced with the obvious; value?

Is not FL, then, a maximizing company,  maximizing bucks by their robust prices? As they see it.  If I read U right, an optimizing FL would have lower prices + more customers.

Posts 10307
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 20 2017 4:06 PM

scooter, I think we're mixing up normal economics with souls economics.

In the former, you're probably right. But presuming the latter (essentially the book of Acts), Faithlife would maximize relative to the intermediate variable ... pastors' souls maximization. At that point problems occur ... quantity vs quality (two theologies, one 'go ye into the world, vs the righteous remnant pre-selected or not).

This sounds like gobbledegook (apologies to EastTN), but I suspect it's why the forum gets tangled up on pricing. What's the ultimate goal.


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