Dishonest Advertising On Verbum 8

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Posts 1144
Myke Harbuck | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Nov 1 2018 5:33 PM

Ben Amundgaard (Faithlife):

I'm very sorry. This was an honest mistake in how we display the comparison charts on our product pages. There was no intent to deceive. We are looking into how to correct the issue now (note that it is showing up correctly on logos.com).

Very humble and transparent answer. 

Click-baiting posts that accuse FL or anyone of dishonestly (ie: intent to deceive) without any true awareness of intent are unnecessary. It's not only unfair, it's not the Christian thing to do. Why not just make a simple and gentle inquiry about the issue and give FL an opportunity to make it right. The just, reasonable, and peaceable thing to do would be to simply ask why the discrepancy exists, state one's concern, and ask FL to make it right. It's been my experience that they always do. There's no need for name calling and divisiveness, especially over an honest mistake. 

Myke Harbuck
Lead Pastor, www.ByronCity.Church
Adjunct Professor, Georgia Military College
Mac OS 10.13.6 High Sierra, Mid 2015 iMac, 2.5GHz i7, 32 gbRAM, 1tbSSD

Posts 37
Kevin S. Coy | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Nov 1 2018 5:44 PM

YesYesYes

Posts 10228
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Nov 1 2018 6:12 PM

Myke Harbuck:

Ben Amundgaard (Faithlife):

I'm very sorry. This was an honest mistake in how we display the comparison charts on our product pages. There was no intent to deceive. We are looking into how to correct the issue now (note that it is showing up correctly on logos.com).

Very humble and transparent answer. 

Click-baiting posts that accuse FL or anyone of dishonestly (ie: intent to deceive) without any true awareness of intent are unnecessary....

I get the feeling you criticized the OP's assumptions about FL's motive, while you made assumptions about the OP's motives. Well, done.

Actually, FL has a long history of this type of behavior, whatever the motive.

This morning, I selected Logos sales, much of which the 'sale' and the impressive percent off, was nothing more than I already owned it (dynamic pricing). I'm used to these Logos 'discounts'; no complaints.

Also this morning, was the opposite issue as the OP and Dan. When there's a partial (as they discussed), the new to you often shows a zero price, and therefore, a very low total .... implying the top price is quite exhorbitant ... but not. Again, no complants .... it's just Logos again.


Posts 955
Deacon Steve | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Nov 1 2018 6:20 PM

So ... Not trying to dicount anyone’s thoughts expressed here; all important and to be taken seriously.

This whole thing with the New Collegeville Bible Commentary (Liturgical Press) stems from the way in which it was first put in the Verbum catalog.  At the time it was put on pre-pub, which I cannot recall exactly - over a year at least, it was offered in the single-volume New Testament and a series of individual Old Testament volumes.  I do not have any details on why the contract was that way with the publisher, but it was.

To be fair, the publisher has always put forward their flagship commentary as individual volumes (by book of the Bible) which include the text of the Bible, commentary, and some study questions for reflection.  In addition, they also ”bundle” the commentary into three separate publications that only contain the commentary; an OT volume, a NT volume, and a combined OT/NT volume.  That is what they did with the the original Collegeville Bible Commentary and again with the New Collegeville Bible Commentary.  You can look at the publisher website.  And I have several editions of the old series sitting on my bookshelf that confirm this.

Now ... somewhere along the line it seems that Faithlife attempted to “regularize” the offer of the New Collegeville Bible Commentary as being the two volumes, OT and NT, that is offered by the publisher - but, unfortunately only included the individual OT volumes that were part of the original pre-pub offering.  That offering was inclomplete based on what the publisher current has.  In hindsite, this may not have been the best approach.  Nonetheless, it was what was offered then and included in terms of content - a single NT volume and selected OT books that included questions for reflection.

All this is too bad as the publisher has had the complete commentary in a single volume (OT and NT) for some time in hardcover for $80 USD.  Again, this is the updated version of what Faithlife offers today - the Collegeville Bible Commentary - for $49.99 USD.  That’s the single OT and NT combined.

I think it would be good if Faithlife reset expectations on the product as it truly is - the single NT volume along with several, individual OT books that have the questions for reflection.  It’s not clear the way it is presented today as two volumes because it is not.  Also, it seems to me that Faithlife needs to go back to the publisher and try to renegotiate a contract that has the complete New Collegeville Bible Commentary in line with what has been offered in the past.  It would help this situation and I’m thinking the publisher would want their most current one-volume offing in Verbum.

Posts 2833
Doc B | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Nov 1 2018 6:22 PM

Denise:
it's just Logos again

I've been around these parts for over 10 years.  The one consistency I've seen the last few of those years is, some of the folks most supportive of FL, including power users and MVPs have slowly but steadily become acerbic about the software or company.

This can't bode well for the long-term viability of a company, when their long-time supporters walk away. It is distressing. It also means  some of the most helpful, historically,  are no longer as active helping in the forums.  Read my footer if you aren't sure how big a deal that is.

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 423
Leo Wee Fah | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Nov 1 2018 6:32 PM

Deacon Steve:

I think it would be good if Faithlife reset expectations on the product as it truly is - the single NT volume along with several, individual OT books that have the questions for reflection.  It’s not clear the way it is presented today as two volumes because it is not.  Also, it seems to me that Faithlife needs to go back to the publisher and try to renegotiate a contract that has the complete New Collegeville Bible Commentary in line with what has been offered in the past.  It would help this situation and I’m thinking the publisher would want their most current one-volume offing in Verbum.

Yes

Posts 26800
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Nov 1 2018 6:49 PM

Doc B:
I've been around these parts for over 10 years.  The one consistency I've seen the last few of those years is, some of the folks most supportive of FL, including power users and MVPs have slowly but steadily become acerbic about the software or company.

I've been around a bit longer ... although I thought you were on the boards. There is a second way of looking at it: as Logos/Verbum and computers have grown in their text-based capabilities, power-users, MVP, folks most supportive of FL are in a position where griping about how the software doesn't meet their needs has a realistic chance of being able to be implemented ... remember when I was a one-note Pied Piper on lectionaries, notes, workflows, case frames, word nets, Popular Patristic series, graphic organizers ...The only items I have yet to get is the ability to easily bring up a verse in the translation used by the resource and the ability to see the translation/notes/commentary side-by-side in commentaries such as Anchor and Hermenia.  In fact, so much has been gained that it is worth a new push: Open letter to Faithlife on overall direction So yes, I am feeling very free to be acerbic (in my laconic way) because I have reason to trust the company ... and recognize they've outmaneuvered most of their competitors. 

Doc B:
It also means  some of the most helpful, historically,  are no longer as active helping in the forums.


Yes, one was driven off early by vitriolic "attack theology". Several quit breathing or having a heart beat which is treated as a resignation for which family deserves sympathy, a couple of health problems, change of job positions ... in the desktop, I can't think of anyone who withdrew due to FL policy or Logos quality ...

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 10228
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Nov 1 2018 7:17 PM

Doc B:

Denise:
it's just Logos again

I've been around these parts for over 10 years.  The one consistency I've seen the last few of those years is, some of the folks most supportive of FL, including power users and MVPs have slowly but steadily become acerbic about the software or company.

This can't bode well for the long-term viability of a company, when their long-time supporters walk away. It is distressing. It also means  some of the most helpful, historically,  are no longer as active helping in the forums.  Read my footer if you aren't sure how big a deal that is.

I think I might have been acerbic'd. Smiling. In the same 'Sale' they included products not actually for sale, not owned by the company, nor any commitment to ever sell such items. But a great price!  Almost as good as A-Company, but not the big 'K'.

I'd hope Logos is the beneficiary of customer churn. But my impression is they go from one program to the next, hoping there'll be a few bites. I notice dear old Noet is in doubt. She may well be joining Libby.


Posts 53
Patrick Fleischmann | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2018 8:01 AM

Deacon Steve:

I hadn't intended to pick on New Collegeville Bible Commentary specifically.  New Collegeville wasn't really my point.  That was just the example I used.  Here is another one:

I don't believe "Come and See" has the same issue with different publications of various bundles of the volumes like New Collegeville.  There are 15 volumes and FL is touting a value of $224.99 for including JUST ONE.    Maybe I'm simply too cynical but I don't believe all the instances of valuing like this is just an honest mistake on FL's part.  They are a business and they employ folks for marketing and those folks want to sell things.  And "total value if bought separately" is a way for someone in marketing to convince a consumer to buy their product.  Bible software or pickup trucks, it doesn't matter.   That FL makes a valuable product I don't dispute.  I bought Verbum for the first time this year with version 7.   I'm simply expressing my disappointment in a marketing tactic that tries to oversell me with a value that isn't there.  And that's deceptive advertising, plainly.  

Posts 5251
Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2018 11:19 AM

This was my problem I am scrolling  looking at things admittedly I  have it blown up so i do not see in the window beyond this column (my sight is not the best).  I see Expand indicating more than one volume is there.. Since it is a 2 volume set it seems logical to assume receiving two volumes  means you get both.... Then I discover there is no volume 2. I search and find that after dropping a small fortune on upgrades that a key resource i wanted is going to cost me a lot more when I purchased a set I believed (mistakenly) that contained it. My request to return my packages was replied to saying there is no purchase associated with this email address (having sent it from the wrong email address). I am still feel it would have been a better thing if it has simply been New Collegeville Bible Commentary: New Testament included. 

-dan

Posts 228
Graham Owen | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2018 12:17 PM

Denise:

Myke Harbuck:

Ben Amundgaard (Faithlife):

I'm very sorry. This was an honest mistake in how we display the comparison charts on our product pages. There was no intent to deceive. We are looking into how to correct the issue now (note that it is showing up correctly on logos.com).

Very humble and transparent answer. 

Click-baiting posts that accuse FL or anyone of dishonestly (ie: intent to deceive) without any true awareness of intent are unnecessary....

I get the feeling you criticized the OP's assumptions about FL's motive, while you made assumptions about the OP's motives. Well, done.

Actually, FL has a long history of this type of behavior, whatever the motive.

Choice of language in the context of criticising Faithlife has long been an issue on this forum and rightly, or wrongly, tends to polarise opinion quite quickly.

While the OP could have phrased this differently and used "misleading" or "inaccurate" the reaction/response would most likely have been similar.

It is undeniable that that Faithlife has a long history of this type of mistake but it is equally true that my personal experience, over 20 plus years, is that they "make things right". I do find it frustrating that Faithlife the business does seem to make these recurring errors and my personal view is that they do need to prioritise learning from past mistakes rather than continually repeating them.

However, that the OP could have used alternative language does not alter the fact that this issue needed to be highlighted and addressed and I do wonder what response the OP would have received if it was Amazon rather than Faithlife that was characterised as "dishonest".

Posts 5251
Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2018 1:00 PM

I would not have used the term "Dishonest Advertising" I do feel it is fair to say misleading... Now when one looks carefully and pushes all the buttons  there is absolutely no deception. However when someone scrolls through quickly I do not think it is beyond reason to expect that a 2 volume set (as listed in product description) would include both volumes when it clearly lists as you are scrolling more than one volume is there. It was FL choice to relabel the set as a 2 volume set since it is a bit misleading to call these the same books that are sold (those books contain the Bible text, FL has  in the past excised Bible texts at other times keeping them in, but when they are excised they have arguably reduced this work to its 1 volume equivalent. Indeed I assumed they may had redid it into the it's one old testament volume. I do realize the failure was mine but I also will not deny I felt mislead. The clarity was less than ideal but I did make assumptions. I do see that if you were on the Verbum site it more clearly indicates that it is an incomplete set.

-dan

Posts 53
Patrick Fleischmann | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2018 1:26 PM

Misleading...dishonest.... Tomato ... tomato.  I stand by my original choice of words.  More than one person has posted that this type of "value" marketing has been done for a LONG time by FL.  Even a FL representative on this post has said it has been a long standing source of "confusion."  Careful thought goes into a website design and they in more than one place tout "value if purchased separately" so I have a hard time swallowing this "misleading" layout as just an honest mistake when they clearly are trying to impress upon a customer that spending the money with FL is a phenomenal value.  And this pushed that value argument envelope too far.  But it was to their advantage to leave it that way for as long as they have.  

I made what to me was a significant investment in Verbum 7 and a good many additional books over the last 10 months or so.  I'm happy with the product.  I don't wish to see them fail, so "click baiting" to destroy them is not what this was about as another accused me of.  I have a long wishlist saved on Logos.com (because for some odd reason that feature is a "thing" on Logos.com but it isn't a "thing" on Verbum.com.)  and I have every intention of getting quite a few more books.  I will support version 8 (because you can't stay put on 7 forever - eventually you're going to want a new Mac/PC and a required operating system will eventually not support 7) but I will pay the $76 for the Verbum 8 Base Feature Upgrade only and skip the $3 cheaper Verbum 8 Starter will all the IDENTICAL features to avoid these "value" books.  

Posts 557
Jesse Blevins | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2018 1:33 PM

Big Smile

Dan, I had the same experience as you. 

I was going through and checking what it would cost me to upgrade from starter to bronze and my price was 13.00 and some change. 

I thought that for that price that I would be getting the entire two volume commentary. 

Had I purchased the next level to only learn that it is what you’re speaking of, I would have been upset also. 

I have been scraping together every dollar that I can trying to purchase as much as I can while “the sales” are going on because the advertised “limited time “ savings. 

Dan, your post kept me from that headache. 

Dan, your post have always been helpful to me. FWIW- Dont leave Logos or stop postin. As the last few days have unfolded it has become apparent that there are more than a few things that Logos needs to work on in order to bring the program up to par. 

The nice thing is that we know that they will and I’m truly loo forward to what’s coming next. 

Posts 167
LogosEmployee

I'd like to bring this thread to a conclusion and recap:

1) Displaying the collection value instead of the actual resource that is included in the library is a website error.  It is not and was not a marketing tactic intending to deceive our users.  The recent shift to the new website platform for verbum.com resulted in this element of the base package comparison chart to be display incorrectly.  As Glen mentioned, Logos.com is working as intended and is indicated in the screenshot below.  Please note that we are striving to communicate as clearly as possible that the resource that is contained in the library is a part of a larger collection and to emphasize the resource in question's actual value (as opposed to the higher collection value).  

Below too is the other example Patrick cited.  Again below, the Logos.com site is displaying this collection and the individual resources the way we intend, with only the values of individual resources that are included in a library being displayed.

2) Patrick's example of the New Collegeville Bible Commentary 2 volume designation also points out a processing conundrum that we encountered back in 2015 when we licensed this series of texts.  Deacon Steve gets much of this right in his post above and is correct in his assessment that we licensed this from Liturgical Press when they offered a single New Testament paperback volume and multiple Old Testament hardbound volumes.  After we moved forward on production, Liturgical Press began to offer the Old Testament volumes as a single paperback volume.  Also afterward, Lit Press offered a two-volume set of both Old and New Testament for $64.99.  This put us in an awkward spot for a number of years.  I am currently working to bring the price of our collection down to be on par with what Lit Press is selling the collection for.  I will post a separate thread in the Catholic forum about this once I have everything in place to be able to officially make the change.

Again, my sincere apologies for this oversight in the Verbum 8 launch and the new verbum.com site roll-out.  There were a lot of moving pieces in both launches and this simply didn't get accounted for the way it should have.  We are in the process of aligning verbum.com with how logos.com is currently functioning.  I will do a separate post here in the Catholic forum in the coming days once we know more about when the website fix will be in place.

Craig St. Clair | Verbum Product Manager |

Posts 4772
David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2018 5:13 PM

MJ. Smith:
So why did I step in, when Faithlife is "on top of the issue"? Because you are a valued member of the forum community ... I enjoy reading your posts.

Get in line, Patrick. Angel

Posts 5251
Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2018 5:57 PM

Craig St. Clair (Faithlife):

I am currently working to bring the price of our collection down to be on par with what Lit Press is selling the collection for.  I will post a separate thread in the Catholic forum about this once I have everything in place to be able to officially make the change.

Thank you, as I said for me a big part was not so much that FL had tried to deceive but after trying to rectify the omission in the collection getting a sense of bate and switch. Complete the collection and it is only going to cost 700% more than the Ebook edition. Compared to your NT volume which is 20% more than Ebook which is more than acceptable in my mind for the value of integration and enhancement. I still think it was easy to make the wrong assumption about the OT volume being part of what was being offered but it was not a deliberate act or even one that a carefully examine look would have left me with that idea. I was excited to get new resources and I did not pay as close of attention to this set as I did to the other 2 I chose. I think changing the product description before it was actually consolidated into 2 volumes was also less than wise considering  the confusion it has caused but I am very happy to know that actual changes are coming.

-dan 

Posts 3767
Forum MVP
Friedrich | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 3 2018 10:57 AM

Denise:
This morning, I selected Logos sales, much of which the 'sale' and the impressive percent off, was nothing more than I already owned it (dynamic pricing). I'm used to these Logos 'discounts'; no complaints.

i myself really really hate this behavior.  To me, it is no sale at all.  I complain internally. Big Smile  I just don't bother to take the time to complain to Logos. 

I like Apples.  Especially Honeycrisp.

Posts 56
Thaddeus Billman | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 3 2018 2:23 PM

Patrick Fleischmann:

I will support version 8 (because you can't stay put on 7 forever - eventually you're going to want a new Mac/PC and a required operating system will eventually not support 7) but I will pay the $76 for the Verbum 8 Base Feature Upgrade only and skip the $3 cheaper Verbum 8 Starter will all the IDENTICAL features to avoid these "value" books.  

The reason the books+features version is cheaper is that price reflects a first upgrade purchase of 25% off.  That offer is not available on the features only packages.

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