Conflict of Interest?

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This post has 59 Replies | 4 Followers

Posts 634
Into Grace | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Dec 1 2018 9:44 AM

Some members of this forum are supportive of Logos Bible Software without receiving any special discounts or free software. This support is genuine —from the heart.

However, are some members of this forum who are extremely loyal to Logos receiving an undisclosed discount or free annual software that is not offered to the general public? If true, this is a conflict of interest. It is unethical to outwardly appear to offer impartial support when in reality, special gifts and/or special incentives are received that are not disclosed to the public.

Thank you.

Posts 303
Liam Maguire | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 1 2018 11:35 AM

Hmmm... interesting. Out genuine interest, where would you draw the line? For example, should I state in my signature that I received a financial gift from Faithlife for Beta Testing and making contributions (Canvas documents) to Logos 8? 

As I say, that is a genuine question. :-)

Check out my blog 'For Fathers'

Posts 9474
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 1 2018 11:43 AM

Maybe they need a free subscription to answer questions (if indeed).  But I don't remember any Logosian promising genuine support. I remember several from the heart looks pretty angry supporters.

But I do wonder why people are so emotionally supportive. It's like a religion, and you'd better really like the new ESV!!

EDIT: Re-thinking, just seconds later, if indeed compensation (and if), then pretty much all of their opinions would be shot to hades and back. I doubt Logos would be that naive.


Posts 634
Into Grace | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 1 2018 12:12 PM

I expect when Logos 8 and previous versions were released, a lot of hype came from those who receive secret discounts or free books not offered to the general public. If this is true, it is a disgrace.

Image going into a car dealership to look at cars and some "plants" who don't work for the company hype up how great particular vehicles are when in reality they are there because they are secretly rewarded with special incentives or gifts from the dealership not disclosed to you.

Of course, from the perspective of people who receive these special incentives and/or gifts to promote Logos, they do nothing wrong.

Posts 75
MWW | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 1 2018 12:24 PM

Wink

Super Angry

I find the Faithlife forums very helpful and I am grateful for those who contribute. If there are some who do receive some kind of discount or free materials... I am completely good with that. I seriously doubt that anyone is getting rich doing this. Having visited these forums for the last 11 years I see no conspiracy. 

Posts 88
Josiah | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 1 2018 1:28 PM

MWW:

I find the Faithlife forums very helpful and I am grateful for those who contribute. If there are some who do receive some kind of discount or free materials... I am completely good with that. 

This is precisely how I feel. 

The only thing I've ever received from Faithlife is they sent me some notebook/journal with their branding on it in the mail--presumably because I spend way too much money on Logos resources (especially for someone who works in a completely different industry).  I actually really don't like getting presents or anything unsolicited and I brought it back from the mailbox complaining: "Argh!  Why do they have to send me this stuff.  I really liked them until they started sending me stuff in the mail.  I don't want to recycle it wastefully, but I don't need a notebook, and I don't really want to walk around with their logo..." at which point my wife was like "Oh that would be perfect for me at Monday Bible Study" and that shut me up.  I guess presents aren't totally terrible :)

Posts 369
Leo Wee Fah | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 1 2018 2:46 PM

MWW:

I find the Faithlife forums very helpful and I am grateful for those who contribute. If there are some who do receive some kind of discount or free materials... I am completely good with that.

I totally agreed with you... and I am thankful to have them aroundYes

Posts 2074
mab | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 1 2018 2:58 PM

I consider myself spoiled rotten just being Logos user, but I don't sense any conflict about it. Geeked

I also realize a very large portion of my library early on was paid for by the generosity of a believer who was led by God to gift me for the sake of the Kingdom. I will never ever forget that blessing.

The mind of man is the mill of God, not to grind chaff, but wheat. Thomas Manton | Study hard, for the well is deep, and our brains are shallow. Richard Baxter

Posts 616
James McAdams | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 1 2018 4:29 PM

Liam Maguire:

Hmmm... interesting. Out genuine interest, where would you draw the line? For example, should I state in my signature that I received a financial gift from Faithlife for Beta Testing and making contributions (Canvas documents) to Logos 8? 

As I say, that is a genuine question. :-)

If people are receiving specific benefits from Logos that aren't open to all customers and they post regularly, I'd want to know that - a badge similar to the Faithlife staffers would be my preference rather than a signature, just so it's uniform.

I'm really not suspicious of anyone's honesty - I don't suspect staff of being dishonest either - but the special nature of the relationship seems like it would be something to keep in mind.

Posts 2236
Ronald Quick | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 1 2018 5:00 PM

I don't have any inside information, but I do know that some members who are loyal to Faithlife also have had no problems expressing their dissatisfaction at times and highlighting areas where improvements are needed.  So I don't believe that there is any discounts or products given in exchange for only positive reviews or support. 

Faithlife has made many mistakes over the years that they admitted and apologized for.  I also have seen them work hard at taking care of their customers and going above and beyond what I would expect.  For example, more than once, the CEO/President of Faithlife (I may be wrong on the title), has posted their phone number for customers to call and speak directly with if needed.

This may be a little of topic, but I believe Faithlife to be honest and reputable company.  I've been with them for over 20 years and I'm not going anywhere.

Posts 2563
SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 1 2018 5:00 PM

Into Grace:
However, are some members of this forum who are extremely loyal to Logos receiving an undisclosed discount or free annual software that is not offered to the general public? If true, this is a conflict of interest. It is unethical to outwardly appear to offer impartial support when in reality, special gifts and/or special incentives are received that are not disclosed to the public.

What counts as "extremely loyal"? What kind of "loyalty" are we talking about? Off the top of my head, I can't think of any frequent posters on the forums who don't publicly question/challenge FL decisions, critique perceived flaws in the software/website, etc. Do those actions count as loyalty to FL or being supportive of it, or not?

I was a beta tester for 8, and as such I received a small FL credit for it. I assume I was invited to become one because of my activity on the forums, and I didn't know that I would be financially compensated for my involvement. Did the credit change my approach to posting about FL mistakes or my willingness to publicly challenge FL decisions that I think really need to be reversed? Check my posting history since L8 came out if you doubt my integrity.

As a final note, I don't appreciate aspersions cast on fellow members of the forum, or on FaithLife, of the kind being made in this thread. Real evidence of specific misbehaviour would be one thing, if such existed; serious allegations cast with a wide net and no evidence at all are another.

Posts 18244
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 1 2018 5:00 PM

Into Grace:
However, are some members of this forum who are extremely loyal to Logos receiving an undisclosed discount or free annual software that is not offered to the general public?

I've never heard of that happening, and I've been around for a long time and have been an MVP for a few years (stepped down due to lack of time), and have been in early on beta testing, and have over 28,000 resources, and was an early investor in the company (was a friend of Bob Pritchett's from Microsoft days). So if anyone had received undisclosed discounts or free annual software in order to be a booster for the company, it would have been me. But I didn't. Nor do I know of anyone else who did. One time, Bob personally gave me a packaged product out of their warehouse back in the old CD-ROM era (like in 1994 or something) when I visited the Logos HQ when it was in Kirkland or on Whidbey Island, as a gift from a friend and because I was an investor. There was no expectation from that gift that I would be a Logos cheerleader, and I've never shied away from voicing my critiques publicly.

Also, I've spent over $150,000 on Logos resources over the years, so I'm sure not benefiting from being given special deals that others can't get. They don't reward me with discounts for having been a loyal customer and spent so much money. In fact, I'm sometimes impulsive and buy stuff that has already released which I could have bought when it was in pre-pub and saved a bunch if I'd been more proactive. And I don't wait for sales but buy what I want when I notice it.

I think what you're seeing in the enthusiastic support of the company are just groupies who love Logos software and the company that makes it, and have been loyal users for years and love to promote it. They aren't getting any kickbacks from the company. It's just genuine support. Maybe their natural spiritual gifting is as evangelists, and they can't help but have that spill over into their use of bible software.

Into Grace:
If true, this is a conflict of interest. It is unethical to outwardly appear to offer impartial support when in reality, special gifts and/or special incentives are received that are not disclosed to the public.

That is an awfully serious accusation, and I think the speculation which it is based on is unfounded. You say "If true" to hedge your bets, but then you launch into a very certain sounding accusation as if you're assuming it is true. And you bring it up again as if you know it's true:

Into Grace:

I expect when Logos 8 and previous versions were released, a lot of hype came from those who receive secret discounts or free books not offered to the general public. If this is true, it is a disgrace.

Image going into a car dealership to look at cars and some "plants" who don't work for the company hype up how great particular vehicles are when in reality they are there because they are secretly rewarded with special incentives or gifts from the dealership not disclosed to you.

Of course, from the perspective of people who receive these special incentives and/or gifts to promote Logos, they do nothing wrong.

All that said, it is widely reported on these forums that anyone can call or email a sales rep and try to ask for a discount on a product or bundle. They can sometimes do that for you. I've purchased through a sales rep in the past, but frankly, even though they could occasionally get me a better price, it usually wasn't anything to write home about, maybe 3-5% off. But I'm so impulsive that these days I just buy directly from the website.

Maybe someone else could confirm whether sales reps are still available via phone or email and whether they will sometimes offer you a discount off the listed price if you ask for it. There's evidence (e.g., this post) that they do still have them, so it would be worth your trying. Again, it's nothing that isn't available to everyone if it still exists.

Posts 508
Steve Maling | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 1 2018 5:01 PM

I'm with MWW, Josiah, and  Leo Wee Fah. I'm also thankful not to have experiences that lead me to be suspicious of the Most Valuable Players who enrich my life in many ways.

May the peace of Christ be with us all!

Posts 132
Stephen Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 1 2018 5:22 PM

Leo Wee Fah:

MWW:

I find the Faithlife forums very helpful and I am grateful for those who contribute. If there are some who do receive some kind of discount or free materials... I am completely good with that.

I totally agreed with you... and I am thankful to have them aroundYes

agreed

Posts 18244
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 1 2018 5:27 PM

Josiah:
The only thing I've ever received from Faithlife is they sent me some notebook/journal with their branding on it in the mail--presumably because I spend way too much money on Logos resources (especially for someone who works in a completely different industry).  I actually really don't like getting presents or anything unsolicited and I brought it back from the mailbox complaining: "Argh!  Why do they have to send me this stuff.  I really liked them until they started sending me stuff in the mail.  I don't want to recycle it wastefully, but I don't need a notebook, and I don't really want to walk around with their logo..." at which point my wife was like "Oh that would be perfect for me at Monday Bible Study" and that shut me up.  I guess presents aren't totally terrible :)

Oh yes, that reminds me, that when I was an MVP, they did send me a package with a t-shirt and mug and some stickers with their logo, as a thank you for volunteering my time (I would spend 30+ hours a week at it some weeks, all unpaid; I benefited because I got to know the product better as I was helping other people figure out their issues; but eventually I realized I had other priorities in life and stepped down).

MVPs are not promoters of the company, but merely volunteer tech support folks -- the front lines of knowledgeable users offering help to other users to take the workload off the tech support specialists at Faithlife. Actually, sometimes I have felt that the company doesn't have enough tech support folks and they rely on the volunteer MVPs too much. And sometimes their tech support folks don't even know the product as well as some of the MVPs who have been using it for years do, so they'll throw up their arms and say post your question on the forums and see if you can get any help.

Anyway, I hope that isn't what Into Grace was referring to about special gifts or incentives. Yes, MVPs sometimes try to defend the company from critiques, but it's not because they are getting incentives from the company to do so. It's because their lives are easier if they aren't always dealing with angry customers, so if they can explain why something that a person doesn't like is the way it is (if there is a legitimate reason), then it makes for an easier interaction and ability to help that person. But MVPs are also free to voice their own opinions and do sometimes have frustrations with the software too.

Posts 616
James McAdams | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 1 2018 5:40 PM

Just want to reiterate that my particular claim wasn’t made over suspicions of dishonesty or other ill motives - I just think it’s the sort of thing that should be public knowledge if it happens. I’ve seen far more scathing criticism from MVPs than I would offer - I’m a very happy customer, and I love the forums. Obviously Rosie’s post suggests pretty strongly that it doesn’t happen, while Liam’s comment suggests that he might have been given early access and compensated. If he’s getting a different experience in those ways from a regular customer, then that matters when people are comparing experiences. Not because of some kind of deceitfulness or ill motives, but because (for perfectly legitimate reasons) they are not receiving the same kind of experiences - their relationship is different.

Posts 18244
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 1 2018 6:22 PM

I also want to reiterate that people shouldn't be resentful over unfairness that they suspect might be happening if they have no evidence whatsoever that it's happening. They can create a conspiracy theory out of thin air that way, and get more people disgruntled whoh wouldn't otherwise have been.

I have plenty of beefs with Logos -- e.g., the troublesome level of bugginess (don't worry -- I report specific ones in hope they'll be fixed; it's just an overall impression I've gotten over the years of a deficiency in QA and relying too much of users to find the bugs), the sluggishness (their policy of code first optimize later rather than designing faster algorithms from the beginning), and the time-consuming drudgery of maintaining your library with tagging and collections so that the software it performs the searches you want it to well.

But my critiques do NOT include dishonesty or unethically manipulating user support through secret incentives.

Also remember Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity. Sometimes some users have a poorer experience of the product than others because of a bumbling roll-out of a new version or clumsy pricing of new features or whatever. It's human error. Not an intent to deceive. In my experience, Faithlife is an honorable company, and if they've messed something up and left someone unhappy, they will make it right.

Posts 34
Daniel Bender | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 1 2018 7:00 PM

SineNomine:

Into Grace:
However, are some members of this forum who are extremely loyal to Logos receiving an undisclosed discount or free annual software that is not offered to the general public? If true, this is a conflict of interest. It is unethical to outwardly appear to offer impartial support when in reality, special gifts and/or special incentives are received that are not disclosed to the public.

What counts as "extremely loyal"? What kind of "loyalty" are we talking about? Off the top of my head, I can't think of any frequent posters on the forums who don't publicly question/challenge FL decisions, critique perceived flaws in the software/website, etc. Do those actions count as loyalty to FL or being supportive of it, or not?

I was a beta tester for 8, and as such I received a small FL credit for it. I assume I was invited to become one because of my activity on the forums, and I didn't know that I would be financially compensated for my involvement. Did the credit change my approach to posting about FL mistakes or my willingness to publicly challenge FL decisions that I think really need to be reversed? Check my posting history since L8 came out if you doubt my integrity.

As a final note, I don't appreciate aspersions cast on fellow members of the forum, or on FaithLife, of the kind being made in this thread. Real evidence of specific misbehaviour would be one thing, if such existed; serious allegations cast with a wide net and no evidence at all are another.

Thank you for your post; I appreciate the way you addressed the OP. Grace and Peace

D Bender

Posts 634
Into Grace | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 1 2018 7:45 PM

I believe it is unethical for Logos to underhandedly reward certain loyal followers in this forum (as was confirmed) with gifts or special pricing under the radar. Some of you apparently believe this practice is acceptable and you have a right to your opinion as I do mine.

I believe the value of base packages and other products that Logos sells should be based on free market forces.

A few people in this forum appear to worship at the altar of Logos. Everything is fine until someone shares a concern about Logos business practices. People have a right to disagree with how Logos runs their business!

Posts 5737
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 1 2018 8:05 PM

Into Grace:

I expect when Logos 8 and previous versions were released, a lot of hype came from those who receive secret discounts or free books not offered to the general public. If this is true, it is a disgrace.

Image going into a car dealership to look at cars and some "plants" who don't work for the company hype up how great particular vehicles are when in reality they are there because they are secretly rewarded with special incentives or gifts from the dealership not disclosed to you.

Of course, from the perspective of people who receive these special incentives and/or gifts to promote Logos, they do nothing wrong.

Hey, I even predicted Logos would name one of their packages “Logos Ultimate” and I’m not a member of any secret society that gets free software and books that the public can’t buy.  What would be the point of us being the only ones having books that no one else has access to. Then again, maybe we’re not supposed to talk about it.  Rule # 1 about the Logos “secret society” — “Don’t talk about the Logos secret society.” Rule # 2 about the Logos “secret society” — “Don’t talk about the Logos secret society.” If you have any questions about rule # 2, please refer back to rule # 1...😜😂😁

DAL

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