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Last post Author Topic: Complaint about Bartels Media \ the PhraseExpress people  (Read 13537 times)

steeladept

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Re: Complaint about Bartels Media \ the PhraseExpress people
« Reply #25 on: April 20, 2011, 01:04:08 PM »
What I wonder that some visitors here debate my tone in great extend while having any slightest problem with the tone/accusations of the original poster at all. Stunning!
It is quite simple.  The OP is an original poster who claims to watch, but we have no proof they know the way DC works.  Moreover, there is no indication they will ever return and no response, good or bad, will likely ever be given the time.  You, on the other hand, have been here for quite some time, are aware of the policies and tenor of the site, and have proven you will return and respond to all posts.  Therefore, it is quite likely you will read this criticism and, perhaps, internalize it thereby changing the way you respond in the future.  It may work to your benefit, maybe not.  Either way it helps the original respondent provide a way to let you know what they think of your response.  If you didn't respond, it is likely it would not be debated like this - just like the OP.  However, since you responded, it gets debated.  Human nature.

wraith808

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Re: Complaint about Bartels Media \ the PhraseExpress people
« Reply #26 on: April 20, 2011, 01:21:21 PM »
Also, and please do not take this the wrong way, I wonder if the oddities in tone, humor, and how BartlesMedia "does business" is, at least somewhat, a product of English not being his first language.  I say this because I have worked with many such individuals who's writing has similar issues.  As a teacher, I can attest that tone is difficult for many native speakers to master, let alone non-native speakers.

As the "does business" part is a partial quote of something that I said, I'll bite.  All that you say would be taken into account most duly, if not for certain harassing actions, through PMs and other means (and even seen in this topic when I was calling for it to be locked and ignored).  Having someone on a board where you frequent, and indeed enjoy discourse with others flood your PMs (and subsequently e-mail) with attacks is very off putting, and something that is quite difficult, even given my normal laid back nature, to forget or ignore- especially in the face of others' defense.  Indeed, I can even admit that I shouldn't have posted this response, and held it in my browser for quite a while before doing so.  But in the end, I succumbed.  So for the best, I'm marking this thread to ignore, trying to follow Chris' example in the future.

bmms

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Re: Complaint about Bartels Media \ the PhraseExpress people
« Reply #27 on: April 20, 2011, 01:33:02 PM »
What I wonder about is the focus of this debate.

Is it really completely acceptable for you guys, that any anonymous troll can walk in, make any reputation-harming claim he wants and walk away without criticism?

And do you really find it acceptable to bash the victim when he makes a statement and provide evidence against the false claim?
Michael

bmms

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Re: Complaint about Bartels Media \ the PhraseExpress people
« Reply #28 on: April 20, 2011, 02:24:08 PM »
So for the best, I'm marking this thread to ignore, trying to follow Chris' example in the future.

Wraith, I would love if this long-going wish would ever come true.

Now, here is the deal:

Refrain from any BartelsMedia related thread at DC for one year and I will donate PE licenses worth US $1,400.- to fellow DC forum members (with more than 1000 postings). Mouser can run a nice "Happy Easter 2012" promotion with those licenses.

The deal starts from now on. No confirmation required.

Addendum: As expected, Wraith failed within less than a day. Sorry about that.
Michael
« Last Edit: April 23, 2011, 06:23:10 AM by BartelsMedia »

mahesh2k

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Re: Complaint about Bartels Media \ the PhraseExpress people
« Reply #29 on: April 20, 2011, 02:34:35 PM »
Quote
Perhaps companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Paypal can afford to ignore attacks because of their size.  For all the complaining people do about each of them, they still make millions.  For someone like Lady GaGa, the "negative" press is actually positive in that a celebrity exists because of publicity (- or +). For a smaller company like the one that develops PhraseExpress, these kinds of attacks can be much more damaging.

I have to disagree with you there,chris. Take case of small piece of software -thesis theme which is developed for wordpress. When matt(owner of wordpress) and his fanbois attacked chris pearson(author of thesis theme) for violation of GPL and other business tactics, his sales didn't reflected at all. In fact he managed to use that issue in his favor because of his transparency in business. If any service/product is transparent with claims and has friendly relations with customers then there is no need to panic and jump in public forums to defend reputation. Obviously there are few variables involved here before anyone hits panic button for reputation management for their brand.

JavaJones

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Re: Complaint about Bartels Media \ the PhraseExpress people
« Reply #30 on: April 20, 2011, 04:11:15 PM »
Is it really completely acceptable for you guys, that any anonymous troll can walk in, make any reputation-harming claim he wants and walk away without criticism?

And do you really find it acceptable to bash the victim when he makes a statement and provide evidence against the false claim?

I hope that my posting in this thread does not make it go further downhill. First, let me say that I too work for a small software publisher, so I can directly identify with the position Michael and PhraseExpress are in. That being said we have a largely positive community and relatively little adversarial comment online. I tend to feel this is partly because we intentionally do *not* pursue and attempt response to every single mention of our product, particularly in cases where it is being referenced by a user of competing software. The PhraseExpress approach seems the polar opposite to that, but we've found that the best way to potentially convert someone using other software is to give them a free copy. Beyond that it's not likely that any amount of argumentation will convince people otherwise, especially when discussing a commercial product vs. free ones. So I would argue that the PhraseExpress Public Relations approach is potentially at the root of some negative response, which is important for you to consider.

Now, I can't speak for anyone else, but my first reaction upon seeing ggamer's original post in this thread was somewhat dubious, slightly negative. While I recognized some of the concerns mentioned as issues I have also noted (such as the much discussed aggressive response to any and all PhraseExpress discussions), there were also a number of dubious or inflated criticisms that seemed to detract from and devalue the post as a whole, so that I largely dismissed it. Had another DC member responded first, I suspect it might have been something along the lines "You're right, there are some issues, but some of your criticisms are pretty silly or even rude". But that's not what happened.

There were 3 ways it could have gone, as I see it:

It may have just gone unanswered. While I recognize the likely contention by PhraseExpress that this would be a negative result for them, in fact I would argue that this means nobody really cares about the post and opinion of the poster, which is generally a good result. Yes, their opinion "stands" unchallenged, and that is difficult to accept without responding, but I do tend to think this is for the best. Responding allows you to potentially address the issues raised, but it also raises the profile of the original poster's comments, which might otherwise just fade into obscurity.

Another DC member might have responded to it, which I think could have either taken the form of what I mentioned above - some acknowledgement of the points made but also concern about the total critique - or may have been more in agreement. Tt may also have been something else, of course, but I think these possibilities are most likely. It's hard to say for sure. But regardless I feel that after one or more additional posts was made would be a better time to address the discussion, not before. This allows you to see what direction the conversation will take, if any, and respond to the general sentiment rather than one particular poster. After all you might have found more support than you ended up getting in this thread had people been more focused on the content of the original message (which I've already mentioned was problematic in my view) rather than your subsequent response. I will agree that it would be nice for everyone to address both at least, while the focus does seem to be on your response rather than the originator, but I think that just speaks to the issues I'm trying to bring to your attention in how (and when) you participate in these conversations.

Finally, what did happen is that you responded first which I believe created an adversarial tone from the beginning. There are multiple factors at work here, one being the perception by many here (myself included) that your language and tone are "aggressive". This may well be due to non-native language issues, I can't say. But I can definitely say that this impression is shared by several people in this and other threads where you've participated. I think, as the representative of a business, it is in your best interest to determine why this is and change it. That's your best bet at improving your public and customer relations.

- Oshyan

40hz

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Re: Complaint about Bartels Media \ the PhraseExpress people
« Reply #31 on: April 20, 2011, 04:21:42 PM »
So for the best, I'm marking this thread to ignore, trying to follow Chris' example in the future.

Wraith, I would love if this long-going wish would ever come true.

Now, here is the deal:

Refrain from any BartelsMedia related thread at DC for one year and I will donate PE licenses worth US $1,400.- to fellow DC forum members (with more than 1000 postings). Mouser can run a nice "Happy Easter 2012" promotion with those licenses.

The deal starts from now on. No confirmation required.

Boy does that offer ever fit in with the culture and character of DonationCoder.


bmms

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Re: Complaint about Bartels Media \ the PhraseExpress people
« Reply #32 on: April 20, 2011, 04:29:24 PM »
Quote
it is in your best interest to determine why this is and change it.

In this regard it would be interesting for me to learn what you guys actually consider "aggressive" in my first reply?

I am fully aware that I have not used corporate ("Your feedback is very important to us") bullshit nomenclatura but that just wouldn't fit to a troll anyway, would it?
Michael
« Last Edit: April 20, 2011, 04:31:00 PM by BartelsMedia »

johnk

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Re: Complaint about Bartels Media \ the PhraseExpress people
« Reply #33 on: April 20, 2011, 05:57:39 PM »
I wasn't sure whether to post, as I don't want it to seem as if DC members are "ganging up" against Michael, but as someone who just bought two PE licences and likes the product, I might as well say my bit.

Michael, I bought my two licences despite your posts in this forum. I was almost going to reject your product simply because of your very unfortunate manner in these forums. Your tone is consistently combative and unpleasant.

A number of level-headed members who have been here a long time have told you the same thing. I think you should just accept that. I think the best thing you can do for your product is stop posting, and allow those of us who use your product to answer queries or say why we like it (as I have done in other threads). Or get other members of your team to post here.

Your are doing your company no favours by your contributions here.

ggamer

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Re: Complaint about Bartels Media \ the PhraseExpress people
« Reply #34 on: April 20, 2011, 06:11:00 PM »
Do you really believe, that I am that schizophrenic to even mail between "my own" accounts?

Why not? That would take 5 seconds to accomplish and it would allow you to use it as "proof" if someone were to call you out like I did, like you are now.

Quote
This must not be. Boy, we patented it!

I visit a lot of forums and I haven't come across anyone who uses bolding and italics as much and, with all due respect, as awkwardly as you do. Much less three users on the same forum who all share so many other things in common [see my list above in my OP], namely a seemingly extremely vested interested in PhraseExpress while at the same time having disdain for any other product.

Quote
I apologize in the name of hundreds of Indian, Italian and French forum participators for the lack of our English skills as it is not our native language. Perhaps you can help us to improve our English if you wish to contribute something actually useful.

No need to apologize for your lack of English skills, I'll give credit where credit is due and commend you for being able to speak English so well for it not being your native language (I hear it's one of the toughest to learn), and for being able to speak\read\write in at least two languages. I am only able to speak one language myself.

Again tho, in and of itself that is not the issue. It's just one more thing out of many things in common (and very few things you don't have in common) with those other users I mentioned.

Quote
Now, as you seem to be an established DC member, would you please tell us the reason why you don't post with your real DC account but use a dummy account for that?

Reread the first paragraph of my OP, please.

Quote
And as you seem to be very alert about our product for whatever interesting reason and as you obviously invested so much time in your very elaborated research, please tell us about your motivation (as in "Qui Bono?") why you try to hurt us in such sophisticated way?

It's hard not to be "alert"  with you and the other users I mentioned constantly promoting your software and trashing others in an aggressive, irritating, off-putting manner here. And from reading the posts from others in this thread and other threads before it in which you've participated, evidently I'm not the only one who's familiar with you and who has been turned off by you, and also I'm not the only one who suspects that Mattphoes and Merida and maybe others are controlled by you or your company (see here, here, here, and here for example)

Also I didn't invest "so much time" and "elaborate research" wasn't required either. All it took was for me to read the first couple of posts of Mattphoes in the thread I pointed to in my OP and immediately a bunch of red flags went up in my head and I saw the stark similarities. By the second post Mattphoes had already named three programs as being "way too buggy", "slow", and "limited", while just a day after asking for suggestions naming PhraseExpress as an "awesome" program that delivered "everything you could imagine".

After finishing the thread I had remembered another user here striking me in a similar way a year or so back and after a quick search I found the user again ("Merida"). After skimming over both users' posts there was no question they were all controlled by one entity: you\your company.

My motivation is simple; I don't like bullies. My intention is not to hurt you, it is to let you know that I'm on to your game and I want your bullying not to mention deceitful and abrasive behavior to stop. Once more, evidently I'm not the only one who feels this way either.

Quote
And do you really find it acceptable to bash the victim when he makes a statement and provide evidence against the false claim?

You haven't provided any evidence.

Quote
What I wonder that some visitors here debate my tone in great extend while having any slightest problem with the tone/accusations of the original poster at all. Stunning!

Maybe it's because many of them agree with me, Michael.

ggamer

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Re: Complaint about Bartels Media \ the PhraseExpress people
« Reply #35 on: April 20, 2011, 06:28:02 PM »
By the way Michael, you can call me an "anonymous troll" in an attempt to discredit me all you want, but I truly believe the posts of you, Merida, and Mattphoes (linked to in my OP) speak for themselves.

Renegade

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Re: Complaint about Bartels Media \ the PhraseExpress people
« Reply #36 on: April 20, 2011, 07:38:09 PM »
Perhaps companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Paypal can afford to ignore attacks because of their size.  For all the complaining people do about each of them, they still make millions.  For someone like Lady GaGa, the "negative" press is actually positive in that a celebrity exists because of publicity (- or +).

For a smaller company like the one that develops PhraseExpress, these kinds of attacks can be much more damaging.


+1


I have to disagree with you there,chris. Take case of small piece of software -thesis theme which is developed for wordpress. When matt(owner of wordpress) and his fanbois attacked chris pearson(author of thesis theme) for violation of GPL and other business tactics, his sales didn't reflected at all. In fact he managed to use that issue in his favor because of his transparency in business. If any service/product is transparent with claims and has friendly relations with customers then there is no need to panic and jump in public forums to defend reputation. Obviously there are few variables involved here before anyone hits panic button for reputation management for their brand.


That's one case. I wouldn't bet on it though.

The risk is much greater for a small company or mISV.


Personally, I didn't see anything wrong with BartelsMedia's first post in this thread. When someone starts wailing on you, it's pretty hard to defend yourself without throwing a few punches.

...

I just went back to read it again. I can't see how it's really all that aggressive...  :huh:
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JavaJones

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Re: Complaint about Bartels Media \ the PhraseExpress people
« Reply #37 on: April 20, 2011, 07:42:42 PM »
I think BartelsMedia's first post was not so much aggressive as a bit "snarky" (sarcastic?) and perhaps overly defensive. Troll or not, people don't tend to respond well to that. Regardless of the hostility of a customer, if you're choosing to respond I think a certain level of restraint and professionalism is best for any company. It's fine to have a sense of humor and to be a bit more casual if rapport already exists, but for that kind of first response I felt it was more like someone responding to a personal attach and less like a company would/should do. Later responses did get much more aggressive from BartelsMedia though IMHO. Sadly against several DC members in fact, which really seemed counterproductive to me.

- Oshyan

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Re: Complaint about Bartels Media \ the PhraseExpress people
« Reply #38 on: April 20, 2011, 07:53:19 PM »
I think BartelsMedia's first post was not so much aggressive as a bit "snarky" (sarcastic?) and perhaps overly defensive. Troll or not, people don't tend to respond well to that. Regardless of the hostility of a customer, if you're choosing to respond I think a certain level of restraint and professionalism is best for any company. It's fine to have a sense of humor and to be a bit more casual if rapport already exists, but for that kind of first response I felt it was more like someone responding to a personal attach and less like a company would/should do. Later responses did get much more aggressive from BartelsMedia though IMHO. Sadly against several DC members in fact, which really seemed counterproductive to me.

Maybe it's just my reading, but it looked like he was getting ganged up on right from the get-go.

It's difficult to shrug off attacks. Lord knows I've gone off the reservation a few times here.

Hopefully things can calm down some and people can put things behind them. Forgiveness isn't always easy, but it at least paves the road for a better future.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

JavaJones

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Re: Complaint about Bartels Media \ the PhraseExpress people
« Reply #39 on: April 20, 2011, 08:16:08 PM »
There was a negative response from some members initially which, while potentially also overblown, I took to be partly driven by some past issues with BartelsMedia's participation in forum threads. Whether that's appropriate or not, it seemed like a factor. So I'll grant that probably contributed to the thread's downward spiral, but I think more measured and professional messages from Bartels would have prevented an initial response being so negative, as well as further negativity in the thread. Not to mention previous posts in other threads.

It's not necessarily "fair" but as a company I believe it's always best to take the high road and maintain a level of professionalism no matter what you're dealing with. Sometimes silence can also be the best course, frustrating as it may be to not say anything.

- Oshyan

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Re: Complaint about Bartels Media \ the PhraseExpress people
« Reply #40 on: April 20, 2011, 09:01:08 PM »
There was a negative response from some members initially which, while potentially also overblown, I took to be partly driven by some past issues with BartelsMedia's participation in forum threads. Whether that's appropriate or not, it seemed like a factor. So I'll grant that probably contributed to the thread's downward spiral, but I think more measured and professional messages from Bartels would have prevented an initial response being so negative, as well as further negativity in the thread. Not to mention previous posts in other threads.


I don't know the other threads. I saw mention of them, but didn't bother to look.


It's not necessarily "fair" but as a company I believe it's always best to take the high road and maintain a level of professionalism no matter what you're dealing with. Sometimes silence can also be the best course, frustrating as it may be to not say anything.


Very true.
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mahesh2k

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Re: Complaint about Bartels Media \ the PhraseExpress people
« Reply #41 on: April 21, 2011, 01:39:25 AM »
Quote
That's one case. I wouldn't bet on it though.
The risk is much greater for a small company or mISV....
I just went back to read it again. I can't see how it's really all that aggressive...  huh
Take another case, you're contributing to opencandy thread, do you see drapps or anyone from their team opening a bounty to shut mouth of anyone opposing opencandy or criticizing their software ? This guy from bartlesmedia did that to wraith, if that's not insulting and aggressive for you then i don't know what else is. Another thing by opening such bounty not only insults DC forum but goes to show that he's interested in making same snarky remarks like OP against customers who they're not satisfied with any of their service. If you think of this as aggressive marketing and want to ignore attacks made on developers who build software similar to phraseexpress then i dont know what to say. 

Quote
There are dozens of utilities made by hobbyists that promise to deliver the one or the other PhraseExpress feature.However, you will quickly experience that if you take a closer look at the actual implementation that it is not as professional and carefully designed as you experienced it with PhraseExpress.
I really hope software industry is much better without these type of folks who can't even get along with competition.

That aside i guess you do know about bartlesmedia's fake profile spree - mattphoes, mitch etc etc. Not just on DC but on other forums to badmouth anyone who's against phraseexpress by hiding behind persona to help their brand.


Quote
Personally, I didn't see anything wrong with BartelsMedia's first post in this thread. When someone starts wailing on you, it's pretty hard to defend yourself without throwing a few punches.
If this is his first time with such thread, sure i do agree with you on that one. Considering his way of attacking competitors, users and anyone who wishes to review/criticize phraseexpress, i'm not in position to give him one plus point on any accounts. I'm sure you're not aware of his attacks on directaccess author and their software. On that page, tell me how many reputable software authors jump on public forums by opening fake accounts to defend their product or attack their users with the excuse of brand management ?


nosh

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Re: Complaint about Bartels Media \ the PhraseExpress people
« Reply #42 on: April 21, 2011, 02:19:28 AM »
Bartels Media, I applaud you. Not many companies have such satisfied users who join forums just to plug a software they're so happy with and then vanish permanently. Don't let the naysayers get you down.  :up: /SARCASM
« Last Edit: April 21, 2011, 03:03:35 AM by nosh, Reason: /CLARIFICATION »

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Re: Complaint about Bartels Media \ the PhraseExpress people
« Reply #43 on: April 21, 2011, 03:25:42 AM »
@BartelsMedia,
personally I think the first post should have been deleted (as a first post, I dont think it's on) but there is a tradition of non-censorship here (I'm not a moderator btw).
I certainly dont support it (the first post) and dont really see the point of it.

I actually thought your first response was fair enough, but I took you up on one thing you said, because I thought it was unreasonable:
But if you re-read their post [OP] you will see that this is an assumption as well:-

Now, as you seem to be an established DC member, would you please tell us the reason why you don't post with your real DC account but use a dummy account for that? Is it, because you are a jealous competitor or is it, because you know that your posting is not true and you don't want to harm your real account's reputation?
at which stage you took off - in the style of the OP (or worse)

I think this thread should be locked at this stage.
Tom

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Re: Complaint about Bartels Media \ the PhraseExpress people
« Reply #44 on: April 21, 2011, 07:46:39 AM »
Quote
I think this thread should be locked at this stage.

This thread should not only be locked but deleted. I would love to see if this forum finally would stop making a business out of giving anonymous trolls a platform to spread unsubstantial rants with the sole purpose of harming business reputation.

We really have no problems if you express that you had any issues with our products. But it should be done in a respectful and appropriate manner. This extremely hostile and invalid posting really is intolerable. Take it down.

This thread has nothing to do with free speech - If DC ever wanted to be taken as a serious platform, it should reserve some control to allow keeping a minimum of mutual respect. It seems to be necessary as some unfortunate parts of this forum community itself is obviously lacking that.
Michael

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Re: Complaint about Bartels Media \ the PhraseExpress people
« Reply #45 on: April 21, 2011, 07:55:08 AM »
That aside i guess you do know about bartlesmedia's fake profile spree - mattphoes, mitch etc etc. Not just on DC but on other forums to badmouth anyone who's against phraseexpress by hiding behind persona to help their brand.

Actually, no. I haven't seen any of that.

Either way, this thread is a good place to leave. :)
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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

cmpm

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Re: Complaint about Bartels Media \ the PhraseExpress people
« Reply #46 on: April 21, 2011, 08:05:06 AM »
I disagree, Michael, with your last post entirely.
Just because it's someone's first post does not make that person a troll.
Unless you can find a history of inflammatory posts by same person, it does not apply.

DC is a serious platform for discussion. You are trying to tell DC how to operate?
It's your 'PE is the only right choice' for this kind of program that is annoying to some.

40hz

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Re: Complaint about Bartels Media \ the PhraseExpress people
« Reply #47 on: April 21, 2011, 08:05:57 AM »
Quote
I think this thread should be locked at this stage.

This thread should not only be locked but deleted. I would love to see if this forum finally would stop making a business out of giving anonymous trolls a platform to spread unsubstantial rants with the sole purpose of harming business reputation.

We really have no problems if you express that you had any issues with our products. But it should be done in a respectful and appropriate manner. This extremely hostile and invalid posting really is intolerable. Take it down.

I think if you spent a little more time around here, you would know that's not the sort of thing that gets done at DoCo.

And if you had a little more understanding and appreciation for what DoCo is all about, you might know why.

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This thread has nothing to do with free speech - If DC ever wanted to be taken as a serious platform, it should reserve some control to allow keeping a minimum of mutual respect. It seems to be necessary as some unfortunate parts of this forum community itself is obviously lacking that.

FYI: DoCo is viewed and admired as a "serious platform" by a large number of people -  many of whom are not members of the site. It's also widely respected for the degree of civility displayed in its forums. It's spoken of quite highly in many places on the web.

(Just thought you'd like to know.)

 :)

« Last Edit: April 21, 2011, 08:08:50 AM by 40hz »

bmms

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Re: Complaint about Bartels Media \ the PhraseExpress people
« Reply #48 on: April 21, 2011, 09:12:46 AM »
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Just because it's someone's first post does not make that person a troll.
Unless you can find a history of inflammatory posts by same person, it does not apply.

Do you really believe that a newcomer with serious intentions of joining a community would ever choose a first posting of that nature?


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It's your 'PE is the only right choice' for this kind of program that is annoying to some.

Why are you so emotional? You know, that I never ever said or meant that.

Your heated way of argumenting at least now make me understand that you had no real intentions to seriously discuss at this thread. What a pity that you have motivations to act in this way.
Michael

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Re: Complaint about Bartels Media \ the PhraseExpress people
« Reply #49 on: April 21, 2011, 09:16:29 AM »
BartelsMedia ->
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In this context, you have to be aware, that competitors have set Google Alerts for our product as well. ;-)


Mattphoes
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No I am not. Would I've asked then? ;-)

Merida
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I cannot imagine that you did not know that you can switch off the features you don't want/need. ;-)

Just curious, does PhraseExpress expand the usual wink smiley into the rather unusual ;-) ?

But seriously, someone needs to break convention and delete this thread. It's proving way too embarrassing.