AEC is OK for simple subscription sites, BUT where the need is more complicated AEC is a poor component.
I will now explain further:
Since last year I have reported 2 bugs - both of these bugs related to AEC's compatibility with community builder.
The first of which was to do with the CB MI not working. It simply did not action.
This bug was fixed by David and now it works fine.
The 2nd bug is to do with custom restrictions. This simply does not work. This is a very useful feature if it worked.
Documentation: The documenation has improved over the last year with video tutorials being available. However, for a product as complicated as AEC a manual is a MUST. Simply put why should a user have to pay for support on how to use certain functionalities of AEC?
For the usual tasks the support is OK. However, when you have a specific requirements that go past the norm, the support is poor.
1st support: I asked for plans to be restricted dependent on current plans. Jake advised me of a setup. It seemed to work fine, but after a year the payments were being received by paypal subscription, but the account was not being renewed. I figured out later that the setup was incorrect and later achieved my aim. The point is I was charged for support time even though the solution provided did not work.
2nd example: I reported a bug of custom restrictions not working. At this time all I wanted was 2 plans setup where custom restrictions worked. I had 19 minutes of support time available.
The bug is still present. I have been told by Jake that its fixed and working on their server.
I was told that due my 'setup' it took 2 hours to fix other issues and the issue is down to a bad install!
I then reinstalled a fresh Joomla 2.5 and installed AEC and CB fresh. The problem with custom restriction still persists. When raised again answer was simply it works on their server and I am in deficit on my support time.
Again the point is 19 mins to setup 2 plans with custom restrictions is plenty of time.
Jake and David fail to realise that due to bugs it wastes a lot of the clients time in determining that there is a bug and there is no sense of courtesy to assist those that experience problems due to bugs.
Membership time wasted: Another point David fails to realise that whilst a client is waiting for bug fix, their PAID membership time is being wasted. Why should a client have to effectively pay for a bug fix. The custom restriction bug has led to 2-3 months of my membership waiting - yes I waited patiently for that long.
Finally, if a user has x amount of support time available, and a request is made for support.
If the support team feels that its not enough or the support time runs out, then they should notify the client and advise them of this. Not carry on for as long as they need and then tell client they need to pay to cover a deficit!
"The 2nd bug is to do with custom restrictions. This simply does not work."
Not true - It works on our servers and we have given you the login details to see this for yourself. You had a modified version of CB, which we had to find out (after being told otherwise by yourself) and which we had to make up for.
If we have a fully functional solution and your account is in the red, why is it on us to give you the benefit of the doubt?
"Simply put why should a user have to pay for support on how to use certain functionalities of AEC?"
A user pays for access to AEC, which includes four months of access to our support, which includes our manual and videos. I think that is plenty of time to get through any problem.
And if it isn't, renewing your account really isn't that expensive. Total cost for a year is currently fifty bucks. If you just want another four months, it's twenty. In return, you most likely get a new version within that timeframe, too.
"However, when you have a specific requirements that go past the norm, the support is poor."
Do note that what you actually mean is "if I have hacked up software on my server". I think you will find that many software vendors have trouble with this. Not sure whether that allows for judging the support as "poor".
"Why should a client have to effectively pay for a bug fix."
Not true - you found a bug and we credited you with 30 minutes of support time, which made up for the time that Jake spent supporting you and then some.
"If the support team feels that its not enough or the support time runs out, then they should notify the client and advise them of this. Not carry on for as long as they need and then tell client they need to pay to cover a deficit!"
That's a tough one - Do we spend time talking to the client and risk delaying the solution, or do we try to solve the issue as quickly as possible and risk going overtime?
We have decided for the second, because most clients have a business with our software and appreciate things being dealt with as quickly as possible. In addition to that, we are quite generous with allowing for overtime (we're fine with it until you're more than 15 minutes in dept), but there's just a line that we have to draw to prevent abuse.