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  1. #1
    Untangle Ninja sky-knight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    25,251

    Default Personal Contact

    I've been having a rather disturbing trend all due to the signature I have at the bottom of my name. I must also preface this wall of text, with the fact, that I'm not an employee of Untangle, Inc.

    I spend a significant amount of time studying technology. Untangle is just a part of the overall subjects that I keep cramming in my head every night. That knowledge is bought at the expense of time with my family, and in some cases delayed repair cycles for my ever dwindling customer base.

    I say this, not to solicit sympathy or any kind of emotional response. I say this to point out that the process through which I have gained the knowledge I have wasn't easy, nor quick.

    I provide my contact information for anyone who wishes to use it. However, I do not, and will not ever, support any product, Untangle included, for free. I donate my time to provide support here, on this forum for the process of improving this community. This process isn't entirely altruistic, as Untangle gains popularity it creates opportunities with which I can support my family. To those of you who have found my services here on these forums and used them. Thank you!

    However, over this last year, I have seen an increasing demand for my time in the form of PMs and E-Mails asking specific questions about the Untangle product. So much are these communications that I've actually resorted to a form letter to respond. This letter is very short, polite, and to the point. If you want personal service from me, you're going to have to pay for it.

    I've been receiving more than my share of responses to this letter in the hostile side of the equation. However, I will not bow to this form of blackmail.

    My talent, skill, gift, whatever you want to call it, is here to better this community. I will continue to do what I can to aide this community within this public context. Every question asked, and answered here is not an answer for the person aided, but growth to the community as a whole. And through that growth, I am compensated. If you ask me a personal direct question via PM or e-mail, and I answer, for free, I'm not compensated.

    It's really that simple.

    So please, don't contact me with the expectation that I'm just going to up and solve all your problems. I will happily solve everything I can, but standard rates apply. And reacting in a hostile manner doesn't help anyone.

    I'm not trying to rip anyone off, I am simply a 28 year old father of two trying to feed his children. I'm sure most people can understand that.

    I'm sorry for the wall of text to those that aren't interested, or to those who innately understand this situation. I just didn't want these situations to boil over and negatively reflect on the community we have built here.
    Rob Sandling, BS:SWE, MCP
    NexgenAppliances.com
    Phone: 866-794-8879 x201
    Email: support@nexgenappliances.com

  2. #2
    Untangle Ninja
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    1,168

    Default

    I wondered a few times how you handled what I assumed was a volume of requests with your contact info as your sig, I can certainly see where some not so intelligent folks would assume you were a part of the Untangle project.

    That being said, anyone responding in a hostile manner for not receiving what they demand from a free, open source project, is without question a worthless, ungrateful, and no doubt stupid pos.

    I've seen a few on here, an I don't repond to their posts for that very reason.

    Particularly impressive, are the folks that take the time to post a numbered list of questions, most of which are already answered in the forums and on the wiki, and apparently expect that someone is going to take the time to answer all those questions.


    This is an open source product.

    If you want or expect instant support then you need to subscribe to the paid options.

    Thanks for your time Rob, certainly I learned some from you, so don't sweat the small minds.

  3. #3
    mdh
    mdh is offline
    Untangle Ninja mdh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    4,786

    Default

    I have sent out many "form letters" as well. While the forums are here to assist people, that does not and cannot mean that we will stop what we're doing on a regular basis. The wiki works. The forums work. Those should be a primary means of fixing a problem if people do not want to pay for support. Handling spammers takes more than enough time out of the day already.

    Congratulations on 7000 posts, sky!

  4. #4
    Untangle Ninja dwasserman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Argentina
    Posts
    4,348

    Default

    Crystal clear

    If I learned one thing of the north american culture is to respect the time, self and others, because as noted, the still not learned English well even

  5. #5
    Master Untangler
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Massachusetts USA
    Posts
    204

    Default Unbelievable!!

    I have paid support through untangle, nothing in life is free. Well, untangle is free and that in itself just amazes me!

    I have gotten so many great tips here and I know I have expressed my appreciation many times for those of you helping out a struggling newbie like myself. As a matter of fact I posted this thread to say thank you.

    Rob, I went to your site out of curiosity, learned a little about you. That in no way made me contact you to fix a problem for me. I can see your a busy guy. For anyone to think you were just going to help them, for free, is plain crazy and ignorant. I bet they don't work for free either.
    Last edited by lohearn; 12-09-2009 at 05:29 AM.
    Untangle can be addictive :D

  6. #6
    Untangle Ninja sky-knight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    25,251

    Default

    Well crap happens, I just don't want my lack of response to some messages, and other attempts to calm down upset people to boil over here. Spam is Spam, this is just another form of it really. And I deal with it as best I can.

    As for my web site... it sucks... it sucks SO HARD. I'm my own worst critic of course, and it does a decent job of informing people who Intouch is, and why we're different. But it does exactly jack to help my existing clients get useful data like prices.

    I'm working on that... again.
    Rob Sandling, BS:SWE, MCP
    NexgenAppliances.com
    Phone: 866-794-8879 x201
    Email: support@nexgenappliances.com

  7. #7
    Master Untangler
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Brazil (Sao Paulo)
    Posts
    483

    Default

    Knowledge & Info has a value.
    For those who think are VIP, have to pay VIP prices, why not?

    Forum & Wiki has rich info available to everyone, just read it.

    Forget bad mail, look ahead.

  8. #8
    Master Untangler
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    642

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sky-knight View Post
    I've been having a rather disturbing trend all due to the signature I have at the bottom of my name. I must also preface this wall of text, with the fact, that I'm not an employee of Untangle, Inc.

    I spend a significant amount of time studying technology. Untangle is just a part of the overall subjects that I keep cramming in my head every night. That knowledge is bought at the expense of time with my family, and in some cases delayed repair cycles for my ever dwindling customer base.

    I say this, not to solicit sympathy or any kind of emotional response. I say this to point out that the process through which I have gained the knowledge I have wasn't easy, nor quick.

    I provide my contact information for anyone who wishes to use it. However, I do not, and will not ever, support any product, Untangle included, for free. I donate my time to provide support here, on this forum for the process of improving this community. This process isn't entirely altruistic, as Untangle gains popularity it creates opportunities with which I can support my family. To those of you who have found my services here on these forums and used them. Thank you!

    However, over this last year, I have seen an increasing demand for my time in the form of PMs and E-Mails asking specific questions about the Untangle product. So much are these communications that I've actually resorted to a form letter to respond. This letter is very short, polite, and to the point. If you want personal service from me, you're going to have to pay for it.

    I've been receiving more than my share of responses to this letter in the hostile side of the equation. However, I will not bow to this form of blackmail.

    My talent, skill, gift, whatever you want to call it, is here to better this community. I will continue to do what I can to aide this community within this public context. Every question asked, and answered here is not an answer for the person aided, but growth to the community as a whole. And through that growth, I am compensated. If you ask me a personal direct question via PM or e-mail, and I answer, for free, I'm not compensated.

    It's really that simple.

    So please, don't contact me with the expectation that I'm just going to up and solve all your problems. I will happily solve everything I can, but standard rates apply. And reacting in a hostile manner doesn't help anyone.

    I'm not trying to rip anyone off, I am simply a 28 year old father of two trying to feed his children. I'm sure most people can understand that.

    I'm sorry for the wall of text to those that aren't interested, or to those who innately understand this situation. I just didn't want these situations to boil over and negatively reflect on the community we have built here.
    All I have to say to this is AMEN!!!!!

    Sky-Knight, we are in similar business and not only do we see this with untangle, but with almost every other aspect of our business. Luckily we've only been burned a few times on it and learned quick. Our knowledge is what makes us money and sometimes others take it for granted. We are not high school best buy workers just sitting here waiting to sell you the same old BS...We personally as a business have made a decision to not even service retail anymore and only business2business. Businesses know that it costs money to maintain their systems and know most everything comes with a price.

    Please note, I am not talking about the untangle community, but public(Retail) in general.

    Sky-Knight, if you want a little help with the site just shoot me a pm!

  9. #9
    Master Untangler
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Massachusetts USA
    Posts
    204

    Default

    I forgot, I work in a PC support/retail store. We're a small business, 6 employess total. We get phone calls all the time from people who want us to fix their mistakes for free. I really hate the people who come in to our small store and ask if we can beat Best Buy's (or some other large retailer's) price on let's say a laptop. Nope, but when your low cost laptop has an issue, are they going to spend one on one time with you figuring out what went wrong and checking to see if it's under warranty or not, then help you to get the RMA? Hmmm, I don't think so.
    Untangle can be addictive :D

  10. #10
    pod
    pod is offline
    Master Untangler
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    120

    Default

    I totally agree.
    Free forum support is just that. I wouldn't dream of PMing or otherwise contacting someone who posts on here and expect direct support from them.

    One thing I would add though, is that it might be helpful to distinguish more clearly which forum posters are Untangle employees (and therefore also who isn't).

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