I use my own sites frequently, as a customer, so I can appreciate some of the frustration that Jonathan van Clute expresses in his refund request:
While I found the ensuing discussion interesting, I came to wpquestions.com specifically for the statement made by the founder:
“When I am facing a tight deadline, I do not want to spend 4 hours looking up information on Google – I’d rather just pay someone to tell me the answer.”
The discussion provided was not much different than what I get at Stackexchange… statements that I shouldn’t do what I want the way I want to, and rough code snippets that don’t do what I need but instead send me off to do precisely what this site is meant to avoid – googling for hours.
If the award offered is not enough for an expert to feel like writing the code, then I feel they should either not say anything (why waste your valuable time?!) or let the asker know what would be an acceptable price. Had anyone done this, I most likely would have paid it to get what I needed quickly. Instead I wasted several days and frankly, got better non-specific information from SE without any possible expectation of pay.
I like the idea behind this site, but when someone specifically states their needs are working code that solves their problem, I feel experts should refrain from adding to the discussion if they are not going to ultimately provide what was requested.
Perhaps I’ll have better luck next time.
I am torn about this. On the one hand, the experts offered a lot of information. Jonathan van Clute engaged in a conversation with John Cotton. Clearly some insights were gained from the conversation. So surely John Cotton deserves something, even if Jonathan van Clute didn’t get everything they need. On the other hand, I hate when I ask a question, and offer money for an answer, and the experts mostly reply by suggesting that I do something else (Don’t use WP-eCommerce, use Magento instead — as if I’m really going to give up on 2 weeks work customizing WP-eCommerce and switch to Magento, for some minor feature). The best resolution for a situation like this would be for some money to go to Community Pot. The Community Pot is something of an insurance program for experts who don’t always get what they deserve on any given question. I might make the listing fees non-refundable and then donate some of them to the Community Pot. That would be a partial solution.
However, someone wrote to me and asked me why this refund is granted. To be clear: I am just now reading this refund request. The refund request was not challenged, therefore I never read it. We have an automated refund system — all refund requests are automatically granted in 24 hours unless they are challenged.
If an expert challenges a refund request, then the request is held up until I make a decision. But in this case, there was no challenge, so I did not read this question, nor the refund request, until now.