HSP Disfunctional

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by KrazyBob, Dec 25, 2009.

  1. KrazyBob

    KrazyBob Mega Poster

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    I bought into the whole HSP thing in 2005 and the updates have made it less and less effective to the point that we find that the built-in "store" is confusing and unusable. It loops from page to page and is the least intuitive "store" that we have ever used. We firmly believe that ordering should be as easy as 1,2,3. Period. We have lost so much money directly because of HSP.

    We have attempted to discuss this with Parallels and as always the case they become defensive and make excuses, like saying that "most companies customize HSP..." HSP should not need to be customized before it works. Older versions had a "simple store" that worked. We passed the plan and subscription period info to it through a link and the customer ordered. Bada bing! The customer should mever reach a point where they ask, "What do I do now?" They leave and go elsewhere.

    *****

    I guess my question is, what can we do with the current Linux version of HSP to begin using it again? Has anyone simplified its confusing nature and willing to share the changes you've made, even for a small fee? Is there anyone that can customize HSP for a fee?

    One of the things that we learned the hard way is that a customer may go in and remove their payment method. We believe that a payment method should be required, whether a credit card (normal) or a PayPal subscription. Otherwise, this allows a customer that may be under a contract to cancel just by refusing to pay by removing their payment method. It should never have been optional to begin with!!! Those of us in hosting KNOW that dishonest customers will skate out on their bill if given an easy way to do so. Unlike Modern Bill that sends us an email telling us of a declined payment, HSP seems less helpful in this regard. I know, there are MANY email templates to the point of being confusing for the host. "Use credit card for recurring payments?" Of course! Modern Bill does not allow the customer to remove their payment method. Neither does Auto Pilot or WHM.

    There has got to be a simpler way. Now that Parallels has purchased Modern Bill and replaced it with Plesk Billing is HSP even a work in progress? We'd very much like to begin selling VPS's again and have automatic provisioning. I am very frustrated with the lack of support by the HSP team.

    I would like a simple order flow: package, domain name (major point of confusion: order, skip, loop), customer info, credit card. Done.
     
  2. KrazyBob

    KrazyBob Mega Poster

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    It is really sad that coming to the developers web site has not produced answers on so many questions. Making matters worse posts are seriously delayed and I suspect making it more likely that a customer will have to go to paid support. As a result I will not be moving forward with my upgrade to Virtuozzo 4 or HSP 4. You guys just aren't there when it counts. Sure, a user may come along with the answer and that is awesome!
     
  3. ronan675

    ronan675 Kilo Poster

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    I agree completely. It has to be the most confusing storefront I have ever seen. Even I am confused when I try to order using our own shopping cart.

    I hope there is a major release of PBAS soon as we have just been getting hotfixes for the past year and a half. Something really needs to be done asap.


     
  4. galaxy

    galaxy Mega Poster

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    I have to agree too. I get emails about renewals from people that are no longer there, and it seems all the sales people I get afterwards are all gone too. It took 3 weeks to find out how to pay for a renewal (and the last online "open a ticket" type of things just doesn't cut it). I've stopped with Virtuozzo SUS as v4 just isn't worth it. I doubt there will be a HSP4 at this rate. I canned the SUS on that too. They forgot to send me any renewal notice, so it lapsed and they offered me the chance to just pay $1K for 3 weeks, then pay another $2600 for another year of probably no updates. Yea, right...

    I plan to keep Plesk and the current HSP version, but want to get Plesk out of Virtuozzo and back to a physical (larger) system. Actually, I built an OpenVZ system (and will only host the one container for plesk on it), but I'm not sure how I can "dis-associate" the "Plesk Container Properties" in the node settings in HSPC for a plesk server. Can I just move it to the new hardware (shutting down VZ) and destroy or remove the old container from the Virtuozzo Manager? What will it do if/when the container is gone? Will it declare it a "physical server" ? (Which is what I want it to think).
     
  5. KrazyBob

    KrazyBob Mega Poster

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    225
    I have receved nothing but excuses from Parallel's and their developer of HSP who states that most companies customize HSP so they released it with a shopping cart that doesn't work. You and I know that the default shopping cart goes in circles and you are correct -- I can hardly place an order! My customers go elsewhere.
     
  6. KrazyBob

    KrazyBob Mega Poster

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    225
    One of my biggest complaints with HSP is Parallel's giving the customer the ability to decide whether or not a credit card should be used for recurring transactions. Many customers turn this off, often without realizing its importance, they get graced and then turned off for non-payment. Then they yell at us because they didn't pay their bill.

    A second area is that Parallel's insists onissuing credits to an account for fuure use instead of refunding the amount.

    HSP also does not send messages (they I can find) that tell us when a client is past due (as Modern Bill does,) when their transaction is declined, their PayPal subscription cancelled -- so many things that Modern Bill does. Now that Modern Bill is Plesk Billing they insist on a sepoarate copy of PB for each server we own.

    But my biggest comp,aint still remains the shopping cart!!! Several years ago a basic shopping cart was standard. An order should be SIMPLE to place.

    1. What
    2. Payment
    3. Who
    4. Confirmation

    Sure, you can pass commands via URL but their documentation is poor. Doing so still let's a customer start over and begin where the fun starts. They get so frustrated and they leave.

    Sadly, Marco or whatever the guys name is that designed HSP has nothing but poor excuses for the failures of HSP. I have spent THOUSANDS on HSp so that it would manage hosting and VPS. Now it is unusable. The solution is simple:

    MAKE IT SIMPLE. LISTEN TO THOSE THAT ACTUALLY USE IT. DON'T EXPECT THAT ALL OF US WILL KNOW HOW TO "MODIFY" HSP. I should not have to hire a programmer to create a simple shopping cart after spending $15,000 on HSP. I biught AutoPilot for $99.
     
  7. PhilP

    PhilP Kilo Poster

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    34
    We're as disillusioned as everybody else. We were sold a complete crock. The salesperson concerned actually sold us Expand and HSPC as part of the same solution. They even installed it all! Anybody want to hazard a guess as to the mess that's made?

    How to decouple what they've done? No idea and absolutely nobody is interested in providing a fix for the mess we now have.

    Then HSPC got renamed to PBAS, and next thing we know there's an announcement to say that PBAS 4. is released. Fantastic we thought - until we found out that apparently PBAS and PBAS are not the same product (wonder how they work that out) and that no upgrade path exists and may not for some time (read that as years/never).

    Expand is the same way - a discontinued product that they want you to pay "maintenance" for despite there being no releases for over a year. Interesting word that "maintenance". We all know that it really means "money you pay us on an ongoing basis to provide some bug fixes (note that's some - not all and that bug fix really means fix code that was broken before you got it and really wasn't fit for purpose) for stuff that didn't work properly in the first place and was therefore sold to you broken"

    I can't tell you how disillusioned we are with Parallels. They talk a good game (the sales people that is - you can't get near a support person on the phone. Don't ever think you will either. The closest you will ever get is a call handler who will refuse to put you through to any of the support people, who are all in eastern Europe anyway. Some are pretty good, but you can open a ticket on Monday for a show stopping, business crippling issue and it could still be unresolved the following Monday.).

    Account management is non existent also. Once they've got you tied into the regular license payments don't expect to ever speak to anyone who is interested in your business. Actually, thinking about it, once they realize you are one of the companies they stitched up the sales people will actively avoid your phone calls. The sales people I remember (who sold me this piece of junk) have gone anyway, and nobody seems to have replaced them.

    On that note, we see our account has now been moved out of North America and passed to a new European outfit. Fair enough, we're in Europe, but then it's only the money collecting people they seem to have - no new support operation to go along with that. What a surprise.

    We bought HSPC when you could buy it as a one off licensed product (owned licence) along with a bunch of Virtuozzo licenses, the totally unnecessary and problem causing expand product licenses and plesk licenses. Then they bought out the subscription based license model and since then we've been forced into the paying monthly model for damn near everything.

    Then there's the shopping cart. Oh god what a pile of ****. I totally agree with all comments so far.. It's useless. We've lost so much business because of it and yet we have another system that uses WHMCS and it's so simple it's brilliant. I hope Parallels never get near buying it (they seem to keep buying competitive products. Not for any good that I can see. More to silence the opposition I think)

    As for customizing it, well I have to say at what cost? Buying everything outright was pretty damn expensive and the money we've since paid Parallels monthly has also been considerable. Why do we need to pay to develop a cart that should have been working in the first place? Have you seen the documentation? Can you imagine how much that would cost?

    No chance of Parallels fixing it of course - they've long since moved on to PBA and POA - they have zero interest in HSPC and I doubt the migration tools will ever exist.

    The comments so far are absolutely bang on. The cart is confusing, loops for no reason, has so many unnecessary steps and doesn't lend itself to selling anything else.

    Do you use Virtuozzo for Windows also? Ever tried to migrate that away to another visualization product or de-virtualize to hardware? You can't. I wish you could - We've a bunch of Windows VPS that would be moved off it in a heartbeat, but then I bet they know that which is the very reason you can't.

    I know for sure I'm not alone. This thread, other threads on their own forums and on the internet are all the proof you need of that. I doubt they'll ever listen though.

    I'm going to the Summit in Feb in the hope that I can get somebody to acknowledge they junk we got sold and commit to a fix. That's a transatlantic flight, hotel and travel bills etc etc. Who want's to bet on whether I get anywhere?

    Anybody who want's to join me in heckling that guy Nico Belick ... Cough .. sorry Serguei Beloussov (I do get confused between them) feel free to look me up.

    Pissed off & very F%^^&*G angry...

    Phil..
     
  8. KrazyBob

    KrazyBob Mega Poster

    Messages:
    225
    But back to HSP, I have seen the documentation and it makes little sense on how to completely reprogram the logic of how HSP takes an order. Yes, it loops and usually surrounding the domain name. One glaring error is when the user says that they will use their own domain name and gets to the next step it asked them to "Order the Selected Domain." They already own it and leave HSP at that point.

    .
     
  9. ronan675

    ronan675 Kilo Poster

    Messages:
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    Agreed. The option "use existing domain registered elsewhere option" is extremely confusing. Why would you have to order a domain you already own. Lets hope we hear some good news from the Parallels Summit in Feb


     
  10. JoachimN

    JoachimN Bit Poster

    Messages:
    2
    Agreed. PBAS/HSPC is long overdue for a major update. Several components are simply not good enough, the storefront being one of them. Without heavy customization (for which you need a lot more than the incomplete SDK), PBAS is only really useful to sell Parallels products and even there it fails. I'm amazed Parallels hasn't considered the fact that the lack of quality here directly hurts the sales of their products. I'm not sure how many Parallels Partners use PBAS, but looking at the comments above, this is a pretty major problem.
     
  11. dkolvakh

    dkolvakh Odin Team

    Messages:
    353
    PBAS PHP Store also has such possibility - to pass predefined parameters like package, period, domain information (name, tld, action, period). You can compose links any way you prefer, Store will take it, analyze, and fill Shopping Cart according predefined parameters, so customer will be less frustrated.
     
  12. dkolvakh

    dkolvakh Odin Team

    Messages:
    353
    You may rename this button to avoid word "Order" which I suppose confuse your customers.

    If you have in mind some other improvements related to Store, please tell me, we will discuss them and take it into account in future releases.
     
  13. KrazyBob

    KrazyBob Mega Poster

    Messages:
    225
    Please read the entire thread. We are certainly aware that parameters may be passwd to the order system but they are insufficient. If the customer chooses to start over during the process they are stuck with a disfunctional shopping cart. Your shopping cart has to be the worst that I (and obviously others in this thread) have used and we're computer professionals.

    Take a look at WMH AutoPilit or even PerlBill. THAT his how it should be. As we say here in the U.S. -- Bada Bing! 1, 2, 3, 4, done.

    The most obvious error occurs when a customer chooses to use an existing domain name registered elsewhere. The entire dialogue through the process is wrong and confusing. Rather than expect us, the customer, to create a custom shoopping cart using your SDK is simply the wrong approach. It is YOUR responsibility to give us something that works right out of the box. Honestly, I don't have the programming skills to create a custom store. Prior versions had a simple store and it needs to return.

    You also need to make changes that *require* the customer to keep a valid credit card on file. Additionally, an email should be dispatched when a customer removes their credit card information. It is plain stupid to even allow a customer to decide whether or not a payment method will be used for recurring transactions. We have lost tens of thousands of dollars and customers because of this alone. The customer selects No for recurring, they don't get an email because of spam filters or bad memory, they are graced, expired, and then they lose their domain name. They then blame us, the host, for this.

    HSP does not follow standard billing practices in the hosting community. For example, you issue a credit to the account and do not allow a refund to be issued that actually pays the customer back. You don't allow a paid invoice to be voided in this manner either. We have to go to Authorize.net and void the credit card payment, and then come back to HSP and find some way to neatly void the transaction. We cannot trust the finacial accounting of HSP.

    If a customers payment method has expired the vendor does not receive a notice. The customer does.

    You've attempted to make a full-scale accounting and provisioning system but there many areas that have been missed.
     

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