Website developers, agencies and DIY web builders...beware Themeforest.net!
My disappointing and aggravating story; I found the perfect website template for a client and decided to risk the purchase for $55 USD. I also found a 20% off coupon for Themeforest.net on Retailmenot which would make my template $44 and save me $11.
Themeforest.net has two purchase options; a Prepaid option and a Buy Now option.
The prepaid option requires you to use a credit card to deposit funds in set increments into your Themeforest.net account presumably as a way to encourage you to buy more templates from them in the future. The Buy Now option uses Paypal and carries a warning that you will be charged an additional fee ($2.00 in my case) to purchase your template.
The first sign of trouble came when I attempted to use the Buy Now option because I prefer to use Paypal for my online transactions. [continued below]....
..... The page hung and didn't go anywhere even after multiple attempts. Having decided on this particular template, I wasn't going to let this snag deter me and set up an account and deposited $50 into it expecting to be able to use my 20% coupon and buy the template for $44. Sound logic at the time.
The second sign of trouble came after making the deposit and clicking the purchase button. There isn't a way to enter any coupon or discount codes and I was given a message indicating I needed to deposit additional funds into my new account to buy my template...remember I had only deposited $50 and the template was $55. Ok...simple enough, deposit $5 more dollars and I can start working on my project.
The third trouble spot came when I discovered that I couldn't simply add $5 to my account, or $10 for that matter because $20 is the smallest deposit they will accept. So now I'm effectively paying $70 for a $55 website template...if I want the perfect template I have already presented to my client. Not wanting to be deterred by this snag either...I make the $20 deposit naturally expecting that I can request a refund for the remaining balance under the circumstances. Seemed like a safe bet...website issues, no chat or help line to contact...just a faceless foreign internet company with my credit card information...my mistake!!
I did get my template and it is perfect to be clear. The developer who authored it is very talented. I'm writing this report to share with all of you because the story gets worse.
When I attempted to contact Themeforest.net moments after the purchase, I couldn't find any contact info just support links. Clicking on the support link didn't go anywhere...literally. The page hung and a server error came up. Being somewhat tech savvy, I found themefores.net on Twitter and discovered their support site was down but that "all eyes are on Twitter" and anyone needing support was encouraged to tweet for help. I tweeted a note @envato_support to address my issue. To date, I have not gotten a response to that tweet.
I did finally get through to the support website the next day and opened a ticket where I explained my circumstances and requested the $15 refund.
At present, I have received two separate email responses from different Envato support agents advising the same thing, spelling errors included: "Thank you for your message to Envato Support. I'm sorry, but due to our agreements with our authors and the already extremely low prices, we cannot and do not offer any discounts. We do occasionally run specials on our marketplaces for a % back on qualified purchases. This information is always displayed on the homepage of any marketplace.
I apologise for any inconvenience caused, please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
So...I have given themeforest.net a chance to do the right thing and refund the $15 they swindled out of me with their prepaid system. I feel like its not an unreasonable request..I paid full retail price for my template (the coupon wasn't used) and their Buy Now option didn't work.
Folks..beware Themeforest.net and Envato who is apparently their parent company. They clearly cannot provide technical support or simply don't want to and they clearly care more for their website development authors than the customers buying their products.