UPDATE 1/19: Internet Brands has allowed me a partial refund, minus a $35 “processing fee”, whatever that is, I can’t find it documented anywhere on their site. Oh well, I’ll feel better knowing I’m not locked into vBulletin anymore. The company’s last reponse is at the bottom. Notice how they still refuse to acknowledge that their software is buggy or that customers are complaining about it.
I too was suckered into taking Internet Brands approach of “taking a risk” (their words) of purchasing their new vBullletin 4.0 Publishing Suite. A purchase Internet Brands encouraged licensed owners to buy prior to seeing anything about vBulletin 4.0.
Well, I got a hold of it, tried to install it to a test server, and after a few database problems, which I don’t know were vB related, or had to do with my version of MySQL or the existing database, I got it almost running.
Almost, meaning the CMS didn’t work as described, which didn’t mean a lot to me, as I’m not too interested in the CMS at the moment.
But then I got a lot of problems with search results. I can’t even figure out why search is only working half assed. It seems vBulletin is indexing only random posts, even after rebuilding the search indexes. This is a known problem even on vBulletin.com forums. Just try searching for something on the vBulletin site itself. The search speed seemed to be longer also, even getting one PHP timeout, but I need to do more tests on that to see if it’s really vBulletin choking on that.
The other problems I noticed, and confirmed by other people, was various issues the hybrid/threaded modes of the forum. Not many people use this feature, but I do, and some people insist on it, and it was a working feature in vBulletin 3.8. Sometimes the hybrid mode works, other times it doesn’t, and it doesn’t seem to matter what browser I’m using.
The other problems with vBulletin seem to be css related or template issues with other products or customizations, just from the limited experience I’ve had with it. Note that I haven’t tried to add any modifications or templates to my test base, which is barely functional for a production environment. I’m glad I didn’t try to do a full converstion from 3.8 to 4.0
The Licensed Customer Feedback forum of vBulletin is full of complaints from licensed customers, wondering when the bugs will be worked out. Internet Brands has been trying to release a 4.01 version, but it’s been pushed back.
There isn’t any word about what 4.01 is supposed to include, but hopefully around 100 of the most severe bugs are fixed, resolved, or at least addressed.
All this heartache made we ask vBulletin for a refund for the Publishing Suite which I purchased. Some people had received refunds so I thought I’d give it a try. I was denied a refund by Internet Brands because they thought my reasons for a refund weren’t justified.
So I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (you should too if you’re denied a refund). Here was my complaint:
Continue reading “Beware vBulletin 4 and Internet Brands’ pricing schemes”