How not to do business with Joomla Extensions

The sad tale of company setting itself up for failure…

So, I’ve been in the business of designing and creating interactive Joomla content management system websites for 5 years. When I started my business I took the best practices for brand and product creation and delivery in large scale consumer websites and applied them to my clients projects.

One of the reasons I selected Joomla as the basis for the sites that I deliver was that it had a brilliant community of developers creating solutions for all kinds of businesses. Using this rich palette, I’ve been able to create and deliver transactional e-commerce sites, membership sites, event booking, property booking, managed downloads and the list goes on. It has truly been a journey.

That journey has not always been smooth. Often, I’ll find a limitation in using or customising a component, module or plug-in and I’ll need the help of the developer to resolve an issue or point me in the right direction. The vast majority of the developers responses are professional, polite and concise. Sometimes they are terse and very technical but without fail I’ve been able to work with them to get me to where I need to be.

That is until I came across a vendor called Miwisoft. Operated by Denis Dulici who positions himself as an Open Source enthusiast, the company has a number of Joomla extensions. They are also the authors of Arastta, an open source e-commerce package. Of interest to me was their offer of an extension called Mijosearch, a kind of Swiss Army Knife search tool which not only searches standard Joomla articles but has add-ons to search well known Joomla components. This, I thought was a brilliant find, and having seen positive feedback from users of a document management component called EDOCMAN, I duly purchases the Mijosearch component and the extension to plug it into EDOCMAN. This purchase included support for their products.

I created a test site with a couple of documents and installed the Miwisoft software. It very soon became apparent that it was not working with my EDOCMAN documents — no errors, but no results. So, I contacted them through their support ticketing system that very same day asking for help.

It took them 6 whole days to make any kind of response, but I was encouraged to see that my ticket was getting some attention and I immediately responded to their request for some additional information.

Three days later and no response. Again. I asked for an update.

Three days later and no response. Again. I asked for an update.

Seven days later and no response. Again. I asked for an update.

Eight days later and no response. Again. I asked for an update suggesting we were getting into the territory of a refund and poor review on the Joomla Extensions Directory.

This mention of a refund seemed to get some attention and a further request for information was received, which again I responded to immediately (within minutes). I also provided them with full access to my staged development website thinking that I was about to get the help I needed.

How wrong could I have been?!

A holiday break on my side and an expectant return and no response has been received from Miwisoft, it’s now been three weeks since my last contact from their so-called support department. In total I’ve been waiting 1 month 17 days — that’s 6 weeks 6 days or 48 days for help with a piece of paid software.

I emailed Denis Dulici personally yesterday. It was a polite but firm email asking for his intervention to get their support active with my issue.

Unsurprisingly, it would seem that the company’s inability to deliver any kind of responsiveness that you’d expect from a professional outfit comes from the very top. As of today I’ve received nothing from Denis Dulici, not even a simple acknowledgement that he’s received my email.

This morning, as a last effort, I’ve tried calling their number in Istanbul in Turkey (+90 216 550 9136 ) but it would seem that the number is not working or permanently busy.

I’ve made a huge mistake in selecting this company for part of my project, I’m now considerably delayed and will have to look elsewhere for a solution.

I’m writing this as a kind of warning to others about the very first vendor of Joomla extensions that I’ve experienced who have done absolutely nothing to provide the support that a customer (me!) needs from a commercial component. I’ve had better, far better support from vendors of free components.

I’d love to be proved wrong, but this is the very worst kind of vendor that a community such as Joomla, or open source with their Arastta e-commerce software, needs. It’s this kind of business who either don’t care about their reputation or customers that cause huge issues.

I’ve since discovered that they don’t actually appear on the Joomla Extensions Directory. There’s another lesson learned — never buy from a company that aren’t willing to have customer reviews published against their software.

Base your project on their offerings very cautiously, I don’t often wish bad things on businesses, but I’m afraid that Miwisoft / Arastta are setting themselves up to fail.