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June 10 2014

Now that we have a stellar ticketing solution, it's time to retire the forums.

Recently we hired Matt Shirey as a dedicated support agent and, as those of you who have submitted a ticket know, he's been amazing!

Matt has helped us to refine our ticketing system and support processes to the point where the efficiency within our ticketing system is running gloriously. This is hugely important as Pancake is growing daily and customer support is very important to us.

With the processes we have in place now, there is no faster way to get support than to open a support ticket. Seriously. Even tweeting at us has a slower response (as we're busy answering tickets) than just logging in and creating a free support ticket.

I wanted to clarify a few things about the ticket system that may not be as clear as they could be.

  1. Support is free and issues that are preventing you from using Pancake will always receive priority support regardless of ticket level requested.
  2. Every ticket created is read within minutes and triaged according to urgency. You do not have to pay to get a ticket keeping you from using Pancake escalated, that happens automatically. The support ticket tiers exist for less urgent things that are giving you challenges, such as creating a new theme and needing help with CSS, or trying to integrate a 3rd party system via the API. Those things that are not core issues and not preventing you from using Pancake can be escalated for a cost by you. This allows for a response window of your choosing that fits within your constraints when you need it.
  3. Outside of critical blocking issues, and paid escalations, we will assist in the order tickets were received. In order to treat everyone fairly we will not deviate from this. If you're unwilling to wait in line, you are free to escalate your ticket by paying for support credits. These funds go directly to the development of Pancake, which means the people you are moving in front of will benefit by way of development. I'm sure you will see this is fair.
  4. Tickets allow us to track an issue through its entire process, so you know exactly when you can expect it to be resolved. This gives you the confidence to know that we're on it and working diligently to resolve it.

As awesome as the forums seem for providing support, they are not conducive for doing so in an efficient fashion. The problem with forums is that they are easy to manipulate. Forum threads are floated to the top based on last activity and not by date of creation. This makes it really hard for our developers to know at what status things are without having to reread each issue. The time we sink into figuring out where we're at in the forums is massively expensive. With tickets, we know at a glance where every issue is in terms of resolution status, in which release it's been dealt with, and if that release has shipped or not.

So the time we used to spend on seeing where things are in the forums, is now spent resolving issues and on development. Which, for our users, has a much higher return on investment as we're using our time more efficiently to provide you with sweet updates and progress.

We're a small, self-funded team behind Pancake and being able to help you has afforded us an opportunity to do what we love and provide for our families. We want you to love Pancake and every day we work hard to improve it. If you look at the Pancake Blog you will see that we've been shipping updates every few days that are packed full of improvements. By bringing on Matt in this capacity and refining our support process we've been able to dedicate more time to making Pancake better for you.

If you have any questions about it please feel free to email me at lee@pancakeapp.com

I hope this helps you to understand our decision to retire the forums and how this greatly improves things for you.