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Cometchat users?

I have a network currently listed elsewhere, but I am wondering how many here have used cometchat bar to engage your visitors with video chat etc?

Did it work well? Do you have an example I can see?

How people on average month use the bar? Is it worth the 49 a month/ or other price?

I am trying to determine if I will buy cometchat bar for my site, and wanted to know who all on ning has one or has tried it.

If you replaced it with another chat bar - same questions?

I look forward to conversating with anyone about the bar.

--Ana

Currently using a trial of iflychat's basic plan for 19.00 a month usd

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  • Comet Chat is not worth the price. I wouldn't recommend it.

    Recently their company switched from a yearly licensing fee for versions you host yourself, to a forced cloud product. the same one they charged $9.99 for their starter package, now are charging $20.00 more than their original max package for their starter package.

    Stay away. I believe that hoop.la is cheaper in the long run, you get more and pay more, but they never were ones to hide away from their target base. Unlike comet chat.

    I also wouldn't recommend Iflychat. It's too basic. Try Arrowchat.

    • Hi Amber, 

      I'm Anant Garg, the founder of CometChat. While I completely understand your point of view, I'd like to take a minute to clarify one point. While we did have a self-hosted package, it was extremely difficult to configure for Ning, because Ning does not allow hosting custom PHP files. As a result, you would have to run a separate server to host CometChat and then configure it with Ning. We always marketed our Cloud solution for Ning. And you will have the same issue if you try any self-hosted software for Ning. Hoop.la is an entire community builder, so I believe is more of an alternative to Ning itself. If pricing is an issue, we are more than happy to help out smaller communities; please feel free to get in touch with us.

      Regards,

      Anant Garg
      CometChat.com

      • Perhaps if you just offered more plans to suit potential buyers, you wouldn't need to nagotiate custom pricing with those who are on a budget and can't pay for things like those who has hundreds or thousands to spend on a site can in the first place. You're charging more for your product, than a Ning site! a modern day one at that. Paying for a cheap, dedicated hosting for comet chat with all do respect, is cheaper than paying you to host it. Your current plans suck, they won't bring in the user base you're looking for and it's a complete and utter rip off.

        All it takes is for someone to sign up for $0.10 hosting with host gator and run a self hosted version of comet chat. I get paying for support to be able to integrate with Ning sites, but that's where your extra income should come in as a company. not having to charge it every month for users. I know someone who was using self hosted version of comet chat. Now that that plan has been discontinued, this person had paid for the pro license $500.00 for the same product, they were told to pay $99.00 a month for on cloud they were paying yearly for less. That's what I mean by your company business plans are shady at best.

        Looking on creators, I see that it was originally offered for plans as low as $9.00 per site. and could go up to $30.00 or $40.00. Instead of now starting for the exact same thing, at $50.00? For the cloud product. People were happier when they knew what they paid for, and that such a price wouldn't change on them. If you keep raising the prices, people who are long time customers will leave. I know one of them, because I don't think your product is worth that much for people to pay more for that than their own site.

        • Hi Amber,
           
          I am Shivangi, handling marketing at CometChat. I would like to take this opportunity to help you with your thoughts and concerns about CometChat.
           
          We always appreciate feedback - good or bad, we like to hear them all.
           
          I can completely understand your frustration with the cost-benefit graph not aligning with your expectations. However, I'd like to share some thoughts behind this price rise from our point of view which I am sure you'll understand. 
           
          We were in a completely different product line before beginning with CometChat. As a matter of fact, we created CometChat as a simple text chat plugin for vBulletin for a tech forum. We only launched it when we realized it actually solves a big problem - saving you thousands of hours of development and efforts! That being said, we always focussed on solving problems while accommodating different audience tiers in our pricing plans. This has been very evident in our pricing plans - we offered a self-hosted solution when no other product was doing this.
           
          But I am sure you will also agree with the fact that price change is a part and parcel of every business, whatsoever, in order to remain competitive and survive in the industry. We have had the same pricing plans for the last 9 years. An increase in pricing is only fair at this point in time, which most of our clients agree with too. Over the past 9 years, we have worked with clients from a wide range of industries and have always delivered top of the market features and support to each of them. But in order to remain competitive while still retaining our quality, we were required to increase our prices. It was strategic to allow us to grow while still offering the same level of great service.
           
          We've introduced a lot of new features and a seamless integration process for our Cloud plans to justify our costs. With our Cloud plans, installation, which otherwise caused issues and took time is easy as a breeze. It hardly takes minutes to integrate our Cloud plans. Our users will no longer have to manually upgrade CometChat every time a new update rolls out. We also manage end to end backing up of CometChat and the entire server infrastructure.
           
          Coming to features, I am happy to share with you that no other chat integration tool offers features as elaborate as us. CometChat has inbuilt collaborative whiteboard & write-board, monetization tools apart from having a complete chat suite including voice, video chat & conference, stickers, emojis and lots more. 
           
          I wanted to let you know it wasn't a whimsical move at all. We very carefully phased out our self-hosted plans over a period of 1 year. Speaking to a lot of our clients, it was established that its only fair to bump our prices a little, given our increased and improved product offerings. If you were to check others in the same industry and compare their pricing and features with us, I am sure you'll understand with our level of expertise, this price is not much to pay.
           
          Our clients were happy to move to Cloud plans given the better offerings and services. We care for each of our clients, which is why we had them try our Cloud plans for free for a couple days and only then grandfathered them into a discounted plan so that they are convinced of our product offerings at our current price. Our clients are very happy with Cloud plan experiences and feel great about our increased line of features. We're updating and upgrading every day. Recently we added yet another exclusive feature - Zapier integration!
           
          That being said, I understand your use case must not strongly match and align with our current pricing. I sincerely appreciate you putting your confidence in us for our self-hosted plans. Unfortunately, we are no longer offering them. But I'd be more than happy to fix up some discounts for you for a reasonable price according to your use case. 
           
          I would like to conclude this by saying that we are always open for our clients from any industry or any tier - we will always give our best in finding a middle ground and accommodating as much as we can.
           
          Have a great rest of the week!
           
          Regards,
           
          Shivangi Shrivastava
          CometChat.com
          • With all due respect, I get why you did it. Making a change to upgrade is necessary sometimes to offer better functionality.

            I am not, however, of the opinion that for what users wish to achieve with comet chat, and what you wish to achieve via your business plans are amounting to the same thing at this point.

            the reason I say this, is because change and transition is hard for everyone effected by it in ways they cannot recover from. CometChat has to do one basic thing. Become a source of engagement for users. that, I support 100%. I even think the base plan is great. $50.00 a month to have real time chat, okay sure.

            I do not, support the feature limitations of the plan and pricing structure you've currently got set up. It's too high. this is why people go with self hosted, to save money. With your old pricing plans for self hosted, a yearly licensing fee to upgrade the site is around $250.00 maximum. People bought what they wanted. If they wanted hosting, they'd have the option to obtain it. If they wanted mobile apps, desktop apps, they'd get it, separately. The free one did its job well enough for most users, the only person benefiting from a brand, is a brand. Comet Chat is not, a community driven application. It's marketed towards people with high budgets. Consider this. Rocket Chat, your closest competitor, does everything you do for free. Including video. That product is worth a price, just because it is a native chat application in and of itself. I get that you're charging a lot for integrations, and that you are building features to end up like the next Facebook or IRC. It's fine, you can do what you like. But there's nothing wrong with offering a basic text chat for half the price. If you want a feature, pay a dollar for it. Now you get exactly what you want, and with bundles that are taylored to your needs. When you pay a dollar per feature, you know what works and what doesn't. There's a fair pricing structure. which should automatically calculate your server usage cost based on what you're sending and receiving. this is how amazon manages their cloud product, along with many other VPS providers. When you need it, you've got it. at no extra cost to you.

            That's why the cheapest option is always the best. You don't hav to raise your costs just to offer plans nobody can pay. I still am of the opinion that the product interface isn't what it used to be. A lot of things I enjoyed working with in the past, you can't do it anymore. Including drag and drop bar customization. Where ever you came from, a VBulletin Add On company most likely, is not where you're marketing to now. You're offering this product even to people who use Word Press. Via an extension of Buddy Press. Ning has become what it is today, because it's users who supported the cheaper product at the time of its launch, helped get us there. The same goes for you as a member of the internet for the past say 10 years.

            If you change things too much, people will leave because it doesn't fit their requirements. People love, and like, and need, a source of stability. If that stability is offered as a do it yourself part of what you offer, you're still achieving the change you want, at the price of keeping the users who'd otherwise leave if they didn't have a choice in some instances. We're finding out as business owners together, that customers, who get what they need to succeed, are better long term supporters of a company. Rather than those who ask for something, and get more than the things they use.

            a pay per feature instance at a dollar cost to customers, is the perfect way to market the cloud product you have now. without the high price point. Even if you're starting price for the server was a dollar. Do you know how quickly you'd be getting customers if you did this? For every dollar that goes towards a feature someone wants, this increases the value of their server. You get people who are able to pay for what they want, at the price they agree to for what they use. Even if it's a flat rate of a dollar per feature, now you have a viral business strategy for an add on to an existing successful business. You are still an addon provider, not a platform. Your competition is for some people, shout boxes or even appear.in. Because there's only 5 features some sites need, to use and use well. It's great that you offer something, but if I don't need bots, I don't want to pay for them just so that I have to justify the fact they exist if I won't ever use them. I want to be in control of my site, and that includes what I pay for. If it's included in a price package I enjoy paying for, and have the budget for it, great. But anything above a certain point for anyone, not just based on market value, but on actual usability, will get you different results.

            My goal here, is not to complain about what you offer. but to offer suggestions on how to improve your product. I appreciate the fact you take the time to respond to feedback. that is a very wise, and seldom seen company decision. As a customer, I feel like Ning gives me what I need, but it's not enough. It's enough for me to stay, but there's not enough reason to choose comet chat over a shout box because I don't get enough to work with for the price point. Too many features, can be a bottleneck for users who just want to accomplish a simple task. If many users are asked how they want to accomplish a simple task, if it's available for them to use it, they will. But they'll do it, because it's free of charge. If someone has to pay to use a feature, unless your network is based on it, you can't market it towards a social community setting. Which is what my network, its interest and its purpose is here to support. Every cent spent, is one earned through time, effort and care. A huge portion of Ning, has communities that are struggling because this sense that was once promised to them, has shifted because of business trends becoming so expensive. The internet, was originally designed to be a free product for everyone. That vision, has turned into a huge shopping mall. I just don't want to see this vision, fail because someone wanted something you offered, but they couldn't pay it.

            I'm speaking for those who are unable to pay what you offer, because they have a limited budget to spend on a site. this is why more businesses are lapping up domains, even through Sedo. Charging premium prices for it once they expire, due to the value of its previous association. Instead of those domains going to someone who wants to continue the business, they're going to corporations who sell them for a premium price point. Not encouraging people to continue what was once successful. The whole idea of community sharing, is to engage people in what they love. comet Chat, Ning, who ever, in this business market, does have, to some extent, a responsibility to their own needs first and foremost. If you're unhappy with the money you receive, by all means, change your pricing structure to fit your requirements. I just wish you to keep in mind, the goal of a free site for community sharing, every time you roll out a product. as you're still targeting people who pay for communities two, instead of businesses at the cost of community participation. Because you now pay for this big fancy chat app, and so few people know what to do with it, as it's so feature rich and extensive, the basic functionality of communication and its original design purpose, becomes lost in the latest flashy offerings of that company and its website.

            I do believe, this is one of the many reasons why search engines now, are looking at who uses a site most based on what content visible to the public. As opposed to ones where only big businesses continue to thrive because they've got an established brand name. this is where Ning comes in to fill a gap between affordable websites, and a community of helpful users to aid the brands claim to fame as once more a successful business. You also have this, Comet Chat. It would be cool to pay for a discounted version of your product, without feeling as though I have no other choice. I don't wish you to see this as a last resort missed opportunity. But rather, as a learning experience. You'll see what I mean when you start getting more requests for features, and less requests for bug fixes. People wil notice from an observational stand point, products which work well, improve yet maintain the same feature set that got the business itself its brand recognition. This is how Macdonalds still sells Big Macs, instead of snack wraps for a business decision that is both signature and expected for regular customers to enjoy. Love it, or hate it, stability is key for returning users who learn from other users under the same experience or umbrellah. that's my best advice I can give to you, person to person, company owner to company owner.

            So in my opinion, improve the interface of what features people love and want to see. but keep it to where they're affordable for everyone to enjoy, without changing too much, the interface of management.

            • Thanks for your feedback, Amber. I appreciate it!

              I understand your points completely. Our feature-based pricing was defined by using not one, but a thousand different users as our sample base. Upon thorough audit of user requirements, we came up with what you see today as our pricing plans. 

              I am on board with your thoughts about users not requiring all the other features in a certain plan in which case, they always reach out to us and as I mentioned in my previous message, we work out a middle ground solution. 
               
              A very critical aspect of a business is its continuous growth which is why we try to cover as many integration platforms and as many features our users might look for which covers our Buddypress & WordPress plugins and features like bots. We keep adding to our features as and when we get custom requirements from our clients. We add a feature to our plans only when we feel it is genuinely asked for in the market.
               
              I would like to thank you very much for your advice, will definitely keep it bookmarked :)
               
              Thanks and have a wonderful day!
               
              Regards,
               
              Shivangi Shrivastava
              CometChat.com
              • You're very welcome. I hope it is useful for you to reflect on, in case you are noticing that more people are asking you to reconsider what they have in accordance with what they desire to achieve at an agreement applicable and welcome to all parties involved.

                I am very impressed with how flexible you are with individual use case scenarios. this is really good to see. When you put the user first, but not before your own company to make a profit, you do get results far in excess of what you had in mind. For some companies, the expansion is what they need to build more. For others, it can become overwhelming. I'm really greatful to see you've chosen the latter. Your business and product itself works well on Ning. Having recently looked at a few sites. So I know your integration is top knotch.

                I really do wish you well with both sales and Comet chat itself. Had I only one feature suggestion, it would be this. Remove number of concurrent users available to chat on a site, and replace it with number of features you can install. But let the admins choose what features those are. Alternatively, make storage space a part of said feature base. Make it something that customers can see a daily, hourly, weekly or monthly calculation based on real time statistics. That way people know how much data they use, so they know how much they should pay for if you have a pricing structure based on storage limitations. this is extremely cost effective for companies, allowing the most flexibility at the cheapest cost to be able to run as you operate your own cloud infrastructure.

                I wish users would be able to email or share conversations and individual room URLs via social media, email and other bookmarks like browsers and print for example. This would definitely help sites who use Comet Chat in a business type setting, where a company is talking to a client. Rather than one user to another. Yet this would also be beneficial here as well.

                I hope this helps you! You are a company I might just be able to say, I recommend to users now if they have the budget for it.

  • Hi Ana,

    You can simply signup for our 7-day free trial and see if CometChat is adding value to your community. If you feel your user engagement is increasing, you can continue to use CometChat or cancel without any payment. Feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions.

    Regards,

    Anant Garg
    CometChat.com

    Try CometChat for free
    CometChat Cloud at affordable monthly cost. Buy easy to integrate CometChat Cloud and enhance user engagement on your website
    • Thank You @CometChat :) I will.

      Try CometChat for free
      CometChat Cloud at affordable monthly cost. Buy easy to integrate CometChat Cloud and enhance user engagement on your website
  • Ana,

    If you want to pay for comet chat, by all means try it. It may just work out for you. I'm not sold on it myself but I'm just one person. In my opinion, I wish I could say I was but after looking at the history of the company and their business decisions, I am scared to trust one that has just made decisions on a whim without consulting its user base.

    Having said that, enjoy what they offer. It looks like a solidly built product. enough for people to pay for a connection between one person and another. I tried the demo and it's okay. I think the interface could use some major work though. Somehow, it completely changed back when I first heard about it a couple of years ago. Now it's too flashy, whereas before you could alter things like the theme and the positions of buttons on the bar. Maybe I'm thinking of another product.

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