Tomorrow, I'll be closing the site I've had hosted with Ning for more than 4 years.
There are a number of reasons I've decided to move the site elesewhere. Too many to list, in fact, but here's a few:
- A 25% price increase after just one year
- A determination by Ning to develop stuff that appears to be more fun for them, rather than what customers want
- A "support forum" that bans you if you complain about stuff you're clearly entitled to complain about
- Possibly the worst "testing" of new features I've seen
There are just so many issues, I can no longer stay. People may call me a whinger, and they'd probably be right, but I'd like to think I only moan when it's justified. I think it's correct to complain when you're not getting the service you'd expect and are a paying customer. Unfortunately, that's not the attitude Ning hold. In fact, I've all but been told "just because you're a paying customer, that doesn't give you the right to criticise". WTF?
I've put up with a lot. A 3 day outage with everyone telling me there's nothing wrong. The release of a text editor (which was the only method of getting content on the site) that's STILL buggy, months after release (even the Ning staff don't know how to use it properly, yet they expect users to be able to), the constant release of "features" that nobody is interested in, whilst ignoring the requests of users for stuff that'd actually be useful, the price increases. And so much more.
What finally tipped me over the edge, though, was being banned from their support forum for having a laugh at a tremendous post from another member about the severely lacking service. This, compounded by being told that, yes, I could come back, but please stop complaing when they screw up. (See this post for a more detailed explanation).
I'm actually a pretty patient person. However, when I'm told that stuff is working, not buggy, has been thoroughly tested etc, when quite clearly it isn't, the complainer in me begins to surface.
Personally, I don't think that's unreasonable. Unfortunately, I can't see Ning suddenly changing their spots after all these years, so it's time for me to go.
I sincerely wish all Ning Network creators the very best of luck. You'll need it.
Finally closed my account with Ning today.
They were so concerned, they didn't ask me why I was leaving, or if I'd reconsider, just a short note to say job done.
No more than I expected, really.
I'll post shortly about my findings whilst looking for an alternative.