Larry BraunerUpdate: Read Ning’s response in the comments.

Ning plans to close thousands of free social networking sites this week. I believe Ning has drawn a line in the sand and do not expect Ning to grant a reprieve.

I hope, now that Ning network creators are all paying customers, we’ll have a greater collective voice and more impact on the choices Ning makes.

Ning Customer Service Issues

Ning Social NetworksHowever, I saw complaints about Ning customer service on Twitter and Facebook, and with my Ning Sign-Up Glitch help ticket (00D8cCLt.5004BTxme) open since August 6, it seems to me that we’re off to an inauspicious start. Even though network creators have found a temporary work around, it does nevertheless behoove Ning to respond to us and address this type of problem.

I assume that Ning is coping with a record number of inquiries due to its transition to new pricing, and that Ning’s customer service is backed up. Still, this situation doesn’t bode well, since an email to network creators explaining the situation would’ve demonstrated Ning’s transparency and bolstered our confidence in the company’s management.

I myself recently launched a new Ning social networking site, and I stand behind Ning’s latest initiative. However, I ask you, isn’t it only fair that Ning should match the greater financial commitment of its network creators with a corresponding service commitment on its side?

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15 Responses to “If We Pay for Our Ning Networks, Should We Expect More?”

  1. Bruce Symons on August 15th, 2010 11:21 pm

    Larry, in my opinion don’t expect too much from Ning on these types issues. To them, they are too small to be of any relevance. They face the larger problems first. This is not the way it should be, but it seems to be. They are getting too big for their britches, so to handle the load they should get more help.

  2. Larry Brauner on August 15th, 2010 11:26 pm

    Funny Bruce that you suggest Ning hire more people. At the same time as Ning announced the elimination of free Ning sites, Ning also announced that they were downsizing, as well.

  3. Microsites SEO on August 16th, 2010 1:30 am

    Which reminds me that I need to check out both Ning and your social networks. Will do sometime before long, I hope. What alternatives are there to Ning?

  4. Larry Brauner on August 16th, 2010 1:54 am

    Yes, please join me on Small Business Networking.

    There’s SocialGO and GROU.PS. I don’t know if their social networking sites are as robust as Ning’s.

  5. Stephen Robinson - The Social Web Analyst on August 16th, 2010 2:08 am

    Absolutely!! If you pay then you should absolutely expect more features and service. Ning has never impressed me, at all! It’s ranked very low on my Social Web Totem Pole. It highly upsets me that making money from the ads on the site isn’t enough. They also want to charge people for a service.

    That’s why they are failing, and will continue to fail until they are off the grid. That’s why is failing, and will continue to fail until they change their ways, or fall off the grid. I’ve seen it happen several times before. Greediness and poor management digs it’s own grave.

  6. Jake Jacob on August 16th, 2010 3:42 am

    Yes is the simple answer. What is the cost of the Ning sites now? My wife has had some medical issues and I’ve been out of the loop for a bit.


  7. Larry Brauner on August 16th, 2010 11:39 am

    @Stephen Ning now leaves the advertising to the network creators.

    @Jake See Introducing Ning Pro, Ning Plus and Ning Mini. Friday is the last day for the free Ning sites. Hope your wife has a full and speedy recovery.

  8. Jack Goldenberg on August 16th, 2010 11:48 am

    Should Ning offer greater services to paying customers? Of course. Will they? It depends on how smart they are. The Ning platform was great for a long time, but having the added benefit of being free certainly enhanced its reputation.

    You have to be on the inside to know with any certainty whether or not they will upgrade services now that they are charging a a service that used to be free. My guess is they’ll have to offer something extra, that’s what premium services are all about.


  9. Larry Brauner on August 16th, 2010 11:57 am

    Ning is busy adding features Jack, but I get the impression that personal customer service isn’t a big priority.

  10. Paul Hines on August 17th, 2010 5:13 pm

    Sure we should expect more and get it. It seems that a lot of people have opted to just allow their Ning sites to fade away into the sunset rather than pay for it. I’m the manager and moderator of a Ning site and its the hardest job I ever had. You have to be dedicated and keep fresh content on your site on a daily basis.

    I knew It was only a matter of time before Ning started charging for its services.

  11. Erika on August 17th, 2010 5:53 pm

    Hi Larry,

    I work at Ning and just wanted to let you know that since the transition on July 20th, we’ve received 5x the number of help tickets we usually receive. The entire company is working diligently to respond to these requests as quickly as possible - people from other departments have been pitching in, and we’ve recently made a few new hires to our customer service team. Paying Ning Network Creators SHOULD expect more and customer service IS a high priority for us. We apologize for the current delay and expect to be all caught up answering tickets within another week or two. Moving forward, this should not be an issue. We appreciate your patience!

    Erika at Ning

  12. Larry Brauner on August 17th, 2010 7:53 pm

    Thank you Erika for letting us know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. :-)

  13. Stephen Robinson - The Social Web Analyst on August 20th, 2010 4:52 pm

    I understand what you’re saying, Larry, that Ning leaves the advertising to the network creators. I just feel that they would be much better off keeping a free version of their service, and have their own ads on that free service. Ya know, Grouply does just fine doing that.

  14. Larry Brauner on August 20th, 2010 5:08 pm

    It’s hard for us to know, Stephen, how well Grouply is doing. I have a sense that Ning has made an enormous investment in its business, and it needs to generate a return that’s consistent with that investment.

  15. Larry Brauner on August 30th, 2010 8:48 pm

    In the last week, it seems that Ning has caught up with customer service, and that all is well.

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