Headway Themes publicly apologized to its customers on the company’s blog this evening for a lack of communication, the decline in support, and the extensive issues with the most recent 4.0 release.
To say the past couple of months have been tough for you, in particular, and us, is an understatement.
We’re writing today to communicate with you as best we can our mistakes, to apologize for those mistakes, and to tell you what we’re doing to remedy them for you.
First of all to our community of amazing users: We admit we’ve made mistakes in not communicating with you as we should have. This post should have gone out a long time ago. And we sincerely apologize for this lack of communication.
Founders Grant and Clay Griffiths, who penned the apology, publicly recognized the lack of support that customers have struggled with for the past several months.
There has been an absence in support for Headway for too long. We take full responsibility for this. We’ve refocused our efforts to get to as many support inquiries as we can each day in light of the recent issues. If your question or issue has not been answered, please resubmit your ticket and we will work hard to get to you as fast as we can. We will also be adding a first level of support service to make sure your issues are dealt with in a timely manner.
Over the weekend, a former support employee went public about having not been paid for months and called the company out for closing several hundred tickets while continuing to sell licenses that claim to include support. Customers whose tickets were among those that were closed without explanation are encouraged to file a new ticket.
The post also announced that Headway Themes plans to push an update to version 4.0 in the next month and will be releasing updates on a more regular schedule. Due to the number of serious bugs in 4.0, the company is moving it back into beta status and will support 3.8.8 as the current public version. The founders requested help with beta testing the upcoming 4.0 release.
Headway Themes is Working to Recover from Financial Difficulties
Several of our readers contacted us weeks ago to find out if Headway Themes was going out of business, as the team had been silent on support and inquiries. Jeff Chandler’s preliminary investigation revealed that the company was experiencing financial troubles and anonymous sources confirmed that sales had declined and staff and third-party developers were not being paid.
Headway Themes has now publicly confirmed their financial troubles, and its founders cite heavy competition as one of the factors:
First and foremost, yes there has been some difficulties financially for the company. Frankly, difficulties we were not prepared for and not expecting.
The WordPress theme market is very busy right now. Competition is heavy. Especially in the drag and drop realm. However, we still feel Headway is the best and the original WordPress drag and drop theme builder on the market. It is our promise we will do everything in our power to bring it back to the front and 4.0 will help us do just that.
Over the past few years, drag-and-drop products have proliferated in the WordPress theme and plugin market and Headway Themes founders feared they may need a backup plan. When confronted about closing a backlog of support tickets while launching his new Pressmatic product, Clay Griffiths told support staff Gary Bairead, “I knew I had to create a backup plan when there are so many drag-and-drop products coming onto the market, including many free ones.”
A co-founder who is too busy creating a popular new product as a backup plan isn’t a huge vote of confidence for the future of Headway Themes. However, today’s communication via the company’s blog is a step in the right direction towards answering many customers’ concerns about not being able to access support for their purchases.
One item that was noticeably missing from the apology was a recognition of unpaid staff, who are owed thousands of dollars, and a promise to pay, especially given the number of years these employees were an integral part of the Headway Themes community. As of this evening, previous employees have not yet been contacted about how the company plans to compensate them for several months of missed pay.