UPDATE: I received a call from the Noon Turf Care customer service team. After talking it through, they removed the charge from my account, and notified the collection agency to make sure that it did not show up on my credit report. This was a good example of working to make things right. What I hope is that Noon Turf Care takes a look at their auto-renew policies and, at a minimum, sends a reminder to their customers before doing any work the following year. At least they have the sense to look at their social media sites and take care of issues after there has been a customer issue. Now, the trick for them will be to try and avoid the blow-ups in the first place.
I’ve deleted my “Noon Turf Care Sucks” Facebook page since they took the time to contact me and resolve the issue in a reasonable manner. From my point of view, this is the end of the story.
I’ve been having a problem with a company called Noon Turf Care from Marlborough, MA. Last year, I spent some time on the phone with one of their sales consultants, and after quite a long time, bought their service. I guess at the end of the call, I said “OK” in response to a statement about the service renewing the following year. I thought nothing of it since I was so tired of talking.
During the year, the service from Noon Turf Care was HORRIBLE! I had to call numerous times because there were still weeds in my yard in July and August, a full two months after contracting with them for their overpriced service. I also cancelled their core aeration service for the Fall because of the number of issues I had with the company.
Fast forward to May of this year. One of the Noon Turf Care trucks showed up at my house while I was out and did a Spring treatment for $254.40. I immediately contacted them and told them I was not paying. They informed me that I had agreed to an auto-renew of the service. In response to my saying “WHAT?” they sent me a recording of the call. Sure enough, I did say “OK” to the auto-renew. But, I thought that since I had complained so much and cancelled the core aeration, they should remove the charge. No dice.
So instead, they sent a collection letter to me today. In response, I created a Noon Turf Care Sucks page on Facebook. Take some time to look at all the complaints for Noon Turf Care and judge for yourself…
Recently, Matt Mullenweg, the founding developer of WordPress, and Chris Pearson, developer of the premium Thesis theme, have been at odds about whether or not Thesis needs to be released up the General Public License (GPL) like the open source WordPress program. Matt claims that since themes use WordPress, they are derivative works and require that they be released up the GPL. Chris, on the other hand, says that his Thesis theme is not subject to the GPL.
I’m not a lawyer, and quite frankly, I don’t care all that much about the legal nuances of the arguments on either side. What I care about is keeping WordPress moving forward as smoothly as possible. And, as a user of Thesis, I prefer the support offered through the robust Thesis user community and have no problem whatsoever paying to purchase Thesis and its support. I’ve found the folks on the forums at the Thesis user community to be extremely helpful in developing websites using WordPress and Thesis.
What I hope is that the arguments can be settled quickly and the status quo restored so I don’t have to worry about the Thesis community, or the WordPress community, being splintered into a number of different factions supporting one side or the other. These types of disagreements are usually argued in the court of public opinion, with very little basis in law, and generally devolve into flame wars and name calling.
Whether Thesis is forced to go to a GPL or not, I’m still going to purchase my licenses for sites I develop using WordPress and Thesis because I like the comfort of the support community around Thesis, and I like the way Chris and his team have continually moved the Thesis theme forward, adding new features and functionality as the theme has matured. I’m comfortable with Thesis, and a protracted litigation is non-productive for both Thesis and WordPress.
Let’s hope this gets resolved quickly so the WordPress community can move forward, knowing that premium theme developers can still make a living doing what they love – creating high-quality themes that enhance WordPress, the best content management system around. I have the utmost respect for both Matt and Chris (although I don’t know them personally). Now it’s time to put the “big boy” pants on and work this out.
Further reading about the brouhaha: