Unpaid tester for a commercial product?

Discussion in 'Forum Software' started by borbole, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. borbole

    borbole Coder/Designer

    Hi guys,

    I had a question for you. Would you consider being an unpaid tester for a commercial product?

    Say hypothetically speaking, you bought a product, a forum or something else. Now I do not know about you but personally when I buy something I want that particular product to be as good/stable as possible. I am fully aware that there is no such thing like a bug/error free thing. So anytime I come across such a bug/error I report it so it can be fixed and help making it even better.

    Now, say that the management/staff of a commercial product that you already purchased asked you as a customer if you will be willing to work for free in testing the product for finding bugs and such. What would your answer be?

    Personally I would never do it as imho this does not make sense. It would have been different if we were talking about a free software but we are talking about a commercial product here that we already paid good money for.

    Why should I give my time for free as well to work on a product that I have purchased? To make it better? That is neither my duty nor my responsibility. That work would make the product better and therefore it will sell a lot of copies whereas I get squat. This does not seem right/fair to me. Someone might say that you get a better product, but isn''t that what I paid a lot of money in the first place?

    So in short my answer would be, you want my help in that, fine but you will have to pay me for my time and efforts. That is only fair.

    I am very curious to know your opinions/thoughts on this subject. Thank you all in advance for your answers.
  2. cheat_master30

    cheat_master30 Moderator

    Maybe. I'd definitely choose being an unpaid beta software if it let me get things like games or software in advance of their actual release dates. Indeed, this kind of situation I hear is quite common in the video game industry.

    But would I beta test forum software itself? Maybe. It's good like XenForo and looks to be getting better, I'd probably try it on a new website and see how it works. vBulletin 5? Nothing would get me to touch that with a ten foot bargepole. It's all about quality.
  3. rusty105

    rusty105 Habitué

    Access to unlimited betas and at lease one or two copies when it is released. They would still make crazy amounts of money.
  4. Comeagain

    Comeagain Participant

  5. Mark.B

    Mark.B Tazmanian

    Well as someone who did exactly that, yes I would and would do so again *if* I felt that what I was doing was of great benefit to the customer base as a whole.

    I have done it recently for vBulletin.
    I have done it in the past for NTL (former UK cable TV and ISP, now Virgin Media)
    I have done it for Pipex (former UK ISP)

    In all cases, doing it brought great benefit to the overall customer base, plus I enjoyed doing it.

    In return? I got (obviously) early access to beta products not on general release.
    On top of that (which many people forget to factor in), the fact you did it AND were APPROACHED to do it, looks good on any CV/resume.
  6. ragtek

    ragtek Adherent

    First and probably last time i agree with Mark here because of my own experience with vB4 & vB5... no fixes of reported bugs & stupid code mistakes for months..., so it was IMO REALLY USELESS to waste my time, but i'm really happy that vB was only a exception, i have great experience with many other projects...

    Personally i love reviewing others code because i love code reviews and in 95% you can learn really much from 3rd parties code (except vBulletin 4&5.. ok that's a lie, the truth is => you see how you shouldn't do it!)

    I don't need any return because my return is the learning and probably/hopefully new knowledge.
    And it's also nice to heave early access to some releases if you get it as tester...
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2013
  7. Tatl

    Tatl Developer

    Yeah, I'd do it. It'd be fun (yay for previewing new software before the general public) and I would be happy to help in the bettering and direction of software that I use.
  8. borbole

    borbole Coder/Designer

    Personally I am not a big fan of giving away my time and expertise working on something for free so that others can make money out of my work. It would have been quite another matter if it was for a free open project, that I do understand. Or if I had a lot of free time and got bored out of my mind and money wouldn''t have been an issue, then yes I can see myself as a beta tester for a paid/commercial product.

    Anyway, I was just curious to see other members views on this. Thank you to everyone who replied and who might reply in the future :)
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