Both sides have valid points, but honestly, the wp.org team handled this badly. Hope the guideline gets published properly.
Let me preface this post by mentioning that this was difficult to write, I’m still frustrated but I’ve accepted the immediate outcome 1. That said… Last week I received an email from the WordPress.org plugin review team that Sprout Invoices “has been found to be in violation of the repository guidelines, found at https://developer.wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-org/detailed-plugin-guidelines/“.
Turns out this was the issue:
What did .org do?
Since I was accused of compensating reviews through “bribery”: Sprout Invoices was immediately pulled out of the repo until that link (and the page at the other end of “send us the link”) were removed.
Also all 5-star reviews were deleted; all of them…
“The reviews that have been associated with this method have been removed from the system in order to restore equilibrium to the reviews.”
Was I compensating reviewers?
Obviously yes; through a discount of a pro license, I figured it was alright to compensate their time.
Was it “Bribery” or did I “Pay Reviewers”? Why does that distinction matter?
In no way was this “bribery”!
Dan Cameron shares his experience with different pricing models, discounts and refunds with Sprout Invoices.
Sprout Apps made it’s first dollar on this date last year! The best thing has to be that I’m still making dollars! If you want to know more about all the things that happened over at Sprout Apps I’ve published (some-what of) a year in review. I tried my best to show how much Sprout Invoices has grown as a product, something that I found is rather hard to do without busting out stats on commits and code base changes. Anyway…Sprout Invoices had 10 major updates, Help Scout Desk had a few, and Sprout Clients was released.
On the business side I learned a lot — so much that I’m only able to cover a couple biggies.
A Monthly Subscription was a horrible idea.
I wrote about the pricing structure and the reasoning before launching…
[I] wanted to create a monthly recurring rate for Sprout Invoices for a few reasons…[I] think people can better relate to a monthly recurring charge…a similar pricing model will be easier to match up against the invoicing services.
…I also had two other business reasons:
Low entry price would bring more customers.
Monthly payments have a naturally higher renewal rate over a longer term.
I’ll let you in on a secret that I’ve only told a few others: both were