An anonymous reader writes "I'm one of the original founders of a open source company which offers a popular open source product (millions of downloads) targeted primarily to small businesses. We have been doing this for 10 years now and we fund the development of the open source product with the usual paid support services, custom development and addons, but over the last few years we've noticed a troubling trend...
Companies that have downloaded our product from one of the many free download sites have a question they want answered, they call our support line and once we politely explain the situation and that telephone support has a reasonable fee associated with it, more and more of them are becoming seriously irate, to the point of yelling, accusing of us fraud and/or scamming them. For some reason they think a free product should have free telephone support as well, and if we don't offer free telephone support then its not really a free product.
It would appear that these same people are then resorting to social media in an attempt to "spread the word" with the same false accusations which is starting to take its toll on our reviews, ratings and in turn our bottom line.
Does the Slashdot community have any suggestions on how we can reverse this trend? How do other open source companies handle similar situations?"