Yes, those are good examples. Service Desk and Remedy are both products that compete in a different space than HelpSpot (and at a significantly different price). I haven’t used OS Ticket, but being open source you could likely customize it as needed with some work.
No, we will not be allowing customization of the PHP templates. Once customized upgrading becomes difficult at best and many times impossible. For a small software company like ours supporting customized installations (outside of the customization options we build in of course) isn’t possible at our price point.
There is not a plan to add sub categories at this time. The problem with sub categories is you create long tied lists of categories that become difficult to differentiate. HelpSpot is designed to be fast to operate and learn.
I know by what you’re trying to do with the level and quantity of fields that you run a fairly complex help desk which isn’t something HelpSpot is optimized for. We certainly have customers adopt HelpSpot from things like Remedy but usually it’s for both the lower price and also to simplify. Simplification isn’t always possible in all environments, but it’s one of the aspects we try to focus on.
It’s always tricky as we get many requests that say what we offer is already complex enough