Free as in free always has a cost. That businesses and open source projects and services resort to open forums is a pain as not all forums services are the same… and getting quality answers means that you gotta hope that a team member or expert is watching. Not to mention that the quality of most forum software is not very good. And in many cases if you are interested in the responses you have to log into and search all of them… and I’m losing track.
Not to mention that tickets offer the teams tracking, reporting, and accountability.