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Author Topic: Acronis charging customers for bug fixes  (Read 7461 times)

mwang

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Acronis charging customers for bug fixes
« on: September 19, 2007, 10:14:32 PM »
I bought Acronis TrueImage Home 10 two months ago to go with my new Vista machine, and run into several bugs immediately. Soon I found their official support forum and realized some of the bugs were there long ago. I filed two additional bug reports and assisted in locating the source of one of them. I even found and reported (to the company and on the forum) a workaround for it. They thanked me and said they'll be fixed.

From time to time I checked their web site for updates, but one never came. The latest build stays at 4942, released in March. Then today there's finally a new version -- TrueImage Home 11 and it costs $30 for upgrade! (Some on the forum said people who bought version 10 less than 30 days will be offered a free upgrade via email, but some who did said it's not true. Doesn't matter here since I don't qualify anyway.)

Come to think of it, we aren't even sure if those nasty bugs were fixed. They tout new features but say nothing about bugs fixed. (Have to admit I didn't look hard since I was so upset.)

Just to vent my frustration with Acronis, a company well praised here, on Wikipedia, and almost everywhere I know.  >:(

Armando

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Re: Acronis charging customers for bug fixes
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2007, 05:31:12 PM »
Although I've never had problems, I think that Zaine too went through serious annoyances... He started to recommend BootIt NG instead -- if I remember correctly...

mwb1100

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Re: Acronis charging customers for bug fixes
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2007, 06:29:03 PM »
I agree that Acronis' upgrade policy can be less than desirable.  I try to counter that myself by staying a rev or 2 back and getting the software from discounters who sell remainders.  As long as you aren't cutting edge on the OS you can often get away with it.

Darwin

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Re: Acronis charging customers for bug fixes
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2007, 06:33:27 PM »
AFAICT, there hasn't been much added in since version 9 that's going to be compelling/absolutely necessary to anyone running XP. I use both 9 Home and 9.1 Workstation on my various computers and have had no problems whatsoever with either version. Version 11 *might* bring more to the table, but I don't feel that there's any urgency about upgrading. For most people, version 9 or even 8 is just fine. If you're running Vista this might not be the case, I dunno...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

mwang

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Re: Acronis charging customers for bug fixes
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2007, 04:45:33 AM »
Although I've never had problems, I think that Zaine too went through serious annoyances... He started to recommend BootIt NG instead -- if I remember correctly...
I've used BootIt NG (BING) for years. It's a great tool. Only shortcomings: can't do imaging in Windows and no incremental backup. But it's always been perfectly reliable, and it's also (I should say it's mainly) a multi-boot manager.

I ran into troubles when going Vista (whether that's wise is another story), however, and desperately needed a workable replacement for I'm in the habit of taking snapshots of the system partition every few steps when setting up a new system.

I did a quick research (too quick, in hindsight, for I didn't dig deep enough on the wildsecurity forum) and heard many good praise of Acronis TI. I downloaded the trial version but soon learned one of the its main functions I needed (can't remember which one, probably something related to operations from the rescue media) was only available to registered users, so I registered.

It's a mistake.

Turned out the problem I had with BING was related to Vista's new partition and disc signature rules (see http://www.multibooters.co.uk/ for detail). What BING can't do, TI can't either.

Besides, TI has other Vista related issues, as said in my original post.

After I registered an official complaint on their tactics (forcing customers to upgrade for bug fixes), they offered me to try a beta version of TI Home 10 (not offered on the website yet). The new build is better, but most of the above issues remain. I've just reported my findings back to them. We'll see how it goes.

This raises serious doubt, however, on whether they've really solved the major Vista compatibility issues with the brand new ver. 11. They claimed ver. 10 to be Vista ready; it wasn't. Now they're saying the same thing about ver. 11, but I really doubt it.


mwang

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Re: Acronis charging customers for bug fixes
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2007, 05:21:28 PM »
Update:

After the new build (of TI 10) failed to address the bugs I reported, Acronis tech support asked me to test ver. 11 trial (downloaded from the web site). The result: most of the issues remained. So ver. 11 isn't exactly Vista ready after all.

mwb1100

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Re: Acronis charging customers for bug fixes
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2007, 06:25:30 PM »
I've used BootIt NG (BING) for years. It's a great tool. Only shortcomings: can't do imaging in Windows and no incremental backup. But it's always been perfectly reliable, and it's also (I should say it's mainly) a multi-boot manager.
I haven't used BootIt NG, but I've used its sibling, Image for Windows (I4W).   TeraByte has a free add-on driver that enables I4W to backup within windows; I don't know whether that would apply to BING or not.

One area that I had a better experience with Acronis over I4W is performing a bare-metal restore of an image.  I4W's boot disk seems to be a version of Linux that's supposed to do the restore.  I had major difficulties getting that environment to recognize all the devices I needed to do the restore.  I can't remember the details, but it was something like not recognizing the SATA drive I wanted to restore the image to or not recognizing the USB drive that held the image.

The Acronis boot disk also boots some version of Linux (I think), but it loads up a program that has a virtually identical interface to the Windows program, and recognized my devices just fine.

It's unfortunate that the situation with boot disks can be so iffy - I'm sure that for many systems the opposite of my experience is true.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Acronis charging customers for bug fixes
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2007, 07:39:38 PM »
On my old system I always had hit and miss success with the Acronis boot disk - I had to use the full version if I had no RAID setup (or disconnect the RAID drives) but wanted to use an external USB drive, but if I wanted to use RAID I had to use the Safe mode version. Same goes for their Disc Director suite.

Luckily my new system doesn't seem to suffer from those issues.

I suspect it is a combination of the version of Linux they use and the BIOS's abilty to set up devices at boot time.

mwang

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Re: Acronis charging customers for bug fixes
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2007, 02:11:54 AM »
Another update:

As I said, they asked me to test True Image 11 after the test build of ver. 10 failed to fix the bugs. I had to download the trial ver. myself and then spend a couple of hours testing it against the bugs I reported. Turned out ver. 11 also failed on most of them. I reported back.

Then I got an email telling me "We are expecting fix in new build of Acronis True Image 11.0 Home. When it will be released you will be able to download and test it."

So they're basically saying they'll eventually fix it in ver. 11, and I'm free to pay for it. That's it! Not a word about what started all the exchanges -- I wanted ver. 10 fixed.

After more than a dozen email exchanges, I have to say I'm really unsatisfied with Acronis tech support. They're always polite alright, with boilerplate text that just keep repeating company sound bites, but they rarely listen to what you're asking. A typical example is the one that came after I complained to them about forcing ver. 10 customers to pay for ver. 11 to get bug fixes:

Quote
Thank you for using Acronis True Image 10.0 Home http://www.acronis.c.../products/trueimage/

Our upgrade policy is to provide free upgrade to customers who purchased the software within 30 days prior to the release of the new version of the product.

We are always at your service should you have any further questions.

Note that you can quickly find the answers to your questions in Acronis Support
Knowledge Base at http://www.acronis.c...omputing/support/kb/

Thank you.

Even though I'd already told them I'd bought ver. 10 two months ago (hence not eligible for free upgrades). So I wrote back to reiterate what I thought was the gist of my original complaint: "I wasn't asking for a free upgrade, I was asking you to fix the outstanding bugs in ver. 10."

Then came the following message:
Quote
Thank you for taking time to contact us.

If you have any questions concerning our software, please feel free to contact us at your earliest convenience with the details and we will do our best to help you as soon as possible.

Note that you can quickly find the answers to your questions in Acronis Support
Knowledge Base at http://www.acronis.c...omputing/support/kb/

Thank you.

If you have any prior contact with Acronis tech support, you should recognize these lines as their standard template. The previous message quoted above contained similar lines as well. I don't mind. But at least they should address my question/complaint in between these lines. The previous message at least attempted as much, however unsatisfactorily. This one, OTOH, just dumped me their template and that's it!

But for the fact that I don't have the time to reinstall my Windows from scratch, necessitating me to keep the images Acronis made for the time being, Acronis would be gone from my desktop by now.

Sorry for the long rant. Just couldn't help it.

Tekzel

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Re: Acronis charging customers for bug fixes
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2007, 03:29:49 PM »
While I like their software very much, the company is the pits from my perspective.  I had TI9 and upgraded to TI10, mainly for the "backup locations" feature which works really well.  Well, except that at one point the program just plain stopped working by schedule.  Every morning it has some error on the screen about the program not working properly.  I can reproduce the issue by starting the scheduled job manually.  If I just go through and do a backup, it works fine.  It only happens when running from the scheduler.  I went back and forth with their email based tech support way longer than I cared to, trying this, and that.  I eventually gave up.  It still only works manually, I tried removing the software and reinstalling it, and deleting the scheduled task and recreating it.  After deleting and recreating it worked for a short while, maybe a week, then the problem came back.  Other than this I have never had a problem with the software.  My experience leads me to question whether they have any idea how their software works.

Armando

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Re: Acronis charging customers for bug fixes
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2007, 08:04:31 PM »
My experience leads me to question whether they have any idea how their software works.

 ;D

This reminds me off that joke :

Quote
A computer salesman, a hardware engineer, and a software engineer are driving...
A computer salesman, a hardware engineer, and a software engineer are driving in a car together. Suddenly the right rear tire blows out, and the car rolls to a stop. The three men get out to investigate.

The salesman says, "time to buy a new car!"

The hardware engineer says, "well, first let's try swapping the front and rear tires - and see if that fixes it."

The software engineer says, "let's just try driving the car again, and see if the problem goes away by itself."
http://www.donationc...97.msg78901#msg78901

mouser

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Re: Acronis charging customers for bug fixes
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2007, 08:09:23 PM »
 ;D

so true.

Grorgy

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Re: Acronis charging customers for bug fixes
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2007, 08:45:35 PM »
 :o Is that a joke??? I thought that was software engineering101  ;D

Polynom

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Re: Acronis charging customers for bug fixes
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2007, 06:47:15 AM »
I've emailed with different supports and can say all of them are similar. Some of them haven't even replied to my emails, can't say the same thing about Acronis. Used ATI since 9 version and have found less issues than in others backup apps. So, we should understand that our wishes about ideal software and support are only wishes, lets be more patient. Acronis products have a lot of useful feautures and its support is quite polite.

mwang

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Re: Acronis charging customers for bug fixes
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2007, 02:20:34 PM »
Not sure I follow you, Polynom. I'm not asking for anything ideal, just something decent. On support, Acronis is in the bottom tier among those I've seen. Yes, they're polite; I said as much myself. But frankly I have seen few, if any, impolite tech support. Politeness means very little if you don't answer questions. Contacting Acronis tech support reminds me of some customer support phone calls when I was in the U.S.--your call is very important to us, blah, blah, blah... Very polite alright, but never got you anywhere.

Feature wise, it does look impressive. I wanted something Vista compatible that could do both disk imaging and file backup, and ATI 10 seemed to fit the bill. But now it's doing neither for me. I left EMC (Dantz) Retrospect for reasons, but I have to say Acronis is worse on both feature and support.

I criticized software before, but never a software author or company. This is a first for me. Acronis just got me mad.

tinjaw

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Re: Acronis charging customers for bug fixes
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2007, 02:33:17 PM »
Unfortunately most of my email conversations with technical/customer support go something like this:

Me: I am having problems with X. Specifically, I am getting error number N when I do Y.

Their reply: Thank you for contacting us. We love you. It is currently raining outside in Peru. Please reinstall.

Me: Does it ever rain inside in Peru? And what does that have to do with the price of tea in China?