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Author Topic: GoodSync free from RoboForm today (not)  (Read 10419 times)
Carol Haynes
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« on: November 25, 2007, 11:02:14 AM »

Earlier today  I updated my copy of RoboForm. As usual when the installer finished it opened a webpage. On that web page was the following message:

Quote

Exclusively for RoboForm Users - Limited Time Only

If You Like RoboForm... You'll LOVE GoodSync!

Get GoodSync FREE Today!
Fast and Easy File Synchronization & Backup Solution!

I thought OOOO - I always wanted to give that a try so I downloaded it and installed it. I tried to activate the product (since the Help > About page said it was a trial version) but it would not activate (the only code I had was for RoboForm so I assumed that would be the one as it was a special offer for RoboForm users - right). No joy so I just contacted their customer support. Here is there response:

Quote
GoodSync Free is really free, but after 30-days of use it has some
 limitations. You can use it for free after 30-days as well. But if you want
 to get rid of limitations, please purchase the license and activate
 it.

Please see the differences between Free and Pro here:
 http://www.goodsync.com/freevpro.html

« Last Edit: November 25, 2007, 11:57:15 AM by Carol Haynes » Logged

mouser
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« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2007, 11:50:15 AM »

That is definitely messed up.  Bad show  thumb down
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Darwin
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« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2007, 12:23:15 PM »

Thanks for letting us know about this,  Carol  Thmbsup I've seen that splash screen two or three times during recent updates - I hadn't bothered downloading the "freebie" because I have so many other sync solutions. Had I done so, I would have been P.O.'d  as well!  thumb down

This is an increasingly prevalent marketing technique (I think it's more accurate to call it a scam) and is certainly not unique to Roboform. I think that Roboform's marketing department would do well to stop it at once because it is false advertising and P-I-S-S-E-S their existing user base off.
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Darwin
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« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2007, 12:24:47 PM »

PS wonder if this is a good candidate for removal to the Company Complaints board?
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« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2007, 04:19:46 PM »

Hey Carol and others,

I see this as a growing trend. It seems like every day, certainly every week, I see things presented with "free" something that turns out to be not free at all. Clearly the intent of these ads is to deceive the users. Hence, I see it as a pretty negative trend for the internet. The worst part of all of this is that more and more the good, big, respected companies are doing it as well as the scammers. I wonder what this says about the former!

Ken
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« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2007, 04:33:55 PM »

 mad I'm angry about it as well. I went through the same thing back in October.

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Ralf Maximus
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« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2007, 04:55:52 PM »

Something to keep in mind... if the company is based in the United States, and if it can be demonstrated that enough consumers have been suckered into thinking they're getting something for free when they're not, that's classified as deceptive advertising.  Something the Federal Trade Commission has an interest in.

They won't send vehicles with sirens or anything, but they do log complaints.  If enough complaints register, they'll investigate.  They are terribly gung-ho about internet crime right now (id theft, scams, interstate ecommerce theft) so nothing is too small for them, and who knows?  If enough complaints roll in for a given company a nice letter from the FTC might be all it takes to stop the behavior.

https://rn.ftc.gov/pls/dod/wsolcq$.startup
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2007, 05:59:05 PM »

They are based at:

Siber Systems
11781 Lee Jackson Hwy
Suite 260
Fairfax, VA 22033
US

I suppose they would argue that they are not breaking any rules because they are giving away a working (if limited) version for free - so users are getting something for nothing. What is annoying is that they are targeting current loyal customers with something that seems to be a loyalty bonus or free gift when in fact it is a freely available to anyone trial/crippleware version.

Personally I think they are just stupid - it has pissed me off. In the past i have sung the praises of RoboForm but no more - how many others are going to feel the same way? Word of mouth is everything with internet marketing.
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« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2007, 05:55:35 AM »

I agree this is deceptive marketing, but to stop liking a product based on the company's actions, to me, is ludicrous if the application that you have been loyal to continues to work. Yes, this is the wrong way to advertise. Will I stop using roboform because of it? No, because nothing else even comes close to what it does.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2007, 06:00:36 AM »

That's not what I said - I will continue using RoboForm but I won't promote the company to other users any more.
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« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2007, 06:22:09 AM »

Again, I fail to see why this is that big of a deal. They technically arent lying. Yes, as I said, it is deceptive, but they are not lying. Its like roboform saying that roboform is free if you use less than 10 passcards or like winamp saying that its product is free as long as you dont use cd burning or ripping at anything faster than 1x.
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« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2007, 06:33:38 AM »

BTW, here is what I received when I just updated:

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« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2007, 11:27:22 AM »

That's a new one!  I've been seeing the GoodSync crap for a few months now, after each update to RoboForm.  Optimize is a product - and not a very good one at that - that has been pushed by PC Pitstop for a few years now.  I believe it is actually their product, or perhaps they are just the best known affiliate seller if it.  The Optimize product page at PC Pitstop is here:  http://www.pcpitstop.com/store/optimize.asp  I am a PC Pitstop forum member- I used to frequent it a bit more back when it was a little more helpful, but traffic has dried up there in the last year or two.

Take a quick look at the forum for Optimize:  http://forums.pcpitstop.com/index.php?showforum=29   It is full of complaints. I know that many support forums often receive posts only from users who are having problems, but Optimize's forum literally never has any complimentary posts.  It is (IMO) one of those scam applications that offers a free download for you to scan your PC and locate all the so-called problem areas that can cause it to run slow.  It will scan, but then it inevitably finds a lot of "problems" that it will solve ONLY if you purchase a full license. That's not even a trial version in my book; that's just an out-and-out scam!  Optimize also installs a program named Reminder.exe that is ostensibly for scheduling regular scans by Optimize. But many users post about difficulties uninstalling Reminder.exe in particular, and also Optimize itself is apparently difficult for many to remove.

These programs act like some sort of malware - or at the very least, like the rogue anti-spyware apps that always insist that they are finding all kinds of garbage that all other A-S apps are missing. Many times they actually install the malware themselves. I'm not saying that Optimize does that, for I have no evidence of such. But it certainly does act like those apps that do.

What makes this extremely frustrating is the fact that PC Pitstop has always been a stalwart in the battle against malware.  They have a full series of PC diagnostic/performance tests at their site that are actually pretty decent. And they still host a Hijack This (HJT) forum with dedicated moderators who do nothing other than help folks with infected PCs get them cleaned up.  It is truly sad to see a site that historically has been very helpful in the fight against malware stoop to selling this garbage!!

Jim
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« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2007, 11:30:15 AM »

Yes, as I said, it is deceptive, but they are not lying.

Syntax error.  Overflow.  Buffer overrun.  Black is now white, and gravity has reversed.

:-)

Deception != Lying?  Is that really what you meant to say?
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Josh
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« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2007, 03:10:59 PM »

You can be deceptive without outright lying. Yes. That is what I meant. If they are affiliated with these products or have an affiliates program with them, then fine, let them advertise their products. No one forces you to install them. Deceptive ads? Yes. Do they lie? no. Is this a reason to lose trust in a company? Not in my eyes. If this were the case, I wouldnt trust ANY download site due to the many affiliations they make.
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« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2007, 03:21:17 PM »

Looking at that screenshot (which could use some cropping) I don't see anything deceptive about it.

All it says is "You've just updated hooray! Oh, and maybe you'd like to scan your computer for free."

EDIT: Just noticed that the screen shot advertises Optimize, not GoodSync, so the ad for the original complaint may have had different, deceptive wording. Oopsies on my part.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2007, 03:24:03 PM by Deozaan » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2007, 03:28:55 PM »

Deo,

Here is the screenie I attached to the support ticket I pasted above.

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« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2007, 03:40:39 PM »

Yup. That's the one I saw for a few months, Jim. Definitely false advertising. As I recall, if you click on the link you are then informed that you are actually downloading a 30 day trial that will qualify you for upgrade pricing... Deceptive yes, lying, hard to say. I still trust Roboform the product but have reservations about the company now. I REALLY object to this sort of bait and switch tactic  thumb down

<sigh> At least with the Optimize offer they appear to have made the wording slightly less deceptive.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2007, 03:55:39 PM »

Actually when I say that page I clicked the link and it didn't say it was a trail version it just downloaded the setup file without comment. It was only when I looked at Help > About that I saw it was trial status.

I complained about the misleading advertising and their response was that "GoodSync Free" is free, just limited.

I do think it is disingenuous to use the word 'free' as part of a product name just so that you can produce deceptive advertising. when I pointed that out I got no further response, they just closed my support request.

I still haven't worked out how this is supposed to be in any way a time limited special offer to existing RoboForm customers. The trial version is available all the time to anybody to download and it reverts to the 'free' crippled mode after the trial period.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2007, 03:57:32 PM by Carol Haynes » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2007, 04:01:44 PM »

You can be deceptive without outright lying. Yes. That is what I meant.

I find the distinction difficult to parse. 

It's like me hanging a sign out front saying "FREE BEER" and when you ask for one, I bring it to you.  Then, cold beer in hand, I tell you only the first sip is free, but the rest of the glass will cost $10.00.  Wouldn't you feel deceived?  Lied to?

In the case of these software vendors, it's not an honest mistake.  They KNOW what "free" means and clearly they're engineering things to deceive people into believing they're getting free beer.  Er, software.  That's lying, isn't it?

We've all gotten wise to the scam and our cynicism filters out the millions of "free" offers we encounter every day.  But the fact that some very savvy folks here were caught by surprise tells me the game's ramping up.  The levels of deception are getting deeper.

In my mind drawing a distinction between "lying" and "deceit" simply makes things worse. I don't care what *kind* of lie it is, or that everyone's doing it... it's still wrong.  Debating the quality or magintude of the lie dilutes the underlying principle.

And yes, I understand I don't have to click on the link and nobody's focing me to install anything.  But representing it as one thing up front then springing the "fine print" on me after the deed is done, that's not only wrong... that's stupid.  Because companies that engage in (or condone, or sponsor) that kind of behavior damage their credibility.

[pant, pant, pant]

Okay, I'm off to find a beer.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #20 on: November 26, 2007, 04:06:01 PM »

Okay, I'm off to find a beer.

That'll be $10 please (oh and by the way it is only a license to use the beer - I may want it back if I can think of a reason).
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« Reply #21 on: November 26, 2007, 04:19:43 PM »

You can be deceptive without outright lying. Yes. That is what I meant. If they are affiliated with these products or have an affiliates program with them, then fine, let them advertise their products. No one forces you to install them. Deceptive ads? Yes. Do they lie? no. Is this a reason to lose trust in a company? Not in my eyes. If this were the case, I wouldnt trust ANY download site due to the many affiliations they make.

To deceive IS to tell a lie...  Can't get much clearer than that.  Now, are there varying degrees of lies/deceptions?  Certainly, and you can make them as subjective as you wish.  Of course you can insist that there IS a Santa Claus too, if you wish.  But the verbs "to deceive" and "to lie" are considered to be synonymous, at least in US English. Look at any dictionary or thesaurus.

Have a beer on me while you're at it, Ralf!

Jim
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« Reply #22 on: November 26, 2007, 05:26:55 PM »

Okay, I'm off to find a beer.

That'll be $10 please (oh and by the way it is only a license to use the beer - I may want it back if I can think of a reason).

They do say that you never buy beer - you just rent it (and not for very long at that...)!
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Darwin
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« Reply #23 on: December 04, 2007, 10:38:42 PM »

I just updated my RoboformPass2Go installations and both redirected me to the GoodSync come on... so it's still "in the wild".
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« Reply #24 on: December 08, 2007, 08:15:30 AM »

I fell for GoodSync - free version sync's up to 100 files...You gotta be kidding!  Grin
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