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Last post Author Topic: Software license upgrade experiences: pricing, support & the stuff that matters  (Read 11601 times)

vegas

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Programs that I have bought in the past & am dissatisfied with their upgrade policies include (in order of displeasure):

Quick To-Do Pro (updates? what are those? I got nothing more than the product I purchased, yearly license, but there is no such thing as a real update, just fix once a year! which I would have to pay for, crazy!)

WinOrganizer (used to have a solid policy, with lifetime updates, but they yanked that from their website about 2 years ago and charge a crazy amount of cash for their program now) (1 year of updates, then a ridiculous upgrade fee) (considering the lack of useful feature updates in the last 2 years, with nothing in sight down the road & the fact they removed all forum support from their website due to people actually requesting new features and voicing their displeasures with pricing, etc.. LAME) (tech/purchasing support told me numerous times there was no acknowledgement to a previous lifetime updates guaruntee which was clearly posted on their website when I first purchased the program at version 1.30 and up to a year after that, after a couple extra emails someone finally chimed in and sent me a 3.0 license, because i kept sending my displeasure to every email address I could find on their website and from any past correspondence)

Trillian Pro (what a joke! these guys have gone from offering a full-out freeware solution to just being greedy whores, with a serious lack of development, plus they consistently time their updates to come after the 1-year period of the previous major release, so you must upgade to a new version! I think people are finally starting to catch on though)

FirstStop Websearch (these guys are a bunch of schmucks too, no updates, except for a fix here & there and they want you to upgrade to get that - I say, crapola!)

Calendarscope (a great program, but you really don't get anything more than you pay for at the moment, very slow to update) (1 year of updates, then a charge)

Actual Window Manager (you get updates & support for 3 months or to the next full version whichever comes last)

VTuner (Nice program but a ripoff for me, now it's a one time fee, way back 5 years ago when I bought it, it wasn't and last time I checked I couldn't get an upgrade from my old version for free)

Auction Sentry/Auction Sentry Deluxe (Normally for how useful this tool is for sniping auctions I would say no problem with a small yearly fee, but first off it's not small and second the majority of updates are for fixes to changes eBay has made in their system, not additional features)

Semi-Satisfied:

Bookmark Buddy (there is no set upgrade path, you basically get a couple fair update cycles before you need an upgrade fee, problem is 6 months go by before anything ever happens, major disappointment as this program could really be something special)

Newsleecher (the p0rn king! yearly upgrade fee. I can't complain too much as they are generous with extending licenses if serious bugs pop up in the program or their supersearch function is down)

Quite Content (LIFETIME UPDATES FOR FREE!) (in order or happiness):

Ad Muncher (Bless these guys)
AI Roboform (cannot complain, lifetime updates)
Website-Watcher (duh!)
TrueLaunchBar (ohh so handy & a nice christmas sale for a multi-license got me hooked)
Zoom Player WMV Pro (cream of the crop for features, customization, support and stability)
DVD Profiler (they really keep this program updated well for a one-time fee, hats off to these gentlemen&women and it's not that bad if you use the free ad supported version)
Total Recorder (no complaints here)
Audio Sliders (never much for updates - but hey, it is what it is and doesn't need them)
Tag & Rename (maybe not the most powerful, but easily the most userfriendly for a newb to managing tags & filenames for media, never an issue)
FTP Rush (you get what you pay for, be connected to multiple ftp sites at once with a tabbed interface, development has slowed, but when it does come it is free for life with an admission charge)
Netcaptor (Although I never use it anymore with Maxthon around, they have always put forth a good product with support, even though it seems dead ATM)

Vaporware (within 1 year of purchasing):

Doc Commander (never was fully stable anyways, stupid purchase on my part)
Folder Express (poop on this developer, seriously, please do!)
InfoKeep (product sold to another company & no longer supported in it's former form)
WebFerrretPRO (yeah right! an upgrade - whats that?)
AllToTray (poof! gone! & it ain't ever comin' back)
AcqURL (development crawled to a halt and is stuck exactly there, can ya say dead? well I can)
Trashsoft Mp3Explorer (gone a long, long, long time ago, to a galazy far, far away)

Another thing I really dislike is that I have noticed a fair amount of programs that hide their upgrade system from being clearly stated on the website. (ie. Actual Window Manager)

Well, thats all I am capable of thinking at the moment, please everyone list your experiences too...

mouser

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nice post - i like this idea.

this site is committed to supporting good developers, be they open source, freeware, shareware, or commercial.
but it is also here so users can share experiences about developers who have not treated them well.
carolh should add her bad program experience as well.

Innuendo

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vegas,
I'll post my list of software later (if I remember!), but I wanted to make a couple suggestions to you based on your comments in your list.

First off, forget Trillian (Pro). Make the move to Miranda. It does everything the Pro version of Trillian does plus much, much more and is totally free. Frequent updates & it's even open source. It's a wonderful program that is nice & compact unlike the bloat that Trillian has become.

Newsleecher is poo. Flying monkey poo. Program updates are more for updating the intrusive Armadillo copy protection than adding features or fixing bugs. He seems to jump major version numbers for no reason than to try to catch up and surpass his biggest competitor. This handily brings me to what you should replace Newsleecher with....Newsbin Pro! One time price with updates for life....frequent updates as well. The authors are ever-present on the forum & don't disappear for weeks like Newsleecher's author does. Newsbin doesn't phone home every time you launch it, either.

Newsleecher has a prettier interface, but spend a week with both programs and you will get the feeling that Newsbin is a downloading engine first with a user interface tacked on as an after-thought while Newsleecher will give you the feeling that it is a user interface first with a downloading engine tacked on as an after-thought.

I won't even go into the whole fiasco a while back where thousands of Newsleecher users couldn't use the program because everybody's subscription prematurely expired due to the Newsleecher web site going down. Majorly uncool.

Darwin

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At the moment I am cheesed off with Diskeeper Corp. over their handling of the upgrade to v.10 of their Diskeeper defragmentation software. I received an e-mail advising me that an upgrade was available at the beginning of December, read over the listed improvements, have been very pleased with the three versions I have purhcased so far, and downloaded the trial of the new version. I bought it later that week, being very impressed with the increased speed of both analysis and defragmentation of drives, the much improved GUI and with the improved performance of the "smart schedule" defragmentation (and the associated options).  However, one of the main reasons I was so quick to buy the upgrade is a new feature called iFAAST:

"Intelligent File Access Acceleration Sequencing Technology (I-FAAST) improves  file access and creation by up to 80% (average 10%-20%). Using specially-engineered benchmarks Diskeeper learns disk performance characteristics, and then transparently monitors volumes over time for file access frequency applying proprietary techniques to prevent Diskeeper from being "fooled" by files that have been recently accessed. During special I-FAAST defragmentation jobs, Diskeeper organizes the most commonly used files and applications to increase file access performance. Like other intelligent technologies featured in Diskeeper 10, I-FAAST can automatically adapt to changing usage patterns—so there's no need to reconfigure if the system is transferred to another user. "

Fast forward two weeks and I'm suddenly being offered the opportunity to upgrade from v.10 of Diskeeper Professional to a new version of Diskeeper Professional: Diskeeper Professional Premium, which includes iFAAST (while I am now told my version does not). The price of this "special" upgrade from v.10 Pro to v.10 Pro Premium is the same as the full price of the latest version of Diskeeper Pro, and I've already paid 60% of that to get to v.10. Two things REALLY P*SS me off about this. First, absolutely NOWHERE in any of the advertising e-mails for the upgrade that I received prior to upgrading nor during the purchase process was it indicated that iFAAST was available only in special ("premium") versions of the software. Second, and really much more aggravatingly, my e-mails to general support and to sales about this have been completely ignored by Diskeeper Corp.. I even responded to one of their sales reps who wrote after my initial upgrade to enquire as to my experience with v.10 thus far! One of the points I made was that the upgrade to v.10 Professional alone was about what the cross upgrade to PerfectDisk 7 costs, which includes similar technology to iFAAST, and that requiring me to spend DOUBLE that again to get the same functionality from Diskeeper was excessive. Anyway, faced with their continued silence, I am now in the PerfectDisk camp. I purchased the cross-upgrade and am generally very pleased with v.7. I miss the robusicity of Diskeeper's scheduling and its overall configurability but my computer's performance doesn't seem to be suffering from the switch and even *seems* to be staying less fragmented for longer...

Anyway, that's my rant. I'm considering my next move. I'd just demand a refund from Diskeeper but I've two other machines and have installed the license from my notebook on one of them, replacing Win2k's native defragmenter. Besides, it's not like Diskeeper Professional 10 isn't a great product on its own... I'm just wondering if I should keep after them for a response but am not sure I can be bothered. Pretty disgusted by the cynicism of the company though: they flood my mailbox with spam about their other products and have even contacted me for my opinions about/experiences with Diskeeper 10 but refuse to answer three e-mails asking for clarification of their upgrade policy to Professional Premium (e.g. was the upgrade offer I received based on my ownership of Diskeeper Professional 9 or 10?), even in the face of losing a user/customer.

OK time for my meds and bed. If anyone's read this far, thanks for bearing with me and sorry for the long winded post.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Carol Haynes

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BAD Experiences
Hardware Monitor http://hmonitor.com/
Doesn't even let you use the version of the software you bought!

Passler Site Inspector http://www.paessler.com/psi (and presumably their other software)
Need to purchase an annual service plan to get updates - otherwise buy at full price.
Poorly maintained (until large numbers complained)


[I'll add to this as i think about it]
[Sorry originally posted this in the wrong thread - don't know why!]

patteo

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First, absolutely NOWHERE in any of the advertising e-mails for the upgrade that I received prior to upgrading nor during the purchase process was it indicated that iFAAST was available only in special ("premium") versions of the software.

.....

Anyway, that's my rant. I'm considering my next move. I'd just demand a refund from Diskeeper


You may want to click feature comparison chart
http://www.diskeeper...rofessional.asp?pe=6

It is clearly stated here that iFAAST is included in Diskeeper Professional (Not just the Premier version)

Also note their 30 day Purchase Guarantee on
http://purchase.disk...p;Aeid=0&Apid=0#

You need to click the link to see the Guarantee which I extracted below:

Diskeeper Corporation stands behind its products 100%. We are so confident that our products will improve computer speed and reliability at your home or business that we fully guarantee your purchase for 30 days. If you are not completely satisfied with your software purchase, simply contact customer service within 30 days of your purchase date for a full refund of the software purchase price.

Darwin

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Hi Patteo,

Thanks for the response, and thanks for the link to the comparison chart! That adds fuel to my fire and ammo to my argument. If only I can get them to respond...

I purchased the upgrade on Dec. 6 so doubt I'll have *as* easy a time with the refund. However, I'll point them to my unheeded e-mails.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Darwin

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Well, it's been 12 hours since I e-mailed three departments at Diskeeper reiterating my concerns outlined above and pointing out the inconsistency of their own comparison chart clearly showing Diskeeper Professional as featuring their "new, breakthrough iFAAST technology (thanks Patteo!)" and NOTHING. Not even acknowledgement of receipt of my e-mail. As I am in the same timezone as the company this is absolutely unacceptable and I've written advising them that I have purchased the cross-upgrade to PerfectDisk 7, that I expect a refund to be issued on request and that I will NOT be recommending Diskeeper to anyone. They must really be confident that pissing off end users like me won't affect their sales in the long run...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: January 10, 2006, 12:15:55 PM by Darwin »

Darwin

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UPDATE: Interesting, mute silence from Diskeeper but they have changed their comparison chart. I am really going to go to town on them on every forum that I can think of if they don't give me some sort of satisfaction.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

mouser

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wow - they actually changed the comparison chart so rapidly!?
that is quite interesting.. and yet they couldnt be bothered to send you a reply?

Darwin

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Yup, I followed the link provided by Patteo yesterday and there is was: a big yes next to iFAAST for BOTH Diskeeper Professional and Diskeeper Professional Premier. I confirmed it again last night around 6:00 pm PST and it was still there. This morning the "yes" has been replaced by a "no"... I e-mailed "calling" them on this about an hour and a half ago: no reply. Maybe I have an inflated sense of "self" but at this point I would have thought a personal phone call to me would be in order... However, again, they seem very confident that losing me as a customer, and disgruntling me in the process, won't negatively impact their business. I'll give them until this evening then I'm asking for a refund. If they give me any grief about that, I'll have to take this to the next level (what's the next level? I'm not sure - I was hoping someone here had some advice about that ;)!)
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

mouser

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my experience is that software businesses can be a little slow.. you might want to give them a little bit more time to "process" your request/complaint before you go medieval on them.

Darwin

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Medieval... ha ha! I like that . Actually, I don't do medieval very well. Indignant, belligerent, obtuse,  certainly but I tend to give up before an issue advances beyond that :)
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Darwin

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Oh, and yes, I appreciate the need to give them some more time. It's frustrating, though... ("patience? yeah, yeah, how long will that take?")
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Darwin

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Well... I have now received a response and a "letter of destruction". The thrust of the response is that the upgrade pricing for Professional v.x to Professional v.y has been constant for 8 years, that iFAAST is part of a brand new product so that the price I was quoted is a discount price on a new product and not an upgrade price, it is based on my current ownership of v.10, and I was directed back to the (amended) comparison chart showing that iFAAST is NOT included in the Professional version of Diskeeper. Nice dodge on the entire issue of representation, I thought.

Anyway, while I've responded and restated my case, I guess the ball's in my court.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: January 10, 2006, 05:54:30 PM by Darwin »

wr975

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Quote
Newsleecher is poo. Flying monkey poo.

It's nice to read such unbiased software recommendation. :down:

Newsleecher is the most popular Usenet client around these days. Users love it. Competition hates it. Thanks for confirming.

mouser

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there is some great competition in the newsreader clients - it's something id really like to organize a comprehensive review on.. but finding someone objective and knowledgeable enough to do one.. that's a nother matter.

wr975

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I think it'll be difficult to write a review about newsclients. Someone would need to use every available client for a longer time to know all its strengths and shortcomings. And then of course be unbiased.  :-\

Being objective I'd say, the most powerful client is Usenet Explorer... But the GUI needs major work. I really tried, but I can't work with it. 

m_s

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My favorite company at the moment is Ritlabs, who recently released The Bat! Voyager, and have made it a free download for all The Bat! Pro owners... (http://www.ritlabs.c...en/products/voyager/) It's so great having my favorite email program in my pocket!

And least favorite: Stardock, who released WindowBlinds 5 three months after I bought 4.6, and want me to pay $15 to upgrade.  Grrr.

dtrud0h

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Darwin,
  You might want to download a cached copy of the comparison chart from google, or somewhere and shove it back in their face, prefferably one from the day you made your purchase.
<- I have nothing witty to put here ->

Darwin

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Crud! Mon dieu! I didn't think of that AND I've cleared my cache :( However, Recover My Files to the rescue (I hope).

Thanks for the suggestion. So simple I can't believe I didn't think of it (before clearing the cache...)!
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Darwin

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Well, I'm not recovering anything older than today...  because, as I've just remembered, I ran CleanCache 3.2 yesterday with secure wipe enabled :) C'est la vie. Unless, of course, patteo has a cached copy he'd be willing to e-mail to me? It's an html file entitled: dk10comparison.htm. On my machine it is in the ZBZU39QY folder under C:\Documents and User Settings\username\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\ConentIE.5. It's a long shot, but to paraphrase Richie Brockelman "what the hey?".
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

mouser

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the way back machine:
http://www.archive.org/web/web.php


Quote
Browse through 40 billion web pages archived from 1996 to a few months ago. To start surfing the Wayback, type in the web address of a site or page where you would like to start, and press enter. Then select from the archived dates available. The resulting pages point to other archived pages at as close a date as possible. Keyword searching is not currently supported.

Rover

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the way back machine:
http://www.archive.org/web/web.php

Don't bother, diskeeper.com is blocked via robots.txt.  Nothing since EARLY 2005.

Keep after them darwin, they should realize that they advertised it to you incorrectly and make good just to shut you up. :)

Insert Brilliant Sig line here

patteo

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....Unless, of course, patteo has a cached copy he'd be willing to e-mail to me? It's an html file entitled: dk10comparison.htm.

Tough luck Darwin, I looked real hard and couldn't find it as I don't maintain much history.
In any case, they made a mistake and they should own up.