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Author Topic: Stupid phrases like "Free trial!"  (Read 3988 times)
superboyac
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« on: February 26, 2010, 12:50:24 AM »

It totally rubs me the wrong way when shareware programs advertise in very loud and proud letters, "FREE TRIAL" or "FREE DOWNLOAD" or stupid crap like that.  I hate it because they act like they are offering something special.  Of course it's free!  It's a freaking trial!  Who DOESN'T offer free trials?

Then there's programs like Calendarscope, who smugly say really annoying things like:
Quote
After the first 12 months, if you would like to upgrade to a newer version, you will be able to do so after purchasing a discounted upgrade license (and you will get another year of free upgrades with the purchase). Of course, you are in no way obligated to upgrade to the new versions: you may continue using the version that you have purchased for as long as you like, if it works for you well enough, without paying any additional upgrade fees.

What?!  Is this a special privilege?  What's the alternative?  That it stops working after a year?  Is someone going to come and make me uninstall it?  What the hell is this that you have to be bragging about?  Can you imagine going into a store, buying a new TV, and the salesman says to you, "Hey Guess what??  Good news!  After a year, the warranty won't be valid, but we will let you still watch the TV and use the TV for free!  how about that?!  Yeah!"  You'd be staring at him like he was a lunatic!

I just find stuff like this so offensive.
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mitzevo
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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2010, 12:58:57 AM »

I know what you mean. A lot of it is marketing tactics, love it or hate it tongue
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tomos
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« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2010, 01:07:33 AM »

What?!  Is this a special privilege?  What's the alternative?  That it stops working after a year?  Is someone going to come and make me uninstall it?

unfortunately the answer is becoming a yes

i think there is a key distinction one needs to make in terms of what is and is not a subscription based license.  as long as the previous version still works after the period, then i think you are talking about an upgrade price not a subscription fee.  it's only when the program stops working and you have to pay to continue using the software, that you have a subscription system.
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Tom
Krishean
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« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2010, 01:16:55 AM »

well at least nobody has thought of a "you have to pay to uninstall" service yet
although some uninstallers might as well be:
a lot of antiviruses (not going to name any, but i think everyone knows which ones i mean) you have to get a special removal tool to get the darn things off your system, and improper removal will completely hose your system / network connection because they so heavily integrate themselves into your system that they might as well be a virus themselves

edit: free trial/download, with hidden text: "to remove this application from your computer you must pay a removal fee"
« Last Edit: February 26, 2010, 01:21:58 AM by Krishean » Logged

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superboyac
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« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2010, 01:26:10 AM »

This reminds me of an entirely different, yet related situation that I once experienced in basketball:
So we play pick-up basketball, and if there are more than 10 people, you have to shoot free throws, and the first 10 who make it get to play, and whoever doesn't make the free throw will obviously play the next game.  it just so happens that I miss my free throws, and I'm the one who has to wait, and I'm pissed.  So my friend (real good guy) to comfort me says really nicely to me, "Hey man, you have next game, ok?".  he's just trying to be nice, but I'm thinking, 'Well of course i have the next game!  It's not like it's something special or there was the chance that I DIDN'T have the next game."

But I was pissed, so I snapped back realy rudely, "I KNOW I have the next game!  You don't have to tell me that!  What am I?  A Fucking Moron??"

Anyway, that's exactly how I feel about all this.  I understand why they do it, but it's still annoying.  I just came across a few more "Free 14-day trial"  no shit?!
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superboyac
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« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2010, 01:27:07 AM »

edit: free trial/download, with hidden text: "to remove this application from your computer you must pay a removal fee"
If that happens you can be sure pirating will increase even more.  Similar to that film pirating picture that Zaine posted earlier.
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Darwin
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« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2010, 01:45:32 AM »

well at least nobody has thought of a "you have to pay to uninstall" service yet

Please, PLEASE don't give anyone any ideas!
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mwb1100
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« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2010, 12:08:06 PM »

well at least nobody has thought of a "you have to pay to uninstall" service yet

Please, PLEASE don't give anyone any ideas!

Isn't that essentially what a number of those bogus anti-malware sites do?

1. "Click here to check your computer for spyware...."

<click> (a bunch of malware gets installed)

2. "Hey, we've found trojan.xyz, etc. - pay us $40 to remove it"


Does this really happen, or is it an urban legend?


« Last Edit: February 26, 2010, 12:10:48 PM by mwb1100 » Logged
wraith808
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« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2010, 12:20:13 PM »

It really happens.  My wife picked up malware that did that at myspace.  I was thankfully able to get rid of it with a combination of system restore and the free version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
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edbro
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« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2010, 12:22:04 PM »

I believe it is also what Best Buy does. They sell you a machine loaded with crap then charge you to remove it all. To be fair, the manufacturers put most of the crap on there but, still...
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2010, 12:38:43 PM »

You guys think you're hard done by? That's nothing, I have a coin slot just above the power button on my PC.
Fortunately, so far, I've been able to fake it out by inserting a blank CD but still...
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Chris
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« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2010, 12:44:50 PM »

It really happens.  My wife picked up malware that did that at myspace.  I was thankfully able to get rid of it with a combination of system restore and the free version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.

... and kept the wife, I assume :-)
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wraith808
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« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2010, 01:00:53 PM »

It really happens.  My wife picked up malware that did that at myspace.  I was thankfully able to get rid of it with a combination of system restore and the free version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.

... and kept the wife, I assume :-)

Of course smiley
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mwb1100
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« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2010, 01:37:17 PM »

What?!  Is this a special privilege?  What's the alternative?  That it stops working after a year?  Is someone going to come and make me uninstall it?  What the hell is this that you have to be bragging about?

I think this is there because there's a fair bit of confusion sometimes (and maybe only for some customers) about what you're buying. Also I think you're being unfair that (at least in this particular case) they are presenting this policy smugly and boldly.  Calendarscope has that bit of information in a FAQ about the upgrade policy and it's not in any way highlighted or bolded. I for one, appreciate the vendor being crystal clear. More often than not, it's very unclear exactly what an update policy might be, so the more (clear) info, the better in my book.

I've been confused before (not about this specific type of thing, but about whether lifetime upgrades were included or not), and the standard response when someone asks is, "it says xyz in the license - are you a moron for misunderstanding language that only a lawyer could love?".  It's made worse by similar terms (update and upgrade) being used for very different things, and not necessarily being used the same way by all vendors.  For example, there's recent thread here about whether an update/upgrade from version 3.0 to 3.1 should be considered a minor (ie., free) or major update/upgrade. (http://www.donationcoder....m/index.php?topic=21877.0)

And all this is assuming that the software you're buying *will* continue to work after the 1 year time period is over.  While you're right that this is certainly by far the norm in the PC software world, there are exceptions (particularly in enterprise software).  For example, the SlickEdit company (which makes a very nice, if expensive, text editor) markets an Eclipse plug-in that's sold under that model.

Also, you'll find that some bits of software are tied to online activities that may make the software essentially useless if you don't continue to subscribe, even if you're permitted to continue using what you've got. Anti-malware might be one example, online backup might be another.  Of course, in these cases a customer might consider that they're not really buying software, but they're buying a service.  Which is legitimate, but there might not always be an entirely clear distinction.

I also have a recollection of other software becoming usable when a company went under and their servers stopped working, or that they required paid updates to continue using servers (hey, the data format changed, if you want the software to keep working you need the latest version), but I can't recall specifics.  However, I do think that some users of Evernote and Collectorz.com are concerned about that possibility.

And of course, there have been rumors in the past that Microsoft's Activation technology might be a first step toward them being able to disable old software - if not outright, then by no longer activating reinstalls. (Of course those rumors are unfounded as far as I know).

Anyway, my bottom line is that I have no problem at all with vendors being very, very clear about these things.

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Krishean
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« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2010, 01:55:56 PM »

i think the mention of best buy is in reference to this consumerist article. i came across it awhile ago. (more information by googleing 'best buy optimization scam')

also about the malware, yes i remove it from people's computers often, and you are lucky you didn't get one of the versions that hides in system restore so if you try to use it, it simply reinstalls the problem.

the popular ones at myspace/facebook/twitter are called "Koobface" - nasty stuff, look it up
i removed it from someone's computer, and they were using the UAC blackout screen to force her to break captchas for them or else the virus would shut down her computer in x amount of seconds (you can read about this specific part of it by looking up "captcha.dll")

if you want to read about a really scary microsoft technology google 'microsoft palladium', microsoft has done its best to remove all references about it from their site, but they can't remove it from other people's websites
« Last Edit: February 26, 2010, 01:57:43 PM by Krishean » Logged

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mrainey
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« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2010, 05:38:22 AM »

I looked at the Calendarscope website and found a friendly, attractive place selling relatively inexpensive software.  And, they didn't feel the need to get anybody all excited by featuring a picture of an imaginary box.   Thmbsup
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