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#1 bcrooker

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 02:53 AM

I just upgraded from 1.0.982 to 1.0.983 and I am getting a warning that my license has expired. Why is this popping up now and not for prior upgrades? I thought the license I purchased would be good for all 1.x upgrades? We had purchased a 5 user pack for my company.

Regards,

Britain Crooker

#2 MikeN

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 01:54 PM

Yes, I was wondering about this as well.

I thought I was licensed to use SmartFTP v1 and the maintance was optional anyway. :?

So now that I've just installed SmartFTP v1 Build 983 over Build 982, am I licensed or not? :?

If not, I've got to go an grovel to the boss and ask for some money.

#3 mb

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 10:40 PM

Hello ...

I wrote some kb articles which hopefully answers your questions. If not I will clarify them here.

Maintenance Expiration
http://www.smartftp..../index.php/2543

Maintenance Plan
http://www.smartftp..../index.php/2541

Maintenance Expiration Notice
http://www.smartftp..../index.php/2544

#4 mb

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Posted 10 November 2004 - 10:55 PM

Starting from the latest bulid v1.0 983, we are checking for the maintenance expiration. All builds before this one didn't check for it. Thus we released free updates for more than 1.5 years now.
When installing the new update the setup checks for the maintenance expiration and displays a maintenance expiration dialog before the installation continues.

We are actively working on SmartFTP and we think it's fair to sell maintenance plans and to check for their expiration as well. In addition to the upgrade protection, the maintenance plan also includes premium support. Maintenance plans bundled with the license key are available for 25% of the base license price. For a single user license this would be 7.5 USD / year if you buy it in advance or during your maitenance period. 15 USD if you want to renew after your maintenance plan is expired.

-Mat
SmartFTP.com

#5 bcrooker

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Posted 11 November 2004 - 01:18 AM

We are actively working on SmartFTP and we think it's fair to sell maintenance plans and to check for their expiration as well. In addition to the upgrade protection, the maintenance plan also includes premium support. Maintenance plans bundled with the license key are available for 25% of the base license price. For a single user license this would be 7.5 USD / year if you buy it in advance or during your maitenance period. 15 USD if you want to renew after your maintenance plan is expired.

-Mat
SmartFTP.com


Some advance notice on this would have been helpful. Like I said, I thought that v1.0.x updates were included in the original purchase, and the impression was certainly helped by the string of updates that didn't counter this. If I had known about the in-maintenenace vs. out-of-maintenance pricing that would have been helpfull. Since we bought 5 copies initially, it would have been only $6.73 for renewal, whereas the web site is telling me that I would owe $13.45 for single-year renewal. When did my maintenance expire?

Perhaps SmartFTP could consider allowing people for some limited period of time to renew as if there were still under maintenance.

Regards,

Britain Crooker

#6 mb

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Posted 11 November 2004 - 02:41 AM

I agree on this. We will offer the 25% pricing for all customers under a maintenance plan soon.

In your case, the license key has been bought at the time where maintenance wasn't specified. For customers without a maintenance expiration in their license key the purchase date is at least 1 year in the past. We already provided free updates and free premium support for at least one year, which equals to one year of maintenance.

-Mat

#7 MikeN

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Posted 11 November 2004 - 01:24 PM

In your case, the license key has been bought at the time where maintenance wasn't specified. For customers without a maintenance expiration in their license key the purchase date is at least 1 year in the past. We already provided free updates and free premium support for at least one year, which equals to one year of maintenance.


Bingo! That explains things a bit better. Yes, I bought my key(s) many months ago when the maintenance wasn't specified, so I get "Unknown" for the Maintenance expiration and the alert message when start SmartFTP.

However, I think the confusion is caused by the fact that the About box says the key is valid and the program is licensed and it continutes to work as normal. Hence, the "Am I licensed or not?" questions.

So basically the key is valid, but the maintenance isn't "for life" (anymore) and has to be renewed every N years. Correct?

#8 ewooten

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 10:53 PM

In your case, the license key has been bought at the time where maintenance wasn't specified. For customers without a maintenance expiration in their license key the purchase date is at least 1 year in the past. We already provided free updates and free premium support for at least one year, which equals to one year of maintenance.

-Mat


Users who purchased the program before October 2003 didn't purchase nor were they ever aware of a "maintenance plan" as there was no mention of such on the website. Using the Wayback Machine http://web.archive.o...://smartftp.com to view your archived site of that time period makes that easy to verify. I was myself once a shareware author and I like to support others who provide good software like SmartFtp so I bought a license with the knowledge (from reading the site) that by registering the program I would eliminate the "beg screen" and be free to continue using the program and updates in the future. Now, after updating to the latest build, I am being hit with "beg screens" again! I am right back where I started over a year ago. I don't know whether I am licensed, black listed, a pirate, or just plain screwed.

I didn't get any warning this was going to happen. I don't see the previous version provided so I can't go backwards. It appears I either run a program I licensed and have it tell me I am illegal, switch to something else, or PAY year in and year out. Now I have no problem with a subscription deal if that is what I signed-on for to start with and knew it going in, but that is not what I did in this case. I don't feel it is right for you to "change horses" after the sale. Those of us who licensed the program under the old plan should not be looking at "beg screens". It is a fine deal for the folks who bought it after October, 2003 and knew what they were buying, but a yearly subscription program is not what I bought into. I bought a beg screen free program and supported a shareware author.

Yeah, yeah you have provided a year of support, and you can tell me how you continue to develop the program, and all that jazz. Call me cheap and ask me if I expect you to work free and so on. BUT the fact remains that you sold the license one way and now are forcing everyone, no matter what plan we were promised, to go with the new subscription deal... The RIGHT way to do it is provide beg screen free updates for those who bought before 10/01/03 and go with the subscription plan for those who bought after it started.

That's my two cents worth. Put it with my $29.95 and you got yourself almost 30 bucks... enjoy.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

You roasted this bird.

#9 venezia

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Posted 16 February 2005 - 10:18 PM

I also bought before October 2003. Like ewooten, I bought it thinking I was doing the right thing, supporting a shareware author.

I also thought I was buying the no nag deal. Period.

I agree with ewooten, no one expects anyone to work for free, but a deal is a deal, and pre October 2003 buyers have been duped.

#10 mb

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Posted 17 February 2005 - 04:23 PM

Hello ewooten ...

You would have a good point if we ever offered free updates with the purchase of a license. Not specifing the fact whether updates are free or not doesn't imply that they are free. In fact if something is not specified you would expect that it is not included. You are not buying a car and expecting them to provide life time updates - unless it's offered. The same is with software licenses. Furthermore it's not common in the software industry to offer new versions for free. Bug fixes have always been provided at no cost. Beside that we were giving away plenty of updates with new features and improvements for a long time - all for free.
Now we have all the right to change the licensing for the new versions of the software we are releasing.

Though we are taking into account that a customer already bought a license for our product and we are offering reduced prices for upgrades. For existing customers with a license key, maintenance plans are offered for 50% of the original license cost for the first year and 25% of the original license cost for the following years.

Please email us if you have any further questions which apply to your individual situation.

Regards,
-Mat

#11 ewooten

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 04:24 AM

After 3 months I get a reply...

Like I said all one has to do is go back and look at your site as it was when the license was purchased. There was no maintenance plan at all. The registration/purchase page said "Expire notice - no" and "License reminder - no".

Glad to know I wasn't the only one who assumed purchasing the program would eliminate the nag screens. Other shareware programs I own honor the original purchase deal no matter how many updates I download. I was getting expired notices form SmartFTP for something that didn't even exist when I bought it!

I used to promote this program... I switched, but check back occasionally to see if the policy was corrected.

Have a nice day. :?

#12 eyebex

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 08:07 AM

i think you're missing mb's point here, ewooten. all expiration notices / license reminders / nag screen etc. *were* in fact eliminated when you purchased a license, but *only* for the version you bought (i.e. the most recent stable version at the date of purchase). i'm not aware that it was ever stated anywhere that all future updates are for free. and that's what mb said: you implicitly expected to be future updates for free, because nothing else was said about the handling of updates. i have to admit that's also what i though in the first place. but after buying several shareware programs, i learned to explicitly ask "does purchasing a license provide me with life-time (of *my* life ;-)) free upgrades even across major versions and name changes of the software?" before buying a license. unfortunately, this became necessary as some vendors (*not* smartftp) try to trick their users by jumping to a major version, renaming their software to "pro plus extra" and charging upgrade fees. and asking this already really saved me some money in terms of upgrade fees.

#13 ewooten

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 04:11 PM

i think you're missing mb's point here" ~ "as some vendors (*not* smartftp) try to trick their users by jumping to a major version, renaming their software to "pro plus extra" and charging upgrade fees.


No, I am not missing the point. This went from a simple software license to a subscription deal. If you license this program today, I think you will be looking at a nag screen a year from now. A trick is a trick no matter what color you paint it...

At the very least, licensed users should not get nag screens. If the maintenance is optional then send us an email and encourage us to purchase it. Don't interfere with the operation of the licensed program randomly every time we start it. If the license is limited then at least warn users that the update they are about to install will be unlicensed. I never saw any notice like that and once I updated to build 983 I was screwed. I personally think users who registered before October 31, 2003 should be sent a serial number that doesn't have an expiration and those that registered after that date should not be forced to endure nag screens. Register = No nagging...ever. Register expired = warn before updating.
-----------------
These are just my observations and opinions. I suspect the authors of this program realized they needed to change the licensing model to make more money so they came up with the "maintenance" subscription deal after 10/03. Early adopters and supporters of the program who licensed it under the original deal wound up with a nasty surprise at build 983... Probably nothing illegal about this, it just isn't "cool" or being done in a very user friendly fashion.

:?

#14 ewooten

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 04:45 PM

Before I get corrected ...

It appears the latest build does warn before you update that your license doesn't cover the version. (Your subscription ran out)... Not any help to folks who got zapped on 983 though...

ew

#15 mb

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Posted 19 February 2005 - 01:00 AM

Hello ...

The version 1.0.983 already shows the maintenance expiration notice as well. If you want to test we can provide the old setups for you.

-Mat
SmartFTP.com

#16 cathode

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 08:55 PM

hey, how can I roll back? I had NO WARNING that I would be getting new nags when I installed the update. I consider this to be a pretty nasty trick on the part of smartFTP, especially since it really appears that the new "update" was purely to give me a nag and take more of my money. I like the program, but I will not look at nags on a program that I paid for. Please, someone help me roll this puppy back. thanks :)

#17 venezia

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 02:23 AM

Perhaps access to the pre 1.0.983 build would be a compromise for those who believe that the serial number they purchased should permit them to use the program without a nag screen. Developers?

#18 mb

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 02:24 AM

Sure. Please contact us at sales attt smartftp.com and we will provide the old build.

Regards,
SmartFTP.com

#19 cathode

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 03:16 AM

Update:
SmartFTP has provided me with the nag-free build. I am very grateful and will not be switching to another FTP program (I had already started the process.)

I appreciate this company making efforts to do the right thing for their paying customers.

#20 Guest_Anonymous_*

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Posted 28 June 2005 - 03:13 PM

Same issue - I purchased a license for version 1.1.984 in 2/05

Last week I had a hard drive failure - luckily I had everthing backed up. When I tried to reload version 1.1.984 from the backed up .msi file, I was hit with the maintenance expiration nag.

Support tried to provide me with an older version 1.0.982 as well as a version in German, but after installing I am still prompted for the maintenance.

Now support is telling me that I'm expecting free upgrade service - this is not true. I'm only looking for a nag free version of the product that I purchased. I didn't even get 6 months of use out of my purchased license. I am very disappointed.