1Password. 1Man’s opinion

Posted: September 11, 2011 in apps, Mac OSX, software
Tags: , , , , ,

This is one of those rants that needed to be said, at least as far as I’m concerned, so bear with me it should be a short but bumpy ride.
1Password:  it is a program for storing, as you may have guessed, passwords. I use the program on my Mac and also on my iPhone to keep track of all those pesky passwords and logins that I’d be lost without.  The two sync really well so it’s a very convenient and easy way to keep the list updated and complete.

I have no problem with the way it works, in fact I love the program, my problem is with the way they are handling the transition for it to be available in the Mac App Store, and in doing so screwing over some of their existing customers.

What looks like a price drop is only really a price drop if you don’t already have a current version of the program.  For instance, I purchased 1Password right after installing Mac OS X Lion and realizing my old faithful password storage app, PasswordMaster, no longer worked.  I have no problem with the fact PasswordMaster stopped working, it was a great app for what it did and the $10 it cost me many many years ago was well spent.

As for 1Password, I purchased it from them online directly, and its had a couple of minor updates since then.  The new version however is only available as a purchase from the Mac App Store, at a discounted cost that they purport as being a great price for new users and a great way for current users to get the next version free.  Umm, yeah, that fuzzy logic and math is not working for me.

Aside from the fact that an insurance company built an entire advertising campaign on the premise you don’t screw over existing customers to get new ones, which is pretty much what is happening here, there is the fundamental truth that to stay current you have to pay again for the same program with the latest changes.

So for anyone who has an older copy that they hadn’t updated or not one at all, then to have the current version PLUS the upgrade to version 4 when it is release will cost you $19.99.  The same price for those of us that have already paid full price for the last version.  Where’s our break?

A friend on Twitter ( btw, I love the way you can get instant comments and have real-time conversations on Twitter even if you don’t always see things eye to eye) made a comment about voting with your wallet” which really isn’t an option because they already have my money (did I mention I paid full price for the program from their online web store?), and also, one person not upgrading is not going to be noticed.  Besides, this isn’t really about the money, sure that’s part of it, but it’s also the principal of the thing.  When you buy a piece of software it with the understanding that it will remain current for a reasonable length of time.  45 days is not a reasonable amount of time in my opinion.

It all comes down to treating new customers better than the way they treat existing customers and that’s just not right.  The way to do this properly would be to provide the update to 3.9 on the web so we all have the same version or baring that, provide a refund for current web customers of the $19.99 that it costs us to buy the program in the Mac App Store.  Even a partial refund would have went down easier than this bitter little pill.

Hopefully the people over at AgileBits will rethink their pricing and upgrade policy to make it fair for people who already shelled out their hard-earned cash.  Neglecting old customers – whether they are 45 days, or a year, isn’t right and its the kind of thing that will make some people thick twice about staying with the software regardless of how well it works.


p.s. – After a little back and forth via email with a representative for the developer, Agilebits, I was given a refund of my initial purchase, which is more than fair as far as i’m concerned.  I would have been pleased with just a refund of the $19.99 that the new version would cost me.  (it was precisely 1 minute after being made aware of the refund that I hit the App Store and bought the new version)

As for others, I suggested to the developer that they should consider some kind of pro-rated portion of the $19.99 upgrade cost refund for recent customers that are beyond the 30 day guarantee they offer.  Not sure how that will go over, but it goes to show they are listening and responding to customers and I would advise anyone to contact them and discuss your scenario on a individual basis.  It can’t hurt to ask.



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