Recently I had the unfortunate experiencing of almost losing a hard drive on my computer, which means a lot of important data. Luckily for me it ended up being a memory chip that was bad, however it could have been a lot less fortunate. I know lots of you are saying I should have everything backed up, and I usually do. But if you’ve ever done a restore, you always find out that you missed something or other, usually something very important.
In any case, it made me think about some recent purchases I had made from Symantec (Norton Anti-virus) and ACDSee. Both of these companies offered something called an Extended Download Service for which they charge. Before I go on, please note that I’ve purchased these software applications therefore I find them useful and beneficial. However that being said,I think the Extended Download Service is a really good way to annoy and lose your customers!
A company that offers an Extended Download Service generally allows you to download the software you purchase for a limited number of days, usually 30-60 days. After that, it’s up to you to keep a backup copy should something happen to your computer.If it crashes, if gets infected with a virus, if an act of god destroys your computer (such as Hurricane Katrina)then you will be charged a fee to re-download it if its past the initial 30-60 days, a fee for a product that is currently available online free for new purchases. It’s the exact same download, there is no large additional cost to re-download it.
I promise you to the very best of my abilities that LandlordMax Property Management Software will NOT charge a fee for re-downloading software which you already own. It just doesn’t make sense.When your customers are their worst hour, their time of crisis, when they need you the most, you charge them for help! What a really good way to annoy them. When I’m at my most frustrated, these companies create an obstacle for me to use their software product. I just don’t get…
I can understand not providing a link to obsolete software. However if your license is up to date for the current version of the software, why shouldn’t you be able to re-download it? For example we’ve had many customers here at LandlordMax who were affected by Hurricane Katrina. One particular customer we were in contact with had lost home and had their business destroyed. With this they lost their computer, their data, and pretty much everything else. It wasn’t a very pretty picture. Should we charge these people an additional fee and make a handsome profit at their worse hour when they need us most? What if it’s not a catastrophic event, but rather their computer hardware crashed hard and they lost all their data? I’d rather be known and remembered as exceeding expectations during their time of crisis then as increasing their pain and be associated as part of their bigger more painful problem.
Be part of the solution, not the problem!