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Be Careful Where You Buy Your Software


Every once in a while we get someone contacting us asking why they haven’t received their license. In most cases it’s because the spam filters have somehow blocked the email or have sent it in the spam folder and they just missed it. In either of these cases it’s a very easy fix, especially if the email is still in their junk folder (which it usually is). However once in a while it turns out the person tried to buy the software from another website (completely unsanctioned by us) at a very significant discount. And I don’t just mean 10%-20%, I mean up to 70%-80%. Nice discount isn’t it? Maybe a little too nice…

Unfortunately it’s not too nice. In these fairly rare cases it’s from fake websites trying to illegal process credit cards with no intentions on fulfilling the orders. It’s all a fake storefront to just get people to buy whatever (in this it’s software but it could be anything, shoes, tv’s, you name it). As soon as the money is processed, you won’t ever hear from them again. Within a month or so more, the website/domain is completely gone and has moved to another domain/website. I don’t know how they get away from credit card chargebacks and such, but they somehow seem to. And I don’t even want to think what they do with the credit card information!

Now I can understand falling prey to a scam, especially if the price is within a small percentage (say a 10%-25% discount). Even 50% is not unheard of if you’ve been dealing with the site for a long time and/or it has a good reputation. But when a site that you don’t know (the domains have generally been purchased within less than a few months so there’s no way you can know it), that has no SSL certificate (they often state it’s a secure connection on the webpage when it’s completely bogus), and the discount is more than most liquidation sales, doesn’t that make you wonder? Wouldn’t you at least contact the company first to make sure it was legit?

The worse part, at least for us, is that a few of these people who contact us after the fact expect to get a license because they “paid” for the software. Yes I agree they paid something, but it was nowhere near the price and not to us. It’s the same as if you tried to buy a Rolex watch for $100 from a random site and wondered why it was a scam. Then contacting Rolex and demanding that you get a real Rolex watch since you already paid for it. It just doesn’t work that way.

The good news is that we’re generally very accomadating to these people, probably more so than we should be. That is assuming they are courteous and respectful (after all we aren’t the ones that scammed them and we didn’t try to get a riduculous discount). For example, today I was in communication with a gentleman because he was scammed in exactly this way. Because he was so courteous and nice, we helped him out as best we could. Had he been abbrasive and demanding, odds are very high I would given him the Rolex example above and ended it right there. Common courtesy can get you further than you might expect. Remember, we aren’t the ones to blame in this situation. If you buy a Rolex from a street vendor in a shaddy part of town for $100, don’t be surprised if you get taken.

So if you see a version of LandlordMax (especially an OEM version because there is no such thing) selling for a fraction of the real price, RUN!!! RUN AWAY! And it’s not just us, it’s almost every other software out there. If a software (or any other product for that matter) is discounted by more than 50% of it’s normal price and it’s coming from a site you don’t know, RUN! RUN AWAY! If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is too good to be true.

Like this article?


  •     Scott Kane
    · April 7th, 2009  · 9:39 pm  · Permalink

    +1 Steph. The Internet is no different to any other shopping district we are familiar with in the “real world”. On the high street we have the merchants selling their genuine wares that they have a legal right to sell, and back it with infrastructure, logistics, passion and customer concern.

    While in the back alleys we have the shady dealers who will sell you the Brooklyn Bridge while at the same time picking your pocket and stealing your wallet.

    A real bargain is finding a company, like your own, who stands behind their product and their commitement to customer service offering a quality product at a reasonable price.

  •     Eric
    · April 8th, 2009  · 8:30 am  · Permalink

    Customer centric, not a suprise at all from Landlord Max.

    A victim of your own success?
    You know when you have reached a critical mass when you get knockoffs of your product, or other sites selling copies of your stuff.

    You rarely see a shell game involving an unknown product, people could only resell a sought after product…
    “Congratulations on having your wares available in the back alley!” ?? Hallmark does not make a card for such occassions.

    The way you have dealt with this situation is another way to stand out from the crowd, as Scott said, Landlord Max is the real bargain.

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