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Old 07-05-2011, 09:26 PM
Location: Wartrace,TN
7,320 posts, read 11,635,317 times
Reputation: 14806


I just "purchased" a business software package for 695 dollars that turned out to be a huge disappointment and did not work on my equipment well (a lot of crashing and failures). The way the guy has it set up is you purchase and he sends an installation link and a activation code for the link. He then helps you set up the permanent file and gives you a permanent license key.

The initial install had only a sample company file on it and did not have the functionality of the full version. I could not get it to work properly and it crashed multiple times. It is not going to work on my computer and when it did function, it was too slow for my needs. I deleted it and asked for my money back.

I requested a refund and the guy is refusing- he claims when I downloaded it, I bought it. He claims it was the full version despite the fact it would deactivate in thirty days if I did not install the permanent key AND it only had limited functionality.

He wants me to eat the 695 dollars. I can not believe he expects people to put 695 dollars at risk on finding out if a product will work or not.

This program is used exclusively for QuickBooks companies and I am heavily involved with many user groups, Linkedin users groups and regularly converse with many QuickBooks pro advisors.

How would you handle this? I replied very politely that I did not receive full functionality and was using a demo program that had not been permanently activated.

Can I post our e-mail exchanges on Linkedin QuickBooks groups? Do you think I would have any standing with my credit card company if I disputed the charge since I never took full delivery of the product? Anything I can do?
This really upset me this evening.
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:02 PM
22,428 posts, read 65,984,875 times
Reputation: 45211
I have a software program that I sell and support. I understand your frustration, but I can also understand the other side.

Did the guy give you the full key and you have not used it? Something doesn't quite make sense. You say the limited version crashed. Why did you buy the extended version if that happened? When you bought the extended version you paid for the key. Software authors have to protect themselves from pirates.

Such sales are covered by the Uniform Commercial Code. Both parties enter in to the contract in good faith. In good faith, if the program is crashing a lot, the developer would do well to determine WHY and attempt to help you. If you are stonewalled, then you can then take that info and dispute with your credit card company.

That said, a few comments.

I am seriously considering refusing to allow my customers to purchase their own computers for my niche program. Too many computers today are so loaded with invasive software and drivers that functionality is impaired. Also, these are not the days of the standard 486 architecture. There are a lot of variables a developer has to consider if he wants to play in the windows sandbox. Your problem might not be the software as much as your hardware and other programs interacting with the software you purchased.

The developer is foolish if he is not using a hardware key (dongle) or a year-to-year licensing instead of an all-out purchase. That would work to his advantage and yours. Year-to-year licensing allows forcing of upgrades, provides steady income, and lowers up-front costs to the customer. While I have gone away from hardware dongles, they do allow a developer to offer refunds upon return of the dongle.

Work with the developer. You may find the problem can be resolved with a couple hours of investigation and fixes to your system.
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Old 07-06-2011, 01:21 PM
Location: Wartrace,TN
7,320 posts, read 11,635,317 times
Reputation: 14806
The way the guy had it set up is he did not offer free trials, he offered a download AFTER full payment that required a key to install on the computer. Once installed on the computer he was to provided a "permanent license key" that would later activate the product. (30 day time limit to activate)

The initial install was a limited function program which required purchase just to install. We never got to the point where the program functioned long enough to install the permanent license key nor did he provide me with a key.

At any rate, he contacted me today agreeing to refund my purchase price while complaining he wasted his time and lost money on the deal. I am refraining from mentioning the hours I wasted on it.

He might have been able to get it running HOWEVER the fact that it did not run right on either of my very basic computer setups out of the box was disturbing. On top of that, the marketing made it look a heck of a lot better than actual. I would have had no confidence in using the product for my business needs. I did not take delivery of the complete product and expected a refund. He thankfully changed his mind and agreed to do so.
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:44 PM
22,428 posts, read 65,984,875 times
Reputation: 45211
Glad it worked out. You might show the guy this thread so he can improve his business. Sounds like he needs more product debugging (beta testing), and a more friendly business approach.
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