I was done with Insync as a product and a company, and done with the double-talk in this thread, just to avoid saying what the community knows damn well at this point. Shot the following email off, expecting that if the answer was no (and I took it to be from the reply you'll see, which is the real reason I've come back to share it, since the offer was only made to me through the private email, which is equally the wrong way to go about it as their 'Gmail users get free upgrade' methodology) I'd issue a chargeback through my financial institution (spoiler alert: they already approved it, so I'm literally done with Insync for good now).
What I sent them:
Having paid for this product less than two months ago, only to now find
out that I must pay again (the same amount, even with the "discount" of
30%) because I do not use my Gmail as my primary address, I would like
to request a refund.
The product was alright, and more or less did its job, and I was happy
thinking the money would help develop it further, but I do not
appreciate being told I've been grandfathered and will get no updates
when I have not even owned the software for two months, unless I pay for
the product all over again (at a *gracious* discount, that makes the
price the same as it was the first time.
What I received back from Gio:
We understand that those who bought recently are at a disadvantage, so we'd
like to offer you this deal: If you upgrade to Prime, I'll refund you the difference
-- so you'll only be paying a total of $11.24 ($29.99 - $18.75) for the upgrade.
What do you think?
As a public answer to Gio and this entire joke of a company; I was horrifically offended. This was suggested over a month ago, in one of the other threads that you retired from making another "update" to say the same shit and call it "simplified", and you ignored it. Then you said everyone using Gmail would be issued a free upgrade. Then you literally didn't care that you were shafting the rest of your community. Then you had the nerve to make this "offer" to me, privately, only after I threatened a refund (because you and I both know I was completely dissatisfied, and only "requesting" a refund as an attempt to let you be civil about it before I got the bank involved)?
Shame on you.
This is not how you treat customers, nor how you keep them.
I'm GLAD I only bought this recently because it allowed me to escape this catastrophe.
And I dare you to not abuse your powers worse than you already have and leave this up -- that way everybody else can see for themselves how you acted in this situation.
Now that I'm done with you, I doubt very highly I'll ever return to your boards; likewise, I'll never speak of you in a positive manner to any friend or collegue.
That being the case, let me identify where you went wrong since you obviously still don't have a clue at this point (or just don't care, but I cannot "fix" ignorance, so I'm really really really hoping its the former.
You decided to merge your plans together. This is a solid business move and cleans up your user base. However, you did so by deciding everyone who has paid a one-time fee for a standard license, with no official support should suddenly not get the "new" version (which is just a pretty UI as far as I or anyone else seems to be aware). You called it a "2.0", implying that there were new features substantial to the product, making it different enough from the old version that it was worth a new price tag, even for your existing customers.
That I get; as you've pointed out, many companies do it this way -- but they make substantial improvements/development to their product, and they advertise it as such to their current customers since they know that's their most likely new customer base. You failed at this -- nowhere except the email shot off on the 25th of January (last year) by Roald have I seen ANYTHING talking about what 2.0 actually improved on. And that was nothing more than a screenshot, implying only the UI has changed, which is not substantial in my opinion (though others may differ).
Had you tried to improve your product significantly and actually quantify what was new & improved, and therefore worth the upgrade, I would guarantee you would have heard nothing out of me and most of the others who have chimed in across your boards in outrage -- at that point there is a clear concise version difference, and the question becomes if end users want the new features, and are willing to pay the new tag, regardless of what they've previously invested.
Instead, you did not do this. You only maintained that it "condensed" everybody onto a single plan for payment. The problem here is that literally nobody except the folks paying a subscription for ongoing business level support benefit from this, so to everyone else, it is nothing more than being asked to pay again for the same product. And even for some of those business users who have chimed into the various threads, it isn't worth it, as it would cost almost 3x the amount they currently pay for the product.
Then you saw people complaining.
About exactly what I've just outlined.
And you "clarified", twice over, trying to ditch the old thread (and with it, the negative feedback of this change), how this benefited anyone but you.
You get to be paid again, by everyone, whether they're currently on a one-time payment or a subscription for support.
You get to condense your userbase from multiple plans into one.
You get to "release" a new version, making the underlying software looking like it is more updated and robust than it actually is.
Your customers get to pay again, with the promise that they won't be told to pay again in the future (even though that's exactly what is happening).
You are a business, and you are operating a commercial product. Therefore, you have to create substantial demand for your product, and customer happiness/retention can go a long ways towards that end.
I'm really hopeful you lot will read this, understand where you went wrong, and actually FIX your operating strategy here. Because while I was lucky to be such a new customer, and had the luxury of pulling out even when you tentatively denied my request for doing so, many of your customers aren't going to be so lucky. Which means they're stuck with you (even if they delete the software and/or choose not to become a new customer).
I really hope you folks figure your shit out because this product had the potential to be a useful tool for people. But this is NOT how you go about making a business around a tool. You can compare yourselves to Microsoft all you want; you're not them. You are making mistakes, and alienating your biggest clientel, and to my knowledge they never had the audacity to attempt that.
I wish you all the best, and hope this clarifies for everyone the issues, since I've not see anyone else explain it like I just have. Either way, I'm done -- you've lost me. If you want to be an operating business much longer, I suggest you take what I've said seriously, or you might lose others as well.
Of course, I leave that up to them to dis/agree with me at their discression; I speak for nobody but myself, and I believe I have spoken well.