Software users save thousands on licenses

There was an air of contempt after a software user revealed how quick thinking saved him nearly $3,000 on a necessary renewal license.

In a viral Reddit post published on the r/MaliciousCompliance forums, Redditor u/StatisticianEast7730 (aka Original Poster or OP) said they’re staring at a huge bill until their decision to buy new pays significant dividends .

The post titled “Renewal license is more expensive than a new one? Good, I’m uninstalling my old software” has received more than 8,000 upvotes since September 30th.

“I have a software license that I bought last year. The license [was] for a year,” OP began. “A few days ago I bought a new license, but I kept getting emails that my license is about to expire.”

The original poster went on to explain that they could reach the software company’s customer service department and said they had set out their puzzle and made it clear that they had already purchased a new license for the coming year.

The original poster also said that, unfortunately, they were informed that their new license, which costs $1,099, would not work and that they would have to purchase the $2,899 renewal license or uninstall the software.

So that’s what they did.

Despite complaints from customer service about how long the uninstall process took, OP removed the software from their computer, only to immediately reinstall it – with their new license.

“Two hours later [customer service] had my new software and license installed because I have terrible 3Mbps internet,” OP wrote.

“All they had to do on their end was just paste the activation code into my old software to renew it, but no, renewals require a renewal license, which costs over twice as much,” OP added. “I don’t pay extra.”

Where hardware components are tangible and the average consumer can touch, feel and hold a piece of hardware, the world of software is completely different.

And while some users have grown accustomed to buying a disc of specific software and installing it on their likely outdated home computer, advances over the past two decades have streamlined the process.

“There was a time when you bought a CD, you put it in your computer and that was the end. You loaded software and you were done,” said Christopher Mohr, interim president of the Software and Information Industry Association news week. “Well, software is a service.”

Advances in technology, as well as an increase in the number of consumers owning certain technologies, have also allowed for easier development. While software has always been licensed, the ability to download at home without having to purchase a physical product like a CD makes it easier for consumers to access the latest and most improved versions of the software they know and love.

“That has many advantages,” said Mohr. “One is adding new features. The other is consumer protection in the sense that you get security upgrades and bug fixes.”

Protection is often expensive, however, and on forums dedicated to software companies such as Norton and Quicken, consumers have complained about high renewal costs and the snowball effect of annually renewing licenses.

Man at computer frustrated with customer service
Man at computer frustrated with customer service. Members of Reddit’s r/MaliciousCompliance forum defended a software user whose license renewal workaround saved nearly $3,000.
Prostock Studio/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Throughout the comments section of the viral Reddit post, many Redditors made similar complaints, largely siding with the original poster.

“Service companies often do this,” wrote Redditor u/Excidiar. “They set up small annoyances in hopes that they can charge more for anyone who is unwilling to pass through them.”

“For $1,800 I’d spend all week on their tech installing new ones,” adds Redditor u/PlasticMix8573. “What a stupid pricing plan. Apparently [they] don’t appreciate regular customers.”

“2 hours to save $1,800?” Redditor u/DreadPirateLink got involved. “Damn good use of time.”

In the top comment of the post, which received more than 3,000 upvotes, Redditor u/zephen_just_zephen warned the original post that while their workaround worked this time, it might not work next time.

“If I were in this situation, I would certainly take it as a forewarning that being able to wean off their software over the next year would be the prudent course of action,” they wrote. “Because maybe next year they won’t be as accommodating.”

news week contacted u/StatisticianEast7730 for comment. We have not been able to verify the details of the case. Software users save thousands on licenses

Rick Schindler

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