Well Lookie Here, Barracuda Networks tries to get me to fall into their trap again...

Jimmy Hess mysidia at gmail.com
Fri Dec 23 06:11:38 UTC 2011

On Wed, Dec 21, 2011 at 11:54 AM, Jay Ashworth <jra at baylink.com> wrote:

Leveraging a superior bargaining position  to  achieve more revenue from a
kind of high-risk customer  doesn't sound "dishonest".... it sounds
Why would an agreement be denominated as "1 year maintenance"  if it could
simply be reinstated at will?

What is meant by high-risk,  is a customer inclined to renew maintenance,
only at the moment that a lot of services are to be required all at once --
for example,  just before a major software upgrade, likely followed by a
slew of support incidents,   possibly at a cost to the software vendor
above the fee.

I guess the networking equivalent is ---   you stop paying for your OC3
with  $BIG_TELCO  for a few months,  and you get it turned off,  but for
some reason the physical cabling isn't physically removed.   A few months
later,  you decide you need an OC3 again and exclaim the unfairness of
$BIG_TELCO  informing you that a fee is required to re-install the OC3
they haven't removed yet.
How unfair right...  many thousands of $$ just to flip a switch?   One
chose to go without service for a few months, therefore should get a lower
total cost, based on the new renewal date, right?

In fact, it's not.  If you miss your renewal payment for, frex, Safari
> books,
> they actually slip your cycle date to when you renew -- since you don't
> *get*

It's a standard practice for _Software_   _Maintenance_ agreements; where a
product is purchased, with an annual charge for  updates, support,
sometimes warranty, and other services for that product.

If you let the agreement lapse, usually no warranty.     Most extended
warranties can't be renewed 6 months after they lapsed,  because you found
the product just broke  and you would like to renew a warranty, so you can
RMA it for a repair/replacement.

Safari books is not a software maintenance agreement; it's a subscription
service, and they allow members of the public to start a subscription any
time,  the cost to renew's basically equivalent to the cost to sign up;
it's not as if there is a higher price for new subs.

But, effectively, he's a new client, and should probably be treated that
> way.
Yes. Software maintenance / subscription update services are  not usually
sold to just anyone on the street; they are normally sold with software.

If you allowed your maintenance agreement to lapse,  then You may now be in
a position to negotiate a new agreement,  but  this most likely consists
of asking what costs/terms  are available for re-upping the maintenance,
and  having to accept   in order to re-up.

This likely means one of these scenarios...
1 o  One time upgrade fee
2 o  Pay delinquent maintenance bills, and then  renew from anniversary
3 o  Have to re-purchase product at brand new product cost,  no 'upgrade'
discount, since maintenance lapsed.

(1) and (2) are most popular  ways vendors offer to redeem expired

(3) Is not dishonest.    It is the simplest thing to do, and justifiable if
the product's price is low.

One-time upgrade fee is very common with consumer software.   When you buy
"Windows 95"  retail, you don't even pay an annual maintenance  for free
lifetime upgrades.

Chances are you buy each upgrade, or  get forced into (3),  since Windows'
cost is basically built into each new computer nowadays.

But imagine if no computers came with windows..  and Microsoft offered you
$25 a  year for annual maintenance, for your Windows '95, and  issued a new
release every 2 years.

If you allowed your maintenance to lapse in 1995, and then decided to renew
in  2011...
do you really think a reasonable software vendor would give you the 1 year
windows '95 maintenance
re-activation for $25  and  the free upgrade to Windows 7?

Nope... chances are you'd to pay  $150+ before the vendor would consider
re-upping that.


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