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The recession hit everybody and software developers don’t make an exception. Therefore, in order to best deal with this situation, some companies have decided to take immediate action and make some important changes to their licensing model. Now, most companies did this with a sense of ethics... but not all of them, so this article covers the most recent example of how NOT to go about this kind of changes.
First things first though: a company that took notice of the economic changes a long time ago was Slysoft
, the developers of the popular AnyDVD
. The first measure they took was to switch from dollars to euros.
Of course, as time passed by, new measures were required and so, recently, the company announced yet another change to its licensing program: the switch from lifetime licenses to yearly subscriptions.
Why is this example worth mentioning, you ask. Well, because in both cases, Slysoft not only announced the changes at least a few weeks before making them, but they also offered a 20% discount in the weeks prior to the change. Obviously, all current registered users were not affected by these changes, they didn't have to pay a single cent or change their subscription plan.
Although many of us might not like it, the most common solution to ensure a continuous flow of purchases is by far the monthly/yearly licensing model. We’ve seen hundreds of companies, from Kaspersky, ESET, Online Armor and any other security company to Daemon Tools or LastPass using it.
In either case, that’s what a self-respecting company does: it clearly states its licensing model, sticks by it and if any serious change is made, all current customers pay a very small price, if any at all. That sounds about right, does it not? You will always get exactly what you paid for from the very beginning.
Sadly, every now and then, a company ignores this basic rule of ethics, and today was Siber Systems
’ turn, the company producing the popular Roboform password manager. What happened? Today, they launched version 7 of Roboform
under a new licensing model that contradicts the previous one, without a serious compensation to current customers, who are using version 6.
Here are the facts: Before launching the new interface, for both their website and their flagship software, Siber Systems promised on their website ‘free upgrades’ for Roboform. While this expression is no longer present on the website, The Way Back Machine provides the proof, as you can see here
Furthermore, as you’ve probably noticed, I’ve mentioned that a serious compensation was not provided. The compensation available for current users is a $19.95 fee for upgrading Roboform Pro or Portable from version 6 to version 7. Therefore, if you bought Roboform Pro, say, in August for $30, now, in less than four months you’d have to pay an extra 20 bucks to stay updated. So, you’ve already paid $50, while someone buying it today can get it for less than $30.
Ironically, for some users, this can’t even be called compensation. Siber Systems often provided a discount for Roboform, so a lot of users bought it with a 50% discount. So, those who paid $15 for version 6, now have to pay $20 for version 7. No compensation there. Those who bought Roboform2Go on a 50% discount and also added a Roboform Pro license paying $30 just a few weeks ago, now have to pay $39.9 to upgrade both of them. Again, no compensation there either.
Somewhat of an alternative to Roboform2Go is the company’s Everywhere license, which allows you to use RoboForm 7 on an unlimited number of computers and devices for $9.95... in the first year and $19.95 in the second.
As a final shred of irony, if the prices above weren’t a sufficient source of income, upon completing installation, the Roboform setup opens a webpage, displaying an affiliate banner (meant to generate income if you click it). While we’re on the subject, Softpedia marked the installer as ad-supported and still hosts version 6 of Roboform for those uninterested in upgrading to version 7.
Before writing this article, I’ve decided to take a look at the community’s reaction. Strictly related to this matter, I found two posts on Twitter, both showing ‘dissatisfaction
’ and going as far as calling it an ‘epic fail
’. The company spokesperson has apologized, mentioning that upgrade fees were introduced due to the major changes brought to version 7. We’ll let you decide if they're worth it or not.
As a conclusion, a few things must be underlined: this article does not encourage people to switch to other password managers, nor does it promote them. Roboform was, is and will be one of the best password managers out there; this article is not meant to be a rant, it strictly depicts the facts as they were presented earlier today to all Roboform users; and, last but not least, this article does not encourage you to stay clear of Roboform Pro 7 or Siber Systems, that is still your decision.
At most, this article emphasizes one company’s decision and model, to underline some of the more or less ethical practices of many other developers out there, who, for financial or personal reasons, make changes to their business models that might have a very unpleasant effect on both their image and their products.Update: It was recently brought to our attention that, on their FAQ page, Syber Systems promises free upgrades for all those who bought Roboform after September 1st. Strangely, it is also stated that this ‘opportunity’ will be available ‘for a limited time’, so one might be inclined to believe that all users who don’t take advantage of this offer in the near future might soon found out it’s no longer possible.
Furthermore, SEVERAL Softpedia employees who purchased Roboform after September 1st contacted Syber Systems to receive a free upgrade to version 7. In ALL cases, instead of offering the free upgrade, the support team stated that only two options were available: purchasing an upgrade to Roboform 7 Pro for $19.95 or switching to Roboform Everywhere for the yearly fee. ONLY after mentioning the above clause, activation was successful. Therefore, since Syber Systems staff can check when a license was purchased but still insists that users pay a fee, even if they deserve a free upgrade, we can only conclude that either the support is not aware of the company’s policy or, most probably, Syber Systems is trying to make a few extra money even off the back of their new customers.
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|Comment #1 by: livewire on 08 Dec 2010, 02:22 UTC|| reply to this comment|
just another way for generating income like when Symantec would offer you a Norton Anti-virus for for a low price with $5.00 for a 2 year upgrade and another $5.00 for re-download in case your computer crashes now its just $60.00 for one year license and one computer user its getting to point its not how good the stuff is but weather we can make a buck. I understand company got to make money but at what price, plus not making the software compatible with the older version really sucks. They need to realize most people aint got that kind of money or if they are going to change a product in midyear then offer the people who purchase it a free upgrade to newer version discontinue old version and offer new version at a reduce rate or make it a one year license so people know.
|Comment #1.1 by: Paying ex-customer on 25 Dec 2010, 19:47 GMT|
Just got the first nags that my Roboform 7 wasn't licensed??! Browsed around and found this info - very disappointed. Bought the license two years ago and have used Roboform daily ever since. Didn't think I could make do without it but this greedy stunt they pulled made me think otherwise. Going to find a replacement software, not looking back!
Who ever made this "business decision" at Siber needs to have their * fired ASAP!
|Comment #1.2 by: Robofail on 09 Apr 2011, 14:00 GMT|
The people in the comments saying they have x number of licenses and will stop using Roboform, they don't care! That should be obvious from their abandonment of your services. They have your money, were never going to get any more from you, they're done with you! They want new customers, new money and continuous income, you want to make it right get your money back or stop new money coming in, class action law-suit or stop new customers: new free password manager to compete or negative ad campaign.
|Comment #1.3 by: chris n on 22 Jul 2011, 11:23 GMT|
Well to give some balance I've been using roboform for a long time and have no problem switching to a yearly sub. I appreciate the uniqueness of this product which has no real competitors and I have many PCs using everywhere and Roboform2Go on my USB stick.
For me it's a small price to pay to manage around 120 online accounts.
|Comment #2 by: Chick on 08 Dec 2010, 07:05 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Don't get sucked in! Download the latest Rev 6.10.1 version while you still can and install it over the Rev 7 version which you probably did not notice has voided your license and became a trail version!
Once you revert back to Rev 6.10.1 your license will be good again.
|Comment #2.1 by: Mark on 28 Sep 2011, 11:00 GMT|
The Downgrade doesn't work with Firefox versions 4, or 5, or 6. From the Siber website...
"Firefox 4/5/6 contains significant changes over the previous official release,
that is why RoboForm 6 does not work with that versions of Firefox. Same thing is for Chrome 10/11/12. We suggest to upgrade to RoboForm 7."
Immoral and wrong. There's no other word for it.
|Comment #3 by: daveOz on 08 Dec 2010, 15:18 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Long-term customer loyalty counts for nada, that's for sure!
|Comment #4 by: Unhappy Customer on 08 Dec 2010, 19:12 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I have multiple licenses for Roboform, when i tried to activate the latest version i received the "upgrade" dialog. I emailed support to inquire about this and after a few canned responses i was told and i quote:
"RoboForm 7 is a different product, so it requires a different license.
Updates were free within the major version number"
Which in of itself is a load of BS, other than a fancy new gui and a few minor additions it's exactly the same product.
Changing their license model midstream without giving any indication is a terrible way to do business. They should of informed customers had recently purchased V6 licenses that V7 licenses would not be a free upgrade and they should of offered past customers a more viable upgrade path i.e. large discounts. Note: i appreciated the new gui so i did upgrade 2 of my licenses.
|Comment #5 by: Roboform User on 09 Dec 2010, 09:24 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I was told by the support staff at roboform that upgrades were only for minor upgrades, which are updates, so they used upgrade when they meant updates, which seeing as they're a software company that knows the difference, they were being crafty by using their own meaning.
|Comment #6 by: RoboForm on 09 Dec 2010, 21:48 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Stefan is correct that we just did a soft launch of RoboForm 7 on Monday evening (ie 3 days ago). We are still obviously implementing upgrade messaging and processes and our site will continue to reflect numerous changes. I apologize for any confusion.
However, I want to inform everyone that purchased on or after September 1, 2010 that they will will have the option of upgrading to v7 Pro desktop OR a free year of v7 Everywhere free of charge. Each v6 license can be converted 1:1.
So if you got 3 v6 Pro desktop licenses after Sep 1, you may convert to 3 first year licenses of v7 Everywhere or 3 v7 Pro Desktop licenses by contacting support at any time: http://support.roboform.com
Here are the primary differences between the two products: http://www.roboform.com/how-it-works/product-comparison
To reiterate, we are still in soft launch mode so things may change, however I wanted to assure users that purchased recently of our v7 free upgrade policy. We will be contacting users who purchased recently separately via email as well in the coming days.
We have also just updated our FAQ to reflect the new policy: http://www.roboform.com/support/faq/roboform#faq_everywhere. Readers may email me at email@example.com for any additional info on RoboForm 7.
Marketing Manager / Siber Systems
|Comment #6.1 by: jack on 17 Dec 2010, 23:09 GMT|
I have 4 roboform licenses, 2 portable, 2 goodsync and 2 license for a product you discontinued with no compensation for the lifetime SmartPhone RoboForm. Count me as a customer you have just lost. At least some companies that switched to upgrades, still honored the life time license for the customers that supported helped make it what it is. Beta tested your software, reported bugs and this company picks your wallet while giving the 'atta boy' pat on the back. Guess I will be testing the import feature of LastPass this Christmas break. Won't be long before SiberSystems is riddled with adware again and then eventually bought by Symantec for some spare change. What a rip off. Your BBB rating is about go down hill.
|Comment #6.2 by: Victor on 26 Mar 2011, 18:51 GMT|
I think a class action suit is in order. You are violating the license agreement I MADE and PAID for. If you could not honor your lifetime deal, you should not have made it. This is fraudulent at the very least, you are probably civilly liable.
|Comment #6.3 by: Mark on 28 Sep 2011, 11:03 GMT|
Read the article above Simon and please give it to your Siber coworkers. In 2008 your company said NOTHING about paying for major but not minor versions. That is a RECENT Siber creation.
In 2008 your website says "FREE UPRGRADES." Period. Here's the wayback machine proof:
|Comment #7 by: Stefan Fintea on 10 Dec 2010, 09:56 UTC|| reply to this comment|
@RoboForm: The comparison page is still a bit misleading: at the bottom it says you pay the 30 bucks just this once. So, any average Joe who doesn't look close enough will think "Hey, I'm gonna pay 30$ once for this great password manager? Deal!"
What he's surely going to miss or misunderstand is the "Free Major Upgrades" part. He doesn't realize that if Siber Systems releases version 8 next year, he just paid 30$ for... 6 months. Heck, even Lastpass offers a better deal...
Of course, the above example is somewhat of an exaggeration to prove a point, because you probably won't be releasing version 8 in a few months, but the facts remain the same:
- You CANNOT expect people to pay $50 (or more) to use a program for 4 or 5 months (because that's what you’re asking from any person who purchased Roboform in August, July, June etc 2010) and let's not get into talking how most users thought they were buying a lifetime license... In case Siber Systems didn't realize, this decision (although very profitable for the company) hits both new AND old customers...
- If this happened with version 7, it means it will surely happen with the next major version... (that is, people paying almost twice as much for Roboform)
- You CANNOT expect MOST people to adopt this Everywhere concept. Surely a lot of people use Roboform on their workstation/laptop and a license or two will suffice; a yearly subscription doesn't justify itself...
Anyway, the decision has already been made and although I'm sure nothing will change on Roboform's side, it will most probably... "leave a stain" on its reputation
|Comment #7.1 by: RoboForm on 10 Dec 2010, 17:35 GMT|
The decision to offer a online service option that is priced per user was done in direct response to changing user needs. It used to be that there were multiple users per computer in most households and IE reined supreme with a mozilla minority. Nowadays we see that the reverse is true-especially if you factor in mobile devices. In addition, offering sync and access to Logins is now much more sought after as a feature (indeed almost expected). So instead of buying mutliple licenses for each workstation/USB, etc there is one low-cost subscription that can be used on unlimited computers and devices. We think this is a good value proposition and have heard so from many users who otherwise would have had to purchase multiple licenses.
That said, we still have the offline Pro option licensed per machine for users that fall into your latter category you mention. It was a conscious decision to keep this. Furthermore, v6 is fully operational and will remain so.
|Comment #7.2 by: Rikk on 10 Dec 2010, 18:43 GMT|
I couldn't agree more. It appears that Siber Systems has chosen to risk their brand in pursuit of the almighty buck, or at least more of it than they were already receiving. I believe this will play out over time as a marketing blunder. I have been a loyal customer with three Pro licenses for years. I have never even looked at another password manager because I was never given a reason. Well - now I have one. I had been excited to see the Roboform app become available for my iPad and installed it right away. As I looked more closely the catch became clear. I needed a Roboform Everywhere account to use it. I just removed it and I will be looking elsewhere.
Incidentally Roboform - your offer noted above ... big deal! That should be a given and you should be going back longer than three months with it. I have other software that provides that type of credit going back a year.
|Comment #7.3 by: GR on 19 Dec 2010, 13:11 GMT|
version 6 is not "fully operational" as claimed by roboform- you can not use it with firfox 4 (beta 6 and above) and probably not with the final release.
making a claim that roboform current users can keep using their paid license is not accurate, to say the least.
|Comment #7.4 by: michaelcaps on 06 May 2011, 01:13 GMT|
Not sure if you guys saw this, but Lastpass just had another major security breach. Maybe we shouldn't all be running to Lastpass.
|Comment #8 by: bowlby4 on 10 Dec 2010, 22:10 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I have multiple licenses for Roboform and I am not happy. This is the second company to do this to me. Firetrust also changed the licensing for MailWasher. I am thinking of not purchasing software anymore and going strictly freeware. I will no longer recomend Siber Systems or Firetrust to friends and family.
|Comment #9 by: Stefan Fintea on 14 Dec 2010, 08:47 UTC|| reply to this comment|
@Roboform: 1) 20$ / year is NOT low cost, when you have a 30$ lifetime license and there’s another competitor out there who offers the same deal (maybe even with a few extra perks)
2) You’re talking about Roboform Everywhere. I wasn’t. Not in the article, not in my comment. Roboform Everywhere is not the subject of this discussion. Asking people to pay more money for Everywhere’s extra features might make sense, but asking a regular Roboform Pro user to pay 20 bucks more for NONE of these extra features doesn’t make any sense...
3) I updated the article to reflect some of our recent discoveries.
|Comment #9.1 by: MBarker on 20 Jan 2011, 21:06 GMT|
As for your first point, in all fairness that 20$ gets you infinite installations on computers and devices and means when Version 8 comes out in a few years you will be paying the same price. Please keep in mind that the new licensing model was made primarily with user feedback in mind. 10 years ago when we started it was common to have many users on a single desktop-so it made sense to license by computer. Nowadays we see the reverse with users that have multiple desktops, USB, and mobile devices. Hence why we introduced a per user service model in addition to what we had.
Even with RoboForm Desktop you get all the features of RoboForm Everywhere minus the multiple installations.
|Comment #10 by: PC Consultant on 14 Dec 2010, 14:47 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Roboform - I'm a computer consultant who has been recommending Siber Systems' products to my hundreds of customers over the past several years.
I own multiple GOODSYNC PRO and ROBOFORM PRO licenses that I've purchased for my systems over the years.
You seriously should ask yourself if what you're doing and how you're handling this is worth the loss of customers like myself.
Despite the fact that I've always been happy with Roboform and Goodsync, this recent shady move and lack of consideration Siber Systems has displayed for customers like me has raised a red flag and I'm out around the web this morning looking at replacement product alternatives like ALLWAY SYNC and LASTPASS.
Surely by now you must be starting to realize that a lot of your customers are doing the same, and that you've not only blindsided us and left us miffed by the lack of a respectable upgrade price, but you've shown us that we cannot predict or trust you anymore.
Too bad - Roboform and Goodsync are awesome products. But as a businessman myself, I only do business with companies that have ethics and integrity...
Like the author of the article says quite accurately - Siber Systems has just show how to not change your business model. Your company needs to re-think what you could do to salvage some customer loyalty and what this move is going to mean for your company. It comes across as very cocky / over-confident that there seems to be no concern, compromise, nor concessions from the Siber Systems camp. To me that spells time to look at replacement products elsewhere, and I am most surely going to stop recommending software from a company that will eventually make me look bad to my professional customers.
|Comment #10.1 by: Goth Witch girl on 23 Mar 2012, 06:49 GMT|
I bought Roboform2go Version 3 with a lifetime upgrade it cost me $39.95
then it was a unconditional lifetime upgrade it was suppose to be free for life
i have recommenced it to people for years and installed the free version on over 500 computers i built for customers over the years as well I got free upgrades to 6.10.2
and i will never upgrade to version 7 because ie9 still supports it and i will never upgrade Firefox from 3.6.9 because it was the last one that supports it so they have lost me as word of mouth sales associate as well as a future customer i will never buy from them again unless they change there policy to honer their original customers lifetime agreement as far as their new version i tested it on a different usb drive and i wasn't impressed i tryed it for a week and formatted the usb drive and went back to the old one i had as far as the new one is concerned it was a waste of time to even install it as it wasn't hardly a second faster and only slightly improved graphics ...
to make this a bit shorter as not to bore people . it was real Shady Business to do that to long term customers WARNING NEVER BUY FROM THIS COMPANY ROB U FORM Go download FormZilla at least it is free and has been for 20 years
|Comment #11 by: Nothing Lost on 14 Dec 2010, 15:19 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Too old to play games converted to LastPass. Much happier!
|Comment #12 by: Dave on 15 Dec 2010, 21:31 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I've bought half a dozen licenses of varying kinds 2go,pro whatever from them so I can get passwords to laptop, desktop at home at work etc. So an everywhere license sounds nice to me. I did the free upgrade (didn't figure out it was an annual renewal until after I'd done it). The part that worried me was that it asks not only for my online user/pass but also my master pass that I use to unencrypt individual passwords. Why would they need that? They don't usually ask for that when licensing. They didn't need that when I signed up for the online account and it synced everything from my pro version. Asking for that master password makes me think that the offer might have been some kind of trojan horse from a hacker or that the company itself has gone rogue somehow.
|Comment #13 by: Mr sad face :( on 18 Dec 2010, 05:34 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Before getting a license I asked roboform support a question. here is a part of the email I sent and recieved:
edited for relativity
You wrote (2007/08/20 08:45 pm EST):
Hi I was wondering how long a license was good for. One major version upgrade, or minor version, or Life?
Thank you for your message.
We have reviewed and responded to your message "How long is a license good for?" (#******).
Eugene replied (2007/08/20 10:26 pm EST):
|Comment #14 by: BluePT on 18 Dec 2010, 09:15 UTC|| reply to this comment|
That's because of this reverse engineering (cracking/keygening/patching) continues to be a good solution...
|Comment #15 by: GR on 19 Dec 2010, 11:10 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I could not have said it better.
siber systems has lost my trust.
I have owned roboform and when i purchased the license i read the terms and was convinced that i have made a one time purchase that would serve me for years to come.
i was very pleased with roboform pro and recommended it to others but no more.
their claim as to version 7 being a different product is offending.
version 6 does not support firefox 4 beta 6 and on and they have not made a plugin for firefox 4. Version 6 users can not keep using their purchased license if they opt not to upgrade.
users of firefox 4 are being forced to buy an upgrade since they have no usable solution in version 6.
forcing current users to buy a new license - which is actually what they are doing in their pricing model (with coupons online the price of an upgrade and a new license is almost the same.
i would have considered paying if the price was reasonable which is not.
i am starting to look for alternatives.
siber systems - shame on you- instead of trying to market your product to new costumers you try to make a buck from your devoted clients.
|Comment #16 by: James on 21 Dec 2010, 00:25 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I got caught on this unethical model change. I finally got version 6 back on two of my machines. However, I assume this means that there will be no further maintenance updates for version 6. I purchased one of my Roboform Pro version 6 last April and now it is without any updates. I will not do business with Siber System again if this is how they treat their customers.
|Comment #17 by: Roboform Mug on 23 Dec 2010, 20:08 UTC|| reply to this comment|
This is not changing a license model, this is simply fraud. They obtained money by deception i.e. stating that you would get free upgrades to the software. I have complained to the Better Business Bureau (http://www.dc.bbb.org/default.asp). I suggest everyone else reading this does the same. Siber Systems page on the BBB is here :- http://www.dc.bbb.org/codbrep.html?wlcl=y
|Comment #18 by: Dave_in_Colorado on 23 Dec 2010, 20:37 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I have been a Roboform users for 4 years now. I have 3 Roboform2Go licenses and 4 desktop Roboform licenses...but it ends today. I have been exploring options, especially since Roboform does not support chrome or linux well; this chicanery from Siber Systems is the last straw. I will also no longer recommend Roboform to my customers -- Siber just lost a 6,000-seat license I was proposing to my current client.
I am switching to passter for chrome, which is totally free -- and works on all my chrome installations (win and linux), and stores my passwords in my Google Docs account (and synchronizes across all my platforms).
I agree that companies need a stream of income -- but as the article mentioned, there is a right way to do it and a wrong way.
Slysoft did it right -- "we made a promise to our current customers, we'll keep that promise." New customers agree to the new terms, and are aware of the costs...but I agreed to a different set of terms, and they are honoring that.
Siber Systems will soon be relegated to obscurity -- they apparently have no idea how strong word-of-mouth advertising is.
|Comment #19 by: BobW on 24 Dec 2010, 16:10 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I've used Roboform for a long time - purchased a couple licenses in 2003 -, but something that's always bothered me is the fact that it's entirely possible that Roboform could be uploading ALL of everyone's logins to some centralized computer. Roboform DOES have the ability to communicate with it's home without you ever noticing it - it knows what the newest version is, and it does it via some weird strings sent as http post. That gets around any firewall you have since you've allowed it to put it's hooks into a browser.
Think about it... The core of the software knows how to decrypt your info to use it for your purposes, what keeps it from using it for it's purposes? After all, we are trusting our info to a Russian based company.
While this may seem implausible, there's no way to verify that it's not passing along info on exactly how to log in to your bank and credit card accounts.
With regard to the issues raised in this article, according to the info in the "wayback" link above, they say that version changes will unregister what you have running, but you don't have to buy it again... just reactivate.
Since you mentioned their ethics in regard to their previous sales, how can we be sure there's not a deeper ethical issue that's waiting to be dropped on us?
|Comment #19.1 by: Tom W on 28 Dec 2010, 16:38 GMT|
I also used the Beta since purchasing in May of 2010. I now have to pay for what I have been using? My activation worked on the beta bud does not on the final... I am not sure I want to do business with them even if they decide to give me the upgrade for free. Lastpass? Time to restart the analysis - after downgrading to 6.x
|Comment #20 by: debt on 24 Dec 2010, 20:21 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I agree completely. Have a RoboForm and RoboForm2Go license, have even been testing the beta of RF 7 for months... there are NO MAJOR FUNCTIONAL CHANGES from 6 so calling this a completely new version is ridiculous! A week or so ago, the RF program notified me there was a new version, I installed it - AT NO TIME during the process was I told my lifetime licenses would no longer work, now suddenly, to my surprise, I find out my paid licenses no longer work and I have to pay again. I don't think so!! And the problem with reverting to v6 is that it doesn't work with FF 4 Beta. A VERY bad business decision!!! I will never purchase another one of your products and not only will I stop recommending it, I will warn others to stay away.
|Comment #21 by: I Feel Screwed by RoboForm on 25 Dec 2010, 06:07 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Thanks for all this information about RoboForm, as disturbing as your news is. I've been a RF user for more than 5 years and now feel screwed, badly, by the company. I'm not sure what I'm going to do but I hope all RF user protest vigorously to RF. This company deserves one big Yikes! I hope it loses lots of customers. I've stopped recommedning this program, as good as it is. I don't like dealing with an unethical company that will put the $ over the loyal customer.
|Comment #23 by: Rahim on 27 Dec 2010, 23:09 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Not sure how a company can get away with this. Sell something to you and change the agreement when they feel like it.
I agree, everybody should speak up and report this to bbb.
Should add this into the original article above.
|Comment #24 by: Viajero on 08 Jan 2011, 02:13 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I spent lots of dough for "lifetime licenses" from Siber Systems, including their syncing product "GoodSync" to synch my devices.
The new "upgrade" does nothing much more than what my setup does now, certainly nothing major, and nothing that I want.
This is a blatant ripoff from a scummy company, and there ought to be a class-action lawsuit.
|Comment #25 by: former fan of siber systems on 14 Jan 2011, 00:12 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Siber Systems has violated my purchase agreement. I have a pretty humorous serious of email exchanges on the whole topic where they refer to version 7 as a "major upgrade" to version 6 and in the same breath tout the free upgrades from 2001 to this new version. It is as if they are trying to pretend the promise of free upgrades never existed. I filed my complaint with the BBB today...
|Comment #25.1 by: Swanee on 15 Jan 2011, 06:58 GMT|
good for you "former fan of siber systems". I will file a complaint tomorrow, for whatever good it will do, because the BBB is a joke. But it's something, I guess.
Where is the gov't agency that oversees this kind of ripoff? I want the money I paid them back.
Anyone reading this should take some kind of action, cuz they are thieves.
|Comment #26 by: Me on 16 Jan 2011, 03:18 UTC|| reply to this comment|
If you're going to * about money, please at least learn that the dollar sign goes BEFORE the number ($12) not AFTER the number (12$). Yeesh.
|Comment #26.1 by: Siber on 18 Jan 2011, 05:20 GMT|
OK, this is actually from Siber Systems.
Just trying to explain our position.
- You can use RF ver 6 all you want, it really is for-life license.
- Ver 7 is not ver 6, it is a pretty big rewrite with major new features.
- Ver 7 is not for everybody: if you do not care about Windows apps, or you do not need syncing, then ver 6 works just fine.
- All these new browsers require a lot of effort to support, you have no idea.
So this is more about providing quality service and having money to do it,
not about squeezing money from users for nothing.
Another issues is support. Some users paid in 2003 and since then they had 20 support tickets, that had to be replied. This stuff ain't free, supporters need salaries.
|Comment #26.2 by: JW on 21 Jan 2011, 18:02 GMT|
"Another issues is support. Some users paid in 2003 and since then they had 20 support tickets, that had to be replied. This stuff ain't free, supporters need salaries."
If you tell a story, make sure to tell the whole story or you'll just appear to be trying to save face in front of bad press.
Somehow, I am pretty sure that the total number of support tickets doesn't even reach half the number of licenses you sold, and very likely is a far, FAR lower number. I speak from personal experience that for all the products I purchase, I only ever contacted the support department of one of them. Now throw in that just in these comments, multiple people have admitted to buying multiple licenses, and suddenly some users having 20 support tickets isn't too much of a problem.
For example, if support costs are the issue (and while I can imagine they are, it makes me wonder why after all these years it didn't become an issue sooner) there is always the option users can at least understand: retire the support to be only free for users who bought in, say, the last 2 years and make all older users get either a new license to renew their support eligibility or 'sell' support tickets.
In the end, there are a lot of responses a company can have to an old business model not being affordable any longer. Misrepresenting update policies, changing update policies only a few months ahead of time, tricking users into upgrading to a new version, having your support staff misrepresent old users so you can make an extra buck out of them - those aren't one of them. Any one or two, people could probably forgive. The entire combination though speaks of a company that does not value its customers and deserves all the bad press and lost customers they get.
|Comment #27 by: Stefan Fintea on 21 Jan 2011, 11:27 UTC|| reply to this comment|
@Siber: Again, you’re missing the point... Nobody doubted the effort your company put into creating / maintaining / updating / supporting RoboForm! Furthermore, nobody said you shouldn't use the yearly or major upgrades fees.
The major issue has been repeated over and over again, both in the article and the comments: The old website mentioned 'Free upgrades' on the comparison page. That’s it! 'Free upgrades', not 'Free upgrades for minor updates', not 'Free upgrades*' and an explanation in the footer etc. That page misled people into believing they were buying a lifetime license when, apparently, they weren't. That is the apple of discord, as they say... Had you written that notice, we wouldn't be having this discussion today.
Saying that an obscure page in the FAQ mentioned the 'only minor upgrades are free' policy, only goes to show you were deliberately trying to deceive future customers by leaving this part out of the comparison page. Even if we ignored the existence of this page, nobody said you shouldn't switch to another license type, but when you do make that switch, don’t ask existing customers (who thought they were buying a program with lifetime FREE upgrades) to pay again for the program. A new license should not be retroactive if the old one promised ‘Free upgrades’, it should only apply to future/new customers... Since you ignored this rule, you must now face the consequences – and the wrath of your existing customers...
|Comment #27.1 by: RoboLetDown on 24 Jan 2011, 00:10 GMT|
I don't know how long they'll leave it up, but check out the response from RoboForm Support when asked about the length of Free Updates.
|Comment #28 by: lastpass convert on 21 Jan 2011, 22:22 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Not a big issue for me anymore. I moved to LastPass years ago. Even the free version beats Roboform. AND it works on ALL my devices, since it's web based.
|Comment #28.1 by: LastPass Hacked on 06 May 2011, 10:53 GMT|
Did you guys see that LastPass was Hacked again?
I'm wondering if you're still happy with the move there. RoboForm hasn't been hacked as long as I have been using them - 7 years.
|Comment #28.2 by: Siber No More on 16 Jun 2012, 02:04 GMT|
I purchased two licences from Siber Systems with LIFETIME upgrades and was a very satisfied customer until I could no longer use it with the newer versions of Mozilla. What was really annoying was that - over the years - I'd recommended RoboForm to about 70 or so people (many of whom then came back to criticise ME for recommending a two-bit company that reneges on its promises).
I'm just preparing a package of software to be installed on 90 PCs/laptops for disabled people and older people. RoboForm would have been the ideal product to put on each of these machines. But how can I do so, knowing that Siber Systems is such an unreliable company? They are not going to see the colour of my money again (unless they apologise and stick to their promises)!
I'm glad to see BBB has come to a decision and recorded the unworthiness of Siber Systems:-
|Comment #29 by: Ex-loyal customer on 22 Jan 2011, 17:57 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I also have multiple licenses of Roboform as well as a couple of portable and Palm licenses but even if I like the product, I don't like being suckered. Count me out Siber Systems, forever!
I'm off to LastPass and I feel better already!
|Comment #29.1 by: lo on 26 Jan 2011, 22:27 GMT|
* , I hate this hassle. Siber Systems is * evil.
How hard is it to change over to lastpass ? I hate to spend my time doing that. I totally feel ripped off -- I have given them money for several licenses in the past five years or so.
|Comment #30 by: Cary on 02 Feb 2011, 22:18 UTC|| reply to this comment|
It's not just the money. I had two licenses, one on my home computer and one Portable Roboform that I carry on trips for use with a Netbook and/or public computers. I bought the latter in October, and theoretically could update for free. BUT they are combining the two licenses to one Roboform Everywhere and also have not (in several days of exchanges) been able to give me a way to activate it that works. I activate, I synchronize, and I get redirected to a pay for it screen every time I try to use it. It's the worst support for a change (NOT upgrade) that I've ever experienced.
|Comment #31 by: Speaking Out on 04 Feb 2011, 18:51 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Wholeheartedly agree with comment 26.2 above. You don't say, "Free Upgrades" and then not offer them. You're furthering your poor service by the way you defend your position here in the comments without apparently being able to see your customers' point of view.
I'll be joining those not only switching away from your software, but also as an IT professional, I'll not only no longer be recommending it to friends and customers, but I'll make a point of actively mentioning that they should NOT use it. And, I'll make sure to publicize your change to any social networks of which I am a member.
As someone said above, Siber Systems apparently does not understand the power of word of mouth [negative] advertising. Or, they assume it will * over and they can move on. Neither of which is an approach that garners my continued support.
An acceptable solution would be to continue free upgrades to pre-version 7 Pro license purchases.
Finally, I'm not too impressed with the features and new interface of version 7, but since that's been your only approach to fixing the incompatibilities with Firefox, remaining with version 6 is not a really good option for anyone.
|Comment #32 by: MKP on 04 Feb 2011, 19:25 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I've had a similar experience with Syber Systems and am investigating the possibility of legal action since it would appear that, at least in California it would appear their unilateral modification of the upgrade policy would violate California law.
|Comment #33 by: IT Professional on 06 Feb 2011, 16:50 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Im doing the same as 'Speaking out'. I am also going to contact my credit card company for a refund on the original transaction as I purchased free upgrades for life not just a product.
|Comment #34 by: Siber screwed on 07 Feb 2011, 19:32 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I got the same run around with support and their office manager as everyone else. Once I contacted the BBB I was immediately offered a free upgrade.
I haven't used the new licences and have since converted to lastpass.
-Beware, v7 appears to have removed the ability to export your data (at least I couldn't find it). I had to revert back to version 6 to get my data out.
|Comment #34.1 by: Robo screwed on 24 Feb 2011, 01:33 GMT|
So i had 2 roboform 6 licences and was happily using roboform online to sync between my 2 computers then I upgraded both to roboform 7 and to my surprise i cannot use roboform online with that anymore and had to downgrade back to roboform 6 to use this feature. So in short I wasted my money on 2 roboform 7 licences.
Very smart to screw your customers like that, way to go siber systems.
|Comment #35 by: DoubleJava on 11 Feb 2011, 20:54 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Long time user with a dozen or so licenses. We like the Siber products (RoboForm, RoboForm2Go, Goodsync, GoodSync2Go) and have also recommended them to lots of others. However, we don't do business with unscrupulous companies, which Siber has now become with there retroactive modification of licensing. We have no problem with them charging for online password storage or for entirely new products (we would have probably bought them), but this is unacceptable. Sounds like a case of sour grapes.
|Comment #36 by: steiniti on 27 Feb 2011, 18:26 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I too am disgusted with Siber Systems new previously unannounced policy. They could have done this with more tact and respect for existing customers. I have just registered my complaint with the BBB as others have done. I have looked at Sticky Password as an alternative. The current build seems to have difficulty importing from Roboform. They claim it is fixed for the next build release.
|Comment #37 by: OhioMediaGuide on 23 Mar 2011, 00:11 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I'm a long-time user of Roboform and was one of their biggest fans. Now, after using the version 7 trial I am unable (even with 10 days' worth of help from their customer service) to revert back to version 6.
I have lost all of my usernames and passwords and I'm having to work with individual websites to recover them.
I cannot imagine that this company will be allowed to get away with this. Can't someone file a class action lawsuit? This Roboform "upgrade" has already cost me money in lost sales--not to mention an enormous amount of lost time dealing with this mess.
|Comment #38 by: Frank on 24 Mar 2011, 09:59 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I was a satisfied customer of RoboForm until this happened. I had some discussion with support and though (silly me...) that I was alone in this. For me the RoboForm trip has ended. I am changing to KeePass. Which has, at the moment, not all functionality RoboForm offers, but it comes close.
I think Siber Systems has overstepped the mark, especially by the way they introduced this. Still offering 6.10 as an alternative can only be considered a joke with the arrival of both IE9 and FF4.
|Comment #38.1 by: HamSalad on 25 Mar 2011, 18:13 GMT|
I don't get it... Microsoft, Apple and every other major software vendor does this every few years for $$$, why all the rage?
|Comment #38.2 by: chadman on 29 Mar 2011, 00:48 GMT|
Because MS and Apple never promised free updates for life. When I got this software this was promised to me. Now they decided they made to many changes and want to charge for updates. That fine, but you need to grandfather in the users that were promised free updated for life. Very poor business move. I wonder what companies are thinking when they try to do this. No one will notice? Only a few will notice, but profits will make it worth our while? Big FAIL for Siber Systems.
|Comment #39 by: highflyer on 29 Mar 2011, 16:23 UTC|| reply to this comment|
A free upgrade to Roboform Pro 7, and then being honest and saying that they will need to start charging from the next version for an upgrade but will offer x new features in exchange is more reasonable than the bait and switch and the excuses about support, for existing customers.
In fact, the posts here and on Facebook to some extent made things worse: Siber Systems stated they would work with existing customers who do not feel the value in paying ($20 or more) to upgrade their existing licenses should contact them and they will work with them to keep them a customer.
1) But when looking for a feedback form or contact info on their website, one is directed to their address/phone #, and then after digging one can find the support website. LOL
2) Then explicitly being offered only a upgrade to Roboform Everywhere when one explicitly explains to support repeatedly one is not interested in Roboform Everywhere just adds insult to injury.
Originally, if the company offered a more reasonable discount for existing customers, that might be less odious, but at this point, I think Siber Systems decided to launch the subscription product and don't care if they lose upgraders in the process. If they cared, they'd offer a reasonable solution to folks who bothered to give them feedback about being unhappy.
|Comment #40 by: Ray A on 30 Mar 2011, 23:12 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Having been a user since 2006 I have been very happy with the product. After 8 emails to support they finally agreed to give me a "free" upgrade on my portable version. I had to pay $29.90 to upgrade my 2 desktop versions. This saved about $19.95 overall. They need to make a living but thier first offer was one year of the "everywhere" edition - value $9.95- for my existing 3 products! If I had accepted that it would have been a cold day and would not have had the same product anymore...
|Comment #41 by: johnny-c on 01 Apr 2011, 03:42 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I also have been a long and loyal customer since 2003 and have sold RofoForm to more people than I could count...
That stopped today, I advised 2 people to stay away from this product.
I have also received a support email and what they want is to negotiate a deal with me??? Just give me what I purchased and I will go away...
I had mentioned to them yesterday that I had proof of their "free upgrades" and "fast efficient support" (which I have rarely used) in hand. Boy am I glad I took a pdf of that before the removed that site today from their website.
I agree, they have to make a buck but do it on the new business after the fact of version 7, that seems more than fair. They have handled this entire issue very poorly.
I told support today that I will accept nothing less than our original agreement, nothing...
I am sure they just want all of us loyal past customers who made them to go away. Not going to happen, I for one would participate in a "class action", not for money but for what is right... Simply what we purchased in good faith.
My prediction? They are going to lose this battle and fall hard!!!
|Comment #42 by: farewell on 22 Apr 2011, 04:33 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Wow, I've been a very loyal Roboform user for over 8 years. I have installed it on over 30 new computer builds/installs, and around 50 rebuilds. I'd like to thank Stefan Fintea for this write-up and the alternative recommendations herein. I will be continuing to use my v6 install until it becomes defunct (ohh wait, FF4 is here, hence why I went to upgrade). All the new systems I repair and build for others will now come with AdMuncher (always)
|Comment #43 by: Johnny-c on 25 Apr 2011, 14:45 UTC|| reply to this comment|
File a strong complaint with the better Business Bureau (BBB) for a start at http://www.bbb.org/
Then, does anyone have any thoughts on a Class Action law Suit over this issue?
This is a process that is long but needs to be done...
|Comment #44 by: JT on 26 Apr 2011, 14:56 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I for one, am furious with the change in the licensing. I purchased RoboForm Pro only now to be held hostage with V6 which does not work on the most recent browsers. They graciously (that was sarcasm) offered to upgrade me to V7 for one year but that will only delay the inevitable forcing me to pay more or switch. I was a huge advocate for their product/service and no I will NEVER, repeat NEVER recommend them to anyone again.
|Comment #45 by: French user of Roboform 6 on 05 May 2011, 16:34 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I'm not happy that Roboform change the term of licence. I have several Roboform 6 licence and know I must to paid for use under firefox 4!. In France, this is not allow. Roboform MUST make an update for the new browers following licence indication.
So, I request the payback for my licences because Siber Systems doesn't respected the contract.
|Comment #46 by: Jeff on 26 May 2011, 16:17 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Does anyone else smell a class action lawsuit against Siber Systems brewing?
|Comment #46.1 by: keepalive on 02 Jul 2011, 04:10 GMT|
If we are in favor of a class action lawsuit, let's go for it. This is clearly a bait and switch scheme and we cannot allow software companies to continue to do this to the consumer, without out us, there would no company. It's time to take action.
|Comment #47 by: Dave on 11 Sep 2011, 01:07 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Their web site gives instructions to revert back to ver 6 and a unstaller. They don't work. I've been going back and forth with support with no help. Their suggestion was to pay for the upgrade.
|Comment #48 by: Mark on 28 Sep 2011, 10:57 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I'm a Siber customer and very disappointed at this. I got a Roboform popup that the version 7 upgrade was available...when I selected it, I got NO notice that I was going to have to pay (for the first time ever) for the upgrade. 30 Days later while working... FULL STOP... I'm no longer able to login to my websites. No countdown. No warning it was coming. I'm in the middle of the workday and my login tool simply stops working.
I then wasted hours downgrading...only to find the downgrade doesn't work anymore with Firefox version 4, 5, and 6.
This is simply immoral. The Wayback machine from 2008 when I bought clearly shows "FREE UPGRADES." What a greedy policy change that's sure to hurt the company over the long term.
|Comment #48.1 by: Jay on 30 Sep 2011, 00:19 GMT|
I will never give this * greedy co. one more god-damned cent.
|Comment #48.2 by: Mark on 02 Oct 2011, 20:55 GMT|
I'm happy to report that within 48 hours of filing a report here, that Roboform/Siber systems upgraded my license.
If anybody from Roboform/Siber systems reads this... you shouldn't just be doing this for your customers that complain in public venues. You should proactively be doing this for all customers that you sold under the "free upgrades" offer. That's the RIGHT thing to do!
|Comment #49 by: mikey on 29 Nov 2011, 01:01 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I will not upgradt to version 7 after reading this article. 11-30-11
|Comment #50 by: ikis on 20 Dec 2011, 20:14 UTC|| reply to this comment|
time for a change. I hate to go to Lastpass but the $19.95 is just too much. On top of that new customers pay $9.95 and we get screwed for Ten dollars more as a way of saying thanks for your business. Thanks for Nothing Siber Systems. Your move was uncalled for and the lifetime warranty from the past should have been adhered to. What a crock!
|Comment #51 by: In Tennessee on 27 Jan 2012, 17:46 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Sibersystems appears to have just implemented similar shenanigans with GoodSync. Now have to pay to upgrade to V. 9. First I left Roboform for Keepass and now I'll be looking for a sync alternative. Someone still needs to get a lawsuit together, expect SiberSystems is so small that they don't have enough enterprise users that will cry out.
|Comment #52 by: deeCee on 11 Feb 2012, 14:53 UTC|| reply to this comment|
thank you for bringing that to light . i didnt even realize that im up to $50 now without an upgrade. so i either stay with v6 or spend another ten , twenty ?? that really is * up
|Comment #53 by: rhelie on 15 Feb 2012, 22:03 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I have been reading some of the comments and I think it is sad that they have tried to find ways around their agreement instead of simply changing it for new purchases. They would not be facing all this criticism if they had done that. I still love the product, I was recommending it to clients, but I will NEVER buy or recommend Cyber Systems again. If there was a class law suit I would join, I would not even mind contributing the value of the upgrade!
If they recognized their error by reinstating the policy for which we signed, this outrage would possibly go away.
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