For Your “To Avoid” List…

I recently acquired a copy of Yazsoft’s “Speed Download” product via the MacHeist bundle promotion. The software worked fine, but I recommend putting Yazsoft on your “to avoid” list nonetheless. Companies that abuse their customers don’t deserve to have customers in the future.

The problems with these folks are well-documented. They participated in a promotional deal for Mac users and provided license codes. They then pushed an automatic update to their software unrequested, and this update (a major new release) then demanded additional payment for continued use of the software.

The company then engaged in a public shoving match with its users over the matter, trying to explain to customers (who largely didn’t care) the distinction between “free upgrade to a purchased product” and “free upgrade to a purchased product,” depending on where the product was purchased.

They eventually sort of relented, offering a free upgrade to the customers they wronged–though they added a whole bunch of new restrictions and required people to respond to their magnanimous offer with a deadline of a little over a week.

All of this over a fifteen-buck upgrade!

I elected to simply ditch the software rather than jump through the hoops they’d set up for the upgrade process.

Their Web site telegraphs their attitudes pretty clearly. For example: their product pricing page features a lot of ominous warnings for upgrade users that any upgrades that they can’t easily verify “will be automatically de-activated without notice and without refund.”

Yazsoft is within their rights to have these policies, of course.

But it’s kind of breathtaking to see their absolute focus on ensuring that nobody accidentally gets a better deal than absolutely necessary.

I’ve never met these developers or anyone else from the company, but now I know quite a bit about them.

That’s the kind of behavior I expect from a monopoly like my cable company, or perhaps from Microsoft. Or from a competitive industry where competition doesn’t work very well (airlines and cell phone carriers, I’m looking at you). But from a little software company that depends on word of mouth and small sales for its livelihood?

This kind of attitude seems particularly stupid in this era of easy self-publishing. Though you probably already know me if you’re reading this, I might not have had occasion to tell you that I think Yazsoft kind of hates its customers. But now you know, and I’ll bet there’s a good chance that you won’t buy from them in the future either.

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