September 22, 2007

Policy, Schmolicy...

by Chris Randall

We have this customer at Audio Damage, who for the purposes of this post we'll call Mr. X, who has become something of a running joke. I'd put up a screenshot of his order history, but it would be too much trouble to blur out all the reg codes and names, so I'll just give you a running tally of his purchases, and what he did with them:

907A - Transfered license

BigSeq - Transfered license

Ratshack Reverb - Transfered license

Discord 1.5 - Transfered license

Dubstation - Transfered license

Replicant (#1) - Transfered license

Replicant (#2) - Exchanged for Reverence

914 Upgrade - Still owns

Discord 2 Upgrade - Still owns

Dr. Device - Still owns

Liquid - Refunded

What happens when we release a product is that I wait for Mr. X to purchase it, then as soon as he has, I start counting the minutes until it gets transfered or he asks for a refund. In the particular case of Liquid, it took 15 days. It's usually much quicker.

Now, it is increasingly apparent to me that Mr. X is taking advantage of our largess, either purchasing the plugins and reselling them, while keeping the original install info, or just asking for a refund. I wouldn't normally think this, being a trusting sort, but why else would you continue to purchase products from a company when you've only apparently liked 25% of what they've made, according to the numbers? That's a neat trick: buy the product, buy the upgrade, sell the original product. (In the case of 914 and Discord 2, anyways.)

Of course, I have to honor all this, because it is our stated policy. It doesn't really bother me that much because in the grand scheme of things this one customer's hijinx are fairly minor. Also, our products have a fairly high resale value (and thus intrinsic value) exactly because of our policies, and we don't want to fuck with that.

So, as I said, it has become a bit of a running joke. It is, however, a fairly good example of how a liberal return/exchange/transfer policy like we have at Audio Damage can easily be abused. My only options are to (a) prevent that customer from purchasing from us in the future, (b) change our overall policy, or (c) take it like a man. For the time being, I'll choose (c), but I'm trending (a).



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Sep.22.2007 @ 4:24 PM
Just add a Douchebag clause to your policy and you're set.


Sep.22.2007 @ 5:33 PM
Does his first name start with the letter T by any chance?

Sep.22.2007 @ 5:55 PM
It doesn't matter what your policy is, there will always be someone who abuses it or bitches about it. I swear there's people you could give a million bucks to and they'd complain because you gave it to them in hundreds.

Sep.22.2007 @ 7:32 PM
Solipsist Nation
Clearly you should implement either internet or USB-key-based copy protection. That would be ideal.



Sep.22.2007 @ 8:01 PM

Sep.22.2007 @ 8:27 PM
Chris Randall
Yes, the only real solution is to use BOTH Synchrosoft and iLok at the same time. That'll keep our licenses under control.



Sep.22.2007 @ 9:42 PM
Maybe making sure that upgrades are only sent to the transferred owner, not to who transferred it...

Sep.22.2007 @ 11:40 PM
Chris Randall
We have had troubles with obviously strange and re-occuring licence transfer requests, in the end we decided that the only way to get around this was to charge an administration fee for the transfers.

It's not the ultimate way to solve the problem, and it kind of strikes at our honest ex-users, but at least it stopped the less honest population from continue their "side-business" with our software.

JFN, Sonalksis

(reposted by me...)


Sep.22.2007 @ 11:42 PM
He's dumb enough to advertise it at KVR too

yeh charge to asshole for transfer fees, screw it


Sep.23.2007 @ 12:11 AM
Thanks Chris!


JFN, Sonalksis


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