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About Sonartech

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  1. Yikes, so that confirms that even Piriform's Payment Processor has no clue this was subscription-based product, so it ain't just us! O.o I guess they're guilty of not reading the Software T&C's, too. @Ben Piriform - Regardless of policies old or new, the fact remains that it would appear the vast majority of your [paying] customers weren't aware that this is a yearly subscription kind of thing - and neither is your payment processor. If you didn't even tell THEM the payment model for this software, how could you possibly expect us to have known that, since it hasn't been enforced for the past 6+ years? Sorry, I'm not going to beat myself up for this one anymore...
  2. I received a reply from Piriform's support that I think explains what's happened here. In a nut shell, the purchase of Piriform by Avast! has caused this confusion and they are directly responsible for what has recently transpired and the lack of communication behind those changes. First, some facts. Piriform never offered a perpetual lifetime license - the small, hard-to-find print in 2012 verifies this. It could best be described as a "single year, voluntary subscription model". If you chose not to re-subscribe, then Piriform didn't care, and they didn't enforce the expiration following that first year. Because of that and the way their program was written, none of us customers had any reason to suspect (or care) that we were using a subscription-based product (even if it was expired) since the product functioned just the same as it always had. The CCleaner software just called it a "License", expired or not. Further, Cleverbridge didn't make note of this, because again, NO ONE CARED and it wasn't enforced. It truly was up to you to re-new when you wanted to, IF you wanted to. It was so obscured in text that you specifically had to go digging in the EULA and legal terms to find subscription-related verbiage. Essentially, Piriform did a horrible job making sure everyone knew that the Pro+Plus bundle was a per-year, subscription-based product. When Avast! bought Piriform and associated programs last year, they noticed right away that people had been buying the paid licenses but the current paid customer base did not reflect that all those customers had been renewing their license each year. Therefore, they introduced the renewal notices for customers who had expired licenses to remind them that their license had expired. They did that without any communication to their customer base at all, and instead just snuck the code changes in with a regular release. We were just supposed to somehow "know" that the so-called "Lifetime Perpetual License"-ride was over, even if it had been working just fine for the last 6 years. Avast's official stance is that if a user is going to be using the professional features, they need to keep their licenses current, or revert back to the freeware version. Avast! obviously couldn't care less if you're upset by this or not, since they are notorious for being lousy communicators and terrible at customer service. I'd like to thank John Kelly at Piriform (Avast?) support for bringing me up-to-speed on what affected all these changes - I truly appreciate your time and detail. The rub, of course, is that we were all under the [mistaken] impression that we were getting perpetual freeware with our initial purchase. I thought so too, but that was just due to the fact that Piriform had no intention of enforcing their [hidden] subscription model, so they had no reason to make it painfully obvious like Avast! has recently decided to do. So, hate Avast! for (A) Making these changes, (B) Not communicating the changes to anyone, (C) Setting themselves up for failure. They could have easily done the math here to see how this would look, but instead they just decided to Nuke it from outer space rather than find a better way to preserve Piriform's customer base. I really, REALLY liked these tools and utilities, and I really wish Avast! hadn't meddled with this - especially if this is indicative of how they'll handle problems in the future. For what it's worth, if Piriform has asked me to re-up, I would have. If Avast! asks me, well, I think we all know what MY answer would be at this point...
  3. Ron, could you post the full e-mail from Cleverbridge for us to see? I'm &^%$# stunned that not even THEY would be aware that Piriform's purchase model is a subscription. It seems like everyone except Piriform is under the impression that this was never a subscription-based product - including the people that happily took our money.
  4. To be fair to Piriform, I don't think this was a malicious miscalculation. I think Piriform's just trying to monetize their product by moving to a SaaS model, and that's going to burn existing customers. If you read the legal T&C for the period, it does make mention of a 1 year support period, but it also says some other stuff that is very misleading: 4. UPDATE SERVICES Subject to your payment of the applicable annual update fees and support fees for the relevant year, Piriform shall from time to time, via its website, make available new versions of the Product for you to download and use (the "Update Services"). 5. TERM AND TERMINATION OF SERVICES The Services shall start on the date on which Piriform sends a confirmatory email to you confirming full payment of the support and update fees and issuing your user account details, and shall continue for a period of 1 year or for such other period as we may agree with you in writing. If you have purchased yearly subscriptions for the Support Services and/or Update Services, at the end of the year and any following year, the Support Services and/or Update Services shall renew automatically for another year. Piriform (or its authorized agents or sub-contractors) will give you an opportunity to cancel your subscription in advance of the renewal date and will inform you of the renewal fees. Unless you notify Piriform by email before renewal that you do not want to renew the Services. It says "...shall continue for a period of 1 year or for such other period as we may agree with you in writing". However, it also says "If you have purchased yearly subscriptions for the Support Services and/or Update Services, at the end of the year and any following year, the Support Services and/or Update Services shall renew automatically for another year", which we know never actually happened, nor were we ever given "...an opportunity to cancel your subscription in advance of the renewal date and will inform you of the renewal fees". So these terms & conditions are definitely sketchy and subject to some pretty wild interpretation. Piriform's telling us today that we ALL purchased a single yearly subscription for the product - so why were we never asked to renew after that first year, and why did my product continue to update normally for 6+ years AFTER I originally purchased it? Also, Why was Piriform sending out e-mails with still valid license keys & download links 4+ years after that original date of purchase, showing the license expiration date as "-"? Regardless of what they say today or what was said at the time, there's still the matter that Cleverbridge never mentioned a subscription period, nor did the Piriform product web page at the time. (@Ben - You can wayback machine that one, too...). How could the payment processor skip an important detail like that?!! My guess is they didn't know about it, either. Then there's the fact that the product pages didn't mention this "small" subscription detail anywhere in the purchase process, on my receipt or in my license key details. That's extremely bad form, but it translates to a 'bait-n-switch', regardless of how it's framed. The $25 I paid in 2012 was well spent. I have enjoyed using these tools and I obviously was thankful enough to actually pay for the product. Still, though, the way this is shaking out sucks, since I'm still searching my inbox for ANYTHING from Piriform that ever mentioned expiration of my seemingly permanent license key. If I was Piriform, I'd be damage-controlling the hell out of this, and at least offer a reasonable explanation, apology, discount or exception for those affected by this issue. The silence, however, is deafening.
  5. This is DEFINITELY bait'n'switch, Piriform! I kept the mail you sent me when I made my ONE TIME purchase, and it clearly shows the product name, customer name, license key, expiration, and my download link. Under "Expiration", I have a single dash "-", as in NO EXPIRATION. Also, I have a different license key request e-mail from Piriform dated 12/2/2016 (well after your so-called "1 year of support" that shows the exact same thing - no expiration date with a valid download link... Today, when I request my license key, I get a similar page, only now that dash has been magically replaced with the date "27 Mar 2015". I also see that the license key request I asked for on 9/24/2017 shows that my key had expired, and the download link disappeared as well, indicating that you made this change to my account sometime in late 2017 without any notice to me whatsoever - and yet my products still continued to update normally. When I made this purchase, this was NOT a subscription-based product, and you have no evidence to suggest it was. Showing us newly-updated EULA's AFTER our purchase was made is completely invalid. Until you can explain to us how "no expiration" magically turned into a retro-active date from 3 years ago in just the last release cycle, AND also explain why you were obviously OK sending me my same download link and license key > 1 year after my original purchase, you are obviously guilty of a bait'n switch. Additionally, NOTHING in my PDF receipt from Cleverbridge (that I also still have) says anything at all about license expiration or subscription. This stinks. If you wanted to move to a SAAS model, then you could have at least given your PAYING customers some notice before you went after us without any lubrication. Regardless of how you or your moderators choose to spin this, you got some 'splainin to do. I'm all ears.