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CCleaner Pro Lifetime Licence - why has it expired?

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I think I need to clarify a couple more things. As previously mentioned we currently and always have offered CCleaner under one license term (which is 1 year in length), we do however offer two options for renewal. These are Manual renewal whereby a customer can choose to pay and extend their license at their discresion. The second being the subscription renewal (we started selling these in Feb-18) whereby the customer is billed automatically and the license term extended automatically every year. They are reminded via email of this seven days prior to taking payment and given the option to cancel it.

Finally we are not pushing our exisitng customers onto subscription renewals, this is a decision they have to make themselves if they renew.

@Ron The Bear Could you please send me a copy of that Cleverbridge email

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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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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...

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I just registered to comment in this thread... I feel a bit cheated given the free app has been great, but the only feature I wanted was automatic updates so Í wouldn't have to deal with annoying prompts (and I doubted how much those updates actually improved the utility of the app). Now after a year it's asking me to pay up again... it's feels like I thought I was helping a good developer who had made decent software for free and sold a perpetual "pro" version for a reasonable price... only to find out it's anything but. Time to decide between going back to free or just uninstalling.

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On 09/11/2018 at 12:20, Sonartech said:

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.

Hi Ron,

Thanks for writing in.   I would be more than happy to help you out with this inquiry.

Not sure why you are receiving those notifications.  This does not look like its a subscription based product meaning it is a perpetual license (one time charge).

I refreshed your download link, giving you two weeks to download your CCleaner Professional Plus when it’s convenient for you. You’ll find the download link and all the other order information by clicking HERE [link removed].

You’ll also find information on how to get in touch with Piriform in case you have any questions about how to install or use your product or service, or if the key is shown as invalid.

Please let us know if there’s anything else we can do for you, and thanks for contacting cleverbridge!

Sincerely,

DeMarlo B.

cleverbridge Customer Support

--
cleverbridge AG, Cologne
Management: Craig Vodnik, Martin Trzaskalik, Reinhard Wille
Supervisory Board: Dr. Michael Inhester (Chairman)
Registration: HRB 58900 Commercial Register - Local Court of Cologne

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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...

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Pity that when Avast aquired Piriform and noticed this anomaly, that they didn't just give 'grandfathered in rights' to Pro users before the acquisition date.

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