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... in order to get the bugs in earlier versions fixed I'm forced to buy a maintenance pack.
This is an archaic and extremely unpopular way of doing business, forcing customers to pay extra to get bugs repaired. Can you imagine having to pay an extra $100 to Microsoft to get windows service packs?
I'm a consultant in the finance industry and I persuaded the company I'm currently assisting to buy VC. Unfortunately they didn't realise that VC has an almost unique clause stating that if you download v5.0.0 and it has bugs, tough sh*t, you're stuck with those bugs unless you pay another $50.
Due to extortionist nature of this policy they've decided not to buy VC for their other data servers (and they have about another 8 running scheduled data manipulation processes), so now I'm stuck with only one copy, and I have to use the standard XP scheduler on every other box.

As an independent consultant I don't profit in any way from selling or recommending your product, so I'm complaining because I would like to use VC but can't.
At another customers I will recommend it *with* a maintenance pack, but when they ask "Why do we need their direct line support when you claim to already know how to use it?", I'll have to answer "Because they won't fix any of their own bugs unless you pay extra".

Please take this as constructive criticism and consider that you are losing sales by not providing free fixes for your bugs.
I'd suggest you separate your support contracts from your bug fixes like every other software company, making 'major revision' upgrades chargable (v5.x to v6.x) instead of 'bug fix' releases, as this way you will at least appear to stand by your product's quality.

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Sorry for the rant, I'm getting so much cr*p from this customer about VC now, and the constant failing FTP issues that are fixed in the later versions that the policy doesn't allow me to install...


I understand the criticism. I do think that different companies have different ways of approaching this problem. In our case I think it is a little bit more complex than the ordinary application. We are so involved in different techniques, security, server models, client computers which eventually lead to that our application is heavily affected by changes in the underlying system. Perhaps caused by an update from Microsoft.

Another thing, from a developer point of view it could be hard to separate updates of new functionality from bug updates. Maybe this works for larger companies like Microsoft that seldom do any feature changes in an update (their product remains the same) they only "fix" security bugs. I seldom see Microsoft fix any bugs in the operating system itself, only security issues. I have to buy another operating system to get rid of old annoying things.

Even though the complex nature of bugs that can appear I believe we act quite differently when it comes handling the bugs. A bug seldom exists longer than a week.

When you purchase a new license (without maintenance) you will get updates for about a month. We hope, during the period of testing the product (45 days) and a period of using the product after purchase (30 days) that you will find if the product meets your needs.

The added security, of getting one year of updates (major or minor) for only $30 more is well spent money if you are unsure.

As working with support mainly, I understand you and the company. As a smaller company, that we are, we have chosen this path to survive. We hope that most users think that their money is well spent and that we will do anything to help.
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