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Re:This is just insane!

Posted by: Don Ritchey on August 29, 2006 03:02 AM

This is exactly the scenario you have when:

You are out on a lonely road in the backside of nowhere, out of cell phone coverage and out of gas. You hike to the nearest farm-house and call AAA, only to find out that the local coverage has been subcontracted out to a fly-by-night outfit in the next town. The catch, they will come out and refuel your car -- for a non-refundable "deposit" of $200.00 and the cost of gas at their rate, which is 3 times the going price per gallon (and they will charge you for a full tank at that rate, regardless of how much you need).

The point is that the software company has the right to change for support, and you have probably paid for a support contract (if you have any brains at all). What is unjust here is that the proprietary software company chooses this moment to throw in the cards and tell you to upgrade or else. This is not a choice, this is extortion. If you had six months to make the choice (a reasonable amount of time in today's world where upgrades must be planned), you could choose to upgrade or migrate. In this situation, you hand is being forced, for no good reason, other than the software company sees a way to make a forced sale.

If this were a local car dealer, I would be writing letters to the editor of the local paper and getting rid of the vehicle, making sure that everyone in the community knew the morals of the company. This is what keeps local businesses honest.

Since the company is probably in a relatively small niche market, the opportunities for leverage (and justice) are more remote.


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