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"FREE!" Consignment Software Updates

Updates are the means by which software improvements and 'bug fixes' are delivered. In most cases updates are essential. Software vendors know that and here's how they use updates to force payment of their annual service fees:

Software Updates Bait and Switch

Have you seen this?

"FREE UPDATES! (with paid annual support)"

Are we supposed to see "FREE UPDATES" and gloss over the fact that they aren't FREE!? Stated very differently and much more accurately:

"FREE UPDATES DENIED! (If annual fees aren't paid)"

Man they think we are S-T-U-P-I-D!

The first question you'll be asked when you call for assistance is "Have you paid up?". If you haven't, service (along with updates) will be denied and you may be pointed to a forum where you can post your question and wait for someone to respond. That may get old fast and while you might resent the obvious manipulation, you'll be forced to give in to annual support fees if you want snappy responses - like a phone conversation?

Honorable Mention

Wilson at was exposed in a public forum for offering a 'free update' to users who had elected not to pay OPTIONAL annual fees for a number of years. The update disabled their software and Wilson refused to remove the planted bug until he was paid off.

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