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A note about Lifetime of free updates

A note about Lifetime of free updates

Several people have contacted us with the same question (or complaint). They all asked something similar to this: “I’ve purchased Mellel with a promise of free-updates for life… but now, with your newsletter regarding Mellel 4.0 and beyond, and Mellel’s return to paid-upgrade, it seems that you’ve gone back on your word… Is that so?”

Well, it isn’t so.

I’ll explain the situation: From 2002 to February 2011, Mellel was offered with a promise of a limited time of free updates (usually, two years). Every Mellel user could update for free during those two years, and then, when the time ran out, she or he could decide whether they want to upgrade (and get two more years of free updates), or keep using their existing version of Mellel. The upgrade fee was ‘flat’ meaning that it did not matter if your license ran-out of free updates five years ago or today: you could purchase an upgrade for the same fee.

In February 2011 we moved to a new method, and promised every user who purchased Mellel outside the Mac App Store a “lifetime of free updates.” This went on until February 2014, when we pulled the plug on this programme. That is, anyone who registered during those three years (outside the Mac App Store) got a promise for a “lifetime of free updates.” We stand by our promise, of course, and all those who’ve purchased (or updated!) Mellel between those dates will indeed get a lifetime of free updates.

This is a bit confusing, especially if you do not remember if you’re one of those who got this promise. Luckily, we keep a good record of registrations — as anyone of you who’ve lose one knows — and we’ll be able to tell you if you’re. At any rate, when Mellel 4.0 is out you’ll know: Mellel will tell you about the new version, and also of your situation (eligible to upgrade for free or not). Remember, in addition that if you purchase Mellel now you’ll get Mellel 4.0 and beyond as a free updates as part of your two years of free updates.

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  1. What the "Promise" was

    I think Mellel is an awesome piece of software and I don’t mind paying for updates. However, as someone (Sergio) has already pointed out, the story you described is not exactly what some of us experienced in terms what who got what kind of promise.

    I happen to have a copy of the email sent by Redlers.com dated 2011-1-25, announcing that “Anyone who’ve purchased Mellel after December 2007 automatically gain a permanent license with unlimited free updates. People who’ve purchased Mellel Before the end of December 2007 can upgrade to a permanent license for $19.”

    As far as I understand, to “gain a permanent license with unlimited free updates” means those who purchased Mellel after December 2007 should have the *same* license as those who paid $19 for an “upgrade” after Feb 2011 to a “permanent license”. Unless the two mentioning of “permanent license” meant different things, this means if those who paid after $19 between February 2011 to February 2014 get free updates for life, i.e. even with and beyond Mellel 4.0, those who purchase Mellel after December 2007 should get the same. If there is only one type of “permanent license with unlimited free updates, then why those who “automatically” gained it lose it “automatically” with the release of Mellel 4.0, while those who paid $19 for it keep it?

    It is OK to revert your decision about lifetime free update (and you may even call Mellel 4.0 a new product or “upgrade”, or whatever), but saying aloud that you “stand by your promise” and implying people who complained or questioned about the discontinuation of permanent license (albeit gained automatically) were “confused” or have misunderstood your “promise” is plainly unfair to some of your faithful customers.

    Paying for update is one thing, getting things clear about the promised made is another.

    From: Ming Comment posted on: 8-31-2017
  2. I’ll start by saying that we respect our customers, and will never refer to them as confused or claim that they misunderstood – the confusion is all our doing, and if there is a misunderstanding it is always our fault – it’s the same as a feature in Mellel: if people do not understand it or how to use it, it means that we did not do our job right with this feature.

    The situation as it stands is that some users enjoy a certain benefit (a lifetime of free upgrades) while others – who happened not to upgrade or purchase Mellel within a certain time frame, do not get that benefit. It feels unfair to those who did not get the benefit (and generally speaking, it doesn’t look or smell too good).

    That said, a line needed to be drawn in this mud. We could easily bypass this by releasing a “new” version with a new name – but I don’t think this is a way to behave or conduct business. Our choice, after much thought, was to waive possible income from the many users who’ve purchased Mellel at our store during three years – as painful as it is for us financially speaking – because a lifetime of free upgrades was promised to them when purchasing Mellel. For others, who’ve purchased or upgraded Mellel before or after this time frame, can choose to upgrade or stick with Mellel 3.5.x.

    From: Ori Redler Comment posted on: 8-31-2017
  3. adam0908

    tnx in your post..

    From: adam0908 Comment posted on: 3-9-2017
  4. James Hess

    You have an awesome update policy!

    From: James Hess Comment posted on: 3-9-2017
  5. George Guthrie

    I agree with those who support the upgrade policy. Mellel is such a fine piece of software, and so integral to my writing workflow, I am glad to support the company and hope you thrive for many years to come.

    From: George Guthrie Comment posted on: 1-9-2017
  6. entropydave

    I would also like to commend your move back to updates. I’d much rather pay a reasonable fee every other year to keep good software under development. Free updates worry me, because I feel unsure that the software will continue. On top of that, it seems to me just that I should pay for someone else’s labor on my behalf.

    From: entropydave Comment posted on: 12-9-2016
  7. Daniel

    Thank you for developing Mellel. It is worth the update charge to keep it going and improving.

    From: Daniel Comment posted on: 12-9-2016
  8. Sergio

    Before I purchased the license in MacAppStore I asked if the license is lifetime also. Then, the Ori answer was yes. I quote:
    > If the new policy of free upgrades valid if I buy from AppStore?
    >> The answer is yes: any license, regardless where you’ve bought it, is permanent and allows you unlimited free upgrades
    I understand the predicament. But I think is unjust to maintain the policy only for a some costumers. I think it is for all os us or for none.

    From: Sergio Comment posted on: 9-9-2016
  9. JBQ

    Count me among those who are happy to pay again – it’s worth the product, and its sustainability.

    From: JBQ Comment posted on: 8-9-2016
  10. Christian

    I also think that returning to paid updates is a good decision. I like using Mellel and I hope that it’s development will continue for many years.

    From: Christian Comment posted on: 8-9-2016
  11. Zimmie

    What about users who purchased a copy on the Mac App Store? I owned a license for quite a while, then bought again on the Mac App Store when Mellel was added and the free upgrade policy was announced.

    I don’t necessarily mind paying for upgrades, I just want some clarity.

    From: Zimmie Comment posted on: 8-9-2016
  12. Martin

    Thanks for switching back to paid updates. I also voted against the lifetime updates back then in your forum as I’ve seen many software developers stopping development of those apps. I’m happy that you’ve switched back so we can hope to see a vivid future of Mellel.

    From: Martin Comment posted on: 8-9-2016
  13. LJ

    Thanks for this comment. However, to be honest I am happy that you switched to the new policy for Mellel 4.0. Software development is a complicated issue and takes time and expertise. Thus, I was not happy when you announced life-time free updates. As you might remember many of the long-time users of Mellel (as me) have been very critical about this decision. Mellel is a very good text processor, one of the best or even the best on the market for MAC. It is stable, fast and in my opinion relatively cheap compared to other MAC text processors. To make it short, in order to keep Mellel running for the next 10-20 years I really appreciate the new upgrade policy and hope that it will bring you the necessary financial background to keep Mellel one of the best tools for MAC.

    From: LJ Comment posted on: 8-9-2016
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