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16399 posts

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#265485 23-Jan-2020 19:25
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I have currently got a problem with some  software which runs on Windows, and for which I have a perpetual license for. The license  means I can use the software for as long as want as there is no expiry date, as long as it is used on a compatible version of windows and compatible hardware.

 

However the software company has decided to turn off their licencing servers. This meant that when I reinstalled my software recently, the licensing system now won't activate my software, as it needs to authenticate with the manufacturers licensing server to make sure the software license is  valid and it is only being installed on a certain number of computers. They didn't notify me they were turning it off. When they turned off the licensing server, they did apparently release a fix for existing software owners on their website, where they could download a special version that didn't need to communicate with the licensing server. However they didn't notify customers of this, so I wasn't aware of it, and they have apparently only recently removed this fix from their website.

 

When I contacted them about the problem, they told me that the software is now too old and obsolete and they no longer provide support for the version I am on. I don't need support for the actual software, I just need to get my software license authenticated, so the trial version turns into the  full version. They said  I would need to sign up to their subscription service instead, which has the newest versions of the software. But that isn't cheap long term, and I would then only be renting the software, for software that I have already paid for.   

 

They also refuse to provide the software fix to me which they have provided to other affected customers, because they said that I didn't apply for it in time. But I wasn't made aware that they were turning off their server or offering the fix, and apparently they only stopped providing the fix about a month ago. 

 

The software was expensive, as it was a perpetual license that didn't expire. Even though it is quite old, it still works fine for my needs, and the problem isn't compatibility related, and I need it to open certain file types. It is solely because the software company has turned off their cloud based servers that the licensing server needs to authenticate the license and enable the software, otherwise it expires after 30 days.  I contacted the software manufacturer again to complain, but because they have moved to a subscription model and no longer sell perpetual licenses,(which seems to becoming more common software industry), they said that all they would provide me with as compensation, was some free months on their subscription version.

 

I did buy the software from a New Zealand retailer, but the software company doesn't appear to have any NZ presence, and the people I am communicating with say they are based in India, and I can't seem to get it escalated. I think there is also a language problem, because a lot of their replies seem to be cut and paste responses, and a different person seems to reply each time.  They could provide me with the special version that doesn't need activation, but they have chosen not to, which I don't think is acting in good faith. 

 

Has anyone else come across this sort of thing and know what to do? 


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  #2405495 23-Jan-2020 19:42
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How long ago did you purchase the software? Was it a purchase that could be covered by the CGA?

 

Doesn't seem like the developers want to do the right thing, so I guess your next avenue would be to see if you can get money back from your initial purchase.


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  #2405522 23-Jan-2020 21:00
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What's the software? Might someone here have the update?


 
 
 
 


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  #2405523 23-Jan-2020 21:02
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I would assume that the OP is talking about Autocad, because I have had the same issue.



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  #2405538 23-Jan-2020 21:42
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Behodar:

 

What's the software? Might someone here have the update?

 

 

 

 

Thanks. The software fix has to be tied to my serial number, so even if I knew someone who had the software, the software was apparently a unique version for each person. So if someone was to provide me with a copy, I think they would be breaching the license agreement. 

 

I don't want to name an shame the company yet, as they may come through and do the right thing, as I have asked for it to be escalated to senior management, although it has been several weeks now without any reply.. But it is a it one of the big software companies. But it does irk me that I purchase the software properly, when many people just pirate it, and ironically those people that pirate it won't be affected by this problem. Also this is an anti piracy system they are using that they have turned off, which is supposed to stop pirates, not people who have actually purchased it. If they don't come to the party I think I may need to get a refund from the retailer. But then I have no option but to pay this company for a subscription, and I don't want to give then any further money after the way they have treated me over it. 


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  #2405549 23-Jan-2020 21:56
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Well if its too old and obsolete grab a pirate copy and move on mate.


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  #2405602 23-Jan-2020 23:52
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Can you find the download fix using https://archive.org/ ?




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  #2405608 24-Jan-2020 00:41
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sqishy:

 

Well if its too old and obsolete grab a pirate copy and move on mate.

 

 

 

 

Thanks but I don't want to be dealing with the risk of malware or virus's, nor do I want illegal software on my PC. It is a proprietary format, so if they don't supply me with the ability to install my software fully, then I don't have much option but to signup to their subscription. Even if I get a refund I would need to as well, and it will end up costing me a lot over time. Whereas if they just provided me with the fix, it wouldn't cost me anything.


 
 
 
 




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  #2405609 24-Jan-2020 00:42
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Delphinus:

 

Can you find the download fix using https://archive.org/ ?

 

 

 

 

Thanks. I have actually tried that, and the page is on the internet archive. However the page needs my serial number and after entering it, it doesn't do anything, the form script must feed back to their main website, and they have removed the scripts.


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  #2405629 24-Jan-2020 07:32
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mattwnz: Thanks but I don't want to be dealing with the risk of malware or virus's, nor do I want illegal software on my PC.

 

I appreciate the malware concerns, but since you have a licence for the software it's not illegal for you to use it.


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  #2405637 24-Jan-2020 08:04
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mattwnz:

 

Delphinus:

 

Can you find the download fix using https://archive.org/ ?

 

 

 

 

Thanks. I have actually tried that, and the page is on the internet archive. However the page needs my serial number and after entering it, it doesn't do anything, the form script must feed back to their main website, and they have removed the scripts.

 

 

 

 

you can download the crack for Autocad almost anywhere. it work on all versions so if you actually have the licence you are not even being naughty





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  #2406107 24-Jan-2020 14:44
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This sounds like a simple CSA escalation issue. Contacting the local reseller or distributor should be enough to sort that one out.



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  #2409385 28-Jan-2020 21:21
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gzt: This sounds like a simple CSA escalation issue. Contacting the local reseller or distributor should be enough to sort that one out.

 

 

 

I would have thought so too. However unfortunately they haven't been able to sort it, and the retailer has referred me back to the manufacturer. The retailers local reseller/distributor has said Our supplier’s hands are tied, unfortunately, because both they and local company are apparently restricted to whatever the support team I’ve already been dealing with advises. They have no ability to circumvent that process. SO it sounds liek there is no way for them to get past the Indian call centre they use, to get it resolved, as the actual management staff are based in the USA, and the India support centre wouldn't provide me with any of their contact details.  They have also said that due to the age of the software, that the manufacturer is not required under the CGA to make their systems (including the activation system) support older software forever, unfortunately, and this is apparently addressed in the EULA. However I can't find any reference to anything related to this sort of thing in the EULA.Also I would have thought if it had an expiry date, that would need to be clearly advertised with the software, and that the 'Perpetual license' isn't actually 'Perpetual'.

 

They also say it does appear that they have satisfied the requirement of the CGA relating to the guarantee to provide "repairs and spare parts” which outlines that there is a guarantee that the manufacturer will take reasonable action to ensure that facilities for repair of the goods and supply of parts for the goods are reasonably available for a reasonable period after the goods are so supplied.

 

However this is a software license, so 'spare parts' are not applicable. Also software doesn't wear out, as it is effectively an IP / license, and not a physical product that can fail.  Also the  fact is that they have provided other customers with a special  version of the same software  that doesn't require activation.

 


They were providing this special version that didn't need activation to affected customers  up until very recently, so the age of the software isn't an issue. All they would need to do is provide me with that same version, and I can just go away and leave them alone. Personally I would have thought they would just provide this to get me out of their hair. But perhaps they expect I will sign up to their subscription service where they can then make money off me. Ironically the only time I have ever needed support from the software manufacturers support line,  is when their licensing activation server wasn't working.

 

They have advised me to go back to the manufacturer of the software and try to push their support to try and get them to provide me with the fix directly. But I didn't think they could just refer me back to the manufacturer like that, and I would have thought that the NZ arm of the company would be able to get it escalated . IMO this isn't good for people who buy perpetual software licenses, that are remotely controlled by the manufacturer, who can just terminate them whenever they wish without communication or compensation, and then try to use the CGA to get out of it. The CGA I thought was supposed to protect consumers against this sort of thing.

 

Although there probably is a third party way around it, I would prefer not to go down that track. So I have asked them to get it escalated, because I don't think any of their explanation flies.

 

Also this is not AutoCAD,it is another type of software, but interesting that other people with other software are having similar types of  issues.


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  #2409394 28-Jan-2020 22:22
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You can't contract out of the CGA as far as I know. I have no specialist knowledge on that.

Imo it's time to do a disputes tribunal thing with the retailer.

When did you purchase?

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  #2409419 29-Jan-2020 00:24
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gzt:

When did you purchase?

 

OP hasn't answered this and it will be important if he wants to dispute this. If it is 3 years old he's got a very strong arguement IMO but if it is 12 years old there will be a much stronger argument for the software provider to say that the software has reached the end of it's useful life. The CGA says that the product has to be reasonably durable and fit for purpose, hence why the age of the product is important. If it doesn't work anymore but it's old and reasonably cheap then there is a different argument under the CGA.

 

I'm not sure about the Fair Trading act though, @dejadeadnz would have a better idea.


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  #2409432 29-Jan-2020 07:32
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I think the question should be what's "expensive" in this case. Is it $50k's worth of software, or $500? If it's the latter, I would suggest it's not worth the time/effort. But perhaps the OP doesn't value time in this case.

 

If it's got to a point where they have turned off a service that is integral to the software, it must be pretty dam old and probably needs retiring anyway - and no, the argument of "but it works for me" isn't sufficient, because its the same one Windows 7 Luddites like to use.


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