Kilgray's subscription scheme for MemoQ Pro is counter productive
Thread poster: Pavel Tsvetkov

Pavel Tsvetkov  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 03:04
Member (2008)
English to Bulgarian
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MODERATOR
Jan 8, 2015

Dear All,

I would like to herewith share some thoughts on Kilgray's subscription scheme currently in place for MemoQ Pro.

1. I originally bought MemoQ Pro on 2013-10-04 for 359,60 EUR as part of the on-going group buy offer at www.proz.com I learned at the time that after I year has passed, I would then need to renew my subscription at the rate of 20% of the price of the license, which did not seem to be excessive.
2. I placed the order more as a gesture of appreciation of what Kilgray had been doing—offering a moderately priced and solid CAT tool, which generally operates reliably and has an excellent QA module—than because I actually needed a license. I already owned the latest versions of Trados and Deja vu X, and those were more than enough.
3. Let me clarify this last statement a bit. I first bought Trados back in 2008 and have been using it ever since. However, I had grown dissatisfied with the clumsiness and general instability of the product, which ultimately lead me to buy Deja vu X and use it as my CAT tool of choice, reverting to Trados only when a specific client asked me to.
4. All truth be told, only one of my clients has ever requested me to use MemoQ, and said client was more than ready to provide a time-limited license free of charge, so, again, I did not need to buy MemoQ, I chose to do so.
5. Yesterday, I installed the latest version of MemoQ, since the same client had contacted me again... only to find out that my licensed period had expired.
6. I checked how much it would cost me to pay the subscription installment and was very unpleasantly surprised to find out that:

– If I chose to renew my subscription, I would have to pay 20% of the list price of MemoQ, not the actual price I paid for MemoQ, when I bought my license. There is a difference of 100 EUR between the two figures, which in my opinion is a substantial difference;
– If I paid, "the "new" contract would be considered as starting from the older expired original date, and not the date of purchase." (to quote Kilgray's site)

Apart from this being both misleading and greedy, it makes me wonder... what if the contract is not renewed for two years (as I do not really need the software in my daily work) – will I then pay one year just to find out the year I have just paid for expired one year ago?

Please, share your thoughts.

Kind regards,
PTs

[Edited at 2015-01-08 20:30 GMT]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:04
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
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Always 20% of the list price Jan 8, 2015

I think that Kilgray always make it clear that the 20% is on the list price, not the price you paid, so I do not feel that this is a problem.

Being a software product tied to a maintance fee (if you want to keep it up-to-date, that is), I think it makes sense to buy it if and when you plan to use it frequently or as your main working tool, as it is the case in my office.


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JL01  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:04
English to French
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Most likely you're right Jan 8, 2015

I'm pretty sure that your reasoning is correct.




what if the contract is not renewed for two years (as I do not really need the software in my daily work) – will I then pay one year just to find out the year I have just paid for expired one year ago?



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LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:04
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
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Transparency in purchasing Jan 9, 2015

Don't get me wrong - I use MemoQ all the time and have a support agreement myself.
I do think that there would be less confusion if their webshop simply disallowed you from purchasing a support and upgrade agreement for less than the period of time needed for it to actually become currently active.

Unless things have changed recently, it is possible for someone whose last support agreement expired more than a year ago to buy (and Kilgray will happily accept their money for) a one-year support agreement - a purchase that is worthless unless you subsequently concatenate a sufficient number of additional agreements. I can see how someone could see this a somewhat of a bait & switch. If potential purchasers were immediately met with the message "sorry, you must purchase at least xxx years' worth of support for your agreement to become active", there would probably be less confusion.


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David Turner  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:04
French to English
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Although it is quite clear if you read the fine print... Jan 10, 2015

... it can be quite confusing for a user who does not keep their upgrade and support contract up to date and needs, for compatibility or other reasons, to update to the latest version. You may have to make two or three webstore payments in succession to get to that point. It's happened a couple of time to me. In some cases, it may be cheaper to re-purchase the product outright.

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 02:04
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
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@Pavel Jan 10, 2015

Pavel Tsvetkov wrote:
– If I chose to renew my subscription, I would have to pay 20% of the list price of MemoQ, not the actual price I paid for MemoQ, when I bought my license. There is a difference of 100 EUR between the two figures, which in my opinion is a substantial difference;


I can see how your expectation came about, but I think what Kilgray does is acceptable and actually not unexpected, if you think about it. You bought the first period's subscription at a discount, but I don't think that that necessarily means that all subsequent purchases will also be discounted.

– If I paid, "the "new" contract would be considered as starting from the older expired original date, and not the date of purchase."


This makes perfect sense to me, I'm afraid. The "20%" deal on subscriptions applies only to people who do not interrupt their subscriptions. The same principle often applies to membership of e.g. translator associations and other subscription-based products -- the discount for existing members applies only to members who are currently members, and not to members who used to be members in the past, but then became non-members for a while.

It makes me wonder... what if the contract is not renewed for two years, will I then pay one year just to find out the year I have just paid for expired one year ago?


In such a hypothetical scenario it would indeed be quite odd if they accepted your payment without telling you that you're really paying for a past period and not the current period.

It's more likely in such a scenario that they would either tell you upfront how much you need to pay to get your subscription current again (which, in your example, would be 2x20%), or that they would say that since your subscription has lapsed more than a year ago, you'd have to pay the full price again, as a new customer. This is not greedy.

You have my sympathy for misunderstanding the offer, as I have also misunderstood special offers in the past.


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David Turner  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:04
French to English
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I don't think that's the case Jan 10, 2015


In such a hypothetical scenario it would indeed be quite odd if they accepted your payment without telling you that you're really paying for a past period and not the current period.


It may be odd but that's exactly what they do in fact. Say you have version two and you've let your upgrade and maintenance contract lapse for 3 years. The latest version is version 5. You pay a one-year webstore subscription and find out by trial and error that it only upgrades your license to version three. You pay another one and find out that it only upgrades your license to version four, and so on.


It's more likely in such a scenario that they would either tell you upfront how much you need to pay to get your subscription current again (which, in your example, would be 2x20%), or that they would say that since your subscription has lapsed more than a year ago, you'd have to pay the full price again, as a new customer.


AFIAK, the webstore doesn't give you any such information upfront. It's not clear how many subscriptions you are behind or whether it would be more economical to pay the full price again. I'm Kilgray are trying to be fair and not mislead anyone and I'm all for paying for software and upgrades, but it does seem a rather odd system.


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Pavel Tsvetkov  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 03:04
Member (2008)
English to Bulgarian
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MODERATOR
TOPIC STARTER
MemoQ must be costliest tool to use right now... Jan 10, 2015

1. I would not be surprised if out of the top three CAT tools, MemoQ turns out to be the costliest one right now, when the subscription system based on 20% of the list price starting from the date of the last expiration is taken into consideration.

I am sure many would disagree with the above statement, but in Bulgaria Trados has always been sold for a fraction of its "usual" price, and Deja vu has considerably lowered its prices globally, and since you only pay an upgrade price for these tools when a new version comes out (which they do not do every year any more), MemoQ seems like a much less desirable choice at this point—at least to me.

Trados is the most comprehensive tool, but the also the slowest and least stable one, as it has always been unnecessary complex. MemoQ is not yet mature at this point and is somewhat slow and clumsy, when compared to Deja vu. The latter is my personal favourite, albeit crippled by Atril's nonsensical marketing policies, and at times strange software development choices.

In a nutshell: none of the three is a clear winner at this point, but MemoQ has adopted a strange payment system which will not help its cause.

When you make a payment to prolong your subscription, your new year should start from the date of the new payment—this is fair, and it should be so.

I own more than 120 software licences and I have never heard of such a policy—if it indeed exists elsewhere, please, correct me.

2. Another problem stems from the fact that a professional translator today is strongly recommended to have these three tools at his or her disposal, but such strange licensing systems favoring customers, who consider MemoQ their first tool of choice over those who use it occasionally, make things financially difficult. Translation prices have fallen dramatically in recent years, but CAT tool producers have only partially adapted to the new situation.

[Edited at 2015-01-10 19:50 GMT]


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Neil Ashby
Spain
Local time: 02:04
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
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Pavel Jan 27, 2015

From what I've briefly read above, I think you've misunderstood what subscription is (I initially did the same).

You do not need to subscribe to use the product, nor will you have to subscribe when your current subscription (you have 1 year free after purchasing) runs out.

Subscription entitles you to one year of upgrades and new releases + one year of support. If you decide not to pay you simply will not be entitled to new release/upgrades or support. You may continue to use the version of Memoq you have at the time of your subscription expiry, indefinitely.

At least that's how I understand it.


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Pavel Tsvetkov  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 03:04
Member (2008)
English to Bulgarian
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MODERATOR
TOPIC STARTER
Right, but... Jan 27, 2015

Dear Neil,

Thank you for your message.

I think you are right – I am most probably allowed to use the version initially bought indefinitely, but this presents several problems:

1. Some customers will most probably have not retained the version originally bought (this is not Kilgray's problem per se, but it is a problem)
2. In my case my only client using MemoQ likes to keep the projects on their server and I have to install the most recent version (their version) of MemoQ to access the project.
3. This client assigns work 2-3 times a year, but projects are usually rather big.
4. MemoQ's subscription based policy remains strange mostly for the reason that if you renew it at a later point, it will not be restarted from the date you actually pay, but from the date your subscription ran out (in the past). Keeping in mind item 3 above, this simply does not work for me and for many other professional translators out there for whom MemoQ is not their No 1 tool of choice.

I understand that both parties (developer and client) need to be happy with the arrangement... I am just not sure that clients are treated fairly under the current model.

Kind regards,
Pavel Tsvetkov

[Edited at 2015-01-27 14:46 GMT]


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LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:04
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
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Not a problem if you haven't retained your original version Jan 27, 2015

Pavel Tsvetkov wrote:
Some customers will most probably have not retained the version originally bought (this is not Kilgray's problem per se, but it is a problem)


You can simply re-download your original version - MemoQ has a number of older versions on the download page. I recently had to re-download 6.2 due to a client's server project specifications, even though I was up to 2014 at the time. With MemoQ you can easily have more than version on your computer with virtually no licensing problems, as long you are only actually running one of them at a time.


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Denis Hay
Local time: 02:04
didn't have time to read everything, but... Jan 28, 2015

Hi all,

Sorry if that has been said before, but there is no "subscription scheme" of any sort. You are *offered* 1 year of support & updates & upgrades for free when purchasing.

After that, nothing forces you to renew your support & maintenance. It just covers for support should you need it and all updates and upgrades, but if you're happy with your current version, nothing forces anyone to renew it. software doesn't expire nor is crippled in any way.


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