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Babylon "overused licenses"
Thread poster: Eleni Makantani

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 21:21
Member (2008)
French to English
Same here Feb 10, 2010

Knife wrote:


Dear [my name]

Thank you for taking the time to write us.

Im really sorry for all the inconvenience you may have I really want to help you with your problem , I see that you have 2 licenses that is correct, I also see that somehow your 2 license have received new licenses code. And this license Code is for you 2 licenses it works with both. Only in 2 computer.

Our licensing system monitors license usage and automatically revokes licenses that exceed this usage policy.

1. It may be possible that your license somehow leaked out to the web or was duplicated and therefore had been reported as over-used.

2. If you use a single Babylon license on more than one computer, you will require additional license, one for each machine.

In order to clear this issue, we’ve sent you a new license to replace the over-used one.

[username]
Transaction ID:######
(Complete date: m/dd/yyyy)
Product:Babylon 7 download file
Username:*****
New License Code:*****

We apologize for any inconvenience you may encounter.

If I can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to write to me again.

Best regards,
Aaron Malca| Customer Support | Babylon Ltd.


I just came across this thread. About a year ago, after getting a new computer, my "lifetime" Babylon license also stopped working. When I complained I got the identical letter. I got a new license which worked for a few weeks and then quit again. At that point I couldn't be bothered pursuing it further, and don't intend to. No other software had any difficulties or licensing issues transferring to my new machine, so I concluded that Babylon's license is not customer-friendly, and I found other resources, thank you.


 

Comunican
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:21
Catalan to English
+ ...
very disillusioned with Babylon and looking for an alternative Mar 19, 2010

John Fossey
I concluded that Babylon's license is not customer-friendly, and I found other resources


I too have been using Babylon for several years and when it works it is fine but I have had numerous problems with licenses - despite having paid hundreds of euros for the Babylon software, upgrades and dictionaries. I frequently get the "your license has expired" situation. And I've been tricked by Babylon into paying for dictionaries twice, not realising until it was too late. Babylon installs things without asking permission - such as adding an "Enhanced by Babylon" feature to Microsoft Word (I would not use the word "enhanced").

This week, I suddenly lost use of my French dictionary which I paid for in full (along with all the other dictionaries I use). I had to turn down an urgent technical French English job worth 200 euros because I knew I wouldn't be able to do the work in the short timescale without access to the French dictionary.

The Babylon Support rep and I have exchanged 20 e-mails this week and despite sending a list of Babylon Licence IDs and Licence Codes (see below for the convoluted format they use for every single licence, every single dictionary!), they have failed to "find me on the system" and say that they can do nothing until I find my licence number for Babylon version 7 (they seem to have forgotten that I paid for the upgrade to version 8 last year!):

Product: Larousse Chambers Fre - Eng - Fre
Transaction ID: 11XXXX7, (Complete date: 12/6/2006)
Username: comunican, New License Code: AZXXNFXXXXNDVNKXX4DSXXWP

Babylon support is shoddy to say the least: they take days to respond, and they really don't give a damn about keeping customers happy and treat you like you have done something wrong.

I couldn't agree more with what "xxxpooh_bear138" said on 12 April 2009 in this forum.

And Cumbrowski's excellent blog mirrors almost exactly my own experience and sentiment about this poorly run organisation: http://www.roysac.com/blog/2009/09/how-to-turn-paying-customers-into.html.

I also took his advice and posted a comment at CNET.

I am now looking for a replacement application - can anyone recommend anything please, I am now ready to move from Babylon!


 

Monika Elisabeth Sieger  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:21
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Happened to me as well! Mar 20, 2010

I have the same problem with them and I am really angry.
I was forced to buy a new license last year as I urgently needed my system working but I certainly am not prepared to to this again.
I think it is also ridiculous that you are almost forced into buying a new license as soon as they inform you about the launch of a new version. I have paid for my license and was guaranteed that this would be for life. But 'for life of what'?
For this special version or for your working life or the one of your computer?
As well, when I bought my new version of Babylon 8 I never got my CD I had paid for..
Their treatment is quite shoddy and utterly inacceptable.

But this happened to me as well with a German legal dictionary: I bought the CD-Rom and was guaranteed three licenses. In the end we had to fight to get at least to and after the breakdown of one of our laptops we were unable to renew the license.....
Thank you, CH Beck!


 
Me too ... Apr 4, 2010

Just adding my name to the list as another person that has had their perfectly legitimate, paid-for license revoked as a result of Babylon's draconian licensing policy.

Mine vanished whilst upgrading my PC to Windows 7 which I did on a new hard disk. I had to jump back into the old OS from time to time to copy files over that I'd forgotten and in this period Babylon concluded that I must be running their software on two PC's and promptly cancelled me. This period being one whole day .... silly me.

This was back in November and I wrote to them at the time only to be given a stock-response about abusing their licensing policy and being given a link to buy a new license. So, basically, pay again for the software that I've already paid for, for no reason whatsoever.

I replied to this re-stating my case and asking them to provide me with details of exactly what access they had recorded (e.g. times/IP addresses and so on) if they were so sure I'd violated their policy, but I never received a reply. Nor a reply to my subsequent chasing email.

So, to any prospective Babylon customer, would I recommend Babylon? Hell no! Steer well clear unless you fancy being treated in the worst way possible: basically robbed and ignored.

I can only hope that word gets out about this. I've written to them again today and if I don't receive a reply I'll start to contact consumer columns in PC magazines etc to see if anyone can get them to do something about it.

Good luck to everyone else with the same problem.


 
VERY UNHAPPY ABOUT BABYLON AND LOOKING FOR HONEST ALTERNATIVES May 6, 2010

I had the same problem. I purchased Babylon 8 + Britannica + Extended License Service + Backup CD on 31 August 2009 (order 1672334). My computer crashed. I purchased a new one and installed Babylon on the new one. Almost immediately arrived the license overused message and the discontinuation of services. I discussed with the support service, they told me that they would reset my license, but they did not.
Moreover they modified my search engine and installed lots of bad things on my new computer.
I will send tomorrow the message to my thousands of links on linkedin and buy another software that you recommend.
I recommend you to do the same.
Let us communicate to all our relationships how we are treated by Babylon.
Jacques Rassart




[Edited at 2010-05-07 19:01 GMT]


 
What you should know about Babylon ltd May 12, 2010

Babylon translator does not translate "full documents" only 5000 words. It sometimes open pdf files. It is an online product (you can not use it offline, even when you purchase the license) and only way to translate into 75 languages is to download 75 dictionaries. No need to buy when the product is online. I wasted $128 for nothing. Also a very important fact, their translator destroys the original format leaving you with one 5000 word paragraph. Oh by the way it has a problem translating the word "egg" in French. They have continously ignored my complaints.

French - using Bing:
Babylon traducteur ne traduit pas seulement 5000 mots de "documents complet". Il ouvrira parfois des fichiers pdf. C'est un produit en ligne (vous pouvez le pas utiliser hors connexion, même lorsque vous achetez la licence) et est seul à traduire dans 75 langues pour télécharger des 75 dictionnaires. Inutile d'acheter lorsque le produit est en ligne. J'ai perdu $ 128 pour rien. Un fait très important, leur traducteur détruit également le format d'origine, vous laissant avec un paragraphe de texte de 5000. Oh par la façon dont il a un problème de traduire le mot "oeuf" en anglais. Ils ont permanence ignoré ma plainte.

Spanish - using Bing:
Babylon traductor no traduce palabras sólo 5000 de "documentos completos". A veces abra archivos pdf. Se trata de un producto en línea (puede no utilizarlo sin conexión, incluso al adquirir la licencia) y es sólo a modo de traducir a 75 idiomas Descargar diccionarios de 75. No es necesario comprar cuando el producto esté en línea. Había perdido $ 128 para nada. También un hecho muy importante, su traductor destruye el formato original, dejándole con un párrafo de la palabra de 5000. Ah por cierto tiene un problema de traducción de la palabra "huevo" en francés. Tienen continuamente ignorado mis quejas.


Hebrew - using Bing:
בבילון מתרגם לא לתרגם מילים רק 5000 "מסמכים מלא". לפעמים הוא לפתוח את קובצי pdf. מוצר מקוונת (לא ניתן להשתמש בו במצב לא מקוון, גם בעת רכישת הרשיון), הוא רק דרך כדי לתרגם לשפות 75 להוריד מילונים 75. אין צורך לקנות כאשר המוצר נמצא במצב מקוון. אני בזבז 128 דולר עבור דבר. גם עובדה חשובה מאוד, מתרגם שלהם הורסת את התבנית המקורית משאיר אותך עם אחד 5000 מילה פיסקה. הו לפי הדרך יש בעיה לתרגם את המילה "ביצה" בצרפתית. יש להם continously התייחסות תלונות שלי.

Japanese - using Bing:
バビロンの翻訳者は、「完全ドキュメント」のみ 5000 単語は変換されません。 それ時々 PDF ファイルを開きます。 (でもライセンスを購入するとオフラインで使用するない)、オンラインの製品であるし、75 の辞書をダウンロードする方法 75 の言語に翻訳するだけです。 製品がオンラインのときを購入する必要はありません。 私は何も $ 128 無駄。 あなたを残し、元の形式は、翻訳者は非常に重要な事実を破棄 5000 単語段落。 ああところでそれ語フランス語で「卵」を翻訳すること問題があります。 彼らがある continously 私の苦情を無視します。


 

budmerman
Local time: 18:21
The same thing happened to me. I started with their trial version for $9.75 just to see if I would May 16, 2010

Knife wrote:

That's the name of a web page I will setup to make visible the recent commercial tactics from Babylon.

My story is simple:
1) I had a lifetime v4 license since 2002
2) Babylon convinced me to upgrade to v7 at a discount. I did so for my PC and is working great. No problem here.

Here comes the funny part:
3) I needed 2 additional licenses for my wife and her boss. She ask me to get two licenses.
4) I clicked on a Babylon advertising. It displayed an Israeli phone number to call for an offer.
5) The sales agent on the phone told me that I can buy two licenses with a 50% discount each. Two by the price of one. Offer valid only on the phone.
6) I went for it. I received an e-mail with a license. There were a column Quantity, and there is a number "2" under that.
7) It worked fine for a couple of months. My wife and her boss were happy.
8) Suddenly, they got the "license overuse message".

You can imagine the rest. Two months fighting with them with no reasonable reply.
They just say over and over "each license is valid for one computer".
Hell, I have PO for TWO licenses. I explained this at least 3 times, attaching the PO e-mail.
The reply? "Each license is valid for one computer". Looks like there is a reobot in the other side.

I tried to call to the support phone number.
A disaster. Nobody speaks English there. (Funny, for softare translation software).
I called 4-5 times. They just put me on hold, said something in German, and then hang.
Very disrespectfully.

Conclusion: I was fooled and a victim of a scam.
Now, here is may plan. Maybe you are interested in participate.

Babylon is an outstanding product, and right now is a strong brand, based on a great product and their previous commercial policy. Now the commercial policy has changed (they stink), but the brand is still immaculate. However, that will change if we succeed in positioning on top google search these stories whenever someone searchs for the Babylon keyword.

I do internet marketing for fun, so I know how to setup quickly a web page and some tactics to position it in google. It takes months, however. Well, I'm not in a hurry. It will cost me $10 a year to keep that unveiling site about Babylon, but I think they worth in terms on warning other potential victims of their commercial tactics. Maybe that also make Babylon change their commercial policy.

The provisional name of the site will be:

The Babylon Complaint Site (more polite), or
The Babylon Scam (more direct)

I will ask my lawyer about the risks on doing this, but I think this is the way to go.

I will post later an e-mail and more details when I mature the idea a little.
Please post your opinion on this forum meanwhile.

Best regards
Knife


 

budmerman
Local time: 18:21
Babylon language rip-off $120 taken, no service rendered May 16, 2010

Budmerman wrote:

The same thing happened to me. I started out buying the trial version just to see if I liked it (they made it sound like the trial version was for free). Well, it cost me $9.75 which wasn't bad so I paid for it.

Soon afterwards I got a call from Tzoor in Israel. He went over the program and explained that it wasn't a good deal and he could sell me a lifetime upgrade for $120 and he would throw in two dictionaries. Made sense to me so I bought it--he spent a lot of time telling me what a smart move it would be. Ha Ha Oh, and he said he would send me a CD so if I ever had any problem or something happened to the program I could download it again.

He also said he would cancel my monthly subcription (evidently the one month trial could end up being on going with your credit card) and replace it with the upgrade.

A month later everything expired. They said I needed to buy a new license. After many many emails, they ask for all my transaction papers (which I had saved) so I emailed them to the support team. They then asked me for the last four digits of my credit card as they said they could not find me in their system (very poor record keeping to say the least).

Then they emailed me back and said that I needed an older version ID to make the upgrade work. Tzoor said it was an upgrade for the monthly license I had bought. Now they are saying it only works with an older full version. Double talk, all double talk. Tzoor spoke very excellent English so I know there was no misunderstanding there. I hope your blog helps educate a few people so they don't get screwed. Like you say it is a big company. I re-downloaded Firefox and they had Babylon and Bing on their site. I like google. I couldn't get rid of Babylon/Bing search on Firefox so I un-installed it and went to Google Chrome.

I know Babylon is a big company but their customer service is totally lacking and makes them look and sound like a fly by night company which I know they are not. Do Not Buy from them unless they put everything in writing and I mean everything--do not do phone business with them. After I made my first purchase with them I got a sneaking feeling that something was crawling up my leg. Have been checking my credit card for a month now to make sure it wasn't being used. I am really now worried because they can't even find me in their record books, maybe because they do not want to refund my money nor make my purchase valid so it looks like I am out $120. Oh and another thing, the cd Tzoor sent is an old version and he did not send the license number with it so I can't even use that if I wanted. Very shoddy work and a whole lot of stupidity on my part for trusting the telephone salesman who is now reminding me of the term "traveling salesman" from back in the early days.



[Edited at 2010-05-17 15:58 GMT]


 

budmerman
Local time: 18:21
Babylon Fixed Everything With No Argument--100% A OK May 27, 2010

Babylon was very easy to work with--fixed all of the problems, took a while, they even called me from Israel to make sure everything was OK--Like I said it took a while but they got the job done.

 

MentalFloss
Local time: 13:21
Nor will I (let them get away with it...) Feb 27, 2011

Ines Garcia Botana wrote:

Don’t let them get away with it ...


Inés


Here is the email I sent to Babylon Ltd.:


Sir or Madam,

I have taken your repeated intrusions and warnings that I have overused my license quite seriously.

I recall very clearly the way in which your salespeople fairly leapt upon me after I took out a subscription with immediate phone calls trying to sell me as much as possible, offering me deals “just for me” because I wanted numerous premium dictionaries.

I made it very clear to them that I had a desktop and laptop and they assured me that my “Lifetime License”, with all the wonderful support forever and ever, would not be a problem.

I read the terms and conditions – the “EULA” – carefully and could find no clear text prohibiting fair home use by the licensee.

So incensed am I that -- after spending AUD $400, then using up my valuable time while your technical staff screwed up my order and I was forced to uninstall, re-install many time, re-download and enter new licenses, etc. etc. before everything was sorted out – I am ready to take this to the courts.

I have already emailed you once to the above address and received no reply.

Why aren’t “Operations” as eager to sort out issues as your Sales staff is to vend your product? Or, for that matter, even your support team responded better in the ridiculous mess that I went through to complete my Activation.

I have looked online and seen the comments of the “Community” of users and Translators to your tactics and their comments on your product as well.

I agree wholeheartedly with them, but unlike many of them, I am not going to “take it on the chin” and write off my investment.

Unless you cease and desist with this campaign of intimidation, I will go directly to the ACCC – the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and lodge a formal complaint against Babylon Ltd.

I have told the community in forums here in Australia and many have told me they are prepared to join a Class Action suit against Babylon Ltd. with the aim to bring all of the high pressure sales tactics – even and including lying about the “seat license” limitations in order to make a sale – and your breach of contract with the end user.

You should know also that your “monitoring” of private computers and threats to disable licensed software are illegal.

As an Israeli company, you make me ashamed that unlike no other software company that I know, you do not of allows for fair home use on one to three computers.

It is petty and unfair, and I will not abide it.

In the interim, I have uninstalled Babylon on my desktop computer and run it only on my laptop.

If I receive one more email, or do not receive a reply from “operations@babylon.com” within 10 days of the date of this email, I will be contacting the ACCC immediately.

Sincerely,

A very unhappy, disgusted and angry customer.


 

Comunican
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:21
Catalan to English
+ ...
Go for it MentalFloss!! Feb 27, 2011

I totally agree with your anger at Babylon's bad business practices.
I'd switch immediately if there was an alternative out there... maybe we should all club together and create one...icon_smile.gif


 

Nilton Junior  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 00:21
Member (2009)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
So angry Jul 1, 2011

My main PC's motherboard has stopped working in the weekend and I had to start using Babylon on my notebook for now.

It worked fine for two days, but now I also getting the "your license has expired" message. Funny thing is that the message only redirects me to their store and provide no support contact.

I have e-mailed them and got no replies at all, not even an automatic one.

As I will get another PC next week (that is, if Babylon allows me to finish my current ongoing projects on time), I may not even reactivate it on my notebook if they reply me. I don't want to go through this hassle again anytime soon.


 

isabel murillo  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:21
English to Spanish
+ ...
Any recommendation on sw alternatives??? Jul 1, 2011

Do you have any recommendation on honest software alternatives to Babylon?

I believe a lot of us share the same problem but I don't have a clue on honest and reliable alternatives to Babylon software.

Any input?


 
Babylon problems with Mac OSX Sep 26, 2011

Babylon was working fine until I upgraded my OS to "Lion". When I did, Babylon simply stopped working. The only copy of this license I have is installed on my laptop but now when I attempt to start it up, I get a screen asking me to register the license by entering my name and license code. When I do this, I get an error message saying: "License code invalid.", even though I purchased the extended license service: I have sent 5 emails over the past 4 months and can't get a response out of Babylon.
Here is a copy of my original purchase confirmation:


On 2011-02-23, at 4:55 PM, Babylon wrote:

If you can't read this mail or open the links below, please open the attached text file.

Purchase Confirmation

Thank you for purchasing from Babylon!
Your order No. 2151576 has been successfully processed.

This page is your proof of purchase. Please print and save it for future reference.

In order to receive your Digital Invoice, please click here.

Purchase Details:
Order number: 2151576
Date of purchase: 23-Feb-2011
Payment Method: Credit Card

E-mail: lsebek@sympatico.ca
Phone: 1-905-773-8055

License Code(s):
User Name: lsebek
License Code:
Babylon Mac Pro V3: 55MGCSWCZ2TVW0SV3CYRVT645Q

Product Details:
Product Name License Period Expiry Date: Quantity Price (CAD) Discount Sub Total (CAD)
Babylon Mac Pro V3 -- -- 1 109 0% 109
Extended License Service -- -- 1 8 0% 8
Grand Total (CAD): 117

Installation Instructions:
Babylon Mac Pro V3
Download the installation file from here

1. Launch the installation. And proceed through the installation wizard
2. When Babylon is launched, it will require the registration details.
3. Enter your username (registered to): lsebek and License code: 55MGCSWCZ2TVW0SV3CYRVT645Q - To avoid misprints, it is highly recommended to copy and paste the data into the corresponding fields.
4. You may start up Babylon.
5. During license activation, a valid internet connection is a must!
6. Once validated, the application will become active.
Extended License Service
A backup of your license information, in case you need to reinstall the Babylon software


NOTE: I HAVE CHANGED THE LICENSE CODE IN THIS ENTRY SO NO ONE ELSE CAN CLAIM THE CODE AND INSTALL WITHOUT PAYING FOR THE SOFTWARE.


 
I understand your dilemma ! Jan 28, 2012

Being fluent in french and English I became aware of the pitfalls in translation tools many years ago and they have not improved since then.
Les finesses de la langue française se perdent dans cet outil qui ne vaut que 100 balles et vice versa, La grammaire subit les même effets.

Babylon might be an overpriced tool for verifying your spelling and the many definitions of the same word but I like its interface and functions.
It gives you a general idea about the object of a given paragraph if you keep in mind the errors mentioned above. I find the results of "Google translate" most hilarious.

As to the customer services they are all the same. Sales people are not translators.
Troubleshooters deal with one page at a time for their low level salary. You ask your assistant the right question or you are being referred to the reader of the next page ! LOL

Every site uses trickery to increase its revenue. Defense driving becomes necessary.
Never buy without trying all the features of the goods you intend to purchase including transferring the software to another media or talking to the service department.

Comme on s'adresse poliment à la 4ème personne en français, les traducteurs électroniques ne tiennent pas compte de la différence dans la langue italienne ( L'adresse polie se fiat à la 3ème personne). Babylon ou Google ne remplacent pas les cours de langue. Mais ne perdons pas l'espoir.
Tout dans la vie se réduit au prix. C'est à nous de décider si le prix de Babylon vaut l'aide que nous recevons.

Have a great day. Perfection is near !


 
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