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Old 11-15-2006, 10:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Thumbs down Beware - Handango...

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I purchased BerryBlocker via Handango about 60 days ago for $9.95. The author has since released an update to fix some bugs. Went back to the Handango site, and I'm not allowed to download the update, because I didn't purchase "download insurance" for an ADDITIONAL $6.99 for my $9.95 app. Sent in a customer support question, and they curtly informed me that yes, this is their policy and they'd be happy to take my $6.99 now, otherwise no download - "try contacting the author if you'd like."

So, if you want to pay $17 for your $10 application, then I recommend Handango. Otherwise, you might want to look for other sources to purchase your BB apps whenever possible and stay away from Handango!
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Old 11-15-2006, 10:21 AM   #2 (permalink)
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handango has always sucked!!! there is nothing new...

They also jack up their prices for applications and charge the developer like some ridiculous markup of 40%.

I remember back in the palm days developers had big problems with them... I would rather pay the developer via paypal.
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Old 11-15-2006, 10:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
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This is where I inform you that you should have read the fine print. Nothing against you but their policies are there. You have to read them. Is that their fault that you didn't? Should you really be upset with Handango?
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Old 11-15-2006, 10:35 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I think I'd be annoyed either way if it were me. If I hadn't read it I'd be annoyed, and if I had read it I'd feel it was an under hand practice.

I think for someone as established as Handango there should be something in place that says if you buy a piece of software then you get updates for 'x' period of time, be it 6 months, a year, whatever. I think the strategy of 'upgrade insurance' is a nasty way of fleecing money out of people through fear. If a new version comes out you should pay, I think that's fair enough, but with an update I can see why it's annoying. If I get charged by RIM to go from 4.0 to 4.1 that's fine by me, but if they tried charging me for a service pack I'd get very upset very quickly!!!
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Old 11-15-2006, 10:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulbblc
This is where I inform you that you should have read the fine print. Nothing against you but their policies are there.
Thanks Paul, but with all due respect, did YOU read the fine print before posting your reply? I'm thinking not, because here it is, directly from their site - this window pops up during the order process to help you decide whether to spend an additional 70% for your software:

Quote:
What is it?
Download Protection is a service offered by Handango that protects you from a broad range of circumstances which may cause the loss of the software applications files you've purchased. This service allows you to redownload your files after 30 days from the time of purchase of the application.

Why do I need it?
You might need to redownload your application files for a number of reasons including the following:

1. You get a new mobile device and want to re-add software titles you've purchased in the past.

2. Your mobile device needs to be reset...resulting in the loss of your application files.

3. You get a new PC and need an extra copy of your application files for redownload.

4. The PC on which you back-up your application file crashes.

5. You lose your reference number and or order number and need to redownload your application file.
So, you tell me - do you see ANYWHERE there where it tells you you'll need this to be able to get upgrades/bug fixes? Because I sure don't. Per the first paragraph above - I haven't suffered LOSS of my application - I do my own backups to protect against that. And I don't need to *REDOWNLOAD* my app, I need the newly released bug fixes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulbblc
You have to read them. Is that their fault that you didn't? Should you really be upset with Handango?
Yes, you DO have to read them. And yes, I believe I SHOULD really be upset with Handango! Its not promoted as "upgrade insurance" its promoted as "(re)download insurance." See the difference?? If the developer states that upgrades are free with your purchase, Handango shouldn't be able to veto that - PARTICULARLY without advance notice.
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Last edited by DallasFlier : 11-15-2006 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 11-15-2006, 10:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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touche,

I'm positive that list stated for software upgrades as well. I know it did when I ordered eWorks and eSpell, however it's not on your list...

I apologize for coming off as a jerk if I did, those were not my intentions. I just don't like seeing people blame others for their mistakes. Not saying you did, but if that's the list that comes up now I do apologize.
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Old 11-15-2006, 11:02 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulbblc
I apologize for coming off as a jerk if I did, those were not my intentions. I just don't like seeing people blame others for their mistakes. Not saying you did, but if that's the list that comes up now I do apologize.
Hmm, since you still say "if" that's the list that comes up now - here's the link directly from their site - I didn't perform any selective edits in my favor.

Handango Download Protection

The whole thing's pretty stupid on their part anyway. Turns out, you can still go back to the product page and use the "download trial" link, and it works with the key I have. So what they HAVE done is to disable the prominent "upgrade" link on the product page and the link on the "My Account" pages with a rude notice about having not purchased the protection. So they're not preventing it, just making it difficult and less intuitive and pissing off customers - IMHO, of course.
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Old 11-15-2006, 11:23 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Right, I understand your frustration. I'm surprised they edited out info on that list though. There used to be a few more points as well. In total there were around 10 reasons for the "insurance".

Anyway glad you found a way to get it though!

p.s. I didn't say "if" in a doubtful manner. I guess it was just a bad word usage.
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Old 11-15-2006, 11:31 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulbblc
This is where I inform you that you should have read the fine print. Nothing against you but their policies are there. You have to read them. Is that their fault that you didn't? Should you really be upset with Handango?
Perhaps so, but many of us put trust in a site that APPEARS to be what it looks like to the naked eye. Handango could easily place a statement at the top of its main page warning of no free updates since it has become an issue.
DallasFlier: kudos for the warning!
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Old 11-15-2006, 12:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Yeah, well that's what you get. I support free or open source products first. Then i will consider purchasing software, but only if buying direct..
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Old 11-15-2006, 01:32 PM   #11 (permalink)
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It's not $6.99 per software title is it? If not, then the 'insurance' is spread across the board of all the software you d/l from their site.

I wholeheartedly agree that this is a lousy business practice, but if it's there and made known to the buyer (they should probably require a formal acknowledgment of this lousy policy), there's no avoiding the consequences. Sad to say.
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Old 11-15-2006, 01:40 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by backbeat
It's not $6.99 per software title is it? If not, then the 'insurance' is spread across the board of all the software you d/l from their site.
Yes, its per software title - I just checked by putting two products into my shopping cart there and they attempted to add the download protection twice - once per title.

Quote:
Originally Posted by backbeat
I wholeheartedly agree that this is a lousy business practice, but if it's there and made known to the buyer (they should probably require a formal acknowledgment of this lousy policy), there's no avoiding the consequences. Sad to say.
Take a look at the policy I quoted and linked to in follow-on messages above. Its NOT there and made known to the buyer - therefore totally deceptive.
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Old 11-15-2006, 02:54 PM   #13 (permalink)
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As a developer that uses Handango it is frustrating that they direct issues like that to the developer. Since they are the publisher that should be their responsibility.
For bug fixes they should be for free after any period of time, not sure what download insurance really gives you... it is supposed to be meant for things that are the customers fault... like they lost the software, etc... I think it is based on per transaction so if you were to buy 2 or more pieces of software in one go then you would still just get charged insurance once.
It is even misleading to the developer as there is a section to upload "free" upgrades such as bug fixes and an area to upgrade paid upgrades for new feature additions. There is also a function where you can upload a "qualified upgrade user list" which doesn't seem to do anything at all.
My last application I'm using a registration model so that upgrades are always free as long as the customer holds onto their registration key.

But unfortunately they are the largest distributor out there. Also basically any distribution site will charge 40% or so.
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Old 11-15-2006, 03:05 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DallasFlier
Yes, its per software title - I just checked by putting two products into my shopping cart there and they attempted to add the download protection twice - once per title.


Take a look at the policy I quoted and linked to in follow-on messages above. Its NOT there and made known to the buyer - therefore totally deceptive.
You should contact the developer directly, since this impacts him/her also. Handango charging $6.99 on a per software title-basis for download insurance is a customer-gouging mechanism, akin to credit insurance (please, no cards or letters if you've ever benefited from credit insurance ).
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Old 11-15-2006, 04:08 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by logan
I think it is based on per transaction so if you were to buy 2 or more pieces of software in one go then you would still just get charged insurance once.
No, not true - see my comments above about adding two titles to my shopping cart for a single transaction (which I didn't complete, but got to the "checkout" stage.) They specifically added two separate charges for "download protection" to the two titles in the cart. Also, they added them to the cart automatically, so you have to take an extra step and manually remove them if you don't want to pay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by logan
It is even misleading to the developer as there is a section to upload "free" upgrades such as bug fixes and an area to upgrade paid upgrades for new feature additions. There is also a function where you can upload a "qualified upgrade user list" which doesn't seem to do anything at all.
My last application I'm using a registration model so that upgrades are always free as long as the customer holds onto their registration key.

But unfortunately they are the largest distributor out there. Also basically any distribution site will charge 40% or so.
Yes, it sounds like its misleading to both developer and buyer alike. And consider this - they charge you 40% - so on a $10 app they're giving you $6. But IF you want them to fulfill the responsibilities of a publisher, then that app will cost the customer at least $15 (the download protection is $4.99 at the time of purchase, $6.99 later) so in reality they're keeping 60% of what the customer is paying, not 40% - unless the customer manually removes the protection, in which case Handango will refer them to YOU for any new releases.

I know you can't ignore them, as a developer, as they give you much wider exposure than you could ever get on your own. But for myself, from now on if I see anything on Handango I'm interested in, I'll do a bit of research to see if 1) I can buy the license directly from the developer, or 2) there's another distributor other than Handango which carries it. If so, I'll download the free trial from Handango but try to buy the license from another source. I'd recommend if you have any kind of webpage for your products, that you set up the ability to take PayPal payments directly. Keep your 40% on whatever transactions you can get directly. Seems like a good tradeoff to give PayPal their 3% or so, and email me the activation code yourself - and keep the rest of the money for you!
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Old 11-15-2006, 04:30 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Emailing activation codes is not always the best solution, some customers wait until the trial fully expires so want their code immediately on purchase. If it is going to be a manual emailing from the developer than you'd have to expect 24 hours or so turn around time.

If I keep developing new apps then I will for sure look into a website assuming I can build a somewhat automated method to deliver registration codes. 3% is definately less than 40%
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Old 11-15-2006, 06:23 PM   #17 (permalink)
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You may be able to implement some kind of automated method to automatically deliver the codes via a web purchase, not sure how complex or simple a problem that might be. Even without that though, I'd encourage you to set up a simple website. If they wait till the last second and need the code NOW, then they can still buy it from Handango, I'd not recommend taking away that option. But at least SOME percentage would be willing - and in my case even prefer - to buy directly and wait 24 hours for the code from you. If you keep that 37% difference even part of the time, that's a good thing.
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Old 11-21-2006, 04:01 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DallasFlier
I purchased BerryBlocker via Handango about 60 days ago for $9.95. The author has since released an update to fix some bugs. Went back to the Handango site, and I'm not allowed to download the update, because I didn't purchase "download insurance" for an ADDITIONAL $6.99 for my $9.95 app. Sent in a customer support question, and they curtly informed me that yes, this is their policy and they'd be happy to take my $6.99 now, otherwise no download - "try contacting the author if you'd like."

So, if you want to pay $17 for your $10 application, then I recommend Handango. Otherwise, you might want to look for other sources to purchase your BB apps whenever possible and stay away from Handango!
I always had this feeling there was somthing shady about the now I know. That's more jacked up than microsoft. At least microsot will try to backengineerit an pass it off as there own an there a monoply. But this is just plain wrong.
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Old 11-21-2006, 05:05 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I do not buy from Handango unless I absolutley have to. I don't like their business practices. I wish there was more competition for them.
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Old 11-21-2006, 08:58 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I've run into problems with Handango before. But this just SUCKS. I won't buy from them unless it's the ONLY way to get the software I'm looking for.

But this particular policy is ridiculous. I can MAYBE see where upgrades would not be included, but a full product upgrade is different than an update to fix bugs! That should be allowed.

Thanks for the warning. Hopefully contacting the author/developer directly will get you taken care of.
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