My favorite band as a kid was DC Talk. They were the first CD I ever owned and the first concert I ever attended. In high school, some friend invited me to go to a second concert of theirs; I learned there the band was splitting up.
I was devastated.
I bought the solo albums from all 3 of the band members, and was a bit disappointed in the drastically different directions each had taken. Later, though, Michael Tait joined the Newsboys as their new front man. I waited eagerly for what would come of mixing his soulful voice with their contemporary rock sound.
I was not disappointed.
Until, that is, I learned you couldn’t by their new single in stores. 1
Their new album wasn’t scheduled to come out for months, and they weren’t going to release the single separately either in physical medium or online. Except, that is, if you pre-ordered the CD. Then you’d get a digital download of not just the current radio single, but three other preview tracks from the new CD.
I pre-ordered, downloaded, and was incredibly happy with my purchase.
A few months later, I got their CD in the mail. I was, again, very happy.
Until the next month, when they released a “special edition” of the same album that included 3 additional “album only” tracks. I couldn’t by them separately on CD. I couldn’t buy them online without buying the full special edition CD (and paying for tracks I already had).
The marketing pitch was the special edition added value for newcomers to the band’s fanbase. It was a reward for trying them out. It was a reward that was doubly costly to loyal fans like myself. Frankly, it was a bit insulting.
I’ve been using PhpStorm since early 2011 for WordPress development. It’s a remarkable IDE that gives me almost everything I used during my .Net development days.
When I started, I was using the free trial as I had been hired to teach another dev team how to integrate Mercurial into their development workflow. The trial was great, and though I tried to petition for a free license for open source development, I had to eventually pay for the full version instead.
Since then, I’ve regularly paid for my annual renewal, receiving a discount only in 2012 when the slew of “end of the world” discounts hit just about every product or service in the market. Again, that’s the only discount I’ve received on this product.
Despite somewhat regular “switch from your current IDE or text editor” discounts that are offered.
I like the idea of drumming up new customers with a discount, but there’s still value in rewarding existing customers for their loyalty. My parents, for example, have regularly switched their cable provider every year as one vendor’s “new customer” discount beats what the other vendors are willing to offer loyal customers for their renewed business.
When different hosting companies, software vendors, or hosted service solution start doing the same thing, I feel the same urge to jump ship to greener pastures.
PhpStorm is definitely worth the price for initial purchase and renewal. I’d never say it wasn’t. It’s just that seeing new customers being given special treatment by way of discounts makes long-term customers feel a bit neglected.
- I realize I could have downloaded a pirated version of the song easily. Since I work in digital goods, I see me trying to pirate media without first trying to legitimately purchase it as a sign of bad faith. To that end, I’ll go above and beyond to try to get a legal/paid copy before I even consider other avenues. ↩