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Old 03-01-2010, 05:12 PM   #1
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IT legal issue

Does any one know the answer to this

To keep it simple we purchased some software 10 years ago the company changed hands 6 years ago they have given us upgrades for a small fee over the years. they are now telling me they should of been charging me a fee and there fore they gave me a month to agree. I have refused as i believe they should give me at least 3 months notice.
The sytem has now locked

Is that legal for them to do this?
I can understand the system not allowing me to add new data but the system has alot of information that i need access.

If what there doing is legal then any software company in theory could keep hiking up maintenance/support fees
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Old 03-01-2010, 06:23 PM   #2
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It all depends on the contract.

Typically, you purchase either the software, or a license to use it, and that license remains in place indefinately - although it doesn't necessarily entitle you to receive any support or upgrades.

I used to work for a small software house and some clients wouldn't have S&M contracts - so when they had a problem, or needed an upgrade, they paid directly - and usually more than if they're just had an S&M contract in the first place.

I have also had vendors try and require us to have S&M in place before when we've felt it not necessary, however careful reading of the contract usually shows that not to be the case and they back down.

Finally, what is the product in question - there might be a way to get the data out through the back door.
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:44 PM   #3
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Finally, what is the product in question
At this point i suspect the data is the most important thing and depending on the format i would also guess there would be a cheaper or free alternative
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:46 PM   #4
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Agreed. What I really meant was, once the product is known, there's possibilities then to extract the data.
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:08 AM   #5
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It is a booking and despatch package however we only used the system to in put account jobs so we can invoice and issue driver statements that is why they never charged fees as we only had limited use.
Over the years we have account details and more importantly all prices plus if the tax man or driver wants copies of invoices and statements we are unable to reprint.

my question is should i not be able to access this info if not all sofetware companies have you by the short and curlies
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:51 PM   #6
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Barry, it's likely that the system is date locked.

Is this held on a stand alone machine? If so try putting the system date back and see if you can access the data then.

If it's server held then it can still be done but possibly more involved if you're not IT literate
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:55 PM   #7
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It is also common for accounting software to be on an S&M contract to ensure the software is currently Revenue / Customs compliant.
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Old 04-01-2010, 01:56 PM   #8
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Tried changing the date. there are 3 computers.

there answer is pay the maintenance fee.

We are in the process of asking other software companies in this market what would happen if we changed software and so far 2 out of 2 have told us that you would still be able to access our info.They believe it to be illegal by preventing us.
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Old 04-01-2010, 11:06 PM   #9
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would still be a big help if we knew what the software program was ... then we might stand a chance of "opening" it ..
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Old 05-01-2010, 08:24 AM   #10
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it s called navigator and the company is www.diplomat.co.uk
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Old 05-01-2010, 09:33 AM   #11
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We've just been through the same issue with our estimating software, amazingly 2 days after the current 'support' contract ended it locked up!!!!

The answer: We had to pay the £600 fee for the next 12 months.

I think is quite common practice to put these timebombs into software to make sure you keep coming back!!!
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Old 05-01-2010, 10:39 AM   #12
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We've just been through the same issue with our estimating software, amazingly 2 days after the current 'support' contract ended it locked up!!!!

The answer: We had to pay the £600 fee for the next 12 months.

I think is quite common practice to put these timebombs into software to make sure you keep coming back!!!
This company charge you by the max number of cars that may be logged onto the booking and despatch system at any one time ie you mave have 40 drivers working on your circuit but the max at any one time will probably be half.

As i only use the system to input account jobs after the work is done ( so i can produce an invoice and driver statement ) the system is really geared up for all cash bookings and will dispatch the work as it uses gps and maps i never have any drivers logged onto the system therefor there charging rate shouldn't apply.

More than happy to pay a sensible licencel fee but not £250 per month
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Old 06-01-2010, 10:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hunton69 View Post
Does any one know the answer to this

To keep it simple we purchased some software 10 years ago the company changed hands 6 years ago they have given us upgrades for a small fee over the years. they are now telling me they should of been charging me a fee and there fore they gave me a month to agree. I have refused as i believe they should give me at least 3 months notice.
The sytem has now locked

Is that legal for them to do this?
I can understand the system not allowing me to add new data but the system has alot of information that i need access.

If what there doing is legal then any software company in theory could keep hiking up maintenance/support fees

My Company produces software and maintenance agreements are ususally paid for for both upgrades and support. SAP and ORacle recently increased maintenance on their global customers (17 to 22% of the software cost per annum) but many have said no and other outfits are out their to support them on older versions.

IT IS VERY DANGEROUS for the software Company to initiate any cause or effect over a Company's or Firm's business operation. Whilst in dispute over an imposed increase your business operation should not be interupted as this will arm you with measurable damages.

I would check with a lawyer and threaten to sue them for losses as a result of business interuption as they should leave you alone and sell the benefits of upgrade.

Increasing maintenance is common place in hard times even by the biggest players but they never would stop somebody fro operating.
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