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Which of the large software developers treat their customers fairly? (Not a deal)

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Which of the big software developers treat their customers well? Which ones provide excellent service? Have a fair upgrade policy? And, whilst appreciating that a subscription service suits some people, which providers give equal importance to those customers who prefer to buy outright? 

I will refrain from repeating the complaints about some of the big players here - who, in your opinion are STILL great companies to deal with? 

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MeldaProduction gets my #1 vote on all counts.  Free upgrades for life and past purchases count towards a discount on bundles.

Waves have excellent support, not only from a customer point of view, but also their development team are extremely engaged with DAW manufacturers. Not a huge fan of their upgrade policy though.

Native Instruments have a pretty fair upgrade policy IMO. Not had much experience with their support, so can't comment.

Once thing I would say about subscriptions vs buying outright.  Subscriptions make total sense from a tax point of view if you're doing recording/composing/mixing as a business. Buying outright can make more sense for non-business users depending on the cost.

It annoys me when companies that use iLok and only offer one activation.  IMO they should provide at least two if not three. I appreciate this might drive the cost up, but then it'd still be cheaper than buying the plugin three times.

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Posted (edited)

Melda Production

Audiority

I'll include Plugin Alliance because the quality/sale with loyalty is about as good as it gets if you are patient.  Authorization fits in the acceptable category but I'd prefer more freedom.  

Toneboosters has a lot of bang for the buck, compare features and interface of EQ4 to anything on the market to the price.  

Upgrades at IKM are terrible but they are responsive on the customer support side even for the free products.  And the number of products they have given away over the last 2 years is pretty amazing.  And 9 authorizations with the ability to deauthorize is pretty good  (expiring downloads for purchased products is also terrible)

Edited by Brian Walton
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i sort of like the way NI and Arturia do things. I dont like IKM much. This weird business of charging for downloads of old files is sneaky. As is their weird upgrade practices where a bundle is considered a separate and distinct product from a single purchase? I have never seen something that stupid. If you own software X you qualify for upgrade to software X because you already own it. It doesn't matter how you acquired it. Just my thoughts.

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Sonokinetic

(Great customer support!  I was having a VERY minor problem and they could not duplicate my problem so they could not give me an immediate solution.   Several months went by and I received an email with a patch that solved the problem. )

 

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 Image - Line - one of the reasons it become my favorite DAW.   They also gave me Flex presets after being in the hospital which was all of them at that time.

iLok - great support.

Spitfire - they have weekend support.

VSL

I like to support developers who have the "I trust you" attitude towards the enduser.   When I stopped using Sonar I still bought licenses because of that.

IK - I know they take a beating over upgrades.  The $299 to Total Max was worth it for me to have all of AT5, the newer plugs in TRacks.  Their support is top notch.  Pete is very good at wearing a fire suit.   They give you free stuff and any support issue if resolved quickly.

Licensing is my biggest factor.  Thumbs down to Steinberg and Waves on this. 

 

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Melda, SoundToys, Plugin Alliance and Boz (does he count as big?).  And for that, they get more of my $$.

As of last week, I'll add Izotope.  They make top notch plugins, and having just upgraded to the MP4 for a great price makes their upgrades  "good" in my book.  (Even though it was a great deal, their "upgrade policy" is questionable at best - but pays off if you're patient.)  Customer support is excellent.

Honestly, Waves customer support has been pretty good to-date. But for "WUPgrades" and their v9-12 versioning scheme, they get a BIG FAT "F"...

 

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I really like the way Toontrack keeps innovating and releasing new content.  I get it that some programs like EZD2 and EZKeys are a bit old, but they are constantly updated with bug fixes,  new features, etc. and Toontrack has a steady stream of new content which I appreciate. 

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3 minutes ago, Greg said:

I really like the way Toontrack keeps innovating and releasing new content.  I get it that some programs like EZD2 and EZKeys are a bit old, but they are constantly updated with bug fixes,  new features, etc. and Toontrack has a steady stream of new content which I appreciate. 

They wanted something like $300+ for people to upgrade to Superior Drummer 3 even if they purchase 2 in the last year and only even offered that outrageous pricing for a few months then took away the upgrade option.  

I own a number of TT products, but they are average at best, not worthy of mention.

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24 minutes ago, mibby said:

Melda, SoundToys, Plugin Alliance and Boz (does he count as big?).  And for that, they get more of my $$.

As of last week, I'll add Izotope.  They make top notch plugins, and having just upgraded to the MP4 for a great price makes their upgrades  "good" in my book.  (Even though it was a great deal, their "upgrade policy" is questionable at best - but pays off if you're patient.)  Customer support is excellent.

Honestly, Waves customer support has been pretty good to-date. But for "WUPgrades" and their v9-12 versioning scheme, they get a BIG FAT "F"...

 

I was going to mention Boz, but his lack of developming the pro-channel PanKnob which should be an easy addition to the product line makes me sad.  Otherwise he treats customers well.  

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Yeah, forgot AAS. Wonderful company. 

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1 hour ago, Paul Young said:

I like to support developers who have the "I trust you" attitude towards the enduser.

Me too! Licensing is also a very important point to me.

Thus, I will also add TBProAudio! They have really good products and file licences (cool for offline autorisation). Lately I found a small issue in an updated plugin. They answered my messages in less than 2 hours and they fixed the issue in less than 24 hours. Awesome! 👍

Else I have a positive impression of Audio Assault, Audiority, AudioThing, Boz Digital, eaReckon, Klanghelm, Kuassa, Melda (except their installation and documentation), Plugin Alliance, PSPaudioware, Rayzoon, ...

Yes, I know, most of them are smaller companies (not as the OP requested)! But most big companies are not so customer friendly! The worst IMHO are online installers, I mean companies that force online installation (like NI, XLN, ...).

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Spectrasonics. I have Omnisphere and IIRC I paid for one upgrade and an expansion (Bob Moog Tribute Library). but they both seemed reasonable. I've had a number of free upgrades over the years and a couple were substantial. Of course the upfront cost isn't cheap.

Also agree with Melda P.

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Posted (edited)

Toontrack treats existing customers like crap and tries to fleece them. I got rid of everything I had from them , which was quite a bit.  I despise them.

I'm not sure Melda counts as a large software developer, but I'm a Melda fan and love their upgrade model.  As for upgrades, though, "lifetime upgrades" become less useful when they elect to create new, tangential products of the same type and put new features there,

Eventide has always been generous, fair, and awesome.

UVI is attentive and solid, although their upgrade pricing for sound libraries leaves something large to be desired.

NI is generous but their customer support is hideous.

IKM is a mixed bag but continues to run with some bad decisions and lacks nuance as to what is owned, upgrades, etc.  That said, they generally offer great value for money.

WUP is a joke, so Waves gets no love here.  Their products and and pricing are generally good.  Their installers and endless re-versioning are a joke.

Ableton has great support and kit  but massively overcharges existing customers.

I'm new to Arturia but they seem quite decent.

AAS is super generous with customers and very  responsive with support.

Plugin Alliance has historically been great across the board with support and generosity.  Not as big of a fan since the model changed.

Unsure if U-he is considered large, but they are great in every way.

I would have given Cakewalk high marks, but the Lifetime Platinum screw and subsequent decommissioning of everything not CbB burned my ***** something fierce.

 

 

 

Edited by Anxiousmofo

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I had a pretty bad experience with IK Multimedia support recently.

I was asking a question about amplitube 5. I was very detailed in my question. Went back and forth 5 times with them and each time it was clear they didn't even read what I wrote. The person who was supposed to be support for the product clearly has no clue how the program even functions. Eventually they just said "we'll get back to you" and just never did.

I like IK's products but this was honestly a pathetic level of support.

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