View Full Version : RANT: Serif

02-11-2011, 11:14 AM
So I downloaded the demo of Serif Drawplus X4, seeing some of the good stuff it can do.

The trial is very limited featurewise, so I parked it on the backshelf.

last night I received this email:

Upgrade to DrawPlus X4 Today and save $80 on the Usual Price!

Dear Mr Rob Antonishen

Now that you have had some time to try out all the great features in your free DrawPlus download, we thought you might like to upgrade to the full version, DrawPlus X4, which gives you unrestricted access to all DrawPlus X4’s powerful design tools and professional drawing features.

The RRP for DrawPlus X4 is $99.99 but because you have recently downloaded DrawPlus Starter Edition you can snap up a copy along with the printed User Guide, worth $19.99, for the combined price of just $39.95 all in*. That’s a huge 67% discount and a saving of $80. And because DrawPlus X4 comes with the printed User Guide you’ll have all the information, handy hints and tricks to help you get started with your new software.

And don’t forget, you’ll receive free delivery with your order!

By upgrading to the full version you’ll get access to DrawPlus X4’s complete range of artistic brushes, high impact graphics, ready-made templates and stylish effects, and with the freedom to create designs with an unlimited number of pages, you can design anything you want!

Unrivalled PDF import and editing capabilities make working with this industry-standard file type so easy, while intelligent connector and dimension tools make charts and graphs so simple. Plus, with a built-in PhotoLab, Image Cutout Studio, Autotrace and the tools to create Flash® animations, you’ll have everything you need to improve your drawing skills and make your artwork look better than ever.

So I click the link and am informed:

Offer Closed

Thank you for your interest in Serif's recent email promotion, unfortunately this offer is no longer available.

This was 11 hours after receiving the email!

I tried the toll free number and was told "due to high volumes of calls we will not even put you in the queue".

Whats with that?!!? Limited time offer less than 11 hours?


-Rob A>

02-11-2011, 11:57 AM
I had tge exact same thing happen 16 MINUTES after receiving the email.

02-11-2011, 12:00 PM
Now that's what I call limited time offer, jeebus. I wonder if you could tell them your credit card is limited time offer as well...like "you got 5 minutes to take it out of the account or you'll get nothing and like it".

02-11-2011, 12:01 PM
lol, as much as the product is great, the sales department sucks. Big time. I remember once when I paid for an upgrade (I think it was to Drawplus X3) after one of their sales people called me on the telephone and said that as a loyal customer (I've been using their products for about 10 years now) I was entitled to a 'special discount' Three months later they were selling the full package for less than the upgrade (so much for the loyal customer status). I hit the roof, called them up and hurled abuse at them. They were very apologetic, sent me a bundle of free software and gave me a credit against my next purchase.

I find that haggling with them on the telephone does pay dividends. It ALWAYS follows the same pattern. I let the salesperson go through his script (I'm usually half listening and doing something else), I then ask a load of questions so salesperson is investing a lot of time into the sale (I know more about the product than they do anyway). I then say, it sounds really good, but......can't afford it, can you do better on the price? The salesperson says, 'let me talk to the manager' (if he does at all), and comes back with a reduced price.

Haggle like hell with them Rob / Gidde, you will get a discount.

P.S. One thing you might want to do is this:

If you go onto the Serif Forums: Here: http://forums.serif.com/

Go into the drawplus subforum (I'm a known face there) and say something like, after looking at ravell's maps (my Silverdale map is currently featured at Drawplus.com, which is their user gallery), I really wanted to use drawplus, we are the cartographer's guild etc etc. and then tell your story. I can endorse your post and then hopefully nice things might happen.

02-11-2011, 09:08 PM
My experience has been kinda like Rav's. When I d/l a free version of PhotoPlus, I'm immediately presented with a pretty cheap offer on the next version up. At any one time they have maybe Current, Current-1, C-2, C-4, and C-5 available. C-5'll be the freebie. C-4, a year or two newer, they'll ask if you wouldn't rather have this instead for just $10. When I started, the $10 charge was regretfully necessary, because they had to pass along the license cost for the Lempel-Ziv algorithm inherent in being able to output .gif (you can tell that was A While Ago.) Then when you register the freebie, there may be a different offer for C-3, which you won't see on any website page (they must still have cases of all these disks taking up space and costing them inventory tax). Ignore that, and four or five weeks later there'll be an email offer of C-2 for just $25. If I ignore that, soon there'll be an offer of C-2 PLUS a Resource Disk PLUS something else, for just $20. Somewhere in there there'll be a chance to buy the current version for something like 30-40% of its full retail price. Ignore all that and they'll pitch a package deal with Photo Plus C-1 AND the next-latest DrawPlus, and some version of PagePlus, and probably a matched pair of DancingWallabyPlusses, all for the low, low bundled price of $55. Ignore that, and it's probably been long enough for the Good Customer phone call, or maybe a Current PhotoPlus, a used Aston-Martin, and three players to be named later. That costs $70, or $85 if you want a full tank of gas. Oh, all less shipping, of course... There'll be a Christmas deal, with a different combo. Indeed - haggle on the phone!

Really, I do like their marketing model. It's like visiting a new car dealership, a used car lot, and a junkyard all rolled into one. And I mean junkyard in the nicest possible way -- even the free stuff has useable bits. Up next to the Big Dogs like PhotoShop, even Serif's full retail is pretty reasonable. Compared to Gimp & Inkscape.... well, it's hard to beat Really Good & Completely Free, I just never have invested the time to get fluent with either of those.

What's a hoot is the slick brochure pitching PagePlus, which I considered sending back to them with errors redlined :-).

02-12-2011, 03:38 AM
I would hazard a guess that the "limited time offer" was really a "limited number of licenses" offer. It's not particularly clever to advertise it that way, but it's a way for marketing to determine how much pricing affects sales as well as getting word of mouth out for the product (even if it's bad word of mouth in this case).

I'm not a big fan of the idea of limited-feature demos - I'd much rather have a fully-functional demo that's time-limited because then I have this content that I might like hanging around nagging me to upgrade.

02-12-2011, 04:30 AM
It's like visiting a new car dealership, a used car lot, and a junkyard all rolled into one

I've got some fantastic stuff for cheap / free as part of the bundle. Alienskin Eyecandy and Xenoflex and Fluid Mask among them.

02-12-2011, 08:26 AM
Wow, nice! I want the deal that comes with those!