The Speed Download uproar and why Yazsoft are not “weasels”

by Aayush Arya Feb 15, 2008

It wouldn’t be MacHeist if it didn’t feature in some huge public debate every month or two. This time, we have an outcry over Yazsoft’s recent paid release of Speed Download 5, a major upgrade to their download manager, that makes no exception for customers who bought Speed Download 4 as a part of the MacHeist II software bundle.

Somewhere in all the MacHeist promotional mumbo-jumbo were the words that possibly indicated that future upgrades to Speed Download would be free for MacHeist customers. Except that they aren’t. This has resulted in a furor among the MacHeist customer base, most of whom expected that Speed Download 5 would be a free upgrade for them.

However, in my humble opinion, it is completely unreasonable to expect Yazsoft to do so. The description of Speed Download on the MacHeist website clearly stated that users “can upgrade to new versions using official non promo releases” (emphasis added). People are upset because it is clear that Yazsoft put Speed Download 4 among the bundle because they knew that Speed Download 5 was to be released shortly and would be a paid upgrade.

Well, duh.

Of course it is. That’s the way how it works. MacHeist is clearly a promotional event. Customers should expect to see new paid versions of the applications they purchase very soon. Why would any developer give away their paid application for a price as good as free to thousands of customers? To build a good and satisfied customer base that they can sell their next version to and make money out of.

Yazsoft is, of course, still supporting all Speed Download 4 users, including those who bought it through MacHeist and the upgrade is not at all enforced upon them. As far as I can see, Yazsoft never promised free upgrades for life to the MacHeist customers and quite frankly, it would be foolish of them to do so. They are here to make money and they’re doing it by honest and ethical means.

It’s a shame that they had to endure so much negative publicity and lost so many customers through no fault of their own. They joined MacHeist, undoubtedly impressed by the future that John Casasanta and co. showed to them and had to bear the brunt of a community wide backlash due to misleading wording (unintentional, I’m sure, but misleading nevertheless) on the MacHeist website. Even Casasanta’s “unofficial” response to this was to label them as a bunch of “weasels”, which they are anything but.

Of course, I may be completely wrong about this and being misled by false PR-speak from Yazsoft but from all the forum posts I’ve read on MacHeist so far, I don’t think I am. Feel free to correct me if you feel I’m wrong.


  • I think the inherent weaselry lies in the fact that I opened Speed Download for the first time today, and entered my promo code from Mac Heist.  The first time it downloaded something, it told me that an update had been downloaded automatically, and did I want to upgrade.  Being a regular Mac user, I assumed this was a good thing and clicked ‘Upgrade and Reopen Now’.  It reopened and told me it was an unregistered version.

    Nice.  It wouldn’t accept my Mac Heist code, as it was for the previous version.

    I think that is the main problem - the lack of obvious choice.

    Guernsey Donkey had this to say on Feb 15, 2008 Posts: 1
  • I agree.  I upgraded in my normally ‘duh’ fashion only to be surprised that I have V5, required to upgrade and I really don’t need it.  If I am able, I would like V4 back. 

    If not, Cyberduck continues to meet my needs just fine.

    Just add a caveat to the upgrade and give me the choice.

    jerdptro had this to say on Feb 15, 2008 Posts: 1
  • You can always revert back to v4. smile

    Aayush Arya had this to say on Feb 16, 2008 Posts: 36
  • There are 3 factors at work here:

    1. Stinginess

    EXPECTING to get something for free when you’ve already paid for its predecessor at a STEEP discount is just plain being cheap. There are all sorts of parallels that could be used; not the least of which is all the uproar that ensued from when Apple dropped the price of the iPhone soon after all the early adopters paid a premium for it.

    The lesson learned was: GET OVER IT

    2. Inexperience

    The Internet Experience is rife with boatloads of newbies who think they deserve the red carpet treatment for shelling out $29.
    The fact is that all software developers WANT REPEAT BUSINESS. They’re not out to give away anything. It’s a whole lot easier to sell a newer version to veteran customers than dig up new customers, so why not give them a discount for product loyalty? Adobe does this when you buy into Photoshop. The $649 CS3 program you buy will be the $199 upgrade version the next time around.

    The people who buy in, are very happy to buy the upgrade versions down the line…

    3. Selfishness

    The Internet is the land of “ME ME ME!” Why should someone pay for anything they need when they can download all the things they want for free.

    A group of dedicated people worked extremely hard to create a software program that tens of thousands of people use. Why shouldn’t they get paid a modest $15 for an upgrade?

    The old saying “Pennywise and pound foolish” has never been more appropriate.

    Anthony Harmon had this to say on Feb 16, 2008 Posts: 2
  • Paul Howland NAILED it in comments #4 and 5. When SD 5 was released, there was nothing in the text on Yazsoft’s Web site about this upgrade that mentioned Macheist bundle purchasers or that they weren’t eligible for a free upgrade.

    I upgraded to SD 5 and found my serial number didn’t work. When I emailed Yazsoft about this, their response stated that Macheist purchasers weren’t eligible for a free upgrade. There was NO warning about this on the firm’s Web site when I downloaded SD 5. Fortunately, the upgrade process merely moved SD 4 to my trash; I reinstalled it and swore not to trust Yazsoft so easily again.

    At best, someone at Yazsoft really screwed up: Macheist sold over 10,000 bundles. Yazsoft should have stated an explicit upgrade policy for Macheist purchasers before or while releasing SD 5. I’m sure I wasn’t the only MH buyer who suffered that “gotcha.”

    FWIW, I also made the mistake of having SD automatically integrated with my Web browsers when I installed SD 4. Safari absolutely refused to open when I did that. After I unchecked the automatic integration, Safari started up just fine.

    Bottom line: iGetter’s a better, less intrusive program and the people who developed it aren’t weasels.

    kcar had this to say on Feb 16, 2008 Posts: 2
  • They might not have the best PR team in the business, but I’m fairly certain that there was no way they could have predicted this huge uproar before it happened, which explains why they weren’t crystal clear about the last detail.

    They must’ve assumed that no MacHeist customer would expect to get the upgrade for free, and no one should either.

    What you point out, Paul, is nothing more than technicality. The best of us screw up sometimes. So they had one line of text on their website that conflicted with the MacHeist description and the events that followed – big deal!

    Seriously, I believe that they’ve been shown the rough end of the stick here and absolutely do not deserve it. They are also offering a steep discount to MacHeist customers. That should be more than enough to calm down all the people who’re up in arms about this whole thing.

    Basically, people just want free stuff when they are absolutely not entitled to it.

    Aayush Arya had this to say on Feb 16, 2008 Posts: 36
  • iGetter, by the way, is an awesome piece of software. I use it. smile

    Aayush Arya had this to say on Feb 16, 2008 Posts: 36
  • I bought the MacHeist bundle. My system presented me with the “upgrade available” option… it has the feel of a free fix/upgrade - no have flashing red signs saying it was paid though it does clearly say “This is a Paid Upgrade” if you read the text.

    I’d have liked a free upgrade, but no big deal.

    BTW: The full text given after purchase of the MacHeist bundle:
    “Speed Download must be activated using the provided promo version. This version is the same as the currently released build of Speed Download in every way besides activation, which is required to track promo customers. You can upgrade to new versions using official, non promo releases through, or Speed Download’s auto updating. We will keep a copy of the promo build available for downloading for six months until July 23rd, 2008. Please activate before then.”

    Greg Alexander had this to say on Feb 16, 2008 Posts: 228
  • I don’t care about Speed Download, but I did purchase the bundle. And forget about Yazsoft for a minute: legally speaking, it is fraud (at least in California) for MacHeist to advertise a bundle “worth” that includes the full cost of the upgradable non-promo program if the version that is part of the promo is not upgradable.

    randok had this to say on Feb 17, 2008 Posts: 1
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    sgarg had this to say on Feb 17, 2008 Posts: 1
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