View Full Version : I wish I were a new alpha user


David Day
10-24-2003, 05:59 AM
It was really kind of alpha to offer the free hour of help with alpha for NEW PURCHASERS ONLY. I guess I purchased my version too soon. I find this troubling because I have been an alpha user since version 3 and if I was a new customer then I get the service.

I dont get it. If you are a loyal purchaser then you get nothing. Something wrong with that???? I assure you I am not a moaner but I find this highly unfair. What does everyone else think?

matthias kaelin
10-24-2003, 06:06 AM
It's even worse!

If you don't live in USA, UK or Italy, you won't get any help even when you buy a new license!

Matthias Kaelin

Keith Hubert
10-24-2003, 06:09 AM

First of all as an old Alpha user you would of had different incentives along the way, eg full refund of upgrade from V4.5 to V5

I think you are in the very eviable position of being able to help all these new users with all the skill you have gotten for free on this message board and I am sure you will want to pass on your knowlage to these new users.

I bet there are lots of things you can teach me with regard to Alpha. I am willing to learn and help others where I can.

Keith Hubert
Guild Member

Keith Hubert
10-24-2003, 06:11 AM
Yes you will get help in the UK.

Keith Hubert
Guild Member

Jim Cole
10-24-2003, 06:23 AM
Do think the automobile mgg should give you the new cash back incentive on a car you allready own? Sales incentives are a standard way of doing business. Alpha is under no obligation to extend a new sales incentive to old customers.

10-24-2003, 06:32 AM
David - email me, and I'll give you a free hour of help.

Louis Nickerson
10-24-2003, 06:58 AM
If I understand the free support program correctly, this is not a service being offered by Alpha Software directly, rather it is a courtesy that the "member supported and staffed" Alpha Guild is extending to new users.

Each member of "The Guild" receives opportunities from Alpha Software to contact new Alpha purchasers with an offer to assist them in becoming familiar with the product and how it works, answer any questions they might have AND offer their consulting services...for a fee!

I don't know this to be a fact, but I suspect that this offering is the brain child of the guild, not Alpha software, and I think it is a very generous offer considering that these folks have their own projects to work on and businesses to run.

David...You've been using Alpha since version 3? Perhaps you too could join the Alpha Guild so that you can share your extensive experience with new users?

Heck, you might even make a buck or two.

David Day
10-24-2003, 09:46 AM
I appreciate all your responses. However, I do have a different outlook then what is being presented. It used to be as a good customer you got incentives for continuing using a product. Personally, I am not appreciative of the new style of getting new customers. For instance, I bought and installed my dish satellite. Many years later after paying the bill on time and being a good customer I am not given any of these incentives. Now they are giving it away with free installation. When I called them and asked for a second receiver I was advise that it would cost me 49.95. No exceptions! Well I am no longer a dish customer. I am quite aware of the "new technique" of getting new customers but I am not a fan of this practice.

Please understand, I am not a bitcher and moaner. It's just when I ask if I could get that same benefit and am told it is for "new customers" only then I will say how I feel. I have been an alpha advocate after working with Q&A as a consultant. As alpha knows many people here are very dedicated to their product. Lets not treat this as a black and white situation.

When we make marketing decisions then we have to be able to stand the criticism that comes with it. Enough said!

Bo Vandenberg
10-24-2003, 01:15 PM

Hey David, I just started with Alpha a month ago. Missed the offer by days.

But out of the kindness of my heart I'll give you an hour of free consultation ;) Go ahead ask anything I dont know :)

I'd trade the learning curve for experience but no free consultation.


10-24-2003, 02:06 PM
Alpha's home page says "over 1 million database products sold," and while it may well be that not all of them are what you call "good customers", just who would you expect to provide the (potentially) 1 million hours of free consultation?

I think you have missed the point of what the incentive is about, and what the Guild is about. From my perspective, Alpha is already rewarding its loyal customers in the most productive way possible - by focussing on quick fixes of bugs, and creating better new products.

Do I wish I could get an hour of free consultation - I mean - besides the dozens, (or hundreds?) of free hours I get from using this forum ? Sure, of course I do.

But do I wish I was a new Alpha user? Not a chance !!
I just have to think about what I was using before Alpha !!


David Day
10-24-2003, 02:38 PM
Look guys, I appreciate your responses but for some reason you don't get it. I asked a simple question and got the refusal. I am not looking for sympathy. That is not the issue. All companies set their standards and that's perfectly fine. However, not everyone will want that either. Many of you have user groups in areas where alpha is strong. I used to live in St. Louis and now I live in Springfield Mo and I still have yet to find anyone around here who uses alpha.

I don't want anyones charity and actually I resent the implication. I was stating a fact and that's it. I defended Alpha with their price jump. When I think they are right I will do that. However, if I think they are wrong I will criticize. I am somewhat offended by the attitude. What, do we have the politically correct police out there? Chill guys.

10-24-2003, 08:52 PM
You DID ask what others thought !!!

Bo Vandenberg
10-26-2003, 11:39 AM

I apologise if you found my comment insulting, it wasn't meant so. I think I just wanted to point out that the "free hour" for most users is likely going to be a lot like a test drive. How do I get started....

Software introductions most often don't ask deep and probing questions. They can center on a useful 'welcome to Alpha' topic list that people who have used the software for a while are likely familiar with. For the consultant they also offer an opportunity because it might establish a regular relationship with the same shared outlook from the beginning.

I imagine more experienced users would be harder to give the hour to because one is more likely to hear about older issues that may not have a solution, or cannot be resolved in one hour.

David, I really didn't think you were asking for charity, just griping about a deal you weren't part of. Since you said you wished you were a 'new' alpha user, and I am one, I thought I'd give my 2 cents.

I personally think there isn't a single good consultant who won't venture a free hour of time with a possible client, if they have the time to spare. Its shrewd to create a way to make your own deal.

Good luck, Bo

Brett Johnston
10-27-2003, 09:26 AM
Some background on this promo:

this reply is being sent by richard rabins, richard@alphasoftware.com

The big picture.

Alpha is focused primarily on building excellent database software and giving users a choice in a world where, based on Microsoft's marketing and licensign tactics, most consumers and businesses think that MS Access is their ONLY choice! (bear in mind that the under Federal Law Microsoft has been found to be a monopolist).

Alpha does not see itself as slick marketing company by any means, but rather relies on hard work and a laser beam focus on product innovation and excellence. Besides the product, we know that our other "secret weapon" is our customer base, i.e. you and and your colleagues who have made a bold decision to think for yourselves and choose a tool that is right for YOU.

It is therefore troubling to read that even a small minority of our customers felt this consulting promotion was unfair. Our motivation is very simple -- we have hundreds and increasingly, thousands of people coming to our web site willing to try Alpha Five (in the face of potential hostility from their clients and bosses who may not have heard of Alpha Five). Our promotion is simply aimed at getting those people "over the hump" so they can join, and over time, contribute to this incredible Alpha User Community that you ALL have created for the greater good.

In the ligth of this background, I fervently hope and trust that this note will shed some light on the topic.

Thanks for reading this and thank you for being a member of the Alpha Five Community.

David Day
10-27-2003, 01:26 PM
Well you opened up a can of worms as I said before. There are also some of us who could use the help to. When I emailed and was told no I must admit I was somewhat put off. We that have supported alpha just think it should not be a black and white issue and there should be more said than just no.

I really don't appreciate the attitude of some people seeminglike we are asking for something that we don't deserve. All I did was ask a question. As I have said earlier I have backed alpha all the way. There is always a danger that when these types of promotions are brought out that some people who truly need help and have supported alpha should get especially if some of the new customers are getting it too.

What I am most trying to figure out is why some of the people on this board are being so defensive for alpha and attacking me. I would have thought the answer would have been slightly different. It really does get tough sometimes when you pay good money for a program and just ask for what someone else is getting and get this kind of response. Truly disappointing!

Tom Cone Jr
10-27-2003, 03:29 PM

I haven't seen any personal attacks aimed at you in this thread. Instead, I hear a lone voice wondering why everyone else is looking at the world differently.

From my vantage point the new marketing wrinkle may be good for the company and good for Guild members. Expanding market share is probably vital to survival for company. Survival of the company would be good for me, and I suspect it'd be good for you, too.

-- tom

Ohlen Cartmell
10-27-2003, 04:34 PM
This is not an unusual marketing program. Even car manufacturers did it - offer a better interest rate to first-time buyers while the faithful are left to higher interest rates. In today's market, the cellular phone companies are the champions of this marketing - great deals on phones for new customers while current customers pay full price for a new, updated phone. I understand how you feel.

One of the great things about Alpha is this message board. If you have questions, just jump in and ask. I don't think anyone here meant to insult you or jump on you. Although I'm far from an expert, I'd be glad to lend help whenever I can.

BTW, Susan Bush has graciously allowed publication of her book in installments in the Alpha Newsletter. I've been downloading the chapters and assembling then in a loose-leaf binder as a desk reference. Also, there's a tutorial available learning center which you may find useful.

All-in-all, I think you'll find lots of cheerful help around here.

10-27-2003, 05:52 PM
David, I am one of the Alpha developers listed to answer questions from new users, and I am formally offering you a free hour of help. Please email me.

Louis Nickerson
10-27-2003, 06:18 PM
Will this thread ever end...

Maybe if I write more than any one human being is willing to read, we can put this thing to rest!

I can see both sides of the issue...

From the loyal customer...

"Hey you out there...yea you, the company I paid good money to for the product I bought. That's right, I'm talking to you...Wa-Sup Wid Dis? Not only have I been a loyal customer, I've actually gone out of my way to make others aware of the stuff you sell. I know that no product is perfect, but it seems that every time I turn around, you want me to download another "Patch" that is supposed to make what I paid for a year or two ago work the way it should have worked in the first place. Where's my special deal? How many "New Customers" have stood by you and your product through the tough times? I'm not trying to be unreasonable, I just want a fair shake!

Enter...The Company...

Phewww, this software bidness is a lot of work...Here we are, 20+ years old, lots and lots of sales...newer, bigger, better, greater and... "We're gonna knock your flippin socks off" products on the way!

They want it all and they want it all yesterday!...Oh yea, they want it for free too. We've made the mistake (or has it been the catalyst to our success?) of providing virtually instant bug fixes, no questions asked product enhancements, 24/7 (holidays and vacations included) support, access (ooh...nasty word) to our support staff, development team, and oh yea...the principals of our company...We don't mean you can send the CEO an email (which will be forwarded to one of his underlings)...no, we mean you can have his email address, you can have his phone number and most importantly, you can have his time and help!

What else do they want...It cost money...correction, a ton of money to keep the lights, the phone and the "Forum" on. The only way to deliver bigger and better products is to hire additional develpment staff. Additional development staff equals more and better products which equals more sales which equals more customers which equals more support issues and requests for enhancements which equals more workload on the staff which equals hiring additional staff, which equals more training expenses, more payroll, more workmans comp, more benefits, more..more...more...more...more!

Does it ever end?

Last Christmas Eve...Actually it was very early Christmas morning, I wrote...
To: Selwyn, Richard, the entire Alpha Software staff & all who participate in this, the very best of Internet communities.

As I wind down from my Christmas Eve of wrapping packages and assembling toys, I would like to take just a moment to wish everyone a safe and Merry Christmas!

God Bless


I know the issue here is not "An hour or two of support" It's much larger than that. With a product as powerful, as complex and as flexible as "ours", support must be the cornerstone of the company that develops such a living, breathing and ever evolving creature.

To be honest...very honest, I have called Alpha Software's technical support department on a few instances...mostly when I was a freshman...and...more times than not, I was less than excited with the result.

Then, I discovered the absolute "Magic" of this..."The very best of Internet communities"...WOW, that has a nice ring to it, I think I'll say it again...THE VERY BEST OF INTERNET COMMUNITIES!!!!!

You know what...Alpha Software has hit a home run...no...not a home run, they've hit a 6 to 3, bottom of the 9th, two down, the count is 3/2, there's lightening in the distance, a streaker running out of the stands and headed for the field, and the fog is getting low...out of the park, GRAND SLAM with their products and with their SUPPORT!

But even that, can't hold a candle to the friendship, compassion, understanding, wisdom, experience and genuine desire to help and share with others what has been learned through hard work and effort...which is shared on a minute-by-minute basis here in this...The Very Best of Internet Communities.

Can we please...please put this one to bed?


10-27-2003, 06:39 PM

Well put and maybe this issue can be put to bed. For those who feel they missed something, I say spend two hours on the forum and you will learn as much or more than 2 hours with any consultant. This is a tremendous resource that is fully supported by most of the same people listed as consultants.

The neat part is that everyone already can get hours of free help. Just ask - here.


David Day
10-28-2003, 10:42 AM

Thanks much for your answer. You are right, there are 2 sides. I assure you there is no real hostility here. Just in need of help and very frustrated at times. I'm just glad someone understands. Again thanks. Hopefully this will end the thread....lol.