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Thread: Alpha Five v5 Upgrade Mis-Information

  1. #1
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    Robert Stock
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    Default Alpha Five v5 Upgrade Mis-Information

    After browsing Alpha's web site and message board for a while, I'm coming to the conclusion that I must be the only one who feels misled (at best) by the marketing strategy for the new release. I’ve been a highly satisfied Alpha customer for nearly ten years, and although my purchases have been limited to small numbers, I’ve continually upgraded over the years through several versions of the DOS-based program and in recent years the Windows platform.

    About a year ago I received a mailer indicating that if I were to upgrade our company’s (3-user) Alpha Five version 4 package to version 4.5, that our company would receive a free upgrade to version 5, when released. Even though, as with past employers, my company is Micro$oft based and it has been difficult to make non-standard purchases. To date, I’ve been able to convince them that Alpha can satisfy some of our needs, better.

    I recently received a call from Alpha concerning the release of version 5. I eagerly returned the call knowing that we had already “purchased” the product, but I was informed that the mailer did not state that the 4.5 => 5.0 upgrade was free, but rather the difference paid for the previous upgrade would be applied towards the cost of version 5. Although I no longer have the mailer in question, there are several in my office who remember it giving the impression that if we were to purchase the 4.0 => 4.5 upgrade, we would receive the 4.5 => 5.0 upgrade at no cost. In fact, this was the main selling point to my supervisor for needed justification upgrade the non-standard database software.

    Even though we feel we are not receiving goods previously purchased, the upgrade cost of the high-priced version 5, less the difference of the previous upgrade price, exceeds our $500 spending limit and is, therefore, out of the question. I’m afraid I’ve lost the ability to keep Alpha as a database solution for many of my company’s needs. I’m surprised that I seem to be the only one who remembers receiving this promotional offer, yet cannot find any reference to it.

    --Robert-->

  2. #2
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    Default RE: Alpha Five v5 Upgrade Mis-Information

    I sympathize with you, however, I recall specifically that the "deal" was that what you paid for 4.5 would be applied to v5. Not a "free" upgrade. As for the v5 acquisition cost, I can tell you that the time you will save utilizing it and developing in it, will MORE than offset the "net" cost after rebate. Just my thoughts.

  3. #3
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    Default RE: Alpha Five v5 Upgrade Mis-Information

    Ditto to John,

    What you might want to try is take a simple small app and do it in access or other product, then do the same thing in A5v5. Based on your hourly rates you can easily determing whether A5 is worth it. If you can do it faster or better in Access, go for it, if not Alpha may not be so expensive in the long run. This is especially true if you have networked users and purchase the runtime.

    Russ

  4. #4
    Alpha Software Employee Selwyn Rabins's Avatar
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    Default RE: Alpha Five v5 Upgrade Mis-Information

    I am sorry that you feel misled, but the material on the upgrade notice for V4.5 was clear.

    It said that the cost of the V4.5 upgrade was EFFECTIVELY free becasue the cost of the V4.5 upgrade could be credited in full toward the cost of the V5 ugrade.

    It did not say that V4.5 was free, or that V5 was free.

    We are doing exactly what we said we would do. I.e. rebating the cost of the V4.5 upgrade in full.

    V5 represents a huge development effort on the part of Alpha. To expect that we would be able to give it away for free after you purchased a $79 V4.5 upgrade is entirely unreasonable.

  5. #5
    Daniel Earley
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    Default RE: Alpha Five v5 Upgrade Mis-Information

    Robert,

    I just had to answer you about the cost of A5V5. I too, have been a long time used of Alpha (DOS) and most of its upgrades, along with alpha 5 (several vers). In fact, I use A4V7 and A5V5. I did purchase A5V4.5, with the understanding the purchase price of V4.5 would be applied fully to V5. No where did they say V5 would be free after purchasing V4.5. I'm sorry, but you just read the Add wrong. I still have several advertisments from the V4.5 to
    V5. They ALL say the price of V4.5 would be applied toward the purchase of V5.........
    Dan Earley

  6. #6
    Volunteer Moderator Peter.Greulich's Avatar
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    Default RE: Alpha Five v5 Upgrade Mis-Information

    Sorry Robert. You mis-read or misunderstood the promotional. What the others here are saying is 100% correct. Alpha never said ver. 5 would be free in any way, shape or form.

    Peter

  7. #7
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    Default RE: Alpha Five v5 Upgrade Mis-Information

    Robert,

    I'll add my 'ditto' to the others. All the material I ever received talking about purchasing V4.5, said that the purchase price of V4.5 will apply fully to V5, thereby making the V4.5 upgrade effectively free. My memory is somewhat less than perfect, but I never saw (or remember seeing) anything saying that the V5 price would be free.

    Dave

  8. #8
    "Certified" Alphaholic forskare's Avatar
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    Default RE: Alpha Five v5 Upgrade Mis-Information

    Hi Robert,

    Along with what's already been said, I can assure you that if you received a flyer stating that v5 upgrade would be FREEif you purchased v4.5, others would have received it as well. Had there been an offer of a FREE upgrade to v5, it would have been mentioned a long time ago by the eagle eyes on this board.

    I also am a long time alpha user but nowhere have I ever seen any reference to a free upgrade of v5. Alpha has not misled you.

    kenn

  9. #9
    Member RJGowan's Avatar
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    Default RE: Alpha Five v5 Upgrade Mis-Information

    I hear some dealerships wanted Ford to offer a free upgrade to the '61 model to boost sluggish sales of the '60 Edsel.

  10. #10
    "Certified" Alphaholic Scott Emerick's Avatar
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    Default RE: Alpha Five v5 Upgrade Mis-Information

    OK I need to vent.

    I understand that we might see things in our mind that overrides what we actually see .. it happens to me all the time. I do know specificlly that the deal was "Buy V4.5 and get a credit on V5" Reason: Alot of Alpha customers wanted to use alot of the enhancements right away and not wait for the full development of V5. I myself waited for V5 and then bought it.

    My biggest problem here, however, is simply this. I have been a Alpha customer since 1993 and have used this board since it was created. It is a wonderful tool for all of us to help out each other when we can.

    I am so tired of seeing all these threads that contain nothing but complaints and put downs. Whats the gain in posting complaints?? Why not contact Richard, Selwyn or one of the other wonderful people at Alpha that is always more then willing to try and resolve any issue you might have. There is no reason I can see to post your complaints here, except to try and pressure Alpha into a decission that would normally be in your favor just to stop the bad and 99% of the time inaccurate information being posted ....

    OK There I feel better now .... I don't mean to offend anyone .. this is just my feelings ... if I did I am sorry

  11. #11
    "Certified" Alphaholic glenschild's Avatar
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    Default RE: Alpha Five v5 Upgrade Mis-Information

    Scott

    It is a valid point that you make. This forum is wonderful for the help and support it provides for making the most of Alpha 5 and Alpha 4 in all it's variants.

    It is a crying shame that all of the great people that give their time and help to others with techie problems are being diverted into defending Alpha Software but........ it is also very gratifying to see so many people stand up and be counted with this. It kinda gives me a sense of comfort that this REALLY is THE right RDBMS software to be using.

    My suggestion would be that if someone is clearly misusing the forum for all the wrong reasons the best course of action is to ignore them! Which is exactly what I have failed to do by responding in this thread :-)

    Anyway back to the real business of using the software!

    Regards

    Glen Schild (UK)

  12. #12
    Helen Freeman
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    Default RE: Alpha Five v5 Upgrade Mis-Information

    Barry

    I’m sorry you feel MISLED. But I too read all the stuff and I think it is more a case of MIS-READ.

    Also if your company has a top budget of $500, then go to a freeware database – this is not a rude comment, but a practical suggestion if you feel you need a cheaper product.

    Sorry if this sounds rude and I’m sure if it appears so, I’ll be told off by you and the (polite) Alpha community.

    I know in my business I can’t keep all the customers happy all the time. Personally I’m happy to loose the misinformed discontents; but you have been a user for many years and must have enjoyed A5 with its abilities and support.
    Why not admit your interpretation of your $50 spend was your error, and now pay what it is worth.

    Please leave your comments

    Regards, Helen

  13. #13
    Helen Freeman
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    Default RE: Alpha Five v5 Upgrade Mis-Information

    Oops
    Sorry Barry whoever I was thinking of.

    THIS is to you ROBERT STOCK!

    Regards, Helen

  14. #14
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    Default RE: Alpha Five v5 Upgrade Mis-Information

    Sorry it is felt that I "clearly misused the forum" to gain information from other Alpha customers. I think the thread subject was clear enough for others to ignore it if it was of no concern to them. My post was not intended to offend or attack Alpha software, but simply to make sure there weren't others who "misunderstood" the deal, or that I wasn't being mislead.

    As stated, I had contacted Alpha directly, before the post, but I wanted verification that my coworkers and I "misunderstood" the mailer. Believe me, I had no intentions of "pressuring" Alpha as I seem to have been accused, nor do I expect something for nothing! However, if my company was entitled to something it had already paid for, then a post to a user's forum seems appropriate to ensure that there weren’t others who knew what I was referring to.

    I'm not quite sure why my post was so offensive that some felt jabs/flames were necessary. I'm simply disappointed at an apparent "misunderstanding" that my office had concerning an upgrade that sounds terrific, but one that we will not be able to acquire. After nearly ten years, it’s going to be difficult to not have the current power, speed, and ease of Alpha at my business.

    Thanks for the replies, no more are needed (especially flames).
    --Robert -->

  15. #15
    "Certified" Alphaholic forskare's Avatar
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    Default RE: Alpha Five v5 Upgrade Mis-Information

    Robert,

    When I read your post, I did not take it as a gripe but a legitment concern, one that I believe you had every right to post in order to see if there were others who saw it the same way you did.

    I believe some of the replies to your post are unwarranted and were based on their understanding. Thus, they saw something that wasn't really there.

    I wish you the best and you're always welcome back.

    kenn

  16. #16
    Van Jones
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    Default RE: Alpha Five v5 Upgrade Mis-Information

    Hi Robert,
    I agree that some of the responses you received from your original post are "out of character" for the people on this board. I'm not sure if you were around the message boards when the prices for v5 were announced. There were threads upon threads upon threads of people shocked that the price of v5 over v4.5 had doubled and the prices of the runtimes in some cases had tripled. I was shocked myself. I expected the price to go up, but not nearly by that much. Anyway, the "sticker shock" threads continued and the message boards had gotten to a point where it was 75% complaints and 25% actual questions about how to use the product. You will notice now that most of the threads are back to actual questions about how to use the product. I think most people are just tired of the "price" discussion and don't want it to be started up again.
    This isn't an excuse for the way that some folks responded, but I hope it explains a little bit of the attitude.
    BTW, Even though I wasn't expecting the price to be what it is, I was able to talk my director into purchasing the upgrade.

    Here's hoping you make the purchase also,
    Van

  17. #17
    Gren Brown
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    Default RE: Alpha Five v5 Upgrade Mis-Information

    I am sure the benefits of upgrading are many but you still have the option of continuing with V4.5. Presumably your apps are still working. If it aint broke dont fix it!

  18. #18
    "Certified" Alphaholic forskare's Avatar
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    Default RE: Alpha Five v5 Upgrade Mis-Information

    Gren,

    Excellant!! This is a point often overlooked.

    kenn

  19. #19
    John Guy
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    Default RE: Alpha Five v5 Upgrade Mis-Information

    22 Aug. 2002


    Robert,


    It is quite clear to me that your post was based on honesty and sincerity, or your perception thereof. That is the beauty of this bulletin board that people are able to express their opinion to the whole wide world (www) about the "Good, Bad & Ugly" of a5.

    There is no doubt that the a5 managements gets a lot of "Free" advice from this bulletin board, whether they like all of it or not.

    In the long run, honesty will prevail and a5 will be a better product. There is no doubt that the a5 professionals/management need to be paid for their services. As with all pricing, it is one person's opinon vs. another. This requires balance. Not to get off on a tangent, your post was based on communication and "expectation" of what you "thought" you read in an advertisement.

    In the final anlysis, you are the boss as you control the checkbook. You or your boss are either willing to pay or you are not willing to pay for a perceived value.

    I expect a heck of lot of "Good" from a5 or I would not be here. Getting rid of the "bad & ugly" takes time and money. (Of course, I personally am not too much on waiting.) Communication from the a5 users to the a5 management is most important. If nobody ever posted, a5 would be a dead duck.

    (FYI. The "bad", in my opinion, is that a5 is not simple like a spreadsheet. But then, that just may be a personal problem on my side. -old, over the hill, slow learner, head of concrete, other excuses, etc. )

    People like you who continue to come back year after year and use a5 are a true asset to the a5 managment/owners.


    Just my two cents.

    Have a nice day,
    JG
    Houston, TX
    281-579-4546


  20. #20
    Bernard Posner
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    Default RE: Alpha Five v5 Upgrade Mis-Information

    I still have the original postcard sent by Alpha regarding the upgrade to V4.5. It stated "Best of all your upgrade cost is effectively FREE [the emphasis was Alpha's] because it will be fully credited against Version 5."

    The language is clear, but it is also clear that someone reading it quickly could be easily misled. It wasn't small print, but it might as well have been; if you get my drift.

    Alpha is a great product, albeit a bit pricey. Actually, what irks me most is the tiny difference between the price for a new user ($349) and the upgrade price ($299). There should be a significant difference between the upgrade price and the price for a new user. Seems like it might be worth skipping an upgrade or two. This time I "effectively" paid only $170 for the upgrade ($299 minus the $129 rebate for my purchase of V4.5). Next time, if I have to pay the full $299, I will think it over.

  21. #21
    John Guy
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    Default RE: Alpha Five v5 Upgrade Mis-Information

    22 Aug. 2002.


    Bernard,


    Your comment as to the future versions of a5 is based on many unknowns. But, being that it is after 6:00 PM and I am ready to finish this day on a light note, I feel I must respond.

    Talking off the top of my head and having absolutley no idea what the next version of a5 is going to do, I question your statement "Seems like it might be worth skipping an upgrade or two." I look at a5 as a tool to be used (and abused) to the fullest extent. For example, say we use a5 365 days per year for the sake of simplicity, and if a5 saves me $1 per day on the next upgrade, then it is worth $365 for an upgrade after one year. (My hourly rate is more than $1.)

    I personally expect the a5 professionals to add numerous features to reduce my time on current projects and to improve the connectivity with other programs. For example, I want a5 to connect to the internet to update and track stock investments in an a5 table. Using current stock tracking info/programs is difficult to interface with complex cost structures. Many accountants have this requirement as we need to keep special history on cost, or evaluation comments/analysis on stocks.

    Another example, is I want a5 to read (interface) the current Novell Groupwise email addresses so that there is not duplication in collecting data and sending out information to ALL of the employees. They should do the same with Netscape.

    The a5 management should listen to the a5 users for suggestions to improve so that a5 is more useful. In summary a5 is a tool which the a5 professionals/developers need to keep sharp and in good working order. Technology which is not updated, becomes stale and rotten.

    Hopefully, the a5 management will add in a spell-check to this bulletin board.

    Just my two cents.

    Have a nice day,

    JG
    Houston, TX
    281-579-4546


  22. #22
    Member
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    Default RE: Alpha Five v5 Upgrade Mis-Information

    This is the E-mail I received (and all of us) on 05/14/2001 from Alpha software, to upgrade to v4.5 build 266. You can celery see it was never mentioned that V5 will be free.
    This is referring to the topic “Alpha five v5 Upgrade Mis-information”


    Subj: Alpha Software announces new build for Alpha Five v 4.5, 3rd party applications and user groups
    Date: 05/14/2001 07:50:46 PM Eastern Daylight Time
    From: richard@alphasoftware.com (richard rabins)Reply-to: richard@alphasoftware.comTo: adwaa@aol.com



    Dear Alpha Software Customer.

    We have a number of announcements in this mailing.

    1. For those of you have moved to Alpha Five version 4.5, we have released
    a new build - build 266.

    Build 266 has a few new features and some minor bug fixes.

    If are running version 4.5 and you are not currently running build 266,
    please go to:

    http://www.alphasoftware.com/products/a5v4/downloads.asp

    to download this build.

    There is no charge for this download if you are currently running
    Alpha Five version 4.5.

    (To check which build you are running, click on the "Help" menu when you
    first start Alpha Five, then click the "About Alpha Five" selection, and
    it will tell you which build you have).

    If you are not currently running version 4.5 of Alpha Five, please go to

    www.alphasoftware.com for more information and to place your order.

    The price for Alpha Five is $79 if you currently are running version 4 of
    Alpha Five.

    The cost of your V4.5 purchase will be applied in full to the version 5.
    For details on V5's feature set, please visit
    http://www.alphasoftware.com/products/a5v5/newfeatures.asp.

    Version 4.5 includes substantial and important performance enhancements
    that we
    would like you to have now, rather than wait until they become available
    in Version 5.

    2. Thank you for your responses to my email regarding user groups. Many of
    you have expressed interest in attending or staring groups in cities other
    than those listed in
    that first email.

    For those of you who would like to start a user group in a city that is
    not already covered, please email me at richard@alphasoftware.com, so that
    I can include you in a future
    emailing to our users at large.

    3. Many of our customers ask us for more information on the applications
    that are available in Alpha Five.

    By way of a brief summary, below is a partial list of commercial
    applications that have been developed by third parties in Alpha Five.

    For a more complete list and details please go to:

    http://www.alphasoftware.com/apps/default.asp

    If you have built a commercial application and you would like to submit an
    application to be listed on our site, please go to

    http://www.alphasoftware.com/apps/devinfo.asp

    Sincerely
    Richard Rabins
    Alpha Software
    Richard@alphasoftware.com
    Burlington MA, USA
    781 229 4500
    800 451 1018


    Advertising Agency - Tracking and Management System
    Automotive Service/Repair Business Records
    Accounts Receivables and Invoicing
    Budget and Purchase Orders
    Business Management
    Catering Job Costing with Invoicing and Receivables
    Childcare Business Management
    Claims Management for Insurance Adjusters
    Client, Airline, Hotel and Itinerary System
    Client, Contact, Vendor, Income and Expense Tracking, Time and Task
    Management
    Contact Management
    Contact management, Commission tracking, Accounting
    Contracting business solution
    Data Cleaning Tools
    Donor & Contact Management
    Elementary School Records
    Estimating / Invoicing / Costing
    Faculty Information, Contract and Codicil Information
    Furniture Manufacturing System
    General Accounting Program
    General Academic Course Information and Scheduling Program
    Girl Scout Archives Reference & Management
    Retail Store Sales Tracker
    Vacation Accommodation Rental System
    Home Health Care System
    Human Resources Management
    Inventory Tracking and Control system
    Investigation Control & Management
    Invoicing
    Job Costing
    Laboratory Information Management System
    Locomotive Maintenance & Repair Histories
    Funeral Business Management System
    Medical Billing and Records
    Medical Office Management
    Member Management Program
    Newspaper Classified Advertising Management System
    Optometry Office Management System
    Order Entry for Mail Order Business
    Order Processing and Fulfillment
    Pawn Broker Stock and Tracking software
    Personalized Assisted Living Management System
    Point of Sale - Marina Management
    Point of Sale Application
    Police Records System
    Project Quotation Management
    Property Management for Condos
    Referral System for Bar Associations
    Resident and Patient Management
    Schedules jobs for service technicians (plumbers, etc.)
    School Financial Management System
    Payables Management System
    Teacher License & Certification Filing System
    Textile Inventory and Billing System
    Towing and Storage Management System
    Vehicle Inventory Control and Management System
    Vessel Management System

    To be removed from our list please send an email to me at
    richard@alphasoftware.com with the word "remove" in the subject. Thank
    you.




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    From: richard rabins
    To: adwaa@aol.com
    Subject: Alpha Software announces new build for Alpha Five v 4.5, 3rd party applications and user groups
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  23. #23
    Bernard Posner
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    Default RE: Alpha Five v5 Upgrade Mis-Information

    John,

    Regarding upgrades, my point is simply this. With the overwhelming majority of software companies there is a significant difference between the uggrade price and the price for a new user. Sure, if the next version of Alpha includes features that I absolutely need, I will consider upgrading. Notice, I said "Next time...I will think it over."

    I generally upgrade most of my software on a regular basis, because the price is usually right. But, if I am happy with what I'm using, and the new version is better, but not compelling, then unless their is a price incentive, I will stay with what I've got.

    Also, with many companies, if you're not an early upgrader, then the upgrade price rises. Also, if you upgrade from a version several releases in the past, the price is also higher. However, that is NOT an issue with Alpha, since a new user only pays $50 more. Let's suppose there was no upgrade path from Alpha 4 to Alpha 5 (actually, I haven't checked if there is), and I was forced to pay the new user price of $349. In that case, the $50 premium is no big deal.

    Again, my point on this issue is simple. Give me a price incentive to upgrade, and I will upgrade everytime. Don't, and I might not.

    I assume your spell check remark was not aimed at me. Although I use spell checkers, I don't solely rely on them. I have found from experience, that the best spell checker I have is MYSELF. I PROOFREAD everything I write. It's not perfect, but it generally works. I even capitalize when necessary.

    Alpha 5 is a great product. I simply think that loyal users should get a larger price break when they upgrade. As you said in your post, "Just my two cents."

    Enjoy!

  24. #24
    Alpha Software Employee Lenny Forziati's Avatar
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    Default RE: Alpha Five v5 Upgrade Mis-Information

    Spell checking within a web browser is a function for the browser, not the web site. Since Alpha makes database software and not web browsers, you'd be better off suggesting this to Microsoft, Netscape or whoever else makes your web browser.

    While there are ways to work around the fact that browsers do not spell check and implement something on our end, it would be very time consuming and take us away from adding the A5 features you and other users would like to see. I'd bet Selwyn's gonna have everyone stick to improving Alpha Five.

    And besides, I don't think anyone here is grading you on your spelling ;) If you're that concerned about it, you could always compose your posts in a word processor, spell check, then copy and past the text into your browser.

    -Lenny

  25. #25
    Member
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    Robert Stock
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    Default RE: Alpha Five v5 Upgrade Mis-Information

    I'm really not interested in dragging this thread on and on, it is apparent that my coworkers and I misunderstood the wording of the promotion. However, I will clarify that the e-mail listed in the previous post is not what I was referring to. I either did not receive that e-mail or do not remember reading it.

    What I was referring to was a postcard-sized mailer that stated the promotion in very few words. We sure don't remember it stating: "The cost of your V4.5 purchase will be applied in full to the version 5." because that seems fairly clear in meaning.

    Again, there is no need to further the conversation of this thread (for my sake anyway). I received the feedback necessary to understand there was a misunderstanding on my end. I must accept the fact that the v4.5 purchase wasn’t the deal I thought it was and additional posts won’t change the fact that my company will not allow me to spend that much money (over $500) to upgrade a non-standard (for our company) software package.
    --Robert-->

  26. #26
    Brenden Cobb
    Guest

    Default RE: Alpha Five v5 Upgrade Mis-Information

    Agreed.

    Sorry for the misunderstanding.
    Lets all let the dead horse get some rest :)

    -Brenden

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