Smartphone Thoughts

THOUGHT - Why Do We Wait for Days for a Registration Code?

Jerry Raia - Sat Feb 24, 2007 3:00 pm
Post subject: Why Do We Wait for Days for a Registration Code?
This is really starting to make me mad. In 2007 I am waiting around for 2 or 3 days for a stupid registration code. This is happening more and more often. It doesn't seem to matter what application or where it is purchased. Most recently for me the last two applications I purchased and I emphasize PURCHASED, have yet to send me working registration codes. In one case I got an email confirming my purchase and that the code would be forthcoming. A day later I get another email asking for the device owners name so they can send me the code! I still don't have it 2 days later! This is not isolated; it happens more and more often. Why don't I get the code at the time of purchase? They got their money right away didn't they? In the next case, the registration code arrived a day later and it did not work! Another day later, after letting them know it didn't work, no reply. This is unacceptable. I think the code should be given at the time of purchase, period. I may make this my criteria for purchasing any application from now on. Enough of this nonsense. I have ranted about registration issues here in the past. I will be doing my best from now on to find out the registration process on any application I post on here. To me it has become a problem, like any other application flaw, that a buyer will have to deal with.
pmradio - Sat Feb 24, 2007 3:56 pm
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To me, that's part of the whole benefit of an online software purchase...to have access to the product immediately. If I wanted a delay, I'd drive to the store, purchase a CD and drive back home. Shocked
Mike Temporale - Sat Feb 24, 2007 6:42 pm
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That's a great point Jerry. There's no reason they can't generate the code automatically and have it sent out within minutes of the purchase. I think it's nothing more than laziness on the developers side. Oddly enough, this option means they have to do more work in the long run.

Sadly, it's hard to tell how the registration process will work before you actually put your money down. Confused
egarayblas - Sat Feb 24, 2007 6:58 pm
Post subject: Re: Why Do We Wait for Days for a Registration Code?
I agree with you Jerry. As a consumer, the whole point of buying software online is its realtime fulfillment. Developers should be more efficient in distributing serials and keys.

Jerry Raia wrote:
Why don't I get the code at the time of purchase? They got their money right away didn't they?


As a developer though, if you bought from any of the online sites like Handango, Pocketgear, etc., no we don't get our money right away. Smile
Jerry Raia - Sat Feb 24, 2007 7:05 pm
Post subject: Re: Why Do We Wait for Days for a Registration Code?
egarayblas wrote:
As a developer though, if you bought from any of the online sites like Handango, Pocketgear, etc., no we don't get our money right away. Smile


Fair enough, still, I gave my money right away. There are many purchases from the sites you mentioned where the registration code comes with the confirmation email. I have to assume it is up to the developer how this is to be done.
egarayblas - Sat Feb 24, 2007 7:12 pm
Post subject: Re: Why Do We Wait for Days for a Registration Code?
Jerry Raia wrote:
Fair enough, still, I gave my money right away. There are many purchases from the sites you mentioned where the registration code comes with the confirmation email. I have to assume it is up to the developer how this is to be done.


Yup, its still the developer's fault AND responsibility. This is one lesson I learned from buying online (and selling for that matter) too. I wonder which software you just bought? Smile
Mike Temporale - Sat Feb 24, 2007 7:23 pm
Post subject: Re: Why Do We Wait for Days for a Registration Code?
egarayblas wrote:
I wonder which software you just bought? Smile


Yeah, I think Jerry should <i>out</i> the developer. Laughing
Jerry Raia - Sat Feb 24, 2007 7:27 pm
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You know I deliberately left that out because it happens so often I didn't want to single out the last two that just sent me over the edge. Laughing
scottb - Sun Feb 25, 2007 3:17 pm
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While I agree that codes should be sent immediately upon purchase (I've never had to wait for one--just lucky, I guess), most software has a trial that let's you use it while waiting for the code. Maybe that's what the developers are counting on.
Jerry Raia - Sun Feb 25, 2007 3:33 pm
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scottb wrote:
While I agree that codes should be sent immediately upon purchase (I've never had to wait for one--just lucky, I guess), most software has a trial that let's you use it while waiting for the code. Maybe that's what the developers are counting on.


That's fine when the trial version is fully functional. In one of my examples is was pretty crippled.
egarayblas - Sun Feb 25, 2007 5:42 pm
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Jerry Raia wrote:
You know I deliberately left that out because it happens so often I didn't want to single out the last two that just sent me over the edge. Laughing


Its okay. I just wanted to make sure we're not among those two. Smile
alex_kac - Sun Feb 25, 2007 6:27 pm
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For both Handango and PocketGear we have them send us an HTTP POST request to our server for realtime key delivery back to the store so the user gets their key immediately. For others we have a fully automated system that sends the user their key within a few seconds of us receiving the email that the purchase was made.

What is my point? We've been doing this within a week of selling our software online over 6 years ago. Its not hard...
Jerry Raia - Sun Feb 25, 2007 6:56 pm
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alex_kac wrote:
We've been doing this within a week of selling our software online over 6 years ago. Its not hard...


Absolutely. Since a lot of you developers can do it instantly or nearly so, why can't the rest of them?
pocketpcinfo - Sun Feb 25, 2007 9:08 pm
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I am a developer who sells Pocket PC applications from my own web site, and I have our system configured to automatically send out a valid registration code for purchased software after the credit card transaction has been verified and completed. This usually occurs within 2 minutes, so the customer gets an email with his code in a matter of minutes.

Now, I do have some customers who email me stating that they never got their code, and here are the typical reasons why:

1) The customer gave us an incorrect email address to send the code, and thus then never get our email. This is usually a typo made by the customer during the purchasing process.

2) The customer has a spam filter activated that prevents our reg code email from going into their main Inbox. Thus, they think they never got an email with their purchased reg code. Customers may send us 4-5 emails expressing in anger that we "took their money!" and refuse to answer their emails, when in fact we repeatedly answer their emails which all pile up in their spam folder. In these cases, we often try sending emails from other sources (e.g., a basic yahoo.com account) to get around their spam filter software.

3) Our mail servers are temporarily down, and thus no emails are sent out. This is very rare, but does happen occasionally. Often, the delay in sending out an email to a customer is limited to about 2 hours, but in very rare cases the email server can be down for a day or two. In this case, we immediately get on the web hosting provider to correct the problem ASAP. We actually had to switch hosting providers when this issue became very problematic.

So, we do understand that customers want "instant gratification" for their web purchases, and they should get it if all it takes is effective Perl scripting and a good email server. If I made a web-based software purchase, I certainly would want my reg code ASAP! Smile

pocketpcinfo
Ilium Software - Mon Feb 26, 2007 3:26 pm
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I've had my own share of frustrations on this count so I feel your pain. Nothing worse than giving money and getting nothing!

Like Alex, we have a system that automatically sends an email with a code as soon as you buy from us or a distributor. Unfortunately SPAM filters are a problem but most users get them. Bad emails, wrong version purchases, and the like will also cause problems but again that's the exception.

I guess in the end good support is key. If you ever run into this with something we sell send a "Where the heck are my codes?" email! We'll answer...or if you want just call us (888-632-5388). We'll give you the codes right then and you can try them out to make sure they work!

Marc Tassin
Ilium Software
--------------------

+1 (734) 973-9388
---------------------
http://www.iliumsoft.com

And be sure check out our new blog! http://blog.iliumsoft.com/
Mike Temporale - Mon Feb 26, 2007 4:58 pm
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What a great response from the developer community. Very Happy

I got a question for all the different dev's here: Out of 100 sales, how many would have a problem getting their registration codes? (rough numbers - we don't need exactly how many).

And another question; how much time did it take to setup the automatic system? Was it a large investment in your time or would you say it was quick and easy to setup?
pocketpcinfo - Mon Feb 26, 2007 7:13 pm
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Mike Temporale wrote:
I got a question for all the different dev's here: Out of 100 sales, how many would have a problem getting their registration codes? (rough numbers - we don't need exactly how many).

For my sales, I would say about 1 out of 100 will email me asking about not getting a reg key code. Very minimal.
Quote:
And another question; how much time did it take to setup the automatic system? Was it a large investment in your time or would you say it was quick and easy to setup?

Now, that took some time for me to setup and verify. It was mostly PERL scripting that would send out an email with the customer reg code once it was activated by the 3rd party credit card processing system. A lot of coding and testing was required to make sure it worked flawlessly. WELL worth the programming time and effort, in my opinion.

ppcinfo
egarayblas - Mon Feb 26, 2007 7:25 pm
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Mike Temporale wrote:
What a great response from the developer community. Very Happy

I got a question for all the different dev's here: Out of 100 sales, how many would have a problem getting their registration codes? (rough numbers - we don't need exactly how many).

And another question; how much time did it take to setup the automatic system? Was it a large investment in your time or would you say it was quick and easy to setup?


I have data I can give you but unfortunately, they were 2 years ago. We removed our registration system and replaced it with a demo-full version type of distribution 2 years ago. This saved us a lot of support emails and would you believe most of these emails were from users having a hard time entering the codes and using the touchscreen input panel or keyboard? I admit our sales were affected by software piracy because they're now easy to pirate this way but with proper pricing and quality and constant updates, we were able to make up for it. In addition, this gives us less hassle in answering support emails pertaining to registration. It all boils down on giving the customer more value for their money.

Setting up an automated registration system isn't that hard and doesn't take up that much time in my own opinion. It all matters to what kind of approach you would like to take. The more complicated the process, the harder to hack and pirate but also entails more support emails. My 2 cents. Smile
djdj - Tue Feb 27, 2007 5:05 am
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I develop software for a living (Windows) and manually process orders intentionally despite the fact that I could easily write a program to process them manually. I have several good reasons for doing so:

* The rate of fraudulent order submissions is fairly high. By reviewing each order manually I have been able to cut down on credit card fraud to nearly zero, protecting cardholders and myself.

* It gives me a chance to spot errors in the order. If, for example, I have had an existing dialog with a potential customer describing their needs and they place an order for something that doesn't meet those needs, it saves some hassle in the long run. This even goes to the point of maybe downgrading a customer's requested registration if they are attempting to purchase more than what they need.

I make it a point to process orders placed during my waking hours within 5 minutes of the time they are placed whenever possible. The remaining orders are placed as soon as I have access to a computer. Customers never wait more than 10 hours for their registration. With that said, my software offers fully functional trials when run without a registration code, so for those few customers that have to wait a few hours for their code they aren't being inconvenienced much.

With all of that said, any developer that takes more than 24 hours to process a registration should be ashamed of themselves. Especially if the software is non-functional without a code.
Ilium Software - Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:40 am
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Mike Temporale wrote:
I got a question for all the different dev's here: Out of 100 sales, how many would have a problem getting their registration codes? (rough numbers - we don't need exactly how many).


Less than 1%, but that % is really angry when they don't get them. Smile Almost ALL of these are due to spam blockers.

There is a much bigger issue though:

"What information does a distributor send us and when?"

This isn't an issue for our own store, since we can not only send the email right away but we can put the codes right up on the screen at the end of the purchase.

Other stores, however, don't give us the info right away. Some sites send an email within a few minutes of purchase but others may wait an hour or only contact us once a month. In an extreme case there is a store that doesn't give us customer names at all, just a raw sales count. There is no way at all we can send code emails to these users.

So for all of these situations we end up limited by the reseller.

Of course in almost every case we offer full version downloads so at least for most people this should take care of the issue for them.

Mike Temporale wrote:
And another question; how much time did it take to setup the automatic system? Was it a large investment in your time or would you say it was quick and easy to setup?


Roughly 40 hours of effort for the initial setup. A few caveats of course. First, the initial setup takes the most time since it lays the foundation and also has a learning curve you need to overcome. Second, each additional site requires extra effort to add. Third, the resellers change the info they send us all the time. Each time this happens we have to update the system (and we are seldom told...we just find out when it breaks.)
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