platinum maintenance plan withdrawn without notice

Sorry - I've tagged this on the end of a couple of other threads, but since they have already been answered, realise that might have been a mistake and that it needs to go in its own thread so that articulate support see it: I'll see if I can delete them, but please feel free to delete the other duplicate posts so they don't clutter.

(on edit - tried to delete duplicates but got error message: "Whoops, there's no page here." - just tried again and the 'delete' option is no longer available.

Justin Wilcox said:

Hi Julie.

Thanks for the comments and sorry to hear that you are disappointed. The pricing for Storyline 2 is the same upgrade pricing we have offered since 2005 with upgrades from Articulate Presenter 4 to Articulate Presenter 5. We also had similar upgrade pricing for the Rapid E-Learning Studio 2nd Edition to Studio '09 and then Studio '13. If you purchase the Platinum Membership Plan which includes upgrades, priority support, live chat and free remote assistance.


I posted this on another thread, but perhaps it should be here given Justin's quote above, or maybe in its own thread. I am extremely dissatisfied but am holding off to see what happens before I build up a full head of steam on this:


Having just had trouble accessing the storyline 2 download I contacted support.
This is what I got back:

"The PMP conversion option mentioned in the email below is no longer available."

You can buy a Storyline 2 upgrade here:
www.articulate.com/store/store.php "

I can tell you that that was not the response I was expecting.
What on earth do you mean 'no longer available?

What has happened to Articulate? You cannot just withdraw something like that - here is the response to the articulate support email I sent :

~~~

Hello Ann,

What do you mean 'it is no longer available'?

When I purchased articulate studio it was specifically with the
maintenance plan that provided the next TWO releases of studio.

When I then paid for the upgrade to switch to the storyline track it
was on the understanding that the maintenance pack upgrade for the
second upgrade switched to Storyline from Studio, otherwise there was
no point in me switching since the whole point of paying for the
maintenance plan was to pay for the upgrade cycle in advance.

You cannot just come along and say:
"The PMP conversion option mentioned in the email below is no longer
available."
That is equivalent to you taking my money in advance and then randomly
deciding that you are not going to fulfill your obligation.

Your tone is especially insulting in that you offer no explanation and
effectively are telling me that you tricked me out of the money.

This is not satisfactory.



Regards,

Karl Gunter

~~~


Does this mean that paying in advance for the upgrade cycle is just equivalent to giving articulate money for nothing, because that email from support seems to be saying that.

This has got to be some sort of mistake, although the terse and perfunctory tone of 'that is no longer available' seems at odds with that assessment.

You cannot take money for maintenance plan upgrade cycles and then just change your mind about providing it.

This is absolutely astonishing.

(edited to correct frenzied typos)

6 Replies
Mark Schwartz

Hi Karl,

The Platinum Membership Plan (PMP) is not withdrawn. It's an enhanced maintenance plan that you purchase with the software license that enables you to pre-pay for 1, 2, or 3 version upgrades at significantly discounted prices while also receiving enhanced technical support. Best of all, there is no fixed end date on the plan - it expires when you redeem 1, 2, or 3 version upgrades or after 1, 2, or 3 years - whichever comes later (depending on the plan you purchase), so you're not paying for an annual maintenance plan only not to have had any new versions introduced during that term.

It's not something that you can purchase on a legacy product (Storyline 1) after its follow-on product is introduced (Storyline 2). That would be like purchasing insurance and expecting coverage after you need to make a claim. I believe that is what you were trying to do, so we apologize if we did not state that more clearly.

We make PMP available when you purchase a new license of Articulate software or when you purchase or redeem a free PMP upgrade to the new version so you can have PMP coverage on that new version.

As an aside, I can't tell you how many customers pay for an upgrade to the new version only to have us credit their upgrade fee because they had forgotten that they purchased PMP with their previous license. This was one of many that we sent yesterday:

Sorry about the confusion, but PMP is alive and well and thousands of our customers are upgrading to Storyline 2 at no additional charge thanks to their previous PMP purchase.

Karl Gunter

Thank you for the reply Mark, but that does not answer my question; let me try and explain it another way in case I was not clear (in the heat of the moment):

When I purchased Articulate Studio it was with the Platinum Maintenance Program to get 2 major upgrades.
Then, when I enquired about switching product stream From Studio I was told that I could not just swap, but that I needed to purchase Storyline at an upgrade price and that the maintenance plan (which included 1 more upgrade) would transfer.

Storyline was purchased specifically on the understanding that the pricing and agreement switched me from the Studio to Storyline track and that my maintenance plan was being transferred from Studio to Storyline as part of this and this was what was implied on Articulates part.
The understanding was that following this path shifted the maintenance program and would entitle me to the next major release of Storyline and there was no mention that it would not.

Changing product track and shifting the maintenance plan between products meant I would get the next major release of storyline and then would need to renew the maintenance plan for that to continue in the future.

I was not 'buying insurance' as you put it; I understood that I was shifting product streams and that the remaining part of my maintenance plan shifted to Storyline if I paid to switch from Studio ie. My maintenance program covered me for the Storyline 2 release.

Since Articulate operate on a long release cycle to ensure good product development, there was no way I expected to see a Storyline 2 release in a year; hence the importance of knowing that my maintenance plan shifted to the new product stream, otherwise there was no point in me shifting streams because I would just be throwing away my second upgrade.

I had effectively shelved storyline 1 to wait for my maintenance plan to take advantage of storyline 2 in the hope that it would be a significant change in functionality and have some of the advertised features actually working out of the box.

As others have posted:
http://community.articulate.com/forums/t/55986.aspx

...despite the changes, this looks a lot like a 1.5 release because Storyline 1 has had (and still has) issues with mobile devices as well as core functionality.

To have waited 2 years only to discover that Articulate are saying that my maintenance plan option is no longer available beggars belief. I would never have paid to switch to Storyline from Studio if that had been made clear.

Peter Ivison

I have to say they I have nothing but praise for Articulate's implementation of their platinum maintenance plan. I normally do not subscribe to this sort of product add on, but due to a communication breakdown with our purchasing department when Storyline was first released, unknown to me my company paid for a twelve month subscription to the Platinum Maintenance Plan for two of our Storyline licences.

Having seen a summary of the new features in the Storyline 2 release today I had no hesitation in paying for the upgrade - it was a no-brainier given the projects we are working on right now - however to my great surprise my order was cancelled and my payment refunded as Articulate identified that we had an upgrade owning from our our original purchase agreement.

Awesome customer service ... Special thanks to Tanya for this!

Regards,

Peter Ivison,

Training Products Manager,

INX Software Pty Ltd

www.inxsoftware.com

Tanya Storm

Thank you Peter - it is so very kind of you to share your positive experience! Much appreciated.

And if you want to add Platinum Coverage to the licenses that resulted from this upgrade, please just let me know! Clearly you see the great value - not only is your next upgrade at no additional cost, but you enjoy the benefits of our all-knowing Platinum Support team!