LogMeIn KicksMeOut

A month or so ago, having grown frustrated with lengthy tech support phone conversations with various family members, we installed the free version of the LogMeIn desktop sharing app on all of our various computers. It's cut those "my window has disappeared and I can't find it" calls to a bare minimum, making everyone much happier. And then this, today:
It seems that the outfit has grown tired of offering its services to freeloaders like me, and now my only option is the "Pro" version that starts at $99/year (or $49 for the first year if you already have an account). Even though the application has been helpful when we needed it, our actual usage doesn't justify paying that much for the service. So, adios LogMeIn.

Unsurprisingly, there are several free alternatives for this sort of application, so I don't expect to miss LogMeIn. It's simply annoying to have to make the switch, and to invest the time to find the best of those alternatives.

Of course, this is anecdotal evidence of just how spoiled I've become. I quickly take for granted those companies who, for whatever reasons, offer free services or products, and then feel slighted (if not downright abused) when they decide to discontinue those things. Well, not as slighted as some people:
As much as I've tried, I can't quite work up the same sense of entitlement as Mr. Cyberaxe*. Logically, I should just be grateful for the time we had together, and recognize that all free things must come to an end. I assume that LogMeIn was hoping that its free offering would be a gateway drug to entice us to graduate to Even Better Stuff, stuff that we'd pay for, and when that didn't happen, the company decided it wasn't worth whatever trouble it was going to to maintain the service. It's a logical business decision.

I sort of doubt that many people will switch to the paid service; I doubt that I'm alone in deciding to seek out another free product to do the same job. But we all need to recognize that whatever we find, we shouldn't count on it in perpetuity.

*Given the specificity of the hashtag rant, I wonder if Mr. Cyperaxe was using LogMeIn's free service to generate revenue for himself, perhaps via his own desktop support business. It's never a good idea to build your business model on the assumption of freebies from a disinterested third party.

4 Comments

We all know that free can't be a legitimate business model unless you have venture funding. But one day you'll have to make money to pay for all of those ping pong tables. Ha.

Seriously, though, I'm seeing more of this. The app we're working on is only $10/month and people fall into two camps:

1. Can't believe it's that low, pay without a blink
2. Furious or upset that we would ask more than a few dollars a month for a great service and also provide them with tech support.

You know, I, with my art, didn't like working for free or being asked for stuff for free, and I'm sure these people who use these apps for their businesses don't either, so I don't know why so many get worked up when asked to pay. I just think "business expense, and done with it." We've noticed that the users who want it free or inquire about how they should pay less are the ones who make the most support noise. The ones who pay without a whimper are somehow able to use it without complaint. I've always found it interesting. I guess if you have skin in the game (paying for it) your attitude changes? You lose a sense of entitlement? I don't know.

For a few years, people got too used to free. I see that changing more and more now.

Taking a page from the Google playbook, it seems. (I'm still plenty miffed that they killed off the Reader service without ever even offering the large userbase a chance to pony up a few bucks to keep it alive.)

I'll pay to play up to a certain level. I have not yet subscribed to Feedly, but intend to do so. I have subscribed to a small handful of other web-based or updates-via-subscription products and have yet to regret a single one. $50 annual subscription seems rather pricey tho. They would've done better to offer it initially for half that price, then up the rate incrementally over the next couple of years.

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This page contains a single entry by Eric published on January 21, 2014 7:05 PM.

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