Author Topic: Have been subscribed for 4 years. What are my options?  (Read 2620 times)

I have been a supporter of Substance since the early days and got on board when the indie licence came out. My license page shows that I have made 46 license payments over the past 4 years.

Initially I bought the subscription because of the promise that payments would stop once the full purchase price was reached, but that never happened. I then stayed subscribed for 4 years because of the regular updates and because I wanted to support development. But if I had just bought the software outright and even all of the one time license upgrades, I would only have paid a fraction of the amount I have over the years.

With the announcement that Adobe will be buying Substance, I'm looking at my options regarding getting permanent licenses that can't later be revoked (I have had bad experience with Adobe in this area). And having seen that I've paid so much into that subscription, I'm now feeling very stupid -- I could have bought multiple permanent licenses and all the upgrades for the same amount. Hell, I've now paid more for this indie license than it costs for a permanent pro license.

Could someone from Allegrorithmic to please explain what my options are for getting permanent licenses? Is my only option to cancel my subscription and get one permanant license for the current software versions, and just consider the rest of the amount I've paid as a very expensive lesson? Or is there a way to convert that into multiple licenses?

EDIT: Also, the Upgrade Licenses page on the subscription page is blank.
Last Edit: January 23, 2019, 10:14:10 pm

I am in the exact same boat. My first 19.90 payment was Mar 25 2015 . I would like to know the same.

Wow, yeh Im mad. Here is what support just sent me.


Hi Chuck, [/size]Thank you for reaching out. Our initial offer was a rent-to-own model, we indeed made some modifications to this offer in June 2017, which you can find detailed here: https://www.allegorithmic.com/faq-substanceThe subscription allowed you always get updates and upgrades of the software throughout the years. If you prefer to get a perpetual license, you could either: - Cancel your subscription and get one perpetual license of all the software for $49. This will give you access to the latest build released today. Please note that this license doesn't come with any maintenance. or - Purchase a perpetual license of Substance Painter or Substance Designer at $149 each, or B2M at $99. These licenses come with 12 months of maintenance. Let me know if you have any questions, Cheers,
Caroline
Sales Support[/size]

Yeah, no that's illegal. Here's what they actually sold us:

In 2015 when Substance Live Indie went live, they sold us this: https://web.archive.org/web/20150322231213/https://www.allegorithmic.com/products/substance-live
Quote
"Substance Live Indie gives you access to the 3 main Substance software Substance Designer 5, Substance Painter and Bitmap2Material 3, as well as some exclusive content every month.
Buy Substance Live indie for $299 one-off or $19.90 per month during 16 months (total cost: $318). You own the product after the 16 month payment period."

Up until June 2017 they were still selling us this: https://web.archive.org/web/20170703223359/https://www.allegorithmic.com/products/substance-live/faq
Quote
"To obtain a definitive license, you will have to complete 8 monthly payments to get either Substance Painter or Substance Designer, 5 monthly payments for Substance B2M, and 16 monthly payments for Substance Pack."
Quote
"The definitive license of a software is available 8 months after the release of the software.
You can request definitive licenses of Substance Painter 2, Substance Designer 5 and Substance B2M3, if you have enough accumulated payments.
Substance Designer 6 will be available for a definitive license in October 2017."

Then on June 2017, they changed the offer to this: https://www.allegorithmic.com/faq-substance
Quote
"When you are subscribed for more than 12 months consecutively, when you cancel you get the option to purchase a perpetual license of all the software for $49."


So if we've been subscribed since April 2015, here's what the timeline looks like for us:

August 2016: 16 months since starting Substance Live. We should now own:
 - Substance Designer 5 perpetual license
 - Substance Painter 1 perpetual license
 - Bitmap2Material 3 perpetual license

November 2016: 8 months since Substance Painter 2 was released. We should now also own:
 - Substance Painter 2 perpetual license

October 2017: 8 months since Substance Designer 6 was released. Since we bought that before June 2017's new business model came into effect, we should now own:
 - Substance Designer 6 perpetual license

Today: Since we have over 12 months of months on our account, when we cancel we get the option to pay $49.99 for perpetual licenses to the latest release (I think 2019.something). If we choose not to do that, we get no license. I'm pretty annoyed that we are only entitled to one license even if we have accumulated multiple 12-month periods (I'm on 46 months), but that's the way it's worded.


So if I cancel today and choose to pay nothing (or even if I keep the subscription going), I should currently own the following separate licenses that I paid for:
 - Substance Designer 5 perpetual license
 - Substance Painter 1 perpetual license
 - Bitmap2Material 3 perpetual license
 - Substance Painter 2 perpetual license
 - Substance Designer 6 perpetual license

These are the pieces of software that we LEGALLY OWN as part of Allegorithmic's pre-June 2017 rent to buy scheme. We own these. They have no right to deny us these.


And if I cancel and choose to pay the $49.99, I should get the following separate licenses that I paid for:
 - Substance Designer 5 perpetual license
 - Substance Painter 1 perpetual license
 - Bitmap2Material 3 perpetual license
 - Substance Painter 2 perpetual license
 - Substance Designer 6 perpetual license
 - Substance Painter 2019 perpetual license
 - Substance Designer 2019 perpetual license
 - Substance B2M 2019 perpetual license
 - Substance Source perpetual license? (not sure)
Last Edit: January 24, 2019, 12:56:01 am

Hi,

I will clarify a few things:
Substance (Substance Live at the time) has always been a monthly payment with no end, except if the user decides to do it. So you are always paying monthly, as long as you don't cancel.

Regarding the licenses of previous software (after 16 months, 8 months, etc.) it was always an action from the user: you had to go in your account and request those licenses. When you did so, you started again from scratch. So if you asked licenses in August 2016, it means you had to wait again 16 months to be able to ask for new versions. So your calculation is not right, and I'm not sure why you didn't ask for those licenses when you had the chance.

Regarding the "legally own", every time a change happened in the business model, you were warned by email and had the possibility to go out and get what you signed for, and you also validated those changes each time you used the software as they are in the EULA.

So right now, if you cancel and pay $49, you will get a license of Substance Painter 2018.3 / Substance Designer 2018.3 / Substance B2M. You can also download previous versions of the software up to the version 2017.x.
You have probably been using those versions, so it would make more sense for you to get those current versions instead of an old version from years ago in which you won't be able to open your projects.

Cheers,
Head of Product Management

Regarding the licenses of previous software (after 16 months, 8 months, etc.) it was always an action from the user: you had to go in your account and request those licenses. When you did so, you started again from scratch. So if you asked licenses in August 2016, it means you had to wait again 16 months to be able to ask for new versions. So your calculation is not right
OK, so to correct this calculation, the timeline is actually:

August 2016: 16 months since starting Substance Live. We should now own:
 - Substance Designer 5 perpetual license
 - Substance Painter 1 perpetual license
 - Bitmap2Material 3 perpetual license
Our number of months accumulated should then be reset to 0.

April 2017: We have now accumulated 8 months of payments, and the current version is Substance Painter 2. We should now also own:
 - Substance Painter 2 perpetual license
Our number of months is then reset to 0 again. There's not enough time to get enough months for Substance Designer 6 before you changed the business model in July 2017

April 2018: We have accumulated 12 months on our account, so if we chose to cancel at any time after this we would be entitled to pay $49.99 for perpetual licenses to the latest releases.

I'm not sure why you didn't ask for those licenses when you had the chance.
It doesn't matter why we didn't ask for those licenses at the time, for the original substance pack the terms of sale at the time made no mention of having to request a license at all. It simply states "You own the product after the 16 month payment period." and "Once you paid the full price, that’s it. The software is yours forever." I unfortunately never downloaded my license key to this software, so I've been cheated out of that.

Regarding the "legally own", every time a change happened in the business model, you were warned by email and had the possibility to go out and get what you signed for, and you also validated those changes each time you used the software as they are in the EULA.
Well that's wrong, I keep an archive of every email I've ever received and Allegorithmic didn't contact me in 2017 to advise of a business model change. The only emails I got around June 2017 were marketing for Substance Days and an announcement of "Substance Painter’s first number-less release" that makes no mention of the business model change. The first time I knew that the model had changed was months later when visiting the site randomly, by which time the opportunity to download my old licenses was gone.

I was also never contacted to explain that I would have to log in to claim my perpetual licenses within specific time frames, so I never did that either and just accumulated 46 useless months on the account. Again, this was NOT in the original 2015 terms of sale that I signed up to, so I had no way to know it.

 


So right now, if you cancel and pay $49, you will get a license of Substance Painter 2018.3 / Substance Designer 2018.3 / Substance B2M. You can also download previous versions of the software up to the version 2017.x.
You have probably been using those versions, so it would make more sense for you to get those current versions instead of an old version from years ago in which you won't be able to open your projects.

I intend to do this to get the current version, but I do also have uses for the old versions. I'm also definitely legally entitled to those older versions because that's what you sold to me in 2015, those were the terms of sale I accepted, and I fulfilled all 16 months according to those terms of sale. So I should be able to contact support to request my unclaimed license keys for:
 - Substance Designer 5 perpetual license
 - Substance Painter 1 perpetual license
 - Bitmap2Material 3 perpetual license
 - Substance Painter 2 perpetual license

Can you understand why people who have paid you over $1,000 dollars in indie licenses and never realised they had to actively claim their release keys are going to feel ripped off? When after 4 years of support and all the rent-to-buy promises in 2015, all we get is a discount on a single license purchase? Is there nothing else that can be done? Because I feel cheated here. I've accumulated 4 licenses worth of payments and have nothing to show for it.
Last Edit: January 28, 2019, 01:29:06 am

^^thats unbelievable. Algorithmic really showed they're true colors today

Sounds like a bait and switch strategy to me. I haven't participated in the subscription rent-to-own model, but I did recommend it to people. People maybe entered the subscription because it goes towards a full license, then you silently introduce a fee. Just a matter of time before perpetual option gets silently removed, and users instead of being notified through the app itself, will get notified through email that somehow will end up in the spam folder. They will continue paying monthly without realizing it won't go towards a full license anymore.

Quote
Regarding the "legally own", every time a change happened in the business model, you were warned by email and had the possibility to go out and get what you signed for, and you also validated those changes each time you used the software as they are in the EULA.

Been looking through my email trying to find these notices. Have not found one yet. Nothing related to the business model changes, Or my need to cancel and claim my perpetual license. Certainly not in any kind of official email notice sort of way. What did yall stick these things in your monthly "Look at all the great content people made with our tool" spam ? newsletter?
Last Edit: January 24, 2019, 07:30:40 pm

It was a while ago but I beleive there was at least a newsletter + multiple specific emails sent to users based on our license database.
There was also extensive talks about the changes on the forum at the time: https://forum.allegorithmic.com/index.php?topic=16989.60
Last Edit: January 24, 2019, 08:43:46 pm

I've only subscribed for 4 months if I'm not mistaken, and I've always got the emails about license changes. You should have asked for those licenses when you reached the goals, but if you email support, I'm sure they won't mind giving you that old license, plus the newest version if you pay the last 49$. But as for paying for 4 years or so, you weren't being ripped off, you forget you kept getting the updates, and that ends after you pay the last one to get a perpetual license. You kept paying, but also kept getting updates, remember that, as it's how it works in any rent-to-own model, if you end up owning the license, your updates are usually limited to one more year, and then if you want to get the new versions, you need to restart you payments from scratch.

It was a while ago but I beleive there was at least a newsletter + multiple specific emails sent to users based on our license database.
There was also extensive talks about the changes on the forum at the time: https://forum.allegorithmic.com/index.php?topic=16989.60
I don't think this is correct, there was no mention of any business model changes in your newsletter, and no specific emails sent out to users based on your license database. As I said before, I keep an archive of every email I've ever received and I can find no such email. If you can find out what date range that went out on for me please, I can make 100% sure I never got it.

I found out about the change when I went to log into Substance Painter 2 and it no longer worked, and I had to update to the new non-numbered version. At that point I'd already missed the opportunity to collect my Substance Painter 2 license. I also never got any notification that the original 2015 deal had changed, which was sold to us as we own the software after making 18 payments. So now I've also missed the opportunity to collect my Substance Painter 1, Substance Designer 5, and Bitmap 2 Material 3 licenses.

The way this was sold in 2015 made no mention of a time limit for collecting or having to cancel your subscription and request it, it just told us that we own the software forever after 18 payments. I made the 18 payments and I didn't get a copy of the software that I own forever as promised. Evidently I'm not the only one who was mis-sold the Substance Live Indie service and wasn't given any instructions on collecting permanent versions of the software or informed about business model changes. I'm on 46 payments and have literally nothing to show for it, and so are several other people here.

I would politely request that you please sort these situations out soon to the satisfaction of anyone on way over 12 months of payments who feels like they were misinformed and ripped off. Otherwise Adobe is going to inherit this headache, and I doubt they want it. The minimum resolution you should make is giving us the licenses we paid for and didn't claim because nobody told us we had to (Substance Painter 1, Substance Designer 5, Bitmap 2 Material 3, and Substance Painter 2 permanent licenses).

Though maybe for simplicity and as a show of good faith you could give anyone with over ~20 months or so on their account an extra permanent indie license to the current software version to say thanks for the support? Just something to show you're serious about this committent to the people who have supported you for four years or more to get you this far. I wouldn't even cancel my subscription if you did that, and it realistically wouldn't cost you anything.

I've only subscribed for 4 months if I'm not mistaken, and I've always got the emails about license changes. You should have asked for those licenses when you reached the goals, but if you email support, I'm sure they won't mind giving you that old license, plus the newest version if you pay the last 49$.
Yeah, that's what I think we're entitled to. But right now we're being told here that they aren't even going to give us the old versions as promised, and that's a problem.

But as for paying for 4 years or so, you weren't being ripped off, you forget you kept getting the updates, and that ends after you pay the last one to get a perpetual license. You kept paying, but also kept getting updates, remember that
Right, but I would still have got that. As I demonstrated in the timeline above, if I had cancelled at the appropriate times and restarted my subscription, I would still have got every single update over the years but would also have additional separate permanent licenses to Substance Painter 1, Substance Designer 5, Bitmap2Material 3, and Substance Painter 2.

I'm pretty sure those of us who subscribed in 2015 weren't told we had to cancel and claim those keys, we were straight up told that we "own" the software after 18 payments and it was that simple (I included some quotes about that above dug up from Archive.org). And then with Substance Painter 2 we owned that after 8 payments. So I agree, support should give us those old keys if we contact them and we should chill out if that's the resolution. But right now they aren't even offering that.
Last Edit: January 25, 2019, 05:33:50 pm

Quote
Regarding the "legally own", every time a change happened in the business model, you were warned by email and had the possibility to go out and get what you signed for, and you also validated those changes each time you used the software as they are in the EULA.

I have seen no such evidence of this claim.
No warning of the change of the terms of service. Nor have i seen any intent to inform their customers about these service contract changes for myself. I have never deleted a single email from Allegorithmic, And I have no such evidence of those or any warning. And Allegorithimic has failed to produce that evidence for me.

every time a change happened in the business model, you were warned by email and had the possibility to go out and get what you signed for, and you also validated those changes each time you used the software as they are in the EULA.

Read as, if you used the software, you, by default, agreed to the new terms even if you were not aware of them, so it's your own fault for not reading the EULA every time before firing up the software, just incase they have changed.

That frankly, is the sort of answer people are concerned about being the norm moving forward. Put it this way, imagine buying a car with 5 years warranty, then being told after 2 years, nope, it isn't in warranty as we have changed our policy.
Or perhaps, you buy it on credit, with an agreed APR and term, only to be told, actually, there's now an exit fee if you wish to keep the car.  One may argue it's not the same thing, but if the policy was, at the time the person took it out, that 18 payments on, they could keep the software with a perpetual licence, surely that is the policy the person agreed to. Changing policy and saying, "you agreed to it, you used the software", well, at best, one would say "poor form old chap".