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Retro 9 Upgrade Pricing Feedback

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Okay, last post for now: the bitching and moaning. I am simultaneously relieved and hopeful that another build of Retrospect finally got out the door and infuriated that no concessions have been made to those of us who have suffered (and have clients who have suffered) for YEARS w/ the inadequacies of Retrospect 8 and neglect of its parent companies. Some of my clients I went ahead and set up w/ Retrospect 8 even knowing of its flaws, thinking that SURELY a low/no-cost, bug-fix release was just around the corner, only to now be presented w/ pricey upgrade costs (almost all of my clients are using Single- or Multi-Server) to get these fixes.

 

I understand the need to turn a profit, but Retrospect customers are being mistreated here. I wouldn't mind a nominal upgrade fee to generate a little revenue for Retrospect, Inc, but a lot of good people here have been dealing w/ the shortcomings of Retro 8 and expecting the shabby software WE PAID FOR to be made right. That line of thinking didn't involve having to shell out for another version upgrade as if we'd gotten our full money's worth from the previous one and it was simply time to "re-up" for new features. Retrospect 8 has been a lemon; Retrospect 9 is a bug-fix, and should likely be 8.3; I find the complete ignorance of that fact in Retro 9's PR/online info disturbing. I'm not asking for a free lunch here, but some consideration for our suffering and loyalty is in order. We should NOT have to pay full upgrade pricing for this.

 

All of that said, what is the best method to convey this opinion to someone who "matters" and can pass along to the powers that be? Is it here? Should I call the phone # on the "About Us" page? Email someone?

 

Fred

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It is true that Retrospect 9 is a paid upgrade, but keep in mind that this version does contain some pretty major feature changes. For the very first time client users and initiate a backup and can fire off a restore and see the progress in real time. Saving time for the backup administrator. In addition we have added better email notification compatibility and AES 256 encryption for client backups. Then we add support for Webdav.

 

So yes this version does contain bug fixes but it also includes some really great features, all of which are not available in the Windows product (yet). Desktop users also get additional clients in the upgrade.

 

For any customer that has an active ASM contract, you qualify for a free upgrade. If you have an expired ASM contract you can renew it under a temporary promotion. That renewal price is lower then the software upgrade price and it gives you support for a year and the upgrade.

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It is true that Retrospect 9 is a paid upgrade, but keep in mind that this version does contain some pretty major feature changes. For the very first time client users and initiate a backup and can fire off a restore and see the progress in real time. Saving time for the backup administrator. In addition we have added better email notification compatibility and AES 256 encryption for client backups. Then we add support for Webdav.

 

So yes this version does contain bug fixes but it also includes some really great features, all of which are not available in the Windows product (yet). Desktop users also get additional clients in the upgrade.

 

Robin, I appreciate the response, but again you and the Retrospect team are absolutely and completely missing the point. Staggeringly so. I'm not sure exactly what you guys are thinking...the request from your customer base has been pretty clear. Do you HEAR us?? At all??? As you have been told numerous other times in other threads, most of us here COULD NOT CARE LESS about "some pretty major feature changes". What we've been asking for for YEARS now is for the program that we and our clients have PAID FOR-- Retrospect 8-- to work properly. I assure you that I will not be able to convince my customers to pay an **additional** FIVE or NINE HUNDRED DOLLARS to get a properly working solution for their busted-&%$ Retrospect 8, nor will I attempt to do so. Clearly you are not listening to your customers, nor do you seem concerned at all about doing what's right here.

 

The mere fact that you are touting "250 bug fixes" in a paid release should say enough. After being a Retrospect customer for a decade and a half now, I am thoroughly disgusted. I am also embarrassed to have recommended this product to my clients w/ the expectation that you would make the broken Retro 8 right. If you're so high on these "really great features", then you shouldn't be afraid to provide those 250 bug fixes in a free or minimally priced 8.3 release w/ the new features intentionally disabled, then offer v9 as a paid improvement beyond that. In any case, you are off your rockers to offer what you cannot possibly object to calling a *mostly* bug-fix release at the massive upgrade pricing you've chosen. There is apparently ZERO concession to the fact that your customers have been suffering for quite some time. My continuing to recommend a flawed Retro 8 w/ the expectation that we'd eventually get a proper, fixed release has shown my faith in and loyalty to the product; I'm seeing none of it in return, so it unfortunately appears that my partnership w/ Retrospect may be coming to an end.

 

As per usual lately, you did not seem to have actually answered my question: Is this the best method for submitting our complaints about how this is being handled? Or should I call some corporate main #? Are you the decision-maker? Or reporting directly to a decision-maker?

 

Fred Turner

 

P.S. On a side note, it appears that I will not be able to use a single version of the Console to administer a mixture of v8 and v9 server Engines. What's more, since Retro 9 Console seems to want to take over Retro 8 settings, I'm not sure I can even run both versions of the Console in an alternating fashion. This is a significant oversight, and will basically return me to the days of having to use Remote Desktop to administer any new clients or any existing installations that actually do feel compelled to upgrade. A giant leap backwards, to be sure.

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I'm not interested in candy and goodies and “some cool new stuff“. I want a V.8 that is WORKING without problems. This socalled programm only triggers hatred! You start the GUI and wait for 5 to 10 minutes? Hello? Do I use Windows 2? It's really really hard not to speak too “tacheles”, what this disgusting behaviour is! I PRAY that there will be another programm replacing this … shame. No V.8.4, hahaaaaa …

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It is true that Retrospect 9 is a paid upgrade, but keep in mind that this version does contain some pretty major feature changes. For the very first time client users and initiate a backup and can fire off a restore and see the progress in real time. Saving time for the backup administrator. In addition we have added better email notification compatibility and AES 256 encryption for client backups. Then we add support for Webdav.

 

So yes this version does contain bug fixes but it also includes some really great features, all of which are not available in the Windows product (yet). Desktop users also get additional clients in the upgrade.

 

For any customer that has an active ASM contract, you qualify for a free upgrade. If you have an expired ASM contract you can renew it under a temporary promotion. That renewal price is lower then the software upgrade price and it gives you support for a year and the upgrade.

 

I just can't bring myself to she'll out more money to fix broken software product that has caused me more trouble than any other software I can remember. It would seem to me that if retrospect wants to spread the word about a great "new" product, they should get the word on the street going the right direction. I can honestly say I would never recommend v8 of this software. In fact the buggy nature of it has led me to recommend other alternatives on several occasions. I still have Retrospect v6 setup on a dedicated machine and it's the most solid version. Yes I do run v8 now but it's like "don't touch it, it's broken". I too agree with many others who feel that v8 is a broken product that should have received the fixes necessary to make it least stable. Come on, we're talking about a "backup software". And yes i do mean "broken". So instead of fixing something that was obviously broken, retrospect/roxio has chosen to blatantly ignore that fact. Feels like a cut and run. Had the upgrade been closer to a symbolic sum of money, it would have shown a level of "good will" that I would be willing to match. But sadly the upgrade path shows no measurable good will beyond what a normal upgrade for a fully functioning working product is.

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As fhturner has said so well, I do not need or want ANY of the new features you offer. What I want is for the version 8 features I ALREADY paid for to work properly.

 

I don't even know if paying for version 9 would fix my issues. I cannot, as someone suggested somewhere here, use the trial version to find out. One issue, for example, is grooming. If I groom my version 8 backups with version 9 and find it's no better, can I revert to version 8? Will it accept its old backups that have been groomed in version 9. The answer must be that this is not guaranteed.

 

In any case this misses the point. Why should I pay to make a feature I already paid for work. And again it might not work in version 9, and I have no reason to believe the fixes for version 9 won't be called version 10 and, by the way, I'll have to pay for that too. How far down the road should I chase this thing?

 

Does anyone here recall EVER seeing a new, chargeable version of any software listing bug fixes as a benefit to a paid upgrade? Refinements, optimisations, performance improvements, yes. Features, certainly. But BUG FIXES?

 

Seriously, you're saying 'Buy our new software because it fixes bugs in what you paid for previously' ? How about 'You bought the features, now buy the working versions' ?

 

Please, separate the software out. If the fixes are embedded in new code, fine, just disable the new features and give as a free bug fix release. Those who want the new features can pay for them. Just give me the features I ALREADY paid for.

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I'll sign this!

 

You could have charged everybody from V.1 to V.6. But not US who had and have the pain with V.8. And it's even not funny to read that some of these problems STILL are in V.9. Scheduling? A joke. Oh no no no, this is a point beyond kidding, if I'd live in your country I seriously would let this be checked by a lawyer. We pay, we get broken stuff. You fix, we pay? Pluto is incredibly far away and even not a planet anymore!

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For any customer that has an active ASM contract, you qualify for a free upgrade. If you have an expired ASM contract you can renew it under a temporary promotion. That renewal price is lower then the software upgrade price and it gives you support for a year and the upgrade.

 

Where can I find out more about this promotion? I searched the forum and retrospect.com and didn't see anything about it except this brief mention.

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Robin, I appreciate the response, but again you and the Retrospect team are absolutely and completely missing the point. Staggeringly so. I'm not sure exactly what you guys are thinking...the request from your customer base has been pretty clear. Do you HEAR us?? At all??? As you have been told numerous other times in other threads, most of us here COULD NOT CARE LESS about "some pretty major feature changes". What we've been asking for for YEARS now is for the program that we and our clients have PAID FOR-- Retrospect 8-- to work properly. I assure you that I will not be able to convince my customers to pay an **additional** FIVE or NINE HUNDRED DOLLARS to get a properly working solution for their busted-&%$ Retrospect 8, nor will I attempt to do so. Clearly you are not listening to your customers, nor do you seem concerned at all about doing what's right here.

 

The mere fact that you are touting "250 bug fixes" in a paid release should say enough. After being a Retrospect customer for a decade and a half now, I am thoroughly disgusted. I am also embarrassed to have recommended this product to my clients w/ the expectation that you would make the broken Retro 8 right. If you're so high on these "really great features", then you shouldn't be afraid to provide those 250 bug fixes in a free or minimally priced 8.3 release w/ the new features intentionally disabled, then offer v9 as a paid improvement beyond that. In any case, you are off your rockers to offer what you cannot possibly object to calling a *mostly* bug-fix release at the massive upgrade pricing you've chosen. There is apparently ZERO concession to the fact that your customers have been suffering for quite some time. My continuing to recommend a flawed Retro 8 w/ the expectation that we'd eventually get a proper, fixed release has shown my faith in and loyalty to the product; I'm seeing none of it in return, so it unfortunately appears that my partnership w/ Retrospect may be coming to an end.

 

As per usual lately, you did not seem to have actually answered my question: Is this the best method for submitting our complaints about how this is being handled? Or should I call some corporate main #? Are you the decision-maker? Or reporting directly to a decision-maker?

 

Fred Turner

 

P.S. On a side note, it appears that I will not be able to use a single version of the Console to administer a mixture of v8 and v9 server Engines. What's more, since Retro 9 Console seems to want to take over Retro 8 settings, I'm not sure I can even run both versions of the Console in an alternating fashion. This is a significant oversight, and will basically return me to the days of having to use Remote Desktop to administer any new clients or any existing installations that actually do feel compelled to upgrade. A giant leap backwards, to be sure.

Couldn't agree more. Sadly it appears that they don't hear us and/or don't care, the only 2 options that seem to be forth coming are pay us the upgrade fee, with no guarantees of a fix, or go find a new product.

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I totally agree with everything that has already been said. Considering we had to pay for the 8.x upgrade so in order to get a working product we have to pay the upgrade fee twice. That is unacceptable considering that people who skipped 8.x are getting the same upgrade price as ones who have 8.x People who haved survived with 8.x since it came out should be eligible for free upgrade or at least at a reduced price compared to users upgrading from 6.x

Edited by predaking

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[...]

If you have an expired ASM contract you can renew it under a temporary promotion. That renewal price is lower then the software upgrade price and it gives you support for a year and the upgrade.

 

 

This is very interesting. We bought v 8 when it shipped with ASM. Did not install it based on the feedback from other users. ASM expired before we even installed the product. When Retro 8 was out of alfa, and entered beta reached version 8.2, we installed. Renewing the ASM did not make any sense.

 

Is there anywhere I can read about this temporary promotion?

* Is it valid outside USA?

* can I check if we are registred as an ex-ASM customer somewhere? (And that the e-mail is still valid)

* when does this promotion end?

* should I contact my local reseller about this?

 

Since Retrospect has had a range of owners in these years, I am worried we have been deleted somewhere (I am NOT saying they do not have reliable backup of their user databases, but you never know)

 

Thank you for keeping these forums uncensored. I am both thankful and impressed that you do that.

Edited by hvar

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The way there is no response at all to Fred's points about the long awaited and even kind of promised updates/bugfixes to v8.2 just reveals so much about the whole issue. Me too would like to know the proper contact person/number to file a complaint.

 

Corrupted config files, unbearable wait time after startup of the console, client apps silently stop repsonding, flawed proactive scripts, not being able to stop a script execution when waiting for media... just a few things that really are unacceptable bugs. And now you make us pay again, because you packed the bugs into a glossy box with new features? You can't be serious.

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I just tried to use their feedback form to ask for a refund for v8. I want to revert back to v6 and upgrade from there... obviously this is what we all should have done anyway.

But... their feedback form fails if you write more than 255 characters. The text field is NOT limited and you can input all the details just to be greeted by a strange error on top of the page. It says "Subject: data value too large". So, the body text actually is treated as a subject (???) and they forgot to limit the input field to the value their database field is expecting...

 

If that kind of simple to avoid usability pitfalls is any sign of the V9 quality... then I will burst into tears and finally move on to BRU or Netvault.

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Guest btovsky

i am also one of those somewhat upset by the retrospect 8 to 9 "upgrade" situation. when we bought our Tandberg T24 LTO backup library system with Retrospect two years ago we assumed we'd get a functioning setup, but R8 let us down big time and we've been anxiously (and patiently, as you may be able to tell from my posts here) awaiting a fix. i am more than happy to pay an upgrade price, but over $900 is daunting. this on top of the history of missteps that have befallen Retrospect over the past few years. we'll get the demo and check it out before making any assumptions. i hope it knocks my socks off.

cheers

b

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I use Lion Server at home for a Media Server on a Mac Mini and I have to pay a ridicules price to upgrade. This is not a work server its a home server! Why can't you have fair pricing for a home server or the desktop version that you can use on a home server (desktop with 3-4 clients). This is insane!!!! A lot of people have this same setup but are not going to put out that kind of money. You guys need to do something with this pricing, you are going to lose a lot of customers that have the same setup. I mean all you had to do is look at Apple product line up and see the Mac mini server and even the Mac Pro used in home networks for media servers or for controlling all there iOS devices. Like I said there are a lot of other backup programs out there that people will switch to because for price for a home server. It just pissed me off!!!!!

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Complaints about the outrageous pricing aside, does Retrospect 9 actually work? Are all the serious V8 bugs fixed now? If I recommend another $1000 upgrade that doesn't work, I'm out of a job.

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Guest Steve Maser

Document the "serious v8 bugs" that are causing you grief and some of the people testing 9 can let you know if they are still seeing the bugs or not.

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Count me as another suffering Retrospect 8 user (who has been using Retro since the mid to late 90's). I'm in agreement with the general consensus here... we should get access to v9 either free of heavily discounted. I have suffered through several config file corruptions and backup set members spontaneously disappearing. I have taken to backing up retrospect config files every 8 hours to make sure when (not if) they break i'll at least have a recent set to fall back to. Never had to do this with v6.

 

Bottom line is this is a broken product and we all more than anything else want a stable v8 before we can even think about upgrading.

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As a 10+ year user of Retrospect (first mac then pc version) at a higher education institution, I've kept a good eye on this forum ever since I upgraded to version 8 back on September 14, 2010. Like many of you, I won't be paying for the v9 upgrade. Version 8 was a mess, highly unreliable, and was requiring more time and effort than enterprise backup software should and I can't justify the continued investment in a company that to me doesn't seem to care about keeping customers or increasing their customer base. I really hate to end my relationship with Retrospect, but I won't pay for an upgrade that should of been free for every version 8 user. Unfortunately, I finally hear the fat lady singing.

 

Good luck to you guys - for those that stick it out, I hope things get better - and for those that don't, there is some really good and efficient backup software out there.

 

Michael Dobecka

The University of Texas at Austin

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Hi Steve.

 

Can you report (if you have any info) on the way Retro is now storing the configuration information? Im not sure if it was the config.dat file that was the issue (seemed to be corruption issues for a lot of users) causing config to be wiped out (obvious backups would prevent critical situations) but seemed on a non-technical surface to not be the best way to store this info.

 

I have not used Retro in so long now (bought ver 8.0 from EMC) but in my simplified scenario of disk media sets, random (seemingly anyway) engine crashes (which I am assuming trial may not have been out long enough to test?) and a requirement to reboot the server on a regular basis. I eventually just instituted a weekly restart routine, which as long as I adhered to, resolved "most" of the engine crashes I experienced.

 

Also, grooming? I attempted to groom once. I never attempted again. Grooming never seemed to work (well for me anyway), or maybe just took way to long, and seemed to lock up the console.

 

Last thing I want to mention on here: Support? I know not support, but I have called in twice so far (6 hours between calls approx) for sales to call me back regarding upgrade options, and both times went to voice mail. I left a message early this morning (EST) with no call back. Whats your experience so far?

 

Thanks for any thoughts on the new Retro9.

 

******Edit******* looks like retro 9 still uses the config80.dat file.

Edited by cpguru21

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Guest Steve Maser

Retro 9 has the same "config80.dat" file that 8.2 did. Their list of fixed bugs indicates they've done *something* to make the backup of this file more stable to prevent corruption. Without a documented way to *force* corruption, I have no way of really testing to see if things are better or not.

 

Grooming has -- for me -- worked exactly as expected with Retrospect 8.2. Yes, it can take a long time (depending on how many files are in the media set), but I have never had any catalog corruption that I could directly correlate to the grooming function. (I have to try this with Retrospect 9 and will likely try that this weekend...)

 

Retro *8.0* certainly had it's share of crashes. 8.2 has -- at least for me -- been solid and hasn't crashed once that I could document since it was released.

 

 

My thoughts on what Retro 9 offers and how it will affect me and my clients directly are (really) only two new features: a new Mac client that allows self-restore and the ability (finally) to only see the files that were incrementally backed up. I personally won't use the user-initiated restore feature, nor will I use webdav as a location to store files (though I tested both). There are things I don't think work quite right in Retro 9 and I've filed bugs accordingly, but some of them are minor (some seem like oversights...)

 

 

I haven't put Retro 9 on my Production machine yet to see how responsive the console is with multiple concurrent/proactive scripts running. My plan is to do that very soon and hope that responsiveness is better than Retrospect 8.2.

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As a 10+ year user of Retrospect (first mac then pc version) at a higher education institution, I've kept a good eye on this forum ever since I upgraded to version 8 back on September 14, 2010. Like many of you, I won't be paying for the v9 upgrade. Version 8 was a mess, highly unreliable, and was requiring more time and effort than enterprise backup software should and I can't justify the continued investment in a company that to me doesn't seem to care about keeping customers or increasing their customer base. I really hate to end my relationship with Retrospect, but I won't pay for an upgrade that should of been free for every version 8 user. Unfortunately, I finally hear the fat lady singing.

 

Good luck to you guys - for those that stick it out, I hope things get better - and for those that don't, there is some really good and efficient backup software out there.

 

Michael Dobecka

The University of Texas at Austin

 

 

I think given that the Retrospect developers taking the company private, a good faith gesture on their part to the users of v8 keep customers like Michael from jumping ship. It's not just that so many of us have have problems with your software, it's that the company doesn't seem to respond. Other than Eric Ullman's mea culpa on the on the mailing list last year.

 

Now that you are free from your many corporate overlords, do right by your loyal user base. If given the option of spending $500-1000 to fix our v8 bugs and problems or investing that money in another solution... how many do you think will stick around?

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It's not just that so many of us have have problems with your software, it's that the company doesn't seem to respond.

 

Yes, this is quite the problem. We got about as close to zero updates and comments on bug-fixes as you can get w/o actually getting zero updates (I don't remember any by Robin-- strike that, I remember one about a new version being in beta testing-- but you can count that post by Eric as '1') for ages and ages...and we STILL can't get essential info. Despite posting twice to this thread, Robin has yet to directly answer my question about where to properly/officially send feedback and protest this ridiculous "upgrade". If they're gonna stick their heads in the sand, then I'm gonna stick my clients' wallets there, too. Hmph.

 

Roxio/EMC/Dantz/Retrospect/Mayoff/Ullman....you guys sure are setting a good example of how NOT to do it...

 

Fred

Edited by fhturner

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Roxio/EMC/Dantz/Retrospect/Mayoff/Ullman....you guys sure are setting a good example of how NOT to do it...

 

I should point out, too, that most everybody posting on these forums is here because, at some point, we really liked Retrospect. We have all been loyal customers for years and decades, and we can be again, if you'd just do the right thing. Make things right here, and if you can keep the program updated properly w/ the new company, you'll have all of us moving our clients forward w/ your software, not running away.

 

FT

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