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Warning to Those Who Bought 5.0

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Just a word of warning....




Dantz is selling Retrospect Express & Desktop at "Street Prices", basically, what you would pay purchasing from places such as MacWarehouse. However, Workgroup & Server versions they are selling at full price.




I purchased the desktop version, because of the price increase for functionality in the workgroup, which is what I really desired.




Dantz Price for Desktop 5.0 $149.00


Dantz Price for Workgroup 5.0 $499.00




MacWarehouse price for Workgroup 5.0, $305.00.




I just purchased Desktop 5.0 & 5 Clients for $330 from Dantz. I got screwed. Not only did I not get the functionality of the Workgroup version & the 20 clients, I paid MORE for less.





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There has been a lot of "discussion" going on here about the upgrade costs for Retrospect 5.0 for Mac OS. I'd like to explain so we can move on. I'll be as brief as I can.




The last major upgrade to Retrospect Backup for Mac was version 4.0 in June of 1997. Since that time, there have been a couple of minor upgrades, some paid, but those were all less expensive than the 4.0 upgrade.




Over the last two years, Dantz has spent an immense amount of effort to bring Retrospect Backup to Mac OS X. And I mean that--it was a massive effort. It was similar to bringing Retrospect to the Windows market. We hired more Mac engineers, more than we've ever had before. We helped Apple to add capabilities we required to Mac OS X. We re-qualified several hundred storage devices. We worked with SCSI card manufacturers to deliver better Mac OS X drivers, so that Retrospect 5.0 could communicate through them.




We brought Retrospect Backup to Mac OS X--what is basically a new operating system. Carbon made it a little easier, but not much. That left little time for new, whiz-bang features. Microsoft Office is the same way (they have an *awesome* Mac team, too). Entourage aside, there isn't much new in the rest of the Office suite except Mac OS X compatibility. That's a big feature.




So, Dantz needs to charge for Retrospect 5.0 upgrades. We need to recoup development costs and make a profit to stay in business. The Mac market is significantly smaller than when we shipped 4.0, and that required a realignment of the product line, so we can spread costs over a smaller number of users. It takes additional effort to engineer and test software for servers, and server operating systems (or suites) cost quite a bit more than the regular OS, so our products that back up servers cost more.




In closing, I'd like to point out that Dantz isn't trying to "stick it" to our customers. We provided a free beta client, and later, a free preview edition to give users something, because Apple shipped an operating system without support for backup software. We announced a nine month, free upgrade period for purchasers of new v4.3 product, and when we did, we announced the new product lineup and requirements. We're now offering limited-time


upgrades to higher-level editions of Retrospect, giving credit as if you already had the more expensive product.




We work hard to provide software that our customers want, and at fair prices. I know that some of you are disappointed by the cost for this upgrade and the realignment of the product line. I understand, especially because I know budgets are tight. Ours is, too.

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Actually, I don't have a problem with the upgrade price but I do have a problem with the lack of tech support. I don't expect tech support forever for free but the cost of a single incident is very close to the cost of my upgrade. Getting the product installed and working seems like it should not be an additional cost. On the other hand, I'd like Dantz to stick around and support the platform/OS.




If I could suggest a compromise, perhaps a bit more help in the forums would make a difference. For example, I posted a question during the beta and again with the released product (because I still have the same problem) and I noticed that quite a few other folks have the same problem. Maybe troubleshooting it in the forum would provide a process for others to follow. I don't see a lot of responses in the forums of this kind so they are mostly the blind leading the blind. Perhaps this problem is known and there isn't a solution or workaround yet. Even knowing that or knowing the problem is being investigated would help.




Keep up the good work Dantz...

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I understand and appreciate the effort required to put out a new version of Retrospect... it's a great product... I purchased a tape drive from APS (a Dantz partner) in November specifically for an OS X server... I always buy from APS because they bundle Retrospect with each unit. I indicated to them that I was purchasing this unit for an OS X server and understood that 4.3 would not work... I called Dantz and was pointed toward the 5.0 Beta and eventually the preview all the time with assurances that I would get 5.0 free when it was released since I purchased my unit in November. Now I am sorry (and a bit irritated) to note that I have been told that Dantz will not upgrade software that was bundled with a tape drive (contrary to what I was told back then).




I wonder if you would be able to explain the logic behind that?

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My sentiments are similar. I'm deeply annoyed that, in spite of what I was told, I'm expected to pay another $100 (minimum) to use my two-month old $1,000 Ecrix tape drive with OS X. I haven't "upgraded" yet, and whether I end up doing so or not, a whole heck of a lot of "customer good will" has been burned in the process.

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Someone at Dantz just isn't getting it...




I think many of aren't pissed off over the upgrade cost, but rather the way the process was handled. Things like waiting till a couple days before 'it all came down' to release any details; having a OSX client that worked with 4.3, then changing that to require going to v5 (without warning us in advance); changing the policy for 'servers' when you don't seem to understand the way many of us use 'servers'; assuming that if we back up a server, we'd install the tape drive and Retrospect there.... etc... etc...




I can't deny a company the opportunity to make a profit, but bad customer service, and changes that dis-respect the way your customer base do business, tend to make folks a bit angry.









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Mayoff and Dantz -




I've posted some very angry posts over the past couple of weeks. I'm pissed at you guys for two things.




1 - First and foremost, the lack of free support, even if it was an e-mail based system. That should save cost over phone support while still providing a problem by problem support base.




2 - The amount of errors I experienced within the first few weeks of using Retrospect 5.0 Server ( see the 'elem.c-812 workaround' thread, the 'Network pauses under Retrospect 5.0' thread, and the 'elem.c-817 errors' thread)




The thing is, I'm just pissed off, that's all. I don't mind paying $349 for my upgrade to the Server edition - usually I prefer to pay for a working product. I know no release is perfect. I am simply used to Retrospect being rock-solid. Problems still evident in any .0 release of software are usually quirky, odd problems. Something as serious as an OS 9.x file sharing problem just seems like a *huge* oversight.




All that said, I appreciate your support of the mac platform, both OS 9.x (and 8.x and 7.x....) and OS X. You make a backup product which rivals any Windoze only products I ever seen. I wish we could have had a stable, final product for OS X available earlier, but I do appreciate the betas and preview releases, and I'm sure part of the reason there wasn't a product earlier was Apple's fault. The release of the 5.0.203 patch was within a realistic and reasonable timeframe for a new problem - testing has to be performed on dozens of different configurations.




That's all, my two cents.

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