Fee to access Schedule Importer Portal

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Jan 24, 2006
Read the fine print on APDL Schedule Importer Version 7.2.3

"*Beginning with the release of Schedule Importer v8, later in 2008, we are considering a small subscription fee to access the schedule importer portal to help cover development and maintenance costs. We will have more details as they become available later in the year."

Let the discussion begin.

How does this benefit me as a customer? I already paid for the products, Logbook Pro and APDL.

I feel like I've been patient as a customer. The products, as useful as they are, have not come "out-of-the-box" perfect. I've had the burden of troubleshooting and repairing various issues and used up my time and energy, along with the help of the Forum, in order to get the products to work correctly. I've spent countless hours on the telephone and in the cockpit helping new users of APDL who are frustrated with APDL, to understand how to use it. I haven't asked for any monetary refunds. Should NC Software pay for the benefit of the Forum Community that has helped NC Software develop its products along the way, and continue to train new users on their products?

The current Schedule Importer works nicely for me, however, I am burdened with having to have an active internet connection to use it. When I purchased APDL, the Schedule Importer was downloadable and did not require an internet connection. I feel like the current Schedule Importer is a step backwards in utility and I am still waiting for the return of a downloadable file that eliminates the need for an active internet connection. Where is it?

The idea of additional fees to continue to use a product that I already paid for really stings. Like purchasing a new car or new computer and having the salesperson rant and rave about the great warranty and benefits should anything ever go wrong. Huh? Are you kidding me? When I buy a product, I expect it to work. Period.

If development fees are chewing into NC Software's profits, then raise the initial purchase price to new buyers. Or, require new buyers to indicate their airline prior to purchasing the product so that new buyers understand that the product is still in development and at that time tack on an additional development fee.

Thank you for your feedback. As the message states, we are only "considering" the option and we do not have any definitive information as to whether or not this will occur. Let me address a few statements you made:

The idea of additional fees to continue to use a product that I already paid for really stings.

You paid for APDL and you paid for Logbook Pro. You did not pay for the software that does schedule importing, that is not part of the APDL product nor the Logbook Pro product. It is and has been a free service we offered, but in no way "part of" any other product. Therefore the products you paid for you will NOT and NEVER be charged a subscription fee as you have already purchased them. I'm not sure how long you've had your software but formerly APDL used to be on a two year subscription. Since we took over the product from Auman Software in June of 2005 we gave EVERYONE that purchased June of 2003 and later a FREE update to APDL version 6 which also gives you lifetime FREE updates to any version 6.x update. It's already been beyond two years and we are now in beta for a FREE update to APDL Pocket PC edition, version 6.1.

How does this benefit me as a customer? I already paid for the products, Logbook Pro and APDL.

I sure hope the schedule importer is a huge benefit to you, it has always been something we provided FREE yet continued to develop, pay developers, add trip filters, etc. Take for example Comair's recent move (June 1st) to a new system; eMaestro. We added the new trip filter right away. Did you (figuratively speaking) have to pay for a software upgrade to get this new functionality? We have never charged for all the updating we've done to this product over the years. We could have you buy the schedule importer software as a product and then charge you an upgrade to get the new features and trip handlers, etc. but we don't.

We recently significantly improved the schedule importer system. We don't need to push out software updates if you have problems with changes to your trip formats, we change them instantly online. You can now import multiple trips at one time. You can now export trips directly to Logbook Pro, not everyone wanted to go through APDL to get their airline trip data. We developed a completely new software product and provide it to you absolutely free. I'm sorry to hear you feel the Internet connection is a burden to you. And yes, there is a plan, but only a plan, to not require an internet connection with a future option now in development.

I ask you, what is the value of the schedule importer software to you? What is the value to improving our products? When you purchased APDL and Logbook Pro you accepted the features as is, no updates are expected, you are satisfied with the product. However, software is never perfect but even more importantly there are a lot of ingenius people out there with great ideas and they share those with us and we put those into the products to benefit everyone. Software is continuously evolving as is the operating systems they run on which sometimes require tweaks to support.

Again, I appreciate your feedback, but don't stress the issue, there are many options we are working and a recent idea will keep the schedule importer line free to you. I won't have details on that OR even consider putting a subscription model in place for SI until the end of the year at the earliest. I do appreciate all feedback and look forward to hearing from others. But I ask you, before you post, tell me what the value of the schedule importer is to you. And remember, the schedule importer software is NOT part of APDL (the PDA software) nor has it ever been. It is also described as such in the end-user license agreement you read and acknowledged during the installation process.

Thank you.

I bought APDL and LogBookPro with the promise of importing my schedules and it has never worked.

You have already charged me extra money to "unlock" a product I paid full price for. Now, you are going to charge additional money for a product, APDL Importer, that has never imported properly??

APDL, LogBook Pro, and the likes are of value to me because they reduce the time I have to spend working on work. When they don't work, they are worthless to me.

They need to import schedules on the first try and not fail.

Please give serious thought to milking us for more cash.
I really value the Schedule Importer and would consider a subscription if it included the Web Report Utility as well. This would be one way to keep us Mac users happy. I have no problem supporting products that I use.
Importer Fees

The fees for the new importer are way too high, I'm not sure how you can reasonably expect someone to pay them for a program that we use once per month for 30 seconds. For $60 a year, I would rather import my trips manually into APDL than use the importer. A fee of $15-$20 a year would be at least somewhat reasonable. I might even consider switching to a new logbook program, I have heard many coworkers sing praise about Log 10, but I have never considered it until now.
If NC Software needs more revenue I would suggest that you focus more on keeping your current costumers happy by making sure that you have support for the new mobile platforms like Android, Blackberry and the new Windows 7 Mobile.

There are hundred of us that have already abandon what almost seems like a sinking ship due to lack of support. (I know because I fly with them every week)

I would gladly pay and expect to pay for a new license for a new platform, but to start charging for something that has been there free of charge for several years just gives me that extra push that I needed to jump in the life raft to join the rest if them.

You can keep me as a customer by keeping the importer free and by having support for at least one new platform by 2011.
I'm afraid you are misreading your APDL customers, and making a serious mistake with this fee structure. As someone else has said, we don't spend enough time using this to pay $9.95 a month, or $75 a year. I know you have addressed the functionality and benefits of the new schedule importer, but you haven't been successful in convincing me, the customer, that it is worth the cost. I'm afraid you will lose a lot of customers over this. It would have been much better to come out with an IPhone version of APDL, which I for one have been waiting for a long time. I would have gladly paid $50 for such an app. Now I'm afraid I'm going to be stuck using the old Palm version into oblivion. I'm dissapointed because I've been an APDL/Logbook Pro customer for eight years. I would have rather paid for upgrades along the way, than be charged the fees you plan to charge for the schedule importer.
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