A Developer Doing The Right Thing: Bombich Software


I just wanted to share with all of you a really good customer experience I had with Bombich Software (the developer behind Carbon Copy Cloner). When developers go the extra mile they deserve a big thank you from their customers...

I use an app called Carbon Copy Cloner to backup all of my computers to an external hard drive that I then store offsite. So the other morning I was rushing around like I do most weekday mornings and was trying to get a backup performed before I drove into work and I was presented with a very familiar looking pop up window. Carbon Copy Cloner is an app that is updated on a very regular basis, so pretty much every time I open the app I have an update to download. So I didn’t think anything about it and hit the update button. But this time the update was more than just a simple update, it was an upgrade to a major revision of Carbon Copy Cloner. In fact, it was a paid upgrade. So much to my surprise I was presented with an option to either join a free trial of the software or purchase an upgrade license. Below is a screenshot showing what a normal software update notice looks like (on the left) and the paid upgrade notice (on the right). Had I not been in such a hurry and actually read the notice it would have been obvious to me, but when you get a pop up every time the application loads and it has always just been a minor software update that is what you expect it to be.

These are screenshots of what the pop up notices used to look like. The one on the right is what I was presented with when I accidentally upgraded

These are screenshots of what the pop up notices used to look like. The one on the right is what I was presented with when I accidentally upgraded

If you follow my blog you know that I am a huge supported or developers. I don’t hesitate to pay for relatively high-end applications if they are high quality and provide me with an important service. Carbon Copy Cloner is most certainly one of those apps I don’t blink an eye at paying for. But being surprised by a paid upgrade when all I wanted to do was perform a quick backup was quite aggravating. So I emailed the developer my displeasure at (in my opinion) being tricked into upgrading.

Very quickly after sending in my complaint I got a response from Mike at Bombich Software (the developer behind Carbon Copy Cloner):

“I'm sorry if you felt tricked, I was definitely going for a very different look with the upgrade notice (see the comparison in the attached screenshot). I used red text to draw attention to the detail about the new version being a paid upgrade. If you can think of anything else that might be helpful to make that stand out yet more, I'd really appreciate the feedback.”

So I emailed Mike back and suggested that he make the paid upgrade a totally different pop up window that is presented to the user after any minor software update window is presented. Later that day I got a response from Mike:

“Thanks for the feedback. I pulled the upgrade notice yesterday and I've been doing exactly what you suggested – working on a separate window to present the upgrade. I want to make it 100% clear that you're downloading a trial of a completely new version. I think it will be unmistakable with my changes.”

So thank you Mike and Bombich Software for going the extra mile to do the right thing and make sure that the difference between a software update and a software paid upgrade is very clear to your customers. I’m a little embarrassed that I didn’t read the pop up and just hit update. I’m a tech guy and I know better than to do that (or at least I thought I did). I was in a hurry and I take full responsibility for not paying attention. But I’m glad I brought this to the attention of Bombich Software so hopefully others don’t make the same mistake I did. I say mistake, but let me clarify. I will most definitely be paying to upgrade to the next major version of Carbon Copy Cloner (it is fantastic software and provides me with a very critical functionality). I just wasn’t meaning to do it as I was trying to get out the door that morning.

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