Open letter to Bob: Please optimize the license transfer process

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Posts 21
Marc Linden | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Jul 2 2016 11:10 PM

Hello Bob,

First of all, I want to say thanks to you and Logos! I have profited so much from your work! Please continue to develop the software and add more resources.

However, I think I have to express a dissatisfaction with the way your company processes a license transfer request. I know that this must be a delicate topic for you, since you are running a business. I can also understand to a certain degree your company’s reluctance to process such requests. However, I don’t think that the present processing is the most reasonable way, but think that it can be optimized.

When calling customer service, I was asked to send an email in which your company confirmed that

“Logos Licenses can be transferred from one user to another. The transfer fee is $20, payable by either party before the transfer can be performed.”

So, it is my right to ask you for a transfer, right? Sometimes, I feel a kind of stigmatized as if doing something illegal or unmoral. But, it’s only because I want to do everything the legal way, complications raise their head.  However, the entire process of license transfer seems that complicated, that it becomes virtually unviable to me. It took three days without any further progress and update besides an automated response message right after my request.  I had to call twice from overseas) and even had to ask the buyer—located in the Sates—to help me and call you what he did several times. We’ve always got the answer that your team is working on it or that the person who could issue is out of office and the transfer could not be done. Then, I received another message that made clear what is so complicated. It stated:

“Thank you for contacting us. Transferring The Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmud Collection (50 vols.) would have some implications for you. If you were to sell the following collection, all these following orders would have to go with it: Jewish Bundle, XL (37 vols.) order 2250287 and Logos 6 Jewish Studies Bundle, XL order 5400027. You first purchased these orders and then kept building on top of that and received discounts known as dynamic pricing. We cannot simply break the chain and allow for this package to be transferred, therefore all those orders would have to be transferred or we would have to re invoice all those orders and you would have to pay the difference for each one as you will no longer have said package.”

It’s the dynamic pricing. Since I don’t know how the algorithm of the dynamic pricing works, I have no idea, what would the actual cost be for me when choosing the second option. Furthermore, I fear that most of the transfers I want like to request might in one way or the other have a problem of the interdependency of dynamic pricing. Thus, I fear I cannot sell any of the licenses I want to, since I cannot know the consequences at all. To me, it is nontransparent which resource depends on what other resources.

I think, most of us who sell their licenses don’t do it to earn money or to cheat your company. Some of us simple may have found out that a resource bought before is no longer of any use or we need another one with higher priority. And for those of us like me who have to face unfortunate conditions of life—such as loss of job or a costly funeral of a beloved one or the payment of tuitions for our children who want to study or what else—it is no easy decision to sell Logos resources or the entire software package. We are all grateful to your company for this great software. The spiritual gain is beyond words. However, if conditions have changed and you become desperate to get some cash and consider trading your treasured resources—I put in almost $20k—then could you please make it simple and support us?

As someone who has no deeper understanding of software engineering or webpage encoding, may I suggest that your company at least sets up a webpage where the one who wants to sell their license can fill in all the information requested in a web-based database front-end. That may accelerate the process in comparison to write a message to you that takes days to find someone to read and response. If you could also build in your dynamic pricing algorithm—of course not visible in detail! But, still making clear the interdependencies, I mean, if I want to sell resource x, then show that this implies consequences to resources y or z due to later dynamic pricing?! That would save your staff a lots of work and would spare us a lots of extra calls and nerves. As you may understand, I feel an urgency to get the transfers done, since I need the cash now-willing to pay a transfer fee of $20 for each trade.

All of the new companies have to face the differences between books and e-resources. Books or cars or lenses can easily be sold, licenses always make a problem. But, since your company is growing and growing, and the problem of license transfer will become more frequent, please consider to optimize this process of yours. You can be at the forefront of a fair solution and good service setting an example as a Christian company. Maybe someone in your company has a better idea how to deal with or some of your most loyal customers such as Rosie who also understands the software engineering. Many thanks in advance!

I think for many of us who feel urged to sell their resources it might only be a temporary thing. At last I hope so! However, if God wills and restores our health and decent wealth again just as he did for Job, I’m afraid we will never be that quick in clicking the “add to cart” or even “quick buy” button, but always hesitate due to the experience of license transfer. That would be a pity.

God bless you and your family and all Logos employees! Thanks again for many fruitful years! It is hard enough to give away this great software with so many great resources.

Have a nice Holiday on Monday!

Kind regards,

Joakeim

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 2 2016 11:32 PM

While I understand your frustration with the transaction, I would hate to see Faithlife spent the resources required to build such a complex system on a function that is used so rarely. As I understand it, the intent of the transfer program is primarily to allow an entire library to be transferred out of an estate. Luck for you that others may see if differently than I.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 21
Marc Linden | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 3 2016 12:01 AM

MJ, believe me, I always had the same thinking like you, exactly the same. However, it's not only that circumstances for me have changed and things look different now. From my efforts, I've got the feeling that the transfer request is not that rare as before. And now, it binds time of the Customer Service. To set up a kind of platform  would bind resources for sure, but might produce a good solution and save time and resources in the long run because of less work in processing of each single case personally. And, oh believe me, I'd like to transfer my entire library at once, if only I knew how...

I feel embarrased indeed to bother Logos/Faithlife with this request. However, I think it will become more frequent in the future, unfortunately.

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 3 2016 5:01 AM

Jehojakim:
However, I think it will become more frequent in the future, unfortunately.

Can you name any other company that will let you "transfer licenses"? I can't. 

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Posts 62
Ken Hicks | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 3 2016 5:04 AM

Bibleworks.

Posts 2829
Don Awalt | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 3 2016 5:33 AM

alabama24:

Can you name any other company that will let you "transfer licenses"? I can't. 

Also Accordance

Posts 1379
Rick Ausdahl | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 3 2016 5:44 AM

In response to MJ and Alabama, perhaps I'm misreading Jehojakim here, but I think all he's really asking for is a straight-forward, transparent and reasonably quick way to complete a transfer.  I.e.  His frustration is based on the need for multiple emails and for several calls by both him and his buyer, only to get a response that leaves him not understanding the impact/implications/true cost of selling a resource that Faithlife  says he can sell.

I've been told by sales staff that it's perfectly legit to sell individual resources, with the obvious (and I think reasonable) caveat that if you buy a resource as part of a set or bundle, you have to sell it the same way.  So even if the original intent was to sell entire libraries, if Faithlife is going to tell me it's perfectly legit to sell individual resources (with the caveats noted above), it's also only reasonable that they make the process easier than what Jehojakim has experienced.  I.e.  I would hope they would be able to provide him with a clear answer as to what his final charges from Faithlife would be in regard to the other orders if he were to sell the resource in question, and provide him with that information within a couple of days.

And while I appreciate the fact that Logos might be one of the few/only companies to allow transfers, they DO allow it, so I don't understand the relevance of being able to name any other companies that allow it.

Again, perhaps I've misread the intent of Jehojakim's post--if so, my apologies to MJ, Alabama, and of course Jehojakim.  On the other hand, if it should turn out that there have been unique, specific issues not explained in Jehojakim's original post that make this specific transfer particularly difficult for Faithlife, or if they have asked for information they need and have not been provided it, then my apologies to Faithlife.  Wink 

Posts 10035
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 3 2016 6:19 AM

Since this thread was addressed to Bob, I'll chime in.

First, my impression is Bob's business model is to pour the maximum resources into 'new' as possible (books, apps, ventures, etc). So, refunds, manuals, transfers, and even efficient office space is the secondary priority.

Second, that said, the dynamic book policy, and the refund policy appear quite generous, I'd assume for marketing benefit (to support 'new'). Or Bob is generous, too.

That arrives at 'transfers'. Before dynamic pricing, the overhead associated with transfers was minimal (though to be minimized). But dynamic pricing really creates the headache, especially when a resource is several dynamic layers below. How to unscrew the dynamic pricing? And how to communicate ... that is the time-consumer.

I don't relish the answer, as MJ notes the cost. I personally see transfers at the apex of theology .... a book is religiously valuable and sharing (transferring) is the only option to a motivated Christian. The op simply wants to unload ... that goes back to the business model ... not Christian responsibilities. But luckily, I'm only chiming.


Posts 2038
Unix | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 3 2016 7:38 AM

And WORDsearch does let You transfer a license: But with the major caveat that You may only transfer an entire account to someone (the receiver may receive accounts from multiple persons though). If someone has a WORDsearch account to sell me, I'm always ready!

alabama24:
Can you name any other company that will let you "transfer licenses"? I can't:
Jehojakim:
However, I think it will become more frequent in the future, unfortunately.


Accordance's policy is much more generous: They let You transfer resources bought with for example a student discount just like transferring any other resource (unlike Logos who applies one pretty severe restrictions plus another reasonable restriction), and You may even transfer resources multiple times (which Logos stopped allowing quite a while ago). But the caveat is they reserve the right to deny a transfer if they think You are doing nothing but dealing with used modules (i.e. it would help if You buy mostly new, directly from the Accordance webstore):

Don Awalt:
Also Accordance:
alabama24:
Can you name any other company that will let you "transfer licenses"? I can't.


Most Logos' customers seem thrilled about getting dynamic pricing, a minority think of the implications. Logos offers many thousands of titles where dynamic pricing may play a role sooner or later, and a total of hundreds of major bundles over a few Years. The drive Logos has to sell with dynamic pricing is to a large extent overkill - they seem to think customers are only interested in stretching their $$. Sometimes the consequences for the customer are good (such as getting early access to a resource long before it gets included at a reduced price in a bundle such as a base-package or topical bundle or publisher bundle), sometimes bad.
I've stopped placing orders, one of the reasons being that bundles such as base-packages will cause me to be forever stuck unable to sell or give away parts of my library prematurely. I do subscribe to Logos Now since almost a Year, and actually consider paying for another Year with automatic renewal soon - which will get me discounts on L7 base-packages for having been a loyal subscriber - but I will think real hard before I place an upgrade - a reason for upgrading is to get ownership licenses to features and datasets for which I'd otherwise have to keep subscribing, and another reason being I don't always have the time to familiarize with denominational content so a pre-packaged upgrade would give me a small part of what's come out in the Logos catalogue since L6 Anglican Silver and Verbum 5 Foundations+ (although not doing a Verbum upgrade this time as I also doubt the Logos Now subscription I have entitles me to a discount on Verbum 7). I've already taken the long route: Keenly analysing books that are being sold before placing purchases - adding many stand-alone titles and going for quality and authors I like and really avoiding purchasing entire series (but even so favouring some series - just not jumping on offers to buy a volume just because it belongs to a certain series).
Is there anyone who wants to say their opinion whether I should pay another year of Logos Now - I'll have to decide within a couple of Days? I don't have the expectation of seeing a rather good L7 base-package and I don't plan to spend many hundreds of $, I'd expect to pay maximally $360 upfront for an upgrade the same day it is released, preferably less, so I'd likely stay at the same level or lower. What I like is if I get a small base-package which is of use. Of course I will look at whether it's worth it for me - and not feel it's a must to upgrade. I'd prefer to get recent titles but am aware that base-packages tend to be what Logos seems to see as balanced: A part of the titles are reasonably new and consequently a large part are really outdated:

Rick Ausdahl:
And while I appreciate the fact that Logos might be one of the few/only companies to allow transfers, they DO allow it, so I don't understand the relevance of being able to name any other companies that allow it.

Aply!
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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 3 2016 7:52 AM

Personally, I've got a lot of sympathy of Joakeim's problem, and I think he's done a great job in explaining the problem clearly and graciously. I wish there were more posts like this.

However, refunds/sales are complicated enormously by dynamic pricing, and I don't think there's any easy way to solve this. And if there's not an easy way to solve it, it would be expensive to develop more automated systems to do it.

That said, there would be an easier way for users to work out these dependencies if there wasn't a bug in the resource pages, so if someone from Faithlife can get this bug fixed, it would benefit all users.

The bug is that on a resource page (e.g. https://www.logos.com/resources/LLS_JERUTALMUD/the-jerusalem-talmud-a-translation-and-commentary), the Recommendations section doesn't have a More link so you can see all the products a resource is included it. The HTML actually outputs all the products, but you can't see them due to the lack of a More link. If this was fixed, Joakeim and others would find it much easier to see what products contained a resource.

This would benefit Joakeim wanting to transfer a licence, but it would also benefit users who simply wanted to purchase a resource and wanted to know the most effective way of doing so.

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 3 2016 8:30 AM

Mark Barnes:
The bug is that on a resource page (e.g. https://www.logos.com/resources/LLS_JERUTALMUD/the-jerusalem-talmud-a-translation-and-commentary), the Recommendations section doesn't have a More link so you can see all the products a resource is included it. The HTML actually outputs all the products, but you can't see them due to the lack of a More link. If this was fixed, Joakeim and others would find it much easier to see what products contained a resource.

However, in those cases where an individual resource is available as a product, you can use the product page to see those (as those have the 'more' button), i.e. https://www.logos.com/product/27670/the-jerusalem-talmud-a-translation-and-commentary 

Products and bundles, however, may change over time. One could imagine Neusner's Talmud as part of a three product bundle which is no longer available, thus has no current product page showing up on logos.com. Nevertheless, if the Talmud was originally bought as part of that bundle, or the bundle was bought with DP discount due to prior possession of the Talmud, this will prevent selling of the Talmud as a single license even though the bundle is no longer available. Thus I understand manual checking of those things in the current way of how the transfers work. This process is definitely not geared towards high-volume - and in fact, neither Faithlife nor the publishers are very keen on used-license transfers (I can even imagine that such is a grey are concerning publishers' contract and Faithlife supporting this at all is generous towards users).

Running Logos 8 latest beta version on Win 10

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Keith Pang | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 3 2016 10:23 AM

Jeohjakim, very well written brother! 

Shalom, in Christ, Keith. Check out my music www.soundcloud.com/kpang808

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 3 2016 10:51 AM

Denise:

Since this thread was addressed to Bob, I'll chime in.

Big Smile

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 3 2016 11:05 AM

Rick Ausdahl:

And while I appreciate the fact that Logos might be one of the few/only companies to allow transfers, they DO allow it, so I don't understand the relevance of being able to name any other companies that allow it.

I wasn't trying to be snarky, and To be honest, the OP was TL;DR. I have no experience with those other companies/platforms. I wonder if there are other companies outside of "bible software" that allow such transactions. You can't, for example, sell kindle books or iTunes records. I don't think you are allowed to sell photoshop or Windows (Unless, I guess, you are selling the computer too and you don't have it installed on other devices). It would seem burdensome to me to have FL invest too much into something that is contrary to their business. 

Edit: I did finish reading the OP and agree with mark. Well written, articulate, gracious. It would have been better, however, in an email to Bob. 

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Posts 180
Paul C | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 3 2016 12:01 PM

alabama24:
I did finish reading the OP
alabama24:
I wasn't trying to be snarky
I find it's easy for me to sound snarky if I don't take the time to read the post before I reply .... If I don't take time to attempt to understand the point the individual is trying to make.

Posts 496
Greg Masone | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 3 2016 12:17 PM
I came across a person on the Facebook "Logos Resells" page attempting to make a profit off of prepubs released less than 30 days ago. Not directly related to the OP, but he mentioned people usually don't try to profit off of resources. What do y'all think of that?
Posts 5247
Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 3 2016 12:31 PM

Greg Masone:
I came across a person on the Facebook "Logos Resells" page attempting to make a profit off of prepubs released less than 30 days ago. Not directly related to the OP, but he mentioned people usually don't try to profit off of resources. What do y'all think of that?

I am wondering if the person decided it wasn't for him but still wanted to give another person a slight bargin (I am just trying to be charitable) rather than request a refund. I have never sold any Logos resource, but I know once you buy a second hand resource you are stuck with it for life... There is no refund and there is no selling it yourself. So I would have to see an absolute fabulous deal on something I was sure I wanted to take advantage of it.

-Dan

Posts 2787
Doc B | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 3 2016 12:32 PM

Greg Masone:
What do y'all think of that?

Simple. Caveat emptor.

My thanks to the various MVPs. Without them Logos would have died early. They were the only real help available.

Faithlife Corp. owes the MVPs free resources for life.

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DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 3 2016 12:34 PM

Dynamic Pricing is both a blessing and a course, both a dream come true and  a nightmare. You finally saved up to  buy your platinum base package and all of a sudden there's a topical bundle  that will give you quite a few resources for $37 bucks,  thanks to dynamic pricing  and because  you already own some of the resources in the bundle  due to them being included in your platinum base package.   All is fine and dandy until you realize you don't want or need the bundle anymore and you want to transfer it to somebody else...Let the nightmare begin! Now, Logos, all of a sudden tells you that you have to transfer your whole Platinum Base Package along with the bundle that only costed you $37 bucks because you got the bundle with dynamic pricing and you cannot break it apart.  Now the dream becomes a nightmare, the blessing becomes a curse, and you are stuck forever with a bundle you no longer want or need while weeping and gnashing your teeth! It's called Logos's Hell, it's real and you better believe in it because if you're lured into buying into the dynamic pricing temptation/trap you will soon wake up in...Logos Hell! Boohahahaha!!! Buyer, Beware!

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DAL

Ps. LOL 

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Deacon Steve | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 3 2016 1:54 PM

alabama24:

Can you name any other company that will let you "transfer licenses"? I can't. 

Oops!  Grateful that I was able to pass along my KJV to another.  .. no cost to them ...

....

..Sorry, what license are we talkin about?

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