Open letter to Bob: Please optimize the license transfer process

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This post has 34 Replies | 5 Followers

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 3 2016 2:03 PM

I appreciated your post Joakeim. Thanks for taking time to graciously explore something that is complex to say the least, especially in light of the challenge of dynamic pricing.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 3 2016 2:51 PM

See I said others might have a different opinion. My thinking is that they have so much trouble getting dynamic pricing right on current sales that tracking and calculating historically is well ...

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 3 2016 3:32 PM

My sales history is so convoluted with dynamic pricing transactions that I would probably have to sell the whole kit and kaboodle in one transfer. My total investment is high enough to trade for a nice boat.

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Greg Masone | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 3 2016 3:43 PM

Perhaps this is simply one of the costs of going digital over physical. Dealing with licenses rather than true ownership of a physical item introduces a degree of background complexity for the electronic convienance. Maybe it's just something we have to get used to.

Or we ask to forego the benefits of Dynamic Pricing. 

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Roy | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 3 2016 6:28 PM

Adobe does allow for transfers. You have to fill out a form with the license numbers, sign it stating that you are releasing your rights/claim to that license and to whom, then the new owner can install it and register it with Adobe.

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Rick Ausdahl | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 3 2016 10:06 PM

I'm taken back a little (make that a lot) that some seem to think Faithlife should not be expected to handle the situation because it's too complicated and/or would be too expensive to develop a system to track/handle the impact of dynamic pricing.

This issue is more than a little disconcerting to me as a customer, because to my knowledge, dynamic pricing just happens automatically, and as a customer, prior to Jehojakim's post, it wasn't even on my radar that dynamic pricing had the potential to create such a license transfer nightmare.  I've certainly never seen any alerts/warnings about it from Faithlife.  I've always received the simple assurance that if I buy an individual resource, I can sell it and pay a license transfer fee.  Likewise, if I buy a package/bundle, I can sell it and pay a license transfer fee. 

I appreciate the fact that it might be a can of worms, but IF Faithlife is going to say a license can be transferred AND Faithlife is going to offer dynamic pricing, does Faithlife not have an obligation both ethically and legally to be able to deal with the situation they have created?  I do have empathy for Faithlife in regard to how messy and difficult this can be--I truly do.  But the fact that something is messy and difficult does not alleviate a person or a company from the responsibility of dealing with the issue, especially if it's a creation of their own making.  Tongue Tied

CLARIFICATION:  I do not mean to imply that Faithlife cannot or is unwilling to step up to the plate and deal with the situation.  In fact, while the process may be frustratingly slow and confusing for Jehojakim (or anyone else in his shoes), it's my definite impression that Faithlife can and will handle it.  My thoughts are in response to comments that suggest Faithlife should not be expected to develop a good process for handling the situation because of its cost/complexity.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 3 2016 10:23 PM

Rick Ausdahl:
does Faithlife not have an obligation both ethically and legally to be able to deal with the situation they have created?

I fear you may have misunderstood me - my point was that it was complex to automate and might not be cost effective to do so - not that Logos shouldn't handle the situation. As for "dynamic pricing just happens automatically", posts on the forums after the last change to the algorithm indicated a significant number of problems ... as did the recent journal update release.

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

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Rick Ausdahl | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 3 2016 10:28 PM

MJ. Smith:

Rick Ausdahl:
does Faithlife not have an obligation both ethically and legally to be able to deal with the situation they have created?

I fear you may have misunderstood me - my point was that it was complex to automate and might not be cost effective to do so - not that Logos shouldn't handle the situation. As for "dynamic pricing just happens automatically", posts on the forums after the last change to the algorithm indicated a significant number of problems ... as did the recent journal update release.

I saw your post, right after adding a clarification to my own post.  Smile

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Marc Linden | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 4 2016 2:41 AM

Regarding Dynamic pricing: Is it really that different? That new? Think of the retail shop owner who always gives a certain discount to their regular customers. Or imagine the following situation:

Sales department newbie: I’ve finished the calculation. Key account manager: Very well done, thanks! However, we’ll sell the product for 70% of your calculated price. Newbie: What? But that’s even below the net cost price! KAM: It is, but we have to give in with this project to get it and also to get the next. There will be times again when we will gain more on a different project. Newbie: I don’t understand… KAM: You will so later…

I think dynamic pricing is not that new as it seems. What is new, is how meticulously it is integrated in a data base and driven by algorithms instead of someone’s “gut feeling”, instinct, experience, memory, expectations, courtesy, goodwill or what else. This has its advantages and disadvantages… It might be more fair and objective. However, I get the feeling that with the dynamic pricing of Logos the past is never past, but influences the present and future forever.

What is different also is indeed the fact that I buy a license and no commodity any more. With a real commodity I can do what I want: I can donate it, can resell it, lend it to someone else for a time or what else. For this, I do not depend on the original seller at all. But, since I’m only a license holder and not a real owner, I depend on the company that sold the license to me in the first place. Then, it depends on the company, how easy or complicate things get when I want to transfer my license…

One might say, the times of the old, physical economy have past, new (digital) economy works different. We simply have to accept. However, it doesn’t look that new to me at all, but quite old-fashioned. There are many resources within “my” library, I’d like to write a personal dedication in and then donate to some of my friends, colleagues or students for free just as I have done with real books in the past. But, I can’t, because it’s not “my library” at all. Even now, besides the need of cash, I’d like to donate parts of my library to some people who might get attracted to Logos Bible Software and become good future customers as well.

However, now it seems that I do not only have to pay the price of license transfer, but have to face an entire re-calculation and unknown price that is nontransparent for me. I also have to bother many people at Logos/FL, bind time and personnel resources up to a degree that seems completely out of scale. I hesitate and sit on “my library” which appears not to be really mine after all in the narrow sense. I was naïve. I start to regret having bothered Logos/FL with my request for license transfers. However, I thought and still think besides my single case it is a problem worth discussing to find better future solutions—which would also benefit the company.

At least the first step suggested by me may be implemented without too much effort: to set up a web based database front-end were I as customer can fill out online everything needed for requesting a transfer instead of calling customer service or writing emails. That even saves time for customer service. Of course, the question of the dynamic pricing is an entire different problem not that easy to solve. However, in my view this is not a problem of a technical solution first, but foremost of a business approach, i.e. a question of the relationship between the company and their customers. This of course, is up to Bob to decide.

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 4 2016 5:50 AM

Jehojakim:
Regarding Dynamic pricing: Is it really that different? That new? Think of the retail shop owner who always gives a certain discount to their regular customers.

Dynamic pricing is totally different. It's really very complex. Imagine the following scenario:

  • You buy Product A for $100. It includes 5 resources.
  • You later buy Product B. It's supposed to cost $200 for 8 resources, but you own half the resources already, so you only pay $100. 3 of the resources you already own were in Product A.
  • You later buy Product C. It's supposed to cost $100 for 4 resources, but one of the resources was in product A, and one of them was in product B, so you only pay $50.

Now, you decide to return product A. Should you get your $100 back?

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 4 2016 5:58 AM

Mark Barnes:
Should you get your $100 back?

The answer, obviously, is no.

To work it out, Logos have to rollback your dependent purchases.

  1. First they have to effectively cancel the purchases of product B and product C (so you get $150 back).
  2. Now, you're able to transfer product A, which you'll have to pay $20 for.
  3. Now you need to 'buy' product B again. This time you only own one resource out of the eight, so you have to pay $175.
  4. Finally, you need to 'buy' product C again. Again you only own one resource this time, so you pay $75.

In this scenario, to process your transfer you'd have to pay Logos $120 — $20 for the transfer plus $100 extra for products B and C. 

This is an extreme example, as nine of the ten resources in product A were included in later purchases. But it's also a relatively simple example, as the levels of dependency can be much deeper than this.

But I hope it illustrates why it's complex to work out, and why it is difficult to untangle, and would be difficult to build an automated system for.

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Marc Linden | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 4 2016 6:04 AM

Thanks for the explanation! That makes things a bit clearer. Although I never had the feeling that I got such huge discounts like directly reduzing Product B to 50% since I already owned 50% of its content. Felt like 20% or something when compared to the original prices (as shown on Logos website while not being logged in).

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 4 2016 6:37 AM

Jehojakim:

Thanks for the explanation! That makes things a bit clearer. Although I never had the feeling that I got such huge discounts like directly reduzing Product B to 50% since I already owned 50% of its content. Felt like 20% or something when compared to the original prices (as shown on Logos website while not being logged in).

The dynamic pricing discount is worked out on the value of the resources not the number of resources, but I was trying to keep in simple in the example. Then a little extra is sometimes added. So if you own 40% of the value, you should expect to pay 60-65% of the price.

To give a specific example from my own library. I own one volume of Sam Gordon Truth for Today Collection (5 vols.), priced at $13.99. The value of all the volumes in the collection purchased separately is $65.95. So I should expect a dynamic pricing discount of a bit less than 13.99/65.95 = 21.21%. In fact my dynamic pricing discount is $13.31 off $62.99= 21.13%, so that's pretty much exactly right.

Remember the discount is worked out on percentages, not absolute amounts.

Imagine Product D that has 8 resources, valued at 1x$60, 1x$40, 2x$30 and 4x10$. The resources are worth $200, but it sells for $175. If you already own the $60 resource, you won't get a $60 discount. You'll get just under a 30% discount (60/200), which will be just under is a $52.75 discount. Likewise, if you only own a $10 resource, your discount will be just under $8.75.

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Marc Linden | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 4 2016 8:17 AM

Hello Mark, thanks again for the thorough explanation. At least, I feel enlightened now regarding the dynamic pricing system. Blessings

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Keith Pang | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 5 2016 1:14 PM

Bump...

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

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