Author Topic: annual update fees  (Read 15473 times)

Alan T. Butler

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 22
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • Nice day for somethin'
Re: annual update fees
« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2013, 09:35:06 PM »
I bought one of the first GS-911s, mainly because I had just purchased a 2008 K1200S and wanted to get rid of that pesky service reminder.  This feature was promised, but was not yet available when I bought my GS-911.  Finally it came out and I am very happy.  Since then I upgraded my GS-911 to "Pro" mode.  Just because, and (oh yeah) Hexcode was offering a killer introductory deal on the upgrade.  My upgrades are currently up to date.  Still very happy.

Here are a few data points:
1. Just updated my wife's i-Mac to the new "Mavericks" OS.  This was a free download.  Not sure why.
2. The cheapest thing on a BMW motorcycle is the rider.
3. The warranty on a BMW motorcycle goes for three years or (I think) 30,000 miles. 
4. Some guys (me included) send in an annual contribution to i-BMW.com just because they have a really cool site for crazed K-bike riders.

So throw all that into the big Cuisinart and see what comes out: How about "free" upgrades for the first three years, then a nominal annual fee, to be paid before the first "out of warranty" upgrade.  The fee could be based on the renewal fee for McAffee software renewal. 

Just sayin'

Seeya
 ATB

Frankskouts

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: annual update fees
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2013, 01:10:02 AM »
So from what I am reading, most of us are willing to pay for something. However, what we call what we are paying for is of great debate. As a mechanic, I can understand that paying more to be able to connect to more bikes is understandable. Everytime I use my gs911 to reset my oil change, I have to download the latest beta. I am down for paying something. I would hope that as technology expands, any upgrades to my gs911 would be done with new beta or some sort of trade in program. Someday I hope to have a 1600 parked beside my r1200. With any luck there will be a gs911 that will work for both.

Thanks,

Tim


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

Haakon

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 145
  • Karma: +8/-1
Re: annual update fees
« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2013, 01:56:07 AM »
"Frankskouts" wrote: Everytime I use my gs911 to reset my oil change, I have to download the latest beta.
Why do you not download the latest "stable" sofware?
(The Beta and the stable can both be on your computer)
2000 F650-GS

Alan T. Butler

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 22
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • Nice day for somethin'
Re: annual update fees
« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2013, 02:06:50 AM »
Just got back from a fine ride on my 2010 GS Adv, and had another "thought" while riding home.  If we went for an update fee patterned after the McAfee annual subscription fee, we might feel a little bit more entitled to "expect" a certain quantity and quality of increased functionality for our GS-911 devices.  As it is now, we gladly download whatever comes, whenever it comes.  The updates we have received have been great.  All kinds of cool stuff.  Still, we are somewhat contented to wait and see what comes along (unless it entails waiting to get rid of the darn service warning on an otherwise perfect K-bike).  This could change if we had to keep our subscription current, like we do with McAfee or Norton.

All that being said, I'd be willing to pay $35 or $40 bux a year to keep my GS-911 subscription current. 

Seeya
 ATB

Teezy

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: annual update fees
« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2013, 11:54:50 AM »
The day will come when Windows 7 and Windows 8 will be obsolete, and the GS911 may not be compatible without updated software. I have no problem with an annual fee of say$30 - $50 per year. While some software suppliers supply free updates, specialist software - especially in the engineering field have an annual fee. Take AutoCAD...each years its about NZ$1100. I think Hexcode does a great job and its not that expensive in the context of buying a BMW or having a BMW tech service or repair your motorcycle. My 2 cents worth.
Peace of mind in the ability of diagnosing motorcycle faults
Dave

FortyZA

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Karma: +0/-1
Re: annual update fees
« Reply #20 on: November 17, 2013, 05:41:43 PM »
I too was one of the originals who purchased his GS911 before the Enthusiast and the Prof version and once I did an upgrade, I could only do 10 bikes instead of many. Now, they want to charge for upgrades. When you compare exchange rates from one country to another, $50 is expensive as is almost 1/6th of what I paid for my unit.

What I originally paid for and what I have now is 2 completely different things, yes I appreciate the newer bikes / models, however I can only do / handle 10 bikes. I am not happy with this but like most other things, it will be implemented anyway and to hell with what our views are against this.

rideaway

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: annual update fees
« Reply #21 on: November 17, 2013, 06:27:59 PM »
This is a difficult one isn't it ?

At the moment the feedback on the GS911 and it's ongoing support is really, really good and IMHO well deserved.
It has to be funded to work, no doubt about that.

However, once you start charging for updates many people (perhaps myself included) may pass on that because we have old(er) bikes and are running them on a budget.  What we have today is "good enough".  Once people start passing on the upgrades little problems will creep in due to OS, driver changes, etc as always happens with older software.  So the (almost 100%) positive feedback may get erroded, just because not everyone is on the latest version.  People with problmes will be berated with "buy the update!" if that doesn't solve their problem, they will feel agreaved.

Of course there is also a cost in collecting the revenue and making the product secure so only those that have paid get the updates, etc.

We have seen Apple make bold moves in this space to ensure people are always running the latest software wherever possible (and perhaps using that to drive subsequent hardware upgrades).

You might want to consider a voluntary donation scheme - easy to admin and zero enforcement costs + lots of willing donations due to the great service.

Perhaps a charge for the "Pro" devices, people making a living from using your work should perhaps give a little back ?

Perhaps a charge for the active support - calls / mails to the helpdesk, etc rather than just use of the software.  I guess the majority of users are "self supporting" with the help of the internet ;-)  Others may just go straight to the heldesk with the most minor of problems and that costs HEXCODE money.

Perhaps only supporting some of the new, more advanced features on the newer (WiFi ?) hardware to encourage people to upgrade.  You need to produce in volume to keep costs down and upgrades would help in a limited market, you can't support the old hardware / software forever with an indentical feature set.  Perhaps bug fixes and "maintenance" only for old hardware rather than new features.

Perhaps a charge to add newer BWM models ?  I gues that's where most of the development cost is.

No easy answers but you have a great customer following and support.  In a limited market, maintaining that support is ultimately the key to success.
I guess you've stuck with the "free upgrades" model for so long becasue it has worked so well in terms of customer feedback / satisfaction.  If it's not broken, then plug in the GS911 to make sure ;-)

Best of luck for the future whichever way you decide to go.

Paul

Paul has said it much better than I would be able to. I just want to add - What a great company and great guys that run it, and what better way to get people to love a company than to offer all the free updates and support. I think these guys have paid there dues and probably think it's about time to make some money for all there hours of hard work. I can't blame them and hope it all works out the best for everyone. Keeping the costs down and options open will ensure the people with limited income will stay loyal. I met the 3 guys that run this company at the National in Salem. They have done an amazing amount for free and do deserve to make a decent income for all there hard work.

All the best in the future for all of us.

Dean

Jos

  • Beta testers
  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • Webshop
Re: annual update fees
« Reply #22 on: November 17, 2013, 06:51:39 PM »
So, I did a quick search and got the numbers for BMW Motorrad, vs BMW cars, vs VW group  and I've summarised them in a table below...
(now make sure you sit down before studying this table...)

ManufacturerBMW MotorradBMW+MiniVW+Audi+Seat+Skoda
2012 vehicle sales (annual report)106,3581,841,6117,305,000
Volume factor11769
ToolGS-911bluBavarian Technic EnthusiastVCDS (VAG-COM)
Tool price$349$287349
VIN limit103unlimited
BluetoothYESNoNo
Mobile versionYESNoNo
* Cost multiplier  -  $4,969$23,970
** Difference amortised as
annual update fee at $49***
  -  101 years489 years

NOTES:
* Assuming we have the same market penetration, then this is what we would need to sell each GS-911 for, in order to make the same sales turnover as the comparative tool
** Assuming we keep the current sales price and make up the difference to sales turnover (to the comparative tool), at an annual fee of $49, then this is the amount of years of updates it would take to reach the same sales turnover
*** $49 is used as an example only, as it shows the "best case scenario" for amount of years (i.e. with a smaller fee the years would simply increase)

I hope this creates some perspective  ;)

I wonder if somebody really studied this table.

If Hexcode could sell the same number of diagnostic tools for BMW motorcycles compared to tools sold for cars, there would be no problem in offering free updates.
It also looks like nobody ever had a look at the pricing and update cost of other alternative BMW motorcycle diagnostic tools.
Compared to the competition, the GS-911 is a bargain.
@Stephan: maybe you could put some examples on the forum.

I bought a Bavarian Technic Pro tool in 2009 for my 2 BMW cars (an E93 and a F11). Price: 675 EUR ex 21% VAT.
If you read the site of BT, it all looks very promising.
Reality: bad support, nearly no updates and new functionality, very slow when resetting fault codes of all modules, the real-time values interface is a mess, coding is possible with the Pro version but is not documented at all, and a lot more I can comment about. But since there wasn't a more affordable tool on the market, I bought one and live with the limitations for the time being.
The latest beta release is from 7 june 2012. There hasn't been a new version since and no info about new versions coming.
And Durametric hasn't a support forum and e-mail list.

If I compare this with Hexcode, there's a world of difference. There have been problems with development and there were periods not much changed.
But the last years there have been a lot of improvements and new functionality to the product.
Support is excellent, both to distributors and end-users. There is a forum and mailing list, both monitored by Stephan and Kobus. Customers can give feedback and Hexcode listens to their customers.
And all this for a tool of $ 299. One maintenance visit to the BWM dealer costs more.
Over here, BMW dealers charge up to 50 EUR to readout a bike with the BMW diagnostics tool. I even know about a BMW dealer who charges his own technicians to use the BMW diagnostic tool to read-out there own bike in there own free time.

All of you who use a commercial anti-virus software on there PC, how much do you pay each year for an update? Do you discuss this with Norton or G-Data or F-Secure or whatever brand you use? Do you mail them updates should be free forever, since you paid for the original product?

It looks like many of you have no idea what support and development cost.
I'm a distributor of the GS-911 and also have an IT company. If I look at my margin and the free support I offer to GS-911 customers (including taking over there pc remotely and installing the software and even sometimes solving there pc problems if things don't work the way they should with the GS-911) compared to what I charge my IT customers for support, I would better stop selling GS-911's.

But since I'm a BMW enthousiastic and hate the monopoly of manufacturers like BMW on bike (and car) maintenance tools, I'll happily sell GS-911's.

Best,

Jos

« Last Edit: November 17, 2013, 06:53:40 PM by Jos »
GS-911 Benelux

StephanT

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 398
  • Karma: +17/-2
    • HEXcode
Re: annual update fees
« Reply #23 on: November 18, 2013, 09:27:55 AM »
I too was one of the originals who purchased his GS911 before the Enthusiast and the Prof version and once I did an upgrade, I could only do 10 bikes instead of many.
Well, if you think back, before we implemented the Professional vs Enthusiast, the GS-911 had only the functionality to:
  • read ECU information on every control unit
  • read and clear fault codes on every control unit
  • read and display real-time data for the Engines
I'm not sure whether you noticed, but even the Enthusiast version can still do ALL of the above on an UNLIMITED number of bikes... so you have not lost anything...

Now, they want to charge for upgrades. When you compare exchange rates from one country to another, $50 is expensive as is almost 1/6th of what I paid for my unit.
you purchased a device that reads and clears Fault codes and reads and displays Engine realtime values... and you've gotten 100 times that functionality for free since...

Also what most people seem to miss is that from the date of first sale of the very first GS-911 on 12 January 2007, we sold it as:
One year free updates for the Windows™-based (Windows™ XP SP2, Windows™ Vista, Windows™ 7, Windows™ 8 ) GS-911 software
...which means there have been 6 years of bonus updates since....

What I originally paid for and what I have now is 2 completely different things, yes I appreciate the newer bikes / models, however I can only do / handle 10 bikes.
Indeed... see my comment above... probably 100x more functionality now...  :o

I am not happy with this but like most other things, it will be implemented anyway and to hell with what our views are against this.
Why?, you don't have to buy an update!... not sure how many bikes you have or what bike models... but most of the existing bikes are pretty well covered... so in theory if you don't change you're bike, there will be almost no reason to upgrade... So what's the problem?

best
Stephan

ska

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: annual update fees
« Reply #24 on: November 19, 2013, 09:46:32 PM »
I am happy with this solution because it will increase the features available for our bikes now out of production rather than abandon the search in favor of new models.

Grizz

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: annual update fees
« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2013, 06:45:38 PM »
My concern is will I would have to make sure I download the latest stable version(s) (PC & Android) and
keep multiple copies archived to make sure I don't get charged every time I get a new PC or phone.
I only have one older bike (2000 k1200) so I don't use it often, but when I do use it I would often download the latest beta, considering it a favor to hex to do some regression testing for them. I'd probably stop doing that.

The problem  hexcode will have charging an update fee is bad PR.
Once people get used to getting something for free they get upset if they get charged for it.

Here's a link to a story about the phenomenon:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/07/13/156737801/the-cost-of-free-doughnuts-70-years-of-regret

Grizz

PS WTF? I have to look up maximum torque figure for the R1200GS LC to post - that's silly

Haakon

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 145
  • Karma: +8/-1
Re: annual update fees
« Reply #26 on: December 01, 2013, 07:48:53 PM »
All the sofware ARE free!
For now.

If you register "here" that question will not pop up any more.
If you can not answer a new question will be asked.
It is just a precaution to try stop "bots" from registering.
Other forums often use pictures of codes- very often so hard to get right that I must try several times.
Oh well
2000 F650-GS

Grizz

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: annual update fees
« Reply #27 on: December 01, 2013, 09:22:45 PM »
Not sure what you mean by register "here".  If that was meant to be a link it was not.
I did register for and login to the forum. I still get prompted for a distorted image CAPTCHA and a question.
Mostly I thought making the question about specs of an individual bike was a bit much.
I looked it up and still got it wrong - maybe they wanted foot pounds instead of newton meters.

Haakon

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 145
  • Karma: +8/-1
Re: annual update fees
« Reply #28 on: December 01, 2013, 10:07:24 PM »
My "here" was this new Hexcode forum.
I registered once and it worked- I can reply to old and make new ...
I hope the Hexcode crew will get your problem fixed, soon!!
2000 F650-GS

StephanT

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 398
  • Karma: +17/-2
    • HEXcode
Re: annual update fees
« Reply #29 on: December 02, 2013, 01:50:55 PM »
PS WTF? I have to look up maximum torque figure for the R1200GS LC to post - that's silly

no, what is silly is 600 spam posts in one night...   took both Kobus and myself the better part of a whole day to clean the forum up...  now that 2 man-days that we could have been developing GS-911... so for now, there are stricter posting requirements... you have to authenticate the first 5 posts...

now I can only imagine the amount of WTF  you would have given had you have to deal with that....