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RE: Well Lookie Here, Barracuda Networks tries to get me to fall into their trap again...
From: Nathan Eisenberg <nathan () atlasnetworks us>
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2011 18:46:50 +0000

In fact, it's not.  If you miss your renewal payment for, frex, Safari
books,
they actually slip your cycle date to when you renew -- since you don't
*get*
the service between the expire date and the renew date, I concur with
his
appraisal that you shouldn't be paying for it, either.

If in fact, the service *kept working* for a short time when an
overlooked payment was missed, it would be a different story.

But, effectively, he's a new client, and should probably be treated
that way.
Assuming the paid service is actually *the update service*.

I also disagree with your proposition that this is off-topic for NANOG,
really.

I've always strongly felt that this was a rather foul business practice, wherever I've seen it.  The justification for 
it is the utterly misguided belief that, if allowed to, customers will pay for a month then cancel their subscription 
and 'coast' on the 'current' version of the signature for a year.  This approach suffers from (at least) two 
fundamental flaws:

1) The entire customer base are treated as hostile.  It is no surprise that they resent this.  (Assumption: having 
resentful customers is bad)
2) Spam is, perhaps moreso than ever, a rapidly evolving threat.  The effectiveness of signatures declines dramatically 
with time, which means that August's signatures have little value by December.  [By the way, it seems to me that if 
they're willing to charge for valueless signatures, that represents either A) doubt as to the value of the current 
signatures, or B) disbelief in the decreasing value of out of date signatures.]

While I realize that car insurance might not be the best analogy subject, imagine if you put your car on blocks, went 
off to college and allowed the insurance to lapse whilst you were there.  When you return, the insurance company wants 
you to pay the last three years of insurance in order to reactivate your policy.  That companies customers would react 
in the same way: they would find a new provider to do business with, rather than pay out for a valueless bit of smoke 
and mirrors.

Nathan Eisenberg

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