Saturday, July 21, 2012

Carbon Copy Cloner is now commercial. Good change, bad execution.

[See update: The lack of notification was a screw-up.]

Carbon Copy Cloner, one of my best loved apps, is no longer donationware. It is now a commercial product with a 30 day trial period.

That's great -- except the contract transition occurred during what seemed like a routine (albeit big) upgrade. I didn't see any warning that this was an unusual upgrade; but I've been a CCC user (I donated before there were post-donation registration codes) for a long time. Maybe there was a warning, but it was way too subtle for me. I don't see any notice on the front page of CCC's web site.

This is what I wrote Mike Bombich, the author of CCC.

I absolutely don't mind paying for CCC; in fact I'm glad to have that opportunity. I donated to CCC before, but that was before you tracked donations. Time for me to pay up again. That's not my problem.

I'm shocked, however, by a CCC update that made a contract switch without warning.

What you should have done was to do an update first that warned users that CCC was going to end-of-life on the donation model. Then the infrastructure would be in place to notify users that the next update would cost.

I used to use SuperDuper. I didn't mind paying for it, I used CCC because it was better. Now I have to decide whether to continue with CCC, or go through the pain of transitioning back to an inferior product because of how you handled this.

An apology to your customers would help a lot.

Again, I fully support your transitioning to a commercial model. I'm glad you did that. I'd have happily paid if you'd only warned me prior to the update. Of course I would have updated.

But you didn't warn.

I'll see how he responds before I switch back to SuperDuper.

Update: Mike Bombich responded with a sincere apology. He's amended the splash screen and release note with this warning. This was one of those bad-day mistakes; something that was missed in beta testing. He has a record of prior donations; he'll grant a license even if a donation was made prior to the 'registration' feature. In my case I'm happy to pay, I got my $10 worth a long time ago.


KimH said...

Why is CCC better than SuperDuper?

Martin said...

See and

BTW, I updated two CCC installations this morning and didn't notice the switch to payware either.

Martin said...


I was a long-time user of SuperDuper!. I switched because CCC offered more reliable scheduling and an archive feature. In particular neat was the feature to backup on mounting of a drive. Today, I am still very happy with CCC's scheduling and archive feature but SuperDuper! might have got similar features in the meantime …

KimH said...

Thanks for the insight, Martin. You say that CCC has "more reliable scheduling" - as in, SuperDuper failed?

I'm trying to choose between the two right now....

Skua said...

Is the CCC change that big a deal? Here's my experience.

Some time ago I donated to Bombich. I had no record of that, but I did. Within the last year I bought a new Mac, and discovered that CCC required a registration code to turn off the banner ads. So, I asked for a code, and one was sent to me immediately, no questions asked.

Today, on updating to the new Mt.Lion-compatible 3.5, I entered that registration code. The software is all registered--I don't have to pay again.

From my perspective the new payment model didn't affect me, a long-time customer, at all.

John Gordon said...

I got a note back from Mike and updated my post. The lack of notification was a screw-up, he hasn't been taken over by space aliens.

JGF said...

Skua: See my update. If I'd asked for a registration code Mike would have given me one. He just messed up on the update process documentation. Anyway, I'm glad to pay full price, I don't need a free upgrade. I got my donation worth a long time ago.