* The Business of Software

A former community discussing the business of software, from the smallest shareware operation to Microsoft. A part of Joel on Software.

We're closed, folks!


» Business of Software FAQ
» The Business of Software Conference (held every fall, usually in Boston)
» Forum guidelines (Please read before posting!)


Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

Should i ask user permission to collect error data and email?

The program has a user email address used when registering.
Can i send the error report and the email address without asking the user when a critical error occurs and later contact him/her regarding  the same?


Should i open up a window ask him/her permission to send the error report and also ask if i can contact them to discuss the same?

Is there something wrong in contacting a user without permission regarding the error they had reported?
netgear Send private email
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Some might say yes; some might say no.  Why push your luck?  Just ask.


Gene Wirchenko
Gene Wirchenko Send private email
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Email is deadly to get wrong these days.  In some countries, if you send an email without explicit permission, you can get into a lot of trouble.

Just ask.  It's safer and polite.
PSB136 Send private email
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
I too think you should ask.  I'd freak out a little if I discovered someone's software had my computer email them. 

When you ask you might include a check box that says "Always do this, don't ask again" so they aren't prompted each time.  Or you could ask initially as they install it.  Though it's probably better to ask as it's happening at least the first time.  I'd also offer a way to reset that option.
Emily Jones Send private email
Wednesday, January 01, 2014
You should definitely ask.
Scott Send private email
Thursday, January 02, 2014
You should ask for two permissions. One to send the data, and two for permission to include an email and potentially contacting the user.

I wouldn't necessarily rely  on the registration email as it could be different from someone who has to support the software. I think its better to the user to see a message that says I'd like to collect some error data so I can fix the software. And if you give me your address I'll let you know when we have a fix for your problem. Or you can submit the data anonymously.
TrippinOnIT Send private email
Thursday, January 02, 2014
Darren Send private email
Friday, January 10, 2014

This topic is archived. No further replies will be accepted.

Other recent topics Other recent topics
Powered by FogBugz