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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

Download Site - Some Good News

Download sites often get bad press here, so it's nice to report something positive...

I recently downloaded some scheduling programs, to help keep me organised and productive.

In the spirit of helping my fellow business owners I selected a paid one over the OSS options, as it had a slightly nicer interface and I could choose the sound file for each event. Sweet, and less than $50.

As is usually the case (check your logs) I purchased within 24 hours of downloading the demo.

Done - but then it started crashing.

A lot.

The more I tried to experiment and play with the thing, the more it crashed.

In a foul frame of mind I punched the name into Google, to give them a stiff word or two ... and the first thing that came up was softonic.com, a download and review site...

So I gave the thing an awful review, because it was awful and desperately deserved one.

THEN I found the developer, told them it was a POS.. and the developer asked what version I was using?

Turned out it was an old version, installed the new version and it works fine, and they even implemented a feature request (to allow sounds when opening a program, instead of a sound OR a program).

Yeah, I was feeling rather guilty about that bad review.... So I tried editing it. Nope, cannot. So I wrote another one, saying how it was better now.

So what is this long-winded and rambling post about?

Simply that I tried writing to softonic, and asked them to remove the bad review, fully expecting to never hear a darn thing.

But I was wrong, they wrote back in perfectly good English, explaining that they don't let users edit reviews but that they had deleted the bad one, and asked if I'd like them to delete the good one and start again, or leave it as it was?

That's far more human and helpful than I've come to expect from download sites, so I figured such a positive result was worth a mention.


Reluctantlyregistered Send private email
Tuesday, July 07, 2015
Softonic have always answered my queries fairly quickly.  I had an issue once with submitting an app to them, but it eventually got solved and I'm happy with them now.
PSB136 Send private email
Tuesday, July 07, 2015
Softonic is very active. They have a very good & affordable ad model with good software backing.
Gautam Jain Send private email
Tuesday, July 07, 2015
Wow, there's a classic example of 'Smile, and the world smiles with you'


Glad to hear good things

Reluctantlyregistered Send private email
Tuesday, July 07, 2015

I'm glad that you had a good experience in the end.

How long did you wait before posting your negative review ?

If the download site was so easy to contact and on the ball, how is it an old version of the software was lingering on there ? I'm also wondering why the author released such a poor quality version in the first place.
koan Send private email
Tuesday, July 07, 2015
The last 2 are good questions I cannot answer.

Regarding the bad review, the moment I realized the software was essentially useless.

No cooling off period, no mercy...

Reluctantlyregistered Send private email
Tuesday, July 07, 2015
I kept getting French people telling me that the PerfectTablePlan v5 key I had  emailed them didn't work with PerfectTablePlan v4. I finally tracked it down to the fact that Softonic was still hosting v4, several years after v5 was released. To their credit they did update it when I asked them. And it shows they do drive some sales (I'm not sure any of the other download sites do now).
Andy Brice Send private email
Tuesday, July 07, 2015
Andy, that's why I have download sites only link directly to my files, instead of hosting them.
PSB136 Send private email
Wednesday, July 08, 2015
I would also prefer they linked to the download on my site. But they don't always ask or give you the choice.
Andy Brice Send private email
Wednesday, July 08, 2015
@Andy: MajorGeeks will do it upon request.

Softpedia points directly to my files by default.

FileHippo hosts the latest version my app on their server, which is okay I guess because they update it to match mine 1:1 with each new release.

Softonic have an external link available that points directly to my files, but host their own copy of older versions.  I'll contact them and see if they can remove such hosting, and report back here on how they responded.
PSB136 Send private email
Thursday, July 09, 2015
You all might consider uploading your own download wrapper.  That's what I do - the download sites host my download, which when runs connects to my site and downloads and then installs the latest version. 

Bonus points if you can give out a separate downloader to each site -- then the download URL it uses can have some tag indicating where the download is coming from :)
Doug Send private email
Monday, July 13, 2015
Good idea, Doug!

Have you had any resistance to that approach, though?  MajorGeeks tests every submission, so I wonder if they'll oppose a wrapper like that.
PSB136 Send private email
Monday, July 13, 2015
Dang AC -

That was fast and furious on the negative review!  Glad they took it down.  I had a client buy my software once while I was taking my husband - who had a stroke - to the hospital.

I get home from the hospital and there's a VM for me, so I call the guy back.  Turns out his system was not up to my published system requirements.  I helped him figure that out and refunded his money.  He made a comment about "I'll take down that bad review..."  I assumed he was JOKING.  NO, he'd ssent PayPal a nasty complaint about me when he couldn't reach me within 5 minutes.

I didn't bother telling him I was literally at the hospital when he called because it sounds so made up.  He did cancel his complaint, but I thought it was a little reactionary on his part. 

As I like to tell my computer students: Everyone. Stay. Calm!
Emily Jones Send private email
Monday, July 13, 2015
> Turns out his system was not up to my published system requirements

Doesn't your installer check for that before allowing them to install?  It should then refuse to install if the minimum requirements are not met.
PSB136 Send private email
Tuesday, July 14, 2015

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