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Payware Add On Vendor Support.

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Guest Camsdad

Hello,I have hung around here quite a bit but rarely ever post. Today I decided I needed to vent. Over a week ago, I had both my hard drives go down at the same time. One of them was a backup that had all of my pay ware and other items on it. I had changed my email address in the beginning of December so I knew it would be difficult in communicating with the payware vendors I had purchased from. My old email is no longer available. Simflight, Flight One, Abacus, and FS Genesis are the vendors I have purchased from. Now for the rundown of support for hardrive failures and reinstalling of purchased products. FS Genesis I had to contact via email so I could log into my account. Justin emailed me within 45 minutes letting me know that he had changed my new email over to my account.Abacus emailed me with the keys for my download purchases the same day.Sim flight made me purchase a link to the products I downloaded. I felt this was very poor since I had paid for the purchase and it still had 5 downloads left but they said the time expired for the downloads. If the product included 5 downloads then that means I paid for that bandwidth right? Now I had to pay more for the bandwidth I never used in the first place.Flight One hasn't gone to well either. Since they took down the option to change your email in their support section I had to send a trouble ticket. I had sent a trouble ticket but I'm not sure why or what happened but I never got a reply. I'm figuring that since my email changed that it got kicked out. I then posted to their forum and Jeff Smith replied quickly. I then was able to do a trouble ticket and had asked that all of the product I purchased under my old email be changed to my new email so I could reinstall them thru the wrapper. I got a quick response back (24 hours) that all was fixed. I went to reinstall my products and only one of them worked. The others said I had an invalid email address or something to that effect. I then had to do another trouble ticket. The next day I received a pretty canned response saying I needed to " You must be able to provide certain verifiable information about your original order for us to be able to change information associated with your order." I was not given what information they needed. Remember they were able to change one of the products already but failed on the rest I had listed. They closed the trouble ticket without fixing the issue. I then reopened it and included a copy of the trouble ticket I originally sent. This had my name address phone number both old and new email addresses on it. I still have yet to hear a reply back and I still have products that I cannot get to work. Final grade.FS Genesis support A+++++++++Abacus ASimflight D shouldn't have to pay for more downloads when you never used all the ones you paid for in the first place. After paying it was immediate to redownload.Flight One F 5 products purchased and only one works. They shut down the email and information change link. Going on two weeks of problems with the wrapper. Still cannot get my password since I don't have my email changed. I will follow up on the reply from the last trouble ticket when I get it if the products are installable or not after I get the keys regenerated.

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Yep, reinstalling your payware addons can become quite a pain in the butt! I have a new rig and have been adding all my addons this week. most went well as I try to keep the original EXE so I don't have to send the email. One I didn't have was for the PMDG 1900D and although I sent the email, I got fast and courteous service, you guys rock! Same with Active Camera, Serge and team have always been on top of it and I have always been pleased with their product and their customer service. Flight1 went ok even though the card with the last 4 digits I needed is't an option any more (shredded) good thing I had the number written down.Still need to send the FSD emails, hope that goes well even though I still had the Cheyenne EXE but got the stupid "I have exceeded my number of d/ls" message even though it was only 1 time that I recall installing it.I agree, Simmarkets way of doing it sucks! There is no way any normal person would use more than 1 or 2 installs in the amount of time they give you to use the bandwidth. It is just another money making ploy. Luckily I had the EXEs I need so I didn't have to repay for them. good thing they don't charge for the updates also. Aerosoft is the same way so back up those files guys.Regards, MichaelKDFWhttp://www.calvirair.com/mcpics/mcdcvabanner.jpgCalVirAir International

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I can truly identify with your frustration. My problem is almost identical to yours. After repeated attempts to get all my purchased programs reloaded I was unsuccessful in installing many of them and I'm sad to say I eventually just gave up on ever getting them installed again.I expressed my feelings on this and other forums. When it was all said and done I might as well have been talking to my cat about the re installation problems I was having. I was left with the feeling that few people really gives a darn about this issue including many of the software vendors.I feel your pain and wish you the best success in getting your ad-dons restored.

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I agree that Justin's support is A+++++++++. I recently upgraded my PC and after visiting the FS Genesis site I found that not only I could download the meshes I bought but that some of them even had been updated.Most of my payware is backuped on my second machine and on a CD. I think its bad that some payware doesn't allow for multiple (personal!) installs.Troubles with the flight wrapper (ditched my creditcard so nowadays its not even an option anymore) forced me to only buy flight1 products that are out on CD.The problems with these confusing elaborate protection schemes is that after a period of 4 yeart its likely that:- I switched my internet provider.- That I have another credit card.- That my hardware is upgraded.The net result is that installing the heavily protected add-ons costs so much time and effort that some of these add-ons never get reinstalled and that the publisher is put on my 'never again' list. There are only a very small number of add-ons that are worth the extra trouble IMHO. Its a shame wat we paying customers have to put up with.

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Nothing to do with the payware issue but I'm curious about the HDD failure(s). The reason I'm asking is that statistically such a simultaneous failure is a truly rare, rare event and, as a former disaster recovery planner, I would be interested in the cause if you were able to determine what went wrong. Especially if both drives were unreadable and you couldn't recover the data from either. Thanks.Doug

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Guest Camsdad

Thanks everbody for the support. Doug, for your question I think it was a software issue more than anything. I run a firewall, and antivirus. I think the MBR was screwed up and for some reason it affected my second hard drive. I had multiple bad sectors.I took out both drives and put them in an external HD case then ran them off of my laptop to try to recover them. I went thru some software recovery programs and finally settled on Magic Recovery. I was able to recover some of my software, music and pictures but the majority was corrupted. I just fired up my computer one morning and it wouldn't boot at all. The Flight One stuff I had still won't work. I was able to recover the licenses but I had purchased it an Email ago, and a couple of credit cards ago. When I go to install it says I need to reactivate the licenses. Of course I can't since my email has changed over the last year or two since purchasing the products. I really expected a response today from Flight One but did not. I respect their position on the wrapper and it isn't their fault my computer crashed and my email changed. I did expect as a paying customer for them to provide the assistance needed and paid for when purchasing the product. Out of all the vendors I listed they have been the hardest to deal with.Thanks again everybody

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Thanks for posting your experiences. It's nice knowing I'm not the only one that's been ripped off. I'm amazed at how similar my experience has been to yours. I also agree totally with your vendor assessments. I've been an FS Genesis "Galaxy" member for many years and I've had nothing but superb support from this fine vendor. I'm very pleased to say that I still have and use every FS Genesis product that I've ever purchased. No hassles or problems re-downloading these products when I need them or when updates occur. I wish I could say the same for the other vendors you mentioned. flyking

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Guest allcott

Camsdad, Why do you think you need to have the e-mail address changed to install the Flight 1 products? AFAIK the only things you need are the .key file, the password (last four digits of the card number)and the wrapper itself.The wrapper you can easily donwload yourself and the e-mail addy change has already been done by the trouble ticket. Replacement key files are an automated process, the e-mail change should apply to your ACCOUNT, not to individual aircraft. I think you really ought to have posted in the Flight 1 forums before commenting here. It sounds like you don't understand the process and haven't really taken the appropriate steps. I had to reinstall all my F1 products just after the middle of last year. Took me 10 minutes for the lot of them, INCLUDING a replacement password! I found the automated system to be simple, fast and effective, although I didn't need to change any e-mail details (I think the trouble ticket service is handled manually on a case-by-case basis.)The backup files (.key and password) are only a few bytes and can easily be backed up on a floppy disk (remember them?) The entire wrapper can be backed up to CD with the necessary files for reinstallation. Only Ultimate Terrain desn't fit on a single CD, and that can be spanned or burned to DVD if you have a DVD burner. REinstalling didn't prompt me for an e-mail address and I don't think they've changed the system since then, so why the e-mail problem? Allcott

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Guest Camsdad

Allcott,Things may have changed since you ordered from Flight 1. A replacement key is emailed to the ORIGINAL email that you used to place the order with them. Second is that I have ordered 7 products with them, each product is specific to the email, I guess you might be thinking of Sim flight were the account is specific to the email and not the product specific to the email. Third is that some of those products were purchased almost 4 years ago, how many credit cards have you shredded in 4 years.Now please help me in how you were able to get a replacement password when you don't have access to the email account they have on file? Everything is sent to that email. Also please let me know how I can get a new key activated when the credit card used is long gone. I'd love to install my Ultimate traffic today if possible.Why isn't it OK to post here on this forum? This forum gets looked at by a lot more people than the Flight 1 does. I'm sharing the experiences I have had with payware vendors and who knows if a number of us post about having these issues maybe Flight 1 could use that feedback to improve on their system. Thanks

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Guest bobsk8

This issue is the one thing that makes me hate buying add-ons for MSFS, the companies that make you jump thru all kinds of hoops to reinstall something that you paid for. I had thesame problem remembering which credit card I used to purchase the software. I like the companies that sell you the product and if your system crashes, all you have to do is reinstall it. Nothing like being trusted..... ;)

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Guest IanP

Things haven't changed over the many years, e-mail addresses, ISPs and cards I've had dealings with Flight1 using. Strangely, I've never had a problem reactivating any of their products either.Why not?When I get my product, I print the e-mail and stick it in a folder. I put a copy of the key file in a backup location (which reminds me that I must burn a CD for all my new stuff in the very near future). The last four of the card I used to buy it is then handwritten onto the printed e-mail if I remember. If I don't, I guess which one it was. As I've made a note of all of my card numbers, however, I normally get the guess right first time anyway.When my last ISP closed my account on me for not using the dial-up for too long after I got ADSL, I sent Flight1 requests to change the e-mail address on every product I own except the ones that were too old for me to use now anyway. I got an e-mail back very quickly saying "all done".You aren't going to like this, but you are blaming the vendor for your own lack of record keeping and backups. That really isn't their fault.As for whether it is too much hassle to reactivate products, all I will say is to repeat a comment I received from a very frustrated member of the MAAM-SIM team after releasing an add-on pack to one of their products: "If we'd sold half as many copies of the aircraft as there had been downloads of that add-on, the R4D would be back in the air already and we'd probably have paid for another aircraft with the change!"Can people be trusted? In terms of software licensing, the answer is very short and simple. No we can't.I can only suggest that in future you only ever buy products on hard media (CD or DVD), because copy protection certainly isn't going to get any less onerous while piracy continues to increase apace.Ian P.

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Guest gasebah

I really can relate to your story. Similar things have happended to me. I had been a frequent onine addon buyer for quite some time. At simmarket at least you have an account where you can look up your key codes. I have my exe files backed up in a safe place. But even then it can become quite a pain.I have become veeeery reluctant buying addons online. I ususally wait for the CD version now. A complete reinstall of FS became almost impossible for me. Of course addon developers have to protect themselves. But they also have to take care that they are not shoveling their own graves with this as we say in Germany.Alex

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Guest Camsdad

Ian,I have recovered most of the emails and sent them. If you would have read I'm not blaming them for what you described. I am blaming them for lack of support. I'd be glad to provide "Trouble tickets" to anybody who doesn't belive me. I was able to recover the back ups but AGAIN the license and keys with the FLIGHT 1 WRAPPER can only be activated so many times. After that a NEW KEY needs to be REACTIVATED. The only way to do this is to request it. It is sent to the ORIGINAL email the product was ordered on. My issue is getting the ORIGINAL EMAIL changed to my current one. Again if you would read I'm not blaming them for what happened I'm blaming them for not changing my original email to my new email for the products I purchased. I have copies of my licenses and downloads but I can't activate them since they are going to an old email address that no longer exists. The credit card used on some of these are long gone too. I'm just trying to reactivate them now and cannot since it is up to Flight 1 to change the information. As of today out of the 7 products purchased 2 of them have been changed. That would be Dream fleets 727 and FS Panel Studio. After I had to reopen the last trouble ticket I included order numbers and such in it for the products but Flight 1 only reactivated FS Panel Studio and then closed the ticket again. I reopened it yet again and included the information again. I guess I'm going to have to wait another 2 days until another product is fixed. Then I'm going to have to go on another product after that. Compared to the other vendors I have ordered from this really isn't acceptable. I thought it was supposed to be hard for software pirates to steal. Why is it harder for a paying customer to just enjoy the product they paid for?

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Guest dutton

I feel for ya. Got a new system recently and went through the same problem, mainly with Flight1. Since my email address had also changed, it was quite tedious to go through all of the steps, wait a few days for ticket response to get everything back.I have gotten everything back except for the Cessna 177 which I have requested now for over a year - just given up on that one - so keep your hopes up.I think the main problem here, is nothing more than a simple lack of intepretting what a customer is asking when they receive a support ticket. They seem to do the bare minimum and if there is a canned response, they will use it. Again, in the end, I got all my purchases re-installed so I am sure you will get there soon too.

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My guess is that there will be less return customers after you had the reinstall experience a few times. Its frustating to be totaly dependant on a Vendor of a product for a reinstall of a product that you paid good money for.My complaint isn't that I'm not able to reinstall a product. My complaint is the ammount of time it takes and all the actions I have to take to get the add-ons installed.Do you realy think that Flight1 products are less pirated then the more open releases of MAAM and Real Air? The flight wrapper system is a single point of failure for the entire Flight1 product line. How much of a target would that be for pirates?Nowadays I steer clear of the headace inducing protected online releases. I buy flight1 when its out on CD (hey guys how about releasing the 727 and those Beechcrafts You know I'm waiting here). Otherwise its small payware releases from simmarket that aren't protected by wrappers or online activation. I hope FS-X will include a 3rd party vendor system where you can have 1 (free) account that enables you to download/use your FS-X addons. Once the entire FS-X payware add-on uses such a system we can at least get standard and hassle free installations.

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Guest IanP

Yes, I know. I've reactivated several of mine without any problem at all. So have many other people. Replacement keys were sent to the NEW e-mail address that I had asked them to change it to and they had. The form I filled in was for a single product, so I filled it in once for each and got a response back within hours that it was "done". I asked whether it was just the one in the e-mail title that was changed, as I had submitted a fairly large number and got a response back within minutes saying that it was all of them.I wonder if the difference between our experiences was that I did it in November, not in the Customer Support silly season immediately after Christmas?I have NEVER needed an old card to reactivate, change the address on or request a new key from Flight1. I've needed to know the last four digits, but it makes no difference whatsoever how long the card has been in pieces and gone for, as long as a note is made of that last block of numbers.What is very telling in the difference between F1 wrappers and "passworded" distribution systems is the speed with which they appear on warez sites and P2P systems. For a popular "password" product, it'll be measured in a small number of hours before they are available. The last time I went looking for leaked passwords for a product I was involved in, the number of pleas for cracked versions of the DF727 and F1 C172 actually made it hard to find the product I was looking for on one particular P2P client. Admittedly that was a while ago, but the 172 had been out for a long time and the DF727 had been out for weeks.It does seem to work!Ian P.

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Guest SPOFF

Very interesting discussion. One of the things I've noticed is how "Computer Savy" the responders to this thread are. I have been protected from myself by the fact that I have a Dial-Up connection so pretty much everything available out there is "out of bounds" for me. I had to download a Critical Windows Patch the other day at 53Mb (Three Hours, 30 minutes.) THAT was a necessity. I've downloaded a number of Freeware planes from this an other sites but never do so for more than 30Mb. I have exactly TWO Payware Addons..Both from MAAM..Both on CDs. You call them on the phone, they answer, (Live) and in two or three days you have it in the mail. Based on what I've read here,.. with my general LACK of Computer Savy, It seems I havn't missed out on much.. except the aggravation. I would love to have some FSGenesis stuff but file downloads the size of most of their stuff is absolutely out of the question. Be nice if they had CDs. I can wait.. for the mail. SPOFF

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Guest SPOFF

Thanks Justin: I think I remember your name. I think I diddled around with some of your Freeware Stuff a few monthes ago and corresponded with you about it via Email. I was looking for the Lighthouse at Cape Hatteras. Remember that? You explained that "Mesh"..or whatever it is, does not include Lighthouses. I DIDN"T know you had CDs. Does FSG have a Phone Number to order by phone?? I'm probably over cautious, but I don't put my credit card number on the internet. SPOFFPS: I've put your Web Address back on my favorites list. I'll go and look again.

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Hi SPOFF,Well, you could call it in, but I'd still have to process it over the internet. I've processed nearly 30,000 credit card orders over the years without one security breach, so the chances are as certain as one can get that nothing bad would happen.But I do accept mail orders. And PayPal. Just choose whichever as your payment method during checkout. If sending a check just print out your confirmation page and drop it in an envelope with a check. Takes a little longer than paying with a credit card or paypal, but it should alleviate any anxiety you might have about using a credit card.-------Justinhttp://www.fsgenesis.netHigh Quality Scenery for FS200x

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In defense of flight1..."...went to reinstall my products and only one of them worked. The others said I had an invalid email address or something to that effect. I then had to do another trouble ticket. The next day I received a pretty canned response saying I needed to " You must be able to provide certain verifiable information about your original order for us to be able to change information associated with your order."We ended Email contact simply because email is now one of the most unreliable forms of communication, and there is no validation that anyone ever sees your response. That is why we have a ticket system now, with exactly the option to change order information...

Below is a picture from our ticket system

http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/138785.jpg[p class=dcmessage]In terms of reinstalling, if you did not save a backup of your key files to a backup disk, then you do need to get them. Unfortunately, they are tied to your email address, and we simply can't change the email address on an order (for obvious reasons) unless we get some information that can verify the order... Order numbers, last 4 digits of the card number, phone number, or something.Execept for the most old products (sold in maybe 2002), the entire reinstall system is free and automated. If you need to change your order email address, submit the ticket with the appropriate category (Order Information Change), and we will fix it. We have been doing email changes for 5 years now, and it is rarely a problem.Thanks,[/p]

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Guest Camsdad

Steve and Jeff at Flight1,I received a response to my last trouble ticket and it appears all is fixed. Thank you. I have no doubt you guys have every intention to provide the best service possible and do provide it. I had felt previous to this that Flight 1 was excellent since I had kept the same email for such a long time and you had offerd the email change option on your site when I had to. The hardware failure I had compounded by the credit card changes (the last four of the credit card number used for the particular order is your password) and the ISP switch that led to the email change was frustrating to begin with. I anticipated this to be a problem but when I was able to get everything fixed with other payware vendors quickly I became frustrated with Flight 1. I want you to know I'm in no way blaming you or taking out my hardware failures on you. I just have a dislike for the ticket system and the wrapper is a great idea but needs changes. Jeff was great with issues but I became frustrated when I had one program reactivated but all the others were not. The ticket is automaticly closed after your responses. While you state it can take up to 48 hours for a response to a ticket, I will say you guys are great and responded in less time than that. The problem was I had multiple products I had to reactivate. While other vendors took minutes to take care of this. Flight 1 took over a week. The first ticket was generated before new years. I hope you can see the frustration. The wrapper is good but I feel you should have accounts instead of everything being order specific. If I use a credit card ending in xxxx for Ultimate traffic and use a credit card for Greatest Airliners 727 ending in OOOO. It is difficult to know which one I used for which product. With Flight 1 we have to keep track of credit card numbers, order numbers, license keys, emails. I know you are trying to protect you revenue stream by cutting down piracy. But in this age with credit card companies and ISP's cutting eachothers throats, people switch on a more regular basis. Same thing for hardware. How many people got new systems over christmas. Quite a few had to reinstall your products which involved reactivating a key. What would happen if they installed the product a year ago and switched credit cards and emails? They would probably be frustrated as I was. Couldn't you guys have a username and password that would log us into our accounts with Flight1. I had something like 7 products I had bought from Flight 1 under 4 different emails accounts and who knows how many credit cards. It would save you time with less trouble tickets and save us time with them as well. Regarding the picture of your ticket system this is what I encountered when I clicked on the customer service link at Flight one http://www.flight1.com/view.asp?page=service I click on the links under the "Downloaded products using the Flight1.com Software Wrapper" The link I used since this is what I was trying to do is http://www.flight1.com/view.asp?page=wrapperservice Everything I did required the email adress that I did not have enymore. So then I go to this link you still have posted https://www.flight1.com/view.asp?page=changeinfo and my frustration increases when I see this "This page is no longer in service. Please use the Flight1.com Ticket Messaging System to service this request" So then I do that I'm not seeing the same screen you are posting. I had the link up but it showed the links to my trouble tickets that had my information in them.Thanks for listening and sorry to be so harsh.

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