I’ve been purchasing software from Handango for about 5 years now. I’ve got purchases that go back to May of 2002. I’ve got 8163 Reward Points saved. I WAS trying to save enough points for the $200 Handango Gift Certificate (you need 20,000 points) but I think I’m going to cut my losses, cash out my points and stop buying software from them. I tried to download a title that I purchased in November and was told that if I wanted to redownload it, it would cost me $6.99US.
Back home, we call that extortion.
For years, Handango has been offering “Download Protection.” For about $5 bucks per product, you can come back at any time and redownload your purchases. Until recently, they haven’t been enforcing that. However, I recently had to rebuild my computer and lost ALL of the software purchases that I had been maintaining since 2002 (I’m a bit of a pack rat. I save all of my downloads, so I never saw fit to purchase their Download Protection.) However, I recently lost everything and had to hard reset my iPAQ 6945 due to some configuration and sync issues. I found myself without my new copy of Microsoft Voice Command 1.6, so back to Handango I went to redownload my software.
Usually, Handango puts a time limit on downloads, but makes you reenter the CC# you used to purchase the software with if the download has “expired.” I found out tonight, they are enforcing the implementation of their “Download Protection.” I am a Handango Development Partner. I’ve got about 5 products that I, at one time, was receiving royalty payments of $100-$150 per month. Not so much anymore… My point in sharing this information with you is this: I KNOW what Handango takes from every software sale. They can take as much as 50% from the purchase of each and every copy of a product sold. My products sell for $3.99 to $4.99. From that, Handango takes either $1.60 or $2.00 depending on the product sold. Meaning I pocket either $2.39 or $2.99 depending on the title that sells. And all they did was host the file and display it in their catalog. Not a bad gig if you can get it.
When you purchase a product, Handango allows you to download it at time of purchase, or as many times as needed (I think…) for 30 days after purchase. After that, if you want to download your purchased title again, you have to purchase Download Protection for $4.99 PER PRODUCT. If, like me, you don’t purchase Download Protection at time of purchase, and you want to redownload a file you’ve purchased after your 30 day grace period has expired, Handango will no longer allow you to do it…unless you purchase Download Protection for $6.99 (or $2.00 more that what they would have charged you at purchase).
That SUCKS! And personally, I think Handango sucks for implementing that policy. I don’t think I should have to pay ANY kind of fee to redownload software I’ve already purchased. Had the title been from any other vendor other than MS, I would simply have contacted the author, forwarded my Handango Order Number and requested a new registered copy (VC doesn’t use a registration code. If it did, I would have simply downloaded the trial and reactivated it with a reg code.) I know they are NOT sharing the extra $5 to $7 with their Development Partners. Those are margin dollars that fall directly to THEIR bottom line…not mine as one of their partners; and I think that’s wrong. I purchased the product. I can prove that I purchased the product. I should be able to reacquire it as often as I need FREE of charge.
I honestly don’t know if that practice is entirely legal and above board, especially since they charge an extra $200US if you need to purchase the SAME Download Protection product after your grace period expires. I am going to be contacting the Better Business Bureau and will be filing a formal complaint. I am also going to be asking any and all Mobile Device sites to link to this article and to comment on it in the Comments Section below.
Personally, I’m done with Handango. I’m going to cash in my points, get my gift code, spend it all, save the downloads and the registration codes; and then never buy from them again. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me.
Shame on you Handango. You’re biting the hands that feed you…and have really done your loyal customers a disservice.
My compaint with the BBB has tracking # 91251-53D6F-84459-DA1B2-3A25F-7EDD0-3B.