About a week ago, Android anti-theft specialist, Cerberus, started notifying users who received a free lifetime license during a previous promotional period, that they would no longer be able to keep those free lifetime subscriptions. Last night, they must have unloaded a wave of additional notifications to free lifetime folks, because our inbox got filled up in the early evening with, “WTF, have you seen this from Cerberus? How can they do this?”
Well, the short answer is – they need money. The long answer is the email below.
The basics are this. Cerberus, probably in an attempt to make a name for itself and get you to install its anti-theft Android app during its early days, offered a whole bunch of free lifetime licenses to its premium set of services. Fast forward a couple of years, and they now realize that that was a terrible idea and that they need their userbase to actually pay them if they want to stay in business. So, they decided that they would end all of those free lifetime subscriptions after 3 years and ask that users pay them going forward.
See for yourself.
Is this a dirty move? I wouldn’t classify it as “dirty” as much as I would call it unfortunate, shortsighted, or “Holy shit, you need to fire anyone in charge of your business or finance departments.” I get that companies need to make money to provide their services, but not realizing that by offering up thousands and thousands of free “lifetime” licenses, that you would soon be struggling to fund your business is a pretty terrible misstep. How could you not see this happening?
So anyway, without taking too much time to vent about an anti-theft company and their struggles after making terrible business decisions to get a jump on competition, let’s talk about what happens now.
If you had a lifetime subscription that is no longer lifetime, Cerberus will send you an email telling you as much. That email will also tell you when your lifetime subscription ends and then try to explain to you how important their anti-theft features are to your life in hopes that you will then pay for a license. But not only that, they want you to know that if you don’t pay for a license today, be prepared (assuming you care and want to keep using their services) to pay even more in the future! Yep, if you don’t pay today, you will probably have to pay a monthly or subscription fee before long.
Is it off base for me to wonder how long before they apologize and start asking paid license users to pay a monthly subscription?