Changes to the Way We Take Payment for Toolset


April 4, 2018

Today we made a change to the way we take payment for Toolset. We’ve removed the option to buy new Lifetime accounts, and instead we’re offering automatic renewals.

Until now, we’ve offered two options to pay for Toolset: yearly accounts, which you need to remember to renew every year, and Lifetime accounts, which require no renewal.

As of today, purchase options will be simpler and (we hope) make more sense. Now, when you buy a Toolset account, the default option is to set up automatic renewals. This way, you get uninterrupted access to updates and renewals, you don’t need to remember to renew every year, and you’re not paying in advance for years to come.

Of course, we’re not forcing anyone. You can cancel your renewal at any time. If you cancel your account within 30 days, we’ll also refund your initial (first year’s) payment. We’ll continue to send reminder emails 30 days and 3 days before renewals kick in, so if you’re no longer using Toolset, you will have time to cancel the automatic renewal before you are charged.

Why the Move to Automatic Renewals?

We believe that automatic renewals benefit everyone—our clients and ourselves. For clients, it means that you’re not paying in advance. You’re only paying for what you actually use, when you use it. You don’t need to worry about being available right when our reminder email comes in to renew your account at a discounted price. It’s just more convenient.

For us, automatic renewals are important so we can predict our future income and plan how much we can invest in building a better Toolset. We’d love to have even more new clients, but we have to take care of our existing clients as well. By knowing who’s renewing, we can be better prepared for support and new development.

How Automatic Renewals Work

As of today, anyone who buys Toolset will see a summary of the current charge, as well as the future charges and their renewal schedule. Clients with existing accounts should log in to their Toolset accounts to see the notification about setting up automatic renewals.

If you already have a Lifetime account, you don’t need to do anything. We honor existing accounts, and you will continue receiving updates and support for life.

Once you have automatic renewal set up, you will receive reminders from us before we renew your account, and an invoice after the automatic renewal charge is made.

Using Toolset’s Affiliate System?

Our affiliate system remains unchanged. You will receive credit for clients that you refer to us. Please note that we can only pay an affiliate commission for the first payment, not for the entire series of renewals in following years.

What Do You Think?

Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions? Please leave your comments and we’ll get back to you.


Comments 79 Responses

  1. Hello,

    How this affects the people, like myself, that already have a lifetime license? Will i loose it?

    • Clients who already have a lifetime account don’t need to do anything. Your lifetime account continues to work normally, exactly like it was when you bought it. We accidentally sent the announcement email to all clients, instead of only to clients with yearly accounts. We’re sending an update email in the next few minutes.

      • Amir that’s what I was expecting from a great company like your’s, and email accidents happens to all.

        Expect me to get in touch sometime soon about on project that i’m finishing with both toolset and WPML. Its a good way to showcase the magnificent product that you made, and expect also to me to be joining the affiliate program.

        Thanks for all,

        Bruno Jacinto

    • Clients who already have a lifetime account don’t need to do anything. Your lifetime account continues to work normally, exactly like it was when you bought it. We accidentally sent the announcement email to all clients, instead of only to clients with yearly accounts. We’re sending an update email in the next few minutes.

  2. It’s not cool. I had taken for a year counting on taking a lifetime account and now it’s too late. It was good to note in the conditions when I took my account for a year that it was possible to update. In short, a change without warning. Too bad I drop Toolset.

    • You’re right about this and I do apologize. We want Toolset to be around for years to come and we want it to be the best it can be. For that, we realized that Lifetime accounts are toxic. In effect, Lifetime accounts are a mini pyramid scheme. You pay so that we can support clients who bought before you and you hope that more clients will come after you, so that we can support you.

      The minute we understood this, we decided that it’s not good for us and it’s not good for developers who rely on Toolset to build websites. So, we took a big step and changed it.

      Now, it’s our responsibility to show that we keep up to our word and we use the money from the yearly subscriptions to improve the product to its potential.

      • The change of policy regarding the change of accounts is scandalous. Less than a year ago when I took my account, it was noted that it was possible to spend in account for life when you wanted! From one day to the next it becomes impossible without having allowed a reaction time. You do not respect the commitments that were noted when taking the subscription. I took a year counting on taking the subscription for life because I’m freelancer and I work alone.

        The minimum would have been to warn and give the user time to register to be able to change their account to respect your past commitments.

      • Amir,

        You didn’t get the idea for what @pirardB mentioned.

        We all appreciate and value all of the changes your management made but unfortunately you didn’t provide a large number group, existing non-lifetime users a opportunity to make an informed decision. Making changes without notice will make your current customer feel isolated.

        Unfortunately, I am part of this group.

        Like your website mentioned before, we have up to a year to convert to Lifetime user but now we are thinking our $149 is wasted.

        We are NOT arguing about your company’s decision, and I do have some plugins I need to pay every year – like WPRocket. I was fully aware of the situation at the time I made my first payment for that plugin.

        • Yes, I understand this. We’re just arranging a quick-fix for this. Obviously, we didn’t communicate this correctly. We were so busy between ourselves on the development work and we didn’t bother (in a very wrong way) to give updates to clients.

          – We’ll offer manual partial refunds to clients who received an email from us to update Toolset in the last 30 days. The partial refund will be for the difference between the original yearly renewal to the current yearly renewal.
          – We’ll offer FULL refunds to clients who bought yearly accounts, didn’t really use them until now and tell us that they were planning to upgrade to a Lifetime account. We’ll check that according to registered sites and support.

          Technically, we completely closed the Lifetime accounts system so we cannot add more clients to it. What we can do is refund clients who feel that Toolset has no more value for them. Normally, we offer refunds up to 30 days from the purchase order, but we’ll extend this now to a full year back. I know it’s not perfect, but that’s what we can do right now without any delay.

          Does this help?

          • Thanks Amir for your prompt reply and I do appreciate your offer.

            However, as I can see from the cached page. The original renewal costs only half (50% off or $74.5/year) of the yearly price and the new price (25% off or $111.75/year) is still considered as a huge jump.

            Like I said, I don’t mind the ongoing payment but I don’t like the idea that we are being treated just like another new user!

            If it is possible for your team, please work out some loyalty plans as an alternative solution for old users on yearly plans.

            PS: I do love my current WPRocket plugins and my WPMU membership –
            they do have promotions for current users.

          • I was ready to pay the difference this year to spend Lifetime account. If you remember what was written on your site when taking my account, I would pay the difference. I do not have a production site with Toolset yet. I started to learn it (so I did not follow the news of the blog). As I do not think to use Toolest on a large amount of site, I find the price too important.
            In short, where I spend Lifetime account as it was planned or I would take the total refund of the product (as I have no site in production I can close the account). I do not like this kind of behavior at all, I really feel like I’ve been cheated.

            How should we contact you to make these changes?

    • Clients who already have a lifetime account don’t need to do anything. Your lifetime account continues to work normally, exactly like it was when you bought it. We accidentally sent the announcement email to all clients, instead of only to clients with yearly accounts. We’re sending an update email in the next few minutes.

    • Your lifetime account continues working normally. We sent you the email about this change by mistake and we’re sending update emails very shortly.

  3. I have an agency account – the 25% discount setting up automatic renewals is nice! I didn’t see that until I went into my account. You should emphasize that 🙂

    • Thanks for the heads up. After today’s major update, we’ll need to do a number of tweaks in our account system and we’ll include this too.

  4. Hola,

    No me parece bien que hayáis eliminado la opción de suscripción “lifetime”. Al menos tendrían que haber avisado antes o con más tiempo a todos los clientes para ofrecer la posibilidad de comprar la suscripción para toda la vida en vez de pagar todos los años una cuota.

    Así lo hice con el plugin WPML y así quería hacerlo con Toolset pero ¡ya no es posible!

    De esta manera, si continúo pagando la cuota durante, por ejemplo 6 ó 7 años, no sería tan rentable ni económico para mi, aunque hagáis un descuento.

    Personalmente prefería la suscripción para toda la vida…

    Gracias y un saludo,

    • Now I have a big problem and I think it is your responsibility. If now I do not want to continue paying an annual fee as you want now with your new payment policy, what happens with the websites of my clients that have been created using Toolset?

      Is it possible to transfer the license and that each owner pay his own fee?

      My opinion is that you have rushed to make this decision without consulting with the current clients! It seems very unfair!

      Thanks again and best regards.

        • Thank you very much for your prompt response.

          I still have to check with my client to see if he agrees to pay an annual license. In any case we will keep in touch.

          Best regards and thanks again!

  5. What about people like me who subscribe to Views only and not the whole Toolset package? Will you continue to support subscriptions by piece? $111 per year is an awful lot more than the $39 I’ve been paying, and I don’t need all of Toolset for my workflow.

    • We’ll give you a refund for the difference between the original renewal price that you had and the new one, but we can only give it for this year’s renewal. I know that it’s not ideal, but that’s the best that we can do.

  6. The Toolset blog has mentioned this change for some time. Anyone who is an active account holder should have been aware. ALL companies are going to this type of payment system. No surprise folks!

    • Thanks for your support. We’re doing this change for both Toolset and for WPML. For WPML, we’ll be a lot more careful and write both a blog post and an email newsletter way ahead of time.

      • The bad news for my situation is… I own a lifetime account with WPML and they are a lot cheaper than this Toolset even for now.

        Now you’ve learnt the lesson from us…but the damage has been done.

        To be honest, I am not surprised there will be a number of angry customers around.

        Like you said we can get a full refund as a special ‘deal’ but if you put yourself in this position, would this be fair? A refund cannot simply fix the problem. I am now feeling I even lost the trust for the other product…

        I am paying $199 (WPMUDEV) + ~$99 (WPRocket) every year… Again this is not just about the amount we have paid or we about to pay – your decision without prior notice makes me feel frustrated, hopefully not just for myself.

    • I do not agree with your analysis. Okay, a lot of companies are going there.
      But when you commit to a contract with terms, the terms must be respected and they are for life accounts but not for accounts that could be upgraded.
      It is precisely because I do not use (or not yet) Toolset in production that I will not read the blog.
      Explain to me now why this day I receive a newsletter informing me that it is no longer possible to change the type of account? Why instead of the blog is not it done directly by newsletter?
      What I find unfair is that if in the future I want to do two sites with Toolset (as a Freelancer) I will pay the same price as an agency that may have 50. In this case would not it not more normal to have a price according to the number of site on which the product is to use?
      You may already be in account for life and it is easy to make such remarks when you have not been cheated.

  7. The Toolset blog has mentioned this change for some time. Anyone who is an active account holder should have been aware. ALL companies are going to this type of payment system. No surprise folks!

  8. I have a “Lifetime No expiry” account. However, I am seeing the message;

    You must have a valid subscription in order to get upgrades or support for this plugin. Purchase a subscription or enter an existing site key.

    • Lifetime account holders don’t need to pay anything extra in order to get updates and support. You shouldn’t have to set-up any automatic renewals. I just checked and your account looks correct (it shows that you have a Lifetime account). We’ll check why you’re seeing a message to set-up renewals. Please ignore that message because it shouldn’t be there for you.

  9. Thank you for your great work.
    Frankly, I’m amazed toolset doesn’t cost significantly more given their amazing support and great product!

    • Thanks for your support. It’s very nice to read this today 🙂

      If you’re following our blog, you probably know that we’re very close to releasing a major update for Toolset. I hope that you’ll enjoy this update and the new features it brings.

  10. There really should have been a formal announcement of this change with a short period to allow existing customers to upgrade to lifetime licenses. Like many others I’m sure, I purchased Toolset because of the promise that I had an upgrade path to a lifetime license. I first bought the basic license, then upgraded to the Agency license and planned on upgrading to the lifetime license later this year as the number of sites I create grows.

    Not only have you taken away the promised lifetime option, you’ve also increased the price of the Agency license renewal fee. This leaves existing customers who thought they could upgrade to a lifetime license trapped in an even more expensive ever-renewing fee structure. And I do mean trapped… If your customers have already launched sites using Toolset like I have (1 launched, 2 more shortly) they can’t just take those sites down or throw away work they’ve done on upcoming sites because they don’t like the new fee structure. We are now forced into paying forever more to maintain existing projects when we were promised an upgrade path to a lifetime license.

    To be clear, I have no problem with you wanting to eliminate your lifetime license. But it should have been done in a manner that respects your existing customer base. You could have removed the lifetime license option immediately for all NEW customers while giving your existing customers at least a 60-90 day window to upgrade to a lifetime license. That’s how you change a pricing structure without making your existing customers feel as though they’ve just been turned into cash cows.

    And it takes nerve to change the pricing structure like this BEFORE you’ve even released the production ready post-relationship/repeating field group+CRED update that many have been waiting for for almost an entire year!

    We’ve been told that update is coming “next week” for months and months now, but when it comes to locking your customers into higher fees and taking away a promised upgrade path to a lifetime license… well, you wasted no time there.

    • You’re right in this and we’re definitely learning from this experience. We’re planning to make a similar change for WPML and we’ll handle communication a lot differently.

      Like I wrote in another comment, we’ll offer refunds for the difference between what you expected to pay and the new pricing. For people who now became completely dissatisfied with Toolset, we’ll offer full refunds even if they bought a while back.

      As a client, I wouldn’t want to have the terms changed without notifying me. We did write about this change in our blog (twice), but we didn’t send an explicit and detailed email about it. That’s our mistake. We’ll avoid it in the future and we’re taking responsibility if this deeply disappoints anyone. As we’ve already rolled out this change, the best that we can do now is offer to return the payment for clients who feel that they’ve made a bad deal with Toolset.

      So, if you bought Toolset with the expectations to have something, you’ve been waiting for it, haven’t really used Toolset until now and you’re very unhappy with us, please tell us and we’ll refund your order. Our miscommunication is not your fault and you shouldn’t be the one to pay for it.

  11. Change can be tough. Reading over these comments shows me just how gracious and dependable your support staff is.

    I can’t wait for the updated versions! It’s obvious how hard you all work, and I’m excited to see what’s coming. Thanks for everything you do.

  12. sorry man to say that u change the system for ur benefits , and im really disappointed as we r old customers and we accepted the membership as we have the option to upgrade to lifetime , this option should for the new customer as an appreciating for the loyal customers , and u r struggling and we r struggling too , sorry man for the tough word but im really disappointed , u have to give us a notice before u change and give us at least time to upgrade if we want , like professional companies as we trusted u , not to change every thing and say here we r accept or refuse , is it how treat ur loyal customers thnx i wish u all the best

    • You’re correct. Our communication here wasn’t right. We now understand the problem that this has caused and we’re taking responsibility for it. We hope that you still find Toolset valuable for you. You probably know that we’re spending a huge amount of work into its development and we’re very close to finally releasing a major version with many great new features.

      If you’re not happy with Toolset or with us, we’ll refund your order. As we changed the rules, we’re offering refunds also for accounts that were bought earlier than 30 days ago (our normal refunds policy). If you don’t want to continue with Toolset, please contact our accounts admin here:

      Explain the situation, give us your PayPal email and we’ll manually refund your order.

    • just for all people with the life time member dont be selfish and put ur self in my place ,would u accept it that u come like that and change the rules and the agreement we had like that , would u trust this company , they try to force u to change the agreements , if the company did that but believe me that kind of a company will play around to get rid of u as well , even if u r so nice , we were so nice by appreciating them by buying their products and now this is what we got

  13. I bought the lifetime deal late last year when I heard the lifetime deal was going away, and boy am I glad I did. Toolset is an amazing product and well worth every cent, it’s enabled me to do things that I was not able to do before.

    Having said that, I think removing the lifetime option is a good move as it’s unsustainable. This move will likely contribute to a stronger company, better service and ultimately benefit us the clients in the long term, as Toolset will actually be around for us to use. 🙂

    Thanks to Amir and Toolset for a brilliant product, I’m very happy to be a part of the family.

    • Thank you for your support. It’s very nice to read it. Like we wrote recently, we’re very close to releasing major updates for Toolset, which I hope you’ll like. There are two major things coming:

      1. The complete post-relationship package (including many-to-many, repeating field groups, and lots more)
      2. Full Gutenberg integration with blocks for everything that Toolset does (Views, forms, fields)

  14. I’m actually indifferent about this. I knew about the change for over a week and chose not to get the lifetime. I hope that Toolset turns it up a few notches concerning communication and learns that videos are important. Elementor is killing it because they are unrelenting in making their product better and they have amazing communication skills. Newbies think they can actually use Elementor. Toolset is deep and needs simple videos that are easy to understand and holds the hands of users. What you have, people want. You just haven’t reached them. I have been an old subscriber and a new subscriber for years and someone who wants to engage. This is not a knock on your staff. They are helpful and pleasant. So I hope you accept the challenge that is before you. Modernize.

    I am more than willing to pay a yearly. A thriving business should have no problem with that. I’m just worried you missed your window now that page builders are getting into their next phase. I will re-engage with my 1-site licence when the support for Elementor comes out.

    IMO, the right move is to give your existing clients a 3 day window to get the lifetime. Why? Because you only gave notice on your blog and not a formal notice via email. For those of you concerned with costs, PayPal Credit (6 months to pay) is helpful. My decision would still be the same. Like I said, I will pay yearly for awesome.

    Good luck!!

    • We’re making good progress towards better integration with page builders. Right now we are working on complete integration between Toolset and Gutenberg (the page builder that will ship with WordPress 5.0 soon). As part of this work, we’re creating a simple API that will allow to create blocks for Toolset’s fields for any page builder. We will use this API for Gutenberg, Layouts, Divi, Beaver Builder and Elementor. The integration with Gutenberg will be ready in less than 2 months. By that time, we’ll have same integrations with all page builders who will be kind enough to cooperate with us. We already got the OK from Divi. I hope that the authors of BB and Elementor will also make this possible. From our side, we’ll be ready.

      • Amir, has there been any positive response from the folks at ThemeCo re: integration with X and Pro?

  15. Sad to read that the lifetime-plan has been cancelled. As I have been recently trying to dig more into Toolset, I definitely thought about the lifetime-plan as an option for me. When there are more and more companies only offering a subscription, it iswas nice to have tools that you cancould actually buy.

    One could say that the yearly cost is not that much, but it all sums up.

  16. Amir, I’m sorry that I didn’t know about this earlier as I was about to buy the lifetime license. I think you should allow a 30 day amnesty period for those of us who want to but the lifetime license and continue to be committed users of your great products.

    • I cannot agree more but it seems they would rather let us go other than let us paying the difference for a lifetime plan.

      In my opinion, the blog would not be considered as official channel for such important notice – sending an email before the actions wouldn’t cost that much and you will earn loyalty from your old customers.

      Sadly, this will be a typical example for mis-communication for my ICT class.

      • I agree. We’re not proud of how we communicated this and we’re learning for the upcoming similar change for WPML.

        • amir if u admit it , just sorry is not acceptable , if u make a mistake u pay for it not us sir

    • I was ready to buy the lifetime license too, didn’t expect this at all. I was even told by support staff saying this “I don’t know yet when exactly it will happen and how it will work but before we do so, we will announce it on our blog”.

      I was under the impression that they would announce it before they did so as promised. Pretty disappointed by trusting the word of their support staff.

  17. There might be an error in your system caused by this change. I have a lifetime license and now, all of a sudden, all of my Toolset plugins are shown on the plugins page with the message “You must have a valid subscription in order to get upgrades or support for this plugin. Purchase a subscription or enter an existing site key.” Maybe double check to see if these recent changes to your system are what’s causing this.

    • Yes, that’s a display glitch that happened with the accounts-system change. It’s only a display problem. Your site is actually getting the updates. We just pushed an update for Types that resolves it. Sorry about this false alarm.

  18. Following the great progress Toolset and WPML made in the past, combined with an outstanding support this change to a subscription only model is fully understandable. Without a sustainable revenue stream this would be impossible as the Toolset Team does a great job in maintaining and developing the product further.

    Maybe communication about this switch could have been a bit better, but as Amir mentioned, they learned from it 🙂

    What I don’t understand are the unhappy voices about the pricing. If you break them down to a monthly cost, it’s a very competitive price for what you get. How many developers and supporters could one hire for this money? And for sure it is a cost that can be passed on to a happy customer.

    So looking forward for the next release of this invaluable tool.

  19. The worst thing is that Toolset has communicated the change as a benefit for the clients too when it is obvious that the only thing they want is more money. And what about all of us who have made websites with their plugins under the promise of being able to have them permanently? Maybe if we knew we would have chosen another option. Making the change without notifying the former clients seems dishonest. I feel cheated. Especially when I have a Toolset mail from two weeks ago telling me that I could renew with a 50% discount and just today that I was going to renew I see that is a lie. Personally onTheGoSystems was undoubtedly one of my favorite companies and whenever I could I recommended it and now I do not even know whether to renew my account independently of the security problems that this may entail to my website. I think you are in your right to want to earn more money and change the way your future customers get your products. They could have decided if it was something they wanted. But doing it through people who have trusted you and through lies seems to me creepy and I do not think the behavior of a great company. It’s the problem when the only thing that matters is the money and not the customers. Good luck!!!

      • Good catch JavierF3014…

        Person A: this is my fault. I will fix it next time. Lesson learnt.
        Person B: How?
        Person A: don’t worry, next time…

        If I put every piece together, I can draw a simple and easy conclusion…
        It is NOT really a mis-communication or a mistake…

        PS: I just come back from time to time and do the modelling for the whole incident… LOL

  20. I thought I was interested in Toolset, then ended up only using wp-types for CTP’s… and now I’d have to pay full price just for tat functionality.. well I need to find a way to convert my CPT’s to something like Custom Post Type UI.


    A little less then a year ago (in June) got an agency subscription thinking I might upgrade to lifetime within the year (did not have the money then.. and it said upgrade was possible..).. but as I said I realized I never really looked into the toolset (Documentation was mind-boggling and I never really even understood how I would benefit from this suite nor had the time to really put effort into working with it).

    Am out of here I guess. Who knows maybe next year the yearly agency price will be 200.. 300.. you never know ;0)

  21. I’m more than a little fed-up to discover this change had been made without warning. I only came to check because I received an email this morning that your company is intending to do the same with WPML.

    I appreciate your motivation in making the change but many of your existing customers (like me) initially bought a subscription membership to try out the product with the intention of moving to lifetime membership if it proved itself, since there was no other way of evaluating your software.

    You might have given us notification with a chance to upgrade for a period of time before closing the opportunity. Your company has just done that with WPML so you obviously learnt something from the blow-back on this.

    If you had done that, you would have retained the goodwill of your customer base. Now you’ve created a certain distrust and suspicion that you’ll change the rules of engagement again at some later time without notice. Unless you take better corrective action than offering people their money back, that suspicion will linger.

    For you to say that you’ve “Technically, we completely closed the Lifetime accounts system so we cannot add more clients to it” is rubbish. All of us in IT know that you can do anything with computers, especially in a company full of experts as yours, and re-opening the opportunity for a few weeks should be a simple matter, even if you have to handle applications manually.

    A better response would be to make an accommodation for your existing customers who might have had an initial expectation and wish for a lifetime subscription.

    • Good response Michael,

      I am just wondering HOW HARD to re-open the lifetime accounts system? They are just a table in the database and I haven’t heard of anything on the earth that a database cannot be reopened, expect intentionally doing it.

      I would believe it is just a matter of what the deal OnTheGo really want to do.

      This is not just a goodwill or gesture but to maintain a reputation among all other ‘old’ users.

  22. Two weeks ago I made a budget for a client of mine. In the budget I promised to sell you a Toolset Lifetime license for $ 400. Now the client has approved my budget but I see that the payment plans have changed.
    This is a bad notice for me I feel frustrated
    ¿Have not you left a time to acquire a lifetime license for cases of commitment to the end customer? My client is going to decline 🙁 I am going to lose a project because of you do not notify with time.

  23. I am in the same position as many here. I was planning on upgrading to Lifetime after using the plugins for a few months because multiple Toolset pre-sales reps told me that would be possible.

    As I have read these blog responses from OnTheGo’s team, it seems your company is essentially saying: “We are no longer offering or honoring what we sold (allowing existing yearly customers to upgrade to lifetime). We admit we are wrong and handled this poorly, but we don’t care and are actively choosing to not make it right. We are saying “lifetime accounts are closed”… and we could easily resolve this because we are a software company AND have operated this way since the beginning of our company, but we don’t want to, which is in our power… and based on our decisions + actions, we don’t really care what you think. If you don’t like it, you can stop using our software and we will refund you.”

    Admitting your mistake and being “sorry” without making it right is not actually being sorry about anything. It is insincere.

    If my understanding is wrong, please correct me. I really want to be wrong.

    This response is uncharacteristic of your company. Your company, products, and support are typically incredible! You have been a shining example of an awesome software company with your product and wonderful service.

    In addition to your integrity… It is best practice to let customers know of this beforehand so they can make an informed decision. This is especially true for your software, which serves as the core framework for people’s websites + business.

    Also, regarding your new pricing increases renewal rates on existing customers. Separately, it is also common practice after a pricing change to grandfather prior customers. You made an agreement with customers when they signed up (renewal @ 50% instead of 25%).

    I’m so disappointed 🙁

  24. Hi Folks,
    I read a few days ago the update about discontinuing the lifetime licenses to Toolset. As with many of your other users, I am disappointed by this as I purchased the current license with the understanding that I could upgrade to a year long renewal. Now my license is expiring and I am left in a lurch.

    I have not used the license to any real extent since I purchased the license a year ago, but felt okay about that because I could upgrade to a lifetime license. I would like, as others have indicated, either the opportunity to purchase the lifetime license or a refund for the license I purchased this past year.

    I think you guys are making a wise decision by discontinuing the lifetime license and that recurring costs make sense for sustainable business. It just isn’t fair to those of us who signed up under the lifetime license understanding.


    PS I tried submitting this via the contact form, but something is broken wtih the recaptcha currently so I was unable to submit.

    • There is a comment Amir posted on wpml blog…

      Amir says:
      April 10, 2018 at 2:30 pm
      It’s not “impossible”, but it’s a lot more hassle than it appears. We already took out the old WooCommerce products that led to the Lifetime purchases. Adding them now would actually be a lot of headache and would likely lead to glitches in the system. Sure, we can resolve these glitches, but it’s not one click on one button.

      To work around this, we offered Toolset clients compensation for the sudden change. Mercedes (our admin) is sending partial refunds for the difference between the old renewal rates and the new ones for clients who needed to update recently. Going forward, Toolset is a huge project with a lot of development and support. Typically, Toolset requires significantly more support than WPML. This is due to the nature and the flexible usage of the plugins. So, we really think that yearly subscriptions for Toolset support are essential to keep the plugins healthy.

      For Toolset, absolutely every Lifetime account that we sold needs to be supported by NEW clients. You can see how problematic this can be, right? You probably would not want to own a Lifetime account to a product which goes out of business, or that starts getting neglected.

      • “More hassle than it appears” … A couple things on that: (1) extra work would be justified to honor customers and promises, (2) There are likely creative + manual ways that it could be handled if the company wanted to, The company could create a one-off form for existing customers to pay the difference to upgrade, then manually update accounts. (3) Many good and challenging things in business are hassles. This is only a hassle because the company doesn’t want to do it haha… otherwise, it would be a great opportunity to be awesome to customers.

        “… needs to be supported by NEW clients. ” … I understand what’s being said, but that is separate from the company not honoring commitments! This pricing model has been the foundation of the company since the beginning, so it is unlikely that honoring commitments to existing customers would break the company. Not all customers are lifetime customers. No NEW customers will be lifetime customers.

        If the company is in danger of going out of business to the point that honoring promises does not matter and an influx of cash from upgrades would be irrelevant… that would be great to know! In this case, lifetime vs. annual probably wouldn’t matter anyway.

        Again… if the company cared and wanted to, it would figure out how to make it happen.

        Quite frankly, I would appreciate an honest statement “We made this change… and we handled or poorly (or maybe even purposefully planned it this way because we didn’t want customers to upgrade). Ultimately we don’t care what existing customers think. We are OK with not honoring out previous promises. We know we are sacrificing customer goodwill and screwing them over a little, but we have decided that is an acceptable risk because we know we have a great product and don’t think many (or enough) customers will leave. The reality isn’t that much competition and changing solutions is a pain. We could make it right, but don’t want to. We aren’t sorry… this is just how it goes sometimes in capitalism. We are willing to take these risks, offer empty apologies and explain it away until the noise dies down, which will happen in the next couple weeks.”

        I really do like your product and have always thought your company was truly incredible.

  25. Such a disappointment. I was getting ready to buy lifetime and I went back on the site. The whole thing changed without warning 🙁

  26. I have lost all of the respect for this company.
    I own the other WPML permanent license but I am avoiding using them in my future products.
    They did this intentionally rather than a ‘honest’ mistake.
    There are so many options in WordPress… I think this management is heading the wrong way – the way they treat their customers.

    Luckily this is the last post from me. Moving forward, I will obtain a full refund and go somewhere else…

  27. I am so puzzled by all the fawning admission of “we handled this wrongly”… yet,you won’t do anything to resolve it.

    For WPML, you handled it correctly “You can upgrade your current accounts to Lifetime now and lock-in future updates and support. You probably know that we’ll prefer to have more clients with yearly accounts than Lifetime clients, but it’s your right.”

    It just makes no sense that you won’t do the same for your Toolset customers. It seems if you really cared you would figure it out. Your team has figured out much more complex problems with your awesome software.

      • I stand by what I said. The explanations feel empty. If you really cared, you would do something about it. You have simultaneously taken away something you promised customer and broken your licensing agreement by increasing renewal fee from 50% to 25%. Of course, no one reads licensing agreements, but does your agreement allow you to increase fees randomly? That is essentially bait-and-switch. Even if it does, it is a crappy and dishonorable customer experience. You should honor the pricing structure you agreed to with customers (50% off renewal).

        Simply stated, if your company really cared, you would honor your customers with actions, not justify and explain with petty words. The company will do what I said… make empty apologies until the discouraged and disappointed customers fade away.