I wrote Steinberg to get a refund

I am so frustrated and so disappointed that after expending the whole day yesterday trying to figure it out how to do simple things with no user manual at all–just a few very short videos on YouTube-- and just little by little learning what we know by now about Dorico, that it should have not being release yet, that I wrote to Steinberg to return the software.


I am so sorry I have to write this letter to Steinberg, such a great company for us musicians.

I have followed the Dorico’s Blog and new that it will be some features, some very important features missing, like chord symbols, TAB, etc. But that is no problem at all, a series of upgrades were promised to get those features implemented. What I did not know is that the program is not finish at all, it is a beta at the most, it doesn’t even have an User Manual, just a little bit of information on a web page that does not cover at all most of the features of Dorico (try searching where to adjust a Page Margin). The program crashes, is very sluggish, and is missing tons of simple and basic features like transposing to any interval, or a simple "Select All” from the Edit Menu. The list is so large, just go to Dorico’s Forum and you will see many people feeling very dissapointed with its performance and state of development. It should have not been release and billed as THE NEW GOLD STANDARD IN SCORING SOFTWARE.

Please, let me know what I need to do to return this software to you, I would like to return the software and it’s license, and get a refund.

Carlos Bermudo

Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water, as memaw used to say. All you need to do is spend a few years with some other notation software, to know where this project is going. Commit a few hours a day to Dorico, use the templates and the tutorials, and it will start to flow…


Ok, this is what they responded:

Response Via Email (CS - Andrew) 21/10/2016 01.23 AM
Dear Carlos,

Thank you for contacting asknet Customer Service.

If the activation code for this program has already been used, we will not be able to process a refund for the purchase. Please verify that you have not yet used the activation code, then we will forward your inquiry to Steinberg support so that they can deactivate the activation code.

Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us by replying to this email.

Kind regards,

asknet Customer Service

This is in accordance with the Steinberg licensing terms and conditions (which you accepted when you installed the product).


It is also standard practice for all software sales by any company: “all sales are final”.

Just be patient, I’m sure that in due course a user manual will be published. In the meantime, there are various useful Youtube video tutorials.


This is a tricky one …

I’m not a legal practitioner, so this should in no way to be construed as legal advice, however, you do have inalienable consumer rights.
Companies cannot simply waive their legal consumer obligations with statements like “all sales are final”, or “no returns”, and “you accepted the EULA therefore you can’t return the goods”. That’s nonsense and has been thrown out in courts, worldwide, many times (including from companies like Apple). If the goods aren’t fit for purpose, or are significantly not as described, then you have legal grounds for a refund. Simple! In practice, getting that refund is perhaps not so simple … especially across borders.
One way of approaching the problem is to go through your payment system - you paid by either PayPal and/or with a credit card. If all else fails, these payment systems invariably provide some buyer protection policies, however some exclude software purchases. As I said, it’s a tricky one … and can also be subject to local law.

You can tell a lot about a company by their return/refund policies - most companies want you to be happy with your purchase. And, if you’re not, they’ll give you your money back - it builds brand credibility and consumer confidence. Companies like Apple and Microsoft (and many far, far smaller ones as well) will give you your money back if you’re not happy with your purchase - even if it’s an ESD (electronic software download) product. It’s one of the things that makes their brands so strong. As part of the refund terms, you’ll have to delete everything associated with the download and sign an “electronic letter of destruction”, but you’ll eventually get a refund - I know first hand about that! :wink: But the big question is, is Steinberg really that concerned about the integrity of their brand and customer satisfaction?

I’m not a lawyer either, but it gets a bit complicated with software, because you haven’t actually bought anything, except a license to use the software.

The “returns” policy on software at most retail stores in the UK is even more strict: if you break the seal on the packaging, you don’t get a refund - even if you never installed the product at all! The store can’t re-sell the returned package without the risk of being accused of selling pirated software, since it has no way to know whether you (or several of your friends) did install it before returning it.

It seems to me that at best you have an activation code that Steinberg can revoke at will. Therefore they can in effect rescind your useage of the software, and in fact revoke your license. That seems to me grounds to allow a “return” of a digital product.

Another thought, if you don’t want to get crazy hassling this with Steinberg if they won’t help, maybe you can resell it to someone here on the board who hasn’t bought yet, who wants in? Maybe a small discount. You’d have to verify with Steinberg that you can transfer the license.

Good luck to you.


There is no problem for Steinberg to deactivate a license.
VSL did it. They ask me to remove the license from the dongle
VSL is using Steinberg dongle !
You need to fight !
I was very interested of Dorico ! but I will not buy it because :

  • They do not propose an upgrade path when you have Notion SLE
  • There only on license per user
  • It’s too early to buy it as a lot is missing

If they want I can Beta test it, I have been beta testing a lot of software !

I’m so angry… I also asked for a refund and was refused by Steinberg.
I think this is outrageous considering dorico is not working properly. I ask from the team: please take care of the issue and make sure that people will get refunded. I know for me - this is the only chance I will ever consider working with steinberg. I will not work with a company that treats it’s cosumers in this way.

What scares me a bit is that no one from Steinberg chimed into this thread.

Please give us a chance. There are an enormous number of threads on this forum, and speaking for myself I am currently sitting in an airport in Vienna waiting to fly back to London. I will take this issue up to our management and I will report back as soon as we have had a chance to discuss.

Thank you Daniel.
I just got again an insulting reply from steinberg:

"as I mentioned in my previous mail, the license has been already
activated. According to the EULA, activating the license starts the
license contract, for which a refund is no longer applicable.
Since the Dorico development started, everyone had the possibility to
follow the status of the application development. The development team has
been very transparent regarding the features and to-do list for the Dorico
future implementation. An initial version cannot be compared to an already
through decades fully equipped scoring application.

I cannot make an exception, as this would break a rule that applies to
every other customer with the same request.

Said that, I am proceeding to archive this inquiry. I am sorry but this is
a final statement from my side."

There was no understanding of my claims because I never talked about the missing features but only about the crashes and slow performance. I really think this is not acceptible. If steinberg will continue this way they will lose many of their costumers.

I don’t feel the response to you from my colleague is at all insulting, but I’m sorry that you are not satisfied with Dorico’s performance yet. We are working hard on an update that will address a number of performance issues, and that update will be available within a few weeks. I ask you again whether you would consider giving Dorico a second chance and allow us to continue to improve the software.

That said, we are discussing this issue internally and we will come back as soon as we can. Hopefully you can understand that simply allowing refunds for anybody who asks for them leaves the door open for unscrupulous individuals to continue using the software even after they have supposedly returned it, but I am not in any way suggesting that you are an unscrupulous individual who wants to continue using Dorico in its current state.

I think that finishing the mail with “Said that, I am proceeding to archive this inquiry. I am sorry but this is
a final statement from my side” is not a very pleasant reply. I’ve never gotten such an answer from a company of this size and reputation.

I will try to keep using it a little bit meanwhile because it seems I have option to get a refund. I will update you with the crash logs when it happens agian.

And… crashed.
The pic won’t help probably but I uploaded it anyways. The curser is not shown but it’s stuck on the “thinking” spinning colourful wheel and I can’t do anything in Doric (was like that for a couple of minutes until I force quitted).

This is what happens every time. I was just entering a note this time.
Screen Shot 2016-10-22 at 7.03.42 PM.jpg

You don’t have a right to refund for a slow software, but you can insist if software is useless or does not work as supposed to do. Bluescreen is an example/evidence for software not doing what it should do. The programmers have one try or two tries to fix the problem, but if they fail you can insist getting a refund. (Recht auf Nachbesserung/Recht auf Wandlung)

But as I see the problems with Dorico, I don’t buy a beta-software. I would for a 50% discount, but the current price is much too expensive for a beta-software in my opinion. (I own the included VSTi already and won’t pay them twice.)

That’s definitely very unusual, and of course not what we would expect the program to do. Could you zip up the contents of the Dorico folder in ~/Library/Application Support/Steinberg and attach it here or send it in a PM?

I sent it by PM. Did you get it>?

Yes, but please give me a chance to look at it. It’s Sunday, my children need their lunch, and I am supposed to be spending some time with my family as well as working on Dorico day and night.

Of course :slight_smile:
Just wanted to make sure you got the message.
Have a nice time meanwhile!