Upgrade to Elements

It took a support call to resolve a problem that should not have been an issue and was a simple activation.

First, the reason for the upgrade, and the results of my purchase and support received. When I opened Cubase LE an ad screen reminded me that I should purchase an upgrade to Elements. I received Cubase through the purchase of a Yamaha MG10XU mixer and finally decided to pay the extra $50.00 dollars to get rid of the annoyance and to get the full version of Cubase, it reminded me of Shareware. After the purchased of the software upgrade I was given a URL to download it with two URL’s listed one for Mac and one for PC.
The download took an extreme amount of time, it timed out several times, and then would not unzip because of file corruption. I have a 50 Mbps connection and could not understand the problem because the download and install of Cubase LE went flawlessly. After several attempts, I was able to run the installer and I received a message that I already had Elements installed. Dumbfounded I started searching for an answer in the support FAQ’s, support pages, and forums with no answers to my search criteria of a message that Elements was already installed. I know at this point something is wrong and filed a support ticket.
After several missed calls, I called the number on my caller ID and was told that number was the wrong number and was told to check my e-mail. After sending emails back and forth and missing phone calls again, I sent another email that stated, I was waiting by my phone and never took my eye’s off the phone, no trips to the bathroom, no showers, no clean cloths no driving, (okay that’s extreme, you get my point) just watching my phone and three hours later I connected with support. I was told Elements was already installed and all I had to do was copy and paste the new registration activation number. The results to my dilemma and the answer to the problem of a simple upgrade was a shock to me because I have a strong background in computer science. I looked under the program folder of Steinberg applications at least a dozen times and no application called eLicenser was found. After he stated under “eLicenser” I noticed a program folder called eLicenser, not under Steinberg, but under eLicenser and then everything fell into place quickly.

The answer was really this simple, I clicked Start->eLicenser->eLicenser Control Center, the program started, I copied the new activation code from the email receipt, then clicked Enter Activation Code, pasted the new code and activated Cubase Elements. I then started Cubase and it was upgraded from LE to Elements.

I talked with the support person and he agreed that the process is confusing. I asked, why was this not on the purchase screen or in the email right after my purchase or in any documentation, or the forum? That after the purchase no download or install was needed just an activation. That every program standard is to install every program intended by the program to be used in one program folder and that having it installed separately is confusing. He told me he gets that support call a lot and he wrote a document and suggested a video but neither was approved by the bean counters.

Now for my thoughts on making things go much smother; first install everything under one program folder, not separately, it’s confusing and after months of using it who would think to look for a separate program under a separate folder called eLicenser.
Then call it what it is, an activation of features instead of simply calling it an upgrade. After purchasing the activation of features, provide an activation code with instructions on how to activate the features of Elements. Then provide a link to download the software just in case you need it.

Now for my opinion, it’s a bad bate and switch tactic, not that you don’t get $50.00 dollars in value, but that in the end your just activating features it’s not an upgrade. The software included with your purchase of the hardware is great, but some features are not active and for $50.00 dollars you can activate them. Stop advertising an upgrade to another version in your own application startup screen, it’s not an upgrade to another program, it leads you to chaotic support calls. For example, Cubase Elements to Cubase Pro is an upgrade… Using Cubase LE AI Elements to Cubase LE AI Elements, and changing the splash screen and activating features that are installed is not an upgrade. If the support guy mentioned that I could make unlimited .mpeg files and other stuff I was gonna lose my cool…
If support is fielding so many call on the subject, offer an installation that’s not bloated with features you cannot use and are not included with the software provided with your hardware purchase. Then you could go from Cubase LE to Cubase Elements. It would simplify things and won’t leave people thinking they just purchased an upgrade only to find out it gave you some additional features…

Finally it’s worth the new features and customers that want the additional features will pay to activate them, or if you intend to limit functions call it what it is, a feature limited software that can be upgraded and provide an installer that updates the software. It would prevent frustration from the consumer and your support staff.

Hope this helps everyone involved…