We have been receiving several requests every month about bringing back the free trials or the free Academic edition we used to have until last month. So it’s time to set some things straight about what ScreenTag is and what is not.
ScreenTag is not a standalone application like most other smartphone apps out there. It’s a design service provided through an app. So essentially, you don’t pay for the development of the application itself, where the fixed cost for development of the app is shared by the buyers – and where the cost of having a free trial version with limited functionality is the cost of removing several hundreds lines of code. The fixed cost shared-by-all-buyers-and-the-100th-buyer-brings-profit model, does not apply to ScreenTag, simply because there is actual cost for each user we set up, whether paying or not. And that cost is beyond the development of the application.
While the free trials and the free Academic edition was up, we had quite some users taking the free trial offer. But when the free trial period was coming to an end, they were signing up for another free trial with a new e-mail account. To our protest that they had already taken up a free trial they would come up with any excuse they could imagine (‘I didn’t have the time to use it’, ‘our logo is changed’, ‘there was a typo to the information I provided’ etc.). Which simply means more cost for our customer service people dealing with free-riders.
The only way to end this mess, was to discontinue the free trials for everyone (and yes, we had several free-riders pretending to be University students, just because the University they had attended several years ago, neglected closing their e-mail account). In replacement, we came up with the Basic Edition. It is unbranded – which means less cost for each user – but still has the same functionality, only limited to basic contact info. The more than reasonable selling price of $2.95 covers ony a part of our cost, not all of it; the ongoing server cost is covered by our advertisers. If the user decides to move on and upgrade to a branded version, that’s fine. If not, the user has the option to terminate his/her (non-refundable) subscription or keep using the Basic Edition for as long as he/she likes.
Plain, simple and above all fair for evryone (well, except for the free-riders that is).