Dead man seeks place to fall

or: The End of the Free Lunch

or: The Gravy Train Stops Here

For years, I have been using LogMeIn to provide remote support to family and friends. The free service allowed me to log into up to ten different computers all over the world. I have used it to remote into my Mother’s computer in London (that’s “London, England”, if you failed Geography) and fix problems/perform upgrades/answer questions, etc. It was a thoroughly useful tool.

So I was somewhat miffed, a few months ago, to find that the good folks at LogMeIn had decided that the free ride was over, and that I would have to use a paid account to continue using the service.

If that were all there was to it, it would not have been a  problem – I would happily have paid them $50 a year to keep that service, but at the same time they massively increased their prices to an utterly-insane $100/year for TWO computers. Talk about adding insult to injury…

Oh, and professional users of their “Central” service found out their rates had doubled when they got their credit-card statements.

Charge me more, offer me less. Riiiight

The timing was also awfully suspicious. There was no month’s notice, just “we’re done”, followed by a *CLICK* as the lights go out. It was hardly surprising that their phone lines were jammed for the next week with people calling up to cancel their accounts.

You have got to  be kidding me… pissing off your customers — freeloaders or otherwise — is bad enough, but jacking the prices skywards has all the hallmarks of a company that is in financial trouble and is about to go under. To me, this is a huge marketing blunder that will cost them millions which – exactly what they don’t need right now.

That’s all water under the bridge now, What is noteworthy is that DynDNS is pulling a similar stunt.

I have been using Dyn’s free DynDNS service for many years now. It allowed me to easily connect to my home network by associating its ever-changing IP address with an easy-to-remember hostname.

In November 2011, Dyn reduced the number of hostnames per account from 5 to 1. This did not inconvenience me, as I only had one hostname.

Then, last year, they made a monthly login a requirement of keeping a free account. Those who forgot to do so lost their free accounts and had to upgrade to a paid one. This inconvenienced me, but only a little. Looking back, it is obvious that they were trying to clear out inactive “freeloader” accounts and/or make a little money from the inattentive.

A few weeks ago, Dyn announced that they were dropping the free service. Unlike LogMeIn, however, they actually gave a month’s notice, so kudos for that. Also unlike LogMeIn, there are many free alternatives for their service.

Looks like another Dead-man-looking-for-a-place-to-fall

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