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Thread: Autodesk charges an "upgrade fee"?

  1. #1
    100 Club jsr13's Avatar
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    Default Autodesk charges an "upgrade fee"?

    The last time we upgraded our computers, we were given a better price to go from AutoCAD 2000 to ADT 2004. We only use the AutoCAD part of ADT, so this time around we're just going to go from ADT2004 to AutoCAD 2006 (w/ subscription) & beyond. The quote I just received from an authorized reseller includes a $250 "downgrade fee" for each license because we are only going with AutoCAD. The account manager that I'm dealing with said that it's an "Autodesk fee" but...

    Has anyone else experienced this? Before I assumed the helm as Cad Manager, I believe we got a quote from the other local reseller that did not have this fee attached to it.
    Can anyone offer any input about this?

    Thanks in advance.
    Jeff Rayhorn

    Sinclair Pratt Cameron, P.C.
    Consulting Structural Engineers
    Virginia Beach
    Virginia, USA

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    BIM/VDC Management Brian Myers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Autodesk charges an "upgrade fee"?

    It's possible your other reseller lowered the price of AutoCAD (there commission) a little so you wouldn't notice, but this is standard Autodesk policy to charge a downgrade fee and even your dealer can't get around it entirely.

    The subscription cost (on the Autodesk website ) for ADT is $595. For AutoCAD the price is $420. (This can vary by reseller). So by downgrading you are saving yourself about $175 dollars a year per seat. If you plan to stay on subscription, two years from now you'll have made up your money on subscription savings....
    Last edited by Brian Myers; 2006-02-11 at 11:32 PM.
    Brian Myers
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    100 Club jsr13's Avatar
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    Default Re: Autodesk charges an "upgrade fee"?

    Thanks for the info, Dilbert. It sounded like something they might do to encourage/coerce people into staying with the upper-level products, but I really wasn't so sure because of the other reseller not mentioning it.

    Just because it's "standard Autodesk policy" doesn't mean it's right or that anyone has to like it. I mean, it's working like this: I am purchasing a less-capable product, paying the standard upgrade fees, and they're charging us a hefty fee to get less. Is there any other software anywhere that you have to pay more to get the lower version? Not even Microsoft makes you pay an extra fee to go from Office XP Professional to upgrade to Office 2003 Basic. Am I wrong?

    Sorry, but I had to vent about that. Thanks again for the info.
    Jeff Rayhorn

    Sinclair Pratt Cameron, P.C.
    Consulting Structural Engineers
    Virginia Beach
    Virginia, USA

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    BIM/VDC Management Brian Myers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Autodesk charges an "upgrade fee"?

    You're welcome. It's a little know fact that usually you won't hear about. I can make a good pro and con arguement for the extra charge, but either way someone leaves unhappy about it.

    Take care and I'm glad I could help.
    Brian Myers
    Jacobs: VDC Design Office Lead (BIM Leadership)
    Visit my LinkedIn Profile for more information.

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    100 Club jsr13's Avatar
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    Default Re: Autodesk charges an "upgrade fee"?

    Okay - I have to admit that I'm curious about the pros & cons you mentioned. Are you willing to discuss them here? Are there any pros for the end user or just for Autodesk? I'm pretty open minded (I think) but I just can't see anything good for the end user about them charging the downgrade fee. I'm not saying there isn't - I just can't see it.
    But I am always willing to learn from someone who knows more than I.
    Jeff Rayhorn

    Sinclair Pratt Cameron, P.C.
    Consulting Structural Engineers
    Virginia Beach
    Virginia, USA

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    BIM/VDC Management Brian Myers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Autodesk charges an "upgrade fee"?

    Anytime you deal with money being the only issue it's going to be good for the people getting the money or the people getting something for free. So yes, it's good from Autodesk's point of view since they are charging the money.

    BUT, the argument would be this:

    Lets say your company has 5 employees. You get a big project (larger than you can manage) about once every 3 years. So you hire 3 contract employees when that big project comes in and you purchase 3 new seats of ADT and upgrade your existing systems to ADT as well because that will work better for this special job. For the next year you have 8 seats of ADT. Your project gets over, you let the contract employees go. What do you do now that you have 3 extra seats of ADT and your other 5 computers really only need AutoCAD again? You know in about 2 years you'll likely get another project like that one, but do you hold onto ADT that long during the "lean" years? Likely you drop ADT, go back to AutoCAD and save $2500-$3000 until that next big contract comes in. By charging a "downgrade" fee Autodesk will likely prevent that scenario and keep you with the tech you'll need to finish those future projects while getting the benefits of Subscription.

    .... that's just part of the other side of the argument (I have a few other pro-charging arguments too ranging from operating/contract management costs for the reseller and Autodesk to a "penalty" for breaking the original subscription contract and downgrading to a less expensive contract, which is more economical for the user long-term)... but I can also state a very pro-user view too.

    The honest answer is I can argue a production value vs. cost arguement all day long and neither side would win.

    Forgive me for the above arguement.
    Brian Myers
    Jacobs: VDC Design Office Lead (BIM Leadership)
    Visit my LinkedIn Profile for more information.

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    100 Club jsr13's Avatar
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    Default Re: Autodesk charges an "upgrade fee"?

    You'll not be forgiven because it's not at all necessary. I opened the can of worms, right? And anyone else who reads this far into this thread should appreciate your input also.
    Thanks again for the lesson in "Autodesk-ese." They can be very interesting folks to live with - the policy makers in our favorite company.
    The bottom line for me is that our upgrade is going to cost $1500 more than I believe it should. But we'll get over it.
    Jeff Rayhorn

    Sinclair Pratt Cameron, P.C.
    Consulting Structural Engineers
    Virginia Beach
    Virginia, USA

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    Active Member Jordan Truesdell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Autodesk charges an "upgrade fee"?

    Actually, they do this to students as well. If you bought a student ADT2006 license at your school, then decided to upgrade to the commercial product, it would cost you more to get the AutoCAD 2006 commercial upgrade than it would cost to get the ADT2006 commercial upgrade.

    I think it's a bit insane, but luckily Autodesk has a, um, solid hold on the market for their product, so they can, um, maximize their profits and protect their annual revenue stream. (I know, I should have been in marketing, or a lawyer) I'm sure if I owned stock in Autodesk, instead of an engineering firm, I'd be extremely happy with their licensing practices.

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