22/1/2020

Capture (N)One: How Not to Sell & Support Software

In late October 2019 I began exploring switching from Iridient Developer to Capture One 12. I downloaded a trial version of Capture One 12 Express for Fuji (I shoot with an XT-1) and discovered that I_really_ liked the software. Capture One is modern yet intuitive, full-featured, and has a history of consistent, reliable updates. The developer is a well-established company dedicated to digital photography, not some massive multi-national software company with dozens of software products.

On November 28th I received a marketing email from Capture One for Black Friday/Cyber Monday that offered a discount on Capture One 20 pre-orders. Based on my positive experience with the Capture One 12 trial, I decided to go jump at that and make my change to Capture One official.

On December 4th, Capture One 20 was released.

On December 8th I tried to apply the license key I purchased in the pre-order and download my copy of Capture One 20. The software download page asked for my Capture One 12 license. Since I was on a trial version, the license for it was rejected. I submitted a support request.

On December 10th my request was acknowledged with an email that said Capture One was aware of pre-order issues and was receiving a high volume of support requests at this moment in time.”

On December 19th I got a form reply to my support request that claimed all issues with pre-orders were (hopefully) resolved. That email then provided directions to download Capture One 20 via the pre-order license key. My support request ticket was closed while I was traveling for the holidays.

On January 6th I tried to follow the steps outlined in the December 19th form response to my December 8th support request. I still couldn’t download the software, so I submitted a second support request. As I continued troubleshooting while I waited for a response, I discovered (on my own) that it’s not possible to use my pre-order purchase if I didn’t own a copy of Capture One 12 already. Nothing in the November 28th marketing email said this, nor was I asked to validate my pre-order against my existing Capture One 12 license. Capture One has even admitted purchasing CO 20 without a CO 12 license was possible. Rather than honoring the purchase they permitted in their error, Capture One has decided to offer one free year of Capture One 20’s subscription version as a substitute. Take it or leave it. (They will issue a refund.)

On January 9th I received a form reply to my support request that reaffirmed what was stated in the FAQ, and providing the same links as the FAQ to download the subscription version of Capture One 20. Unfortunately (for me), when I tried to download Capture On 20 as outlined in their FAQ and support request response, Capture One’s store still would’t accept my pre-order license key, despite that key being the coupon/voucher for the subscription version. This was dispiriting.

On January 10th I replied to the support request response asking — a second time! — for a license key that will work. I even included a screenshot of the store rejecting the code as invalid” in my email:

While it was not clear during the purchase process for the pre-order that a pre-existing Capture One 12 license was required to be eligible, I suspect I have no recourse and must accept the free first year for the annual subscription plan. I’m not happy about that, but so be it.

Unfortunately, when I try to enter my pre-order license key” in the Coupon Code field for the Capture One Fujifilm - Annual Subscription, Prepaid version, the FastSpring store rejects it, with the error The promotional code you entered does not exist.” I have attached a screen shot for reference.

Can I have my license key regenerated or a new one assigned so I can redeem my pre-order purchase?

On January 16th I replied to Capture One’s January 9th email a second time, noting four business days had passed without a response to my January 10th email, trying to ensure my second pre-order support request was not closed.

On January 21st Capture One’s support agent replied Hi there, Sorry for such a delay! …” and then went on to merely repeat the January 9th email that directed me to use the pre-order license key as the coupon for the subscription version of Capture One 20. The support agent did not acknowledge that I was trying to obtain a valid license key in order to complete the steps outlined in that email, nor address the screenshot which illustrated the key I received with my pre-order is somehow invalid.

On January 22nd I replied:

Unfortunately, when I try to enter my pre-order license key” in the Coupon Code field for the Capture One Fujifilm - Annual Subscription, Prepaid version, the FastSpring store rejects it, with the error The promotional code you entered does not exist.” I have attached a screen shot for reference.

Can I have my license key regenerated or a new one assigned so I can redeem my pre-order purchase?

I again included the screenshot of the invalid/rejected key.

We’ll see how long Capture One takes to respond this time, and whether that response brings me any closer to being able to use the awesome software I purchased in late November.


photography software


Previous post
Nu Mă Iei Gary Brolsma released his “Numa Numa Dance” video on Newgrounds.com fifteen years ago today. I didn’t see it for the first time until midway through