Beware Epocware Bait-and-Switch

Last summer I purchased a copy of Handy Weather from Epocware to have a weather app on my Nokia smartphone. I chose Handy Weather because it was relatively cheap and didn’t carry a ‘subscription plan’ like Mobimate did. However, I was recently informed by Epocware that I essentially needed to re-purchase the software because it was now under a ‘subscription service’. First off this kind of bait-and-switch stuff is just annoying; made even further annoying by the fact that Epocware has decent software. Second off, the ‘subscription’ is the entire price of the software. I could see paying $5USD or so but not being forced to re-buy the $15USD software.

I was left thinking, ‘surely there must be some mistake’. I contacted Epocware support and was flatly told to pay the re-purchase gouge or stop using the app (the latter option being sort of amusing because they disabled the app sometime in early July before they even sent me an email about the subscription).

The irony of this is that Mobimate is now offering a version of their software for free that includes weather, world map, world clocks and currency conversion. You can upgrade Mobimate to the ‘pro’ version which gives you access to live flight schedules and arrival/departure info (which I suppose if you traveled a lot would be quiet handy and worth the annual fee). I also note that Psiloc is now offering a completely free weather app as well. On top of this, there is always the mobile version of the Accuweather site which provides access to current conditions, multi-day forecast and even animated radar images.

My suggestion to those looking for mobile apps, beware of Epocware because apparently there is no telling when an app that you purchased free and clear will suddenly become a ‘subscription service’. I myself would not buy another app from Epocware and recommend that others don’t as well to keep from being burned by these dubious sales tactics.

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