I'm posting this so that others will at least be better prepared than I was should they encounter a need to reauthorize thier Waves products due to a hard disk crash, as I've recently experienced.
I've been running Waves plugins for a couple of years now with hard disk authorization, i.e. I don't own an iLok USB dongle. After getting my machine back together and reinstalled yesterday, I went to reauthorize my Waves stuff. I was informed on their web site that hard disk authorization was no longer supported. Not only did I need to spend $40 for an iLok, but I'd also have to renew my Waves Upgrade Plan (WUP) to be able to transfer my licenses to the iLok.
A phone call to them this morning was little more than a brick wall. So, here's what I'm looking at:
I paid serious money for Waves products
I've used them with HD auth for two years
My hard drive crashed
Waves has informed me that I cannot use their product anymore unless I pay more money
To continue to use the product I've already purchased, I must now:
Pay $40 + shipping for an iLok
Pay $189 to renew the WUP so that I can transfer my licenses to iLok
Make yet another call afterwards to get instructions on how to do this.
And so, I post this warning to all who own Waves products. If your plugins currently use hard disk authorization, run, do not walk, to your nearest retailer and buy an iLok, hopefully before your WUP expires. Immediately transfer your licenses to the iLok. If you fail to do this and your hard drive crashes, you will not be able to use your Waves products when you restore your system. At least not until you cough up more money for something you've already paid for.
You know, a couple of years ago, all I wanted to do was find an inexpensive solution to the fact that my synth strings sounded "cheesy", as a friend kindly put it. I ended up buying GPO, and as a result became heavily involved in the community here because of the incredibly good customer service from Gary's company coupled with the great vibe in the forums. This has led me to feel extremely loyal to both Gary and his products, and I never miss an opportunity to recommend them with great enthusiasm.
On the other hand, not only will Waves never see another dollar from me (there's lots of other good plugins out there), but I will make it a point to educate people at every opportunity about the predatory manner in which they do business. They've just told a long time customer, "Oh, you can't use the product you paid for anymore unless you cough up more money." If you look up the word "extortion" in the dictionary, you might find some conceptual similarities.
I pay for the software I use because honor is an important concept to me. And yet, experiences like this help me understand why many people not only go to the trouble to crack software, but then feel compelled to distribute it to the masses. When you poke someone with a stick, it's unrealistic to be surprised when they poke back.
So, from my experiences today, I hope you'll take away two things. First, get your Waves products moved to an iLok as quickly as possible so that you don't suffer the same fate as I have. And secondly, when you find a company like Gary's who actually places customer service and satisfaction as their number one priority, go out of your way to tell people about them.
Who knows? If enough people spread the word about companies like Gary's who operate with integrity and service, maybe one day they'll be the "big guys" who set the industry standards which others must emulate in order to stay in business.
Did you speak with a standard service representative or did you try to speak with a service manager?
I've found that you can never get anything out of a service representative because they need to follow procedure. And they are scared to deviate, because they will actually get in trouble for it. This is a problem with larger companies; they usually fail to educate their employees that maintaining a good relationship with an existing customer is as important as developing a good relationship with a potential customer.
I'd try my luck with them again, although it might be more trouble than it's worth to you. My usual tactic is to keep asking to speak to the supervisor of whomever I have on the line, until I get someone with the power to actually help me.
I've found a manager who will transfer my license to the iLok (once I receive the one I just ordered) for no extra charge. Very generous of them. They won't charge me extra to use the license that I've paid for.
So, at present, I'm out $52 to use a product I already "own", and I'm down for the weekend. When it arrives Monday, I'll have the joy of making yet another phone call to Waves, getting it authorized, and getting on with my life.
Maybe the next book I write should be a cautionary tale that's full of stories like this, hopefully with the happy ending of each such company ending in bankruptcy. To say that I'm less than amused with the experience would be a study in understatement.
Christopher, I feel your pain, so aggravating isn't it?
Well, it's always a hassle doing disaster recovery, but I was geared up for that. What I object to is getting screwed by a company I've done business with.
I also had to reauthorize Antares Auto Tune 4. I bought the 1.0 version, which was hard disk authorization, and then later upgraded to 4.0. They didn't have iLok as an option then, and I continued with the HD authorization.
I called them today, as on top of everything else, I seem to have lost my registration info / serial number. In distinct contrast with my Waves experience, I got a guy named Justin on the phone who was bending over backwards to help me.
He looked up my account with info I provided over the phone. No problem. Antares no longer supports hard disk authorization either, having now moved to an iLok. No problem. He was ready to give me a temp HD authorization immediately to get me back on my feet, and if I was unwilling to buy an iLok he said that they would work something out with me, that they didn't believe in stranding their customers. I told him I had an iLok on the way thanks to the Waves hassle, so he told me how I could get up and running in the meantime.
The Antares attitude, every step of the way, was consistently a tone of "No problem, we'll find a way to get you taken care of." Two different companies who both terminated hard disk authorization and moved to iLok. And yet, two completely different customer experiences.
Waves undoubtably feels that since they're an industry leader they simply don't have to worry about how their customers feel - it's their way or the highway. In fact, when I commented on the poor customer service the company was offering, the rep took it personally and got snippy with me. When I elaborated that I knew he didn't dictate company policy and that my beef was with upper management and not him, he remained snippy and said that since he worked in customer service, it was an insult to him. Let's see now. I'm the customer getting screwed, but he's the one who feels insulted. Interesting corporate culture they have going there.
Antares has a completely different take on it. Keep the customer happy.
The next time I have play money for the studio, I'm going to look at the Antares stuff and find an excuse to give them some business.
I feel your pain too! I recently had to purchase WUP, only mine was like 3 hundred bucks again just to get my Gold Bundle working on a new computer. A complete rippoff if you ask me. and at the end of the year, if I don't want that to happen, I will have to pay yet again to renew wup. its like leasing the plug ins, with a down payment. I understand about paying for newer versions of plug ins, but not for the old ones just to work. I will not buy waves again.