I am posting here, but the problem actually concerns all Extensis produce.
From the very beginning I want to say, that I am a fan of Extensis and all of their product. I also recommend them to my clients whenever they need a stable solution for font management or DAM. This is the very reason for writing this post and I hope to hear some constructive positions here rather than see the post being deleted or my account - banned.
A couple of day ago I did my regular check of Extensis’s website, hoping to find some information about compatibility with the upcoming CS6. I was pleasantly surprised to see the new version of Suitcase on the site, did a quick check of the new functions and went straight to the webshop to purchase the update.
Here’s where the unpleasant surprise came. The update price was stated at numerous places as being $49.9, but choosing Austria as my location (to intact - any international location) the price changes to 65.5. That’s 33% more. The same applies to new license prices and - in fact - to all prices on the website. If you choose a language different than English the price rices with another couple of dollars. Proceeding to checkout one notices, that the product is sold from the US web store, so the mark up is not directly connected with any sales tax.
This is nothing new, but is still quite offending, at least in my eyes and in the eyes of my clients - I already had the experience with a client of mine, who wanted to purchase the Font Server but saw the difference in prices, could not justify it for himself and at the end of the day purchased another solution.
I contacted customer support and asked them to explain this policy. Here’s what they told me:
Yes, but I am buying from the webstore and the invoice is issued from the US webstore. I am a returning customer buying an update.
It’s more expensive for me (and actually - for anybody living outside UK) - to call UK than to call US support.
I am buying the English MAC version, the same one US customers are using and for the same operation system, so there its really any localization. The real localizations are translations, for which Extensis charges additionally anyway. As for the “marketing efforts” - are you really telling me, that you are charging me en extra $15 so you can advertise your product to me??? So I am paying $XX to advertise it to US customers + $15 to advertise it to me.
This is the place to say, that if Extensis was to sell their products via their UK company, EU corporate clients would actually get the 20% sales tax (VAT) refunded. Yet, this is not the case and these customers are actually paying US sales tax as if they were US citizens.
I am not in a position to determine the pricing policy of Extensis and I realize this. However, I believe, that this pricing is discriminatory and that it causes international users to reconsider their purchase. Even if people are ready to ignore the higher price of the first license, subsequent updates should have, imo, the same or very similar price worldwide. Extensis demonstrates quite an effort to update its public image and market itself as an international company, and I recommend them to consider this aspect as well.
Last but not least - I am posting this here so Extensis can comment on the topic and so that their users can also express their opinions. I can easily make it a blog post or publish it somewhere else, but this will render a biased reaction. I am really hoping, that this post will not be deleted.