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TeamViewer a tool with hidden costs

Several years ago, I believe 2009, I purchased a license of TeamViewer 4, we were looking for a tool that would allow us to provide remote support to our customers without the hassle of opening firewall ports. So after testing several tools at that moment, we decided to go for TeamViewer.

The application has always been expensive for our taste as a small company, but all in all, you paid one time fee every year and a half or two and you would get a very good tool with all the updates. We kept on upgrading until version 8 which was working fine for us with exception for one thing.

In version 7 & 8 they introduced the possibility to support remotely Samsung devices. It was fantastic, because we would be able to see exactly what our customer was seeing on their phones on our own screen. This allowed us to connect and help them with their mobile requirements too. So we encouraged all our customers to get Samsung Android devices because they would benefit from us to provide them support. Hey! I even made my father purchase a Samsung Galaxy S3 so I could help him with his device remotely.

The Case

The last months, I tried to connect remotely to Samsung devices and they would be completely black when they launch the TeamViewer Quick support application. So I contacted TeamViewer Support and asked them what was all this about.
They said that because Android changed their kernel completely on one of their updates, (I think version 4.3), their TeamViewer 7/8 stopped working.
When I asked them why they didn’t correct it so that TeamViewer 8 owners could still use this specification as we did before, they said they changed completely how mobile support works in version 9 and that I would need to purchase an upgrade to that version if I wanted to support mobile devices.

I tried to make my case by explaining how things usually work in the Software industry. “When Microsoft decided to upgrade Windows to 8, they still supported and corrected issues on version 7, and they would still do it for a prudent amount of time”. The support woman kept on explaining the same thing over and over again and suggested this was my fault because I upgraded the Android version of the device. Of course they never said anything about not supporting Android devices when their versions get updated, and the idea to stop updating an Android version everybody knows is just something you don’t want.

Clearly they made a commercial decision so everybody that wanted to benefit from mobile support had to purchase the newest version.

But this doesn’t ends here, not only they would make you purchase a new upgrade to version 9, but if you want the mobile support part you would need to pay for an additional license which they call MDS AddOn!!! So your costs that were around USD 350 every around 2 years (to use always the latest version), now are doubled because of the Mobile Support Module!

So the upgrade to version 9 costs around USD 350 + Mobile support module USD 600. From this point onward, we would have to pay a % of both licenses if we would like to to upgrade to the next newest version!.

Misleading Website & Costs

As a new customer if you want to check their price list, you think you are paying for the full license including mobile support. But when you take a close look you see something like this:

So if you click on that “Mobile Support”link you expect to see details and pricing of this module that required an additional license. So you go to that page, and you see something like this.

So you click on “Purchase License” to go to a page that would include the mobile devices price. Well, it doesn’t! You go back to the first pricing screen you already where!

So there you are, buying something thinking that the price would be included on the main price of the product, because there is no clarification of how much the Mobile Device Support AddOn costs. I reported this to their support team, but they didn’t do anything to change it. TeamViewer, this is tricking your customers and its a practice that should be avoided!

Conclusion

I am very disappointed by TeamViewer’s aggressive commercial policy, especially with long time customers like us. We dont need anything from TeamViewer 9, we just needed version 8 with the Samsung support as we had, and their policy cut us out loose because of their lack of support.

Now, I am searching for a TeamViewer alternative because I am not willing to pay USD 1000 to upgrade for a software that will charge me again USD 600 in a year and a half when they decide not to support next Android version, just because they can.

Dont get me wrong, TeamViewer App is probably one of the best remote control applications I’ve used, but their commercial strategy and lack of support of previous version is just wrong. It seems we paying customers are maintaining all their free model, probably its a matter of time until they decide to cut the free service, the same way LogMe In did.

What would you recommend to use as a remote control support tool? Any that would allow me to provide support to my dad’s Android?

For now, I just hope one day TeamViewer, decide’s to honor the “Team“part of their own name.

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Web + Tech Junkie = Geek. IT Solutions Specialist and entrepreneur. Process improver fan, food lover and blogger. I try to write about different technology topics in this blog.