Software pricing scams hurt small business


I’m in a competitive situation in one of the marketplaces my company serves in which is most frustrating. A competitor says their software is, say, $1,400 and points at ours costing three times that amount. The fine print reveals that they have a mandatory annual access fee if you want to keep using the software. In our case there is no mandatory fee – the software keeps working regardless of whether you take up our support service. Even including our software fee our solution is cheaper over a four year period.

The problem is that the marketplace this is being pitched to is so not tech and contract savvy that some will take the bait and not discover the higher cost until they are locked in.

While we can go to the ACCC about the matter I have no faith in their interest in such things.

About the author


I own a software company and a newsagency in Victoria, Australia. You can reach me on +61 418 321 338 or mark[at]

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By Mark