Monthly fee to use lights!!!?!?!

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BroccoliFarmer

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The future is micro transactions. They are gonna milk us for every cent we got lol

Makes me think of that UK BMW thing that has been circulating about the subscription for heated seats

_125883620_bmwscreengrab.jpg
My wife’s Mercedes has remote start and we have been using it…now to keep using it, I have to pay the fee. I am going to be buying classic cars very soon.
 

TheReefDiary

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unfortunately this is the future for us as consumers as we never decide to stop buying such products. clearly this isn't your fault here, but the same thing is happening with car manufacturers. windows charges you yearly now for office. everything is going to go subscription because people are just like sure whatever.

I'd email the company and let them know you no longer plan on using or recommending their products and that you are notifying other reefers to do the same. may not seem like much but if numerous people email them saying to essentially f off maybe they'll rethink their decision.
 
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OutColdCoral

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Found this post from bluefish on another forum.


Hi guys, I wanted to provide some clarification on what's going on with Bluefish.

In a nutshell, my costs to run Bluefish have gone up, and sales have gone down. This is the reality of a product approaching 10 years old in a market that is vastly different than it was at that time. My partners like Nano Box are out of business or have moved focus to other markets.

There are significant costs to keep this thing running. I haven't paid myself or made a profit in years. Additionally a couple years back a wholesale partner left me holding a significant loss for product delivered and not paid for. Most recently a service provider renewed our service at a 400% increase. So I am at the point where I had to decide between:

1) shut down the servers, app, and Bluefish as a company, or
2) charge a fee for Bluefish service

Obviously the first option is not good. It would force people to buy another product and/or put their tank investments at risk, in a time when many people are feeling economic uncertaintly.

In an attempt to be as fair and respectful to our customers as possible, I'm taking the following approach with the second option:

-The hardware will continue to work, but app access and weather simulation will require subscription service.
-Customers who have recently purchased hardware will be given free service for a total of two years from purchase date
-15 weeks notice for the change

Additionally I am going to try to add some new features to help ease this transition.

I hope you guys understand that this is not a cash grab, or malicious or underhanded...it is what I have to do to keep things running. I know it's not going to work for everyone, and I promise this is not something I wanted to do.

Feel free to comment here or send me an email at [email protected]

Spencer
 

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Response from bluefish,


Yes, I did send this email. Unfortunately, in order to continue providing the support and infrastructure for Bluefish, the only option is to start charging for the app. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Spencer


I have replied with a second that asked if I will lose all functionality unless paid for.
That would be a great topic for Louis Rossmanns YouTube channel. He covers the right to repair movement and scammy subscription models, like the recent steering wheel heater subscription offered by VW.
 
World Wide Corals

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I think the "best" solution would be for the company to say something like this:

"We will be ending app support for this product after (date) for all versions up to version 3.1xxx. You will still be able to use your product as is; however no additional updates or support will be offered for this legacy product.

Should you choose to update to our new and improved products after this date a $2.99 monthly fee will be required to aid in our ongoing development cost so that we may continue to provide you with the best support possible."

Think of it like Microsoft ending support for an old version of their software. I can still use Windows 3.1, 95, 2000, xp, vista (strike that Vista was never usable).
The point is the product still works, I just can't get updates for it anymore.

I can't wait to buy my "classic 2023" BMW or Mercedes only to find out that half of the features don't work because the servers are no longer being supported. Error, steering not supported... Not that I'll be able to buy gas for it anyway so I guess it won't matter anyway.
 

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I don’t see the issue here or blame him (Bluefish). Nano box lights used a third party controller (bluefish) probably bought for around $50-75. Now 5 years later the maker of that controller is expected to continue lifetime support and infrastructure do this thing he probably sold a couple hundred or thousand units of?

Y’all work for free? Because it seems like this guy is expected to and that’s bananas. This is hardly the same as forced subscription services from monster companies. It’s 1 guy…
 

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I think the "best" solution would be for the company to say something like this:

"We will be ending app support for this product after (date) for all versions up to version 3.1xxx. You will still be able to use your product as is; however no additional updates or support will be offered for this legacy product.

Should you choose to update to our new and improved products after this date a $2.99 monthly fee will be required to aid in our ongoing development cost so that we may continue to provide you with the best support possible."

Think of it like Microsoft ending support for an old version of their software. I can still use Windows 3.1, 95, 2000, xp, vista (strike that Vista was never usable).
The point is the product still works, I just can't get updates for it anymore.

I can't wait to buy my "classic 2023" BMW or Mercedes only to find out that half of the features don't work because the servers are no longer being supported. Error, steering not supported... Not that I'll be able to buy gas for it anyway so I guess it won't matter anyway.
The best solution would be for the company to release a empty sever database or make it open source, so customers can set up their own servers and redirect traffic there. Not that difficult if you have the architecture available.

Hacked Nintendo switches and psp vitas are doing this for years now.
 
Orphek OR3 reef aquarium LED bar

elysics

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I don’t see the issue here or blame him (Bluefish). Nano box lights used a third party controller (bluefish) probably bought for around $50-75. Now 5 years later the maker of that controller is expected to continue lifetime support and infrastructure do this thing he probably sold a couple hundred or thousand units of?

Y’all work for free? Because it seems like this guy is expected to and that’s bananas. This is hardly the same as forced subscription services from monster companies. It’s 1 guy…
Thats sounds reasonable, but that's an issue that a business person/inventor should have thought about when they decided to tie a cloud only app to hardware, rather than including a local access pathway.

It's not something they had to do this way, it's something they wanted to do. They just didn't think of the longterm consequences of that technological/business model. Or they didn't care.

This was one of two possible outcomes from the start, either you make it big and the server costs for your legacy products become a rounding error, or you don't, but oh well, the customers problem now.

Other manufacturers/software companies thought of this and had a local control/other replacement for the cloud option from the start or kept one in hand to be released for free as a final "thank you, goodbye", when they can't afford to run the cloud anymore.
 

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I think the "best" solution would be for the company to say something like this:

"We will be ending app support for this product after (date) for all versions up to version 3.1xxx. You will still be able to use your product as is; however no additional updates or support will be offered for this legacy product.

Should you choose to update to our new and improved products after this date a $2.99 monthly fee will be required to aid in our ongoing development cost so that we may continue to provide you with the best support possible."
The problem with this is that it costs money for cloud usage. He is losing money simply by keeping the product alive. So yes it would be nice to go down this path but why would anyone continue to lose money just so some people are not inconvenienced? I give the guy credit for trying to do right by people. I honestly think bricking is a forgone conclusion. Just a matter of how much longer he can hold on and is willing to keep the charity going.
 

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The problem with this is that it costs money for cloud usage. He is losing money simply by keeping the product alive. So yes it would be nice to go down this path but why would anyone continue to lose money just so some people are not inconvenienced? I give the guy credit for trying to do right by people. I honestly think bricking is a forgone conclusion. Just a matter of how much longer he can hold on and is willing to keep the charity going.
I guess I would never have built the product to be dependent upon a live internet connection in the firstplace. Cloud hosting is one thing. Cloud dependent is just poor architecture.
 

VFX_Reef_Peacekeeper

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There’s a lengthier explanation on nano reef .com.
it’s basically to keep the app itself alive. It isn’t a cash grab as it kinda sounded.
I also wasn’t happy, but I’m now more than happy to pay the small fee if it means bluefish can stay around as a company. I wish the customer email had more detail.
let’s just pay the fee and shut up about it. It’s the right thing to do.


 
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OutColdCoral

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There’s a lengthier explanation on nano reef .com.
it’s basically to keep the app itself alive. It isn’t a cash grab as it kinda sounded.
I also wasn’t happy, but I’m now more than happy to pay the small fee if it means bluefish can stay around as a company. I wish the customer email had more detail.
let’s just pay the fee and shut up about it. It’s the right thing to do.


I copied the body of what spencer wrote on nano-reef for clarification for everyone that had commented on this thread. I also agree that it is not a cash grab but was very put out by the emails I had with spencer directly about this matter. That alone as a marker for customer service is enough for me to not pay the small fee to keep a light over a frag quarantine tank. I’ll set a mode and leave it until the light itself dies.
 

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Hi guys, sorry I missed this thread. Much thanks to the member that pointed it out to me. I'll repost my statement from Nano Reef again below just to be sure it's seen. If there's any questions that are still unanswered, feel free to ask me here. Also I can mention that I do intend on offering a cheaper (hopefully much cheaper) annual fee as an alternative to the monthly, but the details are yet to be fully worked out there. I also understand that it's the principle rather than the actual price that is at issue for many people.

Sorry @OutColdCoral that my email responses to your questions were too brief. I hope that you can understand I have supported the product for several years now while taking a financial loss. I can't take the loss any longer, hence the subscription, but I fully expect to be providing my time for free to support the product in the years to come. I only mention it again as an additional data point on my commitment to customer service. :)


Hi guys, I wanted to provide some clarification on what's going on with Bluefish.

In a nutshell, my costs to run Bluefish have gone up, and sales have gone down. This is the reality of a product approaching 10 years old in a market that is vastly different than it was at that time. My partners like Nano Box are out of business or have moved focus to other markets.

There are significant costs to keep this thing running. I haven't paid myself or made a profit in years. Additionally a couple years back a wholesale partner left me holding a significant loss for product delivered and not paid for. Most recently a service provider renewed our service at a 400% increase. So I am at the point where I had to decide between:

1) shut down the servers, app, and Bluefish as a company, or
2) charge a fee for Bluefish service

Obviously the first option is not good. It would force people to buy another product and/or put their tank investments at risk, in a time when many people are feeling economic uncertaintly.

In an attempt to be as fair and respectful to our customers as possible, I'm taking the following approach with the second option:

-The hardware will continue to work, but app access and weather simulation will require subscription service.
-Customers who have recently purchased hardware will be given free service for a total of two years from purchase date
-15 weeks notice for the change

Additionally I am going to try to add some new features to help ease this transition.

I hope you guys understand that this is not a cash grab, or malicious or underhanded...it is what I have to do to keep things running. I know it's not going to work for everyone, and I promise this is not something I wanted to do.

Feel free to comment here or send me an email at [email protected]

Spencer
 
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