Is L4 going to be a discounted purchase for L3 owners?

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34 comments

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    Carl Douthit

    Skylum is asking us to "Buy Now!" without making a firm commitment as to what features we would be purchasing except for the sky replacement feature.

    That feature alone is not worth $49 to me -- especially when I've learned to NOT trust Skylum's promises about features, delivery targets, etc.

    There is an old saying in the United States that goes something like "Never buy a pig in a poke." A "poke" was a bag, so the saying means never purchase something that you cannot see.

    That is EXACTLY what Skylum is asking us to do with Luminar 4. In addition to that, Skylum has created an artificial deadline of offering only a certain number of discounted licenses.

    I cannot trust an offer from a company that uses tactics that are more in line with con artists.

    I will NOT be buying any more Luminar updates until I see that there is a new history of ethical advertising, delivery of features by announced target dates, and a completion of ALL previously promised features for Luminar 3 for Windows.

    As far as I'm concerned, Skylum owes me features that they have yet to deliver.

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    Angela Andrieux

    Hi David,

    We always offer upgrade discounts to our customers! The current pre-order offer for the first 20k is the lowest possible price for both current and new users (the price for those upgrading is lower than for new users). After those sell out the price goes up for everyone, but those upgrading will always be given a discount.

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    Alistair Cloughley

    Is there any reason why you don't offer all customers this early upgrade offer? I'm a recent customer and I have enjoyed working with v3. I'd be happy to take the risk of investing in the next version at a good price but did not get any option to do so.

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    Tony Collins

    The upgrade still seems to be available here:

    https://skylum.com/l/luminar-chck1?utm_expid=86009138-206.RdI20HdCRVKWorOzrLHXCA.0

     

     

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    Helga Rowles

    Hi Carl,
    Step by step we'll reveal all the features Luminar 4 acquires, stay tuned. 
    As for the previously promised features, we don't leave those plans aside. The features which were promised on our roadmap (IPTC metadata editing and search tools) will be implemented in one of the future updates. 

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    Carl Douthit

    Helga,

    Unfortunately I've read the same thing from Skylum before.

    And what I've seen happen is a new version is released - without those promised features. And then we are told that those features are still in the pipeline and will be released at a later date.

    And now Skylum is trying to get us to pay for Luminar 4 before you reveal what L4's features will be!

    I guess that solves your problem of promising features to buyers and then not delivering on them. Do you really believe that gets you off the hook for all of your broken promises and missed target dates in the past?

    The simple fact is that I no longer believe anything from Skylum regarding future features and updates. My only criteria at this point are these:

    1. Does the feature exist NOW as a mature release, not beta-ware?
    2. Does the feature work as originally promised?
    3. Does the feature work as currently promised?
    4. Is it buggy or ready for usage?
    5. I don't care about future promised features, only what is delivered. Does the app contain workable versions of the features that are supposed to be a part of the release?

    Telling me to purchase L4 now and then you'll tell me later what I purchased is worse than laughable. It is the same as asking me to purchase a new car from you and telling me later what I purchased and what it will do and what features it has (radio? type of engine? hybrid or not? what color?, etc.).

    I won't purchase until I know exactly what I'm getting in the way of a functioning app. With Skylum's history, that means I will never be purchasing because you have YET to deliver a release of Luminar that already contained what was promised - nearly everything is "later".

    Skylum has broken my trust so many times that no longer have any left for Skylum.

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    John Hudd

    Hello,

     

    I have Flex .... is it going to be cheaper to wait until release to get a discount to upgrate to Luminar 4 .... Or take advantage of the buy now option ?

     

    Thanks

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    Maryna Skylum

    Hi John,

    It is always up to you :)

    However, please, note that the price for Luminar 4 will be increasing as it'll be getting closer to the release day.

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    Colin Grant

    You know Maryna, irrespective of all the  broken promises and sub par implementation, this marketing ploy is really the lowest of the low. Buy now or the price goes up but we can't tell you what you are buying! That sounds like Skylum needs cash pretty badly and is prepared to go to extraordinary lengths to get it. Not good.

    And I note you say the price will  be increasing as you approach release. Presumably it will therefor climb in stages - sort of twisting the proverbial knife really. Nasty, nasty tactic.

     

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    Carl Douthit

    Colin Grant, if I could press the up-arrow 10 times for your comment I would.

    I don't know how to describe Skylum's marketing approach any better than you did.

    In addition to your description as a "Nasty, nasty tactic" I might add this: Skylum's marketing strategy is basically a type of blackmail. It is the worst type of manipulation of current customers.

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    Colin Grant

    Thanks Carl. This has all gone well beyond not delivering the product.

     

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    David Medeiros

    Thank you Angela for the clarification. I think it's important to note that it is not at all clear in your marketing that current license holders will still get an "upgrade" price after full release and after the pre release discount is over. I suspect that's by design, in which case it's a really bad way to treat your current customers.

    I'm also in total agreement with most of the other criticism of the marketing approach to L4. The details on new features for L4 are almost zero besides the dubious Sky Replacement AI (a mostly worthless feature IMO). But the marketing is hammering us to "buy now" or miss out on pre release pricing! But we have no idea what we are buying.

    I won't be buying L4 until I see a full list of features and a few real user reviews. My experience with the still warm L3 fiasco and Skylums pretty terrible response to its customers has left a lot of us pretty gun-shy on taking anything from Skylum at face value. 

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    Kate Williams

    Hi, 

    I totally understand your concerns about us sharing so little information with you right now. Please understand that the release will be in late fall and there will be a number of unique features in Luminar that were never seen before, so that's why our announcements are being released gradually. We're already preparing the following one, it'll be revealed soon.

    The upgrade prices for the current customers will always be lower than the ones for the new customers. Moreover, we're always ready to offer some pleasant bonuses for our loyals. 

    Furthermore, as our artists' experience is a top priority for us, we're offering a money-back guarantee after the release day, so that everyone could try out the new release to see whether it fits their workflow. 

    In any case, your decision to see a full list of features first is absolutely understandable - please stay tuned for further teasers and more information to see what our team was working on. 

     

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    David Medeiros

    This is what is so confusing about your marketing strategy, you don't "tease" technical products that are currently for sale. You tease movie releases and music festival lineups. 

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    Colin Grant

    Exactly, David, but they just do not seem to "get it". It is like they are in a parallel universe where the rules we see as normal, fair and reasonable are alien to them! I really do not see there being any hope that they will change. As per above response, they apparently understand our concerns but will ignore them and continue to sell a product with unknown functionality and no specified release date. The money back guarantee does not cut it either for they will have the use of the funds up until the time they are asked to make the refund.  This is all about cash flow and not customer service.

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    Carl Douthit

    I cannot remember, Colin, what the correct term is for what we are seeing but Skylum seems to be selling a future undescribed product (release date undisclosed) to pay for current or past expenses.

    What I fear the most for current purchasers of L4 is that if Skylum were to go out of business before it was released that there might be no way of getting a refund. After all, what are the assets of a company like Skylum, at least in the Luminar division?

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    Tony Collins

    That is of course a risk. But at £45 not really a life changing one.

    I've put that risk in the category of it giving me an option to buy L4 at the lower price if - when I find out what it is :D - I actually want it.

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    Colin Grant

    Surely the fact that it is not life changing does not make it ethical? I think not Tony. Like, Carl, I very much doubt that Skylum have a strong balance sheet so people are possibly funding the development of a product that is not even through the design phases yet - or so it seems seeing as Skylum cannot tell us what is in it!

     

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    Huw Parry

    I hate this marketing, buy now or the price will go up, certainly a form of high pressure sales technique with limited time offers. I am not happy with what was delivered by L3 and was certainly not expecting to have to pay out again for a new product so soon. The fact that I only found out about this resale via this forum has made me seriously consider going back to adobe. So disappointed in Skylum.

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    Colin Grant

    Well, Skylum have now said they are not trying to be a Lr replacement which is probably Skylum speak for "it is not going to be what we led you to believe it would be". 

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    Guy Meacham
    Maryna Skylum
    Hi John,

    It is always up to you :)

    However, please, note that the price for Luminar 4 will be increasing as it'll be getting closer to the release day.

     

    Wow, just WOW! this has to be one of the most offensive posts from a skylum support person to a customer I've seen on these boards! Translation:

    We didn't meet our L2018 promises.

    We didn't meet our L3 Promises.

    But buy L4 now before either you or we know what will be in it or we will charge you more for it.

    It's a marketing strategy that's just mind blowing......

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    Colin Grant

    It is incredible, Guy, I agree. There are numerous words to describe this company and none of them complimentary. The same applies to their CEO who just hides away no doubt dreaming up other ways to "market" his pathetic product. What a farce!

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    Carl Douthit

    When I first purchased a Luminar product, and target dates and features were missed, I was forgiving and willing to give the company more time.

    After all, this was an award-winning product on the MAC-OS side.

    But as time has passed it has been evident that Skylum has a corporate culture of promising things and not delivering what was promised.

    It now is also demonstrating a corporate culture of abuse toward its current customers.

    Abuse is a very strong word, I know. Yet when someone, or an organization, uses emotional (or some other type) of blackmail in order to force the other party do something, that is a form of abuse. (Buy now, or I'll make you pay more tomorrow!) (Say yes now, and I'll tell you tomorrow what you agreed to do!)

     

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    Rick Henry

    Don't know about the CEO, but the sales department needs to go back to marketing class.  Rule #1 - don't jerk your existing base of customers around, you can't afford to alienate them at any price.  I personally consider $49 to be a reasonable price for an upgrade.  I got an email saying I could pre-order L4 for just $49, but when you click on the link to do just what they want, you get the classic bait-and-switch.  The email link takes you to an offer to bundle L4 with Inspiration Looks for $59. There is no option to just buy L4 for $49.  I don't want Inspiration Looks, nor would I ever use it.  Is an extra $10 going to kill me?  No, but these types of sales ploys turn me off to the point of dumping the whole thing.  I sent a "contact us" message to Skylum about it, wanting just what they advertised - L4 at a pre-order price of $49.  No reply after several days.  Skylum, get control of your marketing department or you will lose the base of users you have already built.

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    Colin Grant

    I seem to recall a blog item by the CEO, who comes across as self opinionated, arrogant and unethical, explaining how he built the company without  borrowing (its called bootstrapping). I submit that it is very hard to start a company (especially one with demanding product development) and make it thrive without some sort off corporate finance package or a marketing technique that puts cash flow above all else. Clearly the approach at Skylum is to generate income at all costs irrespective of the ethics of the method or the quality of the product.

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    Carl Douthit

    Skylum apparently doesn't care what we think or what we post.

    This thread seems to be ignored, or mostly ignored, by Skylum's marketing and/or customer service departments.

    I keep expecting one or more of us to be punished in some way for posting negative content about the company -- not that I want to be punished.

    But where is the "this is what we are going to do better" responses from Skylum?

    Where are the "We are suspending the upgrade offer until we can tell you what you will be purchasing." responses?

    All Skylum does is double-down with the threats "Buy now or you'll have to pay more later." and vague promises and descriptions of what would be purchased.

    It's like a car dealership offering a sale and telling customers to upgrade their current cars for a new one. What's the new one like?

    "It has 4 wheels and a motor. We're still figuring out what else it will have. Once we actually tell you what the specifications of the car are, we'll be raising the price so Buy Now or we'll make you PAY."

     

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    Anastasia Davis

    Hi guys! We didnt have any intention to ignore this thread. Moreover, no member was punished for saying negative things about our products. There is always a room for improvement and we appreciate your constructive critics. 
    As for the revealing new Luminar 4 features, we will do it step by step, as we mentioned. You are not forced to upgrade to the new version, it is up to you. You can wait until all the features are released and then to upgrade. Or else, you can stick to your current version. 

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    Colin Grant

    Respond to the criticism please, Anastasia. For goodness sake stop repeating the same boring stuff and listen to what people are saying. WE DO NOT LIKE THE WAY YOU MARKET OR SELL SOFTWÃRE THAT IS BASICALLY VAPOURWARE - THAT IS YOU WON"T GIVE  US THE SPECS. This is not just about upgrading it is about the short shelf life of all your products, about your apparent methodology whereby you will do anything to generate more income with little regard to those who have already purchased. 

    If our constructive comments are valuable please react. Or are they only constructive if they agree with the way you do things!

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    Carl Douthit

    I may be off base here, but I'm guessing that Anastasia Davis has a script that she is required to follow to keep her job. She likely cannot say anything different. If I'm correct, it is the same as it has been since this forum was first opened -- the Moderators are simply "canon fodder" to keep the upper-echelon Skylum administration insulated from the customers.

    BUT ***Skylum*** sure could say something different!

    Where are the Skylum company commitments to change? (Not just the same old words that have been used for months, but *actions*.) NO WHERE

    Where is Skylum beginning to demonstrate that they are committed to a different plan of marketing and a more ethical tone in their relationships with their current and potential customers? NO WHERE

    Because of the lack of action by the company over the past many months, I no longer believe that Skylum - beginning with the President and rolling down hill - actually cares about the criticism. If they did, we would not be seeing the type of advertising campaign for L4 that we are seeing.

    BTW, Luminar for Windows was first released in late November, 2017. Although the release was titled "Luminar 2018", it was basically "Luminar 1".

    Less than TWO years later, we will soon (???) see the release of Luminar 4.

    And that doesn't count the strange release of "Luminar Flex", which already seems to have been abandoned.

    So FIVE major versions in 24 months, with none of them actually having the full features initially promised within months of the initial release of Luminar 1 (2018)! I cannot think of a single piece of software (still) in existence with that type of version record.

    I have no idea about the MAC division of Skylum -- perhaps it is better and perhaps it isn't.

     

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    David Medeiros

    I started this thread to get some clarification on the new pricing for L4. I'm happy to see that Skylum is honoring its commitment to "upgrade" pricing for current customers (despite some pretty vague marketing language), but I'm really concerned about the release of L4 so close to the fiasco of L3 and with so little information about included features or improvements. A lot of us are still uneasy about the communication and support we received relative to L3. The pressure campaign to buy L4 now at a deep discount doesn't help. The absence of any info on pro level features and the focus on Sky Replacement and AI tools suggests a move away from pro users to more casual users. All of this adds up to my probably not moving forward with Skylum. I'll stick with L3 for a while but I am also looking at other apps that have a similar target user but include many more features up front (like HDR, pano stitching, image alignment, focus stacking...). Stuff Skylum seems to either want to parse into separate apps or is ignoring all together. Too bad, Luminar was a really promising app. I suspect the best thing that could happen at this point is for a larger company to buy them out, re set the marketing and support tone, and then focus on what was great about the initial app.

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