Sage 50 Cloud - won't work unless you update??

From Spring 22 Sage 50 Cloud - won't work unless you buy a new update??

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Hi 

My Sage 50 (now called Sage 50 Cloud) is running a warning banner that I won't be able to access my software unless I update to the latest version.

I purchased 5 company sage licences in 2015 - at a time when they were outright purchases, no support needed, no monthly fee.  When I purchased the licenses I was led to believe they were perpetual licences, but the small print says they are for 15 years - but I accepted that, fine.  The software works fine, it hasn't been updated, but I've used Sage long enough to know how to configure the VAT rates etc.

Now Sage are saying if I don't update, I will loose the software.  That's like buying a car, and 5 years later, the dealer says, no we've reverted you to lease hire or you can't keep the car.

I can't be the only one with this problem, 

any comments or suggestions?

BB

 

 

 

 

 

Replies (690)

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By Moonbeam
28th Jan 2022 13:24

But do you really fancy going to court about it? Sage have a reputation for treating customers like pig swill, but you knew that when you bought the software, I'm sure.

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By rmillaree
28th Jan 2022 13:51

shocking unless they have given you some later extra features that were necessary.

Thats up there with HSBC's

"Free banking for life" for certain business customers - they withdrew the tariff those that signed up 6 months later.

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By Paul Crowley
28th Jan 2022 14:25

Why not point it out to people who take money for advertising their services?
I have heard that Aweb are well known for accepting sponsored articles

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By RobbieT
28th Jan 2022 14:29

Notwithstanding the name, is this actually cloud-based software or the old desktop version? If the latter, we went past several years of not updating without incident, the original functionality was fine. The only issue was if a new client had datafile from a much newer version that wasn't backward compatible with our old version.
Then we moved to Xero and it's been much better.

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By buttercup books
28th Jan 2022 14:49

Thanks for the reply.

my software is not cloud based, it's PC based, but in a previous conversation with Sage, I argued my Sage was not cloud and was told, it's just the new name.
Hopefully Robbie T is correct and it will continue to work.
I do know my software logs into Sage to confirm the licence every time I open it, and even though I haven't done an update the Home page advert and this new banner appear, so clearly it is doing advertising updates.
I wonder if Sage are trying to threaten us into buying an update - but who can run the risk of hitting the cut-off to see if it works.

A couple of my small companies have very small number of entries, and are with NatWest, I could switch them to Free Agent - anyone used Freeagent??

thanks again, BB

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
28th Jan 2022 14:49

Its how they (and to be fair most other large software houses) have been operating for as long as I have been an accountant.

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By johndon68
28th Jan 2022 16:07

It appears that Sage have changed that particular message, previously it stated that, if you were making use of Sage Remote Access (previously Sage Drive) then due to changed with that, you would have to upgrade Sage.

Robbie T is correct in that, historically, if you purchased a perpetual licence then the software would work forever (I have copies back to v9 that still work perfectly) but the difference with newer versions, since around v21, have 'phoned home' to check your licence so, while Sage shouldn't stop a perpetual licence from working, they do have the ability to do so...

John

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By johndon68
14th Feb 2022 10:25

I've been talking to a Sage Business Partner this morning about this.

Looking at the message that appears in Sage re the action required, it says that you need to install v26.3 or above to continue, it doesn't actually say that you have to pay for an upgrade just that you have to install an upgrade so that it something that really needs some clarification from Sage.

If you do just need to install an upgrade at no cost then I don't see that there is an issue...

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Replying to johndon68:
By buttercup books
14th Feb 2022 14:06

Hi Johndon68,

Sage aren't talking to me because I have so far declined their kind offer of a hugely expensive monthly subscription.

Do you fancy talking to them again, and asking whether the Desktop - non cloud perpetual licences will cease to work in "spring 2022".

The banner has disappeared from my Sage - so I now don't know if Sage are not applying it to perpetual licences, or just assuming that I have read and understood the warning.

We really need clarification, but as I said, Sage aren't talking to me.
BB

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By JD
14th Feb 2022 10:32

There has to be a place for accountants owned software supplier, rather than this sort of rubbish from Sage (and others)

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Replying to JD:
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By Wanderer
23rd Feb 2022 13:00

What, like VT Transaction Plus????

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By buttercup books
14th Feb 2022 14:02

I haven't tried to install the upgrade for fear of causing chaos in my Sage system, but I bet you can't update without paying for it, and the only way you can buy anything on a perpetual licence now is to "upgrade" to monthly licence.

Please someone correct me if I'm wrong

BB

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Replying to buttercup books:
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By turkishdelight
22nd Feb 2022 12:58

hi buttercup,
Did you try and upgrade? i'm in the same boat and just daren't start the process! but I don't want to have to go down the monthly subscription route either! I feel time is running out as Sage just say 'in Spring' ..so that must be soon!!
TD

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By johndon68
22nd Feb 2022 13:07

I spoke again to a Sage Business Partner last week and, as far as he knows:

1. The enforced upgrade is due, according to Sage, to a security change in the software.
2. The change is coming 'in the spring'.
3. The upgrade will be chargeable.

As for the actual data upgrade process to a new version, I can't remember the last time I had an upgrade fail.

John

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Replying to johndon68:
By buttercup books
23rd Feb 2022 12:34

Hi Jondon68,
Thank you so much for that information,
It is , I suspected, a backdoor way to force perpetual licencees to give up their rights.

but thanks for taking the time to get a clearer answer,

I will phone Sage, if I get any clear answer I will let you all know.

Regards,BB

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By buttercup books
23rd Feb 2022 14:03

Okay guys, I've just spoken to Sage

First person - says it's to do with MTD - your version isn't MTD compliant -
-I replied - that's fine, I don't file VAT with Sage -
She says - Ohh well, you'll be fine then.
I replied, but the banner on my Sage says I will not be able to access my Software - are you turning off my access -
Answer - no I don't think so, ohhh I'd better check with technical, I'll put you through
Second person on Sales Team - she says it's to do with TLS - what ever that is ?
She pointed out - that I own my software, I will continue to own my software -
Me- so will it still work -
Sage - We don't have a definitive answer yet - at the moment we don't know -but there will be some loss of functionality -
Me - so when will the changes happen
Sage - we don't have a definitive answer yet, you will receive more details by email -
I then checked they had my correct email address- so they can't blame me not getting an email to me
Sage then went on to quote me £82.50 plus VAT per month to continue to use Sage- compared to the NIL per month I currently pay on my Perpetual purchased version of Sage.

I will await an email from Sage with more definitive information.

BB

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Replying to buttercup books:
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By rmillaree
23rd Feb 2022 14:11

presumably there is a backup plan here - if sage is working now and you install on ringfenced computer not connected to the internet and change computer date back in time i dont see how sage would be able to disable your access under that circusmtance. Being honest ref old programs if you havent done any updates in the last 2 years not sure how you would be in the situation you are.

Obviously if you are taking advantage of the vat mtd capabilities of sage and you have updated for that capability you should not expect that to keep working without paying as basically they are providing support for obsolete product which you should expect to have to pay for. Ie you can use original product as intended without issue but if you want it to work for mtd vat that is soemthig completely different that you should expect to get for nowt.

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Replying to rmillaree:
By buttercup books
23rd Feb 2022 14:32

Hi Rmillaree

thank you for your reply

You can't re-install it - without getting a new key from Sage,
You can't ring fence it from the internet, because even though it's a desk top program every time you open the program it logs into Sage HQ to check the licence number.
I know this because I've tried to log in when I've had power to the computer, but my internet has been down, and the Sage program comes up with a warning - Sage will only run for 3 days without internet access -

Sorry (genuine comment, please don't read challenge or aggression here)- I'm not sure what you mean by - "Being honest ref old programs if you havent done any updates in the last 2 years not sure how you would be in the situation you are." - I haven't done any updates since for several years - and I and a lot of other users are in this situation,

What Sage are implying is that we can't continue to use the original product - it isn't clear whether they actually intent to turn off access to the software we own on our desktops - or if it's just a bluff to scare owners of Perpetual licences like me to switch to monthly payments.

regards, BB

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Replying to buttercup books:
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By rmillaree
23rd Feb 2022 15:34

Hello buttercup

Your reply makes sense - i didnt realise that specific version needed to login and verify anything on the net each time you use - so my comemnts are wide of the mark. I do access sage 50 cloud for clients of ours but i do this from our accoutants setup that i dont think is specifically tagged as being a "cloud" version - i either havent noticed that it checks with sage online (if it does) or if doesnt do that check on my version as strictly spekaing its not teh same clioud setup
In summary simply ignore my prior post.

I would agree if you have paid for perpetual licence they shouldnt take it away from you end of and i would presume sage wont if. However they may find a clever way to screw you over by granting you access to the original product they sold you only - that may not be good news if your data is updated to later version that is backward compatible.

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Replying to rmillaree:
By buttercup books
23rd Feb 2022 16:34

Thanks for your reply rmillaree

Let's just wait and see what Sage do.

I know I was one of the last to buy Perpetual licences and they have tried in the last 5 years to manoeuvre it off me several times, including one time, just sending me a bill/direct debit mandate -

They are so huge, why can't they be "big enough" to respect, the fact that they sold us perpetual licences even if they now regret it. It's my software - I bought it, leave it alone - don't update it, don't amend it, just leave it alone the way you sold it to me. I'd be happy with that!

hey ho!!

regards, BB

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Replying to buttercup books:
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By rmillaree
23rd Feb 2022 16:43

"They are so huge, why can't they be "big enough" to respect, the fact that they sold us perpetual licences "
I would be surprised if they dont - very surprised

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Replying to rmillaree:
AS
By AS
24th Feb 2022 10:55

rmillaree wrote:

"They are so huge, why can't they be "big enough" to respect, the fact that they sold us perpetual licences "
I would be surprised if they dont - very surprised

Sage need to look at other huge companies that did not listen to their loyal customers like Nokia, Blackberry, Lotus (which started losing customers quickly after IBM bought the company for its groupware product, Lotus Notes, and started neglecting Lotus 123).

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By johndon68
10th Mar 2022 15:02

I've just heard back from my Business Partner contact.

First of all, to clarify the issue, the reason for this whole situation is due to an internet security standard (which isn't Sage's) called TLS. It is used by thousands of software vendors to secure online communications. Prior to v26.3, Sage were using TLS1.0 for communication with their licence server but that is coming to the end of it's life and the current version is TLS1.2 which Sage have used since v26.3 and it is the change in TLS that is forcing the upgrade, not a change in Sage.

I'm told today that Sage are going to postpone the forced update of software for 12 months and when they do decide to enforce the change, 6 months notice will be given. So, the change is still going to happen but not for some time...

John

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Replying to johndon68:
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By Hugo Fair
10th Mar 2022 18:08

... and it's still, despite the careful positioning by Sage, entirely because of Sage (as it's their decision to make it a mandatory part of their desktop software that it has to communicate remotely with their licence server)!

Prior to the introduction of the cash-cow that is subscription-based licensing, they had no problem in managing licences within the desktop software. So this 'facility' is just a means of making you dependent on their goodwill (or on your payment for whatever is demanded), despite there being no benefit to you.

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By johndon68
10th Mar 2022 18:28

Hugo Fair wrote:
they had no problem in managing licences within the desktop software.

That's because there was no management of licences at all. I could give you my serial number and activation key and you'd have a fully working copy of Sage that you'd never paid for...

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Replying to johndon68:
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By Hugo Fair
10th Mar 2022 19:47

Well that was just poor software design then. I was responsible for quite a lot of software package development pre-internet (let alone cloud) and the installation performed what I thought was a fairly common process. The exact details escape me after all these years but it was something along the lines of a checksum that was generated by reference to a combination of the licence number and the PC Bios ... thereby 'locking' the licence to that piece of hardware. Certainly re-installation on, say, a new server required a new licence number to be obtained from the supplier (for which there was no charge as part of support services) ... thereby ensuring the developer retained control of licences without limiting the purchaser in what he/she could do.

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By johndon68
11th Mar 2022 09:25

Hugo Fair wrote:

Well that was just poor software design then. I was responsible for quite a lot of software package development pre-internet (let alone cloud) and the installation performed what I thought was a fairly common process. The exact details escape me after all these years but it was something along the lines of a checksum that was generated by reference to a combination of the licence number and the PC Bios ... thereby 'locking' the licence to that piece of hardware. Certainly re-installation on, say, a new server required a new licence number to be obtained from the supplier (for which there was no charge as part of support services) ... thereby ensuring the developer retained control of licences without limiting the purchaser in what he/she could do.

And Sage did exactly that when they introduced v9 of Sage 50 (I worked there at the time) and, as I recall, it generated more support calls that any other issue ever did so it was removed in v9.1

John

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Replying to johndon68:
By buttercup books
30th May 2022 09:17

Thanks for the updates,

On 24th Mar, on this thread, I thought we'd talked Sage postponing the update for 12 months and then giving 6 months notice, has that now changed.

My Sage isn't yet telling me of any changes??

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By DeeEll
24th May 2022 18:51

Today an email arrives from my Sage support company . . . . "These updates are due to take place on 30th September 2022. After this date, anyone using Sage 50 Accounts Essentials v26.2 and below will no longer be able to access their software" - without paying (e.g.1 user, 1 company with Email Support (RRP: £27.50) - £24.75 - per month)

However a link to Sage eSage Help Centre -
https://gb-kb.sage.com/portal/app/portlets/results/viewsolution.jsp?solu... says simply "We recommend you install the latest updates as soon as possible to avoid any disruption."

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By DeeEll
24th May 2022 18:52

-

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Replying to DeeEll:
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By Hugo Fair
24th May 2022 21:51

You left out the best bit of their support guidance:
"If you still need access to your read-only Sage 50 Accounts, you must install the update.
However if you no longer require access to the software you don't need to upgrade"!

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Replying to DeeEll:
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By kiwilondon99
25th May 2022 10:56

..

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By MartinJones
07th Jun 2022 23:02

We have also been approached by a reseller to advise that our Sage 50 Accounts, with a perpetual license, will cease to function later this year. We are well aware it is not the latest version but it is amply capable of what we need it for. We don’t need support for it (its not like payroll where we need the latest legislation updates).

It surely can’t be legal for a software vendor to disable a product years after selling it as a perpetual license, with the additional issue with accounting software that the owner may need to reference the data for a number of years regardless of if they move to a different product. Through the archive feature in Sage 50 we have data going back over 10 or more financial years as we had earlier versions of Sage prior to the one we currently use.

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Replying to MartinJones:
By buttercup books
08th Jun 2022 17:19

Hi All,
You'll notice I started this thread, just so you know it's an update - not just a comment.

I'm giving you the whole story so you know what I know.

Today, I phoned Trading Standards - tel 0808 223 1133 - The call was answered by Citizens Advice very quickly and very professionally.
It was explained to me that Trading Standards is no longer a front facing organisation, that information is collected by Citizens Advice and will be forwarded to TS by CA if necessary.

CA took full details, mine, my problem, the product purchased and when and the price paid. I did say this was not problem unique to me, that there were possibly hundreds of people in exactly the same position.

CA take each complaint as a stand alone complaint so she was unable to say whether there were any similar complaints, but if/when the complaint is forwarded to TS - TS will then compare and collate the complaints.

After a brief pause to look up the correct guidance-
This is the action I was told to take
1) Read the T&Cs - see if there is any stated right to enforce an upgrade after a certain time - if there is nothing in the T&C that give the right to enforce an upgrade then I can hold them in breach of contract.

I have the original disc and I will see if I can load it and read the T&Cs

CA say the burden of proof is on me - but if I can claim breach of contract I have 2 choices
1) I can end the contract - clearly I don't want this - but Sage does
2) I can ask them to honour the contract- clearly this is my preferred option

I was told I can claim costs/damages relating to the claim, but I am obliged to keep these to a minimum.

I am instructed I must follow Sage's complaints process and submit a written complaint by post (recorded delivery) or email (proof of delivery and read receipt)
and set a deadline for reply of between 7 and 14 days - CA were specific on this time frame - and keep copies of all correspondence to be forwarded to CA if requested.

In the meantime, if Sage were to terminate my software before mutually resolving the dispute - that I was to phone CA immediately and that TS would take a very dim view of that action.

I was given a case reference number and the name of the lady I spoke with.
I will follow this advice and write an official letter of complaint tomorrow and I'll keep you guys posted.

Does anyone know how many people have perpetual licences - does anyone follow other forums and is the same complaint running else where.

Would everyone effected like to follow the same complaints process and phone CA - what have we got to loose by making an official complaint. - the 0808 phone number is free to UK landlines

I don't know what will come of this complaint, but if we can embarrass Sage into giving us a free upgrade that will enable them to control the licences and still allow us use of our fully purchased perpetual licence until our software is no longer viable we will all be happy.

Again it's 0808 223 1133

BB

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Replying to MartinJones:
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By thestudyman
08th Jun 2022 22:50

Is it really expected for a company to support a product forever, even a 1000 years from now. That is not what a perpetual license provides. It is a license to use the product as long as the product exists, without extra cost, which is what Sage does. There will come a time where the offering is no longer feasible.

Compare to a situation where for example, someone bought a perpetual license of Microsoft Money (remember that?), back in 1997. The software has ceased to exist, and surely there was no expectation Microsoft would continue to provide full support and unlimited access forever.

Sage would probably cover their backs by classing the subscription version as completely different to the perpetual license version.

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Replying to thestudyman:
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By Hugo Fair
08th Jun 2022 23:09

Not a true analogy.
Sage have not 'withdrawn support', they have actively decided to force the software to stop working at all (even though the purchaser would be happy to keep using it).

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Replying to thestudyman:
By buttercup books
09th Jun 2022 09:56

Sorry this is an incorrect analogy - no one is expecting support - a better analogy is buying a car, after time you don't expect dealer support or even spare parts to be available - you do expect to be allowed to continue to own and drive it. We don't expect the dealership to come along and say unless you sign a lease contract - we won't let you keep the car anymore.

We bought the software as outright purchases - Sage intend to turn it off.

bb

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Replying to thestudyman:
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By steve.oldham
10th Jul 2022 12:48

thestudyman wrote:

Is it really expected for a company to support a product forever, even a 1000 years from now. That is not what a perpetual license provides. It is a license to use the product as long as the product exists, without extra cost, which is what Sage does. There will come a time where the offering is no longer feasible.

Compare to a situation where for example, someone bought a perpetual license of Microsoft Money (remember that?), back in 1997. The software has ceased to exist, and surely there was no expectation Microsoft would continue to provide full support and unlimited access forever.

Sage would probably cover their backs by classing the subscription version as completely different to the perpetual license version.

I bought MS Money back in 1998 for my personal finance tracking. Still works perfectly well on my Windows 11 machine in 2022, now with 24 years worth of data! When MS decided to end of life the product they issued a non-supported and non-updated version for people to continue to use, rather than just dumping them in the doo-doo unless they paid a large monthly fee.

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By paulwakefield1
09th Jun 2022 08:45

I have a client using Sage Line 50 v20. I do not believe that this version "phones home" and so fortunately should be immune from this issue but can anybody confirm that it does not check the licence?

They have not heard anything from Sage so I think probably OK but would be good to know for sure.

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Replying to paulwakefield1:
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By Leywood
09th Jun 2022 09:10

I have a client who has perpetual discs Sage 50 Accounts Professional, version 21 (.5.9.201), also doesnt appear to 'phone home'.

They too have had no communication from sage. Bought from a reseller, nothing from them either so they tell me.

How can they find out for sure it doesnt do the phoning home piece? Or that they wont be switched off without calling Sage?

They also have an update disc, not fully sure what version, think its v24. Never installed, no clue why. Presumably now something that they should not do?

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By buttercup books
09th Jun 2022 09:51

To check if your version "phones home" simply disconnect the wifi - turn off the router or whatever -
then open Sage - my version will say - You are not connected to the internet - this version will stop working in 3 days unless you reconnect to the internet- or some such wording

bb

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Replying to buttercup books:
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By Leywood
09th Jun 2022 09:57

Doh.

Its so obvious now you've said it. Thank you BB. Plus for highlighting it in the first instance. I will hazard a guess my client has done that already, but will double check.

Im still suffering from sleep deprevation after being dragged to a 'nightclub' at weekend. Never again. Mind you I said that 25 + years ago too.

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Replying to Leywood:
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By Hugo Fair
09th Jun 2022 11:44

Wow that's a loooooong time (25+ years) to recover sufficiently for a return visit ... what's the name of this exciting club?

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By Leywood
10th Jun 2022 11:08

If I told you I would have to kill you, or die from even more embarassement.

3 people on the dancefloor when we arrived, not many more when we left several hours and many drinks later.

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By buttercup books
09th Jun 2022 09:51

To check if your version "phones home" simply disconnect the wifi - turn off the router or whatever -
then open Sage - my version will say - You are not connected to the internet - this version will stop working in 3 days unless you reconnect to the internet- or some such wording

bb

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Replying to buttercup books:
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By paulwakefield1
09th Jun 2022 10:36

Is that message from Sage received immediately on opening?

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Replying to paulwakefield1:
By buttercup books
09th Jun 2022 11:02

From memory yes, certainly before you start working

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Replying to buttercup books:
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By paulwakefield1
09th Jun 2022 11:09

Thank you. That sounds easy to test without disrupting their work too much. I am fairly sure they are unaffected but certainly worth checking.

And thanks for digging into this whole issue. I hope you get a satisfactory resolution.

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By buttercup books
09th Jun 2022 11:56

Okay guys -
I have just spoken with Sage, I rang up ready to go to war, ready to ask for their official complaints procedure.
I had an extensive conversation - where Lynsey says Sage WILL NOT and she said CANNOT turn off our perpetual licence.

I asked for written confirmation and received the following- from my point of view, if they do block access to my software - I have a basis to tell the VAT office and my clients - "it's not my fault"

-Further to our conversation regarding the switch off on the 50 accounts licence.
I can confirm that this doesn’t apply to customers like yourself who still have a perpetual licence – we cannot cancel these licences.

The message you are seeing is relating to our subscription based customers who are working on earlier versions.

As discussed you are free to use your licence for as long as you need to but we will no longer offer support should you have any issues.

your licence will definatly NOT be switched off.

Hope this puts your mind at rest and if you do have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact me.

kindest Regards

Lyndsey Johnson
Customer success – Uk Loyalty

Office 01914795955

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Replying to buttercup books:
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By turkishdelight
09th Jun 2022 12:01

That's amazing progress that they have put this in an email to you! hopefully this means we don't need to worry come the end of September.. I have today switched off my wifi and I can still log in and don't get any error message (only done it once so far), my colleague cannot connect but that's because the main data is on my machine so we need the internet to connect the two together. We are on V25.1.128.0

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