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Avoid ApexSQL!!! Expand / Collapse
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Posted Wednesday, December 21, 2005 1:51 PM
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A few weeks ago someone made a booboo with an update statement in the production database. After chastising the poor guy to no end we investigated tools to roll back the changes. We found ApexSQL. We downloaded and installed their trial version and it looked like it was perfect. Since we planned on using it in production to save us a whole ton of work and money we decided to do what we thought was the right thing and purchase it.

Much to our dismay when we actually tried to roll back the transaction the thing bombed out because it tried to do everything in memory and ran out of 32bit address space. We attempted to contact the company to cancel the transaction since it had not been processed yet but there was no phone number and there was a 48 turn around on their support so by the time they answered it had already gone through. I requested a refund but was denied with no explanation.

We contacted ApexSQL for a refund but they insisted we try their tech support first. Long story short i spend about 2 weeks alpha testing their software i already paid $700 for. After another week of asking for a refund, "todd" their sales director called me. In the course of speaking with Todd he informed me they have a no refund policy, though it's not clearly stated anywhere in their ordering process. He also let me know that because they have a 30 day trial version it's my own fault for buying it when it didn't work.

I find it absurd that they are selling untested software that doesn't work and then tell people it's their own fault when they ask they stand behind their product. They are openly committing fraud by selling non-functional software and refusing refunds telling people it’s their own fault for buying software that doesn’t work.

I have of course denied the charge through my credit card company but i'm hoping to save all of you the same hassles and pain. Avoid all apexsql products until they improve their software quality, support and refund policies.

Post #245981
Posted Wednesday, December 21, 2005 10:17 PM


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Hi David,

I'm a little surprised by your posting of issues with Apex SQL. I know a lot of folks on these forums have had a positive experience with Apex SQL, including myself. I've reviewed several of their products and haven't had a catastrophic issue like you've indicated that you had. Quite the opposite: I've been pretty satisfied with the products I've looked at.

I also know Todd (Mojnar), and he's generally a fair guy in my experience. So is the owner, Brian Lockwood. I'm going to forward Brian a link to this forum post.



K. Brian Kelley, CISA, MCSE, Security+, MVP - SQL Server
Regular Columnist (Security), SQLServerCentral.com
Author of Introduction to SQL Server: Basic Skills for Any SQL Server User
| Professional Development blog | Technical Blog | LinkedIn | Twitter
Post #246071
Posted Thursday, December 22, 2005 2:21 PM
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Brian -

Thanks for the follow up and trying to help out, the guys over at sql-server-performance.com had put me in touch with Brian and he is in the process of making this right.

I did look on the forum prior to purchasing and had found a lot of positive comments as well. Their support tried their heart out to make it work right, the program just obviously was not designed or tested to handle generating a roll back for 1 million rows of data; which is surprising for a product targeted at SQL Server. 

My biggest problem is that this should've been no big deal to have gotten a refund; instead it took my contacting websites they advertise on and negative posts on prominent forums to get their attention. 

David

Post #246321
Posted Tuesday, December 27, 2005 10:34 AM
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I don't own any ApexSQL software, but I evaluated ApexSQL Edit and loved it.  I tried but couldn't convince management to buy everyone a copy.  I didn't have any serious issues, but I did have some suggestions, and I found my suggestions implemented in the next version within a month or two.  Try getting that kind of support from Microsoft!

Their support policy is you get free support and upgrades for life for a one-time purchase fee.  I sincerely hope they don't try to "improve" this policy.  A $700 purchase price is not a lot to ask for lifetime support.

I think it's extremely unfair to toss out words like "untested", "fraud", and "non-functioning" just because the software could not deal with the mess you find yourself in.  Did you discuss the situation with their support staff before the purchase to make sure it could handle the job?  There are a number of companies that sell log-parsing software that can be used to recover from this kind of problem, but I don't know that any of them make an absolute guarantee of handling any situation.

I do sympathize with your problem, I've said oops once or twice myself.  Fortunately they were recoverable oopses, partially by luck and partially by design.  But it looks like you joined SQL Server Central just so you could post your complaints, and I don't think you're going to convince many people that ApexSQL has anything to apologize for.




Post #246761
Posted Tuesday, December 27, 2005 11:20 AM
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Scott -

I have been a member for nearly 2 years and yes this is my first forum post. If that invalidates what i have said, that's your personal view. I can't believe you're trying to vilify me for this though; I was simply trying to do the right thing by actually paying for software. True to the adage I’ve found that no good deed goes unpunished.

Like I said before, the software not working is not due to lack of effort on the part of their support; they were great. What is in need of improvement is their customer service and refund policies (which is different from tech support). It should not take me throwing a fit to everyone that will listen and talking to the president of the company to get a refund.

I don't think those words were unfair in the least in the situation. They sold software advertised for SQL server; a product targeted at storing large amounts of data. Their product was unable to work with large amounts of data and their customer service told me it was my fault for not knowing that and buying it. The issue was not a unique data condition or oddball case, just a large number of rows. Their tech support thought it should've worked just fine when contacted. Then when asked to stand behind their product's quality and they refused.

I was fine with that and simply asked for my money back and was content to go on about my way whe I was  told that it was my fault for not knowing their software didn't work and that they wouldn't be giving me a refund. If you are willing to deal with this risk, then by all means use their software; I however will not be and want others to know of my experience. 

Dave

Post #246781
Posted Tuesday, December 27, 2005 1:28 PM
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I understand your frustration and am sorry you had an experience like that. However, you do say "they have a 30 day trial version". You also imply that you did not take advantage of that. At my workplace, we are required to take advantage of offers that. We never buy anything without fully testing it. If it works, we buy it. If not, we explain to the company why it didn't work for us and why we won't buy it. I have heard of other companies that have a "we gave you the opportunity to test it before buying and you turned it down, so no refund" policy. It may sound like poor customer relations, but they did offer to let you test the product for FREE. And you didn't do so. If you had, you wouldn't have bought their software, they wouldn't have had to take it back, they wouldn't have had to refund anything. Everyone would have been happy. BUT, you bought without checking to see if it would work for you. I'd get fired if I did anything like that.

I hope you get your refund....but I also hope you learned a lesson. When you are given an opportunity to test a product for free, DO SO.

-SQLBill



Post #246811
Posted Tuesday, December 27, 2005 1:37 PM
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One last comment by me on this....don't be surprised if more software companies take on this policy. Why? If you buy their product and then return it for a refund - how do they know that you uninstalled it? They don't, so now you could have a fully licensed version in use that you never paid for. I suspect that more companies will offer evaluation copies and have a 'no refund' policy for fully licenced copies.

Makers of DVDs and CD are going to this, it keeps people from buying a DVD or CD, copying it and then returning it for a refund.

-SQLBill



Post #246812
Posted Tuesday, December 27, 2005 2:05 PM


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Okay, folks, before this turns into a flamewar, let's leave at these points:

1) David posted his experience with one of Apex's products.
2) Others happen to disagree with David's stance on Apex.

That's opinion versus opinion meaning no one is going to "win." Wouldas, shouldas, and couldas aside, Brian Lockwood has contacted David and hopefully Apex and David can work out the issue.




K. Brian Kelley, CISA, MCSE, Security+, MVP - SQL Server
Regular Columnist (Security), SQLServerCentral.com
Author of Introduction to SQL Server: Basic Skills for Any SQL Server User
| Professional Development blog | Technical Blog | LinkedIn | Twitter
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