If you buy a "lifetime" subscription to something, just how long should it be honored, really?
Three years? Five? Ten? As long as the company exists? Forever?
San Francisco, Calif.-based cloud services company Joyent is attempting to move holdout customers to its new cloud platform, in doing so ending the "lifetime" deal these customers entered in by plunking down $500 for a services bundle.
It all started when Joyent acquired web hosting company TextDrive, which sold lifetime subscriptions to its earliest customers as a way to spur investment. Joyent honored the agreement, and everything was hunky dory. Until now.
Apparently by "lifetime" they meant until we get tired of supporting them.......
The about-face on policy here is certainly undesired, but the situation raises a great question: if a company is bold (stupid?) enough to offer "lifetime" subscriptions to services, how long would you expect to have them before it's fair to pull the plug?
In a world where technologies replace technologies (and the companies behind them), how long is a "lifetime"?