Breaking Promises: The Quickest Way to Screw Your Customers Over

As you probably know, earlier today Sketch has announced, basically, that they are changing from a one-time purchase to a subscription-based model. Although they try to frame it like they’re giving something away to us, like they’re good guys giving away “one year’s worth of updates”, they basically screwed all their customers over by changing their business model.

The company’s promise was that Sketch is a one-time purchase, because the subscription-based model was unfair to customers. That’s why Sketch was different than the Adobe Suite, which you have to pay for every month. From now on, you will purchase Sketch for $99 and get free updates for the next year. Meaning that features released more than a year after your purchase will not be available to you. Therefore, you will have to purchase Sketch again.

To put it in perspective, this basically means that you purchase Sketch once per year, because you obviously want all the new updates. At a price of $99 per year, this turns into $8.25/month (excluding VAT). Still, quite a cheap subscription for such a powerful tool, but that’s not what it’s about.

When Sketch hit the market a few years ago, it came with a promise: purchase it once, own it forever. Including updates and everything, of course. That was one of the things that made Sketch successful, if you ask me. That’s definitely what sold me and made me switch from a piece of software that I’ve been using for the past 15 years.

Don’t get me wrong. Many companies change their business model and that’s okay. In Sketch’s case, however, I think this move is wrong. It’s one thing to change the business model for new customers, and it’s a whole other thing to change it for people who already paid for your software under the assumption that it’s the only time they will have to reach for their credit card.

Sketch broke a promise to their customers. To the same customers that they proudly showcase whenever necessary:

“[…] our fantastic community of Sketch users has increased tenfold, sharing a wealth of resources, tutorials, and Plugins.”

So much for all that buy it once, own it forever crap. Take notice: If you want to fuck over your customers, the best way to do it is to break a promise. When the promise has to do with money, it only gets worse.

Sketch has fallen from the pedestal today.

Also published on my blog.