I received a call today from a small business owner faced with a licence fee to keep his software alive. It is a fee he has not been charged for the two years he has had the software (from a competitor) and can’t find anything in his original material about such a charge. He is over a barrel. The software will stop working Friday if he does not pay the fee. He could fight it but, as he says, he’d lost the $3,000 in legal fees quickly. He feels he has no choice.

Small business owners ought to reject these licence fees. They are offensive. They prove that the purchase price is not the purchase price. Unscrupulous companies are using them to discount today knowing they will get you tomorrow.

If you are considering buying software for your small business, be sure to get the price in writing including any annual or on going loicence fees.