Goldmine partners have spoken out against the CRM vendor, a division of Frontrange, after the introduction of a new pricing rule which sees resellers' lower-end customers pay up to five times the going rate on licence maintenance renewals.
The pricing change, which was introduced in January, means that existing customers of Goldmine partners with between one and four users can only buy a renewal for a minimum of five users, regardless of whether they need a smaller amount.
New customers who have not worked with Goldmine in the past only have to pay for a minimum of three users, causing existing partners to claim existing customers are being treated unfairly on top of being charged too much.
One partner, talking on the condition of anonymity, told ChannelWeb the move "does not make good business sense", while another said it had made life difficult for Goldmine's channel.
Paul Peterson, general manager of Goldmine, stressed that just seven per cent of the firm's customers have fewer than five users and that a balance must be struck between popularity of products and profitability.
"We believe [the pricing change] was fair," he said. "The reaction from single users was not good; they were not happy. But if you look at the amount it costs to keep up with operating systems, developments and features, then smaller users cost more in this way.
"We get more calls from single users, for example, whereas those with more [users] have a big IT department to support them. Lower user numbers cost us more."
But Ian Moyse, sales director of rival CRM outfit Workbooks, claimed the move would not go down well in the channel.
"We have already seen many customers coming off the legacy Goldmine on-network product and this will only exasperate more customers and partners," he said.
Ian Siebert, managing director of CRM Online, agreed. "This new maintenance model will clearly push end users into reviewing alternative products and solutions before renewing with Frontrange," he said.
Goldmine said a new discount proposition for VARs affected by the pricing change will be offered in the near future.
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