How should a Market Place refund or free trial policy look like?

well, yes wise words indeed.
I was hoping to establish merely enough votes for MS to take some notice and understand that establishing some sort of trial period on the MP would benefit all.
But you are of course correct in what you say.

Exactly –

“Don’t ask the question if you’re not prepared to hear the answer”?

A extremely cumbersome and accountimg nightmare that has 0 chance g be implemented.

Well, you asked a question about who has the authority to deem a simulator aircraft is realistic or not. I just answered with who would ideally be authorised to do so. I don’t know why that would upset you.

If people want realistic aircraft, then they need to accept that they have to pay for the premium that comes with that level of realism. Otherwise, just be happy with what we have and stop complaining.

PMDG is the most realistic Boeing 737 and they sell it for 225. So yeah, people who do expect realistic aircraft would pay premium for it.

We already have realistic aircraft. What we don’t have (and likely never will) are exact replicas of the real machines and their systems.

The current refund policy would be ok, if we had the option to trial an aircraft first…even for just 72 hours.

Other people suggest not buying something on Day 1 or to wait until others have produced a review or Youtube video about it. All fine suggestions but what if those reviews don’t cover the specific areas of interest/concern you have?

To many reviews cover the looks, sound and (possibly) unnecessary features rather than going into the system depth to really spot the bugs.

It’s just a testiment to how much control business has that such a refund policy can still exist for software products in 2023. If I were to go into a hardware store and buy a flashlight, find the beam intensity button doesn’t work I’d be immediately entitled to a refund/replacement. Not so with software.

The argument is always made that the bug can be fixed (not so easy with hardware) but this still relies on the software developer being concerned enough to do it, the control therefore lies in their hands not that of the consumer which is what trading laws are supposed to protect.

A fairer trial period (something like DCS which offers them every 6 months) would allow people to decide if they want to pay, possibly report any problems to the developer they’ve found. Wait a few months to try it again and then pay if it’s been fixed.

Pipedream idea but maybe this would encourage developers not to rush out the products so quickly without sufficient testing as they know they could get a fair bit of negative (but hopefully constructive) feedback without them actually making any money for a poorly implemented product.

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WinRar software is a good case study to reflect on. They provide evaluation period where users can try the software to do their archiving and extract purposes. If they like it, they can buy the product. If users don’t think it’s worth having, they can just uninstall it. No need to pay and then do a refund process. It’s a nightmare.

Unfortunately people will use it but generally won’t pay for it. I don’t know a single person who does. They just put up with the popups. The sim addon market is tiny compared to the potential market for something like WinRAR and cant really chance people trying it on (which they will)

Nope, as I say, they just continue to use it for free

And how would a company make money in the meantime? These aren’t massive corporations that can take a medium term hit.

DCS provides trials as do many other utility based software which costs about the same as some aircraft in MSFS.

The situation right now is any developer can rush out whatever crap they want into the marketplace and we have no recourse as a consumer to get a refund.

Sorry I have no confidence in asobos review process at the moment to ensure it doesn’t happen, they are just after there 30% cut just like any business

As it stands right now the only way to figure out if something has a problem is wait for someone else to take the fall for you but that’s assuming they review and feedback on the bits that are important to you.

I believe giving this trial period would benefit both parties in the long run.

Side suggestion, the marketplace also needs a better review system. We need more than just a single rating, actual comments would help too.

You are thinking about a particular type of trial but it would not work that way.
There would be popups to remind the user about the number of days left. If after that the user continues to use it there would be a warning and the whole online session would be shutdown. I can think of no reason why thieves should be tolerated.
Well that’s the way I would program it. Not difficult to do.

I understand that but the example that was given was WinRar which doesnt do that ( at least my version doesn’t).

Not sure why you would need days to decide if you want a scenery. You load it up, you look around, you test the performance. Can be done in half an hour. It’s not a new thing.

UK2000 used to do demos years ago. The demo would have big blocks in the middle of the runway to remind you it was a demo. They don’t have demo versions anymore because I imagine they found a lot of people would rather have those blocks than pay.

Maybe you should ask them what their experience was with these demos and why they stopped to give you some insight.

I am cynical I admit:-) but here is what I think would happen. Lets say there was a 24 hour trial for every airport. A huge number of people would use the trial for a few flights then move on to the next free 24 hour trial, then the next and the next.

With respect, you may miss an important point. First of all the SIM Community has amply demonstrated that they are prepared to spend money on good products.
Secondly, a trial period would in fact highlight good products and developers and weed out the bad ones.
The latter actually don’t deserve to make money.

There is a section of the community that will and have always been prepared to cough up the dough but don’t get any romantic ideas that they are any more virtuous then anyone else. There will be a large number of that same community that will take advantage.

Now massive companies can take that into account. Small companies (which is most of the addon companies) simply can’t take that risk.

Why not ask the companies themselves why they don’t do this instead of assuming it’s down to Microsoft/Asobo. It may give you better and more practical insight.

Edit: And I didn’t assume your different opinion was in any way disrespectful :slight_smile:

(sorry for the late reaction, I have been away).

I understand your point about abuse. It has also been made by others and is a just concern.
However I am not sure it holds water.

  1. you download a plane; MS knows about it
    2 the payment clock starts running
    3 (the abuse attempt) the payment has not been received
    4 next time the user connects the plane is removed, (OK maybe after a warning).

I dont see how the abuse would continue. This could be automated. And maybe rather than calling it ‘abuse’ call it ‘thieving’ that we and MS dont need to tolerate.
Now I understand that many would find these measures harsh.
However IF MS were to agree to ‘Try Before You Buy’ then that would be a major step.
Surely as a responsible user Community we should then also support any measures they may put in place to stop ‘abuse’.

Session would only need to be terminated if either the aircraft or other trialed mod is in use at the time.

I’m currently trialing both an aircraft and region module in DCS and everytime I go into my account it tells me I have x number of days remaining. As of Sunday I’m expecting those mods (if I don’t purchase, 60% off is a really temptation :wink: ) to magically be removed from my sim preventing access…simples.

The many prior examples are there if only Asobo cared enough to implement it but from where I sit FS2020 is based on decades old technically. Even DCS just celebrated it’s 15 year anniversary…hence the sale.

The one caveat I put on this, is what about mods purchased outside marketplace? I don’t see why the marketplace couldn’t be the place for trialing a mod though and if someone really wanted (e.g. for a Flying Irons) , they go and get it straight from the devs afterwards.

Devs are at no more risk than they are now for their aircraft being pirated, some use a license key when purchased directly…not a hassle for me to have to put that in once and anyone who is concerned by that…well they a probably not completely above board.

Perhaps with FS2024, the Marketplace will be the only way place to get paid for mods. That would level the playing field for both PC and XBox Users but Asobo would have to up it quality monitoring standards for me to accept that.

I agree with much but just one thing; this isn’t an Asobo decision.
The owner and seller of MSFS is Microsoft and it would be their decision to implement a ‘try before you buy’. Strictly speaking Asobo is the Contractor.

That’s why I like to refer to them as Microsobo :wink:

Parent, subsidiary, supplier, contractor it means nothing to the customer (us)

This is as simple as it could be:

I’ve been trailing this aircraft in DCS for the past week (maybe 10 hours of actual flying), as the sale is ending today I’m buying it because I already know it’s enjoyable and I want to continue learning it.

It would not be difficult for Microsobo to implement a similar method as has already been stated and DCS proves. Once the trial expires, poof it disappears from my sim client.

Would I have paid for this module as full price, absolutely not. But as in this case, I’m likely to buy things with more confidence if I can do a “try before you buy” and therefore possibly buy more.

If we we’re able to do this in MSFS and someone (probably me) ends up still being dissatisfied with the purchase then the blame lies with the purchaser not the developer as they in full honesty gave us the time to see if it met our expectations.

As it stands right now any developer can put whatever quality module they want in the marketplace and can run for the hills with our money with no recourse. The review system in the Marketplace is awfully basic and I’m getting fed up of having to read tons of external reviews and videos which still don’t cover the bits that I feel are important but the reviewers did not.

Trust would be maintained if this trial system was put in place and I’d certainly be less outspoken regarding development quality.

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I’m on Xbox and, believe me, it’s even more difficult finding console reviews for third-party products. There are a handful of content creators who do a good job but they often omit some details I (and I’m sure many others) would like to be informed about. This isn’t exclusive to Xbox reviews, by the way, but there are of course more sources for PC info.

A recent example is CYUL — Canada’s third-busiest airport and a pretty big one. I was most interested in seeing how each dev modelled the airfield perimeter (important for me as I think familiar or key visual references make approaches much more realistic), however save for the odd building visible while the reviewer was looking at other parts of the airfield, there was no mention of such details. Of particular interest was the official spotting area, which did feature in a PC video — however the creator failed to mention which version of CYUL it was from!

Immaterial now anyway as BMW/Amsim’s version at 47% off made the decision for me — and it’s beautifully detailed around the perimeter. But I shouldn’t have to let discounts almost solely dictate which version of something I buy.

The MP 5 star rating system is flawed. Not only can you not be specific, but there are times I’ve rated something and I’ve felt 5 is too high, but 4 is too low. Perhaps there’s one tiny niggle that doesn’t warrant knocking 20% off the rating but what can you do? At the moment it’s not doing either devs or customers any favours.