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psychopomp1

CCleaner Pro "Lifetime" Licence - why has it expired?

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2 hours ago, Andavari said:

That will only work for awhile, up to the point when Microsoft won't allow an old version to be used at all on Windows, Windows 10 at least and there's a bunch of old versions the don't allow.

I accept that. I mentioned earlier in this thread that I have other products on my PC that I have purchased multiple times over the years going back to the 1990's as new versions of Windows became incompatible. Fortunately there haven't been massive changes since Windows 7 launched. I can't think of a single product I have had that worked with Windows 7 but not with Windows 10. In fact some of the software I use every day was purchased when Windows XP was the latest version.

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4 hours ago, inlovera said:

[deleted]

I wa going to reply with a smiley but you beat me to it 🤣🤣🤣

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3 hours ago, Derek_S said:

I wa going to reply with a smiley but you beat me to it 🤣🤣🤣

So I ask about alternatives to CCleaner and I get banned for it. Is that really the way they treat people here?

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On 13/05/2020 at 21:43, Derek_S said:

I accept that. I mentioned earlier in this thread that I have other products on my PC that I have purchased multiple times over the years going back to the 1990's as new versions of Windows became incompatible. Fortunately there haven't been massive changes since Windows 7 launched. I can't think of a single product I have had that worked with Windows 7 but not with Windows 10. In fact some of the software I use every day was purchased when Windows XP was the latest version.

 

With CCleaner being a cleaning program that's different since changes Microsoft makes to Windows 10 can cause a cleaning tool such as CCleaner to have the potential to break something -- which has been the case a few times as seen on the forums via bug posts.

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1 hour ago, Andavari said:

 

With CCleaner being a cleaning program that's different since changes Microsoft makes to Windows 10 can cause a cleaning tool such as CCleaner to have the potential to break something -- which has been the case a few times as seen on the forums via bug posts.

 

I haven't come across anything like that yet but it was because of a change in Windows that I had to switch from Windows Washer to CCleaner Pro in the first place. Windows Washer was actually discontinuied at that time because they said it would take too much work to update it to the new version. If CCleaner does get broken at some time in the future, I'll accept I've had good value for money so far but have to consider my options. Either downgrade to the free version, or consider something else but I would never consider taking out an annual subscription to any kind of software. I've never needed to yet in the twenty six years I've been using Windows PC's.

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Can someone explain why my license has changed recently and as to why it worked just fine up until a month or so ago. Let's just call it what it is the terms have changed once again, the goal posts moved in conjunction with windows compatibility assistant. Product was working fine for me and now the license just does not work.

I have a system backup with a working ccleaner on 1909 so it's not windows it's you piriform.

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to

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10 hours ago, rslatara said:

Can someone explain why my license has changed recently

 

@rslatara: Looks like this was already answered about 4 weeks ago:

On 20/04/2020 at 21:25, Dave CCleaner said:

@rslatara: Your issue is of an invalid licence (hence the "invalid licence" notification and the 2000-01-01 expiry date) which is different matter to the other folks in this thread.  If you DM me your key I can have it checked for you.

 

... with some further elaborations on the topic afterwards:

On 30/04/2020 at 00:09, Dave CCleaner said:

Keys purchased prior to 2017 were only disabled in the event of a refund, trade-in or licence abuse.  If you believe that none of those apply to you then please contact support.

 

... and ...

On 01/05/2020 at 01:18, Dave CCleaner said:

To reiterate the previous points for all - if you bought a home use "version-based" licence prior to 2018 and are using on the number of PCs that you bought it for then no-one has "switched anything off".  However, if you bought a 1 PC licence and are using it on a half dozen home PCs, have deployed it across your company network, have published it on your blog for anyone to use, or have tried to resell the same key to hundreds of people on eBay - you are inevitably going to have a bad time.

Anyone who may have made a genuine mistake is encouraged to contact support to see what they can do for you (rather than outing yourself in public).

 

... and for those who continued to conflate the two topics and concluded that there was some wicked conspiracy afoot:

On 03/05/2020 at 18:43, Dave CCleaner said:
On 03/05/2020 at 17:58, psychopomp1 said:

They clearly want one-time licence holders of Ccleaner pro to start paying

Well naturally it would be lovely if they did - but, in the interests of transparency, I would make the observation that of all of the CCleaner Professional licence keys created prior to 2018, less than 3% have been cancelled for any reason (including refunds, licence abuse, etc) since licence revocation started back in 2012.

One might reasonably conclude that with a cumulative rate of less than 3%, there is probably not some form of nefarious cash grab afoot.

 

TL;DR: 1) members of the general public on a peer-support forum are not able to review your licence information - you need to contact support. 2) If you do post a question then you will benefit from taking the time to read the responses.

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Posted (edited)

Wow, what a thread. It seems that there was a lot of misshandling by Piriform and Avast, and then some doubling down on the fact that licenses were never lifetime which, if true, was grossly disguised (conciously or otherwise by Piriform). Upon going through my e-mails, it is clear that I purchased my key in 2015, was sent an e-mail about my license expiring in 2016 (which I must have blown off or ignored for many of the same reasons as others here did - namely CCleaner was still working perfectly fine) and -- get this -- requested a copy of my key from Piriform several month later, which resulted in Piriform sending me an e-mail of my key with no expiration! Anyway, there's no point beating a dead horse.

My reason for signing up to post is to get a clear sense of where my current license stands. I recently got a new computer (which I am using at this moment) and installed CCleaner using the latest installer from Piriform's site. It installed fine, and upon entering my key, it said it was invalid, but appears to work just fine and, in fact, still shows the application as being registered to me. Earlier in the thread there was talk of automatic updates reverted the program to the free version. I currently have automatic updates set in the configuration. 

Questions:

1. Will an automatic update cause my installation of CCleaner to revert to the free edition? I don't believe one has yet occurred. If so, will disabling automatic updates alleviate the issue?

2. Given that the latest version of the CCleaner seems to be working as a fully-licensed application despite my key "expiring" in 2016, is it fair to say that we are, in essence, tacitly grandfathered in, with Piriform retaining the right to kill off this arrangement at any time? Or has there been an explicit grandfathering in of the license?

Apologies if these questions have already been asked and answered, but this thread got quite confusing because stories from Ben to @Dave CCleaner (who was admittedly much more detailed and forthright in his explanations) were changing, as well as user reports of what their licenses were doing when activating CCleaner during the tenure of this thread.

Many thanks in advance for any clarity provided. I'd especially appreciate and answer from @Dave CCleaner, if possible. 

Edited by Donkey King

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2 hours ago, Donkey King said:

1. Will an automatic update cause my installation of CCleaner to revert to the free edition?

No it won't.  If you bought prior to 2018 and you're not one of the ~3% of users who have had their keys cancelled over the past 8 years (customer requested a cancellation or a refund, traded in their licence for a bigger one, used it on too many computers, etc) then you're fine. 

A licence key that has been cancelled will not work on any version of CCleaner.  That said, if anyone does an uninstall/reinstall of CCleaner then the copy of CCleaner on your computer may revert to free or trial due to the local storage of credentials being erased during the uninstallation.  The solution to this is to simply re-register it.  If it says that you key is invalid then the odds are that you need to read this https://support.piriform.com/hc/en-us/articles/204043844--Problems-activating-or-registering-CCleaner-Professional

2 hours ago, Donkey King said:

2. Given that the latest version of the CCleaner seems to be working as a fully-licensed application despite my key "expiring" in 2016, is it fair to say that we are, in essence, tacitly grandfathered in, with Piriform retaining the right to kill off this arrangement at any time? Or has there been an explicit grandfathering in of the license?

"Grandfathering" might be an appropriate description for keys such as yours purchased prior to 2018 - albeit with an asterisk since there is ongoing shouty confusion as to what customers actually had to be grandfathered.  More on this in a moment.

With regards to your key "expiring" - your rights to use CCleaner have not expired, and they won't.  The software licence that was in place at the time that you purchase makes reference to a 12 month validity period of "services" but no reference to the expiration of the licence key.  So what expired in 2016 (and that you were poked about at the time and probably a few times since then) was the priority support and the updates.  What you bought was a traditional "version-based" licence.  An example of this would be when I bought Microsoft Word 97 as a one-time payment I got a free update to Word 98 when it came out the following year.  I can keep using this version forever (provided that I can find a computer that it will run on) but I didn't have any automatic entitlement to Word 2000 and certainly not to Office 365.

So if you bought CCleaner Professional on 1 January 2015 then according to https://www.ccleaner.com/ccleaner/version-history you would have purchased version 5.01 and be entitled to updates up to version 5.13 only (the version that was current as of 1 January 2016).  That said, for reasons mentioned in previous historical recap post https://community.ccleaner.com/topic/52694-ccleaner-pro-lifetime-licence-why-has-it-expired/page/5/?tab=comments#comment-307441, we have continued to allow pre-2018 licences to update past their entitlement version anyway - for now.  When this world's longest grace period ends then you'll be "grandfathered" to whatever future version is in place at the time.

2 hours ago, Donkey King said:

It seems that there was a lot of misshandling by Piriform and Avast, and then some doubling down on the fact that licenses were never lifetime which, if true, was grossly disguised (conciously or otherwise by Piriform)

Avast keeps getting mentioned, but it has nothing to do with them - as all of this was in place prior to Piriform's acquisition by Avast (eg: the renewal reminder email that you received in 2016).  Although the CCleaner usage entitlement of pre-2018 purchases never expired, licences were still never advertised as "perpetual", "permanent", "lifetime" or "lifetime warranty" as this might have caused confusion as to the nature of the service component (the updates and support).  Keeping in mind that the prevailing software selling model at the time was "version-based" as per the Microsoft Word example above, if we were actually providing a lifetime of free updates and support in additional to the licence that would have been quite a novelty that we would have made a huge song and dance about all over the website.

Did we end up with a confusing situation anyway - yes we did.  Which is one of the reasons why we said "to hell with it" and went with a full subscription model for new purchases as of 2018.
 

In short:

  • There was never anything sold called a "lifetime" licence.
  • If you purchased CCleaner Professional for home use pre-2018 then your key does not expire
  • ... but your bonus update and support services did end after 12 months.

 

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On 11/05/2020 at 00:58, HenkZelf said:

no mention of an annual renewal anywher

I am an occasional user of the free version  considering taking up an offer for Professional Plus. In rather small print the offer states:

"Terms and Conditions
This promotion is for a one-year subscription to CCleaner Professional. Subsequent renewals will be charged at the undiscounted price in effect when your subscription is renewed (pricing subject to change)."

May I say I do not like the yearly subscription model and if I could find as good alternative software with a more equitable "major version upgrade" model I would go there.

I spent time trying to find what the subscription renewal would cost, yes the current not future one to no avail. If it is available anywhere on the site I could not find it - not could I find this in in forum, however I am not the most skilled in these endeavours.  I did find  this under "How long is my license valid for?"

"When you buy one of our Professional products, you get 1 year of software updates and 1 year of priority email support.

At the end of the year, you can renew your license for another year of updates and support. If you choose not to renew your license, you can keep using the product but you won't receive updates with feature improvements and bug fixes, and you won't be able to benefit from priority support."

What I hope to have answered before I buy:

Current price for a next year licence renewal for Professional and Professional Plus

Confirmation that "  If you choose not to renew your license, you can keep using the product but you won't receive updates with feature improvements and bug fixes, and you won't be able to benefit from priority support."  AND you do not lose any of the features and functions in the program you bought and updates delivered up the expiry of the year  licence.

Thank you for your advice.

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On 23/06/2020 at 05:37, GeorgeP said:

What I hope to have answered before I buy:

Current price for a next year licence renewal for Professional and Professional Plus

Confirmation that "  If you choose not to renew your license, you can keep using the product but you won't receive updates with feature improvements and bug fixes, and you won't be able to benefit from priority support."  AND you do not lose any of the features and functions in the program you bought and updates delivered up the expiry of the year  licence.


The current price of CCleaner Pro is different from country to country, each country has different taxes.
There are also regular 'Sale' offers and promotions.

If you are asking about next years 'standard' renewal prices, they will be affected by the taxes in each country at that time so without a crystal ball ....
(Hint: the CCleaner 'Sales' are regular throughout the year, there will no doubt be another sale this time next year if you want to buy a new licence key at sale price then and so still have Priority Support and Automatic Updates).

As the "How long is my license valid for?" says:

The subscription to Pro gives you access to the extra Pro features, and one year of Priority Support and Automatic Updates.

After a year the Priority Support and Automatic Updates will stop - unless you renew your subscription, or have automatic renewal.
The other Pro features will still work. (EDIT- That seems to have changed as policy but is still working for now, see Dave CCleaner's post 3 down from this).

All the extra Pro features can be seen in the free version, but they are labled 'PRO' and disabled so they can't be used.
As you already have the Free version then you can see just what those features are and decide if they are worth it to you for the cost of a licence.

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1 hour ago, nukecad said:

different from country to country, each country has different taxes.
There are also regular 'Sale' offers and promotions.

 

Thank you, that is very helpful. Good to know that you do not lose the "Pro" features if you do not renew on time, perhaps waiting for a  sale price.  Your answer suggests that a sale price may be better than the cost of standard renewal?

 

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I also Purchased this years ago and it was Free Lifetime updates.
The issue here is that even the mods are not aware of this. The FACT is that we have been here for many many years and now other companies are charging by the year you guys are too. Well that is fine for people who have not been with you since the early days but unfair to us that have.

Think maybe a Facebook group you be created for everyone who DID buy a LIFETIME FREE UPDATES Licence many years ago.
 

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7 hours ago, GeorgeP said:

Current price for a next year licence renewal for Professional and Professional Plus

If you have picked up a copy of CCleaner Professional or Professional Plus at an introductory discount then the following year of the subscription will be billed at the full price - ie: the strikethrough price when you ordered.  In the US this is currently $24.95 (plus sales tax) and $39.95 (plus sales tax respectively).

While introductory discounts are common with any subscription, it is always irksome for existing customers to see lower prices out there for new customers - so starting a couple of months before that renewal hits you'll get a couple of member-exclusive discount offers - keep an eye out for those.

4 hours ago, GeorgeP said:

Good to know that you do not lose the "Pro" features if you do not renew on time

That only really applies to the "legacy" customers who bought before 2018.  For everyone who bought since then it is supposed to be a hard stop if you let the licence lapse - although we had a grace period which got itself temporarily extended given the current economic circumstances.

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18 minutes ago, Dave CCleaner said:

If you have picked up a copy of CCleaner Professional or Professional Plus at an introductory discount then the following year of the subscription will be billed at the full price - ie: the strikethrough price when you ordered.  In the US this is currently $24.95 (plus sales tax) and $39.95 (plus sales tax respectively).

While introductory discounts are common with any subscription, it is always irksome for existing customers to see lower prices out there for new customers - so starting a couple of months before that renewal hits you'll get a couple of member-exclusive discount offers - keep an eye out for those.

That only really applies to the "legacy" customers who bought before 2018.  For everyone who bought since then it is supposed to be a hard stop if you let the licence lapse - although we had a grace period which got itself temporarily extended given the current economic circumstances.

 

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Posted (edited)

Thank you Dave.  So I may be offered a  "member-exclusive discount" or perhaps not as the T&C of the offer states "Subsequent renewals will be charged at the undiscounted price in effect when your subscription is renewed (pricing subject to change)"

If I let the license lapse the program will default to the free version which is covered by the statement "f you choose not to renew your license, you can keep using the product ".

Even though  the further qualification " but you won't receive updates with feature improvements and bug fixes, and you won't be able to benefit from priority support."  would seem to imply these would be the only changes.  I hope I have this right now?

 

Edited by GeorgeP

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It is mandated by law (in the US and UK) that any service sold has to disclose the terms of the purchase, as well as presenting exactly what the exchange is for in a "manner in which is clear to the purchasing party." The US law even goes into some details regarding subscription services needs to have the term length of the service clearly displayed on any form of payment confirmation, as well as being clearly displayed at the point of purchase (ie, the page where we select Free or Pro versions). My lawyer has agreed to draw up a lawsuit, and once ready we will be contacting affected parties to build a class action suit. Having these terms in the EULA is not enough. The mandate states that you MUST disclose what you are actually purchasing in such a way that it is clear to the customer what they are buying. We paid for software that was not clear in what service was being provided, therefore it is safe to assume you were buying a license, not subscribing to a service or purchasing something version limited. I have 8 current software licenses for various items. EVVERY SINGLE ONE discloses that it is either a lifetime license, or a time limited subscription as part of the itemized list on my receipts.  As well as on the products main webpage. You did not sell me a version limited product, or a 1 year subscription. It only lists the products, so you sold me the products. 

@Dave CCleaner you are missing the point completely. We understand what the EULA says. We have been made aware Piriform never ACTUALLY sold us lifetime licenses. The problem is your EULA contradicts what my receipt says. You don't get to play dumb during the advertisement and hook, and then slip a qualifier into the EULA. That is illegal. I understand you have to remain impartial when posting here. I'm sure you'd be instantly fired if you agreed with any of us publicly on here. We also know this isn't your policy or your fault. However, it needs to be known that this business practice is tricking people into buying something different that what is implied EVERYWHERE but the EULA. 

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@bwer1233: I would be curious to know the nature of the injury that you believe has been done to you, and the remedy that you would be seeking?  If you bought a home-use licence of CCleaner Professional in 2018 or later, when we started selling CCleaner by subscription, the term was clearly stated in the product selector, cart, item description and the purchase receipt, eg:

image.png

Assuming that you purchased a home use licence of CCleaner Professional in 2017 or earlier (when new purchases were not yet on a subscription basis) there was indeed no term listed.  Naturally, I can see how that would be problematic if a term was then subsequently applied to the continued use of the product that was purchased - that's changing the rules mid-game, moving the goalposts, "not cricket", etc.  However, as I have attempted to clarify on several occasions over the past 12+ months, no such term was retrospectively applied, and no such term will be applied in the future to such "legacy" licences.

So if the remedy you are seeking is that your right to use the home use product that you purchased in 2017 or earlier not be subject to any time-based limitation now or in the future - done! 

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5 hours ago, Dave CCleaner said:

@bwer1233: I would be curious to know the nature of the injury that you believe has been done to you, and the remedy that you would be seeking?  If you bought a home-use licence of CCleaner Professional in 2018 or later, when we started selling CCleaner by subscription, the term was clearly stated in the product selector, cart, item description and the purchase receipt, eg:

image.png

Assuming that you purchased a home use licence of CCleaner Professional in 2017 or earlier (when new purchases were not yet on a subscription basis) there was indeed no term listed.  Naturally, I can see how that would be problematic if a term was then subsequently applied to the continued use of the product that was purchased - that's changing the rules mid-game, moving the goalposts, "not cricket", etc.  However, as I have attempted to clarify on several occasions over the past 12+ months, no such term was retrospectively applied, and no such term will be applied in the future to such "legacy" licences.

So if the remedy you are seeking is that your right to use the home use product that you purchased in 2017 or earlier not be subject to any time-based limitation now or in the future - done! 

 

(Opening note that I was told to not reply, but I am anyway, because I am no longer planning to follow through with what I said in my last comment. Will explain below)

Thank you for your reply. It is refreshing to be able to have a conversation as adults on a disagreement without the fear of it devolving into any form of attack. (I mean this 100%, no sarcasm)

Onto your point, Piriform is currently on the up-and-up. Everything is disclosed perfectly. After a deeper review and reading your reply, it seems that there is an answer for just about all complaints here, except one.  Why does my (and others receipts posted above) list "software updates" on the list of products purchased when I can no longer get software updates on my product? If there was a term on said updates, I should have been able to find that somewhere. One of the products I listed in my first comment does cut off updates after 3 years, but that is clearly listed on the receipt. (An asterisk is placed next to software updates, with clarification on said terms at the bottom.) 

I dont feel like this is enough to do anything about. At most I'd get a refund amount, which I'm sure I could ask for and get right now and avoid legal fees. The act was to just bring to light that this is (was) wrong.  Yes, I was upset. I spent money on something I thought was one thing and is another.  The terms never changed, The process was just misleading in the past but has since been fixed. Lawyer still feels like there is something here, but I don't. 

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2 hours ago, bwer1233 said:

Piriform is currently on the up-and-up

You might form the impression that in its early years, Piriform may not have thought through its licensing model properly, and that the notion of restricting paying users to 12 months of updates while free users can update their product indefinitely was probably quite daft, or at the very least awkward. And you would be right.  Which was why we went to the cleaner subscription model for new sales in 2018 and after.

20 hours ago, bwer1233 said:

Why does my (and others receipts posted above) list "software updates" on the list of products purchased [...] If there was a term on said updates, I should have been able to find that somewhere

The term limit for updates on those home-user licences sold up to the end 2017 was 12 months, as specified in the software licence.  An argument could be made that the 12 month period should have been explicitly mentioned in the product description.  A counter argument could be made that at that time, the notion of a lifetime of free updates would have been so unusual that no reasonable person would assume that a company would gift such a thing to them unless it was a headline in the sales pitch (cf: my previous Microsoft Word example). 

However, ultimately these are both positions of little practical interest, given Piriform's ongoing desire to ensure that legacy licence holders have an ongoing experience and functionality that is, at the very least, no worse than that of free users - which means that legacy licences can currently still be manually updated.  At this point, the future direction is most likely to be that this will continue, and that the paid features that were present in 2018 (eg: automatic browser cleaning, scheduled clean, multi-user profile cleaning) will remain enabled but that the web-service features introduced in 2019 and after (currently Software Updater, and the Speed and Security sections of Health Check) would be withdrawn.

20 hours ago, bwer1233 said:

I can no longer get software updates on my product

Do you mean according to the EULA, or as per your experience?  You are getting an error message when you attempt to register your CCleaner licence key?

20 hours ago, bwer1233 said:

One of the products I listed in my first comment does cut off updates after 3 years, but that is clearly listed on the receipt

Sounds like the 3 year CCleaner Professional licence that was briefly available for sale from December 2018 to November 2019?  Having been sold post January 2018, that would be why the clearer receipting.

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