BesZain: I appreciate your response but there are many like myself who either purchased memberships for a period of time then let them lapse or purchased the program under one of the limited agreements.
In order for any of us to update AEC, you now require us to pay nearly $200 and buy software we may not need nor want.
I originally purchased AEC for $5 for a single site with the understanding that I could periodically update when I chose to for $5.00. Now, you require $200 for me to do the same. That's outrageous and violates the trust and understanding there was when I originally purchased AEC.
What if an update of WordPress makes my version of AEC unusable? That would then cost me $200 to have a working version? That is absurd, I have never seen a WordPress plugin with anywhere near this high of a price tag. In fact, it could cost around the same for a WordPress user to hire a developer to create a custom plugin that works similarly to AEC as it would be to purchase AEC from you. That just doesn't make sense.
This is bad faith towards those who have supported this software, especially the many who purchased it without the annual support plan and though those who have an active plan have a temporary reprieve from your 4000% price increase and might not be concerned at this point in time, when their membership expires or lapses and they are faced with paying exorbitant fees, I doubt they will be silent or pleased.
Killing the golden goose is not usually the best business plan. Ask Netflix about that, they just hiked their price by around 200% percent on their customers and are being hit hard financially, you've hiked the price of this for those of us not on an annual plan by 4000%, what reaction and word of mouth do you think that generates?
I understand that you want to recoup the expense of purchasing AEC as soon as possible but creating a price barrier for new purchases and limited or lapsed memberships seems counter-intuitive. Why would you make new purchases and non-subscriber updates so prohibitively expensive? You're not interested in growing your user base or retaining users not on annual plans already?
BTW, it also creates a huge path for a reasonably-priced competing plugin to carve away your usership which, though it's unintentional, in the long run may be better for WordPress users.
I like AEC but I and many others will not pay $200 for a single WordPress plugin/update. If that is irrelevant to you, so be it.