Suggestions from an (almost) user

Hi @funfada welcome to the forum!

  1. Our relationship with our customers is our top priority. We did post notifications/banners on the Storj account dashboard, announced the change on the forum and send out emails to notify paying customers about the change from free tier to free trial. Our Terms of Service Section 3.(d).vi. states the following:

Company may change or eliminate any Promotional Credit at any time, without notice, including, but not limited to any coupon, or Promotional Credit designated as a free trial or free tier.

Former free tier users were not customers, they enjoyed our service completely free of charge, many of them for many years, without ever upgrading to Pro Account. We recently evaluated the effectiveness of the free tier and how it impacted new customer acquisition. We also looked at the impact of the free tier in COGS as part of a broader, ongoing effort. We determined that the free tier was not as effective in customer acquisition as a free trial and that the free tier was frequently the subject of attempts to aggregate accounts in violation of the Terms of Service. For these reasons we decided to eliminate the free tier in favor of a free trial. Furthermore, we were in full compliance with our ToS when we elected to avoid getting our domain listed as spammers by not sending out thousands and thousands of emails to the non-paying free tier users about the free tier deprecation. Those that looked at our forum announcement of the change or their dashboard would have noticed the upcoming change.

  1. Our Terms of Service state clearly that personalized support via our help desk is only available to paying customers. Other users may post their questions on this forum, where our friendly community members and leaders as well as members of our dev team will be happy to assist as needed. We will not invest more resources to install a virtual chat for non-paying users, the current forum offering is sufficient. Note that offering chat functions in the dashboard or elsewhere would be much more time consuming for support staff than what we currently offer, and may be considered perhaps at some future time for our paying customers.

  2. Adding the option for customers to delete their data themselves is in the planning stages, but not a high priority item afaik as we have many other features that are more important to be able to make current customers happy and attract new ones. Account deletion for free trial users who do not upgrade to a Pro Account before their 30 day trial expires will happen automatically without any need for those user to take any action. They only need to remember to download any important data they want to keep before the expiration of the free trial. Pro Account customers may file a support ticket and we will assist them with the account deletion process. Note that we are also GDPR compliant for those that fall under this legislation.