I call ‘em as I see ‘em…

Hello, Pilots!,

Well, it’s been a little while since a post on here. There’s so much going on with new products and projects that it’s slowed the blog pace, though after our next two releases things will begin to pick up on the blog side of things.

I actually was going to refrain from posting anything about a newcomer in the X-Plane payware market, but sometimes you must do such a thing if specific conditions are met. Conditions is in bold for good reason here.

We recently discontinued selling the T28-C add-on in January. While good, the developers of this add-on (Bruno GREGOIRE aka Khamsin and Arnaud PREVOT aka Arno54) had a change of heart as to the terms of their contract with X-Aviation and decided they would like to cross-sell on multiple stores. We’ve allowed this in past times, though in a more recent change of events we have elected to no longer sign such contracts now and into the future. The main reason for this boils down to our core values as a publishing company and the customer service nightmare than comes from such a situation. It is not uncommon for X-Aviation to receive a multitude of technical support requests from various customers that have purchased cross-sold products on a store other than X-Aviation due to a customer receiving no attention to their customer service needs from the original store they bought from (there’s only a handful in the X-Plane world). This ultimately leads up to X-Aviation having to explain to the customer that we are unable to assist them in such a scenario given they are not a customer of our own, and also diminishes any time we would like to dedicate to customers who do buy from X-Aviation, which as it stands is plenty enough to keep us busy through the day! Now, with that explanation on our side out of the way, X-Aviation respected the wishes of Arnaud and Bruno to terminate their contract with the intention of going non-exclusive on their own. All was well in the world at this time. :)

Time has gone on and both Arnaud and Bruno have come out with their new website/store. We welcome competition whole heartedly at X-Aviation. This helps the market grow, and we view the entry of companies like Aerosoft to be very positive! X-Aviation is not a run of the mill “carry everything” store, and as such we are set apart enough in the market to be stable going forward. This is not a race for the next mega add-on store, but rather a matter of quality each and every time! All this said, what we don’t feel the X-Plane market needs is a company representing what our wonderful community is all about with unethical moves. What do I mean by this? Well, I’ll explain this below…

Arnaud and Bruno have a common theme going on at their new website/store: Ethics. Let’s look at a few quotes throughout their site:

“Are we the only ones who really believe ethics is not a meaningless word ?”

“The concept is quite simple and yet, unusual : it is all about ethics.”

“The idea is to have a vendor (us…) who gives up all his benefits (ok, say “most of”) and only charges the developpers for what is ethically acceptable.”

“It might not be obvious for you visitors, but it takes some serious amount of goats to dare risking his job on such a bet. Xplane-addons.com does not promise whatever, so the developpers who joined us, have all one sole motivation : ethics.”

All of the above sounds great, and I would say these guys have earned their wings with the great add-ons they have provided to the X-Plane community. However, their business model seems shaky at best if things were to ever hit mainstream, and more importantly there are some mighty unethical, crazy terms they have set forth for their developers, and more importantly for you as customers.

For starters, I quote the following from Arnaud and Bruno’s terms for selling a product on their website: “You have full access to all statistics of the site, traffic, sales for all devs, everybody’s figures, customers lists – everything. And vice-versa. If some data is missing, simply ask. Transparency is the rule.”

As a developer, you should be aware that these terms. If you’re comfortable with the whole developer world at this new store of theirs seeing your sales figures, your income, and your customers lists then this is your cup of tea! However, many developers do not like this, and more importantly, customers and people in general prefer privacy! Be warned that should you purchase from this new store (a store without any secure encryption for your private information might I add) your private contact information will be shared under the current terms. I don’t know about you, but this is pretty unethical in many observers opinons. The lack of privacy as a customer purchasing from said store is rather staggering at best. On the contrary, at X-Aviation we do not EVER share any customer information with anyone including all developers unless you as the customer choose to provide information and speak to someone yourself. Not only would it be unethical for us to do so, it is against the law in the part of the world we are from.

The above is just the icing on the cake when we talk about ethics. More astonishing to me was the fact that Arnaud and Bruno not only copy and pasted an entire page regarding YOUR PRIVACY as a customer on their site from X-Aviation, they forgot to delete one very important part of this copied text (as if blatantly copying X-Aviation’s page was not enough). A picture of this can only do it justice, and is only a very small snippet of the copied context:

Arnaud and Bruno have word for word copied X-Aviation's Terms and Conditions, then replaced the word "X-Aviation" with their website name. Unfortunately, they forgot to remove X-Aviation's legal contact address from this copied webpage.

In the above image you can see that Arnaud and Bruno take great care to ensure copyrights are not infringed upon, and that if you need to report infringement to contact…me!? Something’s not right here! Is it not only I who finds it unethical and ironic that your privacy as a customer is the last thing on the back of these guys’ minds? That their Terms of Service are likely not something they are even aware (since it’s been copied and pasted from X-Aviation directly…oops) of in terms of the contents and how they pertain to your privacy as a customer? That Arnaud PREVOT and Bruno GREGOIRE quite obviously just replaced the word “X-Aviation” with “Xplane-Addons?”

Folks, last time I checked:

1. I, Cameron, do not have any ties with this Xplane-Addons site.

2. I, Cameron, did not request that these two people copy and paste the contents of my webpage and list me as their copyright point of contact.

I’m sorry, Arnaud and Bruno, but I do not find your actions to be ethical in any form and I am saddened by this. The integrity and credibility of your comments leave much to be desired and I hope developers and customers heed caution with their private information when considering purchasing or selling on your site.

That’s all for today, fellow pilots. I apologize in advance that this was not a jovial post in the end! Hopefully we can all move forward on this and get back on track with the right foot out of the gate.

Thanks for listening!


4 thoughts on “I call ‘em as I see ‘em…

  1. As a side note to your post; imho ethical practice should also entail your timely response in answering a customer’s request to unlock the DRM, for a 3rd time, on a product already paid for, and purchased here and not elsewhere. OR else, maybe just jettison the problematic DRM?

    • Having looked at your support tickets you sent in a request after business hours and received a reply the next day. Where exactly was the problem here, Brad? Pretty quick turn-around if you ask me! :)

      As for your comment about “3rd time,” looking at your support log history shows that each time you requested a new license it was for NEW hardware. This is exactly how that system is designed to work.

      Case in point, I believe you received appropriate support for your issue with the one day turn-around in response time.

  2. Cameron I noticed that they have an option to pay through PayPal I take it that any Transaction done through PayPal should be secure .

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