Be Careful with with Some SaaS Vendors who Keep Your Data Hostage

I was shocked to see a message like this on a popular SaaS(Software as a Service) vendor:

I will not name any names but they have pretty much lost me on this. I’ll be canceling my subscription from this service because I wouldn’t like to be held hostage with my own data.
On JotForm, we never delete any data or forms when someone downgrades. We are happy to keep ours users even when they decide to downgrade. Here is why:
Ethics
First of all you never ever threaten your own customers, especially with their own data. If it was too expensive to keep the data, I’d have understood the reason. But in these days, disk space is dirt cheap. It is pretty clear from the way this message is written, the goal is not to save the costs by deleting the files, but to threaten users from canceling with losing data permanently.
Good for Business
It is always good to keep a former customer happy. They might not have a need right now, but if they were happy with your service I am pretty sure they will come back later. Why not keep their data so that you would make this transition easier.
Freemium is not One-Way Street
Freemium is a great business model. Provide some real value to potential customers and you can bet some will become customers. Even the drug dealers do it. They must know something. 🙂
However, freemium is not a one-way street. Some users will eventually downgrade. SaaS vendors should keep their end of the deal and make that easy and allow users to keep their data in the process. 
When you don’t receive a lot of submissions please feel free to downgrade. You will find instructions on the “Account Info” page. Your forms will stay functional and your data will always be available. Only your limits will be lowered to the plan you downgraded to.
By the way, if you are a Premium or Professional user we have recently made some changes on the Account Info page. You can now see your next billing date or downgrade your account.
Thanks for choosing JotForm! We work very hard to deserve your trust.

Aytekin Tank is the Founder and CEO of JotForm. A developer by trade but a storyteller by heart, he writes about his journey as an entrepreneur and shares advice for other startups. He loves to hear from JotForm users. You can reach Aytekin through his contact form.

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