GPG Mail: Sudden Change to Subscription Model

Kyle Pointer's Avatar

Kyle Pointer

22 Sep, 2018 07:53 PM

The sudden change to an apparent subscription model without any warning was really shitty.

Some sort of warning… better explanation for what I would be paying for.

Additional info
I will not pay for software that suddenly goes from being free to being paid with no explanation or warning and that is incredibly vague about what the payment model looks like.

I will be finding an alternative.

macOS                   10.13.6     17G65
GPG Suite               2018.4      2310    (bc31914)
GPG Mail                3.0         1330    (724e6997)  30 trial days remaining
GPG Keychain            1.4.5       1496    (25530e6)
GPG Services            1.11.5      1033    (86cb937)
MacGPG                  2.2.10      921     (b487092)
GPG Suite Preferences   2.1.3       1057    (966febd)
Libmacgpg               0.8.6       885     (35a18be)
pinentry           9       (db18340)
  1. 1 Posted by Marco on 22 Sep, 2018 08:28 PM

    Marco's Avatar

    yeah! That's not ok. downgrade is also not possible a warning would be a minimum. So 1 user less that uses (our) encryption.

  2. 2 Posted by Sky on 23 Sep, 2018 10:22 PM

    Sky's Avatar

    I'm very disappointed that there was no warning about it being a paid update/upgrade. If I can't downgrade, I won't be using it, nor recommending it to my clients.

  3. 3 Posted by Yazah on 23 Sep, 2018 10:54 PM

    Yazah's Avatar

    Wow, no warning and I can't roll back either?

    Shocking behaviour, a warning should have been given before the upgrade installed.

    On principle along GPG Tools is now dumped. I don't mind paying for software when it's done honestly and transparently. I will buy someone elses product instead

  4. 4 Posted by Dave on 23 Sep, 2018 11:39 PM

    Dave's Avatar

    As above. Can someone please point me to comprehensive uninstall instructions.

  5. 5 Posted by Matt on 23 Sep, 2018 11:45 PM

    Matt's Avatar

    Same! I opened up my Mac and saw an update for GPGMail. It installed like a normal update would - then opened up and I get this login box and a buy now button... My heart sank - I thought it was a malicious update. I ran Malwarebytes then ClamAV, but everything turned up normal. I went to research further and - lo and behold - GPG Mail is paid now. It would be nice if the update notification lead to a webpage explaining the changes first, or had a "Learn More" button.

  6. 6 Posted by Mark Panasci on 24 Sep, 2018 01:45 AM

    Mark Panasci's Avatar

    Same here, this one blind-sided me, to be sure. I installed GPG Tools a couple years ago to experiment with mail encryption, but haven't used it since. Uninstall instructions would be nice...

  7. 7 Posted by Mo New Zealand on 24 Sep, 2018 02:26 AM

    Mo New Zealand's Avatar

    GPG Mail uninstalled. No warning about the transition to a paid service and this warning

    I'm out of here.

  8. 8 Posted by Johan Frisk on 24 Sep, 2018 06:07 AM

    Johan Frisk's Avatar

    Sorry to see this nice software (GPG mail) go the way to subscription, a donation model would have been nicer. Back to the scripting solutions I go again...

  9. 9 Posted by Riza on 24 Sep, 2018 06:17 AM

    Riza's Avatar

    Unacceptable behavior from the program distributors.
    The way they chose to give an upgrade and ask for money is illegal in Germany and EU. Any product/software must be clearly labeled with its price before it reaches a customer/computer (this means a legible notice at the pre-download stage). They simply can not make an auto-update of such a paid program.

    I have re-installed the free parts of the software omitting the mail software. This allows me to use the encryption without automated mail integration. You might try that one. The choice is given during installation on the last page.

  10. 10 Posted by D on 25 Sep, 2018 08:37 AM

    D's Avatar

    The pricing for subscription is really not clear at all. I could not find any information on the subscription period. Is it a month, a week, a year?

    I don't mind paying for software, but I do not like subscription either. I'd rather pay once and decied with each major version. Subscription for essential software like encryption, online-banking, important working tools is a total deal-breaker. What if I need that software desperately, but money is only coming in the next month? With paid upgrades, I just would sit on the old software, until I can afford the upgrade. With subscription it just ends whenever. And I need to keep track of every subscription.

    Please checkout the Setapp-Store. I already subscribed to that. You'd get money from me every month and sparing me the hassel of keeping track and reminding you of sending me proper EU-invoices and other nasty legal stuff.

  11. 11 Posted by Sven on 28 Sep, 2018 11:59 AM

    Sven's Avatar

    Chiming in on feeling offended and forced by this behaviour.
    I certainly do know that high quality products and services cost money and I’m willing to pay for that – but good, clear, transparent communication is part of said quality and there you failed miserabel. Makes me not trust you.

    Care to explain what’s going on?

  12. 12 Posted by Patrick on 29 Sep, 2018 08:19 PM

    Patrick's Avatar

    Bye GPG Mail.

  13. 13 Posted by Matt Adams on 30 Sep, 2018 01:50 PM

    Matt Adams's Avatar

    (Sent from my Google Pixel)


  14. 14 Posted by Chew on 03 Oct, 2018 12:14 AM

    Chew's Avatar

    Bye GPGMail. I do not tolerate such behaviour. You provided a an update which was installed in good faith that acts like ransomware. Unethical behaviour. Looking for an alternative to manage my keys even if it does not interface with Mail on principle.

  15. 15 Posted by jrs on 13 Oct, 2018 10:19 PM

    jrs's Avatar

    Unacceptable. Never to be used again or anything in anyway related to these unprincipled fools.

  16. 16 Posted by maxx on 15 Oct, 2018 09:59 AM

    maxx's Avatar

    You must be out of your minds! Adopting the behaviour of those scumbags we are protecting us from by encrypting email...

  17. 17 Posted by Martin Kayes on 15 Oct, 2018 10:24 AM

    Martin Kayes's Avatar



  18. 18 Posted by Pho Hale on 17 Oct, 2018 04:16 PM

    Pho Hale's Avatar

    I don't think I would trust a company who decides to covertly switch to a model built on backdoor sales tactics. Who is to say they don't plan on including backdoors in the security side of things? If they're willing to compromise the principles of the software to make a quick profit, I see no reason they wouldn't translate this practice to other domains of the software as well.

  19. 19 Posted by Rob on 17 Oct, 2018 04:30 PM

    Rob's Avatar

    This "upgrade" with no warning is extortion. It is devious, underhanded and unethical. Everything I look for in a company with which NOT to do business.

    You knew what you were doing when you did it, or there would be an apology and a path back to Version 2. Your silence here - and your non-response to my email of September 24 despite your promise to reply in a few days - speaks volumes.

    I am uninstalling, uninstalling for my clients, and removing you from my recommended software list. Seriously disappointed.

    I hope someone in the EU or Germany whacks you hard with a lawsuit.

  20. 20 Posted by Martin Kayes on 19 Oct, 2018 06:23 AM

    Martin Kayes's Avatar



  21. 21 Posted by Simon on 23 Oct, 2018 09:23 PM

    Simon's Avatar

    Just realised what has been going on with these gpgmail popups :(
    After trying an install and then losing all my mail windows,
    I had to uninstall gpgsuite to recover them

    Not happy with respectable developers holding users to ransom.
    Looks like I'll have to find another way to get encrypted.

    I'm an EU user (for another few months at least) ...
    I know nothing about lawsuits, but I'll support anyone who does...

  22. 22 Posted by Sven on 24 Oct, 2018 07:26 AM

    Sven's Avatar

    So, looked at their Twitter, turns out it was a big communication fuck-up. Team is/was devasteted. Here’s the (link to the) explanation:

    @Simon: how narrowminded (or bad at your computer) can you be to ask for a lawsuit? Nothing was taken “hostage”. All you had to do is google for the deinstaller. No biggie. Tone it down a bit, would you? All human beings here.

  23. 23 Posted by burne on 24 Oct, 2018 10:03 AM

    burne's Avatar

    Trust is something you get to betray just once. Goodbye.

  24. 24 Posted by Rob on 24 Oct, 2018 12:48 PM

    Rob's Avatar

    Gee, too bad the "Team is/was devasted." (tiny violin playing.) I read their "explanation." Saying "I'm sorry" without making any attempt to right the wrong is perhaps worse than saying nothing.

    Fixing their update installer so that it now properly warns future updaters that this update requires a fee, does NOTHING for every single person who fell victim to their underhanded or accidental (you decide) action.

    If they were sincere about how shocked and sad they are, the proper action would be to enable a roll-back to the previous version, and nothing less is satisfactory or appropriate.

    When you accidentally do wrong, you make it right.

  25. 25 Posted by Simon Jeffery on 24 Oct, 2018 12:55 PM

    Simon Jeffery's Avatar

    Sure .. I do appreciate that you guys have been developing a really neat tool for which
    I have not paid a penny so far. So I probably did over-react .. but then we live in a world where
    neat software is developed — WhatsApp was a great example — and then gets taken over
    by the Behemoths .. for whom I have no sympathy whatsoever .. and we wonder what
    happens next.

    it was late at night and I’d spent half an hour figuring out how to recover my mac mail —
    I had to uninstall gpgsuite before I could open any windows in mac mail …
    so I then googled ‘why does gpgsuite now cost money’ and found the discussion thread.
    I read through the thread .. plenty of anger and nothing to show that the issues were
    being taken at all seriously, or pointers to how to do something about it. So …

    I would emphasize that the first thing an ‘ordinary’ user — who uses
    a computer day-in day-out and sees endless popups trying to get him to subscribe to this or that —
    sees on a mac after clicking the rather uninformative ‘upgrade’ button is, after about a month,
    a pop-up giving the option to ‘Continue Trial’ or ‘Purchase’. ‘Continue Trial’ didn’t work.

    So I’m looking forward to the tool that allows us to roll back our gpgsuite to the version that
    worked for us.


  26. Support Staff 26 Posted by Steve on 24 Oct, 2018 06:12 PM

    Steve's Avatar

    This KB-article explains how to uninstall GPGTools or GPG Mail only.

    GPG Mail will always continue to decrypt all encrypted messages. For that you need to Start or Continue the Trial. Even if the Trial expires, decryption will continue to work.

    We would really like to see you stay, but want to assure you that even if you don't like our offering there are many alternatives available. The encryption technology which is used in GPG Suite is not a proprietary one, so you are not reliant on our tools to decrypt your existing emails. There is no lock-in. In additon all of our source code is available publicly.

    For any open questions, please do file a new discussion and we'll continue there.

  27. Steve closed this discussion on 24 Oct, 2018 06:12 PM.

Comments are currently closed for this discussion. You can start a new one.

Keyboard shortcuts


? Show this help
ESC Blurs the current field

Comment Form

r Focus the comment reply box
^ + ↩ Submit the comment

You can use Command ⌘ instead of Control ^ on Mac