Fogbugz goes darkish | Profitable Software program

As we speak I obtained an e-mail titled ‘Your Manuscript Account Steadiness’ which stated:

Your Manuscript account is now in arrears within the quantity of $31.25.

Use this hyperlink to specify a bank card to your account and we'll use it to settle your steadiness:


You'll be able to prepay for a 12 months prematurely utilizing a test, company buy order, or bank card:*****


FogBugz Buyer Success
[email protected]

Fogbugz was a web based bugtracker developed by the a lot revered Fog Creek Software program. They bought it some years in the past when their firm headed off into the stratosphere (Stackoverflow, Trello and many others). I believe I might need had a free Fogbugz account 10+ years in the past. I requested round on Twitter and fairly a number of individuals appear to have obtained the very same e-mail. It seems that:

  • The venerable FogBugz utility was just lately bought on to and they seem like making an attempt to demand cash from anybody who ever used FogBugz. Which is prone to be hundreds of individuals.
  • IgniteTech describe themselves as “The place software program goes to stay”, however “The place software program goes to die” could be a greater description.
  • FogBugz was renamed to ‘Manuscript’ in some unspecified time in the future.

I attempted replying to the e-mail, telling them in no unsure phrases that they weren’t going to get a penny from me. That is the reply I obtained:


In an effort to supply a greater expertise to our current prospects, we're consolidating our e-mail help channel into our Assist-Middle. 

In case you want technical help for FogBugz it is possible for you to to submit a case from our 'FogBugz Assist Web page'. 

Replies made to this mailbox are routed to an unsupervised mailbox. 

Please don't reply to this message. 

Thanks, FogBugz Assist Crew

It’s unhappy to see somebody utilizing darkish enterprise practices to attempt to wring a couple of pennies from the corpse of a as soon as much-respected product. Does Joel Spolsky know? I don’t assume he’d be impressed.

** Replace 24-Sep-2022 **

I obtained this e-mail late on the twenty second:

Expensive FogBugz Consumer,

Mea culpa — sincerely.

We’ve change into properly conscious of the maelstrom of concern and feedback attributable to a collection of emails that a few of you acquired, however to clarify, we had been simply as shocked as you when a number of emails had been despatched. Our authentic and solely meant e-mail, which was managed by people, was to tell you that the “free,” non-expiring model of FogBugz is being phased out on October 17, 2022. Moreover, we wished to give you the choice to proceed utilizing FogBugz by updating your account to a paid subscription. This was all the, deliberate effort.

Nonetheless, as soon as we up to date the accounts that had been recognized as free and non-expiring within the inside FogBugz accounting system, the software program routinely generated a kind e-mail, notifying you that we had summarily transformed you to a paid account, and worse, truly triggering assortment/dunning notices to some. This was unintended and isn't correct. Sure, we’ve owned the software program for a while and will know the entire nooks and crannies by now. We don’t know if this was a nook or a cranny, however it determined to behave by itself. Reality. It’s embarrassing, and we’d react the identical approach as lots of you will have. So this e-mail is to set the report straight.

We don't routinely cost any buyer for utilization of the software program except a subscription has been expressly elected, regardless of what the faulty auto-email said.

Right here’s what you might want to know:

    All free subscriptions for FogBugz will expire on Oct. 17, 2022. In case your FogBugz subscription has already expired, and you don't want to proceed utilizing FogBugz, you don’t must take any additional motion. Your knowledge shall be deleted from the system; you'll not be billed and you'll obtain no additional emails from both the nook or the cranny.

    In the event you had been erroneously charged as a result of your free account nonetheless had your bank card on file (e.g. some customers had been on paid accounts and had downgraded), we'll guarantee that you're promptly refunded. Please use the e-mail [email protected] when you've got not seen the refund already posted.

    Regardless of this mishap, we hope the advantages of the software program will encourage you to proceed. In case your FogBugz free-account subscription is at present lively, and also you want to proceed as a subscriber, please authorize your paid subscription by following these directions.

    Please word: Once you improve, your account will qualify for 50% off any subscription tier.

    In the event you want any help whereas upgrading, please contact us at

We sincerely apologize for the confusion that was precipitated and are working laborious behind the scenes to resolve all points associated to this motion.


The (humbled) FogBugz Crew

So Fogbugz grew to become sentient and began demanding cash? And this primary occurred at least a week ago, however the brand new homeowners didn’t discover and an entire load of emails went out days later (together with the one I obtained a number of days after the primary put up on HN)? Hmm.