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tschmidty 05-17-2016 11:55 PM

Disapointment with Polar Navy Customer "service"
Update: I am reasonably satisfied with the final answer I got from their support (last post). The new version is supposed to be available June 1st.


I just have to relay a pretty poor customer service experience with Polar Navy for their software Polar View NS.

I bought the software a couple years ago and the license says you can activate it on 5 computers (not really true). I installed it on my desktop (1) and my laptop (2). Had a hard drive failure on the laptop and decided to install a different OS (3), decided at some point to reinstall the OS (4). So 4 license used now on 2 pcs.

With the new Windows 10 tablets I thought that would be great to use on the boat versus a laptop. Bought one and installed PolarView NS (5). Unfortunately that thing died within 2 days (Dell Venue pro 10 fwiw).

They state that you can get an extra activation 6 months after your last activation (which seems really arbitrary and odd but whatever), so i figured I would email them and explain the case and it would be no problem. This was literally 3 days after i activated the previous one.

Here is the response I got:
Your activation code has no activations remaining at this time. You will be eligible for activation renewal after November 11, 2016. (Ed. note this is 6 months after my other activation)

That said, a new version of PolarView is tentatively planned for June. The new version will not require licensing to run on multiple computers.

If you need to activate current version immediately you will need to buy a new activation code. You can use discount code PVUSER50 for a 50% discount off an activation code price.

Best regards,
Polar Navy Support

So my options are to:

1. wait 6 months and i can use the software I paid for again
2. wait a month and buy the "new, improved version"
3. Cough up more money now for a version that will be superseded in a month.

See why that might be a little annoying?

I actually love the software and will probably/might cough up the money since I would like to use it on an upcoming trip before a month is up, but that is just crap service on their part in my opinion and thought i'd share my experience.

tschmidty 05-18-2016 01:43 AM

Re: Disapointment with Polar Navy Customer "service"
Even better, i just got this (less than 24 hours later)


Activation codes are no longer available for sale. At this point existing product version is available as a convenience to users, however no new orders are possible and changes to existing orders can no longer be made.

I would suggest waiting until the new release becomes available.

eherlihy 05-18-2016 03:54 PM

Re: Disapointment with Polar Navy Customer "service"
Buying the new version would give you 5 new licenses... but I see that the "BUY" site is no longer operational...

Worst case; it cost you $50 for 5 licenses, so to upgrade would cost you $25.

Could their support be better?: yes.

Will this licensing SNAFU keep me from using or recommending PolarView NS? no. IMHO it is still one of the best bargains out there.

tschmidty 05-18-2016 05:07 PM

Re: Disapointment with Polar Navy Customer "service"
Latest from them

Unfortunately, the change cannot be made due to technical reasons. Sorry about the inconvenience. Barring any unexpected issues, the next version is due to be released on June 1st.

As I said I really like the software, it looks good, runs fast. You can imagine my annoyance at not only buying a tablet that failed but also cost me another $25 for software.

But at least I can live with that answer. Funny how just including one simple phrase goes a long way towards keeping satisfied customers.

In any case, I do IT work and figured out a way to get around the activation issue on my own for the time being so it's not a show stopper and will almost certainly buy the new version provided they don't spike the price up.

basssears 05-19-2016 01:18 PM

Re: Disapointment with Polar Navy Customer "service"
Vendors upgrade software all the time, it's pretty normal.

Existing version is 30 days free which should get you on your current trip no problem.

But glad you managed to hack / circumvent their license agreement. :eek

eherlihy 06-24-2016 08:38 PM

Re: Disapointment with Polar Navy Customer "service"

I PURCHASED Polar Navy's PolarView NS software partly BECAUSE it was not a "subscription" licensed product. My understanding was pay once, and use it forever. It seems, however, that this has changed with the latest release 3.0.1. Per the Polar Navy release notes;

An update on product licensing and availability. We were informed by a data licensor that the product access to PolarView NS must be no less restrictive than access to the data source. Free application with fee-based network data access is not compatible with the licensing requirements.

Product compliance requires us to either provide free data access or implement application licensing as well. Nice though it may be, free data access and free application is clearly not financially feasible.

So, not without some reservations, but also with hope for a more sustainable outlook, PolarView NS will, again, require a subscription to use. PolarView NS subscription will be included, along with data access, as part of either US or UK chart subscription.

We expect the updated version of PolarView to be available for download in the next few days.
It is too bad that they don't disclose which licensed product incorporated into PolarView NS is requiring the subscription, or make that feature a subscription based option.


$19.99 as of today for either US or UK subscription.

Subscription is annual. Users should renew their subscription to continue accessing online services AND using the program. As far as “lock out” is concerned – when shopping at a brick and mortar business, customers are expected to pay for goods and services rendered regardless of whether armed guards are posted at the door:) PolarView security measures will be adjusted based on user compliance.
When shopping at brick and mortar business, customers pay for, and leave with a product. If a product price changes, then subsequent customers pay the increased price.

It woulld seem that the most viable option at this point is to: DON'T UPGRADE BEYOND Version 2.0.7, and to start learning and using OpenCPN.

basssears 06-24-2016 09:42 PM

Re: Disapointment with Polar Navy Customer "service"
As you said yourself, if you don't want to upgrade, don't.

When you consider what standalone chart plotters cost, $20.00/year to install on as many machines as you want seems a pretty decent deal.

eherlihy 06-27-2016 09:37 PM

Re: Disapointment with Polar Navy Customer "service"

Originally Posted by basssears (Post 3554018)
As you said yourself, if you don't want to upgrade, don't.

When you consider what standalone chart plotters cost, $20.00/year to install on as many machines as you want seems a pretty decent deal.

Well, it is not as many machines as you want. It is up to 5.

The other issue is (assuming that I have understood the release notes), that for those that have, or will not upgrade, they will find that their installation of PolarView NS will STOP FUNCTIONING either 3 years from date of licensure, or August 31, 2017 (whichever comes last)

basssears 06-27-2016 10:41 PM

I will have to double check, but I was under impression that the "five registrations only" went away now that they are on subscription track.

sailingmaster 10-10-2019 09:17 AM

Re: Disapointment with Polar Navy Customer "service"
Yes, the licensing agreement is odd, but for what, 45 dollars? Please... Other purveyors of chartplotter technology are charging many thousands for their system and everything is proprietary. I myself will dearly miss Polar Navy, a great company with a fantastic program that has worked for me incredibly well over the years, notwithstanding the impressive I/O capabilities and free updated charts, (yes you have to get these on your own) all for some chump change.

An old Captain once said to me; "you can't help them" I have discovered over time that he was right.

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