eLicenser by Steinberg nightmare

eLicenser broken – let the nightmare begin!

Think twice before buying products using elicenser

Ok, now it happened, after all those years. One of my 3 eLicenser dongles by Steinberg just stopped working all of a sudden! It doesn’t get found within the system on any computer, altough the key light is on, so it’s def. broken. Well, these things can happen, right? How about just moving the licenses from the broken elicenser to another one on the MySteinberg page..? Nah, let the real nightmare begin!!!

a) I went straight to MySteinberg to de-activate my dongle and mark it as “broken” – now I manually need to contact support which didn’t get back to me hours later so far. Moving licenses..? Impossible!

b) MySteinberg page tells me, that if I have other licenses (by Vengeance etc), I have to request additional licenses manually directly through them…. sucks big time!

c) I wrote to Vengeance (where I spent a couple of hundred bucks for Metrum, Multiband-Compression, Multiband-Sidechaining etc) and they answered me as following (remember, I didn’t lose the dongle, it’s simply broken):


I’m sorry to hear about your lost eLicenser. Unfortunately, each
purchase of of our products comes with only one license which can be downloaded to only one eLicenser.

Once your license has been downloaded to your eLicenser, it has intrinsic value, like cash.
In other words, losing it is like losing a laptop or a cell phone; in order to get a replacement, you will need to purchase a new one yourself.

I’m afraid that we simply aren’t able to provide free replacements for lost Dongle licenses.
Because we are not able to deactivate eLicensers remotely (we cannot access anyone’s USB eLicenser remotely),
and because we are not able to verify claims of lost licenses, providing free replacements simply isn’t possible.

Again, I understand that it’s frustrating to lose a valuable possession, but I’m afraid that there really isn’t anything
that we can do in this sort of situation. As with any other small but valuable item (a phone, a piece of jewelry, etc.)
once the license is in your possession, it is your responsibility to keep track of and take good care of your licenses.

Unfortunately, this policy is necessary for copy protection reasons. Although we would like to be able to replace licenses for
customers who misplace their USB eLicenser, this simply isn’t possible. If we were to do so (provide free replacement licenses upon demand),
what would prevent anyone from claiming to have lost their license, and demanding extra licenses that they could then sell, give away to their friends, etc.?

Hopefully you can see how wide open to abuse such a system would be, and why it isn’t feasible for us to implement this sort of policy.

I’m sorry, and I wish that there was more that I could do, but I’m afraid that it simply isn’t possible for us to offer a replacement
license in this sort of situation.

d) I wrote to ReFX regarding my NEXUS license and got this reply:

In order to receive a replacement license, you will need to send the damaged eLicenser in to us.

Please send your eLicenser via registered mail, to:

reFX Audio Software Inc.
PO box 61543 Brookswood
Langley BC V3A 8C8

Be sure to declare a low customs value (~$10), as this is the value of the physical device itself. Additionally, be sure to note in any customs paperwork that you fill out that this is a product return / repair. Also, please include your full name somewhere on or inside the parcel, so that we can identify who it’s from.

Please do not use UPS, as they frequently attempt to charge the recipient (us) brokerage fees upon receipt of parcels. We will not pay any brokerage fees if these are applied.

Once we have received your eLicenser and verified the license on it, we will be able to send you a new activation code to download a new license. Please note that we will only be able to provide an activation code; you will have to purchase a new Steinberg USB-eLicenser yourself. USB-eLicensers can be purchased in most stores specializing in musical instruments.

f) = I’m fucked!

I’m really asking myself, is this the way you treat loyal customers who bought software (actually spend hundreds or even thousands) and get fucked like this? Come on, I bought a license, not a piece of crappy hardware. You fucking owe me this right to use the software, otherwise I want my money back! Should I send the broken elicenser to all 3 different companies at the same time? Do these guys really don’t trust me at all? WTF????

I can only praise companies like Presonus: You buy an amazing software like Studio One 3 and you can activate it on 5 (!) different computers without any dongle! This is 21st century style!!!

So all I can do now is to advise you to AVOID using an eLicenser at all. The day it gets broken, you’re seriously fucked