I recently wrote about software vendors who have taken up the practice of encrypting Dental Practice data during a conversion, and later demanding a release fee.
That’s right… upwards of $3,500 for an encryption key to unlock their own data!
Customers disillusioned with their new software program and wanting to make a quick switch to another vendor went from dissatisfied to furious.
But it’s not only conversions that are a big red flag. These software vendors are now applying the same ploy to version updates. Under the guise of a free update – or even a routine update that you pay for – vendors can be encrypting your practice data with the intention of charging a release fee.
This may never become a problem for you, as long as you keep using their program. It is a huge issue, however, when you decide to upgrade your software by moving to a new vendor – or if your vendor goes out of business as has been the case with so many software vendor trying to enter this market! Not exactly the kind of loyalty program I can recommend!
I will repeat that robust, hack-proof encryption of your backed-up practice data is extremely important. It is a standard security measure that we take very seriously. But we would never, ever charge a release fee for you to have access to your own data.
Be prepared to ask your suppliers pointed questions about this, and get a no-release-fee promise in a written agreement.