One Time Payment vs Recurring: Which is Better?
One of the big selling points for some of the spy apps (like Highster Mobile, which one of our posters referred to as “Sheister Mobile”), is the ability to make a “one-time” payment for “lifetime” use of the service.
One time payment vs recurring — which is the better deal? To answer that, you must consider a few facts.
1. It is a LIFETIME license on that ONE device; if you factory reset the device, the license is cancelled. In other words, no one would sell a device that hasn’t been factory reset, so there will be no value for you to recoup by selling the phone.
2. You can not “uninstall” and “reinstall” on another device as you can with some of the monthly- or yearly-plans and services.
3. United Airlines performed a survey (but I am not able to find any links to it online to support this statement) in which they determined that the average smartphone user changes his device every 18-24 months.
[REAL LIFE EXAMPLE: The first two phones I bought for my kids did NOT last 12 months! I replaced my wife’s phone in less than a year; and I tend to replace my phone ever 12-15 months. In the US, these numbers might be different because of the “contracts” you are required to sign; but in Asia, we pay for our phones ourselves with no contract.]
If you are average, your “one-time” payment will obtain less than 2 years of service for you. If you get 2 years out of your $69.99 payment, you spent approximately $35 per year using that service. Not bad if the service you paid for actually works.
In most cases, annual services will cost you more in the long-run. HOWEVER, some of the better services allow you to run a few day trial to see if their service will work with your phones. The “one-time license fee” services do NOT offer this option. You buy it, and you are stuck — whether it works or not.
More first-hand experience about how “lifetime” payments may not be beneficial. My wife wanted a new phone (always Samsung!). So I decided to give her old phone to one of my step-kids. I thought about not “factory resetting” the phone, but cleaning it (I even wrote about the process here), but decided against it. In the end, I encrypted the phone and performed a factory reset, completely clearing all data … and wiping out my “lifetime” Highster Mobile App (which was only installed a few months previous).
So for me, LIFETIME one-time payment is NOT a good deal.