Don’t Get Trapped by Oracle Auto Renew [2023 Updated]

Four pieces of cheese, one of which is in a mouse trap

In 2018, Oracle changed its support contract renewal process with the introduction of its new auto renew strategy.

Previously, customers would be sent a renewal invoice and Oracle would wait for you to send payment to activate the newly agreed support contract.

However, thanks to its new auto renew feature within its Oracle My Support Renewals portal, customers must now manage an additional step in their renewal process to avoid any unwanted surprises.

How does Oracle auto renew work?

Oracle has outlined the process in its Auto Renew Overview document.

The process is as follows:

  • An initial email is sent to your organisation 120 days prior to the expiration of the support period, reminding you that you signed up for Auto Renew.
  • Your organisation then receives a reminder email 60 days prior to the contract’s expiration.
  • The contract is Auto Renewed and automatically invoiced 30 days prior to the expiration of your current support contract.
  • NOTE – To ‘opt out’ of auto renew, customers must do so at least 32 days prior to the start date of their new contract (more on that later).

It’s important to note that this auto renewal is now an ‘opt in’ option; you must actively sign up to it at the commencement of your support contract for it to take effect.

This was not always the case.

As is common with Oracle, this change was introduced not for the benefit of its customers, but as a method of securing its highly profitable support and maintenance business.

This feature was originally introduced as an ‘opt out’ service before being changed to ‘opt in’ only after considerable customer backlash. Who knows whether this will be changed yet again in the near future.

Why does this matter?

By signing up to renew automatically, customers are accepting the standard 8% price increase with no contest.

If this is left unchecked over multiple years, these fees can compound resulting in quite staggering support fee figures for your organisation.

Customers who agree to automatically renew their support contracts, are also missing out on the chance to negotiate a better deal.

These support contracts are incredibly lucrative for Oracle (making up a large portion of its profit margin) so accepting the first offer from the vendor on a new support contract would mean potentially missing out on thousands in savings.

What’s more, the introduction of this auto renew strategy is just a further sign of Oracle’s flippant attitude towards its customers.

By leading customers towards an auto renewal process, Oracle are hoping to take negotiating power away from the customer and make their life a lot easier, further securing the cash cow that their support and maintenance fees has become.

Even the language on its ‘benefits’ page of the Auto Renew document can’t justify a valid reason to ‘opt in’.

Point 1 (presumably Oracle’s main reason for customers to ‘opt in’) reads:

No need to proactively accept renewal of new support period”.

This is not a benefit (not to the customer anyway). Customers should proactively accept any new support contract to make sure nothing has snuck into the terms that should not be there and to also review whether they’re happy with the quoted price.

How do you disable auto renew?

Your organisation has probably already experienced Oracle’s inability to be flexible to your needs.

But opting out of auto renewing your support contracts at least retains some sort of flexibility and negotiating power over the vendor.

Follow these steps to ensure you won’t automatically renew:

  • Check your support contracts – wording in your contracts can be deliberately vague, but it’s important to go over them with a fine-tooth comb to find any mention of ‘auto-renewal’ either regarding your current contract, or in relation to any new contracts.
  • Log in to ‘opt out’Log into your Oracle My Support Renewals portal and opt out at least 32 days prior to the start date.
  • Secure your future renewals – When accepting the terms of a new support contract, ensure you select the ‘Annual’ payment method NOT the ‘Auto Renew’ payment method (page 6 of the Auto Renew document).

Are you nearing your support renewal deadline?

If you’re nearing your renewal deadline, make sure you’ve followed the above to avoid any unwanted or expensive surprises.

Conducting a renewal audit of your current contracts will help establish whether you’re getting the most value out of each contract — after all, you’re paying a handsome amount for this service.

Better yet, you could move your support to a third-party provider (such as Support Revolution!) and simply avoid any of the above. We’ll support any Oracle product or version indefinitely for as long or as short as you need.

Want to avoid ever having to worry about Oracle’s sneaky auto renew policy again?

Contact us to see how we can give you more support flexibility today.

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