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Licensed Credits Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why a credit based system?A credit based licensing system gives great flexibility and freedom to the customer. In many ways it is just like a prepaid cell phone, you are in complete control of how you use and purchase your credits. Credits are used for all aspects of licensing with the new MPVI interface, including single vehicle (VIN), year/model (vehicle type) and special tunershop packages. For customers who add new vehicles or licenses frequently, the addition of new vehicles/credits is a very streamlined process and requires no software download.
Some of the benefits of the credit system:
- Product ships with free credits, no need to specify license type at order.
- Addition of credits via simple web based process. No software downloads.
- Easy to use, menu based system for using credits on various license types.
- License what you want, when you want.
- Can keep a credit reserve, "just in case", no waiting for licenses on unusual vehicles.
- New single vehicle (VIN) licenses in addition to traditional year/model based.
- Suits all business models, home enthusiast, weekend tuner, small tunershop and large tunershop/manufacturer.
2. What is a credit?A credit, or more precisely, the current number of available credits is the determining factor on what licenses you can select. Each license type has an associated number of credits that are required to activate it. As an example, when you first purchase VCM Suite, it ships with 8 credits. You could use these credits to license four LS1 Single vehicles or two LS2 vehicles, or 2 x LS1 and 1 x LS2 etc. If you do not have enough credits to activate the desired license you must purchase and add more credits. Eg. If you have 4 existing credits and wish to activate an LS1 year/model license (requires 6 credits) you would need to purchase at least 2 additional credits before that option would be available. Overall, the credit is the basic measure of what licenses you can and can't activate at any time.
3. Are there different types of credits?Yes. At present only GM & Ford Credits are available. In the future Dodge credits will be available. Credits cannot be shared between application types. ie. GM credits could not be used to license Ford vehicles and vice versa.
4. How do I add more credits?Adding credits is a simple process. Note at present we are almost fully automated, there will be changes to this process over the coming weeks.
To purchase and add new credits:
- You must be an existing customer with MPVI interface to purchase new credits.
- Go to our Orders Upgrade page in the customer center.
- Enter the number of additional credits you would like to purchase in the boxes.
- Click Add to Cart.
- You will be directed to the PayPal website to complete your order.
- Please ensure you enter your customer ID (serial #) in the "payment notes" section.
- A new software application key will be emailed to you as soon as your order is processed. (Note: this is not fully automated so there will be some processing delay.).
- Once you receive your new application key, enter it into the VCM Suite software and the additional credits will be activated.
5. How can I tell how many credits I have now?VCM Suite provide two ways to view your existing credit information, the License Info form and also the VCM Suite Info.
The License Info form presents a clear listing of all your existing licenses, a summary of your credits and also provides a list of all higher level licenses that Upgrade Credits are contributing to. It is accessed by selecting "Help -> License Info" from the main menubar.
In the example below we can see the user has 12 GM total credits, used 2 credits to license a 2001 Firebird/Camaro Single Vehicle and has 10 remaining GM credits.
We can also see that upgrade credits are contrbuting 1 credit towards the 2001 Firebird/Camaro Year/Model license, reducing it to a cost of 5 credits. The next time the user tries to license a 2001 Firebird/Camaro they will be prompted with 5 credits required for the Year/Model license.
VCM Suite Info lists all important aspects of your software and hardware package, including the number of credits available and licenses used. It is not the main method of accessing the License Info but can be accessed by selecting "Help -> VCM Suite Info" or by clicking the white "i" callout box icon on the toolbar.
6. How many credits do I need for a particular license?The credit system is very flexible and the number of credits required to license a particular vehicle depends on the vehicle and the license type required. As an example, to license a Single Vehicle V6 requires 2 credits, but to license unlimited Gen III V8 cars requires 30 credits.
For a complete listing of credit requirements please see the Supported Vehicles page.
Also, remember that Upgrade Credits continually reduce the cost of the next higher applicable license, see question 5 and 9 for more details.
7. How do I license a vehicle?Licensing a vehicle is a simple process that is done when you try to access a PCM that isn't currently licensed. The software will prompt you with a number of options (see below) depending on the vehicle you are connected to. You then choose the desired option and click the commit button. The appropriate amount of credits will be deducted from your existing credit count.
8. Can I delete licenses or swap them for another vehicle?No. Once licenses are chosen and committed, they are permanently stored and cannot be erased or swapped.
9. What are Upgrade Credits?In order for customers to reduce risk and lower entry costs, Upgrade Credits are how Single Vehicle or Year/Model licenses are used to reduce the number of credits required to purchase Year/Model or Tunershop packages. In this system, 75% of the lower license credits will count towards future purchase of the equivalent next higher package. eg. 2001 Camaro Single Vehicle credits count towards 2001 Camaro Year/model, and likewise 2004 GTO year/model counts towards the All GenIII V8 Car package.
The scheme is designed to allow a customer an entry point at the lower license level but protecting that investment for future purchases. The basis of the system is that 75% of all appropriate lower level licenses are added together and deducted from the higher level license. When you are prompted to license a new vehicle, the reduced number of credits will show for the higher level license. If you then decide to select the higher level license at the reduced credits, it will be saved as being purchased at that reduced credit requirement and those credits will also count towards the next higher license level, if one exists. Additionally for new purchases, the credits that come for free do count towards upgrade credits when used.
It is possible to reduce the required amount of credits for the appropriate higher level purchase to zero.
Customers who upgrade from serial to MPVI are totally protected by this system as well. Existing licenses will be transferred to the MPVI at the full applicable credit rates at the time of upgrade. Those credits count towards Upgrade Credits like any others so the investment is protected.
The system also applies to VCM Enhancements, such that single vehicle enhancements will contribute upgrade credits towards the unlimited packages.
The calculation and recording of all upgrade credits is automatic and transparent to the user. Upgrade Credits are calculated based on the number of applicable credits that were recorded at the time they were used, they do not reduce if subsequent credit requirements reduce. eg. if the 2002 Single Vehicle license was reduced to 1 credit in future, then all existing 2002 Single Vehicle licenses a user has will still count as 2 credits towards upgrade credits, any new licenses obviously would count at the new rate of 1 credit.
It is best to illustrate the concept via an example, see diagram below. In this example a customer does the following things:
- Uses 4 credits to license 2 x 2000 Fbody Single Vehicles
- These 4 credits count towards the 2000 Fbody Year/Model license so they are added together, then multiplied by 75% giving 3 Upgrade Credits.
- Since the 2000 Fbody license normally costs 6 credits, it is now reduced to 3 because of the 3 upgrade credits. The calculation of this is completely automatic, all the user will notice is the reduced number of credits on the licensing form.
- They then decide to purchase the 2000 Fbody Year/Model license at the reduced 3 credit price, the software records the fact that 3 credits were actually used to license the 2000 Fbody Year/Model. These 3 credits will also count towards the All GenIII V8 Cars package.
- The customer then purchases the 2001 and 2002 Fbody Year/Model licenses for 6 credits each. Note they are stored at the full 6 credits by the software since no upgrade credits were applicable at the time. These Year/Model credits now apply to the All GenIII V8 Cars package in exactly the same way.
- The total of all applicable Year/Models (3 + 6 + 6) are added together and then 75% are counted towards the package. In this case 11 credits (the result is rounded down) apply to the All GenIII V8 Cars package.
- The user then decides to purchase the All GenIII V8 Cars package at the reduced 19 credits.
10. What can I do with the 8 free credits on initial purchase?When you first purchase VCM Suite, you receive 8 credits as part of the base package. These credits can be used any combination requiring a total of 8 or less credits, or additional credits can be purchased as well. The system is totally flexible and over time as HP Tuners adds new vehicle support or additional licensed enhancements, credits are used to add that capability to the customer feature set.
Enthusiast with one LS1 vehicle, intake mods, running speed density tune:
- Single Vehicle LS1 license (2 credits)
- Single Vehicle VCM Enhancement (2 credits)
- 4 credits spare (eg. decides to fit a supercharger in future, can go to 2 or 3 bar Speed Density on this vehicle at no additional charge)
Enthusiast with one LS1 vehicle, one LS2 vehicle:
- Single Vehicle LS1 license (2 credits)
- Single Vehicle LS2 license (2 credits)
- 4 credits spare (eg. could license a friends LS1 car/truck and another friends LS2 car/truck)
11. What are Bulk Credit Discounts?HP Tuners offers discounted rates for large credit purchases, the more credits your purchase in a single order the higher the discount. Discounts of up to 38% are possible. Bulk credits discounts are especially applicable to tunershops looking to get support for a large amount of year/model licenses or packages such as GenIII V8 Car/Truck or V6.
For current details of the credit discounts please see the Bulk Credit Discount table at the top of this page.
License Credit System - Examples
E1. Licensing a single vehicle example.Coming soon...
E2. Licensing a year/model example.Coming soon...
E3. Licensing a tunershop package example.Coming soon...
E4. Licensing a VCM Enhancement example.Coming soon...
E5. Upgrade credits example.This example shows a small tunershop or weekend tuner using upgrade credits to take advantage of the lower entry point while protecting their investment. In this example the customer was an existing HPT customer with Serial EIO interface and Year/Model licenses for the 1999, 2000 and 2001 Fbody vehicles.
- Customer upgrades from Serial to MPVI Pro, existing licenses are transferred as 6 credits each.
- Then the tuner is faced with a decision. A guy calls about a 2004 GTO tune. He is not sure how many more 2004 GTO's he is going to get so he decides to take the Single Vehicle option for 2 credits on this one and "see how it goes".
- Six months pass and then another 2004 GTO request, the tuner then thinks it's been 6 months since the last one so he will just do the same thing. Note at this point the software would have prompted him with a cost of 5 credits to upgrade to the 2004 GTO Year/Model (since 2 x 75% = 1 upgrade credit).
- Another few months pass and then another 2004 GTO request, the tuner thinks he has only done two of these and it's cost him $199 for the two single vehicles, he is still $100 ahead over the last nine months compared to the 2004 GTO Year/Model at $299. At this point the software would be prompting him with him with a cost of 3 credits to upgrade to the 2004 GTO Year/Model (since 4 x 75% = 3 upgrade credits). The tuner decides to go the Single Vehicle route again happy that he is doing the right thing.
- Another few months pass and then a fourth 2004 GTO request. This time the tuner sees the software is prompting him with him with a cost of 2 credits to upgrade to the 2004 GTO Year/Model (since 6 x 75% = 4 upgrade credits). The tuner then decides he would be crazy not to take the 2004 GTO Year/Model option for 2 credits. He thinks back over the last year and realizes sure he has paid $99 more than if he had taken the risk initially on the 2004 GTO Year/Model license but given the length of time it is of no concern. He would have been much worse off had he purchased the Year/Model upfront and never tuned another 2004 GTO!
- This final purchase at the reduced credit price is recorded as 2 credits used to license the 2004 GTO Year/Model.
- If we take a look at the number of Year/Model upgrade credits now applying to the All GenIII V8 Cars package we see that 15 credits apply to the All GenIII V8 Cars package and the tuner would see 15 credits required to license it.