Then don’t buy it. But if I was your client I’d be looking elsewhere.
You do not need to upgrade every seat to keep a client happy.
How much time have already your wasted? What happens when you get a text reflow and the client refuses to pay?
Sometimes it just costs more to do nothing than it does to do something.
TO add to Bob's comments, it is possible to have multiple versions of InDesign installed on the same machine. I have CS4, CS5 and CS5.5 (used to have ID2, CS and CS2 as well, prior to a system upgrade). I can use whichever version is needed for the client...
If I do single seat upgrades it throws all my volume licensing out of whack. The same project six months ago required us to have CS3 installed for the sole purpose of providing them with a backsaved version of a CS3 INDD which would rarely get used and more often than not we would do all of the art. It is just an odd twist of fate that on the new budget the engineer's lone copy of Creative Suite got some love on a middle release. They have dozens of artists that did not get the upgrade in the same company and we certainly keep a pulse on that. Heck, one client who isn't punctual about budgeting their upgrades is on our LWS as a end user to ensure we have don't have versioning issues.
Our prepress department handles quality control to ensure there is no text reflowing and we are alerted of any affected pages that would change and providethe client with a RIPped proof for sign off. It is reasonably unlikely that we would miss it, then they would miss it on their proof, then we would output it. In that sort of case it would be cases where they have made errors beyond our control and we would meet them half way. If text did reflow it would appear on our onion skin overlay in prepress and we could see exactly what changed.
In any case with a scenario where we design a file, send it to them as native and backsaved (all the way back to CS3) and get the file back we still need to edit the file. I'm not talking print only work. If that were the case we would just ask for a PDF like a normal print workflow, but we don't do any work for our clients where we are provided "print ready" files. Text reflow is inevitable and not because we are going to have version inconsistencies but because we are editing the files prior to print. If we worked solely in the capacity of commercial printer for this client we'd have lost their business years ago, but we do the whole thing from poorly marked up word document with low res photography to full vector illustrated instructions.
I have CS2,3,4,5 on my machine. I spent <2 hours on 1 file so far due to CS5.5. CS5.5 upgrade for one seat is around or over $400. I don't make over $200 an hour.
Post was intended as more of a goodwill kind of thing if people run into issues with IDML files provided to them.
I ran into a little backsaving snafu when dealing with a client's CS5.5 file the other day I figured I would share.
The document barked at me with the missing plugins in standard fashion. I requested the client backsave the file (a 96 page instruction manual with around 300 various placed vector graphics). The IDML came in and I got similar barking from InDesign in a slightly different shaped dialog box with the same (slightly different count) plugin request. This time the dialog box rather than accepting the Okay button to dismiss the error persisted seemingly regardless of how many times I hit Okay.
Turns out a couple of the placed links were also CS5.5 InDesign files that were scattered about the document. The presence of the linked files precluded opening of the document. Several force quits, the download of the trial version of CS5.5 to backsave the links, open the links, convert to INDD 5.0, and a couple cups of coffee got me back in business.
Possibly had I hit okay a few hundred times it would have continued with the full conversion and brought up a corresponding few hundred "Failed to Import File" errors, but the human in me figured that after the first 50 or so unsuccessful Okay's to the plugin error that I would have to force quit to get rid of the offending dialog box.
Backsaving once again is a blast. Can't wait for CS6 so I can merit actually blowing the $5000 on upgrades. CS5.5 still brings doesn't bring enough to the table for our print workflow to merit the upgrade.
I suggest that you post a request for improving the error message here: wish It's likely since the incompatible version of the placed files is detected, it's possible to make the message accurately describe the problem.