No, it's not "well done".
Removal of Maintenance Fee is that one important thing that defines the lasting appeal of this game. New, inexperienced players are being punished for losing, and nobody even bothers with Tier 5 ships, that bracket is dead and that is all thanks to the fee.
The longer they are delaying the removal of the Maint Fee, the deeper they are digging their own grave. Everyone I talked to about this game and its features, only the maintenance fee stands in the way, and I whole heartedly agree.
Nobody of the potential players I personally chitchatted with will not come even near this game as long as it remains, and that's too bad cause it's potentially lost revenue as well.