It makes really, really bad PR removing features from a product – whatever it’s price.
It’s been proven over and over again by behavioral psychology and behavioral economy that most people are much more sensitive to loosing what they already got than earning something new.
It’s all about setting expectations. When you install a trial version, you know the product will eventually stop working because that’s part of the deal.
But when there’s multi-tiered product with different versions containing different features at different price points, most users don’t expect to loose features for a given tier. People don’t expect to be be downgraded even if all they signed up for was the free version.
Definitely, that’s not how to grow a customer base. Quite the other way around.