Paying for Support Bitch Session

Discussion of MicroSurvey CAD related issues and questions.

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Paying for Support Bitch Session

Postby Jeff Anderson » Fri Feb 04, 2005 10:46 am

I got a bill for $140 for "Annual Technial Service Contract". My fault you caught me at a busy time, there were still alot of bugs in the program and frankly I forgot about it.

I paid 2 grand/licence. I guess I am just tired of the cash grabs as they relate to software. At least your not as bad as Trimble or some of the others.

I don't know, but I think you should only have to pay for something once and if you need help with it should be free (part of that customer relations thing).

Just needed to bitch.
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Technical Support Contracts.

Postby Glen Cameron » Fri Feb 04, 2005 12:23 pm

All products that MicroSurvey Software sells come with a 90 day free technical support contract included automatically. Any support beyond this period is chargeable at a yearly rate.

This support contract allows you to get assistance for an entire year, directly from our technical support department, by phone, fax or email for the times when you need it.

We do include unlimited support via this user forum, and we do provide service patches and user tips, free of charge, via this web-site.

Just like anything in the non-surveying world, after the initial warrantly or support period has expired, there has to be charges for additional service or support.

MicroSurvey Software Inc. has been ranked #1 in Technical Support, in the industry, by the P.O.B. Magzine in 2001, 2002, and 2004. I would like to think that we are doing what we can to assist our users, and that the small yearly fee is not a major issue as it does help ensure that qualified, experienced support people are available to help answer questions for you.

If you would like to discuss this further, please feel free to contact me directly.

Cheers,
Glen W. Cameron, C.E.T.
City of North Bay, Ontario
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Postby Jeff Anderson » Fri Feb 04, 2005 12:40 pm

I never had a problem with your support, I have a problem with having to pay for it, and a fee is a fee whether it's nominal or not. It seems to me if you develop software whether you are in the surveying industry or not, you should stand behind it, and provide support to your users (the people who paid for it in the first place), without charging them extra.
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Location: Calgary

Technical Support Contracts.

Postby Glen Cameron » Fri Feb 04, 2005 1:06 pm

An interesting point of view.

Unfortunately, we, along with most of the other software companies, do not see it the same way. We provide a service and need to see some return on this service to allow us to maintain this service correctly.

Developing software is just like any other business, if you can't charge for any service you provide, then you will not be around very long or the service will not be up to pare in quality. Survey instruments and even automobiles, computers, etc. all work the same way. Call with questions on how any of these work and normally there will be a charge, when the original support period has expired. Just place a call to a lawyer and simply discuss the weather - you will get a bill.

In a way, you are not really paying for the support of the program, you are paying for the extension or reaffirmation of the knowledge you have on the program.

I guess we could go back and forth on this topic, but rather than doing this, I will thank you for your comments, and agree to disagree on this topic.

Cheers,
Glen W. Cameron, C.E.T.
City of North Bay, Ontario
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Postby Jeff Anderson » Fri Feb 04, 2005 1:12 pm

Disagreeing makes the world go around. :)
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Postby CHRIS L » Sat Feb 05, 2005 7:53 pm

Jeff
By all means......you are compaining about 140 tech help...TRY GETTING ANYONE IN THE SURVEY SOFTWARE BUSINESS to give you a year help for that amount.....Microsurvey is the cheapest in the industry and by means the best around..( seems ironic if you think about it) ..try getting a answer to anything from Autodesk....last time we called them...first thing we had to give them was our credit card number.

You have to look at this like a business....If a client you did a job for called you twice a week to ask you a question about a job and wanted to talk for 30 minutes each time about that question.....after a few weeks you are losing money talking to this guy. Granted, We all work some time in our prices to handle questions about a job, but at some point its going down the drain.....
Tech Support is 100 times that amout of time during the year helping people....whether or not you have the best, easiest program in the world....some people are just not going to get it...If you include all that time helping all the computer illiterate people in the world into the cost of the software....you are going to be paying ALOT more for the same software.
Do you want to be forced to pay for the time it takes tech help to explain how to the non-computerish clients how to turn on thier computer and actually istall the software. I sure dont!!!!!
I'm sure the guys from Microsurvey have had thier fair share of clients who spent their 100 dollars worth of tech help pretty quick
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Fantastic!

Postby Darcy Detlor » Mon Feb 07, 2005 1:26 pm

Hello Chris,

Technical support is always a difficult topic. I am amazed at how clearly you understand the issues that we have here, and the way you extrapolated the cost of support into increased costs for the software itself is extraordinay. It is true - we do think about this exact problem.

Our contact management software is full of people who call dozens and dozens of times over the course of a year with questions that really can be solved with a little time watching movies. In the past year I have done some fill in support and am amazed that people will call up after collecting basic topo info and expect you to create a surface model and compute volumes for them. I have asked if they have watched a movie or read the help on the topic at all, and they say no.

As Glen stated above, we do get very high marks for our technical support, and we recently doubled our full time Support staff. Hopefully it will just get better and faster.
Darcy Detlor,
President,
MicroSurvey Software Inc.
[email protected]
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My 2 cents

Postby Paul W » Tue Mar 01, 2005 6:35 am

I support the paying for support yes charge them if the information is readily available. But if it is a software issue (crashing, mtext that doesn’t work). The developer should wave the fee so that they could improve the product or find a solution which we all can use.
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support

Postby Glen Cameron » Tue Mar 01, 2005 9:37 am

We are always working to improve the program. Some features are out of our direct control being they are CAD related but any issues that we find or are reported to us are forwarded to the CAD developer. When/if they provide a fix, we then test it internally and then provide it to the customers in a service patch or new version, depending upon timing.

If a customer calls me up and reports a problem, if they do not have a current support contract, I will listen to the customer and if it is something that they are doing wrong then they need to renew the contract to get support. If it is something wrong in the program then I make notes and pass the details on to the correct development people - no charge.

Cheers,
Glen W. Cameron, C.E.T.
City of North Bay, Ontario
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Postby steve » Tue Mar 15, 2005 5:15 am

hey, when you consider the price of the software & its capabilities, paying the support cost is not all that much. also, place a value on the software, a value on the support contract & what it gets you, and most importantly a value on what you can get done with this software. do the math - value/price - it's clear that the value out weighs the cost. this, of course does not apply to new users, however, in a few short weeks, new users should be up & running and experience the value.
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Works for me

Postby digger662 » Mon May 09, 2005 4:10 pm

I have an estimating program and it costs me $1,400.00 per year for support and upgrades. I can call 24/7 and usually get 9 or 10 updates per year.

I have an earthwork take off package that cost $450.00 per year for updates and support.

Both of the above programs cost well over $5,000.00 to buy, but are must haves for my business.

I find MicroSurvey is an exceptional value for support and product pricing.

:)
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