Every POS system vendor has to provide support to answer questions and to resolve problems. Most of them also charge for updates or include updates in the support charges. The majority of POS vendors charge for support. Some have an annual fee, some have a per-call charge, some charge monthly. Some vendors, like Restaurant Pro Express, require a $600.00 (multi-user) annual fee but restrict the number of calls to 10 or the call-time to 120 minutes. Another consideration regards hardware support. Most POS vendors charge high prices for POS hardware. Save money by buying your own hardware. A lot of POS vendors will happily charge you $1000.00 to replace a $300.00 PC! Foodman does not charge for technical support, and, Foodman customers can get free updates directly from our website at any time. No-one should buy a POS system which does not provide technical support. So, why do some vendors charge for support? The primary reason is that their software is hard to understand, (See Easy to Learn?) hard to use (especially in the area of file creation and maintenance, e.g., your Menu.). Or, it is just buggy and causes frequent problems. One of the reasons other software is buggy is because it is written in one of Microsoft's notoriously undependable software packages like Visual Basic. Foodman does not use such Microsoft software so it is free of the bugs inherent in that software. Therefore, some vendors HAVE to employ people just to provide support. Those people require office space, benefits, and a salary. That costs money, so the vendor has to charge for support to cover their expenses. Foodman does not have a technical support staff since the majority of our customers NEVER call for support. In fact, we have dozens of customers who have used our software for more than ten years and have NEVER called during that time. Foodman was designed to be self-explanatory, so it is not necessary for our customers to call up and ask how, for example, to change the price of a menu item (unlike some vendors we could mention). The main reason Foodman does not charge for support is because the software was designed to NOT REQUIRE SUPPORT. This makes us happy because we don't have to devote time and personnel to support. It makes our customers happy because they know that they will rarely ever need to call and don't have to pay for calls. (The majority of the few calls we receive are usually about hardware problems after a power failure or something like that.) So, be sure to consider the issue of support carefully before you decide on your POS vendor. Support charges can be appreciable and should be considered when looking at the total cost of a particular vendor's solution. Foodman does not charge for technical support, and, Foodman customers can get free updates directly from our website at any time.
You can learn some interesting things about support if you visit our competitor's web sites, for example, the following is found at: www.nextpos.com (As of May 30th, 2004) "In order to provide quality support service to all of our customers, we may limit each customer with maximum (sic) of 2 support calls per day and each call not exceeding 30 minutes." This suggests that they: A - get a lot of calls, and, B - a lot of those calls are not over in a few seconds, or even minutes. What does this say about their software? What do you do if you have three questions on the same day? Wait till tomorrow, I guess! "We do not accept per incident support charges, nor do we accept credit card payments, therefore, it is important that you renew your support contract with us before your existing support expires." To us, this suggests that you had better have a support contract as long as you use NEXTPOS - because you will probably NEED ongoing support! "Once your support contract has expired, we will not be able to provide you with any support service until you have renewed your support contract with us. To reinstate support service will normally take about one week worth of time or more, since we have to wait for your check to arrive in the mail." Not very friendly, eh? Not very considerate of your predicament, either!
At www.RestaurantPlus.com you can find the following: "If your issue is deemed a major incident (requiring extensive research, lengthy telephone support call, etc.) we reserve the right to charge by the hour, regardless of whether you have 30-Day Free Support or 1-Year Software Support Contract time remaining." We would guess that Restaurant Plus didn't put that on their website (May 30th, 2004) if they didn't have a good reason.
At www.SunSofTouch.net You can see this: "Phone Technical Support for WindSoft products is not included with product purchases or upgrades. This support is available only as a fee based service. Support is a per call fee for one problem/issue (max 30 minutes). Support exceeding 30 minutes will be billed for a 2nd call. Support help will be billed even if your problem is not resolved to your satisfaction. We will provide option(s) if problem is not resolved. Fees are $49 or $150 if data files need to be looked at." (June 7th 2004.) One wonders if problems which are "not resolved to your satisfaction" happen often? They must feel that it is necessary to put this statement in for some reason. . .
You can find the following on Aldelo's site. For example, we use Microsoft Live Meeting for remote troubleshooting. All you need is an Internet connection, and our support engineer will be able to remotely troubleshoot and fix issues as if he's there at your restaurant. Better yet, if the issue needs to be escalated, we may even be able to invite senior level engineers and development staff into the remote trouble shooting session to quickly resolve your case when needed. We wonder how often it would be necessary to "invite senior level engineers and development staff into the remote trouble shooting session". This is only a POS system after all and should be bug free. Wouldn't you rather have a POS system which does not require support?
The following describes the support for Point of Success: First 30 Days after purchase - Telephone technical support is provided at no charge Per Incident - $39 per incident Six month Software Maintenance Plan with unlimited support, automatic shipment of software updates and substantial discounts on future version upgrade purchases - $199 Support for installation and configuration of POS printers is available for $129 per hour Support for network configuration or troubleshooting is available for $129 per hour. This service is limited to configuring computers to recognize each other on the network and communicate for Point of Success database access.
Here are the costs for AccuPos: Annual Support* $435.00 Plus Per Station $120.00 Emergency Support (per incident) $85.00 (We wonder what "Emergency Support" means.) Version Upgrade to 7.0 $495.00 Version and Package Upgrade $595.00 *Our Attitude POSitive annual support agreement provides unlimited access to AccuPOS Retail Senior Technicians during normal business hours* (Monday through Friday 9A.M. to 5 P.M. Pacific Time). Additionally you are eligible to receive updates as they become available.Emergency Support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.