Sage Strikes again, Modifies it's obscelence policy in mid stream

Posted at 7:37:16 PM in Vendors (35)

Below is part of an online tech session with Sage (i use "Peachtree" interchangeably with Sage. This is because I've been with Peachtree for years which was purchased by Sage and is now called Sage 50 and the peach is gone. My apologies. My arguments were pretty much the same with Peachtree, but has gotten worse since Sage took over.) after I got the obsolescence message. We have the Business Care support which is outrageously priced and designed to hold the customer hostage. Upgrade prices in the past typically came with about a 30% discount. Now the discount has completely disappeared and a new charge which is about equal (called "support") has been added on.

The number one issue about support is that it isn't support. The typical answer is make a new company and import your data. That's not support. The upgrades have always come with extra overhead as new items are added to the database. Since the database is based on btrieve, and out of date, no longer supported, and almost useless database, it performs very badly as the file sizes grow larger. Since the upgrades always produce larger files, the promise that the upgrade will improved performance is a lie. Every upgrade has meant that we cannot do certain things that we use to be able to. For example: Peachtree (now Sage 50) has a search function when you press F3. It pops up a search box which allows you to find almost anything based on customer, invoice number, po number, check number, etc. About 8 years ago, we were promised that upgrading to Quantum would fix that function because it promised better performance. He had lost the ability to use that about 3 years earlier because of the file sizes. Quantum only made us lose other functions that we were able to use. And the problems continue to increase, not decrease nor improve.

Of course the solution to the problem is to create a new company and import your data. Of course, this isn't easy to do since there is still a lot of manual data entry. For example, we can import our inventory, but we cannot import the price quantity discounts. If we import 5000 items and there are 5 price discounts, every one of them having their own price breaks (I think I wrote about this 15 years ago), the amount of data entry is astronomical. This is just one of the short sighted items that has never been addressed and probably never will be. 

Of course, we could purge at year end, except that every time we do, the balance sheet is wrong, but wait, there's more. The purge doesn't purge. For some reason, an active customer with a zero balance no open invoices or purchase orders or quotes or sales order, etc., just don't seem to get purged. We have data from 13 years ago in our system because the purge doesn't work. That's another item that will never get fixed. The answer? Make a new company and start over.

So, here is Sage's new support policy. I add the items that hold the client captive to Sage if they use any of these services.

 Services  Date Obsolesced
 Fixed Asset Tax Update Service  July 31, 2014
 Online Banking  July 31, 2014
 Peachtree Bill Pay  July 31, 2014
 Peachtree Credit Card Services  July 31, 2014
 Peachtree Direct Deposit  July 31, 2014
 Peachtree Online Backup  July 31, 2014
 Peachtree Payroll Solutions  July 31, 2014
 Peachtree Payroll Tax Update Service  July 31, 2014
 UPS Shipping  July 31, 2014

 

Problem : Why am I getting a pop up that says the product support is going to end. I'm using the most current version (Peachtree 2014)?

PTree > The obsolescence message serves as a reminder to those using the 2012 and 2014 version that the product will be obsolete by July 31st. There's a significant change in the obsolescence policy as Sage introduce Sage 50 2015 US Edition. Sage will only support the current year version once 2014 and below become obsolete.

PTree > To explain clearer. Prior to releasing Sage 50 2014 last year, Sage 50 2013 and below versions are still covered of the Original obsolescence policy. Then when Sage 50 2014 was released, obsolescence policy dates have changed which it will be obsolete once newer version or the Sage 50 2015 was released.

PTree > If you have active Business Care Support plan, you are entitled to have a software upgrade of Sage 50 2015. I can check that from your account. May I have your account ID, company name and phone number so I can locate your account?

One issue that I see is that people who just bought 2014 (we had just upgraded our 2012 to 2014 in November of 2013 with the expectation that we would have to install 2015 in November of 2014. That would have been a year.) should have had an expectation to have at least a year support, but will get cut short about half of that time. The obsolescence policy before was expired December 31 of the year, but this is also not correct. The tax tables would expire in November, meaning you could not close your year in payroll unless you renewed. It was our custom to wait until November to do the updates so we could continue the support. Now we are forced into an immediate update completely changing our plans.

In order to avoid dealing with upgrade issues, most people let someone else install the upgrades and then wait for them to work out the bugs before they put the upgrades into their own system. Some prime examples are Microsoft's almost equally useless upgrades. When Vista came out, we discovered that hardware designed for Windows XP was not sufficient for Vista, but a lot of customers had to deal with the bogged down software until the industry caught up. Now you can't buy a PC that has less that 4Gig of RAM and CPU speeds are much faster. Windows 8 came out with no start button. Almost everyone hated it. I read complaints all the time about how to get out of the Metro screens. Along comes Windows 8.1 with a compromise. No one really wants to be the first to use an upgrades software. You find out so many things are broken.

What we did was pay the upgrade price every year with the business care support plan (lower case is intentional), but not do the upgrade. I would review what was made available in the new upgrade and if there was nothing significant, then we'd postpone the upgrade for as long as we could, but still paid the 1500 that they wanted just to keep the tax tables up-to-date.

Now we cannot do this. We are being forced to upgrade every year and become part of the test subjects. I threatened that we will look for a new accounting package to replace these guys because it really creates a lot of extra headache. However, every client that I have done business with who uses Peachtree will not look for an alternative. And so... the masses have spoken, and the giant has won.

 

Written by Leonard Rogers on Thursday, May 1, 2014 | Comments (8)