Magazines distributors and XchangeIT need to look at barriers put in place by some that block access to electronic invoices. Another newsagent recently was blocked from accessing electronic invoices because they decided they did not want to continue with software support coverage for their newsagency software. They did not want to pay the close to $3,000 a year fee.
When the date came at which their support coverage lapsed their software, for which they had paid many thousands of dollars, denied them access to the invoiced provided through XchangeIT. The harm to their business was considerable. They say they were not warned when they purchased the software that the annual support fee was mandatory. They say they were not told that they would be locked out of such a business-critical function.
Even though their current software meets current XchangeIT standards, they either pay what they consider to be an excessive fee to their software supplier – around $3,000 – or they live with not getting electronic invoices or they switch software to one of the newsagency software programs that do not lock you out if you don’t pay software support.
XchangeIT wants to ensure that newsagents have software that meets their standard. I understand and agree with this. To have a software company, not XchangeIT, block access to business-critical data when the software continues to meet XchangeIT standards is appalling. The magazine distributors and XchangeIT need to address this issue.
In the meantime, newsagents need to be aware before they purchase newsagency software. Ask these questions before you buy software:
- Will I be able to receive and process electronic invoices directly through my POS software if you choose to not continue software support coverage?
- Will there be any barrier, impediment or block to me using my POS software in any way should I choose to not continue software support coverage?
While there are other questions newsagents should ask before they purchase any newsagency software, these two questions go to the heart of this issue – the blocking of a newsagent accessing an important function for any newsagency business.