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Ovato magazine returns file corruption returns challenge

Mark Fletcher
April 17th, 2019 · 7 Comments

Ovato (Gotch) has sent this email to some newsagents today:

Dear Retailer,

Due to a corrupted file a number of EDI returns were unable to be processed by us. We have identified the agents with missing returns and we are emailing you as we need you to re-send your EDI returns from 4th or 5th April through xchangeit as soon as possible so we can process your returns.

You can resend your returns from your POS or by choosing to resend the file through the Xchangeit website.
Log on using your account number and password
Choose the file and click on resend.

National Contact Centre
Retail Distribution

I’m told 400 newsagents have been affected. Ovato sent the email without advising software companies. Why does this matter? The software companies are the first line of contact. had they been forewarned they could have been proactive with advice rather than taking calls and scrambling to understand what has actually happened.

This is an own goal by Ovato, with companies like my own Tower Systems left to fund the cost of helping newsagents.

If Ovato did not inform XchangeIT then the failure is even greater.

Asking the files to be resent is problematic operationally. It can be done. However, getting 400 newsagents to do this is the issue, especially this week before Easter.

Given how Ovato handles returns claims disputes this could cause a significant waste of time and money for newsagents.

UPDATE 18/4/19 5:59AM:

The help desk traffic from this is immense already. While it is easy to resend the file, many have never done it and, naturally, they call for support to make sure they are not making a mistake.

What a failure by Ovato. Not the original problem and that can happen. No, the issue here is the poor communication by people at Ovato. They decided to not advise the software companies or XchangeIT before advising newsagents. That decision added workload to everyone and added unnecessary stress for newsagents.

UPDATE: 18/4/19 8:41am. Tower Systems now has the list of affected newsagents and is therefore better equipped to provide advice. That we had to chase this and did not get it until now is appalling.


Category: magazine distribution · Ugh!

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Mark Fletcher // Apr 18, 2019 at 8:11 AM

    Now we have newsagents with confirmation returns processed who received the Ovato email saying they need to resend. No wonder people are confused.


  • 2 Jason // Apr 23, 2019 at 11:55 AM

    Would you expect a list of what stores were affected? How would Ovato know which software companies to notify for what stores?


  • 3 Mark Fletcher // Apr 23, 2019 at 12:00 PM

    Dumb questions Jason. They do have a list and did eventually release it. Ovato / XchangeIT have excellent records of the newsagency software in use. There has been tremendous co-operation for years between software companies, Sit and some of the former IT team at Gotch.


  • 4 Jason // Apr 23, 2019 at 7:03 PM

    They’re not dumb questions, you’ve just avoided them.

    Maybe a clearer question is – have you provided Ovato with a list of newsagents you support and a request that they give you a heads-up?


  • 5 Mark Fletcher // Apr 23, 2019 at 10:53 PM

    Jason another dumb question, but different to the others, which I did answer. All newsagency software companies have provided XchnageIT and Ovato their customer lists, including mine. There has been a long term agreement of two-way heads up on network affecting issues.

    Tower serves in excess of 1,700 active newsagents. As the biggest we take our obligations seriously.

    But, hey, thanks for your concern Jason.


  • 6 Jason // Apr 24, 2019 at 12:25 PM

    Sounds like a no.


  • 7 Mark Fletcher // Apr 24, 2019 at 12:32 PM

    Oh Jason, I thought you could read. here’s your answer: yes.


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