Our annual software support fees start at $595 and go up to $1,590 depending on the software modules purchased. This is for 24/7 telephone based software support coverage, email support, direct online help from software, software updates (usually three a year), user meetings, group training sessions, weekly email bulletin and newsletter. One of our competitors charges, on average (from what we have been told) twice and some times three times what we charge. While they can charge what they like, their fees impact us since in the small business marketplace users don’t expect there to be a big difference between the charges between software companies. We invariably get tainted by their brush.

Software support fees come down to what is fair to the software company and fair to the user. It is important that all users are charged and treated equally. It is also important that continued access to the software is not tied to support payment.

I’d like to see software companies required to publish their support fees in their literature, as part of the sign up contract and on their website. Such transparency would stop the games being played by some today which cost their weaker clients too much money. We happily publish or support fees.