Bigger, better, more customers – claims from POS software companies to beware.

Facts matter in business. Provable facts, on which you can base business decisions. Too often we see POS software companies make claims without specific facts or that are plain wrong.

A company claiming they are the biggest in a marketplace should be considered with suspicion if a competitor says they have a specific number of customers. One is providing a specific number while the other is making a broad claim. The former, under consumer law, respects obligation while the latter could be claimed as puffery and therefore allow them to get away with it.

Facts do matter in business, especially small business, they end of the marketplace for retailers in which tower systems focusses.

Here, we eschew broad claims. We’d prefer to be specific. For example, we wrote recently that we have 29 firearms dealers using our software. At the time of writing that number was accurate. By the time, you are reading this it is bound to be more because even then we had sales that were yet to be installed. I mention this as a competitor, who makes a broad non-specific claim, seeks to use our honesty to say they have more without being specific.

We see this as a problem for the competitor as their generalisation reflects a flexibility with the facts, maybe dishonesty even. This is a problem as it makes it hard for small business retailers. People like the blood glossy claim if it sounds better. However, the accurate claim with the real number matters.

In many years in this business of POS software for small business retailers, we have come to see the competitors who make the bold and regular marketing claims about having more customers or being the biggest or being the first, they are the ones we believe less.

What really matters is that you verify claims, that you check for evidence and satisfy yourself that you have been told the truth as truth matters in business and in life. If someone lies to get your business then how will they behave toward you once they have your business. Facts matter. That is what we believe and that is what we live by, here at Tower Systems.

Why you can’t trust POS software Google reviews

Google reviews can hide the truth of POS software support as people can write them for malicious reasons. Take this Google review by Ashley tester posted to our Google page:

I have been using Tower Systems “Retailer” POS system for about 2 years now and if i was able to go back in time i would never had bought it. The system offers plenty of potential but is incredibly buggy with quite a bit of stuff missing from the program. I have had multiple things go wrong with the program and the customer service attitude with it is “we’re working on it” with no communication on progress of fixing the issues. As we speak i am still waiting on a bug fix that currently has my website looking quite messy as product that has been sold from my POS in store is not displaying correctly on my E commerce website. This issue was brought to their attention a week ago, i phoned again 2 days ago and have still heard nothing. I was originally told it was a day to fix the issue. Many more examples like this have happened over the past two years. I would STRONGLY recommend not buying this product. There are better options out there but i am too invested in the software, not only with the initial 11k outlay but the hundreds of hours of data entry that i have done now.

Here is the response from our Managing Director, Mark Fletcher.

My name is Mark Fletcher, I am the owner of Tower Systems. My mobile number is 0418 321 338. My email is mark@towersystems.com.au. What sucks about Google reviews is there is no vetting and no right of reply to a specific review. The review by Ashley Tester is false and misleading. Ashley had an issue with our software that was resolved the day it was reported to the help desk. 100% resolved. However, that is not my core point here. At Tower we have a structured documented and promoted escalation process, because people do sometimes make mistakes. At no time did Ashley tester use our escalation process. Ashley Tester complained here without our knowledge, in an effort to harm our business, and based on false and misleading information. Many people work at our POS software company. They rely on the company for income and professional development. As the owner, I will not abide an unwarranted attack that, by extension, seeks to attack those we serve.

As mark is connected with the page, Google would not publish the response.

Everything published in the Tower response is verifiable by our CRM data records. The claim made by Ashley tester is false and misleading, as he would have known at the time of publishing.

There is another review at the page by a Ryan Farrow:

Overcharge for their product and services, owners are aggressive and unhelpful, and will charge for every single feature that comes standard with most products. System is often down for extended periods with most features essentially in Beta and not working as intended. Staff are uneducated in their own product and charge a premium for lacklustre support.

Ryan is not a customer of Tower Systems and never has been. Ryan is a web developer. he developed a website for a Tower client. Rather than follow our published advice for connecting the website to our POS software, Ryan demanded it be done how he wanted.

As with any engineering where you build a bridge to connect two sides of a river, there are professional processes to follow to ensure the bridge meets in the middle. Ryan did not see it this way.

We can’t change the reviews. What we can do is point to our current 3,500+ customers, our years in business and our transparent engagement. We established a private Facebook page for our customers where they can ask anything any time, where they can provide feedback and do so without moderation by us. This level of customer driven transparency reflects on our commitment. neither Ryan nor Ashley Tester used this customer forum. Instead, they sought to hurt us publicly.

It is illegal for your POS software to offer tools to avoid tax

The federal government passed ;legislation a while back making it illegal for POS software companies to offer tools that facilitate the hiding of business income for the purpose of reducing your taxation obligation.

Here at Tower Systems we have never offered such tools.

We think it is wrong for any business to hide income for purposes of reducing taxation obligation.

We have participated in several panels with the Australian Taxation Office on matters related to POS software including this area of software compliance so as to not facilitate tax avoidance. We are grateful for the opportunity to be part of the conversation that led to tighter rules in this area.

Years ago, we had a competitor that did this, a competitor that facilitated the avoidance of tax by retailers using their software. They promoted it. It was common knowledge in retailer circles at the time. We saw live how a secret facility in their POS software was used to avoid tax. Once we saw it ourselves, we reported the matter to the Australian Federal Police and other authorities. The tax avoidance tools in the software were demonstrated too the authorities.

That experience is not the only time we have seen this. It frustrated us that tax avoidance facilities were being promoted as a differentiator to our software. For sure, it cost us revenue. I sucked then and still sucks today. Those perpetrating the tax avoidance scheme within the software company should have been jailed in our view.

However, we move on.

Today, the message for retailers is that the ATO has a range of tools, benchmarks and more at their disposal that enable the discovery of tax avoidance. Trying to avoid tax is a mugs game.

Retailers are better served focussing on smart engagement and operation, using their software to builds stronger and more successful businesses. This can be done if you use smart software that focusses on new traffic and new opportunities for a brighter future. that is, software that is backed by business advice and professionalism to help retailers achieve excellent results.

Tower Systems helps small business retailers beyond the software to ethically build stronger and more successful businesses. As retailers ourselves it is what we do, with pride and pleasure.

Beware phone scammers who try to access your computer

There are plenty of scammers who call retail businesses to dupe staff into providing access to computers or business records.

Here at Tower Systems we often get called from retail businesses that have been affected, to help recover computer access once it has been hacked. Through this work we have developed advice that, if followed, will reduce the opportunity of a hack against your business:

  1. Be sure of the identity of anyone you provide with access to your computer.
  2. The tax office will not call you to access your computer.
  3. Your bank will not call you to access your computer.
  4. No government department will call to access your computer.
  5. No customer should be given access to your computer, ever.
  6. Only accept card payment when there is a physical card.
  7. Never let a customer swipe their own card.
  8. Backups should be rolling, though the day and to the cloud.
  9. If something sounds too good to be true it most likely is too good to be true.

Be skeptical. It is healthy and safe. Train all who work in your business to be equally skeptical.

For our part, all our people can be verified easily buy you calling one of our pub listed numbers if you are every unsure.

We need a Royal Commission into retail shopping centre development and retail tenancies in Australia

We, Australians, small business retailers, suppliers to small business retailers, local towns, all of us need a Royal commission into retail shopping centre development in Australia and the behaviour of shopping centre landlords.

There is enough evidence to indicate that an appropriately skilled and resourced Royal Commission could uncover behaviour that is illegal and harmful to our economy and small businesses and families that rely on the small businesses.

I appreciate that the areas I think the suggested Royal Commission cover are broad and could be better served as two investigations. However, the two issues feed into each other. I think they are best considered together.

WHAT IS A SHOPPING CENTRE?

For the purposes of my proposal, I suggest that a shopping centre is a retail development with fifteen or more shops of any size.

While I am sure there is misbehaviour to consider in smaller centres, for management and focus, a threshold of fifteen tenancies, or similar, is needed. Otherwise, any Royal Commission would run too long and cost too much.

RETAIL SHOPPING CENTRE DEVELOPMENT.

This is the beginning of the issue. Whereas in the US and other countries growth in retail tenancy space is flat or declining, in Australia it continues to grow. Some say we already have far more shops that the population can support.

In regional and rural locations the challenge is that a new centre is usually located outside town and its development can gut the centre of town, diluting or killing off the heart of a small town.

In some cases, mid-size centre development tis driven by competition by the two major supermarkets and aided and abetted by several other anchor tenants and supported by Tatts keen to be in all new centres.

  1. Do we need more shopping centre space?
  2. Should there be controls on approving this?
  3. What is the economic impact of the current growth in retail space in Australia?
  4. What is the social impact of the current growth in retail space in Australia?
  5. What is the impact, specifically on small business retailers of the growth in retail space?

LANDLORD BEHAVIOUR.

Talk to any small business tenant in a shopping centre and they will have at least one landlord story that causes them stress.

There is the landlord who did a handshake deal with a party that was negotiating to buy a business. the landlord squeezed and the family business closed. The new tenant moved in without paying goodwill.

There is the landlord that took too long on centre re-develoopmnent, making decisions that saw a 50% drop in shopper traffic, and refused any compensation for retailers.

There is the landlord that permits one sore to be on a % deal where they pay 9% of turnovers in rent with a shop next door not able to have such a deal and managing and occupancy cost of 32%.

There is the landlord that strong-arms retailers verbally, never in writing, never in a way that can be used against them.

There is the landlord that takes a marketing levy every month and spends this on activities that offer no benefit whatsoever to retailers.

There are hundreds of stories.

The Royal Commission needs to listen to stories, all stories. Tenants need to be able to do this confidentially as the fear of reprisal by landlords is real.

  1. Do landlords act unlawfully?
  2. Do landlords treat retailers differently?
  3. Do landlords act in secret knowingly harming small business retailers?
  4. Do landlords abuse funds they collect from retailers for marketing?
  5. Are landlords fulfilling their obligations in terms of bringing traffic to shops in their centres?
  6. How are the various roles of employees paid in landlord businesses? What are their incentives?

There are many other questions to answer. My goal here is to kick off the discussion.

WHY?

Too many families are losing their businesses, homes and other assets. Too many small business operators are having their personal situations, including health, negatively impacted. Too many small business operators are losing their life. Yes, this issue is that serious.

Small business retailers feel helpless. They want their business. It has been their life’s work. They fear without it they will have nothing. This can see them agree to a lease that is at its very foundation doomed inappropriate for their business.

Landlords have the upper hand. They are in control. Too many people in landlord businesses are bullies and aware of how to bully without being caught.

The best way to resolve this is to shine a light. Only a Royal Commission c an have the authority and power to do this.

I get that Royal Commissions are popular right now. This suggestion, however, is important given that those most impacted are also those most vulnerable – small businesses, run by families. Were are told small business is the business backbone of our country. However, there is evidence to suggest that small business retailers are disadvantaged in terms of shopping centre development and retail teensy negotiation.

Here at Tower Systems we only serve small business retailers with our POS software. In our view, small business matters. This is why we support the push for a Royal Commission into shopping centre development and retail tenancies.

This post first appeared on a blog last week in a post by the CEO of Tower.

Setting the record straight on the Xero POS software link

We have a competitor, POS Solutions, that has published a claim of constraints, barriers, on the Xero POS software link.

For the record, we note that no such constraints or barriers have been experienced by us in any of our retail businesses or in any Tower Systems client business using our direct Xero interface.

Footnote: the challenges for the competitor could be due to how they connect to Xero. Tower Systems is a Xero partner, listed on the Xero website. The competitor is not. They may be going through anther party.

Politicians in Australia to small business retailers: don’t do as I do, do as I say

The federal parliamentarian dual citizenship mess in which we have found ourselves here in Australia for months now shows how politicians treat themselves as elite, special, compared to common folk, the voters who vote them in.

While we in small business are highly regulated, subject to audit and penalised for even simple honest oversight, politicians refuse to permit themselves to be subject to the same.

While individuals are highly regulated, subject to audit and penalised for even simple honest oversight, politicians refuse to permit themselves to be subject to the same.

The moment the first dual citizenship question was raised, an ethical leader keen for democracy would have ordered an immediate full audit of the status of all politicians.

We are bereft of leadership for everyday Australians in Australia.

For months major party politicians have spun their wheels on the issue of dual citizenship and refused to agree to the type of audit that is regular for us in small business. For months they have said politicians should self regulate on this issue while at the same time imposing challenging and enforced regulation on small businesses and on individuals.

Shame on us for allowing your politicians to get away with them setting a standard for their own behaviour that is lower than standards they vote to impose on regular people.

The one party that has provided leadership on this issue is the Greens. From the outset they called for an audit. The are right. Yet their call has been mocked, especially by the government side of the parliament. This side of the parliament that is in control, in leadership, has eschewed leadership and instead engaged in puerile games.

They must think we are fools.

There ought be an audit of all federal politicians immediately, no matter the disruption or the cost.

Section 44 of the Constitution is not new. Its provision have been known for decades. It is easy for anyone to determine their status. Whether they do this comes down to how they see themselves compared to how they see the peril they serve.

We the people deserve honest leadership, leadership that is transparent and for all people, leadership that submits itself to the same standards and level of regulation as they impose on those they serve. We do not have this in Australia at the moment.

Every day, we see small business retailers squeezed by regulation, while at the same time right now seeing politicians refuse even basic regulation. This double standard has to stop, for the good of our country and democracy.

Oxipay and Tower Systems change LayBy forever

Tower Systems is proud to partner with Oxipay to bring interest free payment plans to high street retail, through our POS.

A competitor of ours has sought to denigrate Oxipay, saying this publicly yesterday: Oxipay (which I know little about other then it is in Tasmania).

This statement is untrue. Oxipay is national, generating excellent business for small and larger businesses.

Tower systems is an early adopter partner, delivering Oxipay transactions daily now for many months, in every state and territory.

Our competitor knows this.

Fid out more about Oxipay here.

Early engagement with regulators as new legislation is drafted

Tower Systems has been engaged with representatives of a federal government agency as it contemplates new legislation that could impact some areas of retail business operation in which our POS software serves.

We have been engaged in discussions, sharing insights and explaining how parts of our software work, so those drafting the legislation can be better informed about the practicalities in retail business operation.

This work with government departments is not new for us. We have been engaged previously in other areas of business operating, helping to inform legislators to their focus remains on a path appropriate to the needs of the small business retail community.

Our first engagement helping government regulators was mack in the early 1990s when several arms of government were investigating fraud facilitated by the use of POS software developed to make such fraud easy. While our software never had such facilities, we were aware of software that did.

Does your POS software have a mandatory weekly, monthly or annual fee?

We are welcoming another customer this week who is switching from another POS company because they were told, when they purchased the system several years ago, that there would never be a mandatory support fee.

Despite the promise, they have been hit with ever an increasing mandatory software support fee. This year, the fee approached $4,000.

The company has never responded to their complaint. It was only through a chance meeting with another business owner that they released they could switch software companies and not have a mandatory software support fee.

Tower Systems does not have a mandatory software support fee. Customers can continue to run the software if they are not covered by support. This has always been the case with us.

Any time a POS software sales rep makes a claim on which you rely, get it in writing on their letterhead with a person in authority signing. It is the only way.

While we are thrilled to welcome another customer, it is disappointing for them they have had such a bad experience.

Helping small business retailers deal with treatment by Tatts Group on capital expenditure demands

Tower Systems has been helping small business newsagents deal with pressure from tatts Group on shop fit and new tech requirements through blog posts like this where we publicly serve our small business retailer customers in a confrontation with a major supplier:

Newsagents scared to confront Tatts re small business capital investment demands

While comments on my post yesterday and other posts here about the demands rom Tatts Group re capital investment in a new fit out as well as a new in store digital marketing platform have been minimal, my phone has been running hot.

yesterday alone I received calls from six newsagents about this issue. One was in tears for what the additional cost will mean to their business.

Each caller said they are not responding publicly because of how threatened and vulnerable they feel.

In two cases there is a mental health impact from the pressure they are under that has no business case backing.

My core concerns are, as stated by me many times here:

  1. The tech requirement is, in my opinion, outside the re-fit provisions of the Tatts agreement.
  2. Tatts has provided no financial support or justification for the re-fit capital expenditure.
  3. Tatts has provided no financial justification for the new tech requirements imposed on businesses.
  4. From what I can tell, the main tatts pitch is one of threats to put Tatts into a local competitor business.
  5. Tatts appears to have double standards. One only has to look at what One The Run in Adelaide or the supermarket chains are permitted to do.
  6. Tatts is competing with retailers online in a way that disadvantages small business retailers and disrespects the capex demanded of small business retailers.

What should newsagents do? In my opinion, they should take their case to state based authorities: small business commissioner, small business advocate, VCAT / QCAT / CTTT or anything similar. They should do this without fear of Tatts as those forums exist to hear this type of dispute.

If you can’t afford to do what Tatts demands, tell them, in writing, prove it to them. 

If your mental health is impaired because of the manner in which Tatts and its representatives are dealing with you, write to Tatts about this, explain how it is affecting you personally.

The more informed the company is the better the record of how this massive public company is harming small businesses and those who own them. Your stories will / should ultimately matter.

How Tower Systems helped its customers save money on support fees

For the first time since 2014, Tower Systems is increasing its software support fees. The increase will be less than 7%. The 2014 increase was the first in four years.

Following the fee increase, Tower Sys6ems customers will be paying considerably less for software support in real terms than seven years ago.

This is an extraordinary saving for thousands of small business retailers.

We announced to our customers the plan to increase fees a month ago and provided them an opportunity to lock in the old fee prior to the increase taking effect at the end of this month.

This advance notice of a support fee increase is rare in the POS software marketplace. We did it out of respect and appreciation of our customers.

We are proud to be in a position to help our customers save money year on year on software support coverage.

What bothers me about politician entitlements as a small business owner

I am disgusted at the behaviour of politicians from all major parties and their spending of taxpayer money what appear to be non-work related trips.

As any small business owner who has been through the ATO audit wringer would know, the government has firm views on how we get to spend our money. It is frustrating the politicians have ensured a system where they are not under the same scrutiny.

Here is what I would like to see:

  1. Public transparency of all expense claims, on a readily accessible website, within thirty days of such expenses being incurred by politicians. Information on the public record to include all costs, the names of each person met and duration of such meeting.
  2. No use of private aircraft of any form except in exceptional circumstances.
  3. Travel to parties such as Christmas parties and NYE parties not permitted travel at public expense.
  4. Travel to meet any political party donor not permitted travel at public expense.
  5. Establishment of an independent politician expense review tribunal made up of members of the public with member rotation every 12 months to review spending and make cuts where appropriate.
  6. Rules established on what is acceptable politician business. For example, flying somewhere to make a spending announcement is, in my opinion, unacceptable. They should do a Facebook LiveStream or similar, from their office.
  7. The establishment of a federal ICAC to keep the bastards honest beyond travel roots.

Between company tax, payroll tax, fringe benefits tax and other statutory obligations small businesses in particular carry a heavy burden in Australia. It is our hard earned money being wasted by the people who preside over a system that is getting tougher and tougher to deal with.

Politicians claiming taxpayer funding to attend a polo match, wedding of a donor overseas, a colleague Christmas party – these all should be banned. However, they appear to be in the rules. It is time we elected politicians who did not act so entitled, who did not tell us to behave one way while they act another.

The best way to encourage fairness and engagement from any constituency is to lead by example. There are few politicians in Australia who lead by example in my opinion.

Mark Fletcher
January 11, 2017.

Actions do speak louder than words

A newsagent called us this morning out of desperation. They use software from another newsagency software company and have been unable to reach them for help – despite claims from this other company they offer support on the weekend. The experience of the newsagent is otherwise. Calls to the help number and a call to one of th owners resulted in no returned call.

We have helped them get their system up and running and business transacting. We have done this without obligation or pressure for them to switch to us.

Our marketing claiming we are open for business over the weekend is true. Customer service matters to us.

Fact checking POS software sales claims

A competitor of ours recently said that our newsagency software was not compliant with XchangeIT, an industry owned EDI gateway.

Our newsagency software is compliant with XchangeIT and always has been.

The claim helped us win a sale as it proved a lie and that led the prospect to us.

Every claim a representative of a POS software company makes about a competitor ought to be documented and fact-checked. Any claim about a competitor found to be unsupported by the facts should be a reason to not deal with that POS software company.

Salespeople lie about competitors and competitor products when they or the product they represent are inferior.

We are grateful when we are told of a competitor claim that is untrue and are given the opportunity to present facts that speak truth.

The process of selling software to newsagency businesses, or any small business for that matter, demands professionalism and a commitment to ethics. We are committed here at Tower Systems to be the company sales prospects and small business retailers using the software can trust. Trust comes from telling the truth and from acting in a way that is true to our words. Those who do not do this are found out.

Automatic POS software updates cause small business retailers to switch software

Several retailers at the Melbourne Gift Fair last week told us they will switch POS software to us because of the automatic updates in their current POS software.

Tower Systems does not do automatic POS software u0dates. We prefer our customers to decide which updates they want and to install them at a time of their choosing.

The complaints about automatic updates were specific. They reflect the challenges automatic updates present to small business retailers. Here are quotes from the retailers:

  1. You turn the computer on and a downloading message comes up. You have to wait for this to be done before you can use it. When I turn the computer on I want to use it right away.
  2. There is no advice what is in the update. You have to hope you pick up changes as you go.
  3. They mustn’t test the software because almost every time there is an update something goes wrong.
  4. It has been so bad I don’t trust the software any more. That’s why I am switching.
  5. I call them but usually have to wait a day or two for them to call me back.
  6. One update last year cost be a couple of hundred dollars because of mistakes they made.

Here at Tower Systems or software goes through a comprehensive multi-layered quality assurance process prior to us installing it in our shops. If it works fine there it goes to our opt-in beta sites. If it goes well with them it is slowly released for optional download by our customers at a time of their choosing.

POS software is critical to the successful operation of any business that uses it. This is why the business ownwr or manager has to have control about what updates are loaded and when. Otherwise, they do not have the control of their business they need.

Tower Systems invited to be part of an ATO working group

We have agreed to be part of a working group with the Australian taxation Office to help our customers meet compliance requirements. Here are the details of the ATO invitation:

You are invited you to be part of a working group for the Software Assurance project. The intent of the project is to provide your clients with transactional certainty prior to lodgment, reducing the burden and cost of compliance.
 
We want to work with you to co-design solutions for your software products that help to reduce or remove common errors that trigger our analytics and subsequent audit action.
 
Common errors can include:
  1. duplicated invoice or receipt numbers
  2. incorrect or misclassification of supplies
  3. reversal mistakes
  4. discount corrections.
We would also like to explore other opportunities to improve the internal governance and assurance processes your clients use, making it easier for them to get their tax and super obligations right.

How do you know can you trust a POS software company?

Trust is important in business. It is especially important in small and local business.

Trust is mission critical for POS software companies.

We say this because our software helps our customers engender trust in their local communities and with their customers. If our software fails, it challenges the trust local shoppers have in local businesses using our software.

Retailers rely on their POS software, they trust their POS software companies to provide software that works and that it is backed with professional assistance when they need … and that it is enhanced too meet the needs of businesses as they evolve.

This is why we say trust is vital in the choice of POS software for any small business.

So, how do you know you can trust a POS software company you are considering? Here is our advice, things to look for in assessing the trustworthiness of any POS software company you are considering:

  1. Talk to the owner. Most businesses will say this is not possible. Challenge them – see how they respond.
  2. Visit their office. This is essential to understand their capacity to serve you.
  3. Look at their website. Do they make it easy to contact them? Are the ottos real? Do the words make sense? Do you trust what they write? Are they on your level?
  4. Talk to their customers.
  5. Ask for access to their training website. See what their customer see.
  6. Ask for access to training videos. See the resources they offer for staff training.
  7. Do a Google search on them and see what comes up.
  8. Do a Google search on their owner and find out more about them.

POS software company relationships are long term so take your time, make sure the business you enter into a relationship with has the capacity, stamina and desire for an equally long term relationship.

POS software company relationships are personal. Ensure the POS software company you are talking to understands this. Too often POS software companies hide behind general email addresses and call centres where you do not know the name of the person you are speaking to. It is vital you know who they are because, yes, it is personal. Being personal is key to trust and trust is vital in this relationship.

A note on POS software and credit card access in small business retail

The Tower Systems POS software does not store credit card numbers of customers who use cards to pay in shops using our POS software.

The customer presents their card to the Tyro terminal connected to our software the processing of the card details is done 100% by Tyro with no details being shared with our POS software other than payment success or otherwise.

This approach – of us not storing credit card details for retail transactions – is vital in providing peace of mind for retailers and their customers around customer credit card access and fraud mitigation.

Our view is: storing a retail shopper credit card number in POS software is a big mistake. It puts the security of the card number at risk. Customers will not like it.

We suggest retailers not use POS software that stores customer credit card numbers.

Our Tyro and other bank EFTPOS integrations meet the high standards set in Australia and New Zealand for electronic transactions using credit and other banking cards. Our connections are tested and authorised. They are secure.

Tower Systems takes fraud mitigation seriously.

Update: The lone voice of POS Solutions, Bernard the owner of the business, is back from a long vacation and rather than discoing topics to write about for himself, he writes about what we write about it. You can see it today on their site. They don’t name us. They rarely do. Instead, the use terms like: One software company, I know well. Yes, that’s us. His post is a ramble whereas the facts we have presented here are focussed. The two posts speak to their respective companies.

HOW OUR POS SOFTWARE COMPANY HAS BEEN HANDLING THE WINDOWS 10 CUSTOMER SERVICE SURGE

With more than 3,500 small business retail customers using our POS software we have had to be on top of the push program engaged by Microsoft in the roll out of their Windows 10 upgrade.

The moment we saw the inevitability of the Microsoft roll out, we adjusted our customer service resource allocation to ensure the needs of our customers were well met.

Here is what we did to confront the Windows 10 challenge:

  1. We developed peer-reviewed consistent advice for the most common questions, to ensure that our customers had access to this advice in addition to personal one-on-one advice.
  2. We added to our help desk staffing resources.
  3. We re-allocated help desk time to ensure we had people at the emerging peak times of the day for Windows 10 specific calls.
  4. We doubled our Saturday office-based help desk staffing.
  5. We provided information to our customers via email and snail mail.
  6. We ensured we had Windows 10 knowledgeable escalation points for those with concerns outside those typical and that require management level insight.
  7. As a group we gathered to review progress regularly to take on bard any feedback and leverage any learning opportunities.

Even though many Windows 10 issues are outside providing support for our POS software, we have taken the calls and provided the advice, at no cost.

Indeed, we have processed close to 2,000 Windows 10 calls. That we have done this at no cost to our customers has collectively saved them a considerable sum.

We are proud of how we have handled this and are grateful to our customers for the opportunity to serve them in this Microsoft caused action.

Now if only Microsoft approached their own update roll out with the level of customer care we have shown through our actions.

WINDOWS 10 MALWARE REINFORCES IMPORTANCE OF POS SOFTWARE USER CONTOL

The part about the Windows 10 update (malware) that has angered people the most is that they have had little or no control over the timing.

Tower Systems does not use automatic updates nor will we do this. Indeed, this commitment to our users is a valuable selling feature for us.

We believe small business retailers need to be able to decide for themselves when to update based on the facts relevant to them.

HELPING SMALL BUSINESS RETAILERS CUT EMPLOYEE THEFT

The theft reduction training video we produced in-house – How To Steal From A Retail Business – is being used by business groups to train their members on measures to take in retail shops to reduce the opportunity for employee theft.

In addition to the YouTube views, this video has been packaged and provided outside that platform for people to embed in conference presentations, one-on-one training and elsewhere.

Using your POS software small business retailers have excellent tools with which to reduce the opportunity for theft. These have existed for years. In addition to our software work, we act as expert witnesses in investigations and proceedings that successfully prosecute employee theft cases.

What matters is that theft can be reduced and even eliminated with good management oversight in any retail business using our POS software.

TOWER SYSTEMS LAUNCHES HP RP9 SLIM POS TERMINAL

As an authorised partner of respected hardware company, we are thrilled to have been able to show off the HP RP9 all in one POS terminal to prospects at several events recently.

While we have an RP9 exclusively for an event last week, we filmed this short clip showing it in all its glory.

HP RP9 from mark fletcher on Vimeo.

Not all POS software companies selling HP branded hardware are authorised resellers, not all sell new equipment backed by the respected HP warranty. At Tower Systems you ave access to the real thing.

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SOFTWARE COMPANIES THAT LOCK USERS OUT FROM THEIR DATA DESERVE TO LOSE CUSTOMERS

We are helping another retailer switch to our software and in the process the retailer has discovered their old software company is blocking their access to their own business data.

This is unethical in our view. Legal advice suggests it could be challenged in the courts.

Here we have a small business retailer who has cultivated business data for twenty years and now, when they want to change software, they are locked out.

We have seen this before and are sure we will see it again. It is appalling action by the software company reflecting badly on them in this instance and into the future.

UPDATE: 5:36PM APRIL 7, 2016.

Bernard Zimmermann, director of competitor POS Solutions Australia Pty Ltd has copied text from this post and posted it on their blog this afternoon. The post appears to be a response to what I have written. This following of Tower is not the first time he has done this:

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 5.35.10 pm

For the record, Tower Systems does not lock users out, never has and never will. The claims by Zimmermann are false and he knows that.

SMALL BUSINESS RETAILERS: BEWARE CHEAP POS HARDWARE

Cheap POS hardware pitched to small business retailers rarely turns out to be cheap. While the initial purchase price may be lower, the breakdowns, slow speed and other issues along the way can make clean no-name brand computer hardware more expensive.

Our advice is to choose a brand name that backs its hardware with an on-site manufacturer’s warranty. This offers peace of mind. It demonstrates the brand itself standing behind what it sells.

In one business recently, we discovered computer hardware that was sold a new to a small business owner was, in fact, second hand, three years old. The unsuspecting retailer was ripped off by a POS software company through unethical representations. The quote and invoice indicated the computer was new when it was not.

We urge any retailer to do their homework, trust brands, get a second opinion from a professional. The risk to the business from cheap hardware is too great.