We are running this donation offer in the shops we own and run. We’ve been doing it since the start of this week.
It costs our customers nothing. The donation comes 100% from us.
Secret audit tools in POS software are critical in small business retail for they provide insights into behind the scenes activity in a business that could be harmful to the business. By tracking activities including keystrokes designed to manipulate business data, good POS software is able to help a retail business compare bad behaviour including fraud.
The Tower Systems small business POS software has terrific audit tools that can only be accessed with the most secure password managed by the software, a password only given by the comp0any to business owners.
Using the smart audit tools, we have been able to help retailers to track employee fraud, supplier fraud, customer fraud and what could have been expensive but unintentional mistakes.
The Audie tools and the secret mirror data they have access to represent a valuable asset to any indie retailer as they make the POS software operational smart for and protective of that business.
This area of data curation and management is not often talked abut because it can be construed as a negative given the connection with bad things happening in a business. The reality is that knowing the tools are there creates a positive situation, a comfort, a peace of mind as the POS software is offering a set of eyes and ears watching over the business and providing the business access to insights to help reduce the negative.
The Tower Systems small business POS software provides to indie retailers audit tools that are exemplary in their service of ethical business operation. This is especially useful inn businesses that are run with owners and even senior managers not in a location full time.
So, in addition to accurately and quickly transacting retail sales, the Tower Systems POS software offers retail business owners access to tools through which they can review data that sheds light on behaviour that could compromise the business. This is what a good audit is about.
Our POS software audit tools have been used in legal cases and by business financial auditors and forensic accountants to track potential misbehaviour. the resulting data can be a body of evidence in criminal or commercial legal action. It is data on which expert evidence can be offered as to actions taken in a business that cold be the matter of such a case.
Our hope is that the audit tools in our POS software do not find misbehaviour and that simply having the tools in a business is the most value achieved. However, should they be needed and should they uncover misbehaviour, the audit tools stand strong and tall for the business and those who own it.
Like what we suspect is a long line of POS software companies, we were contacted last week with advice that Tower Systems was shortlisted for Top 10 POS Solution providers in APAC 2019. Yipee! No, not really. Not at all in fact.
Having read the email announcement and associated details, we reached the conclusion that this is an advertising scam, not worthy of further time investment from us. Okay, scam might be too strong a word. However, it feels like a scam from where we sit, because of what they actually want.
Their email was a request for us to spend money with them to go to the next step. This is why we say their email congratulating us is a scam.
We doubt there is a top ten as such. We doubt that they only emailed ten companies.
Our experience with this Top 10 POS Solution providers in APAC 2019 pitch is that retailer should be aware of claims made by companies about being in the list. If, like us, they got the congratulatory email and other materials, a swift read would have revealed that it was off, odd, feeling and reading like a scam or marketing at best, that the aware is not real.
We, for sure, would not trust the claim of Top 10 POS Solution providers in APAC 2019, for us or any other company on the list based on our experience with this unsolicited call for marketing funds to be spend to get to the next step.
Our advice to, for what it is worth, retailers is to not trust this list or any other top of or best of list. In our experience, you cannot trust the genuine independence of these lists. That we are on this top ten POS Solution list is enough reason for us. We are a specialty POS software company, niche, narrow in focus, only serving specialist retail channels. We should not be on this wide and generic list. We don’t aspire to.
We didn’t get scammed or conned, we didn’t spend any money, we did not. get caught up in what we think is a false and misleading claim.
Our call out to small business retailers is to not get caught up in what is essentially a money-making marketing activity. beware companies that claim to be on the list because we know from experience what they have spent and done to get there.
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.
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 email@example.com. 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.
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:
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 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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
January 11, 2017.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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: