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Thread: Pastel Cover annual renewal fee

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    Pastel Cover annual renewal fee

    Its that time of year where Pastel are asking me to pay their annual "cover subscription". In my case I'm using Pastel Partner and they require about R6k from me.

    Its essentially a maintenance and support contract for the year and includes any upgrades. My problem is that I have not asked Pastel for support in more than 5 years. In fact I'm of the view that if my accounting software requires any support after the first year, then their help manual is faulty and I want nothing to do with the product.

    If I only upgrade every 2 years, without the cover option, then it'll cost me less. They also have the cheek to say that their newsletter comes in as part of the subscription. Its nothing more than an advertisment for their product ... but now I'm nit picking.

    My problem is that they have an add on module called bank manager which allows you to download your bank statement and it auto allocates your transactions into your ledger. Its quite a time saver. However, for some unexplained reason, you can't have this module without the cover.

    My question to any Pastel insiders is: Why does this module require the expensive cover - remember I don't need or want the support, upgrades or newsletters.

    My question to the rest of you is: Do any other accounting packages offer this automatic download and allocation of banking transactions? I can't find anything similar in Quickbooks or Omni.

    I must admit that this compulsory annual fee irks me. If I'm actually renting their product, why did they tell me that I had bought it

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    Moderator IanF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BusFact View Post
    IMy problem is that they have an add on module called bank manager which allows you to download your bank statement and it auto allocates your transactions into your ledger. Its quite a time saver. However, for some unexplained reason, you can't have this module without the cover.

    My question to any Pastel insiders is: Why does this module require the expensive cover - remember I don't need or want the support, upgrades or newsletters.

    My question to the rest of you is: Do any other accounting packages offer this automatic download and allocation of banking transactions? I can't find anything similar in Quickbooks or Omni.
    Hi Busfact
    I use econoaccounting and it does that, what a time saver. Just the year ends aren't the best but as long as you are disciplined around that then it works well. Just google econoaccounting.
    Only stress when you can change the outcome!

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    BusFact (06-Dec-10)

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    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
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    Hi speak to our Pastel guru, Neville, I am sure he will have an answer.
    Victor - Knowledge is a blessing or a curse, your current circumstances make you decide!
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    Neville Bailey (06-Dec-10)

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    Platinum Member Neville Bailey's Avatar
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    Hi BusFact,

    At the outset, let me be clear and state that I am not a Pastel employee or a representative of Softline Pastel (the organisation). I am an independent consultant for Pastel Accounting software and I believe it is a great product (not without its faults, but great nonetheless).

    Therefore, what I say here are my personal views, not those of Pastel...

    Pastel Cover is NOT compulsory, although sometimes Pastel's marketing people will make you feel that you are obliged to renew it - you are not obliged to renew it at all.

    However, since the Bank Manager and Cash Manager (advanced debtors collection module) were introduced, Pastel modified their licence regulations (in quite small print) to insist that Cover be taken out if you wanted to use these two modules. Not only Cover on these modules, but on your entire Pastel system...

    I fail to grasp the logic of this move, except that both modules were developed by Third Party Developers and there might be some kind of agreement between Pastel and these developers - I dunno.

    Personally, I don't like this policy, but I am a small player in Pastel's eyes... In fact, I find it rather embarrassing when clients find out down the line. Now I make it very clear, upfront, that this is Pastel's policy, before any of my clients decide to order either of these modules.

    Incidentally, my clients know that they can get free telephonic support from me, whether or not they have subscribed to Pastel Cover, and I will tell them if there are any features in new releases that might be of interest to them - in the meantime, they save on the annual Cover fees.

    They will have to pay for an upgrade, but at a discounted amount, provided they do not fall more than two versions behind, in which case they would need to pay full new price for an upgrade. Even then, Pastel often offers huge one-off discounts to encourage old version-holders to upgrade to the latest version.

    So there you have my take on the situation - I emphasise with you, but that's how it is, I'm afraid.
    Neville Bailey - Pastel Accounting Consultant and Photographer
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    *** 20% DISCOUNT ON PASTEL XPRESS / PARTNER SOFTWARE UNTIL 15 DECEMBER 2017 ***

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    BusFact (06-Dec-10)

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    Thanks Neville. Its good to hear from your view that there is no logical reason for the bank manager module to require cover and that I'm not alone in my surprise and confusion.

    My view is that Pastel do it to milk you for as much money as they can. They do have a good product, which is why I have not yet gone elsewhere. But I can't help feeling that I'm the victim with them rather than a satisfied customer.

    So their tactics are working for my one business. The systems are in place using Pastel and its too expensive to move to another package. They have their claws in good and proper.

    However, none of my other, newer businesses use Pastel, nor am I tempted to use their payroll package. Not sure if they really care an awful lot though.

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    Mr

    Hi there, I am surprised that there are people having difficulties with their Pastel account / Pastel system. Our payroll team has never encoutered such problems, please give us a call so we can assist you... - Tel: 0861 111 242 / email dennis@chagroup.co.za.
    Last edited by Dave A; 07-Dec-10 at 09:21 AM.

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    Gold Member Martinco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BusFact View Post

    My view is that Pastel do it to milk you for as much money as they can. But I can't help feeling that I'm the victim with them rather than a satisfied customer.

    So their tactics are working for my one business. and its too expensive to move to another package.
    Not sure if they really care an awful lot though.
    I share your sentiments 100% and can only add that they appear to be an arrogant bunch, but that said I can assure you that the amount of support I have had from Neville made far more sense than that from Softline and I have been running Pastel since ( I think version 2 ) It is absolutely frustrating to phone Pastel and that is why I gave up using their support besides saving +- R 4000 p/a.
    I had an issue year before last when I had to renew my license and the server immediately afterwards gave an error. I phoned the licensing section and they told me "sorry you have no support and I have to pay first" before they could assist me. I told them in no uncertain terms what they could do and after a long argument with the "supervisor" she sent me an email with a document whereby I had to change something small in Windows.

    My argument was that the program worked fine before the license update and after, not at all, so why should I have to pay for something that is not my fault ?
    Well, this shows you that they can be very difficult at times but...........we have Neville on our side and I can assure you that there has been no issues that he/we have not been able to figure out in double quick time.
    So........sleep easy ! Neville is here ( Just by the way..........I am not on his payroll ! )
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    @ Martin - I have a family member who had a similar experience with Pastel support. By all means bill support by the hour as Neville probably does, but to insist on a years support to sort out a single, usually minor issue, creates a really bad vibe. In her case it was our fault, but it would have been cheaper to buy a new package rather than buy the cover support. Now that is incentive to search for alternative software.

    They should rather encourage regular users of the support facility to buy the annual package to get cheaper unit rates.

    @ dmodibedi - I'm not currently having any problems with my Pastel system, which is precisely why I am reluctant to pay R6k for what I see as absolutely no reason. I'm also not having problems with Pastel Payroll either, because I'm too scared to buy the product in case I get hit with these hidden costs down the line. Correction - you can't actually buy Pastel Payroll, you can only rent it.

    @ Neville - You mentioned that Pastel penalises you if you don't upgrade for a few versions. Again I see the reasoning from their side - annual income. But again they are forcing their customers to upgrade. Thats unpleasant. Why not make customers want to upgrade due to better features. That would make the relationship so much better. Rhetorical question - I know you can't answer for them.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmodibedi@gmail.com View Post
    Hi there, I am surprised that there are people having difficulties with their Pastel account / Pastel system.
    Perhaps if you read the OP, it would help

    And for the record, the subject of this thread is the original core reason I chose to use Quickbooks. There are times when I miss the pure South African context Pastel delivers, but they are rare indeed - and certainly not worth the extra cost. At least not in my situation.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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