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Ala Mode is ripping me off

Discussion in 'a la mode (TOTAL)' started by Lobo Fan, Dec 2, 2006.

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  1. Lobo Fan

    Lobo Fan Elite Member

    0
    Nov 28, 2004
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    New Mexico
    I get a promo late last year from Ala Mode offering a nice discount to renew early. My anniversary date in in May. I went ahead and renewed in December even though things were a little squeaky at the time. I was thinking $800 now or $1300 in May so I went for it.

    Now they are coming back and saying that by taking the discount, I was giving up almost 6 months of service. Now the deal looks really stupid, and I feel I was misled. It never occurred to me that I was giving up a half year's worth of service.

    I am seriously looking at other software. I have a huge backlog of completed files that I am concerned about accessing. Does Clickforms or (gulp) ACI convert the files? If I remember right you can convert a Clickforms file to Ala Mode but not the other way around.
     
  2. Couch Potato

    Couch Potato Elite Member

    0
    Mar 15, 2004
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    North Carolina
    ClickFORMS will read a WinTOTAL file if you save it as (export) an XML file from WinTOTAL. (I highly recommend ClickFORMS.)

    a la mode did not rip you off so much as mislead you into thinking you were getting some kind of discount that turned out not to be real. I don't care for that tactic. They should clearly explain the details.
     
  3. jdbiggers

    jdbiggers Senior Member

    0
    Jan 25, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Licensed Appraiser
    State:
    Arizona
    Just beause your subscruption to other software expires, this does not mean access to your files is gone. It generally only means you can't get updates. So, no matter what other appraisal software you choose to go with, as long as you don't uninstall your existing software, you'll still have access to your files. I still have Day One on my systems and I haven't used that in 10 years!

    There are alternatives, and I've always wondered why people think because they have old files they have to stick with what they have. It takes less than 3 minutes to set-up templates in most other software packages, and are you really going to need access to that residential comps database from 3 years ago? I'm a two-person shop now, but over the years I've had as many as 10 appraisers (not trainees) working under me, and I've used a variety of software and the only thing that ever slowed us down was the actual software, not access to old reports and databases, like one we keep trying and own licenses for that takes longer to start up than it takes to start typing in other software. Eventually, I just wrote my own software.

    John-David Biggers
     
  4. Marcia Langley

    Marcia Langley Senior Member

    0
    Aug 26, 2005
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Missouri

    I agree the sales tactic for early renewal is misleading. In effect, they make you pay back half of the discount you got last time. When they pro-rate your remaining time (say six months) they credit your new deal with an amount equal to 1/2 of what you paid last time. If you got a discount last time that 1/2 year credit is less than 1/2 of the new 1 year deal. You end up paying more than 1/2 of the new deal just to extend your expiration date by 6 months.

    If you pay $800 every 6 months that is $1600 per year. You are paying a premium, not getting a discount.
     
  5. xmrdfghap

    xmrdfghap Senior Member

    0
    Jan 15, 2002
    Professional Status:
    General Public
    State:
    Florida
    Sounds to me you got snookered, Chuck. I think I would challenge the credit card purchase because what you got was NOT what was represented. Why the hell would you pay $1300 for a service plan is beyond me. Updates every two weeks? Give clickforms a try. You can download a fully functional verson (good for 30 days), complete wth "convert from Wintotal" on the drop down menu....never used it as I quit using wintotal when it became wintotal instead of total (the DOS version). That $800 "service contract" would have paid for clickforms and includes a years worth of updates (maybe one a year or so). Since Wndows 3.1 I have NEVER had to call for tech support. I like software that works right out of the box. And yes, buy the service plan. It costs all of $300 a year.

    So yeah, ala mode is ripping you off.
     
  6. Lobo Fan

    Lobo Fan Elite Member

    0
    Nov 28, 2004
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    New Mexico
    Challenging the credit card charge is a good idea. At least it will make them formally respond to my issue. So far, all I have gotten was a TS from a sales room flunky. I like that idea a lot. Thanks!

    I used Clickforms before and I was OK with it. I didn't like the look of the location maps, so I imported my own.
     
  7. xmrdfghap

    xmrdfghap Senior Member

    0
    Jan 15, 2002
    Professional Status:
    General Public
    State:
    Florida
    By and large I use street atlas. Too many homes are not "locatable" by the national mapping sources and for $50 I get the entire USA. I can locate a address that the software cannot locate, mark it, and use the GPS to direct me there. So the Price per map location maps are not something I like to use anyway. I can also do the free flood maps without much hassel and I can locate those properties better than the mappng software. Also, I use quickbooks, so the alamode accounting software is pointless in my opinion. And, because I do other things besides appraising, I have to have quickbooks anyhow. At least I don't think alamode's accounting package tracks the cost of hay or the rental property income and costs.
     
  8. Couch Potato

    Couch Potato Elite Member

    0
    Mar 15, 2004
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    North Carolina
    Much improved.

    Challenging a charge after nearly a year probably won't go to well.

    Location maps in ClickFORMS are much better than they used to be, and further improvements in versatility are "in the works." Export and import with other map programs is well support in the current release too.
     
  9. xmrdfghap

    xmrdfghap Senior Member

    0
    Jan 15, 2002
    Professional Status:
    General Public
    State:
    Florida
    Not saying a challenge will work. But it might force them to respond in a meaningful manner.

    Probably not though. (Comment about customers getting fired removed)
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2006
  10. Lobo Fan

    Lobo Fan Elite Member

    0
    Nov 28, 2004
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    New Mexico
    As much time as I have spent on the phone with tech support, I should get a free year. Between losing sketches and not being able to open files, the Aurora has driven me almost batty. A couple of times I was ready to throw the computer through the window and go be a bus boy at Denny's.
     
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