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ACI Users Beware: Hidden Problems

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Jason J Pustek

Sophomore Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Washington
Everybody using ACI Report should be aware of some major hidden problems with the software. I have been having strange issues with reports being uploaded and not showing up in the portal later, and worse yet showing up incomplete. I think it is usually entire photo pages that go missing. They are present in the report and appear to be in the upload. The Table of Contents shows them, but they do not arrive with the rest of the report. Tech support determined that the "schemes" set up in the Print Components dialog box no longer work and will selectively decline to upload some portions of the report. The "fix"? Go back to the default scheme and check the "Print Empty Pages" box. They assure me that this is the only way to make sure that all pages get uploaded. It also assures that because of the goofy ACI architecture that it will also send half a dozen to a dozen blank pages. To correct this you need to stop at the Print Components dialog box, every time, and be sure to uncheck any form page that is not in your report.

I don't know about you, but having do a split screen with my report on one side and the dialog box on the other while I review each an every page of a 50 page report and check and uncheck boxes as needed is no way to run an appraisal business. And certainly no way to run a software business.

Another big issue is that the software does not save a "true copy" of the reports that you write. It has a file named reports but it never seems to have much in it. Any other appraisal software that I have used in the last couple of decades saved copies of each iteration of my reports. What ACI saves is just what you see on the screen when you open it. Make a change and the original is lost forever. It sure would be nice it ACI would fix this kind of critical stuff instead of making changes to things that are working fine. I have talked with them extensively about this stuff and they just don't care. Or maybe they just don't get it.

They also seem to have no idea what we do as appraisers. That is why the software has bizarre things like multiple addenda. Until I figured that out I had bits and pieces showing up in my addenda that I had no idea where there. Guys,!!! How about ONE addendum with no silliness? Or at least a CHOICE to do that. How about being able to scroll from one page to the next instead of having to click things on the tool bar? How about fixing the antiquated "File Lister" so we could search by any field by clicking on the column header like every other software since Windows 3.1? How about making it possible to go from the addendum to the page you were working on with one click instead of having to kill the addendum and then select the page you were working on? How about a quick way to toggle between 2 pages that you are working on?

I have been complaining about these issues for a year and a half and nothing has been fixed. Is this software written by 2 guys living in their moms basement? JD Biggers did a much better job addressing bugs and he was a one man operation.

Am I the only one seeing these kinds of problems?
 

CindyR

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
Yes there are many bizarre and ridiculous problems with ACI. But your mention of the 'print empty pages' option is rather intriguing. That has been one of my pet peeves abut ACI for years. I remember some old timer telling me about gluing in actual photos on to a photo page and that was why you had the 'print empty pages' option. But no appraiser that I know of has glued in photos in the last 15 years. And every time you start ACI you have to uncheck the stupid 'print empty pages' box. That is, until just a couple weeks ago. Now, the print empty pages box is unchecked all the time. And no, I have not run webupdate in months. I can not imagine how that stupid box is miraculously changed...
I guess I can take that off my list of stuff I hate about ACI - but I wonder how and why it got changed....
 

Jason J Pustek

Sophomore Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Washington
But according to ACI tech support, with the box unchecked you may not be transmitting all of the pages. I would suggest that you will have to check every report as it leaves to be sure that all of the pages in your report are in their copy,
 
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