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"Annual service fees are annuities for software vendors, transferring money every year from you to them. There's fees within fees to maximize the flow."

Annual Service Fees

My latest discovery (June, 2013) earns top spot on this page. Click here to view the actual 'conversation' that illustrates how one vendor not only avoids putting the important details on his website but actually dances around questions when asked directly about harmful policies and hidden fees.

Here are some of the provisions regarding annual service fees:

  1. Annual service fees may not include:

    • Help with learning the program. (Add $100 per hour in addition to annual fees. Resaleworld says this is to your benefit because it costs less than flying to Orlando to attend their classes.)

      CCE specifically excludes "How to" training and refers to an ambiguous hourly rate:

    • Help with printers and scanners beyond some very short period of time even if the equipment was purchased from the software vendor.

      This policy is so outlandish it deserves reiteration: You buy a brand new printer. If you are not on the 'support plan' and you call on day 31 or after for help with the printer they sold to you, you'll pay $100 'per incident'. With the support plan you'll still pay $75. This is an addition to over paying for the printer and paying $15 extra for a cable and about $15 more for shipping.

      This blank check appears on the Resaleworld website:

      Need help 'after hours' or on the weekend? You're advised to call for pricing.

    • Software updates! If annual fees are not paid, some vendors attempt to force payment by denying essential software updates. Some vendors deny help in any form (other than referring you to their forum where you can post a question and hope someone will answer).
  2. Service fees are raised persistently. In some cases annual fees have doubled from not long ago. This is a warning: Once locked into a fee-based program, you're locked into endless fee increases.
  3. Vendors require prepayment of service fees for a full year and do not refund any remaining balance if the software is no longer in use.
  4. Service fees can be raised with multiple computers in use: With 5 computers in use the annual service fees are: Resaleworld: $611; CCE: $215; : $250; The Consignment Shop: $350. Remember: If these fees aren't paid, you will be denied software updates and you may be denied support in any helpful form.
  5. Finally, if how-to help isn't included in the annual service fee and the vendor isn't going to help (without charge) with hardware (the vendor provided), then what is the purpose of the annual service fee? If the software is broken, it should be fixed free of charge so, in essence, if you pay $200 for 'annual service' and you have one 15-minute session during the year for something that the vendor will help with, the hourly rate is $800!

    Another Important First-Year Cost: Labels

    You can purchase thermal label tags from Resaleworld: about 4,000 tags for $77, or you can buy the same 4,000 tags from Barcode Warehouse for $16.

    Acting in Your Best Interest?

    Beware of software vendors who refer you to 'The Computer Peeps' - another individual portending to serve the needs of the consignment community at a rate of $100 per hour during the narrow time range of 10-5 M-F and undisclosed 'emergency rates' at all other times. Take a moment to read about this trio's conspiracy.

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