Software Trumps Paper…or it should have.

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Software is probably one of the toughest things to figure out if it will work for your business.  All the hype, the salesmen promises, tech support issues, hardware issues and mostly the cost.

Here we are a fledgling pawn shop with hardly any money to loan much less buy six thousand dollar software.  Our mentor had given us a few names to call on but we did not have much luck there either. So with the almighty GOOGLE search we were most unfortunate to discoverPawn Wizard Deluxe.  Yes, I did say most UNFORTUNATE.  For only $995, including tech support, they would install the software onto my server, oh and each workstation was another $99…we had three.  I scrounged up the $1300 bucks and faxed in the contract to these shisters.  A few days later the Pawn Wizard Tech department started installing software into my server and workstations.  About 6 hours later the server and all 3 workstations were finally finished.  Tech had setup the primary business info and the configuration for Kansas interest and hold times, given my crew a short walk through and set us on our way…did I mention before that we sell firearms?

We have no way to log in a firearm…back to tech support.  OOPS…the sales monkey forgot to mention that the ATF bound book module was another $350.00.  So I give them my credit card numbers and schedule tech support to install another module into my server.  This was around the summer of 2012 when we were “upgrading” from paper tickets.  As we had time we starting inputting our customers into the new software. And the software continually crashes, without saving anything.  It will log out the wrong gun when making a sale.  Or even as irratating log in a gun to the wrong person. Tech support was called at least weekly, rarely getting an good answer about anything.  Never getting callbacks, it was up to us to remind them. Yet, Tech support did nothing to fix the long list of issues.  And we learned to constantly print off the ATF Bound Book at least weekly and to do a separate backup to a flash drive after each firearm transaction.  A total pain in the butt.

Then it happens, I get a call from the now sales/tech support person at the illustrious Pawn Wizard Deluxe & Fleecing Company.  Guess what?, they are aware of all the problems we are having with “Deluxe”, but we have it all worked out with our new “Pawn Wizard PRO software” would you like to be one of the first to get it?  Boy do they know a sucker when they see it…Yep, I said yes.  I asked about any hardware changes that I would need and they assured me it would run on my current system of Windows XP.  This was the first part of December 2012 when the order was placed.  I was given a new Tech Support number for Pawn Wizard Pro, because you have to pay for Tech support for this software and this was the “Preferred Customer” line.  I paid the blackmail money and they said it would be mid January for the install to occur.

January 2013 came and passed, I called Pawn Wizard Pro Tech support to find out there was an issue with the interest in Kansas calculations.  But it would be fixed soon.

February and March came and passed, still no software upgrade.  And the old Pawn Wizard Deluxe software has a new issue of just closing and rebooting the entire workstation.  I called in my computer guru to see if my network had a virus or what…Nope no virus, just crappy code writing on behalf of Pawn Wizard’s high quality team.

April showers bring more heartache…at least when you are dealing with a worthless company like Pawn Wizard.  I receive a call from tech support wanting access to our server to “update” Pawn Wizard Deluxe, so we grant him access…NEVER give them access to your server.  The little bastard inserted new code that says “If you don’t purchase the “UPDATE” you will no longer be able to use the software on your server”  I was pissed, and started my mission to track down the owner of this company.  After several emails, phone calls and such the Tech Support lady finally “Updated” our Deluxe software for free, since they were late on installing the Pro version.

May’s excuse– the ATF bound Book does not work, June’s excuse– the interest calculations are not proper, July never received and answer or call back, August, September, October, November all the same…no answer no callback, or if you did get anyone to answer it was always just another excuse.

Oh look… December 2013, these scum have had my money tied up for a YEAR.  The mail arrived one day and in it is an invoice for Pawn Wizard Pro Tech Support 2014…oh no they didn’t!  I call the number that I have now memorized.  And a new voice answers…a new salesman with a great attitude.  He agrees we have been treated “Like Shit” and was going to fix everything.  He was the smart one, as he quit 2 weeks later…

So at this point all I want is my money back and I begin a barrage of emails and phone calls.  Finally, a new salesman again says he will take over the software problem. Agrees to give me credit for the Pawn Wizard PRO tech support I never got to use, and schedules an install for right after New Years on January 2014.  I go into the shop for my install.  They never called, they never installed and worse yet they never answered.  I have mentioned I HATE Pawn Wizard Software?

Two weeks later we reschedule an install, oh guess what?  Umm…your server is running XP, it has to be Windows 7 and so do all your other workstations… I am sure you can imagine my utter frustration with the so-called professionals.  At this point I just wanted it done, so I called my computer provider and ordered a new server and 3 workstations.  Looking back, I should have just walked away from the whole deal, licked my wounds and said hell no.

February arrives, and so does all my new equipment.  All the files are transferred from my old server to the new one and then I find out Quickbooks POS version 8 does not work on Win 7…dammit!  Well the new Pawn Wizard PRO software is supposed to have POS functionality…I will just run 2 servers til it is installed.  I call up the Pawn Wizard Tech Support Team and schedule the install… and for the first time I have to say they have their shit together and it is quick and painless.  We get the walk through only to find out the data conversion from the old Pawn Wizard Deluxe system did not work… Thousands of customers having to be re-added manually.  I told them screw it, just put my company back onto the old Deluxe software and I would find a new vendor… Oh, and as April came in 2014 the little message that I would need to “UPDATE” Deluxe or I can not access my data popped up.  Guess what?  Yep no data access, including my ATF Bound Book.  BUT, I was smart this time, I had ran off a full 888 page ATF Bound Book report the day before.  I had finally gotten one step ahead of the bastards.  Oh, and I called the ATF to let them know that Pawn Wizard was refusing to release information.  Maybe the ATF did not care, but I wanted it noted in my file that Pawn Wizard refused to grant me access to my information.

Moral of the story… DO NOT BUY PAWN WIZARD !!!  I have gone to conventions where the same story repeats itself, different pawnbrokers getting taken by this company.  I finally turned the case over to the KS Attorney General.

Light at the end of the tunnel……

I am pleased to let you know I did find an EXCELLENT Pawn Shop Software provider.  It is called BRAVO.  A cloud based solution, so no servers to backup, updates are automatic and the Tech Support is out of this world!  If you want pampered and to feel like your business means something, try these guys out.  And no, they are not paying me to say that.

Thanks for sharing your time with me

~Darrin

 

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