Specific services provided by the 2M Corp: Updates to PO18 tables, Program Updates, minor, personalized customizations to WinPower as the need may arise, State Insurance Fund Table Updates, School Holiday Updates, Help File Updates, Retro Check modules as they may occur, Annual and Mid-Period Tax Table Changes, Web Site Updates, Customized Web Pages for Individual Custodians, as needed. Updates to the Rates for SE, FI, HN, CL, etc. and any associated Rate Changes for Union Dues for Local 74 and Local 94, the annual provision of the “PO66 Starter Program,” programs to update old, out-of-use databases, and email notices regarding all of the above. Also covered: Technical Support and Maintenance, to include training new employees in the execution of WinPower for Custodians, and other Help Desk functions; trouble-shooting, and consultation regarding: transmittal of data as necessary and installation of WinPower on new or additional computers. Also covered generalized hardware support, OS and Application support, as such help can be provided.
Services not covered by the payment of this invoice are major changes promulgated by the Department of Education to core systems or core forms for School Custodians (including but not limited to: new PO2, old PO2, the various Custodian Time Reports [numbering six as of this date], DAR, PO1, PO18, PO66, PO8 replacement of lost installation files, TCs, New Assignments or Widow’s Cares, Help-File printouts, or an Updating of WinPower to a platform reflecting the more recent Operating Systems developed by the Microsoft Corp.™
Exemptions from this fee shall be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please feel free to call if you are feel you might be eligible (for any reason) to such an exemption.
Regardless of the timeliness of payments, you are advised to continue downloading all updates to the system, as they appear on the 2m website…
For transfers, TCs and Widow's Cares, we are requiring payment within 6 weeks of the start of the new assignment. Exceptions will be made happily, if requested, as always.
After payments have been missed, the program might stop working. WinPower will warn you as the payment date approaches...
The way this will work is that after payment is received, we will send out a program that will release the time sensitive nature of the program.
Why? Let Us Count the Ways:
The policy of letting people pay whenever they feel like it has not worked.
The policy is the problem, and a new one is needed.
For example, with TCs, 90% of all clients pay after their self-assigned payment date. In other words, they get to pick the date, and then miss it !!
...Whenever there is a failure rate this large, the population is excused. The policy itself becomes the culprit.
It seems we are not doing anyone any favors by being this liberal.
We cannot write off bad debt.
Our method of accounting does not allow for bad-debt write-offs.
We use this method of accounting because we had been assured timely payments would never be a problem, and for other reasons as well.
However, you have a budget – that is, money that comes to you automatically, and indeed, needs to be spent, one could say.
And while there are circumstances where this money might come out of your pocket, every time we waive a fee (or are stiffed), it always comes directly out of our pockets – and this is for a service that we have provided, and, on a timely basis, upon request, with the price having been settled.
While many support us by saying "It is not their money, what is their problem," and others say "They should understand that you are in business to make money," this is not the real issue for us...
We have worked very hard to write and deliver this program, and it shows.
Almost all TCs are provided within minutes of being requested.
We have automated virtually all of our back office functions to maximize the time we spend developing the program and servicing our clients.
No one who is ever late in paying – or refuses to pay – expresses reluctance because of a failure in service, or because of a deficiency in the product.
If someone wants our product, at the price listed, requests it, and gets it, why should we have to argue about getting paid for it?
Furthermore, what we encounter with non-paying clients is either forgetfulness (not so bad), or contempt and/or rudeness. Why?
If one doesn't want WinPower, one shouldn't get it. If one does wants WinPower (or a TC), one should pay for it.
As of 2008, we are owed in the mid 5 figures.
We are spending way too much of our time in collections. This is not our main skill, yet we are spending more time calling for money, faxing new invoices, and emailing for money than anything else.
And we don't enjoy asking people for money. If someone can't afford it, we don't want to add to the pressure. If they can, we don't like being treated like beggars after having maintained our side of the bargain.
We think programming and tech support are infinitely better ways to spend one's professional life than hassling people for money, and we thought we have made our choice.
Finally, on this point, every minute we spend in collections is a minute spent away from developing WinPower, or supporting our clients in good standing. Why should the conscientious clients pay, in terms of service, and at the expense of the inconsiderate?
Family, mortgage, health insurance... Need we say more?
If there was no problem, we would not be instituting this policy.
We started out not charging for TCs or Widow's Cares or new assignments (our first 2 years), nor for tech support, either (our first 4 years). We started out allowing people to pay whenever they wanted for WinPower, and went 6 years without demanding payment for new buildings, right up until now.
Yet we have had a good experience with nearly every client we have.
It's the policy that is bad. And according to quite a few of our long-term clients, it is about time that we recognize it...