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Aimco Packing Partner upgrade required today

By Chris Dawson August 11, 2010 - 11:07 am

If you use Aimco Packing Partner you’ll need to upgrade today due to some changes that eBay have made. If you don’t upgrade collection of sales records will fail with the message “No total” for each invoice.

Packing Partner collects sales records, formats addresses and gives you all the despatch information you need and print labels, invoices, picking and packing lists. eBay have changed the format of the orders page, it doesn’t look any different to previously, but the underlying format of the HTML has changed. This has affected the Packing Partner software.

Any problems you can contact Andrew at Aimco ([email protected]) and he’ll be happy to help get your software upgraded.

  • northumbrian
    11 years ago

    as someone that has shouted the praises of this software ,
    we are not impressed with having to read about needing an upgrade here,
    after
    a morning of problems with packing partner,
    kudos to tamebay and a big Razz to aimco
    they have our email we should have been informed

  • northumbrian
    11 years ago

    if they dont hurry up and give us the fix, we will reverse the Aimco label sheets to use SMPs print invoice option for the address label
    and never darken their door again lol

  • Paul
    11 years ago

    Thanks to Tamebay for pointing this out.
    Via someone on the PS forum putting up this link,
    http://www.aimcosoftware.co.uk/issues.html
    I’ve just managed to cure a problem with the upgrade that was causing my Ebay downloads to hang.
    Hope it helps, Norf.

    • northumbrian
      11 years ago

      cheers
      andrew has been in touch concerning product key etc
      were not daft enough to rely on a single program so its no big deal other
      than a if only we had known sort of thing
      moan whinge

  • Mark
    11 years ago

    Appalling customer service from Aimco. Found out about 2pm about this issue and emailed Aimco for the update, still no reply and its 5.20pm, over 200 orders not going out today because of that, thanks Aimco!! Phone support is a joke, either engaged or leave a message, which I did and no call back. Spoke to the guy on skype and he clearly did not care. Why do we have to pay £30 a year for non-existent support? Very unprofessional!

    • northumbrian
      11 years ago

      maybee this tip should be on the other thread
      we learned long ago never to rely on one single program or service,
      always have a back up
      though we agree Aimco dont come out of this well ebay, changed things is no excuse when your charging money,needing a product key
      to fix is not good

  • 11 years ago

    I’m sorry to hear that some users aren’t happy.

    I do think that we have responded quickly and efficiently to fix the problem and update users within a day.

    However, there is always room for improvement, so will look into other ways we can notify users.

    Andrew

  • northumbrian
    11 years ago

    andrew its the product key thing that annoyed us

    finding the product key sending it and then waiting for the return is a bit frustrating , when your trying to process and send orders, with a program thats not working as it should, then you have just discovered its not your machine or your doing and you have to fiddle about with emails and product keys to get things moving

  • 11 years ago

    Having inadvertently let my support lapse I’m just grateful that Andrew let me renew it late! (Unlike some software companies that will remain nameless who would just say tough, you’ll have to buy the product again!)

  • Terry
    11 years ago

    We had the same problem but Andrew sorted it out, I wouldnt be to hard on him, we all know what ebay is like for changing things and sometimes not telling anyone till its done.

    Reading inbetween the lines im guessing aimco is a one man operation hence the lack of telephone support – hence the voicemail.

    We have even spent more money with them today and added the RM Despatch Express add on – Wait for my call somepoint in the next week Andrew needing help as RM are hopeless – lol

    • northumbrian
      11 years ago

      we know ebay change things
      though we are not being charged by ebay
      so what they do should be andrews problem not ours, in this case

      we use the software because its good, its useful ,and its profitsble to do so, not because aimcos our friend ,our andrew is a nice guy

    • northumbrian
      11 years ago

      we do think the juice is being squeezed from us a little, when the software only works on one machine unless you pay for the extra licence, and when the software does not work at all if ebay changes something,
      if you have not purchased maintainance cover, your held to ransom for the update

    • Terry
      11 years ago

      Oh ur so tight north, remind me nava to go 4 a pint with u – lol

      I wud say its a bargain, u shud see the price of other software providers – we choose Aimco for the way it works and not the price – if they charged a grand we wud still pay it

    • northumbrian
      11 years ago

      its not the 30 quid ,were not bothered about that really it not the price of a round of drinks,

      after fighting with the usual ebay problems then the label software not working
      was added frustration, then to only find out about the glitch here, was annoying enough, but to be told thats £30 quid to fix it please just tipped us over the edge

      call us nieve or just plain stupid, but we honestly did not know or realise that a maintainance fee was needed
      we do now though

  • 11 years ago

    Thanks very much for the supportive posts.

    Northumbrian, I can see your point. I will look at what we can do about that.

    We always post on our forum first – ‘Click here for known issues when collecting’ will take you straight there.

    I would say that posting on TameBay added to our level of customer service and has helped keep users informed.

    It’s good to get feedback though, as there’s always room for improvement.

    Andrew

    • northumbrian
      11 years ago

      cant fault your customer service andrew never had a problem that was not sorted quickly and expertly and even than cant think of morethan one or two in as many years
      “once we knew about it”

  • 11 years ago

    This looks like the price you pay for ease of use and simplicity. Based on the video on the Aimco website I seriously doubt the eBay API is being used. It looks more like the real software is in the printer driver it installs on your computer and some sort of IE plugin. The driver then parses the html to extract order information. Such applications that work outside the API are going to have risks such as these because eBay can change anything on their site at any time.

    I think I have an idea of how to leverage both but the cost would be adding about 2 – 3 minutes during initial setup and requiring an active internet connection during label printing. Unfortunately it wouldn’t eliminate all the risk I’ve described above but may make the product more resistant to such changes.

  • Dave
    11 years ago

    An obsevation. Aimco is a great product, its the sort of product that you would welcome receiving marketing emails from announcing new add-ons, I cant recall receiving any. Maybe all that is needed is a good marketing database, would have enabled yesterdays issues being resolved by a global email from Aimco

  • 11 years ago

    ebuyerfb, Yes there are other ways to make this work, but as you have said ours is about ease of use.

    Dave, we do make ammoumcements but many of the email addresses users entered when registering are no longer valid.

    Last time we had to update due to an eBay change, we did a mass email but were only able to contact about 20% of users.

    That is why we introduced the ‘click here for known issues’ link.

    • northumbrian
      11 years ago

      when we collect sales and have a problem and you click the known issue link its just sits there with the arrow going round and round

  • 11 years ago

    We like the Aimco product and use it.

    Bit of a glitch yesterday, but by the time I’d read this, the warehouse manager had downloaded the patch.

    Everything went out on time. I’d have preferred it was a Thursday that eBay made the change, not Tuesday, but at least it wasn’t Monday when you’d have heard the packing team swearing all the way down in Richmond.

  • 11 years ago

    Northumbrian, I’ll look into that but I do know that it worked for a lot of people yesterday.

    • northumbrian
      11 years ago

      cheers andrew
      though its no big thing
      the software still does the job better than anything else out there
      even though were a whinge lol

  • 11 years ago

    Northumbrian, thank you, makes me all warm inside 😉

  • Warren
    11 years ago

    Is Aimco Packing Partner better than using the invoice features in Quickbooks or is it better to use specialist third party programs?

  • Martin
    11 years ago

    This is the first time I have heard no update unless you pay maintenance cover therefore the software is rendered useless after paying in full for it.

    Andrew will do nothing to help unless you pay him for maintenance cover, I guess another way of Blackmail! so we will no longer use a product that is paid for and then conned into paying extra per year just to use it and for that reason we will develop our own and offer it to other members for £30.00 for a ebay label addition with free updates. Watch this space!!

    • 11 years ago

      Check out some of the well known commercial accounting or database software products. If you don’t take out (or let lapse) your support not only will they not help you or supply upgrades but they’ll make you buy an entirely new copy of the latest software for £100s if not £1000s.

      Also I think it’s worth pointing out that Aimco include the first years software maintenance in with the purchase price of the software which again is more than a lot of software companies do.

    • northumbrian
      11 years ago

      I dont mind paying for maintainance and help though it irritates the hell out of me to pay for an update for software I thought I had bought outright

    • northumbrian
      11 years ago

      I think if it were worded differently It would be easier to live with,
      if it were made clear that your only really renting the software service with updates
      not buying a software program

    • northumbrian
      11 years ago

      a monthly Subscription via paypal like many other e commerce software programs would be more honest

    • Mark
      11 years ago

      I agree, software updates should be free and not fall under maintenance! I should imagine Aimco made a pretty penny yesterday out of the situtaion.

    • 11 years ago

      I thought software updates and bug fixes are precisely what software maintenance is supposed to cover 😀

  • Martin
    11 years ago

    The whole idea of purchasing this software was because it was a outright purchase and one can decide if they want to purchase maintenance cover, but to find out later that updates are not included then you are renting the software, very misleading on Aimco behalf to say the least. Not only that, it now crashes the computer if you try to use the software after not updating the who computer freezers and needs the power button pushing in to restart it. NOT a very responsible company for these type of tactics.

    • Terry
      11 years ago

      I would leave Sage accounting software alone then Martin, we pay £50 a month for maintance.

      I cant belive people complain about this – The saftware is fab – TOO Cheap – prices should be put up and the maintenance charge should be higher.

      You lot have no idea, Google Sandersons software then look at the 35 thousand pound price tag

    • Frank
      11 years ago

      Yes but at least sage would still work if the tax office made tax changes, it would not stop the software working and you have a choice if you want to take the maintenance cover. You cannot compare Aimco with the likes of sage. The packing partner software is sold to work with eBay in this case and should continue to do so without paying for an update. If one wants more features then yes pay for an upgrade. No one is asking for anything free here they want the program to work as sold. Does your car radio stop working if new channels are added? Until you pay extra money? I rest my case!

    • Mark
      11 years ago

      I totally agree with Frank, its an unprofessional way to conduct business, regardless of the cost.

  • Dom
    11 years ago

    I am happy enough paying an annual maintenance charge for the reassurance that an update will be provided, usually on the same day, every time that eBay or Amazon make a change. I think Packing Partner is good value considering the time it saves every day. I think it would be unreasonable to expect free updates for life. Remember applications like Tradebox have an initial licence charge then an annual renewal fee.

  • northumbrian
    11 years ago

    we dont expect free “updates” for life
    just the alterations that are needed to make it work as it was purchased with the site it was purchased to work with

    • 11 years ago

      Hey North, As Dom said software is never sold like that. Aimco’s software worked perfectly prior to the eBay changes. It’ll work as perfectly today “with the site it was purchased to work with” but thanks to eBay’s changes that site doesn’t exist any more.

      It’s a fact of life that things do change and that’s what software maintenance covers. For instance I’ve got a perfectly good valid licence for ACT (a CRM management software solution) but I might as well chuck it in the bin as it runs on Windows 95. I didn’t take out software maintenance and it won’t install on XP, Vista or Windows 7. Nothing wrong with it – it’ll still run in the world of 15 years ago but it’s no good in today’s world.

      It’s just the way software has always been sold and probably always will be.

    • Mark
      11 years ago

      Exactly, this fix should not not fall under the category of updates anyway! It’s an essential fix.

  • 11 years ago

    The costs of Packing Partner are transparent. Specified when purchasing, and written into the licence agreement.

    Software takes a lot of time and effort to produce and maintain, that has to be paid for.

    Just like a car, the cost of that maintenance must be covered by the user.

    I’m sorry that some aren’t happy, but it is a necessary cost.

  • BigPoppa
    11 years ago

    I assume everyone remembers the fiasco of the Frooition “update” when eBay made some changes.

    Rightly then and now, most people were outraged that Frooition were charging for an “update” that had to be applied to make the software function.

    There is a big difference between an update and an upgrade, updates should be free for the life of the license, where as an upgrade can be charged for.

    My understanding is that this is an update and should be supplied free, so long as you have a current license to use the software.

    Just like a car, the cost of that maintenance must be covered by the user.

    Yes, but if the government changed the way the roads worked which rendered my car useless, I would expect Ford or Mercedes to “update” my car for free.

    • 11 years ago

      I agree with your upgrade vs update statements though from a developer standpoint I prefer the idea of unlimited free updates/upgrades but “renting” the software for periods of time.

      Yes, but if the government changed the way the roads worked which rendered my car useless, I would expect Ford or Mercedes to “update” my car for free.

      That’s just nuts. In the US we quit broadcasting in analog in 2009 which rendered every single TV manufactured from the mid-nineties and earlier useless. No company went out and upgraded our TVs to digital. We bought new TVs or converter boxes and were happy with the improved picture and sound clarity.

    • BigPoppa
      11 years ago

      Yes, but how many years warnign did we get that analogue was being switched off?

    • 11 years ago

      It was around ten years notice. But why would that matter? What exactly can your government do to your roads in a timescale shorter than your typical vehicle ownership?

    • BigPoppa
      11 years ago

      I’m just saying that to wake up one day and find your software not working, then spend the morning trying to fix it, only to discover on a blog that in fact you have to pay £X if you want to use it again is far from an ideal situation.

  • 11 years ago

    I would expect Ford or Mercedes to “update” my car for free

    Seriously?

    • BigPoppa
      11 years ago

      Yes. One of my vehicles is a vauxhall van, i recently received a letter saying that new research had brought a potential problem to light with the handbrake system, my handbrake works fine.

      However, they fitted a new system based on this research for free.

    • 11 years ago

      I’m guessing that’s because if research showed this problem existed and they did nothing about it they’d be responsible when it eventually killed someone. It was far more cost effective to fix before anyone got hurt.

  • 11 years ago

    That is a safety fault with their product.

    However, if you ever find Packing Partner’s Icon running away down your desktop after you’ve parked it, I too will fix that for free 😉

    • northumbrian
      11 years ago

      my mercedes has had a number of manufacturers recall fixes free of charge ,
      and if I recall when I bought packing partner invoice edition a couple of years ago there was no mention of a maintainance fee ,or if there was it was not made obvious

    • northumbrian
      11 years ago

      they even gave us another Mercedes while they were fixing it LOL

    • 11 years ago

      You drive a Mercedes and you are concerned about Packing Partner costs, lol! 😉

    • northumbrian
      11 years ago

      we have an Aston Martin
      too
      a Mercedes S400 a Mercedes Ml 350
      a Mercedes Vito 115 sport van along with various oher bits and pieces
      so we know how to spend money
      so 30 quid and the price is not the issue

  • northumbrian
    11 years ago

    I dont think I am alone in happily plodding along using packing partner
    then being a little surprised when I could not get it working again unless I coughed up the maintainance fee

    so what ever the T&Cs rightly or wrongly I feel I have been had over a little,
    it just has a bad taste to it
    even though the softwares worth it and we continue to use it

  • 11 years ago

    I presume that you would you prefer that I went bust and everyone loses the whole program?

    • northumbrian
      11 years ago

      please dont put words in our mouth,
      of course we dont want anyone to go bust we just dont like what we feel was a less than obvious extra payment

    • 11 years ago

      It’s at the top of the purchase page, in the licence agreement (which yiu have to agree to).

      Four reminders are sent out in the month before renewal is due, it certainly isn’t in any way hidden.

    • northumbrian
      11 years ago

      maintainance itself may not be hidden though it being an essential part of the program working properly is,
      we thought we had bought a print software program to print labels/
      if Avery sold us print software to print lablels and 12 months later asked for more we would not be happy either

    • Dave
      11 years ago

      Would happilly pay £30 a month for this, saves me hours of hassle. If I was Andrew I would send the moaners their money back and delete their accounts !

    • northumbrian
      11 years ago

      and far from going bust I dare bet that ebays code change turned out to be quite a profitable windfall event for you
      because I wont be the only one who was not aware a maintainance payment was needed

    • Terry
      11 years ago

      They are all ebay shoppers themselfs Andrew – Which means they want something for nothing.

      I wish everyone would pay for the value of a product whats its worth.

      Andrew put your prices up and out of this lots range – cheap product = numpty buyers.

      Your company has saved my company so much money its unbeliable.

      I would say in a year about 18 grand you have saved us (the salary of one member of our staff)

      People are so short sighted…..

  • Dom
    11 years ago

    As has been said first years maintenance cover is included then only £29.95 a year after that which seems pretty reasonable to me. Do you really think updates should be provided free no matter how many changes a year eBay / Amazon make forever? I really think people are over reacting and being unreasonable. Somebody referred to Frooition earlier, I think the difference is with Froo users paid a monthly subscription but were then told it didn’t include updates / fixes so rightly felt cheated but with Aimco paying a yearly maintenance charge you know all updates and fixes are provided.

    • Jimbo
      11 years ago

      Here here.

    • Cambridge_Blue
      11 years ago

      Well said!
      It would seem some people simply do not understand the economics of the software business.
      One way or the other you always have to pay for ongoing maintenance with a professional application like this – it is simply a business cost like our Royal Mail fees.
      If you don’t like the deal from Aimco then try and find another similar product that supports as many sites for the same price – good luck with that search!
      pip pip

  • Mark
    11 years ago

    Under the Maintenance cover section on the Aimco site it says ‘In the event that a site change forces a mass update, priority will be given to users with valid cover’. Doesn’t this imply that the fix would still have been given to users without maintenance cover?

  • 11 years ago

    Why dont people understand that software requires maintenance…look at packages like Sage! £30 is nothing..just pay it and be done with it people.

  • 11 years ago

    I remember first buying Andrew’s Labelprinter software at auction on Ebay around five years ago and thought it was the best thing since sliced bread! It cut down my posting time significantly.

    I remember calling him for advice soon after and asking him why he flogged his invaluable software for a fiver, and why he didn’t use a premium rate number for support like other companies do. Therefore I may well be directly responsible for the changes, lol!

    I thought he was one of the most humblest people I’ve ever spoken to. He was taken aback by my questions and indicated he wasn’t into exploiting people or becoming rich, but that the software generated a modest income which allowed him to focus on his charity work. Catch him when he’s got a minute (probably towards the end of the day) and he ask him about his charity work. He does a LOT of work for charity (at least he was back then). I urged him to charge more so that the charity could benefit, too!

    Remembering how humble he was/is it’s kinda painful watching him being publicly criticised.

    My *only* issue is I think that there should be downgrade rights and support as I liked the simplicity of the original labelprinter software, lol!

  • northumbrian
    11 years ago

    thats it argument lost
    the charity trump card has been played

    • 11 years ago

      And what a magnanimous loser you are 😉

  • 11 years ago

    Thanks for the support and Debs, your advice (and others who said the same) was taken.

    We have just moved to an old farm where instead of a suburban garden, the dogs have 10 acres of field to play in.

    It’s worth taking a small amount of stick to see the smiles on their faces as they race round, enjoying the freedom.

    We also have quite a few outbuildings where we plan to expand the animal educational and welfare work we are involved in.

    Thank you again.

    • 11 years ago

      That’s fantastic, Andrew; well done – give yourself a pat on the back 🙂

    • northumbrian
      11 years ago

      charity and now animal welfare
      we have no hope
      though I am going to check out our carbon footprint and our re-cycleing
      we might yet win this debate lol

    • 11 years ago

      Lol! I’m sorry, North; I know what I did was below the belt, bringing up Andrew’s charity work and all, but his business naivete when I first spoke to him was astounding – I mean, he was not charging a realistic price for the software at all. He was letting it go for a pittance, and was separately fund raising for his animal charity. It just seem to make sense to me (and others it seems) to use the business to raise funds.

      And I wanted people to know that he’s ploughing a great deal of the revenue into animal sanctuaries.

      I’ll stop banging on about it, though, because I get the feeling I’m embarrassing him, lol!

    • northumbrian
      11 years ago

      were still using the software
      dont know what were banging on about either lol

  • SpattZzz
    11 years ago

    Aimco has also stopped working with roman cart as well this week

    Superb all round, Andrews finger seems to no longer be on the pulse, only the wallet

    • 11 years ago

      How can I know about a problem with Roman Cart, unless someone tells me?

  • 11 years ago

    Blimey – and to think we complain about what a pain it is dealing with unreasonable buyer complaints on eBay! Poor Andrew – but at least you didn’t get any negs…

    To provide a bit of balance, we’ve had good service from Andrew in setting up the software (we had a few idiosyncrasies that needed ironing out) and the £30 ongoing charge is a drop in the ocean compared with the £600 I paid for labels this week, or the £10k I’ll be spend on Royal Mail.

    And does anyone else find it ironic that Tamebay first found out about AimCo / PickitPackIt from northumbrian?
    http://tamebaynew.wpengine.com/2008/10/integrated-labels-with-packing-partner.html

    • 11 years ago

      I think Andrew’s sticking with this thread and responding has to be applauded.

    • northumbrian
      11 years ago

      yes so I think my complaint has some value

    • Dave
      11 years ago

      No it means Andrew provides good service even to the moaning penny pinchers on here who think he doesn’t have a right to charge for his time and product.

    • northumbrian
      11 years ago

      what non seem to grasp is when we signed up to this program no mention was made of a maintainance fee

    • 11 years ago

      Nothumbrian, Maintenance cover has been part of Packing Partner V2, since it was released in Jan 2009.
      Unfortunately, I can’t force people read the web site, licence agreement and four reminder emails.

    • northumbrian
      11 years ago

      yes andrew
      please take note of the date on the thread where we sung your praises
      did it occur to you that we may not have received those emails to read
      and of course you cant force people to read the web site
      though you have a good way of forcing £30 quid out of them lol

    • northumbrian
      11 years ago

      “Chris Dawson says:
      August 11, 2010 at 11:00 pm
      Having inadvertently let my support lapse I’m just grateful that Andrew let me renew it late!”

      <says it for me really

    • 11 years ago

      Do you also remeber that all V1 users had a free upgrade to V2?

    • 11 years ago

      Better than the response from a very large software company who’s response was “Tough, you didn’t pay for software maintenance so you can buy the latest version for the full RRP if you want a fix and then take out software maintenance so you don’t get stung again!”.

      Ok they couched it in gentler language but their attitude was if you let your maintenance lapse you either pay full price again or you’re stuffed. And that was for software costing close on £1000 😯

    • northumbrian
      11 years ago

      Andrew I remember in 2006 the software cost me £19.99
      and We have used it in one form or another since then,
      its been very useful and profitable and good value
      though we think like many developers /programs we have bought
      over the years, from first being delighted at even selling their program, realising they had a good product , started to price theirself out of the market place
      with add on ons and extra fees

    • Dom
      11 years ago

      It cost you £20 and you think you should get free updates and fixes for life? Now that would be value for money.

    • northumbrian
      11 years ago

      of course we dont think we should get free updates for life,
      nor do we think that something should be made unusable and obsolete
      once you have bought it

    • Dom
      11 years ago

      It was eBay that made, it as you say “unusable and obsolete” and requiring an update with their changes to the site.

    • northumbrian
      11 years ago

      yes we are aware that it was ebays changes
      and we are also aware it has a sort of 12 month guarantee too,
      though as we bought this program donkeys ago we had no idea we had to cough up to keep it going if anything went wrong,
      so on top of the hassle of it not working, being hit for a £30 quid fee peeded us off ,we are well aware the programs worth it, and we understand the business model , its how it was handled that rubbed us up the wrong way

    • northumbrian
      11 years ago

      bored ridgid with whinging on about this now our final comment on this
      it all boils down too is being told you cant have the fix unless you cough up,
      when
      a simple message saying heres the fix a maintainance add on is now needed please update your product key[in future you will need to have this in place]
      would have been so much more customer friendly and just as effective

  • Dave
    11 years ago

    North I think you think Andrews charity work should be for your benefit

    • northumbrian
      11 years ago

      that goes without saying
      lol

  • Dave
    11 years ago

    To the moaners, “Oh I have been ripped off, an IT professional has charged me £30 for a years worth of updates and support”, listen to your selves, and start living in the real world.

  • 11 years ago

    This morning I’m sketching out a news and update feed that will come direct to your desktop.
    It will send relevant news and updates to all affected users.
    It’ll obviously take a month or two to develop, but it will allow users to know about the latest news and updates that affect them.

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