Lifesaver Software

xenniferx

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At the store where I work, we use Lifesaver point of sale software. it is great software, but needs a lot of work. At the trade show, recently in Atlanta, I asked the folks at the booths (there were two for some reason) and they basically told me that the ideas for the software that I had (which are very reasonable, I assure you), were never going to be put into practice because (to sum up) the people using Lifesaver software were just too dense to understand it if they changed it. Of course they had absolutely no problem putting a huge button for picture it now or whatever that software is right at the top of the screen. If it makes the more money for the company, then ADD IT BOYS and if it is something that will make every framer in the country using the software happier, more efficient, and less crazy, then... LETS THINK ON IT....
Do other shops feel like we do? Like there should be huge changes to make it so you can, say, find a ticket, ever?
 

Jay H

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A few things for what its worth.

I'm skeptical of anybody who registers with little or no information about who they are only to slam a vendor.

That said I might suggest that what they meant to say is that they get requests every day of the week and to add them all would make the program even more complicated than it is. Software seems to be a complicated balance between being user friendly vs. too hard to understand. I've heard programers constantly say "Great idea (and mean it) but we're not adding it (and mean it).

As far as the rest of your post, are you complaining because they intend to make money? I can't help you there because I don't blame them.

I have met several of them and are great lot.

I'm not spokesman for them either. I don't use it or believe it to be the best out there. But it is really darn nice.
 

JFeig

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Would you like to share your idea with us.

Maybe it takes more that one to request a specific change. And maybe it might be something that will require a complete reorgainzation of the data base; therefor, not pratical for them to make the change.
 

Bob Doyle

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Welcome to the rumble, oops, Grumble!

I would agree with JFeig and add that when a software company gets one request they don't respond quickly. But share your iea, if we like it and want it some of us may say to LifeSaver that we want it. Then the next thing you know the request gets heard, gets a priority number and then gets worked on.

We like to share here, not tear down. So share, we'll ruminate on it and if we use the software (I don't) we'll put in requests for the "improvement".
 

Susan May

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How about a comment from someone who uses Specialty Soft. (This way you know that I am not "In" with Life saver.)

When you want to suggest something to ANY computer company, you might want to write it up, and give it to them on paper. Also, talking it over with other people who use ANY similar program might help you refine your idea.

But, and here is my suggestion, Slamming a company (on a public forum) because you think they slighted you, and in your opinion they insulted all the rest of it's users, is a real good way of getting them to NEVER listen to you in the future.

Try being a little nicer, and you just might find out how nice they are. They just might even listen to your suggestions.
 

AndyPan CPF

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As someone who has used LifeSaver software for going on 8 years, I am hardpressed to find exactly where your condemnation of the developers lies. Just because they didn't immeditaly rewrite the program based on your suggestion doesn't make them the enemy. We have forwarded several ideas to the guys at LifeSaver. Some have made it, some haven't yet, some never will. But I also realize that I am only one of several thousand users, all of who I am sure have their own ideas of what to add to the program. Patience is a virtue, and good things come to those who wait, and all that cliche nonsense.

I agree with those who have posted already that it is extremely rude to slam a vendor on a public forum, solely because they haven't done what YOU wanted them to do. As for them making money, are you framing pictures for free? We are all in business for the purpose of making as much money as we can. Those who think they're not, are seriously deluding themselves.

Just my two cents.
 

Mecianne

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I am new to LifeSaver. But, I've figured it out quickly, and have had few problems. The one problem I had that caused any real trouble was quickly solved after sharing with others who had the same problem. The folks at LifeSaver got right on it and added an option to the configuration screen that took care of it. I am not "in bed" with LifeSaver nor any vendor or supplier. I can tell you that I have had only good experiences so far. And I doubt that what you heard ("the people using Lifesaver software were just too dense to understand it if they changed it.") was exactly what they said.

There are lots of people around here who are really wonderful at helping others to solve problems, not only with software, but with framing in general.

Welcome to the Grumble. It is called that for a reason. So grumble away, but share your problem....so maybe we can help you solve it.
 

Jay H

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And I would like to add; After reading your other posts its very obvious to me that you have never won any awards for your personality.

Boys isn't your shop lucky to have you. It might be a good idea to stay there.
 

xenniferx

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I was definately NOT slamming Lifesaver. I was wondering if there were people out there who were experiencing the some problems with the software, and if anyone wanted to talk about it.

I love the guy who says I join the board to slam something and then knocks my personality. Lovely.

As for the "find button...."
say I want to find a ticket from Tom Edwards.
He had a picture of a woman in a red dress.
I don't know what the number of the ticket was because he came in several years ago.
hey, I even remember the frame he used!
I know he came in during december.
go ahead and even try to find that using the find button.
you know what you get when you type in EDWARDS and TOM?
you get some edwards. dont know if its the right one. probably isnt if you have more than one edwards in your whole database. you can't search by the date. You can't search by the information included in the ticket. it should work like any old search engine that is a dime a dozen, right!?
that's all I was thinking. there are tons of things that I could spout off about as far as things I would LOVE to see Lifesaver fix.
I dont want everyone to get all bent out of shape. I was just thinking that if everyone talked about things they would like to see fixed or changed on the software, that we might form some sort of alliance and they might take notice.

anyway, if other people think of some things that they might like to see, I would love to hear them.

in closing, I would like to note that I really like the software and feel it has tons of potential. I just feel that it might have been nice of them to take care of really hardcore things that go wrong with the software like the search function before adding dumb stuff that won't help anyone.

anyway, go ahead and yell at me some more. I can take it.
 

FramerDave

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I was wondering if there were people out there who were experiencing the some problems with the software, and if anyone wanted to talk about it.
Perhaps if you had mentioned exactly what your problem with it was and asked others for their input, or asked what features other people would like to see you would have gotten a better response.

Snarky comments and trashing other people's work won't get you very far around here.
 

AndyPan CPF

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As for the "find button...."
say I want to find a ticket from Tom Edwards.
He had a picture of a woman in a red dress.
I don't know what the number of the ticket was because he came in several years ago.
hey, I even remember the frame he used!
I know he came in during december.
go ahead and even try to find that using the find button.
you know what you get when you type in EDWARDS and TOM?
you get some edwards. dont know if its the right one. probably isnt if you have more than one edwards in your whole database. you can't search by the date. You can't search by the information included in the ticket. it should work like any old search engine that is a dime a dozen, right!?
If you are looking for tickets for said Tom Edwards, you can narrow the search considerably. When you use the "Find Ticket" feature, you get a window asking you for all the information you may have handy. So let's say that all you know is that his name is Tom Edwards. Instead of just adding "Edwards" to the last name field, fill out the first name field as well. This will find the ticket/tickets with his name on it/them. You can then use Ctrl+N and/or Ctrl+R to scroll through the tickets to find the one ticket you are looking for. Alternately, if you use the "Find Ticket" feature and add Tom Edwards to the first and last name fields, once it pulls up just ONE ticket for Tom, you can click on the big button in the middle that says "Customer History", and brouse for the needed ticket that way. If you still wish to search by work order number, one further option would be to prepare a statement. If you click on "Proposal" at the top of the screen, then choose "Prepare Statement," you can have every order done by Tom Edwards listed, complete with work order and/or invoice number. Make note of the work order number that you are looking for, then return to the "Find Ticket" options.

There. Three relatively simplistic options that all yield the same results. I personally do not feel a search feature such as the one you are looking for is a viable alternative, because unless you are extremely specific in the wording you choose, you could find yourself searching through several more orders than just those belonging to Tom Edwards. I find the "Find Ticket" feature as it is to be very reliable and not at all confusing or problematic.

in closing, I would like to note that I really like the software and feel it has tons of potential. I just feel that it might have been nice of them to take care of really hardcore things that go wrong with the software like the search function before adding dumb stuff that won't help anyone.
To what "dumb stuff" do you refer? Picture It First? Hardly dumb stuff. I use PIF on virtually every order, and it has saved me more sales than I can possibly count, simply because my customers can walk away knowing that they have a great design on the way. Does your store use PIF at all? If not, I highly suggest you check it out before you dismiss it so easily as "dumb stuff."
 

J Phipps TN

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On my Livesaver, The find button takes you to the 1st of that name in alphabetical order, then to find the one you need you just click on "next" and read the descriptions untill you come to the one you are looking for. Unless you have a thousand for this one customer this is usually very fast and easy. Unless you failed to type in a description, and then that is your fault.

I haven't had any problems finding customers tickets at all, and it's alot better than my old method of looking through paper files by year and name.

I think Livesaver is one of the best things I have done for my shop. I love the product and would love to get thier new "see it before you buy it thing" (can't remeber the name of it)

I just have to wait untill I can afford it.


Keep up the great work LifeSaver!

Jennifer
thumbsup.gif
 

Mike Labbe

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Online forums, by their very nature, are subject to such misunderstandings. Sometimes it can be difficult to interpret someone's true message, without the body language component. With that said, I'd like to welcome you to the Grumble!

Here is a solution to your question/issue:

-From the ticket screen, click the FIND TICKET button
(4th large button on top. Alternate find method is Control+F)

-A prompt comes up that lets you search by unique name, or company, or unique phone number, or ticket number. (we usually search just by the last name. you will need to be more specific if more than one client shares the same last name)

-Type in the client's name and click OK to see their oldest order on file.

-Click the button in the center that says "CUSTOMER HISTORY" to produce a list of everything they have done, from oldest to newest. For each, it will display the order dates, ticket #, project description, total paid, etc.

-Click on the desired previous ticket from the presented list and press ENTER. The full details of the order will be presented on the screen.

-From here you can re-print the paperwork or even duplicate it exactly for a new order. (File -> COPY ticket)

Is the concern that you have multiple people with the same last name and don't know any other unique info such as first name or phone #? It displays the first match, based on the search criteria specified. If this is the concern, here's another way:

-Type in the last name or company name from the ticket screen, and click VERIFY.

-A list of all matches or near matches will come up. Select the customer name that you want, and it brings you back to the ticket screen.

-Click "CUSTOMER HISTORY" for a list of their previous tickets.

I think I understand the concern and will document it properly and present it as a suggestion for their future consideration. They have always been very receptive to suggestions, when I take the time to explain them in writing - so they can duplicate the steps. They have added a dozen or more suggestions that Andy and I have made, and we couldn't be happier. The situation you suggested can only happen if two people exist with the same name, where you didn't specify any other unique search criteria - such as phone # or first name. Am I understanding this correctly, and do you understand my second suggestion above?

I'll write this up as a suggestion and bring it to their attention, so maybe it can pop up a reminder when it finds duplicate matches that require more search criteria.

Welcome to the Grumble!

Mike Labbe
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Get The Picture, LLC
Providence, RI
 

Rozmataz

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Another easy solution... go to "find ticket" button; enter the last name; when it takes you to the first ticket with that last name - then click on "Browse" and it gives you the complete list of customers with that last name and all the tickets til you get to the proper name.

Or...on the main screen you can hit the "customers" button. That gives you search fields for all sorts of data... then it will take you to a ticket - at that point, hit history!! Wala!!

I have used Lifesaver since I opened and it is truly as the name implies - a life saver. Yes, it has it's limitations and there have been things I want it to do - but it is probably not practical for the mass market to please my little oddity of wanting information in a certain way!! Some of the things I want are more in the bookkeeping area and you can export data to work with in other programs and that is nice.

If there is something that happens over and over again and again when entering data for the tickets - perhaps a note to the Lifesaver Crew would help them to know what other upgrades customers might want. Some they might just do - they are always improving it!!

I just wish the columns that appear when you are in browse mode could be alphabetized if you click on the column heading. Now I suppose I should email LS and suggest that before posting it here... but it's just one of the things that did come to the front of my mind as I was responding here.

Roz
 

Mike Labbe

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Yet another search solution, for a free form text search of the fields, such as the title/description of the piece.

-From the ticket screen, click BROWSE TICKETS

-Click on the EDIT pull-down menu and then FIND

-Type in the text you want to find. example: MAP

-Be sure "Wrap around" is selected

-You can hit "FIND NEXT" to find each match and select one at any time/call up the details.

Mike
 

Paul N

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OK, for those who think that "FIND" works perfectly in LifeSaver, here is a scenario I am faced with every day:

You browse Moldings, you try to find a specific one (you know, Edit menu, Find), in the search box you enter ST268-171, for example. The search results?? Nothing.

I browse manually all the way down to Studio and there is the "unfindable" item. Happens daily, and thusly the "Find" in the browse moulding mode is a dead horse. Upper case, lower case, mixed case?? Same result.

Did anyone say I have to be in a specific column when searching?? Done that, same result. So I gave up on it. It is faster to browse and locate.

Does it work for you at all??

Otherwise, it is a good program.

PS: Years ago, on a planet far away, I used to program in FoxPro, the same programming language used to create LifeSaver. And I can honestly say, that 15 years ago I was able to implement incredibly fast "Find" functions in FoxPro, that would find the nearest match as you type it in the search field....
 

xenniferx

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Originally posted by Mike-L@GTP:


-Click the button in the center that says "CUSTOMER HISTORY" to produce a list of everything they have done, from oldest to newest. For each, it will display the order dates, ticket #, project description, total paid, etc.
See! that is what this whole forum is about! I have never noticed that button and it could have saved me lightyears of hastle! thank you!
 

xenniferx

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Originally posted by Roz:

I just wish the columns that appear when you are in browse mode could be alphabetized if you click on the column heading. Now I suppose I should email LS and suggest that before posting it here... but it's just one of the things that did come to the front of my mind as I was responding here.

Roz
Wooo! *CLAPCLAP* that is just another thing that makes no sense.
the spreadsheet that comes up when you hit browse has this nifty little area where when on-mouse-over, it turns to a little arrow! you know what arrow means in every other spreadsheet software? sort this way. you know what it means in lifesaver? NOTHING. Why! why make it look and smell and sound like other spreadsheet software everyone on the planet is familiar with and then OOPS. THAT ARROW DOES NOTHIN.

so glad someone else noticed that! yes! see! we're getting somewhere, guys! thanks!
 

xenniferx

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Originally posted by Mike-L@GTP:
Yet another search solution, for a free form text search of the fields, such as the title/description of the piece.

-From the ticket screen, click BROWSE TICKETS

-Click on the EDIT pull-down menu and then FIND

-Type in the text you want to find. example: MAP

-Be sure "Wrap around" is selected

-You can hit "FIND NEXT" to find each match and select one at any time/call up the details.

Mike
Thank you! that would have saved me so much time! the ctrl+f doesn't work, so I guess I never noticed that up there.
it would be nice if there was a manual that was even just online that they could amend when needed that I could read so I wasnt walking blind in the dark.
 

Mike Labbe

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PAUL: You browse Moldings, you try to find a specific one (you know, Edit menu, Find), in the search box you enter ST268-171, for example. The search results?? Nothing.
Paul-
I assume you're talking about the VIEW MLD DB icon from the ticket screen?

Click the WRAP AROUND box to on. I think that will solve this issue for ya. What I believe is happening is that the VIEW MLD DB sets the 'pointer' to a place in the database where you last looked. Without WRAP AROUND on, you're only doing a search from that point to the end of the file. Turning that on makes it look around and check the rest of the database.

The popular way to find a moulding's details, and optionally edit them:

-Main menu -> Moulding -> Control+F (or click FIND)

-Tab down to the second field and ENTER VENDOR # ie: ST23301

I hope that's helpful

xenniferx: See! that is what this whole forum is about! I have never noticed that button and it could have saved me lightyears of hastle! thank you!
That's what the grumble is all about.

Best regards,
Mike
 

xenniferx

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Originally posted by FramerDave:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr /> I was wondering if there were people out there who were experiencing the some problems with the software, and if anyone wanted to talk about it.
Perhaps if you had mentioned exactly what your problem with it was and asked others for their input, or asked what features other people would like to see you would have gotten a better response. </font>[/QUOTE]I didn't want to join and then list everything that I have ever had a problem with while using Lifesaver.
We -have- written them tons of emails telling them what we think should happen to the software.
The guy that runs the joint told us that they try to listen to everyones views on the software and do what they hear the most of. that got me thinking that I should join here and get lots of folks to talk about lifesaver.

Some things that would RULE if lifesaver were amended are as follows:

*It would be my dream come true if that opening screen worked as a background and you could have many tickets open and then minimize them. If you could have one ticket open, minimize it, open a new one, minimize it, accept a payment, etc.. that would be ideal. As it is now, you can either write up a ticket, or accept payment. If you're helping someone in the shop and writing up a ticket, you would have to put it on hold and go back to it to accept payment from the guy who's just come in to pick up. Then you would have to fish it out of Lifesaver's dungeon to resume.

which brings me to my next point.
*There should be an area on the main screen of the software that reads "Tickets on hold," or something like that where I can mash that button and come up with a list in alphabetical order or by date. That way, you could easily manage files, or even call Ed and ask him if he had thought any more on a design he had to ask his wife about, etc.

*The Find should work like any standard search engine, and give me a little list of "hits," like google would... but you guys know how I feel on this point.

*numerical fields should accept numbers only.

*backspace should NEVER change fields.

*why the **** is there a seperate box for w and h in the image size, but not in the finished size? why do I have to type the x?

*when you go to find something by ticket number, you have to highlight the entire field or it puts a zero and screws up what you're typing.

*something is wrong with fields where you are supposed to type in dollar amounts.
it gets all hung up! like today, I was typing in that this lady was giving me $260.00 cash. it got all hung up and wanted to only let me type in $26.00. Why doesn't this work? I can't make it any clearer that I want to TAKE THIS LADY'S MONEY and its giving me hastle so I have to highlight and start over like 2 times. MAKE IT EASY.

*There should be a keyboard shortcut for virtually everything.
for instance, when you get a prompt like you would for shutting a ticket and it says something like do you want to save it this way? Yes/No.. I should be able to mash n for no. Every other program would let me. Not lifesaver.

*there should be some type of on-mouse-over that displays the description of a moulding/mat. I don't know how many times I have looked up a customer's ticket to find out what frame they had or something. All I get is L29384928349! some of them I can remember, but not all. Then I can either print the work order so it might tell me there, or I can go to the mldg database and search! MAKE IT EASY. THE COMPUTER KNOWS WHAT THIS MLDG IS. JUST SHOW MEEEEE. it doesnt have to show all the time, but I should be able to see it if I want. It would also keep me from typing in something wrong, which doesn't happen often, but if you type in a mlgd you know to be black and type it wrong and it says 3" gold, you'd go, OOOPS.

*There should be a way to mark a ticket as picked up, like you can mark it done. (Like FullCalc.) Then at the end of the week/month/whatever, I could print a paper that says this stuff hasnt been picked up and I can call around to remind folks. I won't have to look all over the place and at every ticket to say, oh I should call her its been a while.

*The ticket should print out the reveals instead of only the fractions for the mats. Then I can just stab the number into the wizard and not have to think about the fact that 5.25 minus 4.875 is .375.

I don't know. there are a hundred things!
some of it just boils down to crappy programming. things should be streamlined. I have never cursed at a program as often as lifesaver and I grew up using the computer. Like I said, I have a lot of ideas just because I feel like I have been using computers for ever and it doesn't feel like a regular program.
 

Rick Bergeron - CPF

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I don’t care what piece of software a person chooses to buy, you can always find an issue that you don’t particularly like. Once that happens, you will see that problem every time you use the software. Software developers must weigh the cost to implement against the benefits achieved by implementing. Some ideas make it, some don’t. Some ideas, though they seem simple, are difficult or impossible to implement.

A list of issues can be made regardless of the choice of POS. Some will be cosmetic or related to user preferences. Some could appear to be downright criminal when it comes to financial summaries that would be incorrect if used for tax reporting

If your employer is unhappy with his/her choice of POS, it may be best if they just asked for a refund and make another choice before there is so much historical data that it becomes difficult to implement a change. Very little is accomplished by publishing a list of grievances; other than the feeling obtained by ‘venting’. I know because I have been known to exhibit similar tendencies of being a Pain in the ***.

Years ago, I was involved in a $16.5 MM replacement POS project where we paid for an additional $2.5MM customizations. Even after that, there were employees who refused to accept the “New POS” and it reached a point where this refusal was affecting job performance. This resulted in a corporate mandate that “learning to use the new POS properly” was A CONDITION OF EMPLOYMENT and everyone was given 60 days to comply or choose to find employment elsewhere. You know the current limitations of the product that your employer has chosen for POS, so learn to make the best of it or convince your employer to find a replacement product. Even if all your suggestions would be implemented, the update will not be released overnight.
 

Paul N

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While you certainly have some very valid points (especially about Numeric fields and Backspace - which really screws things up if you don't go back and look at them before you hit Save), I really doubt LifeSaver will do a complete overhaul of this system.

Their new version doesn't address those issues either. They will have essentially to rewrite the whole program, which tends to be a very expensive and lengthy undertaking.

Does any Grumbler know other POS systems that handle said issue better??
 

Paul N

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Originally posted by HannaFate:
Sounds like you should just write your own version, market it, and trounce LifeSaver in the market!
Maybe 15 years ago, when I was younger and had more patience, and more tolerance for lack of sleep (I used to lay awake at night thinking about a certain software bug or why a program doesn't work the way it was supposed to...).

But now I'd rather be framin'...
 

xenniferx

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I used full calc at a shop I worked for before. I never ever had anything bad to say about it except that it was dos-looking and ugly. but it performed perfectly on every ticket.
that has been years and years. there should be some way for lifesaver to just make solid programming an issue.
that's what i think.
 

Canton Crew

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Haven't read all the replies to this post, but I have to agree with xenniferx. We started using Lifesaver in the fall of 2001 and found it to be a fairly lame program. Further, when I made suggestions to them they shrugged them off (program development is well served by customers who make careful critiques).

I was stunned when I was discussing a problem with one of their techs and was told that I was the only person out of 1100 who had that problem, so maybe I was doing something wrong (I'd have to look back in my notes to be more specific, but it was a valid issue and a horrible response – it literally cost them all our future business). On another occasion, I noted that the program was built for a cash business, that ours was accrual, and asked if there was a way to get that fixed, only to have the tech try to explain to me how my business would be better off being run on a cash basis - stunning response, frankly.

I think Lifesaver was, when we finally abandoned them a year ago, a poorly thought out program with an unresponsive tech/sales crew. I use FrameReady now, and am much happier with it - it is much more flexible, its reporting is smarter, and its tech/sales crew are more responsive to our needs. It is a clunkier program, and has a few odd bugs that need working out, but we are infinitely happier with FrameReady than we were with Lifesaver.

I'd note as well that there is nothing I can see in Xenniferx's post that is out of line (someone shook their finger at her (?) for “slamming” Lifesaver in public) - Xenniferx's is a legitimate expression of dissatisfaction with an expensive piece of software and the folks behind it, and this the perfect venue to vent about it. If not here, then where?

Canton Joe
 

xenniferx

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
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AW, Canton Crew, lets get married.
Thank you for seeing what I was saying.
When you have to have a word file linked on the desktop so you remember to write down all the things you are angry at lifesaver for, you know that there is a problem.
I was thinking this place was one where people could come to talk about things that are on their minds. Obviously I was mistaken, because I got my head bit off.
just trying to rally the troops!
hoping some other people had some feelings about lifesaver and we could all share.

speaking of frameready, we looked at their website and it looked not nearly as pretty of lifesaver, but apparently, looks are not everything!
glad to know that you like that better.
lifesaver could have saved their business with you if they didnt act like -you- were the ones messing up -their- software.
we've gotten the same type of response.

Thanks again!
 
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