Experiences of the Mamut sales techniques

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  • 09 Dec 2011 10:46 PM
    Message # 770067
    Mark Hill (Administrator)
    I start this thread because I would like to pressure Mamut to reconsider their sales techniques.  Other experieinces would be very welcome.  Here is the first.

    One member today told me yesterday that they had tried to get a new confirmation code from Mamut by phone.  They were told that no MYOB confirmation code would be forthcoming unless they upgraded to Mamut One (their PC product).  The member said he would refuse to actually use the Mamut program.  Mamut then offered to throw in a year of MYOB reconfirmation licence codes for each year of Mamut One licence the member was prepared to buy.

    My feeling is that this is a shakedown.
    Last modified: 13 Dec 2011 2:21 PM | Mark Hill (Administrator)
  • 12 Dec 2011 1:30 PM
    Reply # 771650 on 770067

    They do not seem overly happy giving me a 3rd user licence!  I am awaiting a call back from "the supervisor"

    Will keep in touch

  • 13 Dec 2011 4:59 PM
    Reply # 772551 on 770067
    Deleted user
    Mark Hill wrote:I start this thread because I would like to pressure Mamut to reconsider their sales techniques.  Other experieinces would be very welcome.  Here is the first.

    One member today told me yesterday that they had tried to get a new confirmation code from Mamut by phone.  They were told that no MYOB confirmation code would be forthcoming unless they upgraded to Mamut One (their PC product).  The member said he would refuse to actually use the Mamut program.  Mamut then offered to throw in a year of MYOB reconfirmation licence codes for each year of Mamut One licence the member was prepared to buy.

    My feeling is that this is a shakedown.

    Mark, you contacted me about this on Friday afternoon and I responded within 30 minutes to assure you that Mamut was continuing to provide confirmation codes to end users as normal with no strings attached. Any former members of the MYOB partner program are subject to separate arrangements which have not really changed since MYOB ran the program.

    I'm disappointed that you chose to post this without mentioning the reply that I sent you, or that I had requested details of the client so that I could investigate this fully, which you have subsequently refused to do. I hope they will choose to contact me themselves and I will be happy to look into this. If we have made a mistake then we will correct it.

    I'm not going to respond to, or discuss, individual customer cases on a public forum, but if clients have any issues with getting confirmation codes, or any other issues for that matter, then they are welcome to contact me directly.


  • 14 Dec 2011 4:21 PM
    Reply # 773263 on 770067
    Deleted user
    I need to buy 2 more licenses and Mamut will give issue them but they want to charge £200 for each extra user which I think is very expensive considering I was quoted only £119 per additional user for the Mamut AccountEdge Plus NE for MAC which is effectively the same software.
  • 14 Dec 2011 5:30 PM
    Reply # 773291 on 770067
    Mark Hill (Administrator)
    Another MYOB user has just been quoted £400 for each of two extra workstation licences for version 10.  This is £800 for a little bit of extra functionality for a software that is ten years old!
  • 05 Jan 2012 11:13 AM
    Reply # 787776 on 770067
     Just before I found your MYOB user Group I contacted  Mamut in the UK and got a new reconfirmation code for my software. They were not too forthcoming  but when I explained  the situation of changing companies and  email addresses and not having had any notification of anything happening  then telling them they had no right to just stop me using my software to run my business  they relented and gave me a code.  I had in the mean time downloaded  a trial copy of MYOB 11 from the internet  and have had a sales rep on the phone about it twice already!!  He implied  that Mamut may be seeking  to take legal action over the matter with MYOB UG  and said  that I would have to change software sooner or later.  I told him I'd be happy to reconsider using the new software  but was not prepared to pay £200 per annum for a mandatory support contract I did not need !!    I have no entered  the new codes  you have supplied  and hope that this will allow me to keep using the software for the foreseeable future.  Thanks  for all you help to date
  • 12 Jan 2012 12:02 PM
    Reply # 793083 on 770067
    Deleted user

    It seems that, as a consequence of the decision to extend the company file reconfirmation service, Mamut are now going all out to try to persuade MYOB users to switch to Mamut branded software.

    During the last fortnight we have received 3 communications from Mamut: an email offering Apple/Mac Account Edge software (which is of no use to us because we are PC based), a telephone call from a Mamut sales executive following up the email (I suspect he wished he had not made the call) and a letter with the following introduction:

    Dear MYOB Customer

    “As part of MYOB’s exit from the UK market in 2008 it had since been planned, and communicated to customers, to ‘sunset’ all MYOB UK products at the end of 2011.  This implies that the online Activation & Confirmation service (operated by MYOB Technology Pty Ltd in Australia) which is used to verify your MYOB product, would cease to operate and would have meant that your product would enter a read-only mode without the possibility to enter new transactions.”

    And then in a later paragraph:

    What is Mamut’s role in this?

    Mamut entered into an agreement with MYOB to purchase their UK business. Since we only purchased the UK operations of MYOB Limited, we did not actually acquire the MYOB software – ownership of which was retained by MYOB.”

    Note the carefully worded text attempting to portray Mamut as the innocent bystander. No doubt in 2008 Mamut would not have closed the deal if there had been any doubt that the MYOB UK perpetual licenced software, with no income from support packages, would be allowed to continue to function ad infinitum.

    Is it not time for Mamut to drop this fairytale and come clean? MYOB User Group members may recall the text posted on the MYOB Australia website several years ago: “Mamut have previously advised they have decided to 'sunset' the MYOB UK software* effective at 31 Dec 2011".

    .....The wicked MYOB wizard did not operate alone.

    Does anyone out there actually believe that Mamut purchased MYOB UK as a favour to its customers?

    Last modified: 12 Jan 2012 12:05 PM | Deleted user
  • 10 Mar 2012 11:07 AM
    Reply # 853332 on 770067
    On thursday at 7pm GMT, following an 'Error -1' message whilst my regular datafile was attempting to reconfirm itself automatically I attempted to phone their '0845 230 1505 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)' number. It was answered with a message saying that Mamut were not available out of hours. I then rang the number again the next day and got passed through a telephone answering system until I got to MYOB technical support, at which point the line went dead.

    I then tried ringing the main Mamut number, 0800 032 56 16, to try and speak the Mamut technical support, unfortunately after passing through 2 levels of answering I just got a ringing line. Thinking that this might well be due to a heavy load of angry MYOB users, whose files had been locked for them, I tried plan C - ring the sales guys, they always answer at least.

    Tried 0800 032 56 16 again and selected the sales option. Got through to a human after 7 rings, explained the situation, he said he'd pass me through to the appropriate technical team , line goes silent for about 10 seconds then I get lots of automated jabbering in a language, now established to be swedish.

    Plan D now - phone their main number again and this time speak to another sales guy who says that he'll pass me to a UK team, not wishing to be lost in the aether again I ask for the direct number (0207 153 0900) before the transfer.

    This time I get through to Charles Jay at Mamut. I explain the situation and request a license code, he hums and haws, explaining that the software is no longer supported. "No," I say, "I want my confirmation code", Okay he says but he'll need to be "away for some time and the phoneline will go dead". Okay, that's good practise I think, maybe these Mamut guys aren't so bad after all....

    I give him my serial numbers and 20-25 seconds later the line picks up again and it is Charles with my confirmation codes. These get entered and the file works....

    All good, eh, but I have a nagging doubt which I foolishly raise, and reproduce, in essence -

    "Charles ", I say, "what do I do next time this happens, and you're not available - are you really only going to give me 6 days to migrate my file or have it locked. 6 days to rebuild my business ?"

    "Well ", he says "software always needs updating doesn't it - I mean like your operating system".

    "Er no", I reply, not bothering to point out that operating systems are designed for further extension and bug-fixing, whilst applications should do the job that they were originally sold for, "not if I don't ask it to, and anyway what if my hardware doesn't support the latest versions of the operating system, what then, what if I cannot upgrade, eh"

    Warming to a theme I point out to him that I think the license that was sold with the original MYOB software does not have a clause that time limits the software and that if it did it might well be illegal for MYOB and its agents (i.e Mamut) to be selling such a license in the UK. I pointed out that people sitting in far flung offices, (eg Google) cannot just make up licenses and expect them to automatically be valid in the UK.

    [As I subsequently discovered, from this website, the facts are that the MYOB license clearly does not have an extinguishability clause, and that any attempt by MYOB or Mamut to 1) claim that it does, is incorrect and 2) deliberately withdrawing services that allow us to use the existing software and datafiles is most probably illegal, and if not at least very sharp practise].

    After a number of subtle attempts by Mr Jay to suggest that I was somehow acting irresponsibly in the running of my business (by "using software that I knew could become inoperable at any moment") I told him that I would generally not trust or work with a business that behaves in such a way, and specifically not trust them to write software that I would rely upon and trust the continued functioning of my business with.

    Following a less than transparent exchange regarding who I could contact for confirmation codes next time my file was locked :-

    "we can't give you a code"

    "well who can", "MYOB australia"

    "who exactly at MYOB australia"

    "I don't know"

    "well can't have I have the code generation software that you use"

    "we don't use code generation software we need to contact Australia each time we get a code, maybe you can get the software from them"

    "well who exactly do I contact in Australia to get the software?"

    "Ah now you're twisting my words" he says, realising he is getting into water that's too deep.

    ... I asked to be put through to his manager (Tony Hobbs), but who, unfortunately, was unavailable at the time...

    Shall I ring back on monday ?

    Shall I waste any more time on this bunch of charlatans with what appears to be an outrageous shakedown (allegedly)?

    No of course not, like everyone else I'll do what I need to protect the business and organisation that I've spent many years establishing - which means supporting the MYOB user group in their principled and brave stand against what is a shocking business practise.

    If MYOB, or their swedish owners, have any practical sense they will realise that this terrible publicity can damage their brand irreversibly and that the only way out for them is to freely issue code generation applications that permit the affected MYOB datafiles to be used by their rightful owners without time limit.

    Come on MYOB - it is not too late to stop destroying you brand name, you could actually turn this to your long term advantage instead of risking getting a reputation as the original thirty-two bit shysters (slang word for someone who acts in a disreputable, unethical, or unscrupulous way, especially in the practice of law, politics or business).

    Last modified: 10 Mar 2012 11:13 AM | Kurt Haselwimmer
  • 25 Mar 2012 5:07 PM
    Reply # 867934 on 770067
    Mark Hill (Administrator)

    your experience needs very little comment... as you have made all the points very ably yourself.  Mamut are essentially trying to charge you again for something that both you and they are aware that you already own.   Others are less aware than you are ... and are being essentially cheated.  I've just come across a case of a £360 charge for an MYOB v18 user to get confirmation codes that should be free.

    I would like, in replying to your comment, to issue a general call to those of you that are members of the Federation of Small Businesses.  I would like you to retaliate against the advertising Mamut is placing in the FSB magazines, with complaints and counter articles. 

    The FSB is regionally based.  I have ensured that an article has been placed into my local region's magazine (Yorkshire).  Any members that would like to submit a similar article to their regional officer ... please email info@myobusergroup.co.uk for a draft.

    Kurt... will you join in?

  • 26 Mar 2012 9:51 AM
    Reply # 868407 on 770067
    Deleted user
    I   spoke with Mamut this last week, because I got an invoice from them for £360.00 as a renewal for MPA Renewal Fee !! So I asked them why and they said it was because I was still using MYOB 18 and as a 'Professional Partner' I had never owned the software only leased it from them, so while I was still using MYOB 18 I had to pay them, even though they were not themselves supporting the software any more. At present Australia seem to be confirming my files [when I get prompted for confirmation manually]. However, I do not know how I can get a credit note for the invoice - or do I just ignore it ? any ideas from anyone ?
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